Friday, April 26, 2019

BLP's Adventures In Wrestling.

So the last time I watched a Black Label Pro show, it was 2018 and Bryan Alvarez has yet to acquire his gold boat. Several months later... well, he got a gold mic somewhere along the way... but the boat was nowhere to be found. On the flip side, I actually did enjoy the BLP Jam show and wanted to make a note to catch up on other BLP shows, notably the one with the Alvarez/Marko Stunt hoss match... which we'll touch on down the road.

In the meantime, let's check out this Adventures In Wrestling show that took place during Mania weekend and... well, this wasn't a jam, that's for sure. Honestly, if this show had been nothing but running commentary over a static image of F4W icon G. Raffe, it probably would've been better off.

Regardless, here're my quick thoughts for those who care.

Kobe Durst defeated Black Label Pro Heavyweight champion Ethan Page in a No Holds Barred match to win the title. I'm somewhat surprised that the opening contest is for BLP's top championship, but give them credit; it was a fun opener if nothing else.

Independent Wrestling Champion Orange Cassidy defeated Bryan Alvarez via roll-up with distraction from Marko Stunt's music to retain the title. I haven't seen enough of Orange Cassidy to gauge an opinion of him, but apparently he wrestles with his hands in his pockets and "oranges up" once Super Chico broke two pairs of sunglasses. I could generously say that this was a thing that happened and move on, but as far as furthering the Alvarez/Stunt feud... well, it was a thing that happened. Oh well, at leas the eventual rematch should be fun like the last one.

Dominic Garrini & Kevin Ku, collectively known as Sadkampf (lovely name) defeated Manny Fernandez & Tank in a hardcore-style tag-team match that... was a thing that happened. And sadly, that's the most sensitive way of putting it. Manny Fernandez was a guy from the old Crockett promotion and looked like Father time himself, Tank was a big guy and not much else, and the other guys... well, I want to say they tried, but this was one of those instances where I cringed more than I reacted.

Nick Gage defeated Swoggle in a match that had a bunch of run-ins from people I don't know and no reason to care. Swoggle actually used his old WWE music, which I wasn't sure you could do on a show that was being featured on a streaming service... but I guess the rules of independent wrestling are a little more lax than those of sports entertainment. All I can say is that when the former LITTLE BASTARD from WWE is the better and more notable star than the taller indy guy... never mind.

Next up was the Brian Zane Million Dollar Intergender Battle Royal for the coveted and prestigious Wrestling With Wregret YouTube Heavyweight Championship and One Million Dollars featuring a bunch of people whose names I don't remember, reigning champion Levi Shapiro... and Allie Kat, the only person I remotely recall from the last time I saw a BLP show. And wouldn't you know it? Allie Kat is the one who ends up winning the whole damn thing to win the title and the money. It was a battle royal with a bunch of indy wrestlers; there were a couple fun bits here and there, but other than that, it was okay for the most part.

The big problem, from my vantage point, is that there's little to no time spent on giving names to these faces. With a lack of familiarity for many of the talents featured here, the most I could hope for out of a battle royal were some fun little spots here and there. And I certainly got from the one girl giving a big hoss a few stunners to knock him down to that one guy or the other... yeah, there's the deal. It was such a cluster that when the Wrestling With Wregret channel uploaded their own cut of the Battle Royal, it was actually somewhat watchable and plays into the whole WWW narrative with Zane's indy career. I feel that's the thing missing with most of the matches on this card; the lack of story for the newcomer to digest.

AJ Mason, Curt Stallion, CW Anderson & Gary Jay defeated Chris Dickinson, Daniel Makabe, Jake Parnell & Rory Gulak in a multi-man match. Other than CW and maybe one or two other names, this was a match full of unknowns and it was mostly a bunch of moves until the eventual finish where nothing of note happens and there's no reason to care because the commentary does elaborate on who any of these people are. When I have to look up results to see who's who for the purposes of a write-up, that's a bit of a problem.

Jordynne Grace, Kylie Rae, Nicole Savoy, Samantha Heights & Solo Darling defeated Charli Evans, Indi Hartwell, Jessica Troy, Shazza McKenzie & Zoe Lucas in what was billed as a Team USA vs. Team International eight-woman tag-team match. Again, this was a match where I could only pick out one or two ladies that I recognize and the rest were not known to me and as such, the whole match was just a bunch of moves until we got a finish. I mean, in that regard, the match was alright... but after a couple multi-person matches which do nothing to educate the folks on any of these faces, it's hard to get excited about any of these folks.

Black Label Pro Tag-Team Champions The Space Pirates (Shane Sabre & Space Monkey) (c) defeat The Besties In The World (Davey Vega & Mat Fitchett) and Robbie Eagles & Sammy Guevara in a three-way match to retain the titles. This was a thing that happened featuring a guy dressed as a monkey, which was the only thing I could recall from the last BLP show I watched, so that was something neat, I guess. An otherwise perfectly acceptable piece of tag-team wrestling that probably would've been better off with one less team, but what do I know?

Finally, Jonathan Gresham, a dude from Ring Of Honor, defeated green-mohawked Japanese guy Shigehiro Irie in the main event; a refreshingly decent and hard-hitting one-on-one wrestling match. I'm wondering if the booking for this show was done in reverse and this should've been the opener because it felt like the kind of match that got you ready for the real show... except we just saw it and... meh. I'm bummed, bro.

So that was Black Label Pro's Adventures In Wrestling event during Mania weekend... and compared to the last show I watched, this was underwhelming to say the least. Mind you, given that this is a smaller independent promotion, expectations should be tempered somewhat, but other than the first couple matches as well as the main event, everything was just packed with people I'm not familiar with, people that the announcers made no effort in introducing me to, and also a lot of these multi-person matches where stuff happens until there's a finish and that's it.

For those who follow indy wrestling religiously, I'm fairly certain they'd get more out of this than I did. I really wanted to like this show since the other one I've watched was pretty fun stuff, but when all was said and done, this was one adventure that I could've skipped and miss nothing.

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