The idea to create a wrestling promotion benefiting the Med hit Shelia Willard like an elbow to the face. “I was just sitting there watching the news one day and I heard about all the problems the Med’s been having,” Willard says. “We can have a wrestling event for the Med,” she said to her husband Jimmy “The Ghostrider” Willard, who responded by looking at his wife like she was crazy. But the Ghostrider had some experience with the Memphis Regional Medical Center and didn’t need much convincing.
The Willards run Maximum Championship Wrestling, and both credit the Med for saving their children’s lives. Shelia’s daughter, Angela Marie Barley, was the victim of a drunk driver in 1998. A few years later, Jimmy’s son, Jason Willard, was airlifted to the Med after he was beaten and left for dead on a remote Mississippi road.
“My daughter was in the Med — 100 miles away from home — for a solid month,” says Willard. “Those are the best people, from the folks who work in housekeeping all the way up.”
Saturday’s fight card includes a variety of grapplers from Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee, and Alabama. Confirmed fighters include the Ghostrider, Mitch The Snake Man, Neil “The Real Deal” Taylor, The Reaper, Tim Styles, Sammy Hall, CJ Cash, and Dago. — Chris Davis