By Chris Vetter, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@chrisvetter73)
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Black Label Pro Wrestling “Fancy Wrestling”
Replay available via FITE.TV
June 3, 2023 in Crown Point, Indiana at RDS Gym
This gym is BLP’s usual home, and the crowd was maybe 100-150.
1) “Latinos Most Wanted” Koda Hernandez and Sabin Gauge defeated “Twist & Flip” Darren Fly and Nate Kobain at 8:54. We lost the signal to the building multiple times early on. As their name implies, T&F are scrawny kids and decent high-flyers, and are regulars here. Kobain hit a Death Valley Driver for a nearfall at 8:00. LMW won after Kobain missed a moonsault, and one of the LMW guys hit a flipping powerbomb, then a top-rope doublestomp (which actually completely missed Kobain) for the pin. The finish didn’t quite land but it was solid.
2. Brogan Finlay defeated Rico Gonzalez and Hunter Drake in a three-way at 10:17. Gonzalez came out in a Mexican poncho and to Latino music. Drake is the young kid with shoulder-length blond hair. Hunter hit an impressive flip dive to the floor at 7:00. Hunter hit a cannonball in the corner on Rico as Rico was tied in the Tree of Woe, and he got a nearfall. Finlay hit a Death Valley Driver on the ring apron on Rico, then a top-rope kneedrop on Drake for a believable nearfall. Drake hit a low-blow uppercut on Finlay at 9:30. Rico hit a second-rope Spanish Fly. However, Brogan hit a tombstone piledriver on Rico for the pin. Decent.
3. Tom Lawlor defeated Eli Isom at 12:42. Lawlor wore his ridiculous tuxedo outfit. Isom got a nice pop; I’ve always liked him but he seemed just a step away from really breaking through in ROH. Tom wore a ridiculous wig too, and when it came off, he complained to the ref that Isom pulled his hair. They brawled to the floor. In the ring, Lawlor hit a stiff kick to the spine at 5:00, and he began twisting the left arm. In a nice spot, Lawlor went for a spear in the corner but Eli did a leapfrog to avoid it.
Eli dove through the ropes at 8:00. In the ring, Isom hit a top-rope crossbody block and an enzuigiri. Lawlor hit a DDT for a nearfall. They traded rollups for nearfalls. Lawlor hit a kneestrike to the jaw at 12:30, then one to the back of the neck. He applied an armbar and Isom tapped out. Good match.
4. Calvin Tankman defeated Myung-Jae Lee at 6:53. I have seen Lee a few times recently in C*4 Wrestling from Canada; he has shoulder-length hair and of average size, so Tankman is taller and obviously much heavier. They brawled on the floor, and Tankman suplexed him onto the ring apron. In the ring, Tankman was in control. Lee hit a German Suplex and a dropkick in the corner at 6:00. Tankman hit a spinning back fist and a diving forearm for the pin. I enjoyed that; Lee put up a decent fight but Tankman is just a beast.
5. Mance Warner defeated Steph De Lander in an intergender match at 11:56. A bit surprised to see Warner here and not in the ultraviolent GCW tournament in New Jersey. Steph got on the mic and belittled the crowd, and she declared she is “the women’s internet champion.” Mance spoke; it is hard to hear them. They sat down in the ring on chairs and opened some beers. Steph didn’t like her Miller Lite. She sprayed a mouthful at him and the ref called for the bell to start the match. She immediately slammed him through a door bridge and hit him with shards from the door.
SDL repeatedly slammed his head onto an open chair. They brawled to the floor and over to the merchandise table. She grabbed a cheese grater — the commentators wondered why one was there! — and she used it on Mance at 3:30. They got back in the ring, and he hit some jabs. She hit a Mafia Kick on him as he held a chair. SDL chokeslammed him across an open chair and she got a nearfall at 5:00. Mance hit a second-rope superplex through a door bridge for a nearfall at 7:00.
Mance hit a running knee to the jaw for a nearfall. Mance got back on the mic; the match just stopped as he spoke but I found it inaudible. However, he dropped to a knee and the crowd popped! He handed her a beer. They both sipped from it. She went in for a kiss; he gave her an eyepoke, rolled her up, and scored the pin. Really cheesy humor that somehow worked.
* Levi Everett, Frank the Clown, the Naturday Saints and Alice Crowley hit the ring. I find Frank highly annoying. Frank said Levi is “the uncrowned champ” and he wondered who would take him on. Dan the Dad emerged from the back, coffee cup in hand. He got in the ring, but all the heels beat him up. Several guys hit the ring to make the save, and the ref called for the bell!!!!
6. Dan the Dad, Victor Analog, Ryan Clancy, and Trik Williams defeated Levi Everett, Alice Crowley, and The “Naturday Saints” Adam Slade and Bradley Prescott (w/Frank the Clown) via disqualification at 7:42. Once the match settled down and got going, Levi (the Amish farmer) hit some snap suplexes on Victor. Trik hit a German Suplex on Levi for a nearfall at 4:30. Alice hit a high back suplex on Trik. The NDS took Dan’s coffee mug; one accidentally splashed it on the other. The babyfaces began working over Levi. The heels hit simultaneous low blows. The ref got tossed to the floor (leading to the DQ!) and the heels put the boots to Dan in the ring. Calvin Tankman hit the ring and chased off the heels.
7. Trevor Outlaw defeated Matt Brannigan at 9:16. Outlaw, who looks like a cross between Marty Scurll and Josh Woods, has been on a losing streak. Brannigan is the Lenny Lane clone with a great physique. The ref confiscated a weapon from Outlaw before the bell. They took turns playing to the crowd and it took 2:00 before they finally locked up. They brawled out of the ring, over to the merchandise tables, but this was all very cartoonish. They got back in the ring, where Brannigan chopped him on the butt at 6:00 as Outlaw was stuck in the corner. Again, all very cartoonish. We had titty-twister spots that included the referee. A Black man pulled the ref from the ring. Outlaw hit a low blow uppercut and made the cover for the cheap pin. Blah.
