EDITOR'S NOTE: The views and opinions in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Michigan Wrestling Organization. Some content may not be suitable for all members of the family. 

Not all that long ago, I predicted that the Michigan Wrestling Organization would see a dramatic shift in talent that occupied the championship pictures here in this promotion. I said in that article that a new crop of superstars would bulldoze their way to the spotlight and to championship recognition. And what happened? Exactly what I forcasted, that’s what. Look at the headlines dominating the landscape of the MWO: a war between two factions comprised of the eight brightest stars in the organization that will culminate in a historic cage match on July 21; former tag team wrestlers venturing off on their own to achieve solo glory; a rash of injuries and departures have elevated new stars in the MWO. Look at the titles as an example. With the exception of reigning two-time MWO Television champion Pure Fury Jeff Clouse, the championships are being worn by wrestlers in their first reigns with their respective titles. Of those titleholders, Rex Havoc—a decade plus veteran of the business—is the most experience of the first-time champions. Jeremiah J. Hughes, long thought to be a main event player, has the banner of The Takeover in hand as he rules as MWO Champion. And the tag team division is dominated by Scum of the Earth members The Epidemic, who won their first title in June at the Slam-a-Thon event in Fremont, Indiana.

Let’s talk about Slam-a-Thon for a minute. What a show! What a debut outing for the MWO in its first out-of-state event. Many, including myself admittedly, thought it was crazy for MWO CEO Jason “the Basher” Clouse to put a major annual supercard as the debut event in Indiana. But as it turns out, it was the right move. The fans in attendance were hooked from start to finish, despite the tournament format that can be, if not handled properly, boring. Not this tournament. The eight superstars who competed in the Slam-a-Thon tournament gave it their all. The fans may not have been pleased overall with Alex Crow’s eventual victory in the tournament finals over PF, but they went home happy and the “likes” on the MWO’s Facebook page increased notably. Two guys emerged from Slam-a-Thon as bona fide superstars. TV champion Jeff Clouse was a huge hit with fans, as was evident by the standing ovation he received during his semi-final match in the tournament. The other was Tyler Dean, who even in defeat, was the ultimate winner when he solidified himself as a legitimate contender with an outstanding showing against MWO Champion Jeremiah J. Hughes. The Epidemic etched their name into the MWO history books by becoming the first crowned champions to win an MWO title outside the state of Michigan. Their win over Pope-n-Friends for the MWO Tag Team championship was truly a major moment in this company’s history.

The summer months are really heating up with some big live events on tap for the MWO. As of this writing, the next event will be the organization’s annual appearance at the UAW Local 598’s Soberfest, taking place on Sunday, July 7 at the Union City Ballfields. This year, Soberfest is celebrating 25 years of their annual outdoor event and with it, the MWO is stacking this year’s card, highlighted by a double main event. I surly hope the organizers of Soberfest can appreciate the MWO’s efforts to add even more interest to this year’s festival. Because I can tell you, transporting and dealing with that steel cage is nothing short of a major undertaking. I for one am looking forward to the Hoss Fight-Scum of the Earth Steel Cage Warfare Match. I’m not exactly thrilled with the CEO naming himself the guest referee, but it’s a UAW event, so did we actually believe that the Basher wouldn’t be on the card? The silver lining is he didn’t put himself in the challenger’s spot for the MWO Championship title match on that day. No, instead, Clouse went the unconventional route and named Cesar Ashur as The Archduke’s challenger for Soberfest. Why Ashur? Because he poses a major threat to Hughes’ MWO title reign and has showcased his talents in the ring. After Soberfest, the MWO will return to Davison, Michigan for another outdoor show, this time in the parking lot of the Sprint Store on M-15 (site of last year’s SummerSmash). That particular show will be the “go-home” event for this year’s SummerSmash, which will mark the MWO’s debut in Alma, Michigan, where Alex Crow will be awaiting the MWO Champion in the main event.

Don’t sleep on Professor Albert Teach. I’ve had the chance to observe this guy and I’m here to tell you that once he finds his footing in the MWO, he’s going to make headlines in the organization. His first couple of outings as the new manager of the Steele Twins may not have gone exactly to plan, but he still has his team on the cusp of an MWO Tag Team championship match at SummerSmash (if Alex and Andrew can defeat Pope-n-Friends at Soberfest) and will likely do whatever he has to in order for his team to punch their tickets to Alma for the title match. Professor Teach has a unique approach to the organization and it’s going to be interesting to see how that all plays out in the coming weeks.

Leonard Broecker, a colleague here at MWO News & Publications, penned a pretty decent article on this website about the growing conflict between Laura Phoenix and Tragedy Ann. I don’t care how much piss and vinegar runs through Laura’s veins, if she’s being targeted by Tragedy Ann, she’s in a whole new world of trouble that she’s never seen. And guess what, so is MWO Great Lakes champion Rex Havoc. Where Tragedy is, Skullz is not far behind.

Random thought...what if "Lone Wolf" Rex Havoc formed a tag team with the "Dire Wolf" Corey Kerr?

I’m glad to see that JAKL Creations has embarked on something of a reboot in relation to their MWO merchandise line. As I was uploading their column to the website, I noticed that they have their own space on the site now with several of the designs now available at live events and for online ordering. I’m looking forward to seeing what new items become available. On that note, still waiting for the Wildman Williams t-shirt! Just saying.