It’s finally here! The day that Memphis and United Wrestling Network fans have been excitedly counting down to has finally arrived. Not only has Championship Wrestling From Memphis hosted its first major special event, the Grind City Rumble, but it also crowned the first holder of its Memphis Heritage Championship, effectively crowning the promotion’s figurehead as it moves onto a new location and format next week on the next step of the Memphis journey.
As you’ll have gathered from the headline of this article, Alan Steel was the man to outlast everyone and walk away the first Memphis Heritage champ. But how did he get there? Well, he had to survive what proved to be a very entertaining match indeed.
Let’s take a look at how the match went down.
The First Two Entrants In The First Grind City Rumble
Who would kick off the first Grind City Rumble? Who would be unlucky enough to pull out those unfortunate two numbers that make life in a Rumble so much more difficult? Today, it was Action Jackson and Zay Washington of The Yung Goats who had the odds against them.
Yet, both men got the action off to a furious start, exchanging a flurry of fast-paced offence that really got the crowd going before the two mixed it up with hard strikes and a big belly to belly from Zay. It was a nice start to set the tone for what was to come: big-time fun.
In fact, Action Jackson deserves special praise, making it all the way from the start to the final two. Though he was finally pipped at the post by Alan Steel, he will always be the first man in the Grind City Rumble to have gone from bell to bell in the match, which gives him bigger stakes towards the higher end of the card.
One Every Minute
There were no specifics given to the timing of the entrances of new combatants, but from my estimates, I’d say it was about every minute to two minutes, which is a good size gap between entrants in a match like this; not too close together and not too far apart. The timing was a little inconsistent perhaps, but that’s not that unusual for a Rumble match, even in WWE. Overall, the timing seemed good throughout.
Furthermore, the use of entrance music for each wrestler really added to the excitement of each new appearance and gave the match a sense of pace.
Make Way For The Ladies
The Grind City Rumble is an equal opportunities Rumble. That’s right, whilst not every member of the division got to appear, Cassandra Golden, Queen Katelyn and Nikki Lane all made an appearance in the Grind City Rumble, eager to prove that they are just as capable and worthy of holding the Memphis Heritage title.
Cassandra Golden was the first lady to enter, giving Action Jackson and Zay Washington pause for thought, as neither seemed comfortable attacking a lady. Mike Anthony, on the other hand, seemed to have no moral concerns on that point as he clotheslined Golden nearly out of her boots as he made his entrance.
While none of the ladies made it to the final two, they did make another point: don’t understimate the women’s division because they’re coming for the gold!
The First Elimination
Brad Skimahorn holds the dubious distinction of being the first person to be eliminated from the Grind City Rumble, being thrown out within seconds of his entrance by Norman Meklakov.
Better luck next time, Brad.
Big Swole Takes Out Meklakov…And Himself Too!
‘Big Swole’ Justin Cole was clearly still not impressed with Norman Meklakov after their scuffle last week. He went straight at the big man here before turning his attentions to former rival Mike Anthony.
But in Cole’s desperation to eliminate Meklakov, he also eliminated himself, hurling his body at Norman with a big clothesline that took both men over the top rope to the floor.
Watch out for rage: it’ll take your dreams.
Walker Hayes Is Not Very Well
Remember Walker Hayes, the wrestler who was kidnapped by The Crowleys and was featured in their various vignettes in increasing states of distress? Well, he’s back—possibly from the dead. In fact, his new name is “The Revenant” Walker Hayes!
Coming out to the ring with The Crowleys, his face was made up like someone who’s been brought back to life, all pale with black under the eyes, and he wasted no time in throwing fists at every man in the ring, proving himself capable of being a dominant force in there.
Although he was later eliminated by a surprise dropkick from Jonny Lyons, I think we’re going to be seeing some big things from Walker Hayes moving forward. If nothing else, there’s going to be some major beatdowns in Memphis’ future, judging by the state of the security guard he knocked down as he left…
Brett Michaels Gets Screwed…But Not By Who You Think
If there was one man who I thought had the largest chance of winning this match, it was Brett Michaels. Precious clearly did too; he eliminated himself at the mere sight of “The Gun Show.”
