Despite both Cedric Alexander and TJP competing in the Cruiserweight Classic – and TJP winning the tourney – they have never faced off in one-on-one competition in the WWE Cruiserweight division. That changed in the quarterfinals of the WWE Cruiserweight Championship, as Alexander and the inaugural WWE Cruiserweight Champion battled to keep their WrestleMania dreams alive.
Although The Fil-Am Flash didn't believe he should have to face anyone to earn an opportunity to reclaim the WWE Cruiserweight Title, he was ready to compete against Alexander while displaying his signature confidence.
Neither Superstar gained an advantage until TJP wisely countered a snapmare into a backbreaker. The first-ever WWE Cruiserweight Champion used that momentum to work in an innovative submission hold, nearly scoring a victory. As his confidence mounted, The Duke of Dab worked to keep his opponent on defense, using well-timed strikes and technical holds to stay in control and keep Alexander at bay.
Even though TJP seemed to have the match clearly in his favor, the resilience of Cedric was certainly in play as he reversed a suplex and found the opening he needed to build his own momentum. Battling through pain, Alexander still soared through the air to take down his opponent on the outside.
Favoring his knee, Alexander continued to advance, but TJP's ring awareness proved near-fatal for Alexander's WrestleMania hopes as he caught his opponent in the kneebar, though Alexander escaped the dreaded hold twice.
Exhausted, both Cruiserweights exchanged blows, leaving everything inside the ring. As TJP attempted the Detonation Kick, Alexander reversed the move and hit the back-wrenching Lumbar Check to secure the win and advance to the semifinals.
Following an impressive first-round victory against Hideo Itami in the WWE Cruiserweight Championship Tournament, NXT Superstar Roderick Strong faced a daunting challenge in former WWE Cruiserweight Champion Kalisto. Kalisto and Strong brought vastly different in-ring styles to the bout, leaving the luchador seeking a fast-paced offensive to keep his opponent's hard-hitting style at bay.
Kalisto's strategy paid dividends as he used his agility to keep Strong on defense. Even as Strong attempted to counter a hurricanrana on the outside, Kalisto used momentum to drive Strong into the barricade. Breaking the official's 10-count, however, proved to be a mistake for the lucha dragon, as Strong drove him into the ring apron and dropped him on the announce table.
The effective counter and subsequent drop onto the table gave Strong the opportunity he needed to unleash his hard-hitting ability and impose his will on the former United States Champion. Focusing his attacks on Kalisto's lower back, Strong also took the time to taunt his opponent, giving the luchador the drive he needed to continue.
As the WWE Universe cheered on the incredible action, Kalisto regained momentum and put his opponent back on defense. Unrelenting, the former WWE Cruiserweight Champion attempted his patented Salida del Sol, only to be dropped onto the ropes.
A struggle on the top rope soon led to a jaw-dropping reversal by Kalisto that nearly took Strong out of the contest for good, as he landed awkwardly on his shoulder.
Resilient and determined to continue on his Road to WrestleMania, Strong countered a series of strikes from Kalisto into the perfect trifecta of jumping knee strike, backbreaker and the End of Heartache to secure a hard-fought win and advance to the semifinals to face Cedric Alexander.
Next week on WWE 205 Live, The Road to WrestleMania continues as the second set of matches in the quarterfinals of the WWE Cruiserweight Championship Tournament get underway.
Mustafa Ali will square off against NXT Superstar Buddy Murphy in a battle of sheer willpower and determination from both competitors. The incredibly agile Mustafa Ali believes it is his time to carry the WWE Cruiserweight division as champion. During a hard-hitting battle with Gentleman Jack Gallagher, Ali displayed incredible resilience and the spirit of a champion, persevering through his opponent's offensive onslaught to claim an incredible victory.
Training harder than ever and seizing the opportunity for a potential WrestleMania moment, former NXT Tag Team Champion Buddy Murphy made weight and entered the tournament, battling Ariya Daivari in the first round. Victorious, Murphy advanced to the quarterfinals, set to battle Ali.
Plus, Drew Gulak will face Mark Andrews in next week's quarterfinals showdown. Facing former WWE Cruiserweight Champion Akira Tozawa in the tournament's first round, Andrews shocked the WWE Universe by defeating The Stamina Monster to advance to the quarterfinals. The Welsh Superstar will face a newly-aggressive Gulak, who laid waste to his friend and frequent tag team partner Tony Nese in the first round. Will Andrews’ high-fiving and skydiving attitude be enough to stop Gulak's rage?
Don't miss the next quarterfinal contests in the WWE Cruiserweight Championship Tournament, next week on WWE 205 Live.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Cedric Alexander defeated TJP in a WWE Cruiserweight Championship Tournament Quarter Final Match
- Roderick Strong defeated Kalisto in a WWE Cruiserweight Championship Tournament Quarter Final Match
- Dark Match: Randy Orton defeated Jinder Mahal
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