Black Label Pro “Norm” results: Vetter’s review of Calvin Tankman vs. The Barbarian, Charlie Haas vs. Effy, Davey Richards and Mike Bailey vs. Anthony Henry and JD Drake, Shazza McKenzie vs. Billie Starkz, Big Damo vs. Warhorse, Tom Lawlor, Dominic Garinni, and Kevin Ku vs. Kevin Blackwood, Titus Alexander, and Carlos Romo

By Chris Vetter, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@chrisvetter73)

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Black Label Pro: Norm”
Streamed on FITE TV
April 2, 2022 in Dallas, Texas at Fair Park

Indiana-based Black Label Pro closed out the dozen shows known as The Collective in Dallas, Texas. This show was slated to begin at 11:59 p.m. Saturday night, April 2, 2022, after night one of WrestleMania.

Not a surprise, with more than 20 indy wrestling shows over the weekend, changes were made to the lineup. PCO was banged up at the Impact Wrestling show a day earlier, and pulled out of this show. Barbarian and Haku were slated to team up against JD Drake and Anthony Henry, but Haku was unable to make it. A few matches were altered, including two singles matches combined into a four-way scramble.

This venue is the large industrial building. Worth reiterating that this show is occurring at midnight, and it’s actually the third consecutive show to start at midnight in this building. The crowd is perhaps 200-300, which is lower than the other shows here that occurred during daylight.

Dave Prazak and Veda Scott were on commentary. I mentioned this before — both of these two have great passion for pro wrestling and it comes through in their commentary. Veda Scott noted this was her fourth show of the day and eighth overall in three days.

1. The Barbarian defeated Calvin Tankman at 9:45. Prazak said this was the sort of matchup that is only supposed to happen in video games. Barbarian refused Tankman’s handshake. Veda Scott admitted she saw Tankman wrestle for the first time at a show 12 hours earlier. Tankman took Barbarian off his feet with some hard chops, and they brawled to the floor at 3:30. Tankman ordered the referee to chop Barbarian. A fan (presumably a plant) also chopped Tankman.

Back in the ring, Barbarian hit a suplex at 7:00. Tankman hit a splash for a nearfall. Tankman missed the top-rope moonsault (it is amazing to see a man that big do this move!), and Prazak said it would be over if he had hit it. As Tankman got to his feet, Barbarian hit him with the Mafia Kick to score the pin. Fun match. Barbarian wasn’t asked to do too much, and this was fine.

2. Billie Starkz defeated Shazza McKenzie at 12:50. Veda noted how many Shazza matches she has called in recent months since Shazza returned to the U.S. from Australia. They opened with some decent mat reversals, but Billie slapped her in the face at 3:00. The crowd rallied for Shazza; good energy in the building considering it is about 12:30 a.m.!) Starkz kicked her in the side of the face, and she remained in control of the action.

Shazza hit a sit-down powerbomb for a nearfall at 9:30, then a dive through the ropes to the floor. In the ring, Starks hit a Gory Bomb at 11:00. Shazza hit a Frankensteiner from the corner, then a stunner for a nearfall. The ref got bumped. Billie nailed Shazza with a chairshot to the back. Starks then hit a Swanton Bomb for the pin.

3. Effy defeated Charlie Haas at 5:53. Another one of those “only should happen in a video game” matches. Effy got a nice pop, and the announcers listed the series of matches he had over the past three days. Haas got on the mic and jawed at the fans. They traded reversals, and Haas was frustrated that Effy got the upper hand, so Haas stalled on the floor. Effy followed him to the floor and they fought at ringside.

In the ring, they did the Ric Flair spot where Haas whipped him in the corner, Effy flipped over the ropes and to the floor, at 3:30. Haas nailed Effy’s knees against the ring post, then he applied the Figure Four around the post. In the ring, Haas tied up Effy’s legs. However, Effy got a sunset flip for the pin. Entertaining, and this was the right length.

4. Kobe Durst defeated Jessica Troy in an intergender match at 9:51. I’d never seen Durst. He’s a blond guy with shoulder-length hair, average size and build. I saw Jessica Troy for the first time at the USA vs. World show that occurred about 12 hours before this one. She is thin with long, red hair. He is thicker but not really any taller than her.

Kobe immediately hit her with a blow, but she tied up his arm, and he scrambled for the ropes. They did the spot where there is a suplex over the top rope, and they both tumbled to the floor. In the ring, he gave her a DVD into the corner, with her head hitting the bottom turnbuckle, at 1:30. Ouch.

