By Chris Vetter, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@chrisvetter73)
We are looking for reports on all WWE, AEW, NXT, Impact Wrestling, GCW, MLW, and other notable live events. If you attend a show, you are encouraged to send a report or even basic results to email@example.com
Black Label Pro: “The Gang Crosses the Line”
Streamed on FITE TV
July 29, 2022 in Nashville, Tennessee at the Fairgrounds
This is part of Starcast V, and the show is held in the large fieldhouse with great lighting and plenty of space, the same building used by both Game Changer Wrestling and New Japan Pro Wrestling. Obviously, all these promotions were in Nashville because of SummerSlam and the Ric Flair’s Final Match show that weekend. Attendance is perhaps 300 to 400; it is definitely smaller than the other two shows here I just mentioned, but still a decent-sized crowd.
Unfortunately, I didn’t have any sound as the show got underway. The picture dropped out seconds into the first match. When the picture eventually returned, we had the commentary team of Veda Scott and Dave Prazak.
1. “Violence is Forever” Kevin Ku and Dominic Garrini defeated Shark Boy and Dan the Dad. Ku pinned Dan the Dad just seconds after the picture returned. I am not a fan of Shark Boy or Garrini, so I guess I’m ok with essentially missing the first match.
2. Steph De Lander (f/k/a Persia Perotta) defeated Billie Starkz via DQ at 7:32. Steph has a bit of a size and weight advantage, which Veda noted immediately. Prazak noted that Starkz is one of the busiest wrestlers once shows returned post-pandemic. De Lander hit a snap suplex at 4:00. They traded kicks to the face. Starkz dove through the ropes to the floor, but Steph caught her and slammed her onto the ring post. In the ring, Steph hit a German suplex for a nearfall at 6:00. Starkz fired back with a Gory Bomb for a nearfall.
Billie got a chair from under the ring, but the ref took it. This allowed Steph to hit a modified F5 for a believable nearfall, but Starkz got her foot on the ropes. Billie rolled to the floor, got the chair, and hit Steph with it, causing the disqualification. Starkz shoved the ref and hit a few more stomps on Steph before leaving the ring. Solid match, and they can certainly do a better, longer match down the road.
3. “Cowboy” James Storm defeated Bryan Keith at 9:36. This should be a “slobberknocker.” Keith wore his baja jacket to ringside. As expected, Keith unloaded some punches and kicks early. They brawled to the floor at 2:30, with Keith whipping Storm into the rows of chairs. In the ring, Keith remained in control. Storm picked him up for a Razor’s Edge at 8:00, but Keith escaped and hit a flipping butterfly powerbomb. Keith got a beer bottle and took a swig. However, Storm hit a Lungblower to the chest, causing Keith to spray it everywhere. Storm hit a superkick to the jaw for the pin. Solid match; a bit lower than my expectations. Keith tipped his hat to Storm, and they shook hands.
4. Jake Something defeated Crowbar in a no-DQ match at 11:13. A Black man about the same height as Jake joined him to ringside. Crowbar, age 48, barely is recognizable from his WCW days; he is a bit heavier and he’s showing his age. Crowbar hit a Hogan legdrop on the ring apron. The Black man attacked Crowbar; neither Veda nor Prazak seemed to know his name. Jake speared him into the corner at 3:00, and Crowbar sold an abdomen injury. Crowbar rolled to the ring and beat up Jake and the Black wrestler.
Crowbar dove off the ring apron onto Jake, who was seated on a chair on the floor. In the ring, Jake hit a Michinoku Driver at 5:30. Jake was selling a left thigh injury and was limping in the ring, so Crowbar began attacking it. Jake hit a dive over the top rope onto Crowbar and his Black partner at 8:30. In the ring, Crowbar hit a Frankensteiner out of the corner. He slammed a chair over Jake’s back, then he hit a Northern Lights Suplex, with Jake’s back coming down on the chair. Jake slammed Crowbar onto some open chairs to score the win. Just so-so action; Jake is so talented and he shouldn’t have needed a partner to help him cheat.
