Back from the break and Michael Cole welcomes us to ringside. He's joined by Corey Graves and Renee Young. Out first comes the challenger, hometown star Cedric Alexander. The OC is out next - WWE United States Champion AJ Styles with Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson.
Gallows and Anderson walk AJ to ringside but they head to the back. The bell rings and we get formal ring introductions from Mike Rome. Cedric gets a big hometown pop for the Charlotte shout-out. The bell rings and Cedric immediately catches AJ with a big Michinoku Driver for a close 2 count out of nowhere. AJ and Cedric are both shocked. AJ rolls out but Cedric flies and takes him down. Cedric brings it back in and hits a big kick to the head for another close 2 count.
Cedric kicks AJ in the head from the apron and drops him. Cedric springboards up but AJ pushes him off the top rope, down on the apron. AJ goes to the apron and drops Cedric's neck on the apron with a big stiff suplex. AJ grabs Cedric for a Styles Clash on the floor and he nails it.
AJ brings it back in the ring and covers but stops the pin attempt at the 2 count. AJ isn't done. AJ keeps control and drops Cedric over his knee. Cedric fights but AJ drops him. They tangle on the mat but AJ applies a submission as Cedric goes for the bottom rope. Cedric breaks the hold. AJ works Cedric over while he's down. AJ smiles and keeps kicking Cedric back down, focusing on his leg. Cedric gets up on the apron and catches a kick. Cedric with a back elbow, stunning AJ back. Cedric comes through the ropes and plants AJ face-first for a 2 count. AJ catches Cedric with a big reverse DDT.
AJ goes back to the apron and waits for Cedric to get up. AJ springboards up and hits a big Phenomenal Forearm. AJ goes for the Styles Clash and hits it in the middle of the ring. AJ covers for the pin to retain.
Winner: AJ Styles