As Michaels began to trade blows with Walker Hayes, The Crowleys jumped him from behind and began raining down blows. Walker Hayes then charged the messy threesome and the tangle of limbs that was Brett Michaels and The Crowleys all went tumbling over the top rope to the floor. Michaels was eliminated within mere minutes!
What the hell is The Crowleys’ issue with Brett Michaels?!?
Ken Dane Makes His CWFM Debut
The Grind City Rumble was open invitiation affair and that invitation was answered by none other by Ken Dane, who is known around the Mid-South area but had not appeared in CWFM before.
While he didn’t last long, being eliminated by Johnny Dotson, he proved himself to be an heavy hitter, knocking several competitiors down with maximum force before his expulsion from the match.
Action Jackson Can’t Jump On Jase Osei’s Back
He’s just too tall, Action, he’s just too tall…
No Partners In a Rumble
As we often see in Rumble matches, shaky alliances are often made, only to be broken in an instant. It’s every man for himself of course, and that was no different here as everyone wanted to be the first one to hold the Memphis Heritage title.
Action Jackson and Zay Washington set the tone early, working together to beat down new entrant Van Vicious before Jackson announced that Washington wasn’t his tag team partner, Zay retaliating with a charge into the corner.
Not only that, but Cassandra Golden’s supposed friend, the cowardly Precious, eliminated her, as he snuck in as he entered the match and threw her out from behind. And DJ Brown took no prisoners, dropkicking what looked like a tooth out of his partner, Action Jackson’s, mouth.
One person who didn’t need his partner was Alan Steel who arrived at the ring just as Johnny Dotson was eliminated. Steel wasted no time in making an impact, biting Danny B Good’s fingers so he dropped to the floor. It’s perhaps no surprise with tactics like those that he made it to the final two.
The Final Two
Nikki Lane found herself in the final three with Alan Steel and Action Jackson after eliminating Derrick King, himself gloating about eliminating Nikki’s husband Austin. Steel didn’t hold back, throwing her around a little before knocking her off the apron to the floor. Alan Steel and Action Jackson were the two remaining combatants.
At this stage, much like the Red Carpet Rumble over in Hollywood, the final two wrestle with standard rules rather than over the top rope conditions. The advantage had to be Steel’s: he was the fresher man, whilst Action Jackson was exhausted from being in the match right from the start.
Jackson started off valiantly, throwing gutsy forearms at Steel, but Alan threw him out to the outside where he landed on Johnny Dotson. But as he made to step back into the ring, Alan Steel kicked the ropes, crotching Jackson and leaving him vulnerable to the Steel Trap spinning slam for the 1-2-3. Alan Steel is the first Memphis Heritage Champion! Steel defintiely makes sense as the first title holder. He gets heat from the Memphis fans and he is well-known in the region. Plus, there’s always more interest when a babyface is on the chase for the gold.
I predicted it, folks. Just sayin’…
The Grind City Rumble was an awesome show. Memphis really nailed it, exactly when they needed to. The match itself was tons of fun and had lots of cool little moments distrbuted throughout to keep the audience interested. It felt like a big event and accordingly I appreciated it as a big event. Alan Steel is the right man at this moment to carry the Memphis Heritage Championship and my congratulations go to both him and to Championship Wrestling from Memphis on this historic occasion.
I’ll see you next week, grapple fans, when the fastesrt hour in wrestling moves homes to the Memphis Wrestle Center, with an appearence from Memphis legend Jerry Jarrett! I can’t wait.
The List of Entrants
1. Action Jackson
2. Zay Washington
3. Van Viciouss
4. Cassandra Golden
5. Norman Meklakov
6. “Remarkable” Ryan Rembrandt
7. Mike Anthony
8. Brad Skimahorn
10. Izaiah Zane
11. “Big Swole” Justin Cole
12. Jay Smooth
13. “The Last Hotstepper” DJ Brown
14. “The Revenant” Walker Hayes
15. Aaron Roberts
16. “The Gun Show” Brett Michaels
17. Jonny Lyons
18. Johnny Dotson
19. Brandon Espinosa
20. Ken Dane
21. Maxx Stone
22. “The Summit” Jase Osei
23. Danny B. Goode
24. Austin Lane
25. Alan Steel
26. Queen Katelynn
27. “Smokin’ Hot” Nikki Lane
28. Carter Matthews
29. “The King of POWW” Chris Lexx
30. Derrick King