INDIANAPOLIS — Conflicted, T.J. Perkins must be.
After overcoming 31 other competitors from around the globe to win the Cruiserweight Classic and become Raw’s first WWE Cruiserweight Champion, the so-called “Wrestling Yoda” made a forceful statement at WWE Clash of Champions when he scored a victory over the desperate and disrespectful Brian Kendrick to retain his title. However, the victory celebration was short-lived.
Perkins put away his veteran opponent with a kneebar, then prepared to discuss his well-earned win in a post-match interview, but “The Wizard of Odd” had other plans. Interrupting Perkins’ remarks and shaking the victor’s hand — a gesture that he denied the champion just prior to the match — Kendrick followed up his faux sincerity with a savage headbutt, letting the WWE Cruiserweight Champion know that, even in defeat, Kendrick remains a threat to the titleholder.
Going into the bout with malicious intentions, Kendrick — who scratched and clawed his way back to the WWE spotlight seven years after his release from the company — displayed the same aggression that brought him to the dance last Monday night, when he defeated Cedric Alexander, Gran Metalik and Rich Swann for the right to challenge Perkins at Raw’s first exclusive pay-per-view. Tenacious in his own right, with memories of once sacrificing a roof over his head for his dream of in-ring glory still fresh in his mind, Perkins overcame every tool in Kendrick’s arsenal, including Sliced Bread No. 2 and even an underhanded attack using the ring apron, to ultimately make the former WWE Tag Team Champion submit.
Something tells us, though, that Kendrick’s quest for the WWE Cruiserweight Title is just beginning.