Adventures In Wrestling

Adventures In Wrestling
Date: April 5, 2019
Location: White Eagle Hall, Jersey City, New Jersey
Commentator: Sarah Shockey, Drew Cordero

This is from Black Label Pro, which I’ve heard of in name only. We’re still in Wrestlemania weekend and that means that, as usual, I have no idea what to expect here. This is one of the rare shows where I’ve heard very few good things about the event. For the show to be considered that bad, I’m almost scared of what is going to happen here. Let’s get to it.

Ring announcer Stepstool Sarah (who was on the Independent Wrestling Family Reunion show) welcomes us to the show and introduces the first match.

Black Label Pro Title: Ethan Page vs. Kobe Durst

Page is defending and comes out first, demanding that Durst get out here right now. Durst comes in from behind and smashes Page with a chair as I guess this is No DQ. Page gets knocked to the floor and a kick to the face makes it even worse. The announcer does let us know that it’s a street fight, which really could have been said before the introductions. A chair shot knocks Durst backwards and Page loads up the chair in the corner. They slug it out on the floor until Durst gets thrown head first into the chair for a knockdown.

The chair is wrapped around Durst’s throat and gets sent into the post as they haven’t been in the ring yet. As the announcers give us the first bit of backstory (Durst has recently gone heel, though Page is heelish as well), Durst comes back with a chair shot of his own and sends Page into the post to even the score. Durst throws a trashcan (full of weapons) and they actually get inside over four minutes into the match.

We get an OLD CHAMP/NEW CHAMP dueling chant as Durst gets caught on top with a super fall away slam which nearly saw him land on his head. With that near death experience out of the way, Durst is fine enough to kick out at two. A jumping Fameasser gives Durst two but Page is right back with a superkick into a toss powerbomb onto a trashcan. That’s only good for two as Durst’s goons come in to lay out Page but Durst gives one of them a top rope Codebreaker by mistake. How you can conceivably give someone a move like a TOP ROPE CODEBREAKER by mistake isn’t clear.

Page is back up and throws Durst onto his goons but Durst is right back in with a top rope seated senton onto Page onto a chair for a huge crash. There’s a table bridged between a pair of chairs but Page super jackknifes him through said table for the big crash. Page goes for a chair but Durst winds up wrapping it around his head for a Codebreaker. A piledriver onto a chair gives Durst the pin and the title at 15:07.

Rating: C+. This worked, though they could have gone with a lot more backstory. We got bits and pieces here and there but I needed a lot more than just “well they used to be friends but WHAT A CHAIR SHOT!” It could have been a lot worse though and I could piece the story together well enough. Couple that with some action and they had a nice enough opener.

Page chases Durst to the back.

Independent Wrestling TV Title: Orange Cassidy vs. Bryan Alvarez

Bryan is challenging and yes it’s THAT Bryan Alvarez, of F4WOnline fame. Cassidy is a rather heavy favorite and starts with his signature hands in his pockets pose. The no effort shoulder freaks the fans out and Cassidy kicks him away and does it again. Alvarez tries to run the ropes so Cassidy crawls through his legs. Apparently not having watched any shows this weekend, Alvarez goes for a waistlock so Cassidy dances out and nips up (on the second attempt).

To mix things up a bit, Alvarez pulls out some tapes and wraps Cassidy up to keep the hands in the pockets. With Cassidy stuck, Alvarez STEALS THE GLASSES and puts them on, which allows the chops to knock Cassidy down. They head outside with more chops having Cassidy in trouble. Back in and Alvarez breaks the glasses, freaking commentary out and making Cassidy Hulk Up. The tape comes off and Cassidy hits a Michinoku Driver for two. It’s time for some juice but Alvarez kicks it into his face and goes up…but here’s Marko Stunt. Or at least his music, allowing Cassidy to grab a rollup and retain at 9:59.

