Buddy Murphy Retains Cruiserweight Title vs. Akira Tozawa at Elimination Chamber

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistFebruary 17, 2019

Photo credit: WWE.com.

Buddy Murphy's dominance over the cruiserweight division continued Sunday, as he defeated Akira Tozawa at Elimination Chamber to retain the Cruiserweight Championship.

Murphy flashed his strength by countering out of a modified octopus lock by simply lifting Tozawa off of the mat. Before Tozawa had much time to react, Murphy got him into position for Murphy's Law and hit the finisher for the win.

In what was the first bout on the Elimination Chamber card, Tozawa and Murphy might have already delivered the match of the night.

The high level of competition on 205 Live came to a head Sunday with two of the top athletes the brand has to offer clashing on the pay-per-view stage.

Tozawa has found himself in the title scene for the past couple of months, as he was part of a Fatal 4-Way match at the Royal Rumble against Murphy, Kalisto and Hideo Itami. Murphy won that match by pinning Itami, which kept Tozawa in the hunt.

After beating Itami in a singles match, Tozawa was part of a Fatal 4-Way match on 205 Live to determine the new No. 1 contender.

Tozawa outlasted Cedric Alexander, Humberto Carrillo and Lio Rush to earn another crack at the title at Elimination Chamber.

Sunday marked Tozawa's first singles match for the Cruiserweight Championship since facing Neville in August 2017.

He beat the Englishman for the title on the Raw before SummerSlam 2017 only to drop it back to Neville at the PPV. The Japanese then fell short in his Cruiserweight Championship rematch and has been trying to work his way back up the ladder ever since.

Conversely, Murphy entered Elimination Chamber on the most impressive run of his career after establishing himself as one of the top cruiserweights in recent memory.

Since beating Alexander for the Cruiserweight Championship at WWE Super Show-down in his hometown of Melbourne, Australia, in October, Murphy has defeated nearly all of the best competition 205 Live has to offer.

Tozawa was as tough a challenger as anyone, but the Aussie managed to get past him, and his title reign is now the third-longest in WWE history since the Cruiserweight Championship was reintroduced.

Considering how unstoppable Murphy has been, it may take an NXT call-up or a new signing to knock him off his perch leading up to WrestleMania 35.

          

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