This Friday, July 13th was the two-year anniversary of the WWE Cruiserweight Classic and its very first broadcast on the WWE Network. The debut show featured four matches in the opening round with a ton of international flair; Gran Metalik vs. Alejandro Saez, Ariya Daivari vs. Ho Ho Lun, Kota Ibushi vs. Sean Maluta, and Cedric Alexander vs. Clement Petiot.
It was TJ Perkins who would go on to win the Cruiserweight Classic, becoming the first ever WWE Cruiserweight Champion of the modern era. He had one of the hardest paths to the top, taking on Johnny Gargano in the second round, followed by Rich Swann, Kota Ibushi, and finally Gran Metalik in the tournament finals. Several WWE Superstars took to social media this weekend to celebrate the two-year anniversary of the show that put many of them on the map.
Perkins also posted a lengthy stated about his experience winning the CWC and the kinds of emotions he felt throughout the tournament, which you can check out below.
“Ok I’ll stop poking fun and be serious TJ for like a second. I listening to this song (“Lucky Lighter” by Broadway Calls”) on loop all summer during the WWE CWC because I walked away from a few sure things to chase a very very unsure thing. All along I was told I didn’t belong and the better I did the louder those voices got. I love this song for the messages in it. And the freedom and feeling of content I had just letting go and loving wrestling again.”
“Airya pulled me aside after a middle round and told me he had forgotten how good I was. I laughed because honestly I had too. I was with the best guys in the world and being told on the outside that I didn’t belong. So of course I felt that way. I say all the time I’m the best at this or that, and me me me. Truthfully I don’t think I’m the best at anything, I don’t think anyone is, I really just don’t even think like that. I just wanna do what I do, and have fun, for as long as God let’s me.”
“The CWC about about winning it, nor was it about proving anyone wrong. It was really a benchmark in my life where I fell in love with the ring again. Nothing more. And whatever anyone felt during it, I’m happy about. Because the more you hated me means the more you loved someone else, and that’s the goal. And the more you loved me, and may have been inspired by me, then even better. Because when I was homeless it was far worse than anyone even knows or has been told publicly and I would have given anything for that inspiration. So if I’m helping something through anything, I’m glad.”
I was a backup at the #cwc. An alternate. A replacement. I was eliminated in the first round. I wasn't part of the plan.
Nearly two years later, I'm the guy laying the groundwork for #205Live.
Dreams end when you say they end. Dream on baby, dream on. pic.twitter.com/8ElVhXm3vu
— Mustafa Ali (@MustafaAliWWE) July 14, 2018
Two years ago I entered the 1st #CWC with the intention to make the world remember my name.
Now I'm the guy leading @WWE205Live as Cruiserweight Champion!
— Cedric Alexander (@CedricAlexander) July 14, 2018
— 🇺🇸TJ Perkins🇵🇭 (@MegaTJP) July 14, 2018
2 years ago, I wasn’t even looked at to be apart of the #CWC – 2 years later I own the division! I ain’t no “King” don’t jump on my “Train” Just stay out of my way… I’m the #Juggernaut B**** pic.twitter.com/gMF4LVqMcN
— WWE Buddy Murphy (@WWE_Murphy) July 14, 2018
— Drake Maverick (@WWEMaverick) July 13, 2018
— Singh Brothers (@SinghBrosWWE) July 14, 2018