The town was an early rival of Memphis over commercial superiority on the Mississippi River.
(Of course Deanna and Judy were early rivals, so maybe it's a big inside joke.)
The Jurchens' early rival was the Liao Dynasty.
It also triumphed over early rivals such as Milwaukie and Linnton.
Rudolf later established Puma, which was the early rival of Adidas.
The community was an early rival for another community which became the City of Watertown.
It was an early rival with Victor village for prominence in the town.
My phase-memory replies to me that Argos was "an early rival of Sparta."
In the United States, the early rival of the Chronophone was the Cameraphone.
Like most of its early rivals, it was originally concocted and sold as a patent medicine that could cure vague nervous ailments.