5. Cole Radrick, Mike Bailey, and Crash Jaxon defeated Jordan Oliver and The Bang Bros at 13:11. Ring announcer Val Capone said “don’t try to Google the Bang Brothers.” I don’t know them, but they are young and scrawny. Radrick is the Gomer Pyle-meets-James Ellsworth dork. Radrick opened with the taller, skinnier Bang Brother. Bailey got in and hit a hurancanrana on the smaller Bang Brother. Crash Jaxon — think Beer City Bruiser in size — entered the ring and hit a shoulder tackle to send a Bang Brother flying. Oliver entered at 2:00 and unloaded some chops on Jaxon.
Oliver’s team took turns working over Crash’s left leg. Radrick finally made the hot tag at 6:30, and he hit a Tornado DDT for a nearfall. The smaller Bang Brother completely missed a Pele Kick. This is sloppy. Bailey made the hot tag at 8:00 and he immediately traded stiff forearm shots with Oliver, and they traded rollups. Bailey nailed his moonsault kneedrop, then a spin kick to Oliver’s head for a nearfall. Oliver nailed a Cloud Cutter on Bailey for a nearfall at 10:00. Jaxon hit a high belly-to-back suplex on Oliver. A manager for the Bang Brothers hopped in the ring, but Jaxon beat him up. Radrick hit a double stunner and was fired up. Oliver hit a German Suplex on Radrick. Bailey nailed his spin kick in the corner on Oliver, then he nailed Ultimo Weapon second-rope flipping knee drop for a nearfall.
Everyone was suddenly brawling on the floor. Jaxon dove over the top rope onto three guys. That left Oliver and Bailey in the ring. Oliver hit a Tiger Suplex, a Mafia kick, and a jumping sit-out powerbomb for a believable nearfall. However, Bailey nailed his modified Omega’s One-winged Angel for the pin. That was soooooo good when Bailey and Oliver were interacting, and I wish this had been a singles matchup, or a three-way with Jaxon. That Jaxon dive over the top rope was impressive; that is a BIG man to hit that dive. The Bang Brothers looked completely lost in the ring.
6. Big Damo (f/k/a/Killian Dain) defeated Eric Young at 8:55. Former Sanity members collide! They shook hands and had an intense lockup. Young couldn’t but him with a shoulder tackle. After Young hit some blows, Damo rolled to the floor to regroup. In the ring, Damo hit a bodyslam and legdrop at 4:00 and took control. Young fired back with a flying forearm. He showed off some impressive strength by lifting Damo, then hitting a cutter at 6:00.
Damo hit a Shotgun Dropkick into the corner. a uranage, and a slingshot senton for a nearfall. Young was whipped into the corner and did the ‘Flair flip’ onto the ring apron, drawing some “whooos!” at 7:30. Young hit a top-rope elbow drop for a believable nearfall. Young missed a moonsault. Damo nailed a senton, then a Vader Bomb, for the clean pin. I really liked this match. They again shook hands after the match.
7. Josh Alexander defeated Kevin Blackwood at 13:14. A huge pop for Josh, who wore the Impact title to ringside. An intense lockup to start, and Josh targeted the left arm. Blackwood hit a nice Japanese armdrag, then a double stomp to the chest for a nearfall at 3:00. Blackwood hit a delayed vertical suplex for a nearfall. Josh fired back with a fisherman’s suplex. They traded chops. Blackwood hit a stiff kick to Josh’s back as Josh was seated on the mat, then a missile dropkick at 6:00.
Alexander applied an ankle lock, then he hit a German Suplex for a nearfall. Blackwood went for a Texas Cloverleaf, but Josh escaped. Blackwood hit a Death Valley Driver for a nearfall at 8:30. They fought on the ropes in the corner, but Blackwood couldn’t hbit a sunset flip powerbomb. Instead, he hit a top-rope double stomp to the knee, then he applied the mid-ring Texas Cloverleaf. Josh escaped and went back to the ankle lock. Blackwood escaped and applied his own ankle lock at 12:00. Alexander hit a jumping piledriver for a nearfall, then a butterfly piledriver for the clean pin. Really good match, as expected here.
