Crown Point, Indiana is home to an exciting new wrestling promotion called Black Label Pro. BLP’s first few shows may have flown under your radar, but the card for BLP Jam on July 14th featured a couple of names that were impossible to ignore. Rock ‘n’ Roll Express, the legendary WWE Hall of Fame inductees and seven-time NWA World Tag Team champions were in the building to take on “Filthy” Tom Lawlor and none other than Wrestling Observer’s own Bryan Alvarez.
In the main event, BLP champion Jordynne Grace had her first title defense against “All Ego” Ethan Page. We also saw a showdown between animals as Stardom regular Kris Wolf went snout-to-snout with Allie Kat. These and all the other showdowns in Crown Point were streamed live and to our eyeballs by the great folks at Powerbomb TV! Let’s take a deeper look into what went down this past Saturday, and which parts are worth your time!
Texas Tornado Tag Match: Mance Warner & AJ Gary defeated #NoNewFriends (Kevin Lee Davidson & Danny Adams)
BLP Jam began abruptly with these two tag teams beating each other up outside the ring and in the crowd before any formal introductions were made. The commentary team of Dave Prazak and Kevin Harvey do a good job of getting viewers up to speed. From the looks of it, there was one cameraperson responsible for capturing all the action, but they did their best. This was more of a messy street fight than a wrestling match. At one point a Dominos Pizza box was used as a weapon. Not much happened once the competitors moved to the ring. Gary pinned Adams following an Elevated Powerbomb. Afterwards, Mike Outlaw came out in a #NoNewFriends shirt and started assisting KLD and Adams in carrying out an assault on the victors. It would seem they have a new friend. I imagine this was more fulfilling to the crowd in attendance.
Jeremy Wyatt defeated Pat Monix
This is where the show officially gets underway, complete with ring announcing and lower third chyrons. Kansas City’s own Jeremy Wyatt faced off against the fresh-faced young Chicago wrestler Pat Monix. The crowd in Crown Point embraced Monix, but the more experienced Wyatt attacked him from behind during said embrace. These two put on a safe, solid match with little spectacle. Monix was fun to watch, and I plan to keep an eye on his career going forward. Wyatt won by pinfall while grabbing a handful of Pat’s tights. Naturally the ref was unable to see it. Wyatt walked out to booming jeers from the crowd!
General Order 24 (Markus Crane & Eric Ryan) defeated Space Pirates (Space Monkey & Shane Sabre)
Space Monkey munched on a banana in the corner as Eric Ryan and Shane Sabre started things off. Ryan slipped on the peel left behind, which set the tone of the match for me. GO24 spent a big chunk of this bout isolating and abusing Space Monkey. Markus Crane choked him with a belt and at one point even bit his tail. Poor thing. Once Monkey got the tag and Sabre re-entered, the pace picked up slightly, but the finish was goofy. Space Monkey’s vision was messed up by a shot to the face from Ryan, which caused him to knock his own partner out with his tail. This was a short, ultimately skippable comedy match.
“War Horse” Jake Parnell defeated Fred Yehi
In the first great showing of the night, “War Horse” Jake Parnell took a great deal of punishment from Fred Yehi. It felt like there was a genuine tension between these two as they mouthed-off and taunted each other, and Yehi didn’t hold back one bit with the stiff chops and forearms. Outside the ring things would get even nastier. Parnell sent Yehi flying into some empty chairs with a back body drop over the barricade. Shortly after, Yehi draped “War Horse” over the barricade and nailed him with a double stomp to the back from the apron. The crowd seemed to wake up a lot during this match, and commentary did a great job of selling how important a victory over Yehi could be for Parnell. Parnell earned the victory with a double stomp to Yehi’s back from the top rope. This was an aggressive showcase sprinkled with technical moments and a dash of high flying, a good balance and worth your time to watch.
