Wrestling Review //
Pro Wrestling GRIND
"Come And Get It"
May 27th, 2022
Pulaski Club, Easthampton, MA

One of the benefits to a wrestling show running in the same place all the time is that you begin to learn not only how to get there but what is around there.  I picked Quentin up from school on Friday and we went up to the Holyoke Mall before this show started.  If you're coming to GRIND and have the time, I suggest doing the same as the mall is full of not only great places to eat but an arcade, two video game stores and several random stores that sell toys such as Pop Vinyls and blind boxes.  It's a good mall and Quentin has fun every time we go there and one day soon we're going to go there on a day that isn't GRIND so we can play in the arcade all day.

Doors opened right on time for this show and it was not only quite warm outside but warm inside as well.   I love how now my sense of seasons is based upon professional wrestling.  Our last GRIND show- which was also the last wrestling show we attended- we had pants and brought sweaters but were too hot to wear them.  Before that, we were allowed inside on the steps because of the cold.  So it's kind of funny to think about how in just a few months we've gone from being cold to shorts and sweating but that's New England for you.

What I love about GRIND is that they have a regular roster.  They have those wrestlers who appear on every (or nearly every) show, which includes names such as Rip Byson, Perry Von Vicious, Travis Huckabee, Delmi Exo and Logan Black.  Then you have someone like Willow Nightingale who is making their second appearance here, same with O'Shay Edwards and Manders, but yet also names like Derek Neal, Brooke Valentine and Jody Threat who were debuting.  That steady mix of who is is always there, who is sometimes there and who is new there is what makes GRIND special because it seems to perfect that delicate balance.

When we got inside, our seats had our names on them and the rosters were printed out and placed on our chairs.  I asked Quentin whether or not he wanted to go around and try to get everyone to sign the roster poster again or not and he said that he did.  I was somewhat surprised he wasn't tired from being at the mall and took a pass on it, but he set out to complete his mission (Well, one of his missions for the night) and once again he did it.  

Before the show started we made it over to the merch tables where Shook Crew was set up with Dante Drago.   Bobby Orlando has these adoption certificates to go with the Bobby Jr Jr that you can adopt from him, so I needed not only one of those but also a new trading card which Bryce Donovan had for sale.  While talking with Shook Crew, Quentin realized that Dante Drago had these soft stars in different colors and they made a rainbow so of course he wanted them all.  I told him he could get one but throughout the night he would continue to ask me for the rest of them.

"Come And Get It" opened up with Delmi Exo taking on Jody Threat.  There are few wrestlers out there who are tougher than Jody Threat so she feels like a perfect fit for GRIND.  This match reallty had them both going at it, hitting each other as hard as they could, and in the end it just showed that one of the two wrestlers might have outlasted the other on this night, but they are both still tough as hell.

Next GRIND did something they've never really done before as Troy Nelson came into the ring to show off the GRIND Championship title.  This brought up ideas of who might be in the tournament to crown the first ever Champion.  This also brought out Travis Huckabee, who seems to really dislike Troy Nelson for some reason.  Troy Nelson has been a wrestler before, so a match with Troy Nelson vs Travis Huckabee might not be too far off.  Of course this eventually brought out Ryan Mooney and we went into that match.  

"The Rabid Honey Badger" Ryan Mooney went into this match with two wins and only one loss (to Alec Price) and Travis Huckabee also only had one loss (to Rip Byson) so it was bit intriguing.  While Huckabee is technical and can lock you in a submission, Mooney just feels like he can claw his way out of such a predicament.   At one point, Huckabee had a submission hold locked on and instead of trying to break free Mooney leaned back and Huckabee was nearly pinned!  It was just that type of match and it was only the second match of the show!

The third match saw Thick & Juicy 2.0 implode as Brooke Valentine took on Willow Nightingale.  This was one of the single best Brooke Valentine matches I have ever seen and the same goes for Willow Nightingale.  There was some fun to it, but that was mostly before and after the bell.  When it was about getting the win, both competitors seemed to be all business and that's what it takes to win matches.  I hope to see both of these wrestlers back in GRIND sooner than later.

