Celebration Day marks the one year anniversary of Pro Wrestling GRIND and is their tenth event overall. The first show was definitely interesting on paper with matches such as Alec Price vs Cabana Man Dan, Davienne vs B3CCA and Logan Black vs Merc announced, but the wrestling itself, that in ring work and the way the crowd reacted just brought this promotion to a whole other level. From there, every show has just felt like their best show and as they crown their first ever GRIND Grand Champion this show does not look to disappoint either. It should ultimately go above and beyond.
Joseph Alexander vs Nolo Kitano
Joseph Alexander only has one win in Pro Wrestling GRIND- over Mike Skyros in a do or die match- and Nolo Kitano is 0-1, losing to Perry Von Vicious. This puts both of these wrestlers in an interesting position because Joseph Alexander is going to be looking for that all important second win, while Nolo Kitano will be looking for the first. Joseph Alexander has proven that he is bringing his A Game to GRIND with submission holds, mat based wrestling and suplexes for all. Nolo Kitano has the speed, high flying and strikes to make this an interesting match just because of how these styles might clash but also work so well together.
Covey Christ vs Mike Skyros
Say what you will about Mike Skyros and his pairing with Travis Huckabee at Electric Crown, but he definitely has the entire GRIND community talking about him. Good or bad, at least you have his name in your mouth. And whether you like it or not, you have to at least admit that this decision for what happened at Electric Crown was smart by both Travis Huckabee and Mike Skyros. It was mutually beneficial.
Travis Huckabee made his way into the finals while Mike Skyros secured a roster spot even though he still has yet to win a match in GRIND. And now, should Travis Huckabee become the first ever GRIND Grand Champion, it feels like Mike Skyros would be one chairshot away from getting a title shot of his own. Again, you don't have to like it, but it's smart by both parties involved.
Then we enter Covey Christ, who is making his GRIND debut. Some people either may not know this or have simply forgotten (Editor's Note: I never forget) but back before the debut show of GRIND one of the names announced was Covey Christ. Then, without really mentioning it again, it just sort of quietly didn't happen, likely because Covey Christ is based out of Canada and with Covid I have no idea what the rules are anymore.
To say this has been a year in the making for Covey Christ feels like an understatement. You can watch Covey Christ have a great match with Alec Price at Let's Wrestle Volume 19 back in June of this year, but Covey Christ is also this gateway drug to an entire promotion in Canada known as Kaizen Pro Wrestling and having that behind you, as a resume, is quite intimidating.
Covey Christ has not spent the past year thinking about this very moment just to show up and lose. But at the same time, Mike Skyros is still looking for that ever-important first win and showed us at Electric Crown that he is willing to do whatever it takes to get it. This one isn't going to be pretty.
Anthony Henry vs ???
Originally it was announced that Anthony Henry would take on Ryan Mooney in what was sure to be a show-stealing level match. However, Ryan Mooney tested positive for Covid and did the right/safe thing by informing everyone and saving the match for a later date. This leaves Anthony Henry without an opponent and the idea of who it could be really seems to be anyone's guess. There are at least two other shows running in the area on this same night, so some names that might seem like good choices are seemingly off the table. I looked at the Limitless card for the next night and hoped maybe Anthony Henry vs Anthony Greene would be possible, but AG is otherwise committed.
One of the perhaps wildest options would be if JD Drake was also able to make this show to put the Work Horsemen together to face the Death Threat Army, who are coming to Maine on Saturday to face MSP. But, in terms of singles matches and who is available... this might just become a huge opportunity for someone who has only had a match or two in GRIND- someone such as a Handsome Max ZERO. But regardless, we all know that Anthony Henry is out there right now, this year, doing his best work ever and so whoever is in that ring with him is going to be taken to their limit and quite possibly have the best match of their career.
[Note: At the time of posting this there was no opponent announced to face Anthony Henry and personally I hope we don't find out until Friday night when their music hits]
Perry Von Vicious vs Rip Byson vs O'Shay Edwards vs Logan Black (Number One Contender's Match)
Following the events of Electric Crown, all four of these wrestlers can make a case for being first in line for a shot at the GRIND Grand Championship. Both Rip Byson and Perry Von Vicious were eliminated in the Quarter Finals but still had such solid records up until then (Rip Byson was undefeated) that they could certainly be in that title match. OShay Edwards defeated Joseph Alexander at Fear Of The Dark but had to miss Electric Crown, so had he been there he might have gone all the way.
The only wrestler in this match with more of a chip on their shoulder than anyone else is Logan Black. Logan Black made it to the Semi Finals and only lost to Travis Huckabee because when the ref was down, Mike Skyros interfered and hit Logan Black with a chair. Had that match gone fairly, we might be looking at a Jay Freddie vs Logan Black Finals tonight, but we can't live in a world of what could've been.