8. Konosuke Takeshita defeated Nick Wayne at 12:35. These two met in a four-way at the Flair show two days later. Takeshita is taller and thicker than his 17-year-old foe. Konoskuke hit a shoulder tackle, and they traded quick reversals. Wayne hit a flip dive to the floor. However, Konosuke hit a DDT on the ring apron at 2:00. Veda and Prazak talked about Konosuke competing literally all across the country this summer. Konosuke hit a running kick on the floor, sending Wayne flying into the rows of empty chairs.
In the ring, Konosuke hit a second-rope senton splash, and he applied a leg-scissors lock around Wayne’s waist. Konosuke hit his flying clothesline at 5:00, then a second-rope superplex for a nearfall. Wayne hit some forearms that had little effect; Takeshita hit one that dropped Wayne. Wayne hit a spin kick to the jaw, then a handspring-back-stunner, followed by a fisherman’s suplex for a nearfall. Takeshita nailed a Blue Thunder Bomb for a nearfall and they were both down at 7:30.
Wayne nailed a Dragon/full nelson Suplex, but he missed a top-rope double stomp. Wayne hit a mid-ring Spanish Fly, then a stunner, then a Tornado DDT. Takeshita hit a jumping piledriver, and they were both down at 9:30. They traded mid-ring forearm shots while on their knees, then from a standing position. Konosuke nailed a Poison Rana, then a decapitating clothesline, but only got a one-count. Wayne nailed a Canadian Destroyer for a believable nearfall at 12:00, and the fans chanted, “This is awesome!” Konosuke hit a German Suplex, then a running knee strike to the face for a nearfall. Konosuke then nailed a pumphandle sit-out powerbomb for the pin. That was excellent.
9. Calvin Tankman defeated (C) PCO, Joshua Bishop, and Eli Everett in a four-way Monster’s Ball to win the Black Label Pro Heavyweight Title at 13:44. I saw Bishop for the first time at Jersey Championship Wrestling’s show in early July; he looks a lot like a young Sid Vicious, with good size and short, curly blond hair. Eli is the Amish warrior, fighting in pants with suspenders. Tankman dove to the floor on two guys early. PCO hit a flip dive through the ropes on all three. Eli dove over the top rope onto all three. Everyone was brawling on the floor, and Bishop was bleeding on his forehead.
They were beating on each other with trash can lids and folded chairs. PCO was shoved off the ring apron and fell onto two open chairs on the floor at 5:30. Ouch! Tankman and Bishop entered the ring and kept brawling. Tankman nailed an unprotected chairshot to PCO’s head at 7:00. Unnecessary, especially knowing that PCO is in his 50s. Bishop hit an Abyss-style swinging sideslam. Bishop put Tankman on his shoulders and dumped him through a table set up in the corner. Bishop then powerbombed PCO onto four open chairs at 9:30 for a nearfall. “A normal human being would not have kicked out of that!” Prazak shouted.
On the floor, PCO hit repeated garbage can shots to Tankman’s head. PCO hit a top-rope summersault onto Tankman, who was lying on the ring apron, at 11:30. PCO shoved Bishop through a table, set up on the floor. PCO then hit a top-rope moonsault onto Tankman for a nearfall, but suddenly, Jake Something and his Black teammate hit the ring! They brawled with PCO and took him to the back. Tankman hit a forearm to the back of Everett’s head, then he hit his sit-out piledriver on Eli for the pin, to become the new Black Label Pro heavyweight champion.
Final Thoughts: A close call, but I’ll give Takeshita-Wayne best match, just ahead of Josh Alexander-Blackwood. Fans could go either way on that. I’ll give a fun Damo-Eric Young a distant third-best. Fans of hardcore matches probably really liked the main event, but it just wasn’t my style. Bishop remains “one to watch,” though.
I can’t say enough about how good the segments of the six-man tag match was when Jordan Oliver and Mike Bailey were competing in the ring, and Crash Jaxon continues to shine when given an opportunity. I didn’t see hardly any of the first match, but of matches two through five, none were bad, but none reached my expectations, either.
I mentioned this in my other reviews, but this building was a great selection to host multiple shows over the weekend. Lighting was great, plenty of room for fans. And I’ll reiterate that I love the passion and knowledge that Prazak and Veda Scott bring to commentary. The show clocked in at two-and-a-half hours.