Rating: D+. I’m just kind of over Cassidy at this point, having seen nearly half a dozen matches from him over the weekend. They’re all very similar and after so many of them in a few days, they become rather repetitive and lose their charm. It wasn’t a bad match for comedy stuff, but that’s about all it had going.

Sadkampf vs. Manny Fernandez/Tank

Sadkampf is Dominic Garrini and Kevin Ku and Fernandez was a star in JCP back in the mid to late 1980s (and elsewhere). I always liked the guy and he was a big reason why I wanted to see this show. Before the match, Fernandez pays a quick tribute to Vickie Funk and says that without the fans, the wrestlers are nothing. Tank, a rather big guy, goes straight to what looks like a fork to stab Ku in the head. Fernandez slams Garrini as Ku gets a fork between the legs.

There’s a bite to Garrini’s feet as I don’t think we’re going to be having any regular wrestling. Tank headbutts his partner to fire him up and it’s time for some barbecue skewers, sending Sadkampf running into the crowd. Fernandez gets posted and it’s Garrini bringing in some chairs to blast Tank. That’s broken up by a horrible chair shot from Fernandez and it’s time to sit in the chairs and hit each other in the face. The barbecue skewers start drawing blood and Tank hits some assisted splashes in the corner. Fernandez gets sent to the floor in a hurry though and a small package pins Tank at 7:20.

Rating: F. Oh…no, in every sense of the word. This was terrible with Fernandez looking like he was dragged out of storage with Tank being a huge guy with little more than freak show hardcore appeal. Sadkampf was more sad than kampf and the ending looked terrible. Easily the worst thing I’ve seen this weekend that was actually wrestling.

Post match Tank and Fernandez cleans house with the chairs.

Nick Gage vs. Swoggle

Oh geez is going to get worse. Swoggle goes straight for two chairs and sits in the middle for a slugout with Gage. After Swoggle gets the better of it, Gage takes him down with a spinebuster. They head outside with Gage being thrown into the chairs and a dive off the second level drops him again. Back in and Gage hits him with a chair, setting up the Vader Bomb elbow for two.

The Facewash in the corner keeps Swoggle down but here’s DB Smooth to give Gage a cutter onto the chair. Six straight superkicks give Swoggle two but here’s Marcus Crane (these are just people, as we’re not told anything about them) to throw fire at Smooth. Gage throws Swoggle into a chair in the corner…to no effect. Swoggle’s German suplex is no sold and it’s a chokebreaker into a piledriver. That’s no sold as well so Gage does it again, this time for the pin at 7:11.

Rating: D-. Gage isn’t a wrestler and Swoggle was doing everything he could. There isn’t much of a need to have two run-ins in a seven minute match but then again there’s little need for this other than freak show appeal. I know I’m not the right audience, but I like Swoggle and they kept it….timely. Just get rid of Gage.

Post match Gage praises Swoggle and promises to get in a deathmatch by the end of the weekend. Swoggle thanks Gage for proving to the marks that he can still do this.

Brian Zane of Wrestling With Wregret (which I somehow just started watching) is here to host the battle royal. He’s loudly booed out of the ring but manages to say that the winner will be the Wrestling With Wregret Internet Champion. Oh and they get a million dollars.

Wrestling With Wregret Internet Title: Battle Royal

Allie Kat, Aspyn Rose, Boomer Hatfield, Cabana Man Dan, Danhausen, Danny Adams, Derek Direction, Dr. Daniel C. Rockingham, Eddy Only, Frisco Flame, Jay Freddie, Kody Lane, Levi Shapiro, Maria Manic, Marino Tenaglia, Matt Knicks, O’Shay Edwards, Perry Von Vicious, Philly Collins, Steph De Lander, White Mike, Yuu

Shapiro is defending and it’s just a bunch of names with nothing more than an individual entrance. Danhausen throws someone out almost immediately and it’s Yuu out next. Commentary is the only thing I can go for here as these people aren’t named other than when they’re being eliminated. A few unnamed people are tossed and a woman with very yellow hair starts Stunning a line of also unnamed entrants.

