Black Label Pro
Big Trouble In Little Crown Point
November 3, 2018
The Square Sports Academy
Crown Point, Indiana

Watch: powerbomb.tv

I’ll be honest from the get-go—I’ve never watched a Black Label Pro show before. However, I recognize them as an indie promotion willing to do unique and interesting things, which I am generally a fan of. Bryan Alvarez taking on Marko Stunt is the reason I’m reviewing this show, but I’d also like to open mine and others eyes to other talents I have never seen before. Not Puma King though, you all should know him already. If you don’t, Google him, he’s good.

Jake Parnell def. Darby Allin

By winning this match, “Warhorse” Jake Parnell (who comes out to Metallica and is therefore cool) gained a future shot at the prestigious BLP Indiana State Title. Good for him, I guess. Ultimately, this is what I prefer my openers to be—a short, fun match to get me excited for the rest of the show. Darby Allin is, in my humble opinion, the biggest US indie star right now, so it surprised me a bit when he lost. Parnell comes from the St. Louis region and is the current holder of the ZERO1 USA World Junior Championship. He came across as just a guy here, and nothing about him really stood out to me. A fine match all-around. ***

Allie Kat def. Kylie Rae

Kylie Rae comes out to the Pokemon theme song. Allie Kat does not. I think that is enough to determine who is the better of the two, but unfortunately, they still went on with the match. It speaks to the quality of women’s wrestling in the US as a whole when a simple test of strength and some dopey double pin spots gets the crowd to chant “women’s wrestling!”. I’d seen Allie Kat once before this show, and this match only reaffirmed what I previously thought about her — she is bad. This match was ten minutes long, went nine minutes too long, and may have been one of the worst matches I’ve seen in the last few months. Kylie Rae seems like she has some potential, but no one can survive the black hole of Kat. Allie Kat won, of course, because for some reason she continues to be booked on shows. Ugh, let’s move on. *

PCO def. Dasher Hatfield

Dasher Hatfield is a CHIKARA product making him a natural opponent for the incredibly zany PCO. The only thing that differentiated this from any other PCO match was Dasher slapping PCO’s ass, which did get a chuckle out of me. When PCO had his breakout earlier this year, the matches were must-watch as you didn’t know what he was going to do. I find that that effect has slowly eroded as the year has gone on, for me, as he quickly is burning through his big-name matchups. He’s beginning to come down to earth more, looking more and more like his age with every match. Nevertheless, he’s had a hell of a run this year, and it’s been fun to watch. Dasher Hatfield was fine, but the most redeeming part of his wrestling existence is looking at his CHIKARA names on Cagematch. Moscow The Communist Bovine? Ultimo Breakfast? Good stuff. The match itself, also fine. But Moscow The Communist Bovine? That’s A-grade stuff. ***¼

Kevin Ku def. Gary Jay

As I wrote in the foreword, I decided to watch and review this show to discover new talent I’d never seen before. I’ve heard of Gary Jay – a 15-year veteran – but never saw him before this match. As a result of his performance here, I’m very interested in watching more from him. He’s one of those wrestlers where it just feels like he knows what he’s doing, as everything he does has a natural crispness to it that comes only with experience. I’d love to see Jay get a shot in a “bigger” promotion like ROH or MLW, as I feel like he’d benefit from greater exposure. I’d seen Ku once before, on ROH’s ill-fated Dojo Pro show on Amazon Prime, and he seems like he’s alright. I don’t like his look, but bell-to-bell he is definitely a competent wrestler. I didn’t quite understand why he was fetishizing so much over a step-stool in the beginning and end of this, but sometimes mysteries are best left unsolved. ***½

No New Friends (Danny Adams & Mike Outlaw) def. The Five Foot Pack Hunters (Jake Lander & Sage Phillips) & The Riegel Twins (Logan & Sterling Riegel) & The Space Pirates (Shane Sabre & Space Monkey)

I know of no one in this match except for Space Monkey. It’s kind of hard to not know who Space Monkey is, he dresses like a monkey for crying out loud. The team that impressed me the most here were The Riegel Twins, who came out to the modern hip-hop classic “Mo Bamba”, which was hilarious in that it was NOT censored and that The Riegel Twins are incredibly white. If I had to describe said twins in a phrase, I’d describe them as a shittier version of The Young Bucks. They have a lot of high-flying offense in their repertoire, with one of them at one point breaking out a sick looking reverse hurricanrana, a spot that always pops me. No New Friends also impressed, as they were able to play the foil to The Riegel Twins and stand out on their own. They ended up stealing the win from The Riegel Twins, in a fun match overall. I’d like to see a match between No New Friends & The Riegel Twins, as I suspect they’d kill it. ***½