Troy hit a running double knees to the face. They fought on the ring apron, and she gave him a back drop on the ring apron. She hit a swinging DDT to the floor at 3:00. They are moving at a nice pace. He nailed a running kick to her face as they continued to fight on the floor. Back in the ring, Jessica got a jackknife rolluup for a nearfall at 5:00. Durst hit a Frankensteiner out of the corner, then a Fameasser legdrop for a nearfall.

Troy hit a brainbuster and they were both down. They traded hard slaps to the face. She gave him a backdrop to the floor, then she dove to the floor on him at 7:30. She hit a second-rope double knee to the back of the head for a nearfall, then she went back to the armbar, but he reached the ropes. She hit a Crucifix Bomb; I am very impressed with her. However, he grabbed her, hit a piledriver, and scored the pin. Very watchable action.

5. Big Damo defeated Warhorse at 11:44. I mentioned this the other day, but with his head shaved bald, Damo (f/k/a Killian Dain) reminds me of a cross between Braun Strowman and A-Train. He also is much larger than Warhorse, and he easily pushed him to the mat at the start. They brawled to the floor at 2:00. Warhorse charged at him, but Damo nailed a flying crossbody block on the floor. Nice spot. Damo dominated in the ring. Warhorse hit a dive through the ropes at 6:00.

In the ring, Warhorse hit a missile dropkick for a nearfall. Warhorse hit a clothesline for a nearfall. Damo hit a second-rope Perfect Plex, and they were both down at 8:00. Veda Scott noted it was 1:08 a.m., and these guys don’t need to go this hard. Warhorse hit a top-rope double stomp for a nearfall. Damo hit the shotgun dropkick into the corner, then nailed a rolling cannonball for a believable nearfall at 10:30; I really thought that might be it. Damo hit a senton splash and a Vader Bomb for the pin. Good, hard-hitting big-man match.

6. “The Workhorsemen” Anthony Henry and JD Drake defeated Davey Richards and Mike Bailey at 10:21. Prazak and Veda joked about the “card subject to change.” Veda noted that Richards and Bailey wrestled against each other just 12 hours ago (an amazing match, I’ll add.). The announcers agreed they had a challenge ahead because the Workhorsemen are used to teaming up. Bailey hit a dropkick on Drake, then his rapid-fire spin kicks.

Drake worked over Richards with some chops, then a supex for a nearfall at 4:00, and the heels worked over Richards. Bailey made the hot tag and unloaded spin kicks on Drake, then a running shooting star press for a nearfall at 6:30. Drake hit a shining wizard for a nearfall. Bailey and Henry traded spin kicks to the chest, and they both went down. The crowd is hot, as Richards made the hot tag at 8:30.

Bailey hit a flip dive off the ring apron to the floor, while Richards hit a doublestomp on Henry in the ring. Richards hit a brainbuster on Henry for a believable nearfall. Bailey hit a spin kick on Henry. Bailey went for a 450 knee drop, but Henry caught him with a kick to the chest. Henry then hit a top-rope double stomp to Bailey’s chest to score the pin. Really good match and easily best of the show so far. This looked good on paper and it delivered.

7. Anthony Greene defeated Alex Zayne, Blake Christian, and Black Taurus in a four-way scramble at 9:03. As I noted above, this was supposed to be two singles matches, but a good decision to turn this into a fast, fun, four-way scramble. Prazak called Blake one of the best in the world, and he’s not wrong. It’s worth reiterating that three of these four were in NXT just a few months ago. Veda pointed out how Christian had competed in Impact, New Japan, Ring of Honor, GCW, and AEW in the past week, which is just insane.

Zayne took off his red jacket; Taurus charged at it, and Prazak noted this was Looney Tunes silliness. Zayne hit his flipping huracanrana out of the corner on Greene. Christian hit the dive to the floor on two guys and Black Taurus dove through the ropes on all three! In the ring, Taurus hit the pop-up Samoan Drop on Greene. Zayne hit a flipping senton on Taurus at 3:00. This action is nonstop.

Blake and Zayne traded good offense; they have great chemistry and clearly have fought a lot. Greene hit a sit-out powerbomb on Christian for a nearfall. They did a tower spot out of the corner, with Zayne on top, crashing hard to the mat, at 4:30. The crowd fired up. Greene caught Zayne with a superkick. Blake hit a springboard 450 on Zayne for a nearfall. Taurus hit a backbreaker over his knee on Christian. Zayne hit a spinning faceplant on Greene. Blake hit a flip dive to teh floor on Taurus. Greene hit a superkick on Zayne, then he picked him up for a Styles Clash, but dropped him straight down on his head, to pin Zayne. Fast-paced and fun, and exactly what you’d expect from these four.

