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31 Days of Wrestling (12/19/16): Kota Ibushi vs. Cedric Alexander, Cruiserweight Classic

Welcome to the 31 Days of Wrestling, ladies and gentlemen. It's that time of year again when we take a look back at the past 11 months of pro wrestling (and as much as possible, the last month as well) and cherry-pick one match a day for each day of December from a list of bouts that defined the year in our beloved sport. Most matches will be good, while some may not be; what matters is that they helped build the perception and reputation of the kind of wrestling this calendar year produced for us.

Today, we’re looking at arguably the best match from the Cruiserweight Classic.


Kota Ibushi is one of the best wrestlers in the world, regardless of weight class. With buzzsaw kicks and limitless athleticism, he was the heavy favorite to win the CWC. Cedric Alexander, on the other hand, was a talented underdog with a lot to prove. When they met in the ring, it was brilliant.

Everything about this match was spot on. The wrestling was great, and the strikes were stiff. But more than that, the story they told was awesome. Ibushi looked every bit like the confident and dangerous veteran, while Alexander fought hard and tried to match his foe punch for punch. Unfortunately, a kick to the head and a Golden Star Powerbomb stopped Alexander dead in his tracks and Ibushi moved forward in the tournament.


This was Alexander’s coming out party. He worked his ass off, and he had the crowd eating from the palm of his hands. By the end of the match, the crowd was chanting “Please sign Cedric!”, and in a rare moment of the WWE actually listening to their fans, Alexander was given a contract. No matter what you say about the company being out of touch with the the fans, but they knew better than to not follow Full Sail on this one. Here was a man who worked hard all his life and made the most of his once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to fulfill his dream. If that doesn’t inspire you, then your heart is ice cold.


*****

31 Days of Wrestling is Smark Henry's way of celebrating the matches that helped define wrestling in 2016.


Read our previous entries:

#1: The Final Deletion
#2: Finn Balor vs. Seth Rollins for the WWE Universal Championship, SummerSlam
#3: Kazuchika Okada vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi, Wrestle Kingdom 10
#4: Sami Zayn vs. Shinsuke Nakamura, NXT Takeover: Dallas
#5: Main Maxx vs. Crystal for the PHX Championship, PWR Renaissance
#6: Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte for the RAW Women's Championship, Hell in a Cell
#7: Prince Puma vs. Rey Mysterio, Ultima Lucha Dos
#8: AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura for the IWGP Intercontinental Championship, Wrestle Kingdom 10
#9: American Alpha vs. The Revival
#10: TJ Perkins and the WWE Cruiserweight Classic
#11: One Versus All Royal Rumble match
#12: Kenny Omega vs Tetsuya Naito, G1 Climax Block B Finals
#13: Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens, Payback
#14: Ricochet vs. Will Ospreay, Best of the Super Juniors Tournament 2016
#15: #DIY vs. The Revival, NXT TakeOver: Toronto (2 Out Of 3 Falls)
#16: Brock Lesnar vs. Goldberg, Survivor Series
#17: Katsuyori Shibata vs. Tomohiro Ishii for the NEVER Openweight Championship, Wrestle Kingdom 10
#18: The Return of the Brand Split

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