Welcome, grapple fans, to the UWN Power Rankings for the week ending May 15th. It’s been an action-packed week, with brawls, sneak attacks, and wrestlers staking their claim to future gold. Who claimed the biggest wins? Who made the biggest gains?
Let’s get to the rankings and find out!
5. The Skimahorns
Brad and Briar have been going up in the world in Memphis since they’ve begun to acquiesce to Uncle Mikey’s guidance and demands that they change their ways. Their opponents this week were The Yung Goats, a team who The Skimahorns had a great rivalry with in the early months of Championship Wrestling from Memphis. If The ‘Horns ever did beat The Goats, they very rarely did it cleanly.
The match this past weekend showed a new side to The Skimahorns, not only by virtue of a clean win but that they also showed their old adversaries respect, shaking The Yung Goats’ hands after the win. So then, a big win over their old adversaries, the team who beat them for the UWN Tag Team Titles so many months ago, and a new attitude. The Skimahorns seem to be in the midst of a big push and this was an important win for them on that path.
4. ‘Big Swole’ Justin Cole
The Posse have been a thorn in the side of ‘Big Swole’ ever since their heel turn last Christmas, costing Cole both his shot in the Grind City Rumble and his chance at becoming Memphis Heritage Champion when they distracted him during his match with Brett Michaels.
Cole could be forgiven then for seeking revenge, and he made clear inroads into that area this week when he interrupted a killer Posse promo at the desk (those ‘MEMPHIS VINCE’ t-shirts they were wearing with Dustin Starr’s face on them were great!), attacking Big Simon and Mr. Chris in a fury before demanding a match against the pair.
Good things come to those who attack, it seems, as ‘Big Swole’ got his wish: he will face off against The Posse on this Saturday’s show in a 2-on-1 handicap bout. Whether he’ll be still happy with this after next week’s encounter is another story, but for now, Cole made his play and got what he wanted.
3. Karl Fredricks
‘The Alpha Wolf’ has made it clear that he has after UWN gold and he took one step further in his quest this week by beating the man who always gives it 163%, ‘The Golden Boy’ Jordan Clearwater. Clearwater is high up the UWN pecking order, meaning a victory over him will help make Fredericks’ case for a title opportunity all the more convincing. It helped that the match was very entertaining and felt like a legit main event.
An interesting side note: I liked the storytelling of Clearwater having the right—by virtue of having won the last Red Carpet Rumble—to challenge for the UWN World Title whenever he wants but feeling he’s entitled to the shot whereas Fredericks, by beating ‘The Golden Boy’ in a hard-fought contest, proved that only hard work will get you where you want to be. Great stuff.
2. Papo Esco
‘King Fat Boy’ made his second successful defence of the UWN TV Title this week, and surprisingly he didn’t have it easy. Keith gave him a real challenge, using his speed and determination to keep Papo overwhelmed and on the back foot. Still, the Bodega man came through in convincing fashion, as his power and brutality were finally enough to keep Keita down for the 1-2-3. A good match and the ‘King Fat Boy’ still reigns. Sounds good to me.
1. Lance Archer
Heading up the Rankings this week is somebody who is actually guesting in Memphis and yet has come to stake his claim to Memphis gold.
AEW’s Lance Archer first appeared in Memphis last summer, where he choke-slammed Precious into becoming Martin and got clotheslined out of the ring by Brett Michaels for his trouble.
This week, Archer reappeared after several months away, and he wasn’t here to play. Having been confronted by Martin, Archer gave him a warning before choke slamming near out of his skin, before laughing at Brett Michaels who came out to confront the interloper and was held back by a gaggle of referees. Archer got on the mic and made his intentions very clear:
“Hey Gunshow. This the Memphis Championship?”
Archer then threw the belt at Michaels in the ring in a clear sign of disrespect.
“Hold onto it for me because that’s going to be the last time you’re gonna stand in that ring as Champion. They (the referees) are smarter than you because they kept you away from me, so I’m gonna take my ass to the back and when we meet, I’m kicking your ass!”
Ouch! That’s how you mess with your opponent and make your claim clear. Everybody dies? ‘The Gunshow’ might want to start worrying…