The huge Edwards no sells a few until a third sends him into the corner but Manic (a rather angry looking woman) isn’t having any of this. Danhausen goes up top for no apparent reason, allowing Edwards to dump him, Direction and Only. Rockingham is thrown out but comes back in to offer tickets to Edwards and Manic. That means a double toss, followed by a slugout between Manic and Edwards. Maria gets rid of him and someone else, but someone (NAME THESE PEOPLE) eliminates Hatfield.

Cabana Man Dan beats on people with his flip flops before being tossed as well. More eliminations follow and it’s Maria and Steph beating on Allie in the corner. That partnership lasts as long as any partnership and it’s Maria tossing her after a shoulder. We’re down to Allie, Maria and Shapiro, who is out in a hurry. Maria pulls out and loses a knife but jumps over the top for a dropkick….and misses completely to eliminate herself and give Allie the win at 10:37. Oh hang on though as Adams runs back in, tries an elimination, and gets piledriven on the apron to give Allie the real win at 11:46.

Rating: F. You know, I’m struggling to come up with a show that just died so hard in the middle like this. The opener was passable, the second match was good enough if you haven’t seen Cassidy all weekend and then….my goodness. I don’t know who was in this match and I have no reason to care, but hey, Allie won and gets to pose with someone the fans hate despite being a face. Egads it could actually get worse too.

Post match Zane gives her the title and a huge check before they both leave so we can move on.

Kurt Stallion/AJ Gray/Gary Jay vs. Jake Parnell/Chris Dickinson/Rory Gulak

Parnell is Indiana State Champion….but hang on as Rory wants to make it an eight man tag.

Kurt Stallion/AJ Gray/Gary Jay/CW Anderson vs. Jake Parnell/Chris Dickinson/Rory Gulak/Daniel Makabe

Good thing Stallion and company had a friend ready. Makabe’s shoulder has no effect on Anderson to start so CW slaps him in the face. It’s off to Dickinson vs. Stallion for some technical stuff until a headbutt knocks both of them down. Jay comes in to chop Dickinson, who is right back with a Death Valley Driver as they’re getting in as much as they can as fast as they can. Parnell comes in to chop at Jay (archenemy) and it’s Gulak (Drew’s brother) coming in for a chinlock.

Jay gets taken into the corner and Dickinson puts Rory on his shoulders, setting up a big elbow drop. Jay jawbreaks his way out of Makabe’s chinlock and it’s Gray coming in to clean house with clotheslines. Parnell gets catapulted into Anderson’s superkick as everything breaks down. That means the parade of strikes and suplexes until Anderson hits his spinebuster. Gray lariats the heck out of Parnell for the pin at 7:10.

Rating: D+. This was the best match in a long time on the show but it’s another case of having so many people involved that no one got to stand out and it didn’t work. There wasn’t much of a reason to make this an eight man tag, other than getting an ECW name in there. Just too rushed and cluttered to work, but that’s been the case all show.

Jordynne Grace/Kylie Rae/Nicole Savoy/Samantha Heights/Solo Darling vs. Charli Evans/Indi Hartwell/Jessica Troy/Shazza McKenzie/Zoe Lucas

They’re kidding right? This is USA vs. the World, which is the most original idea they could come up with. Troy and Darling start things off (I think, as the announcers are talking about other matches over the weekend) with Troy getting caught in a half crab on the mat. Darling reverses into something like a Tequila Sunrise. That’s reversed into an exchange of leg pulls, with the other eight coming in to make it a huge tug of war.

Savoy and Hartwell come in with Hartwell getting caught in an ankle lock, sending her over to Shazza for a save. Jordynne comes in as well for a captain vs. captain showdown (because this match needs captains). Grace gets caught in an early La Majistral for two and it’s a pinfall reversal sequence into a standoff.

