WWE Cruiserweight Classic
Location: Orlando, FL
Date: August 10, 2016
CWC results, Aug. 10, 2016: Ibushi and Alexander tear the house down in epic battle
Gran Metalik def. Tajiri (Second Round Match)
The WWE Cruiserweight Classic’s Second Round kicked off with not one, but two five-star showdowns. In the second match of the night, Cedric Alexander’s performance brought the crowd to their feet, but did he leave standing tall over Kota Ibushi?
The Second Round of the inaugural WWE Cruiserweight Classic kicked off in major fashion, with aerial artist Gran Metalik squaring off with the most experienced competitor in the tournament, Tajiri. Having spent time in Mexico during his 23-year career, The Japanese Buzzsaw knew how to handle the luchador’s fast-paced style, and even showed that he could keep up with the younger, speedier Metalik.
Tajiri wrestled a smart match early on, taking Metalik to the ground and keeping him there. To his credit, Metalik demonstrated that he was no slouch on the canvas, trading holds with the former Cruiserweight Champion before getting back to his feet. The masked marvel brought the match back to his preferred pace, but was stopped in his tracks with one of Tajiri’s devastating kicks.
That allowed Tajiri to bring the match back to the mat and wear down Gran Metalik before kicking him directly in the face. Surprisingly, the luchador got right back up and, after chopping Tajiri in the sternum, sent his opponent to the arena floor, giving himself the opening to show the world why they call him “El Rey de las Cuerdas” – King of the Ropes. Metalik dashed across the ropes with ease before launching himself at The Japanese Buzzsaw. Tajiri tried to end the bout with another kick, but the luchador caught his leg and launched an all-out aerial counterattack.
Tajiri launched a last-ditch effort, clobbering Metalik with a baseball slide dropkick before catching the masked marvel in midair and driving him to the mat with a powerbomb. Gran Metalik escaped a grounded octopus hold by kicking Tajiri with his free leg. Moments later, the luchador then grabbed The Japanese Buzzsaw and planted him into the canvas with the Metalik Screwdriver for the three-count, cementing his spot in the CWC Quarterfinals.
Kota Ibushi def. Cedric Alexander (Second Round Match)
Cedric Alexander faced the biggest challenge of his career in the Second Round, taking on tournament favorite Kota Ibushi of Japan. Alexander took control of the match early on, targeting Ibushi’s arm and grounding his opponent. However, Ibushi showed why he’s revered as one of the best wrestlers on the planet by flipping out of Alexander’s grasp, then tackling him to the ground.
The two competitors went right back to grappling on the canvas, with Alexander using his amateur wrestling experience to gain the upper hand. It was clear that both men were well-prepared for this showdown as the two traded holds back and forth, ducking strikes and going for quick pinfalls. Alexander staggered Ibushi with a back elbow to the jaw, but “The Golden Star,” one of the hardest hitters in sports-entertainment, immediately answered with a kick so hard that the sound echoed through Full Sail University. Realizing that this bout was not going to be a cakewalk, Ibushi kicked things up a gear, going for the Golden Triangle Moonsault, only to crash and burn at ringside as Alexander moved out of the way.
Alexander answered with a daredevil dive of his own over the ropes to the floor, then springboarded back into the ring with a big clothesline. Ibushi fought back, unleashing a flurry of vicious strikes that left his rival in perfect position for a standing corkscrew moonsault, but he could not put Alexander away. “The Golden Star” took flight again, launching into the air with another moonsault, this time to the arena floor.
The two men were not only fighting against each other, but also the clock, as the 20-minute time limit drew closer and closer. Alexander flipped out of a hurricanrana off the ropes, then clocked Ibushi with an elbow, but the Japanese striker answered back with a Pele kick that left the American reeling. Ibushi saw an opening for victory and went for the Golden Star Powerbomb, but Alexander slipped out and countered by spiking Ibushi on his head with a brainbuster. However, for everything Alexander threw at Ibushi, it was not enough to put his world-renowned opponent down. The brainbuster only got a two-count, as did a kick to the head of The Golden Star.
With just over five minutes left in the match, Alexander went for broke from the top rope, adjusting in midair to land safely when Ibushi rolled away. Unfortunately, he ran right into a German Suplex and head kick from the Japanese grappler, which left him open for the Golden Star Powerbomb and the three count, as Kota Ibushi advanced to the CWC Quarterfinals.
Having delivered the performance of a lifetime in an incredible battle, only to come up short, Alexander was devastated when it sank in that he was eliminated from the Cruiserweight Classic. Though he did not advance, Cedric Alexander walked out of Full Sail University with the respect of the WWE Universe, who did not stop cheering for the American competitor after the end of the bout. As an emotional Alexander took in the sights of Full Sail University chanting “Please sign Cedric!” WWE COO Triple H emerged and put his stamp of approval on the incredible competitor, signaling that, perhaps, the WWE Universe hasn’t seen the last of Cedric Alexander.