Black Label Pro presents: Slamilton


Black Label Pro Presents: Slamilton
Streamed Live From IWTV.Live 
Live from RDS Gym, Crown Point, Indiana
November 16th, 2019
By Dennis DuBay


If you are a frequent viewer of IWTV then you’ve heard the theme song to BLP’s Slamilton a few dozen times and have fallen completely in love with it in return. The lovely Sarah Shockey single handedly hooked me and then BLP put together a can’t miss card Saturday night. BLP is right there in the thick of the independent wrestling scene, shoulder to shoulder with companies like Beyond Wrestling, Game Changers, and Pro Wrestling Guerrilla, just to name a few of the industry leaders.

Sometimes I don’t feel like I honor these athletes as much as I should in these reviews - there’s so much to cover with a four hour show, and I try to pick out the highlights or key narratives of each show - but I’m sure I fail to do so successfully. That’s why I push you to sign up for IWTV, watch these shows for yourself - then read these columns and let’s start a conversation about what we’ve watched.

One big conversation right now is the future of Tom Lawlor when it comes to professional wrestling. Earlier in the week, Major League Wrestling's Court Bauer stated that Lawlor had fulfilled his commitments with MLW - and after tonight’s match, Lawlor’s future becomes even murkier. 

“I don’t have any details,” (in regards to Lawlor’s future) BLP Owner Mikey Blanton told me. “I didn’t know,” regarding Lawlor’s actions at the end of the night.  One thing is for sure, the show didn’t go completely as it was booked. Injuries forced Blanton to use some creativity during the show. When asked how far in advance does a show like this get booked, Blanton stated: “A few months,”. It has to be both creatively upsetting but fulfilling at the same time to see the card altered but not skip a beat.

I was also intrigued by the twitter pop-up’s and he gave full credit to IWTV employee, Paul, for throwing that feature in.  

Match One: BLP Tag Team Championship Match: Blood Diamonds (Champions) v. Ethan Page, Swoggle & Danhausen

Match was supposed to be a handicap match between Page and Tre’ LaMar  & Jake Lander. Lander got on the mic and said Blood Diamond is actually a trios team and that Joshua Bishop is NOW IN THIS MATCH. Daunting odds for Page, indeed. But he scoffed at the idea, stating LaMar & Lander were but half a man. Then brought out his own half man, Swoggle. Later in the match Danhausen appeared from under the ring and we had a Tequila Dance off. Danhausen, Swoggle & Page hit Bishop with a triple team choke slam to take the belts. And on the 16th of November Two And A Half Menhausen were born.

Match Two: Brett Ison v. Tom Lawlor 

In my theory, the only intro song wrestler combo that is better than Orange Cassidy’s “Jane” by Jefferson Starship is Tom Lawlor’s. When Seal’s “”Kiss from a rose” hit’s the speakers, you know what it means for the opponent in the ring. Shit is about to get FILTHY. Now, I know you’re thinking .. Lawlor doesn’t use this song every time. Well fuck you, I like it and wanted to mention it because how many more times in my life can i say I like “Kiss by a rose” without being judged?

This match was physical, duh. Lawlor came out and the two men did everything they could to destroy each other - At one time, Ison punched Lawlor so hard in the face that I had to lay down for five minutes. 

And while this match was terrific, the end made me a little somber. After Lawlor defeated Ison, the fans chanted his name and Lawlor left his shoes in the middle of the ring -  a sign that we’ll never get another kiss from a rose.

Match Three: Space Monkey & Shane Sabre v. No New Friends 

No New Friends are a really weird cosplay of the Hart Foundation - don’t @ me. I have spoken. Sorry, I’ve been watching Disney + new show “The Mandalorian”. Shit is good. Shane Sabre is the cross contamination of Seth Rollins & Sean Ross Sapp. Don’t @ me. I ha.. ugh …. Sorry.

Dan The Dad is laying out some rules for this match. We get some handshakes and this match is on. Pretty entertaining match. Space Monkey getting some food off Dan The Dad’s hair was something I didn’t think about before and don’t want to think about now. My two-year old laughed at it though. Yeah, i watch BLP with my two-year old She’s very sophisticated, okay? 

