A Look Back At Some of the Most Memorable Moments in the
Michigan Wrestling Organization
MWO HEADLINES 2016
THE DEPARTURE OF JACK PRICE AND THE RISE OF A NEW KINGDOM
Arguably the most shocking development of 2016 in the Michigan Wrestling Organization occurred during the MWO Tag Team championship match at Trick-or-Slam on October 29. It was scheduled to be Salt-n-Peppa defending the titles against the Sinister Prophets. The superteam of Apocalypse and Jack Price quickly became the organization’ most popular—and successful—tandem, taking the titles from Dead X at WrestleRama 22, and during their beloved prematch dance routine, Apocalypse stunned the fans into silence as he attacked the “Black Diamond” outside the ring. A beaten Price was quickly pinned, giving Stitches McVey & Jack Teryn the Tag Team championship. As if that wasn’t traumatic enough, the newly-crowned tag champs actually joined Apocalypse in a brutal beating on Price. Later in the event, Price returned to the ring and challenged his former tag partner to a match, even offering to put his MWO career on the line. With the entire NTC Church in Burton in his corner, Price fought his heart out. However, amid the formation of what is now known as the Sinister Kingdom, Apocalypse defeated the “Black Diamond,” ending his historic career in the organization and cementing the foundation of what could be the next serious threat in the Michigan Wrestling Organization.
JACOB BRAWN ENDS YEAR AS MWO CHAMPION
During his time in the Michigan Wrestling Organization, the superstar known as Jacob Mercury intentionally enraged fans with his “singing skills” that he employed into his entrances. Up until he won the MWO Television championship, Mercury was not considered by many of the MWO fans to be a main event player, and certainly not in the hunt for the promotion’s heavyweight crown. After a brief hiatus from the organization, Jacob returned as Jacob Brawn, dropping the singing and light-hearted antics in favor of a more aggressive attitude. At Christmas Clash, Brawn was part of the revamped Secret Santa Scramble Match. With his victory, Brawn earned the right to challenge any champion at any time he chooses. It wouldn’t take long, as Brawn waited until the Creature Feature John Campbell retained his MWO Championship in a Fatal 4-Way Match to cash in his chance. Within 90 seconds, Brawn was crowned the new Michigan Wrestling Organization Champion.
THE RISE OF THE “CREATURE FEATURE”
John Campbell is one of the most accomplished and respected wrestlers in Michigan. However, near the end of 2015 and coming into 2016, the “Creature Feature” felt as though he being overlooked by the Michigan Wrestling Organization officials and vowed that he would do whatever he had to in order to get the recognition that once was bestowed upon “the Gentleman” persona. Campbell stormed into the MWO Bunkhouse Brawl with a mission. And when the final bell rang, it was Campbell standing as the new No.1 contender to the MWO Championship title and on a collision course with reigning champ THEE Cody Leedy. Campbell dethroned Leedy at WrestleRama 22, but it only intensified his rivalry with Leedy and the rest of Positive Promotions. Campbell spent the majority of 2016 battling the likes of Leedy, JJ Hughes, Mike Goodman, and the Superstar Alex Crow. But it would be Jacob Brawn who would finally curb the “Creature Feature’s” momentum, using his guaranteed title shot to cash in on Campbell at Christmas Clash, taking the heavyweight title into 2017. Still, the “Creature Feature” will be a major player in the main event scene as he looks for his rematch with Brawn.
MWO KICKS OFF 2016 IN MT. CLEMENS
In late 2015, the MWO announced its involvement in an aggressive fund-raising campaign for an infant who is battling many unexplained health ailments. In doing so, the organization opened its 2016 schedule with a debut event at the Gibraltar Trade Center in Mt. Clemens. The benefit show, called Rumble for Ruby, brought in nearly 500 people that came to support Baby Ruby’s family. The event featured the debut of the Superstar Alex Crow, the return of Hall of Famer Jaysen Platinum,and was capped off by a thrilling main event between then-MWO champion THEE Cody Leedy and Victor Cross.
THE EMERGENCE OF NEW SUPERSTARS
There was an influx of new talent that either made their Michigan Wrestling Organization debut or really began making waves as they embarked on their in-ring careers. No debut was bigger than that of Alex Crow, who stormed into the MWO at the Rumble for Ruby event and won the MWO Great Lakes championship from Old School Ric Caurdiea. Bam Grizzlee is extremely popular with the fans, and gained even more support with his impressive showing in the Great Lakes title tournament at Slam-a-Thon in June. Codename Omega and Jack Teryn began overpowering the competition upon their respective arrivals to the organization. He eventually earned a shot at the MWO TV title at Christmas Clash. Other competitors such as JJ Hughes, Stitches McVey, A. Wicked, and Tyler Dean all started to really make names for themselves. Hughes was on the brink of becoming the MWO champion in several outings against John Campbell. Tyler has been joined in the tag team ranks with his brother, Tyson (who made his debut this past year). And with Loco & DJ Edwards, Roberto Cruz, Cesar, and many others looking to bask in the spotlight, the competition is expected to be fierce in 2017.