They shake hands and it’s off to Rae, who is similar to Bayley’s original NXT gimmick (and downright adorable). A chin and facebreaker get rid of Rae and Evans comes in to take over on Rae in the corner. Grace breaks up a cover but it just allows Rae to get beaten down even more.

The Aussies take turns whipping each other into Rae in the corner but a bunch of forearms get her out of trouble, setting up the hot tag to Grace to clean house with raw power. Savoy and Heights hit stereo dives and Rae adds a trust fall, leaving Grace to dive onto everyone. Back in and it’s another parade of I’m assuming finishers, including the Grace Driver to finish Lucas at 11:42.

Rating: D+. This is a joke right? As has been the case with most of the matches tonight: no story, no psychology, barely anything differentiating the wrestlers. This is a bunch of people doing moves to each other until one of them gets a fall. I’m getting sick of this nonsense and I don’t see things getting any better.

Tag Team Titles: Space Pirates vs. Besties In The World vs. Robbie Eagles/Sammy Guevara

The Pirates (Space Monkey/Shane Sabre) are defending and this was billed as a four way during the entrances. It’s a brawl to start with Monkey pulling at the Besties’ (Davey Vega and Mat Fitchett) hair. Sammy and Eagles make the save and clean house until we hit a hanging DDT with a triple reverse DDT with a Salida Del Sol, because MULTI MAN MATCH!

A series of springboard shots to the head sets up Sabre backdropping Monkey for a cutter onto Eagles for two (cool spot) with Sammy making the save. Sammy’s Burning Hammer into a cutter gets two on Sabre with the Besties diving in to break it up. A toss cutter gives the Besties two but it’s a kneeling belly to back piledriver with a tail whip (exactly what it sounds like) to give Eagles the pin on Fitchett at 5:35.

Rating: C-. Another match with a bunch of people thrown together with everyone hitting a series of moves until there was a pin. I didn’t bother looking up the Besties’ names because it’s not like they made a difference. The other teams’ names didn’t either as I knew them in the first place. This show has gone off a cliff and this was the same problem all over again.

Jonathan Gresham vs. Shigehiro Irie

Irie is a hard hitting guy from Japan who has been around all weekend. Gresham gets in and Irie jumps him at the bell, setting up a seated senton for an early two. Back up and Irie gets knocked to the floor but he’s fine enough to pull Gresham outside and send him into the barricade for rather limited impact.

Back in and Gresham wins a slugout, setting up a running basement dropkick in the corner. The sleeper doesn’t work and Irie gets two off a swinging Boss Man Slam. Irie’s top rope splash gets two but Gresham is right back with a hurricanrana for two of his own. The sleeper is broken up again and this time Irie hits a Cannonball in the corner. A standing Lionsault makes Irie roll to the floor, allowing Gresham to hit the running flip dive.

The Shooting Star gets two back inside and it’s time to trade forearms again. Gresham hits a pair of sliding lariats but a running backbreaker gives Irie two of his own. Another dive to the floor has Irie in trouble and Gresham grabs the sleeper outside. The hold stays on as they roll back inside with Irie passing out to give Gresham the win at 8:00.

Rating: B-. This wasn’t great but egads it was a breath of fresh air after everything that I’ve had to sit through in the last hour and a half. Gresham is one of the best technical guys in the world right now and Irie is someone who is likely going to get a regular job out of this weekend after his very solid performances. Good main event, which was exactly what the show needed.

Overall Rating: D. Oh yeah I get the negative reception. The wrestling was watchable enough but they felt like they were trying to cram in every single thing that they could, which just didn’t work. There’s no blow away match here and ending with a random match instead of the title match (Page was likely booked elsewhere so it makes sense) didn’t help. This was easily the worst show I’ve seen this weekend from a structure standpoint and packing everything together was the fatal downfall.

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