Akira Tozawa Beats Neville to Win Cruiserweight Title at WWE Raw

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistAugust 15, 2017

Photo credit: WWE.com.

Akira Tozawa scored a huge win over Neville on Monday to win the Cruiserweight Championship for the first time.

WWE provided a photo of Tozawa after the win:

Neville entered Monday Night Raw having held the cruiserweight title for more than 200 days, and there were multiple contenders vying for the opportunity to face him at one of the year's biggest pay-per-views. Having the title change hands on the final Raw before SummerSlam was a curious decision, according to Michael Killam of WrestleZone:

Bleacher Report's Kevin Berge echoed a similar sentiment:

Both Tozawa and Ariya Daivari positioned themselves as potential challengers, and Daivari even beat the King of the Cruiserweights on an episode of 205 Live by count-out after Tozawa got involved.

That led to Tozawa and Daivari facing off on 205 Live a few weeks ago with the winner going on to tangle with Neville at what was expected to be SummerSlam.

Despite having an injured shoulder that gave him issues, Tozawa prevailed and avenged a previous loss to Daivari that occurred after Titus O'Neil threw in the towel.

Monday's match marked the second big bout between Neville and Tozawa, as they previously locked horns on the Kickoff Show prior to Great Balls of Fire.

Although it was a struggle for Tozawa to get another title shot after losing to Neville at Great Balls of Fire, he proved to be the best option in a cruiserweight division that hasn't churned out many great face challengers as of late.

Neville had already defeated the likes of Jack Gallagher and Rich Swann, as well as Austin Aries, who was recently released by the company.

That left the door open for Tozawa to take another crack at The Man That Gravity Forgot, and it led to an entertaining match.

Tozawa has gained a strong following in recent months due to his high-energy personality, in-ring style and association with Titus Worldwide.

Conversely, Neville has masterfully developed into one of WWE's most convincing and hated heels, which made Monday's bout an ideal clash of styles.

Tozawa's second attempt to take down Neville was successful, and it figures to lead to a long-term feud between the top two Superstars the cruiserweight division has to offer currently.

           

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