Having already tasted World Matchplay success three years ago, Cross has experienced the highest of highs this famous tournament can possibly offer.
However, the former world champion was able to add another memorable moment to his long list of achievements after coming back from 8-2 down to beat Chris Dobey 11-9 in a dramatic Winter Gardens clash.
Cross appeared to be heading through the exit door when a 92 checkout from Dobey gave him a six-leg lead.
Nevertheless, the 32-year-old failed to seal the deal as Cross reeled off six straight legs to sensationally level the match.
While Hollywood was able to stop the rot with an 11-darter, that was as good as things got for Dobey who watched on as Cross completed the mother of all comebacks.
"In the first ten legs my darts were slipping, everything was all over the place," admitted Cross, who will face Jose de Sousa in round two.
"When I was 8-2 down, I stayed on stage during the interval and I knew if I could just produce a steady level, and stop him getting to nine legs, I had a chance.
"Chris missed a lot - he should've beaten me - but I've produced these comebacks before so I had the belief I could turn it around.
"The Winter Gardens will always be special to me, I love it here so I'm really pleased to stay in the tournament."
Elsewhere, Sousa picked up a 10-6 victory over the German Giant Gabriel Clemens to set up the second-round clash with Cross.
Former world champion Gerwyn Price also progressed after getting the better of Martin Schindler in a closely fought 10-8 success.
Dave Chisnall, in contrast, picked up a 10-7 win over Kim Huybrechts to set up a second-round encounter against the Iceman.