INJURIES SIDELINE REX HAVOC
Rex Havoc was on course to have a banner year in the Michigan Wrestling Organization. Once again in the good graces of the fans, the "Lone Wolf" was involved in a very personal rivalry with his long-time manager Laura Phoenix, who had betrayed Havoc to join the ranks of Positive Promotions. Going into the Bunkhouse Brawl in February, Havoc was challenging Phoenix for the MWO Television championship. And by the time the match ended, Rex had scored his first singles title since reigning as the MWO heavyweight champion in 2007. As Havoc prepared to defend the belt at WrestleRama 22, nagging injuries had begun to take their toll on him. Even though Havoc retained the title at the Birch Run Expo Center, there was little celebration as he was forced to relinguish the TV title due to his inability to defend the belt. There are conflicting theories on if the injury will be a career-ending one for Rex or if he will be on the injured list for an extended period of time. Regardless, it was recently announced that Rex Havoc will be enshrined into the MWO Hall of Fame this year.
THE SIGNIFICANT IMPACT OF THE WOMEN OF THE MWO
Over the years, the Michigan Wrestling Organization has seen and been affected by the impact that women bring to the roster. Whether in an adminstrative positon or one as a manager at ringside, the women in 2016 more than made names for themselves. And heading into 2017, they are poised to be among the many headlines that will dominate the organization landscape. Positive Promotions member Laura Phoenix started 2016 as the MWO TV champion, the first woman to win an organization belt since Hall of Famer Jayde won the MWO X-Treem championship in 2004. Even after dropping the title to Rex Havoc, she remained a constant force for Mr. Positive's group. She has shown she is not afraid to mix it up with the boys in the ring. Upon the immediate success of the Superstar Alex Crow, we met Jessica Monroe. The executive assistant to Crow, Monroe quickly was met with jeers as she would interject herself into the Superstar's matches. But she also demonstrated that she is a force to be reckoned with. Tragedy Ann's shocking return to the Michigan Wrestling Organization in the corner of Skullz and X-Convict, changed the landcape for the women in the locker room. The unorthodox manager is one of the most feared stars in the MWO, and she is expected to make a major impact on the immediate future of Dead X. We also saw the brief appointment of Ember Langdon to the office of MWO commissioner, making her the first woman to hold that position since another Hall of Famer, Dustie Diamond, ruled the MWO in 2001-2002. Langdon would eventually leave the MWO in hiatus, making way for Pope Brandon Brownson to be appointed to the office on an current interim basis.
MWO TITLE CHANGES IN 2016
|WON BY||WON BY||DATE/LOCATION||TITLE WON|
|Alex Crow||Ric Caurdiea||Jan. 16th in Mt. Clemens, MI||MWO Great Lakes Title|
|Rex Havoc||Laura Phoenix||Feb. 21st in Flint, MI||MWO Television Title|
|Ric Caurdiea||Alex Crow||May 5th in Birch Run, MI||MWO Great Lakes Title|
|Salt-n-Peppa||Dead X||May 5th in Birch Run, MI||MWO Tag Team Titles|
|John Campbell||THEE Cody Leedy||May 5th in Birch Run, MI||MWO Championship Title|
|Jacob Mercury (1)||--||May 15th in Flint, MI||MWO Television Title|
|Ric Caurdiea (2)||Alex Crow||June 4th in Burton, MI||MWO Great Lakes Title|
|Victor Cross||Jacob Mercury||Aug. 21st in Flint, MI||MWO Television Title|
|Sinister Prophets||Salt-n-Peppa||Oct. 29th in Burton, MI||MWO Tag Team Titles|
|Scotty Fraytown (3)||Fat Tony Caurdiea||Dec. 18th in Flint, MI||MWO Great Lakes Title|
|Jacob Brawn (4)||John Campbell||Dec. 18th in Flint, MI||MWO Championship Title|
(1) Mercury won a battle royal to win the vacant MWO TV championship, after Rex Havoc surrendered the title due to injury
(2) This was the finals of the 2016 Slam-a-Thon tournament to fill the vacancy of the Great Lakes title. Officials held up the title due to the controversy of the Caurdiea-Crow match at WrestleRama 22
(3) Interim commissioner Pope Brandon Brownson stripped Ric Caurdiea of the title due to inability to defend the belt at Christmas Clash. Fraytown defeated Fat Tony in a match to fill the vacancy of the championship
(4) Brawn cashed in his Secret Santa contract to challenge John Campbell after Campbell retained the MWO Championship in a Fatal 4-Way prior to Brawn's win
MWO SUPERCARDS OF 2016
RICHFIELD ROAD CHURCH
|John Campbell won the invitational battle royal to earn a shot at the MWO Title, held by THEE Cody Leedy (who retained the title against Victor Cross)...Tag Team champs Dead X defeated Jeff Clouse & Michael Reaver...Rex Havoc won the MWO TV title from former manager Laura Phoenix|
