Fil-Am TJ Perkins to fight at WWE Cruiserweight Classic
The Philippines will be well represented in the WWE Cruiserweight Classic when Fil-American technician TJ Perkins takes on 31 other competitors in the event.
WWE named the 32-man field on Monday (Tuesday Manila time), with the competition airing on the WWE Network starting on July 13.
Perkins will be competing against stars from the NXT roster, together with wrestlers from Evolve Wrestling, Progress Wrestling and Revolution Pro Wrestling.
He qualified for the tournament after beating Fred Yehi at Evolve 61 last May 7.
“It’s an opportunity for the best guys at this style of wrestling to have a platform to showcase what they do. It has been several generations since fans have been able to see this. It’s amazing because I think that’s a benchmark for the industry,” Perkins said in an interview with WWE.com.
Perkins also said that he wants to make Filipinos proud in the world of WWE.
“I just want to show people who I am. I think everybody knows that we can go out there and rock and roll,” he continued. “I’d like to represent my Filipino fans and heritage. We don’t have a lot of heroes. We have Manny Pacquiao, and I look up to Batista a whole lot, because of our shared roots. I’d like to represent my heritage because they’re such passionate people. I want to give them a hero that they can look up to on a platform they’ve never seen.”
Joining Perkins in the pool are heralded British stars Zack Sabre Jr. and Jack Gallagher, Japanese hotshot
Kota Ibushi, NXT competitors Johnny Gargano, Tomasso Ciampa, and Rich Swann, and former WWE superstars Tajiri and Brian Kendrick.
Also in the competition are Israeli-Scottish wrestler Noam Dar, Combat Zone Wrestling headliner Drew Gulak, luchador Gran Metalik, Gurv and Harv Shira of the Global Force Wrestling Tag Team Champions The Bollywood Boyz, Hong Kong standout Ho Ho Lun, and Iranian stud Ariya Daivari.
Completing the field are Cedric Alexander, Tony Nese, Anthony Bennett, Sean Maluta, and Kenneth Johnson, as well as international fighters Clement Petiot (France), Fabian Aichner (Italy), Akira Tozawa (Japan), Lince Dorado (Puerto Rico), Tyson Dux (Canada), Raul Mendoza (Mexico), Alejandro Saez (Chile), Damian Slater (Australia), Jason Lee (Hong Kong), Da Mack (Germany), and Zumbi (Brazil).