Perhaps the truly fun aspect of this match is that all four of these wrestlers have faced each other one on one in some capacity in GRIND. Rip Byson vs Logan Black hasn't happened in GRIND yet, nor has Byson vs Edwards but every other combination is there. Perry Von Vicious vs Logan Black was even the Quarter Final match just last month. Having all four of these wrestlers in the same ring at once is going to feel like the 1969 film "All Monsters Attack".
Trish Adora vs Delmi Exo
Trish Adora is making her GRIND debut and if you somehow happen to not be familiar with who Trish Adora is she will soon be making her debut in MLW, she's been on AEW and perhaps most importantly she was my Wrestler Of The Year in 2021. Every match, whether it was against Darius Carter or Jordan Blade, just felt like it had this importance. Trish Adora, just as a name and presence inside of that ring, makes every match have that big fight feel.
Outside of her recent tournament loss to Travis Huckabee, Delmi Exo remains undefeated in GRIND and is likely looking to get into that title scene as well. Imagine Travis Huckabee becoming the first ever GRIND Grand Champion and Delmi Exo trying to avenge that Quarter Finals loss by challenging Huckabee for that Championship. But Trish Adora knows about gold herself, as she is still the reigning and defending Pan Afrikan World Diaspora Champion, which is perhaps one of the most prestigious championships in independent wrestling today.
This match is going to be so big for both of these wrestlers, but since this is that first year anniversary show it has to be. You're taking one of the best wrestlers in the world today in Trish Adora and putting her up against an undefeated Delmi Exo. This is what dream matches are made of and this one is sure to deliver.
BEEF vs Andy Brown
When thinking of wrestlers who are perfect for not only GRIND but just what a wrestler should look like, my mind always goes to wrestlers who look like BEEF. Though BEEF has only had one match in GRIND, this just feels like that type of place he'd go to do the most damage and most feel like he was at home. But then you have Andy Brown, who also has only match in GRIND, and he also looks like what a wrestler should look like to me and he has that power as well as the quickness.
Perhaps the only thing which can make this match feel even more even is that both of these wrestlers are 0-1 in GRIND and will be fighting for their first win. A win over BEEF might feel like an upset, but Andy Brown is someone who could be seen as getting in line for a title shot as well, so this is going to be a tough contest for both of these wrestlers. It's a battle of BEEF vs THICCC and it might just steal the show.
The Mane Event vs Shook Crew
The Mane Event are the only tag team in GRIND who remain undefeated and have the most matches as well. This match also actually happened back in November of 2021, almost a year ago, at You Better Run, when GRIND was at the Elks Lodge in Northampton, MA. So to say that these two teams know each other feels like an understatement. They've faced each other before outside of GRIND and they've even met in GRIND.
This match feels different though because back at Come And Get It, the Shook Crew (plus Dante Drago) held their own against the Saito Brothers (plus Jay Freddie) Team All Japan might have won that match, but it definitely felt like a sign that Shook Crew was reborn tougher than before. It definitely feels like The Mane Event will be facing a different Shook Crew than the one they did almost a year ago and this match is going to feel special for that.
Travis Huckabee vs Jay Freddie
From the very first match in GRIND up until this match here, the importance of the wins and losses just felt so focused that it shows whoever wins this match to become the first ever GRIND Grand Champion will definitely deserve it. Because to win this match isn't just for Travis Huckabee to say he beat Jay Freddie, but to also have beaten all of those who came before him. Jay Freddie has a win in GRIND over Gary Jay. Ryan Mooney has a win over Gary Jay. So all of these pieces fall into place here.
Perhaps the biggest question going into this match is whether or not it will be fair. Travis Huckabee tried to hit Logan Black with a chair when the referee was down, but Mike Skyros did the deed for him. Will a similar situation occur here? Mike Skyros has his hands full with Covey Christ but Logan Black is also in a match of his own so should Mike Skyros try to interfere it feels as if he can be stopped and this will be a fair match with the winner being undisputed.
Jay Freddie is consistently having the best matches of his career while being ignored and looked over for far too long. GRIND really feels like a promotion that appreciates Jay Freddie (especially their fanbase) and for Blue Thunder, it feels like home. Jay Freddie would be a great and honorable Champion in any promotion but most importantly it would be such a fitting chapter in this part of the career of Jay Freddie.
On the other hand, we have Travis Huckabee who may not always be cheered by the crowd but is still out there consistently having the best matches of his career in GRIND. Travis Huckabee is one half of my Match Of The Year right now and many of my other favorite matches also have that one common factor: Travis Huckabee. If Travis Huckabee can win this one fairly then he will certainly be worthy of becoming the first ever GRIND Grand Champion.
From a personal stand point, one of my favorite aspects of Pro Wrestling GRIND is that the fans will treat you with respect and acknowledge your skill so long as you give them reason to, but if you flip us off or otherwise insult us you will get booed. Everyone comes in with a blank slate though and few who have come out of those doors have been booed. This past year has felt like such a wild ride, but as much as we've seen those matches and moments that have made people take notice of GRIND, I still feel like somehow the best is yet to come.