He wants it all.
"Queen City's Favorite Son" Cedric Alexander will realize his dream on April 8th as he will be featured on a WrestleMania match card. That dream is not yet fulfilled as one Mustafa Ali is also going to bring the fight as the two men will do battle over the vacant WWE Cruiserweight Championship.
Cedric Alexander's entrance into the WWE was an unusual one. After his contract with Ring Of Honor expired he contacted WWE and the following day, the company reached back out to Cedric to alert him that he would be receiving a WWE tryout.
“I thought I was going to have to wait like six months to get an answer, but no, I got one the next day. It blew my mind. I guess I’m more popular than I thought.” Cedric told WWE.com.
During Alexander's emergence onto the WWE scene, the inaugural Crusierweight Classic tournament was beginning to take shape and at the time, Cedric Alexander was a solid 235 pounds and he needed to shed down to 205 pounds in order to compete.
“I immediately went on the meanest crash diet of my life,” he said. “I thought cutting weight [would be] hard because I never really dedicated much time to it. I was always the guy that, if I’m hungry, I’m gonna eat until I’m full. That’s just my southern mindset; if there’s food on your plate, you finish all of it. But as soon as someone said, ‘Hey, you wanna be in WWE?,’ my attitude [changed] and it happened much faster than I thought. I wasn’t a big cardio guy, so I added an hour of cardio every day, drank a gallon-and-a-half of water a day and cut down on portions.”
The 205 Live star worked vigorously to make weight, and with a daughter to feed and thirty pounds to drop to get his true shot in the WWE, Alexander went all out for his dream.
“I was freaking out so much about it. I have a daughter who I gotta provide for, so when I left [Ring Of Honor] I was like, ‘Damn, I can’t make a decent living on the independents; something’s gotta happen here,’ and boom. I was shocked. It was like a call from the heavens.”
In the round of 16 in the WWE CWC, Cedric Alexander came across the former three-time IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion Kota Ibushi. The match between Ibushi & Alexander is one that is looked upon highly by fans, and is also the match that seemingly got Alexander signed to WWE.
“That’s when the nerves kicked in,” Cedric says. "I was like, oh man, that’s Kota Ibushi. I think people were shocked to see me in WWE, and then to watch me go toe-to-toe with Kota Ibushi and have one of the best matches that year? Who would’ve ever thought that in 2016, one of the five best matches of the year would be me vs. Kota Ibushi. Kota was on a whole different level of international stardom and I was still on the cusp. So, once I had that breakout performance it was like, ‘Yo, Cedric is a star now', literally made me a star.”
Despite being bested by the "Golden Star", Alexander walked away with his head held high and respect from fans as the Full Sail faithful chanted "Please Sign Cedric". This would lead to NXT founder Triple H coming out to shake the hand of Alexander.
"When we walked back through the curtain [Triple H] kept shaking my hand and congratulating me, [telling me] this was my moment, and then, right before he went back to the production area, he grabbed me by the head and said welcome to the family.”
Two years later, Cedric Alexander will be standing across the ring from another man who has worked his way to the position that he is in, Mustafa Ali. Alexander is aware that there is no guaranteed spot on a WrestleMania card for him in the future, so he is looking forward to tearing the house down on his first.
“I immediately looked at the [Cruiserweight Title Tournament] as the chance to go back and win the tournament that I should’ve won two years ago,” he stated, "Even if this is the one and only WrestleMania I have, it’s still gonna mean I was on The Show of Shows and that I can put my name in the hat with some of the greatest Superstars of all time. I intend to make my moment and to have my family there, it’s surreal. It’s one thing when I’m a kid to have my mom saying, ‘Oh baby, you’re gonna be great,’ but to really sit back and go, ‘Oh, man, my mom was right, I’m going to WrestleMania.’ I’m going to perform in front of her, my daughter, my fiancée … it’s something you really can’t put into words. You almost think it’s too good to be true, but it is true. It’s scheduled. It’s happening.”
As noted, Cedric Alexander & Mustafa Ali will face off in New Orleans to crown a new WWE Cruiserweight Champion. To view the rest of the WrestleMania 34 match card, click here.