Here’s one thing, Dan really shouldn’t wrestle with his glasses on if he’s trying to portray a role model. The NEW NEW Hart Foundation picks up the win. 

Match Four: Ren Narita v. Isaias Valazquez

Narita is on excursion from NJPW - if you aren’t familiar with what an excursion is, basically, after two or three years (I can’t remember the actual time period) after a wrestler in New Japan debuts as a Young Lion, they are sent abroad (to either the USA, Mexico, or Europe) for more seasoning. I’m not sure what the average time length of an excursion is, but I looked up the longest current excursion is 3 + years, as Hirai Kawato has been in Mexico since 2016, this is the last step before Narita will shed the Young Lion moniker and graduate.

I’m not super familiar with Valazquez - solid body, a bit small compared to Narita. You can tell this is going to be a fun technical match up from the start - a nice palate cleanser from the previously hard hitting matches.  Valazquez is quick. A nice air game too. You know a thought came to me while watching this match - would an excursion for Narita be official if he doesn’t end up in Beyond Wrestling or Game Changer fighting Nick Gage? And I say fighting, because .. well, you know.

Narita is so smooth … his suplexes fluid in functionality and his pacing and composure in the ring is veteran like. Showed a mean streak within this match too, on his way to victory. 

Match Five: Kylie Rae v. Billie Starkz 

The opening montage was pretty great. I’ve never seen Hamilton - so this may have been a spoof of it, I’m unsure. If it is, cool. If it isn’t … either way, I enjoyed this little build up to the match regardless.

How are we supposed to feel about Rae - we are no longer rooting for the underdog to get to the top. She’s been there. She left it. Is she now the official ambassador of independent wrestling then? Are we just ignoring the past altogether and just watching for the singular, solo act of the moment? On the other side of the ring, Starkz is where Rae once stood. Full of talent, seeking the moment of reaching her dream.  There is no doubting one thing: Rae is a bigger fan favorite now then before she left. We started the match with a dance off, which is ironic as my two-year old wanted to have a dance dance party in the middle of me writing this review.

Fun little match - you could tell both women really were having fun in there - with the dance party and then the finger biting, but in the middle of all the fun they sold us a very well told story of a young upstart who idolizes her opponent to the point she wants to destroy her - and tonight, for Starkz, that final chapter was not written. Rae comes out victorious, but I don’t think we’ve seen the last of these two in the ring together.

Match Six: Logan James v. Stephan Bonnar

It’s always interesting to see how a MMA fighter adapts to the similar but at the same time vastly different culture of professional wrestling. How will the fans react to you - how do you adapt to the rings and bumping, there’s a plethora of factors that will affect the long term outcome of a career.

That being said, I was really looking forward to seeing Bonnar in a wrestling ring. James gave me the douche chills from the get go, I won't lie about that. And in that moment, I hoped Bonnar would kill James. 

And he didn’t disappoint me. I really liked the warm up laps from Bonnar. Cool “character” development. I’m about finding similarities among other wrestlers, whether it be movements, moveset, looks, etc. Bonnar reminds me look wise like Pau Orndorff - So I kept flashing back to the 80’s and imagining Orndorff with a MMA type persona tapping Hogan out for the WWF belt.  Bonnar over matched James from the start on his way to victory. A genuine, heartfelt promo at the end of the match from Bonnar. 

Intermission

Josh Alexander comes out from intermission and announces that he is not able to wrestle tonight. Tells the fans he injured his bicep last night - bringing Kobe Durst out to ringside. Durst offers his hand, but Alexander denies the offer. Durst cuts a promo - claims to be a fan of Alexander. Goes on to tell Alexander that he couldn’t beat him for the title. They fight over the mic, Alexander throws it down on the mat and squares up with him. Slaps Durst, who superkicks him for his actions. A brawl ensues. Hit Erick Stevens music …. And then we have ...

