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Baldwin man reaches top of pro wrestling world



(Created: Wednesday, June 24, 2009 8:05 AM CDT) More Sports

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When asked, “Where are you from?” World Wrestling Entertainment’s Todd Grisham quickly answers, “I am from Bay Minette, Alabama.” When he is asked,” What high school did you attend,” Grisham’s response is always, “I attended Baldwin County High.”

Grisham was born in Hattiesburg, Mississippi but spent most of his childhood in Bay Minette. He grew up with a love of sports, especially soccer. When his older brother Jeff Grisham started playing on the upstart soccer team under Ronnie Rieben and Larry White, Todd wanted to join the team but he was just in middle school. Rieben, however, decided to keep him on as a team manager. Todd served as manager for two years and then joined the team his freshman year. The younger Grisham led his Baldwin County High Tigers in scoring as a forward. The Grisham’s moved after Todd’s freshman year.

After leaving Bay Minette the Grisham family relocated several times till Todd graduated high school at Orange Park High School, just outside of Jacksonville. Even though the schools may have changed one thing was a constant for the younger Grisham: his love of soccer.

Todd was awarded a soccer scholarship to Wingate University in North Carolina. Grisham later transferred to the University of West Georgia in Carrollton, Ga., where he majored in Mass Communications.

Grisham became a sports reporter for a small television station in Iowa.

In 2004 World Wrestling Entertainment came calling; Todd was assigned to a few of the smaller shows until he got his big break on July 29, 2008.

Mike Adamle, the play by play commentator for WWE’s Extreme Championship Wrestling was named as the new general manager to WWE’s flagship show RAW. Grisham was then named as the new play by play commentator for ECW and was paired up with former wrestling legend Tazz.

On April 4, 2009 Grisham hosted the WWE Hall of Fame Banquet. A few days later Grisham knew he reached a milestone in his career when he became the play by play commentator for WWE’s SmackDown. Grisham is now paired with the legendary color commentator Jim Ross.

When asked about the high light of his career Todd stated, “Calling a match at WrestleMania 25 in front of over 70,000 people was pretty cool...and just being on TV so my mom can watch me is a dream come true....even on the rare occasions that I get kicked in the face!”

Even though Grisham is now working for WWE, he has not given up on his love for soccer. Grisham is also the host of Major League Soccer for the Fox Soccer Network. His job includes hosting the pregame, halftime, and postgame shows every Saturday.

Grisham recently became engaged to his long time girl friend Alyson DeRenzis of Lancaster, Penn.

Friends ask Todd all the time, “Are you the most famous person to come from Bay Minette?” Todd answers, “It depends on what you consider famous, I guess the most famous person to come from Forrest Park Ave in Bay Minette. But it is amazing the WWE's reach however. I'm seen in over 120 different countries every week. One time I was in a store in New York and a lady who was visiting from South Africa came up to me and asked me for an autograph for her son. ‘We love watching the WWE in Africa!’ That was pretty wild.

”Traveling becomes a blur often and I do miss home (Bay Minette),” Grisham said. “I miss pulling up to a four way stop and everybody waving at each other like they are friends even though you may not know them. Looking back who would have thought that little kid growing up on Forrest Park Ave. would be seen around the world on TV...and it not be on an episode of Cops.”

Grisham still has a home here on the beach and when he has some free time he loves to come back and visit his old friends, teachers, and coaches.

The network that carries SmackDown,WFGX 35 is unavailable in Baldwin County at the moment. When contacted on this matter someone from their sister station WEAR said the network is fully aware of the situation and is currently trying to relocate their transmission to their “tall” tower in Baldwin County.

Viewers can still catch Grisham on Monday nights during RAW on the USA Network and during any of WWE’s pay per view events.








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