Andrew ‘The Shark’ Carter and James Grace have been competing in classic contests since 2009, but their intertwining tale can be traced back further still.
In May 2008 The Shark travelled to Calgary, Canada to be trained by industry standout and former WWE Superstar Lance Storm. Shark’s pilgrimage to progress to the peak of the pro-wrestling industry was not a selfish one, as his primary aim was to return to Western Australia and cultivate opportunities for professional wrestlers in this state. For almost a decade Shark fought for AAW to feature international stars and Australian performers who could produce at an international standard. Along the way Shark has amassed more accolades than can be accounted for here; although suffice to say that his resume boasts numerous international tours, World Championships and more victories over globally recognised names than any other wrestler in Australian history.
Among Shark’s proudest achievements are producing many of the pool of performers we now see proving themselves inside Australian wrestling rings. Perhaps principle among these budding professionals was James Grace. An early standout at the AAW Factory, The Shark was quick to take James Grace under his tutelage. After training side-by-side with The Shark for twelve months, Grace debuted in 2009, winning the WA State Championship and competing on a national level in quick fashion. From this point, Grace and Shark’s careers become spliced, seemingly interlock until the end.
The history of these two men began as friendly competition in 2009, taking to the ring together as a tag team throughout 2010 and 2011. The friendship saw its first friction in 2012, as Shark pursued a return to singles success and closer links with international stars such as Orlando Jordan. This period of Grace and Shark’s history saw some of the most memorable matches in AAW; including their main event bout at Anniversary VII for the AAW World Championship; their triple threat match at Code Red 2013 featuring WWE Superstar Paul London; and their match of the year outing in an I Quit match. Following this sensational series Grace and Shark found common ground once more as they concentrated their efforts on establishing the most dominant wrestling faction in AAW history, The Foundation.
In 2016 the rivalry was renewed over the right to be crowned NWA Australian Champion; it was this chapter that saw AAW fans treated to an unforgettable Best-of-Five series. The Shark was victorious in the series and James Grace has floundered in the singles division since, arguably becoming one of the bitterest members of the AAW roster. Now, in the twilight of 2017, Marc Midas has decreed that the most storied rivalry in AAW history must come to an end; when the two meet on December 2nd the loser must retire.
Will James Grace ever be able to step out of the shadow of his greatest rival? Would he be able to achieve further success with the spectre of The Shark banished for good? Or has The Shark reached the apex of his career? Will the prospect of stepping away from the ring and dedicating more time to his new family be a distraction at the forefront of Shark’s mind or the motivating factor that sees him to victory?
One thing is for sure, there is one final chapter to be written in the story of James Grace and The Shark. For one last time, these two will step between the ropes; one will continue their legacy and one won’t return. Be there live on December 2nd at AAW Total Chaos to experience the culmination of the career of one of these celebrated competitors. Tickets at: https://www.showtickets.com.au/2017/12/02/all-action-wrestling-presents-total-chaos/