BIRCH RUN EXPO CENTER
BIRCH RUN, MI
|John Campbell (MWO Title), Ric Caurdiea (Great Lakes Title), and Salt-n-Peppa (Tag Team Titles) all won championships at WrestleRama in classic confrontations. Team Power Trip won an eight-man tag team elimination match against a united team of Damage Inc and the returning Corps members Cpl. Pain and Jaysen Platinum...TV champion Rex Havoc was victorious in what may end up being his last match in the MWO, as injury has since sidelined the "Lone Wolf."|
|MWO champion John Campbell retained his title against JJ Hughes...Salt-n-Peppa retained the MWO Tag Team titles against PBR...The vacant Great Lakes title was up for grabs in the Slam-a-Thon tournament, which would feature a four-corner final (Ric Caurdiea and Alex Crow had byes into the finals), won by "Old School." Bam Grizzlee would be the unofficial superstar of the night for his performances in the tournament to earn a bid into the final match.|
RICHFIELD ROAD CHURCH
|The combined effort of Positive Promotions partners THEE Cody Leedy and JJ Hughes could not derail the title reign of MWO champ John Campbell...Victor Cross won his first organization championship by dethroning TV championj Jacob Mercury...Salt-n-Peppa defeated the Clouse Brothers to retain the Tag Team titles...A. Wicked and Stitches McVey were all the talk stemming from their brutal No Holds Barred Match|
|This was the site of the infamous formation of the Sinister Kingdom, starting with the Sinister Prophets' tag title win over Salt-n-Peppa, and Apocalypse's victory over Jack Price that banned the "Black Diamond" from the MWO...John Campbell downed Mike Goodman, PI to retain the title...Team Hughes defeated Team Leedy in an eight-man elimination tag match...Ric Caurdiea retained the Great Lakes title against a determined Flatliner Scotty Fraytown...Michael Reaver returned to join Simon Paige and Blackwell in their feud with Skullz. But X-Convict also made his return to help his Dead X partner|
RICHFIELD ROAD CHURCH
|Jacob Brawn made history by winning the MWO Championship from John Campbell, after the Creature Feature retained his title in a Fatal 4-Way Match...Scotty Fraytown finally won the Great Lakes championship, but had to beat the returning Fat Tony to do it...JJ Hughes defeated THEE Cody Leedy in a Last Man Standing Match...Clouse Brothers defeated the Dean Boys...The Uprising upset Dead X|
2016 POINTS OF INTEREST
The MWO debuted in four new venues in 2016. The year started at the Gibraltar Trade Center in Mt. Clemens, then followed by the Bunkhouse Brawl marking our debut at the Richfield Road Church in Burton. The organization returned to the Dragon on the Lake festival, but in a new location downtown. And in November, we traveled to Battle Creek's Vegas Strip for MWO No Holds Barred.
Of all the new champions crowned in 2016, five were first time title holders in the Michigan Wrestling Organization. The Superstar Alex Crow won the MWO Great Lakes championship in his debut match (the first to do so since the Stock Breaker's Great Lakes title win in 1996). Jacob Brawn (then known as Jacob Mercury) won the TV championship in a battle royal held in May. His successor, Victor Cross, claimed his first organization-sanctioned title at SummerSmash by dethroning Brawn. With their controversial win at Trick-or-Slam, Stitches McVey & Jack Teryn became the MWO Tag Team champions.
The Flatliner Scotty Fraytown made his return to the Michigan Wrestling Organization after a lengthy hiatus. Upon his return in January, the Flatliner resumed his place as one of the most popular superstars in the MWO. After months of setbacks and disappointments, Fraytown ended the year by winning his second MWO Great Lakes championship.
In what was deemed a stunning move by the Board of Officials, the MWO ended its long-standing relationship with the City Market in Flint, citing growing concerns from the fans. The venue served as the organization's home venue since 2013 and hosted some of the company's biggest events. The move from the City Market saw the MWO make its return to The Bridge for a series of live events to close out the year.
The "Dragon's Den" Steel Cage Match featured six superstars competing for the Creature Feature John Campbell's MWO heavyweight title. The match, that also included THEE Cody Leedy, JJ Hughes, Alex Crow, Mike Goodman, and Victor Cross is the biggest cage match in MWO history in terms of number of contestants.
Jerry Draven, Adam Sniper, Jamie Malibu, and Mourgothe filled a star-studded class into the MWO Hall of Fame
BEFORE & AFTER