AJ Styles defeated Cedric Alexander at Clash of Champions on Sunday to retain the WWE United States Championship.
It wasn't a storybook ending for Alexander in his hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina.
Styles connected with a Phenomenal Forearm and then hit the Styles Clash for the victory in what was a straightforward win.
The issue between Styles and Alexander began a couple of weeks ago when Styles, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson attacked Alexander backstage out of frustration prior to his King of the Ring quarterfinal match against Baron Corbin.
While Alexander fought valiantly, he fell short against Corbin, so he was naturally out for revenge against The OC.
Alexander was granted a match against The Phenomenal One on the go-home episode of Raw prior to Clash of Champions, but Gallows and Anderson interfered on Styles' behalf before the bout got underway.
Later that night, Alexander teamed with Seth Rollins, Braun Strowman and The Viking Raiders against The OC, Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode in a 10-man tag team match. Alexander hit Styles with the Lumbar Check and pinned him to pick up the win for his team.
That victory was arguably the biggest of Alexander's career, and it gave him an abundance of momentum entering his match against Styles at Clash of Champions.
While Alexander got off to a slow start on the main roster when he got called up from 205 Live to Raw after WrestleMania, he has made major strides in recent months. His feud with Drew McIntyre is what put him on the map, as he even managed to beat The Scottish Psychopath on one occasion.
That prepared him for an even bigger stage, as Sunday's match against Styles marked his first title shot in WWE outside of the Cruiserweight Championship.
Alexander is widely viewed as a top-flight performer in the ring who still needs some work on the mic and from a character perspective, which made Styles the perfect opponent.
Styles is arguably the best in-ring worker in the world, but he is also a great heel who can get the most out of Alexander in other areas.
Sunday marked a coming-out party for Alexander despite the fact that he didn't win the title, and his performance may have been enough to earn him a future opportunity.
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