R E P O R T
In what was released as an online-exclusive supercard seen only on the MWO Network, the 2018 Slam-a-Thon offered a historic date that will be remembered for some time. And with the announcement a few weeks prior to the show’s uploading that the Michigan Wrestling Organization Television championship was vacated and would be on the line in the annual tournament, there was another level of anticipation that surrounded the event.
Two new championship holders were crowned during the course of Slam-a-Thon. The Cannonball Alex Steele shocked the organization when he won the Slam-a-Thon Tournament to claim the vacant TV championship with an impressive finals victory over Positive Promotions’ JJ Hughes, who had gone into the finals as the odds-on-favorite to win the tournament and what would have been his third reign with title. Riding a wave of momentum that saw huge wins over DJ Edwards of the Valor Society and the Fabulous Scotty Fraytown en route to the finals, Steele was finally able to win his first singles title after more than a decade competing in the MWO. Many wondered if the multiple-time Tag Team champion could enjoy the same solo success his twin brother, Andrew, experienced during his time in the promotion. But with three of his best performances, the Cannonball celebrated the title win with many of the other MWO superstars who filled the ring at the conclusion of the event.
New MWO Tag Team champions were crowned at Slam-a-Thon when Victor Cross & Jack Teryn—members of the Disciples of Darkness—overpowered a determined duo of Tyler & Tyson Dean. Despite their best efforts, the Dean Boys could not thwart the power of the Disciples. There were moments when the champions had Cross and Teryn dazed and threatened to pull off another major upset in defense of their titles, but when the final bell sounded, the belts were being handed to the Disciples, ending one of the most inspirational title reigns in recent history. Following the match, Cross and Teryn carried a near-unconscious Tyson out of the building and as of press time, there have been no official updates on Dean’s condition. Even his brother Tyler has not been able to offer any news about Tyson.
Michigan Wrestling Organization Champion Jacob Brawn retained his title against Jason “the Basher” Clouse, who attempted to keep the champion grounded by targeting Brawn’s left leg in the match. The confident titleholder used his power to rattle the Basher in what would be a back and forth clash between the participants. With the referee knocked out of commission, Clouse looked as if he was closing in on another reign as MWO Champion. However, a brogue kick by Scotty Fraytown set a chain of events that would result with Brawn using his vicious finishing punt to the head to pin the Basher in another impressive title defense by the two-time champion. Fraytown’s interference prompted Clouse to issue a challenge to his rival to a match at SummerSmash. Meanwhile, Brawn looks to his next title defense on July 15, when he’s scheduled to battle Tyler Dean during the MWO Wrestling Live event at Soberfest in Flint.
Two matches were contested to determine top contenders to the MWO Championship and Tag Team titles. However, only one top ranked contender was actually crowned and will now set their sights to a title opportunity at SummerSmash. The new team of THEE Cody Leedy & Blackwell emerged from a chaotic tag team battle royal to earn a shot at newly-crowned Tag Team champions Victor Cross & Jack Teryn at the August supercard. The other top contender bout was inconclusive as Old School Ric Caurdiea and the Superstar Alex Crow battled to a draw. The long-time rivals have reignited their feud with the chance at competing for the MWO Title as the ultimate prize. Caurdiea and the Superstar tore into one another throughout the match, and the physicality was one display as blood flowed from Crow’s mouth and nose. “Old School” is looking to finally break into the main event picture as a legitimate contender to the biggest title in the organization.
The Slam-a-Thon Tournament itself provided some amazing action. Kicked off by one of the most intense matches in the tournament’s history, Scotty Fraytown survived an all-out attack by the Darkstar Logan, who coming into the event was among the favorites to win it all. Eventual winner and new Television champion Alex Steele started his trek with a win over DJ Edwards. Reigning MWO Great Lakes champion Bam Grizzlee, who had to relinquish the TV title he won from A. Wicked at WrestleRama 24, eliminated Roberto Cruz from the tournament in their quarter-final match. JJ Hughes’ path to the finals started with another victory over the Creature Feature John Campbell. The semi-finals saw the Cannonball score a huge win over Fraytown, while Hughes defeated Grizzlee in the latest installment of their ongoing rivalry. And then the culmination of Steele’s title win over the “Main Attraction.”
Tournament 1st Round: Scotty Fraytown def. Darkstar Logan * Alex Steele def. DJ Edwards * Bam Grizzlee def. Roberto Cruz * JJ Hughes def. John Campbell Tournament Semi-Finals: Steele def. Fraytown * Hughes def. Grizzlee Tournament Final: Steele def. Hughes Non-Tournament Matches: MWO Champion Jacob Brawn def. Jason Clouse * The Disciples def. MWO Tag Team champions Dean Boys to win the titles * THEE Cody Leedy & Blackwell won a tag team battle royal * Ric Caurdiea vs. Alex Crow ended in a time limit draw
WHY WAS THE TV TITLE VACANTED?
It was a surprise announcement that had immediate implications on the championship landscape of the Michigan Wrestling Organization when interim commissioner Pure Fury Jeff Clouse released a statement that indicated that dual champion Bam Grizzlee had surrendered the MWO Television title. But at no point in the announcement was a reason given for Bam’s stripping of the belt he won in a Title for Title Match at WrestleRama 24. Part of the reason stems from Grizzlee being unable to defend his titles at the MWO Redemption event in Fenton in May after he sustained an ill-timed injury. PF said that Grizzlee wasn’t being punished for the absence but solidified the fact that having a dual champion presents a series of issues in the event of injury-related absences. Clouse said that Grizzlee was gracious in handing over the TV title belt and said that he focusing on his next challenger for the MWO Great Lakes title.