Match Seven: BLP Championship Title Match - Kobe Durst (Champion) v. Erick Stevens

And then we have a new champion in a very short, completely shocking upset. Fans were stunned at ringside. My question … how does Blake Christian feel while watching this in the locker room. Ouch! 

Match Eight: Air Wolf v. Blake Christian 

Part of the romance of indie wrestling, I suppose - is having to change up the card in the middle of a show. A booker’s job is never done! Personally, if I’m Christian, I'm pissed! I’m seeking out some legal counsel and getting my title shot back immediately. A really good match between the two - Didn’t seem like either slowed down from the time the bell rang till the ref gave the three count. Christian comes out on top in a night filled with what-ifs, for him.

Match Nine: BLP Mid-West Championship Match: AJ Gray (Champion) v. Gary Jay 

I’ve made it clear how I feel about Gary Jay this week. I’m a big fan. He’s just got this natural badass believability to his work that I’m a big fan of. You could pluck him from the indies and throw him in a Wyatt Family type group and never skip a beat. And I've really gotten to enjoy AJ Gray a lot over the course of the last few months. So I’ve been waiting for this war of Gray versus Jay since it was announced. Gray is a man. A bad mother fucking man. Educate me, readers .. does Jay have a MMA background? He just seems like he’s coming from a MMA background at times. Both men punished the other in this one. For every move Jay threw at Gray, Gray seemed to have a counter - neither man straight up dominated this match and I feel like the awkward nuances of Jay kept Gray from fully getting comfortable - but in the end, the champions spirit overwhelmed Jay, helping Gray retain his Mid-West Championship title. 

Match Ten: Jake Something v. Jake Atlas 

For those of you in the room who haven’t seen Jake Something … This is a beast of a man. And it doesn’t matter if you know his last name - because he’s going to knock the shit out of you so badly you won’t remember it anyways. Atlas is one of the good guys in professional wrestling - and you root for him whenever he’s on show, but the odds look bleak heading into this one.

Atlas starts off controlling the match with fast movement and faster strikes but it doesn’t take Something to start to control the match with primitive power and ruthless aggression. There were flashes of hope for Atlas, the charisma and the heart ever present, but the sheer power of Something was just too much for Atlas to overcome. 

Match Eleven: IWTV Independent Wrestling Championship - WARHORSE (champion) v. Tony Deppen

If you polled wrestling fans who follow the indie scene in regards to whom the fast rising star on the fucking planet is, WARHORSE and Deppen would be in the top five. Danhausen would be there, as would Kris Statlander, just to name a few possibilities. 

Deppen can go. And tonight he went. I’m not convinced that WARHORSE isn’t Johnny Depp back from the future or the past or however that works. All I know is he’s an explosion of energy, never stopping. These guys gave the fans a match. Hell, Deppen somehow was wearing WARHORSE’S coat and getting his ass handed to him at the same time. I’m still not sure how he got the vest but here we are.

The only thing that can slow WAR down is a bad knee - and Deppen smelled that blood like a shark, focusing solely on crippling the leg of WAR.WARHORSE showed his resolve pushing through the knee troubles and dug down deep into his bag of tricks to hold onto his IWTV title. 

Match Twelve: MAIN EVENT - The Work Horseman v. Violence is Forever - 30 MINUTE IRON MAN MATCH 

Listen … this match was crazy from the start; and this review would end up being 5,000 words, so i’m going just tell you that this main event kicked ass, that I've never seen this many falls in a 30 minute match and that you’d be better off served by heading over to IWTV.live, use promo code: BLACKLABEL and watch the damn thing. 


Final Thoughts on the Show: Just another fun independent wrestling show, that changed halfway through the card. I kick myself for not falling in love with indy wrestling sooner. I missed so many great matches - Yeah, I know I can relive the moments of past shows, but there’s something so tribal, so beautiful about joining other fans on twitter as the show moves on from on crazy moment to the next. Which leads me to mention BLP’s really cool feature on this show. Live tweets from fans popped up on the screen every so often. In fact, I'm going to have to rewatch to see if any of my amazing comments made air. 

Oh, and thank you Tom. 



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