Bryan Alvarez def. Marko Stunt

Remember how I said that The Riegel Twins coming out to Mo Bamba was funny because they’re very white? Bryan Alvarez coming out to California Love is 100 times funnier, considering it’s Bryan fucking Alvarez. I think him and 2Pac may be the most polar opposite any two human beings can be. Now, before we continue, I want you to think of the most legendary chop duels you’ve ever seen. Kobashi/Sasaki, that one Fortune Dream tag with Yuji Hino, all of them. This was….. not one of those, but it was a surprisingly fun match regardless. Whenever I watch Bryan Alvarez wrestle, I can’t help but laugh. I’m not entirely sure, as he’s a perfectly fine wrestler, but something about him just makes me giggle. Marko Stunt seems to have really improved his fluidity since I saw him breakout at Joey Janela’s Lost in New York, as he’s well on his way to becoming a true indie star. Stunt also throws a mean overhand chop. After we got through some comedy at the beginning, this evolved into a semi-serious match with some epic chop duels, ending after Alvarez connected with a great looking superkick. It was announced after this match that Alvarez and tag partner “Filthy” Tom Lawlor would be facing Marko Stunt and a TBD partner at BLP’s Mania weekend show. Well worth a watch. ***¾

Puma King def. Gringo Loco

How is this the first time I’ve seen Gringo Loco wrestle? He’s legitimately incredible, one of the smoother guys I’ve seen work. Everything he does comes off as crisp, which made luchador Puma King a great opponent for him. Speaking of Puma King, he’s also really freaking good. Everyone should know who he is. Everyone. After watching this match, I’m convinced that every promoter who hasn’t used Gringo Loco before is out of their mind as he is that good. This essentially was just a bunch of cool flippy lucha shit, and if it had gone twenty minutes longer, I wouldn’t have complained. The only bad part about this was Allie Kat on color commentary, as in a complete shocker to all, she’s also bad at commentary. All jokes aside, this was the match of the night, a match that will lead me to watching more Gringo Loco upon the conclusion of this show. ****

Jeremy Wyatt def. Markus Crane

To put it simply, this just wasn’t good. Jeremy Wyatt is a perfectly competent professional wrestler, but you can tell from the get-go that his opponent – Markus Crane – is a deathmatch guy who is not suited to work serious matches. There’s nothing wrong with that, but Crane looks and works like he should be main eventing IWA-Mid South, not working third from the top on a regular indie show. When you compare this to the match that preceded it, it’s quite laughable in how underwhelming it was. Thankfully they kept it quick, and Wyatt won after throwing Crane’s riot shield at him, followed by a slow transition into an armbar thingy. There’s not much more I can say about this, as I’ve already forgotten most of it. Next! **

BLP Indiana State Title
Kobe Durst © def. Rory Gulak

Kobe Durst looks like a dollar store Tyler Breeze. Now that that thought is out of the way, we can move on to the match. I feel like I’ve said this for a lot of matches on this show, but this was perfectly average. They did some cool moves, worked a mild crowd, and got out of there in eleven minutes after a finish that I felt was a bit sudden. Not that I was clamoring for this match to go longer or anything, but it felt like it just came out of nowhere. It was at this point in the show that the show started to drag for me. It may be due to the overall match quality, given my lack of interest in this match and the last. I think, however, that it’s due to the fact this is a ten-match card. In my opinion, that’s too much for a random independent show, and judging from the dwindling crowd reactions, I can’t imagine I’m the only one who feels this way. When you have matches like this and Wyatt vs. Crane this late in the card, it saps the enthusiasm out of the audience. Quantity isn’t always quality, a lesson I’d like Black Label Pro to learn after watching this show. ***

BLP Heavyweight Title Falls Count Anywhere
Ethan Page def. Jordynne Grace ©

I’m normally not the biggest intergender fan, but Jordynne Grace is really good so that makes this match good. Due to the stipulation, this was a good old walk and brawl. Opinions will vary on this match as a result of that, with me personally finding it to be somewhat enjoyable. Grace has lots of talent, and Page is always a solid professional wrestler. Their weapon of choice was mainly tables, with chairs and shuffleboards worked in as well. Page won the championship by hitting what I believe to be a Piledriver on top of a table to pin Grace. This was good, but not up to the caliber I’d like with a main event title match. Page is a good choice for champion, as he’s a great promo and a very reliable worker, and I’m interested to watch where his reign goes. Lastly, some bigger picture thoughts on the show. It was too long, but a fun show nonetheless. A lot of it was easy to watch, with a few exceptions, with Puma King vs. Gringo Loco the highlight of the night. I’d recommend people watch every match except for Wyatt/Crane and Kat/Rae, as everything was very solid. While there is a dearth of star talent on the indies right now, there is plenty of talent that are good in the ring, talent that just needs someone to get behind them. This show helped spotlight that talent, and I’m glad promotions like this do that, as it helps the scene continue to thrive. Good match, and a good show all throughout. ***½