Allie Kat defeated Kris Wolf
BLP Jam returned to a more comedy-oriented format, which didn’t help the pace set by the Parnell/Yehi match. Kris Wolf and Allie Kat started out by offering each other toys, playing on the animal aspects of their characters. Wolf blessed the Indiana crowd with her Tito gimmick, slipping the prized wolf mask over Kat’s head and putting her in a trance to allow for some hard kicks and a knee to the crotch. A little later, Allie Kat squats down in an empty cardboard box outside the ring. We all know how much cats love empty cardboard boxes! Overall, very little wrestling happened here, and I would’ve liked to see the humorous animal gimmicks played up more. Nonetheless, it’s always cool to see Wolf wrestle in the U.S. Allie Kat secured the victory with a Piledriver.
The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express (Ricky Morton & Robert Gibson) defeated The CHOP ‘n’ Roll Express (“Filthy” Tom Lawlor & Bryan Alvarez)
Bryan Alvarez and Tom Lawlor came out to “California Love,” the audience chanting “CHOP! CHOP! CHOP!” on beat with the song. A big, respectful pop greeted the mat-grizzled Rock ‘N’ Roll Express. I hadn’t seen them perform on any recent independent dates, so I was pleasantly surprised to see how well the aging rockers got along in the squared circle. They had fun, and even got a little dirty. While holding Lawlor in a headlock, Morton asked Alvarez if he reads sign language as he flipped him the middle finger. Besides the obvious comedy aspects of the match there was an underlying meta-humor in either of The Express getting over on a guy with the stature and skillset of “Filthy.” Overall this was a fun, old school tag team battle. It ended with Lawlor and Alvarez accidentally hitting each other with flying chops, allowing Morton to roll Alvarez up for the three count.
Four Corners Tag Team Scramble Match: The Production (Derek Direction & Eddy Only) defeated Scott’s Tot’s (Kevin Ku & Percy Davis) vs Two Tall (Marko Stunt & Jake Lander) vs No Consequences (Tre LaMar & Chase Oliver)
Dave Prazak and Kevin Harvey were quick to inform viewers that they were unaware who any of the guys in this scramble were. This match was under Lucha rules, which made it chaotic as all hell. The camera situation at Black Label Pro, along with the confusion of the commentary duo, made this hard to keep track of. It evens out a little in the back half, becoming a more focused and entertaining fight. Like the opening bout of the night, I assume the crowd in attendance enjoyed this spotfest a lot more than fans at home were able to. The Production took the win on this one, but from my vantage point it appeared like Tre LaMar and Chase Oliver were the MVPs.
Kobe Durst defeated Gary Jay
Both competitors seemed to be going through the motions a little in this match. There were spots where it felt too choreographed. Kobe Durst still shows a lot of promise, I just don’t think the chemistry was there. Durst shoved the ref into the ropes while Jay was up top, causing Jay to fall. Kobe hit his opponent with a Piledriver for the three-count in what was my least favorite singles match on the card.
Jordynne Grace vs “All Ego” Ethan Page (Black Label Pro Championship)
This main event had all the elements of a classic Heavyweight championship match. It doesn’t quite stick the landing, however. There was a cool story being told where Grace was struggling to find the leverage necessary to lift Page. During this process he managed to pull off numerous backbreakers, body slams and Suplexes in an effort to get the gold, but Jordynne kicked out every time. There was a little girl in the crowd going nuts for the champ. The crowd was behind Jordynne, and that energy seemed to keep her up. I mentioned before that this didn’t stick the landing. Grace retained the title by count-out victory after hitting Ethan with three consecutive suicide dives. She won the title by pinning “Filthy” Tom Lawlor after he’d already endured a whole match against Nick Gage. I’m happy she won, but I’m excited to see Grace score a three-count victory in a BLP title defense. As good as this was, I wouldn’t mind seeing a rematch, as I don’t believe the great story had as great of a climax. MATCH OF THE NIGHT!
Overall, BLP Jam was an entertaining show. Considering I watched it for free on Powerbomb TV using BLACKLABEL as a promo code, I’ve got little to complain about. I believe in what BLP is doing, and they definitely have the talent necessary to function and stick out in the independent scene. I do, however, look forward to them building upon what they have and getting more camera people and improving upon the production quality. The lower thirds could use some polishing and maybe inclusions of performers’ hometowns or Twitter accounts. In any case, I’m invested in the product, especially in Jordynne Grace’s reign, and I’ll be tuning back in when BLP lights up Crown Point next time!
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