8. Kevin Blackwood, Titus Alexander, and Carlos Romo defeated Tom Lawlor, Dominic Garinni, and Kevin Ku at 18:39. Garrini and Ku both just left Major League Wrestling. I really dislike Garrini, who reminds of a dad cosplaying a karate instructor. Ku and Garrini wore the BLP tag title belts to the ring. Carlos Romo is apparently from Spain. I haven’t seen him before. He has green hair on the top of his head and brown hair on the sides. Romo and Garrini traded mat holds.

Titus entered and hit a nice dropkick on Ku at 3:00. Lawlor and Blackwood entered and traded stiff forearm shots. All six brawled to the floor. Blackwood got Lawlor back in the ring and got a nearfall. Lawlor removed his denim shorts to reveal another pair of denim shorts underneath. Lawlor’s team worked over Titus, and this had slowed down. Titus hit a brainbuster at 11:00, and the crowd came alive. Romo made the hot tag and took down Ku with a knee strike. Romo tied up all three opponents.

Lawlor applied a guillotine choke on Blackwood, but Blackwood fought up to his feet, picked up Lawlor, and hit a death valley driver for a nearfall at 13:30. Titus hit a German Suplex for a nearfall on Ku. Romo hit a nice swinging neckbreaker. Blackwood nailed Garrini with a roaring elbow. All six fought in the ring, and they all fell down at 17:00. This is just not clicking for me. Four guys rolled to the floor, leaving Lawlor vs. Blackwood to exchange blows. Blackwood hit a cutter, then a top-rope double stomp on Lawlor for the pin. This should have been shorter and tighter. My first time seeing Romo and I liked what I saw.

Garrini and Ku rolled back into the ring, and they hugged Lawlor, but then they attacked him and put him down with a brainbuster. Blackwood ran back into the ring to save Lawlor. Blackwood and Lawlor shook hands, and the crowd cheered.

Dan the Dad hit the ring and said he is so tired from this long weekend. He is sleepy and cranky. Veda Scott noted that it was 2:13 a.m.

9. Kody Lane defeated Dan the Dad, Devon Monroe, Shane Sabre, Jody Threat and Puf in a six-person scramble at 10:00. I saw Dan the Dad in the past, and Jody Threat at the women’s show earlier this weekend. The rest were new to me. Devon Monroe is Black and has the exact same style as Sonny Kiss. Puf is a huge white man, and even heavier than Brian Milonas. He carried a sleeping bag and pillow to the ring. Kody has long, blond hair, a large back tattoo, and a good physique.

Dan tried a waist lock on Puf, but Puf is just so huge, he can’t be moved. Puf danced a bit (why must superheavyweight wrestlers always dance?). Jody clotheslined Kody to the floor, then she hit a flip dive to the floor on several guys. Dan the Dad hit a top-rope flip dive on everyone at 5:00.

In the ring, Sabre and Monroe traded offense. Threat hit a German release suplex on Monroe. Kody hit a senton splash on Jody Threat for a nearfall at 7:30. Puf hit Kody with his sleeping bag, then he unwrapped it and put Kody inside it. Puf then clotheslined Kody. Puf hit an exploder suplex on Monroe. The crowd was really, really quiet. They did the big chain sleeper hold spot, and Veda pointed out it was 2:25 a.m. Kody Lane got a pin over Dan the Dad after flipping backward out of the sleeper hold and scoring the pin.

10. Levi Everett defeated Big Beef in a death match.

Final Thoughts: The middle third of the show was really good. I’ll give Richards/Bailey-Workhorsemen best, the four-way scramble gets second, and Damo-Warhorse was third. The opening matches with Barbarian and Haas didn’t overstay their welcome, and the women’s match was solid.

I just don’t like intergender matches, but at least in this case, Jessica Troy was at least of similar height to her male opponent, and the put on a compelling match.

The show seemed to fall apart at the end. The six-man tag was brutal with a never-ending beatdown of Titus Alexander. Veda Scott audibly yawned early in the match, and it’s hard to blame her, not just because it was 2 a.m., but the match just wasn’t clicking. The six-way scramble was bad; only Kody Lane came across looking ready for television.

All that said, this show ended just before 3 a.m. Sunday, April 3, and even the most diehard fans were wore out from a long weekend of wrestling.

SPECIAL EPISODE

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