Brandon Groom Still Believes He Can Make It
One of the biggest stars on the Oklahoma independent scene was Brandon Groom. A high school wrestling star, Brandon was brought into the professional wrestling world by his high school coach, Big Daddy Moore. He got his start in OPW and immediately found himself in a feud with Rocco Valentino. Groom formed a partnership with Brian Lakewood and chased the OPW Oklahoma Tag Team Titles, but would not be successful in capturing them. In FACT, title gold would elude Brandon for the duration of the existance of OPW.
Even though he never held gold, it wasn't for a lack of trying. Groom repeatedly challenged for the OPW Oklahoma Title and even faced off against Rocco Valentino in front of over 5000 people in 2000. The frustration eventually got to Brandon and he turned his back on the fans, but did capture the OCW Oklahoma Title on the very first OCW card in 2002 from Splash Jackson. That title reign was short-lived as he would lose the belt to Vinnie Valentino just one month later.
Groom eventually gave up chasing his dream in OCW and became one of the premiere stars in SRPW. But acquiring the Heavyweight Title there wasn't any easier than it had been in OPW and it too him most of 2003 to put that belt around his waist. Once he defeated Slater Vain in a 2-out-of-3 falls match for the vacant title, he would go on to become the longest reigning SRPW Champion of all time, holding the belt over 9 months before losing it to Luc Lapointe. It was during this title reign that Groom began to get more serious attention from the WWE and they brought him in for some preliminary matches.
Groom continued to chase the dream of becoming a WWE superstar, while continuing to work around Oklahoma and the surrounding states. He entered NWA-OK and won the NWA-OK Oklahoma Title from Michael Barry. In an odd moment, he would compete on a WWE broadcast against then-WWE United States Champion Booker T. An NWA Champion vs. a WWE Champion. Something that would have received a lot more press many years prior.
Groom also captured the NWA-U Oklahoma Tag Team Titles, although he never got to wear the belts as they were stolen by the New Texas Outlaws and NWA-U folded before they could be recovered.
By 2005 Groom's appearances in Oklahoma were diminishing. He eventually moved to Florida and made some appearances in Florida Championship Wrestling, the training ground for prospective WWE talents. Although not on a contract, he did impress them enough to continue to be brought back and work opening matches on their cards in hopes of earning a contract. But that never happened.
In what was certainly a shock to many fans, Brandon Groom returned to Oklahoma wrestling at the end of 2008, competing in the opening match of the ComPro show against the Amazing Bolo. Grooms skill and size overwhelmed the masked African and he won his return with ease. He also earned victories over Cast-Iron Cothern (due in part of interference from Shane Morbid), TAP Oklahoma Heritage Champion Tim Rockwell and Matt Emerald, a wrestler that Groom trained himself.
The wrestling business hasn't always been the easiest for Groom. He was involved in a highly controversial decision surrounding the 2002 Oklahoma Stampede. He married fellow wrestler Summer Rain, but they have since divorced. He trained several other wrestlers in Oklahoma, including Michael York and Brett Taylor. And despite making effort after effort, he has yet to truly capture the eyes of the WWE.
But he never gives up. Brandon continues to do what he believes he does best. And even when people tell him he's too old, too short or doesn't have enough presence, Groom won't let them get him down. His entrance song says "Always Believe" and that's what Groom continues to as long as he can continue to step between the ropes.