SmackDown LIVE General Manager Daniel Bryan kicked off a new era for the Cruiserweight division by introducing Drake Maverick as WWE 205 Live's new General Manager. After dedicating his life and career to Cruiserweight competition, Maverick announced his intention to help WWE 205 Live reach its true potential as the home for the most exciting competition in all of sports-entertainment. As a result, Maverick announced that a 16-man Cruiserweight Championship Tournament would begin immediately, and a new champion would crowned on The Grandest Stage of Them All – WrestleMania.
Cedric Alexander and Gran Metalik were granted the unique opportunity to set the tone for the new Cruiserweight Championship Tournament. Alexander and Metalik – who have competed and teamed up with each other in the past – displayed their respect for one another with a handshake before engaging in a fast-paced contest with both agile Superstars performing jaw-dropping counters before shifting to a more technical strategy.
Cedric gained the advantage by relying on his speed and power – and his high-flying ability. Although clearly in control of the match, Alexander struggled to secure a pinfall, and The King of the Ropes battled back, striking with a perfectly timed superkick.
Living up to both his moniker and his lucha libre roots, Metalik used high-flying maneuvers and quick offensive strikes to maintain control. However, Alexander's resilience was on full display, as he refused to quit and continued to fight despite Metalik's advances.
Thinking he had Alexander down for the count, Metalik ascended the ropes and attempted a moonsault, but he was met by his opponent's feet, which countered the high-risk move. Seizing the opportunity, Alexander pounced and executed his patented Lumbar Check for the win.
Earlier in the day, the first-ever U.K. Champion Tyler Bate was told by new WWE 205 Live GM Drake Maverick to be ready to compete. A high-stakes competition between Bate and the first-ever WWE Cruiserweight Champion TJP is exactly what the WWE Universe got in the second first-round match of the Cruiserweight Championship Tournament.
With the perfect opportunity to regain the momentum he's been searching for in recent weeks, The Fil-Am Flash relied heavily on his unique and technical prowess to gain an early advantage. Ever confident in his ability, TJP offered up a dab before being countered by Bate.
From there, both Superstars put on a masterclass in technical ability with punishing and innovative holds in an effort to advance in the tournament. After applying his patented Kneebar – which brought him much success in the Cruiserweight Classic – The Duke of Dab focused on his opponent's left knee whenever he could. Although Bate used his strength and high-impact offense to remain in the fight, TJP's strategy paid dividends as he continued to strike at the injured knee. However, even the second application of his patented kneebar wasn't enough for the first-ever Cruiserweight Champion to secure the win.
The battle raged on with both competitors continuing to strike back and forth and momentum failing to find a home. Attempting to seize an opportunity, Bate set TJP up for the Tyler Driver ‘97. Unfortunately for the first-ever U.K. Champion, The Duke of Dab countered and – grabbing his opponent’s trunks as leverage – secured the pinfall victory.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Cedric Alexander defeated Gran Metalik in a WWE Cruiserweight Championship Tournament First Round Match
- TJP defeated Tyler Bate in a WWE Cruiserweight Championship Tournament First Round Match
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