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Memories of the Red Carpet Rumble

Championship Wrestling Review – August 8th

This week on CW30’s Memphis edition of Championship Wrestling, we get a trip down memory lane with a best of episode of the Red Carpet Rumble!

The Red Carpet Rumble is similar to the Royal Rumble in that it features 30 men appearing over regular intervals in an over-the top-rope battle royal. The big difference here is that the last two men find themselves in an immediate singles match to decide the winner. It’s a great idea for a high stakes match that usually crowns a new Heritage Champion, or at least a new number one contender.

Rather than give a standard review, I thought I’d give the highlights that cropped up across the episode and give you a taste of the excitement of the Red Carpet Rumble!

Willie Mack or Willie Tickle?

There are many strategies to eliminate someone from a battle royal or a rumble. This might be the first time that I’ve seen someone try and tickle someone into hitting the floor.

Near the end of the 2012 Rumble, Scorpio Sky was dangling from the top rope, feet desperately trying to avoid the floor, when Willie Mack went to the armpits! Scorpio was trapped between falling and laughing but somehow managed to find his way back into the ring.

It was no laughing matter for Mack, though, as Sky sent him over the top and out of the match moments later.

Eli Drake and Scorpio Sky Wrestle for the Title

Finding themselves the last two men in the ring in 2012, Eli Drake (as Sean Ricker) and Scorpio Sky went at it to claim the vacant Heritage Championship. It’s fascinating to watch both men at such at such an earlier stage in their career and know how far they’ve come. But you can tell even then how big they would be.

Eli took the title by leaping from the canvas straight to the top turnbuckle in an impressive feat of athleticism. Sky pushed him off, but Eli caught him in the cross body, rolled through, picked him up and dropped him with the Gravy Train to claim the title.

A lovely piece of history.

Peter Avalon is the Master of the Counter

Peter Avalon hasn’t always been an ‘librarian’. Before that, he was PPA, ‘Pretty’ Peter Avalon, and by the sound of the crowd, he was completely over as a face.

Here he was in the final two in 2015 against Che Cabrera. Che tried to bully him but Avalon showed some tremendous skill that seems to be missing from his AEW game. First, he countered a top rope ‘Splash Mountain’ with an awesome hurricarana. Then he countered a power slam with a roll through into the winning pinfall!

Please can we have this Peter Avalon back in AEW?

Johnny Yuma and Bad Dude Tito Have History

If you’ve been keeping up with my recent Championship Wrestling reviews, then you’ll know that Bad Dude Tito, as part of the Wolf Zaddies, was responsible for ridding Championship Wrestling from Hollywood of Vermin in a ‘Loser Leaves Town’ match. But Tito’s history with Vermin and Johnny Yuma goes back much further.

Once upon a time, Tito was a part of Vermin, and during the 2016 Red Carpet Rumble, Tito and Yuma found themselves as the last two men in the ring.

What followed was a tense, action packed match. Both were jostling for supremacy of the match and of Vermin. Yuma countered a suplex with a roll up. Tito countered a bulldog with a spinning sit-down power bomb. Tito then used his awesome strength to pull Yuma up into a power bomb position, but Yuma countered the drop with a hurricarana into the turnbuckle.

With the ref getting bumped, an opportunity arose for Yuma to hit Tito with his favourite weapon, the pipe. Instead, Yuma actually played the face and dropped it. Tito, however, lived up to his name and dropped Yuma with said pipe to take the victory.

Looks like Tito has always had Yuma’s number!

Avalon and Brown are Rumble Two-Timers

An interesting statistic emerged watching the show this week. Peter Avalon and Andy Brown are the only two wrestlers to have been in the final two of the Red Carpet Rumble twice, and both have won the Rumble once, both in their first match being in the final two. Curiously, Brown’s win came at the expense of Avalon in the 2018 Rumble.

Who will be the next two-time Rumble winner? With the NWA having links to Championship Wrestling from Hollywood via David Marquez, could we see Eli Drake maybe pick up a second win? Or is that just some hopeful, wishful thinking on my part?

It Wasn’t Dustin’s Day

Poor Dustin Starr. Our glamourous co-host was not only told by Maria that he had coffee breath (which led to a hilarious moment shortly after where Dustin appeared in screen during a match and was shown sneakily checking his breath and swilling water), but he was also reminded that during his appearance in the  2019 Rumble, he didn’t win it! As we saw, though, that was due to Ray Rosas putting his hands on Maria, then pulling the top rope to eliminate Dustin, who was charging to her rescue.

I’ve never seen Dustin wrestle before. He looked good! I’m hoping he gets his hands on Rosas sooner or later – with or without the coffee breath!

Final Thoughts

This was a fun recap of Championship Wrestling’s major matches and, as the company looks to move once again into the future, this was a timely look at the promotion’s past, highlighting some of their key moments and the great talent that has ripped up their mats.

Next week, as the company prepares to build towards the recording and release of new material, we will be returning to the archive once more, as we get some gems from the United Wrestling Network back catalogue, including a Daniel Bryan match vs. X-Pac. Now that’s something to look forward to!

I’ll see you next week, grapple fans, for another edition of Championship Wrestling!

Written by Chris Flackett

Wrestling obsessed since '91. Lived through the Monday Night Wars and is still here to tell the tale. Major fan of Strong Style, technical and Super Jr. Wrestling, as well as big versatile hosses smacking the hell out of each other. Lives in Manchester, England.

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