Before intermission we witnessed what could have been the main event and I don't just mean of this show but of any promotion really.  Derek Neal made his GRIND debut against 5-0 Rip Byson.   This is the only match I will spoil because I'm not sure how it affects the rankings.  Derek Neal and Rip Byson just beat the hell out of each other, all over the Pulaski Club.  The crowd was largely on the side of Rip Byson but I still feel like Derek Neal got the respect he deserved here because he's just that damn good.

So as Byson and Neal are fighting in the corner the ref tried to break it up.  Both men shoved the ref away until eventually he was down and out.  Enter the second ref, another shoving situation and then the match is declared a no contest and the locker room clears out to do the pull apart with Rip Byson and Derek Neal.  I really hope this match finishes in GRIND this summer but if it happens to conclude in the South then good on them as well.  But what does this mean for Rip Byson?  Is he 5-1?  I think he's 5-0-1 now, right?  He didn't lose, but he didn't win.  

During intermission Quentin went around and collected autographs for the roster poster.  We went and talked with Brooke Valentine- who had handmade t-shirts for us- Jody Threat and then Willow Nightingale.   A lot of the wrestlers were out during intermission and they all seemed so busy.  I love it because I'd rather have someone waiting behind me and move out of the way so they can buy merch than see wrestlers just looking like "Why did I set up merch?" during intermission. 

Once again, GRIND did something they didn't really do before when before the match back after intermission, Manders took to the mic and said that he wanted to celebrate moving up here by taking a shot with Logan Black.  Logan Black is known to be straight edge and so this was a bit awkward as first Manders seemed upset, then he seemed like he'd just take both shots and then he threw the drink in Logan Black's face!  Manders became one of only a handful of people in GRIND to become the heel and have the crowd boo them.  This did put that extra layer of importance on this fight though and these two just took it to each other like a bar brawl.

Perry Von Vicious and O'Shay Edwards had that classic big man match in the way that they were not only doing power moves but they are also both quick and agile on their feet.   This was one of those matches that even if you knew O'Shay Edwards from STP, this is hopefully going to put Perry Von Vicious in that spotlight where more people know who he is as well.  This match was just everything I wanted it to be and so much more.

For the main event, Shook Crew (Bobby Orlando, Bryce Donovan and Dante Drago) took on Team All-Japan (Jay Freddie and the Saito Bros) and it was a whole lot of fun.  But before that, we must side track this story.  During intermission, Willow Nightingale had said she would take a Polaroid style photo with Quentin but was trying to work the camera so to find her before the show ended but also she wouldn't be there when it was over because she had to get on the road.  So when I saw Willow Nightingale head towards her merch table, after the Shook Crew entrance Quentin and I went over to meet her and take that photo.  

We mostly just missed the Team All-Japan entrances though and were back in our seats for the match.   The pure power of the Saito Bros is so impressive but their size just makes you overlook how powerful Jay Freddie is as well.  Bobby Orlando, Bryce Donovan and Dante Drago all put up their best efforts and they took the super fast punches I enjoy so much.  From what I understand, this is the last time the Saito Bros will be in GRIND for a while because they're headed back to All-Japan and I'm really going to miss them.  From matches they haven't had yet to rematches I'd like to see, they're just so good.

After the show was over, I took out the roster poster and saw that Quentin was only missing five signatures.  We saw Logan Black come out with his bags to leave and so Quentin ran over to him all excited.  Team All-Japan was also on our list, and Quentin had them sign it and also took a picture with them.  The last person we needed to complete it was Derek Neal and he eventually did come out so Quentin got to take a picture with him and I got to tell him how he's one of my favorite wrestlers and I just believe one of the toughest to ever step inside the ring.   While Derek Neal has of course had some great matches in the South, I feel like he needs to go everywhere and beat up their top talents.


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