T.J. Perkins vs. Brian Kendrick: WWE Clash of Champions 2016 Winner and Reaction

Mike ChiariFeatured ColumnistSeptember 25, 2016

Photo credit: WWE.com

The WWE Cruiserweight Championship re-debuted at Clash of Champions in impressive fashion Sunday night, when T.J. Perkins defeated Brian Kendrick to retain the title.

WWE shared a video of Perkins in the moments after he hit Kendrick with a Kneebar: 

After the match, Kendrick shook Perkins' hand, only to headbutt him, as WWE showed:

WrestlingINC.com noted the move solidified Kendrick's status with WWE:

Perkins overcame 31 of the best cruiserweights in the world to win the inaugural Cruiserweight Classic on Sept. 14, after which Triple H named him the new cruiserweight champion.

TJP scored victories over several big names, including Johnny Gargano, Kota Ibushi and finalist Gran Metalik. That made him the man to beat in WWE's new cruiserweight division, but many others were hungry for a shot at the strap.

To determine the first No. 1 contender for the Cruiserweight Championship, Raw general manager Mick Foley set up a Fatal 4-Way match between Kendrick, Metalik, Cedric Alexander and Rich Swann six days prior to the pay-per-view.

Due largely to his veteran savvy and resourcefulness, Kendrick managed to overcome three elite athletes and establish himself as the first threat to Perkins.

Following his victory, Kendrick was confident he would find a way to bring Perkins' title reign to an abrupt end, as WWE showed:

At 37 years old, Kendrick entered the CWC as an underdog, but that didn't stop him from enjoying an impressive run.

Kendrick picked up victories over Raul Mendoza and Tony Nese before getting ousted by Ibushi in a tight match.

Throughout the CWC, The Man With a Plan did whatever it took to win, which made up for the fact that he may have lost a step or two over the years.

That carried over to the Fatal 4-Way on Raw and made him a huge danger to Perkins.

Although Kendrick no longer utilizes the typical cruiserweight style, instead relying on his penchant for technical wrestling, he and Perkins told a spectacular story Sunday, which is something they both excelled at during the CWC.

While Kendrick had his opportunities, Perkins continued his remarkable roll by retaining the title and keeping his spot atop the cruiserweight division.

Kendrick doesn't figure to go away anytime soon, but he may be forced to the back of the line with regard to challenging for the Cruiserweight Championship, with many other deserving athletes working toward a chance to mix it up with Perkins on the pay-per-view stage.


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