Black Label Pro “Adventures in Wrestling”
Friday, April 5
White Eagle Hall, New Jersey
If you look at some of these matches and you’re not into the Black Label package as a whole, you might not like this card. I won’t pretend that I like everything on here, and in general, I think it isn’t even as good as most regular BLP cards, but there are some standout joints here that I think any independent wrestling fan should be keeping track of.
Jake Parnell, Chris Dickinson & Rory Gulak vs. Gary Jay, AJ Gray & Curt Stallion
Yo, this match fucks. That first team? Hoo boy—Warhorse, Dickinson and Gulak is a trios team I can get behind. Parnell and Dickinson basically know one speed. What Dolph Ziggler is to selling, they both are in offensive intensity. Gulak is legit one of the most fun technical wrestlers in the US and a staple of the undercards around the country. Any time Gary Jay is in the ring with Parnell you get fireworks, AJ Gray is exciting and provides big spots every time he’s in the ring and Stallion, while inconsistent can pull out really great matches when matched up with the right people. This is one of those sleeper matches that could really turn some heads for those least expecting it. Expect some mincemeat chests after this one.
Jordynne Grace, Kylie Rae, Shotzi Blackheart, Nicole Savoy & Samantha Heights vs Shazza McKenzie, Charli Evans, Jessica Troy, Zoe Lucas & Indi Hartwell
This one doesn’t quite have the same talent across the board as the previous match, but that first team is basically a who’s who of North American women wrestlers I really like. The second team isn’t bad, I’m just less familiar with the lot of them. Who knows how this goes, but I expect the women to work hard to keep up the pace with the bombfest that will precede them, and people like Jordynne, Shotzi, Shazza and Zoe generally work really well in these big multi-person matches. This should be a fun one that really works to get the crowd involved.
Jonathan Gresham vs Shigehiro Irie
The originally scheduled matchup of super-fast mat-guy Gresham and fastest-in-the-ring guy Masato Yoshino was really one of the top 3 most anticipated matches of the weekend. With the recent news of Dragon Gate’s struggles to get US Visas, BLP quickly changed the match over to Irie, one of my other favorite dudes in recent years. They could have dropped the ball here, but this is a match, that while not QUITE as unique as the original Yoshino match is still something that will likely deliver, and quite strongly. Irie had a very good 16k weekend over in Germany and is someone I’ve always been quite high on. Gresham can have a great match with just about anyone. It might not be quite as virtuosic as the original match, but this is still going to be great.
Independent Wrestling Championship
Orange Cassidy (c) vs Bryan Alvarez
Look, Orange Cassidy has won me over in the past year, big time and has been having legit good to great matches with just about everyone he is put into the ring with. Bryan Alvarez annoys me on his show and I didn’t watch his comeback matches recently, so I have no idea what to expect.
Brian Zane’s Million Dollar Battle Royal
Likely Featuring: Allie Kat, Maria Manic, Donovan Danhausen, Perry Von Vicious, Steph De Lander, Matt Knicks, Levi Shapiro, Danny Adams, Frisco Flame, Cabana Man Dan, Boomer Hatfield and more
It will be interesting to see what other names are added to this that we don’t know of—I know a few other former BLP wrestlers that are available and in town, so I expect this list to about double but have to imagine from a storyline perspective that Danny Adams comes away with the win here. Adams is a character guy, and one that is pretty similar to Ethan Page in many promotions, Trevor Lee in PWG & AAW, and Steve Corino in ECW & NWA. He’s a real shithead in just about my favorite way possible.
Manny Fernandez & Tank vs Kevin Ku & Dominic Garrini
Wtf? BLP has booked a lot of old timers, but this is one of the most bizarre ones yet. Gotta assume the dude Dylan Hales is responsible for this one. No idea what is going to happen, going to be bizarre. Also, unrelated to the preview, but everyone needs to go out of their way to see the Sadkampf match from the February BLP show “Unplugged” against the Workhorsemen. Legit one of my favorite tag matches of the year and perhaps a top 3 American indie match I’ve watched this year.
BLP Tag Team Championship
Space Pirates (Space Monkey & Shane Sabre) vs. Team Whitewolf (A-Kid & Carlos Romo) vs. Tre Lamar & Jake Lander vs. Sammy Guevara & Robbie Eagles
Tre Lamar is not the same one as the Clemson Linebacker, but he is a relatively new high flyer in a similar vein to other young dudes Myron Reed, Trey Miguel and more. Jake Lander is one of my favorite short dudes on the indies, someone who really gets his shit in during every match. Guevara and Eagles are well known in these parts and are both crazy athletes, A-Kid & Romo are coming from Spain and truthfully I’ve still only seen the ZSJ/A-Kid match, so I can’t really speak on them and the Space Pirates are the current BLP tag team champions, determined earlier this month over the dudes in the main event. There is nothing stopping this match from having about 233 dives to the outside, 40 reverse ranas and hopefully a crowd that leaps out of their seats. Could be a trainwreck for sure, but expect a lot of nutty shit in this one.
Nick Gage vs Swoggle
We might legit witness a murder here. That said, never forget Swoggle once participated in past MOTYC “Wee-L-C.”
Ethan Page (c) vs Kobe Durst
At the last BLP show, Kobe Durst turned on his mentor and friend Ethan Page in the main event, costing them the tag team title. He then joined up with Jake Lander and Tre Lamar to form a killer trio of young, hungry badasses. Kobe held the “Indiana State” title up until February and has been a big deal in this promotion since early on and I gotta go with the hot angle and assume he’s gonna get the win here and become the fourth BLP champion. He’s a solid wrestler, hard worker and someone who is still growing into his character. I’m excited to see what him working as a psychotic heel brings, because I think it’ll freshen everything up. Ethan Page is a consummate pro and is not afraid to put people over, show ass and make opponents look good. I don’t expect a 5-star classic here, but this should be a good, heated match and have a clear main event feel.
Honestly, who knows how this show will turn out. Black Label Pro can hit really high, can miss quite a bit, but overall, I’ve seen most of their shows and think they are one of the more fun indies going today. With the opener, Gresham/Irie, and the two title matches, this could wind up being a really good show for those of you setting up shop at the White Eagle Hall all day (CHIKARA, this, Spring Break 1 & Blackcraft).