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MANILA, Philippines – Out of the 32 competitors from 16 different countries, Filipino-American wrestler TJ Perkins emerged victorious in World Wrestling Entertainment’s Cruiserweight Classic tournament on Wednesday, September 14 (Thursday, September 15, Manila time) at Full Sail University in Orlando, Florida.
The 32-year-old ring performer from Los Angeles, California barely squeezed himself through an eye of a needle as he had to surpass two highly-regarded wrestlers before being hailed as the overall winner.
In a high-octane contest, Perkins pulled off an upset victory over tourney favorite Kota Ibushi, eliminating the Japanese prospect in the semi-final round by way of submission.
Perkins compelled Ibushi to wave the white flag by fastening a modified kneebar submission that dropped the jaws of many in attendance.
The #Kneebar and Neck Submission makes @ibushi_kota TAP OUT!! @MaskaraManik advances to the #CWC Final!! pic.twitter.com/2Dzw9Xyvd7 — WWE CWC (@WWE_CWC) September 15, 2016
Proving that he has a place in the main roster of WWE, Perkins defeated Mexican high-flyer Gran Metalik in the Cruiserweight Classic finals.
Perkins countered Gran Metalik’s Dorada Screwdriver from top rope and latched on his signature kneebar as both men reached the ring canvas.
As Gran Metalik tried to endure the pain, Perkins tightly gripped his foe’s leg for the tap to become the last man standing in the Cruiserweight Classic competition.
With the victory, WWE executive vice president Triple H awarded the brand new cruiserweight championship to Perkins.
. @TripleH makes it official, fastening the NEW @WWE Cruiserweight Title around @MaskaraManik 's waist! #CWC pic.twitter.com/YvvIPbnj1t — WWE CWC (@WWE_CWC) September 15, 2016
Perkins is set to represent the cruiserweight division as part of WWE’s flagship show Raw every Monday night – Rappler.com