Alexander had been in a feud with AJ Styles over the United States Title. Back in September, there was a report from Dave Meltzer that McMahon wanted to bury Alexander by having him suffer a defeat to Styles in quick fashion at the Clash of Champions pay-per-view event.
The following night, Alexander also suffered a defeat to Styles during a match on Raw and was attacked after the contest.
According to the report, the belief was that since he had a big supporter in Raw Executive Director Paul Heyman, Alexander would be given a strong singles push at this time in the way of a slow build to the top of the card. However, McMahon nixed those plans.
“Of course (it annoyed me). When you hard things like that, it doesn’t help my brand, you know what I mean? Regardless of how you feel about it, whether you think AJ buried me or not - it was fine. I knew what it was! It was great matches, I got to show a lot of my personality and my in-ring style.
A loss isn’t a burial. It’s AJ Styles, how is that a burial? He’s one of the holy trinity’s of wrestling to me [with Samoa Joe and Christopher Daniels] so to lose to essentially a wrestling deity is fine by me. I read comments like ‘Cedric is great my they’re burying him’ but it’s like, you must have checked the match out then? It was good, right? You can’t get buried by losing to AJ. You just can’t. There’s a reason they’re putting me in the ring with AJ Styles.”