8. Kevin Ku defeated Mike Bailey at 13:46. Bailey of course just returned from a three-week stint in New Japan Pro Wrestling where he went 7-3 in singles matches, losing in the semifinals of the BoSJ tournament. Ku is so deceptively big, and he’s taller and thicker than Bailey. An intense lockup to begin. Ku hit a kneelift that sent Bailey to the floor at 2:00. Ku followed and they brawled on the floor. In the ring, Bailey hit a top-rope missile dropkick. Bailey nailed a Helluva Kick in the corner at 5:00, then a Vader Bomb-style kneedrop to the chest.
Ku nailed a Tiger Suplex for a nearfall at 7:00. Bailey went for his running Shooting Star Press, but Ku caught him and applied a Triangle Choke, then an anklelock. Ku hit a running sit-out powerbomb for a nearfall. They began trading stiff forearm shots. Bailey hit his Speedball kicks to the ribs at 10:00. He set up for the Tornado Kick in the corner, but Ku caught the foot and again applied the anklelock. Bailey nailed the Triangle Moonsault to the floor.
Bailey missed the Ultima Weapon, but he applied a cross-armbreaker on the mat. He hit a mid-ring moonsault kneedrop at 12:30. Bailey nailed the Ultima Weapon moonsault kneedrop for a nearfall. Ku fired back with a half-nelson suplex, then a running kick. Bailey charged at Ku, but Ku caught him and hit a fisherman’s buster for the pin. Very good match, and easily best of the show so far. They shook hands after the match.
9. “The Bang Bros” Davey Bang and August Matthews defeated “The Miracle Generation” Kylon King and Dustin Waller to retain the Black Label Pro Tag Team Titles at 14:43. These teams have met twice before, each winning once. TMG are the rising stars in the Northeast. Waller wears a bandana and he always reminds me of a young Trent Beretta. King, a Black man, has short curly hair. Bang and Waller started and shook hands. Matthews and King entered at 2:00 and traded some quicker moves, ending in a standoff. Bang hit a slingshot senton on King, and TBB worked Waller over in their corner.
TMG began working over August Matthews. Bang made the hot tag and hit a series of kicks on Waller at 7:00. TMG hit a team flip slam on Bang for a nearfall. TBB went for their Ride the Bus team spear, but TMG hit superkicks to block it. Bang hit a Canadian Destroyer. Bang and Waller traded blows while on their knees at 10:00. All four fought in the ring. TMG accidentally collided. Bang hit a moonsault to the floor as August leapt through the ropes onto an opponent.
TBB hit a team flip slam for a nearfall at 12:00. Waller hit a springboard crossbody block. King nailed a springboard moonsault to the floor on both Bang Bros. In the ring, Waller hit a 450, and King nailed a moonsault for a believable nearfall at 13:30. TBB hit the Ride the Bus team spear! TBB hit stereo top-rope 450 Splashes for double pins. That was as good as I hoped.
10. Miyu Yamashita defeated Rachel Armstrong at 11:05. Armstrong is a young, short Black woman; she wears braces on her teeth which makes her look even younger. Miyu got a nice ovation. They shook hands. Miyu hit a stiff kick to the spine at 2:30 and a gutbuster over her knee, and she took control. She applied a Vendival head submission hold, but Rachel reached the ropes at 4:30. Miyu hit more stiff kicks to the spine and chest.
Rachel nailed a dive through the ropes at 7:00. Back in the ring, Rachel applied an Octopus stretch, but Miyu powered out. They began trading loud chops at 9:00. Rachel hit a Pounce-style forearm, then a standing neckbreaker for a nearfall. Miyu hit a glancing Helluva Kick in the corner. She put Rachel on her shoulders and hit a modified F5. Miyu then nailed the Skull Kick/spinning kick for the clean pin. Good match although the winner was never in doubt.
11. Cole Radrick defeated Billie Starkz to retain the BLP Title at 8:22. Radrick is the dorky James Ellsworth-looking guy, who is inexplicably popular. The first time I saw Billie more than a year ago, it was against Radrick. I mentioned this last week, but her hair is purple and she looks a lot like Tegan Nox or Candace LeRae. She attacked at the bell and she hit some spin kicks. He dove through the ropes onto her at 1:30. In the ring, she hit a Lungblower move to the chin, then some running kicks in the corner. She hit some spine kicks and was in charge.
Starks hit a Rollins-style Stomp to the head at 4:30, and the crowd was cheering for her (even though she’s the heel.) She unloaded a series of forearms and chops in the corner as he was basically defenseless. She hit a neckbreaker over her knee for a nearfall. Radrick finally fired back with some punches and a Blue Thunder Bomb for a nearfall at 7:00. He went for a 619 but she avoided it, and she hit a German Suplex, then a Gory Bomb. He hit a springboard stunner, then an Air Raid Crash for the pin. The commentators expected her to kick out there.
Final Thoughts: A solid show. Bailey-Ku was far and away the best match of the night. I’ll go with Bang Bros-Miracle Generation for second place, and the strong Miyu-Rachel match for third. Rachel is still green and there was no doubt that Miyu was winning, but they put together a good match.
While I am not a fan of intergender matches, I’ll gladly acknowledge if the match is compelling. Unfortunately, the main event here was far too short and came in lower-than-expectations. Not a bad match, but it certainly didn’t feel like the main event, and was certainly not better than the top three I mentioned above. This show aired on Fite+.