REVIEW: Black Label Pro – NORM (2022)

A Wrestling Pay-Per-View by BLP

BETTER LATE THAN NEVER!

Yeah, this show happened in late March (oops!), and at the time my goal was to get all of the WrestleMania Weekend GCW shows done pretty quick, but as you can see I’m a tad behind! About the time gas prices started going up I had to slightly slow down on my spending and a TON of wrestling shows was out of the question. Now that GCW has partnered with Fite.TV, I am able to go back and start going through these, and ow you will be subjected to an onslaught of wrestling reviews – you’re welcome!

Perhaps, one of the best things about the GCW Collective Series of pay-per-views that ran during WrestleMania Weekend are that they highlight a lot of smaller companies that may not be as well known to casual viewers but occasionally work with GCW in some capacity. Granted, GCW is not really well-known outside of the hardcore wrestling wheelhouse, but they do collabs with the likes of AEW, so they at least have that notoriety. Black label Pro is one of those companies that I had yet to see a show from prior to today, and honestly, they look pretty good. There are a number of wrestlers that have shown up in various GCW shows but this isn’t just a GCW show by another name in any way. This has its own vibe and style that sets it apart. According to the Internet, the company is based out of Crown Point, Indiana and was formed about five years ago, which explains a lot of the younger competitors.

Black Label Pro: Norm (a tribute to the late Norm McDonald) has a solid mix of relative newcomers to the sport, legends, and indeed darlings that most contemporary wrestling fans would recognize from various appearances on other shows. No matter what my actual thoughts of this show end up being as I finish watching this, this company is definitely one that should be on my radar moving forward. That’s assuming they don’t run 65 pay-per-views a month like GCW does!

For anyone wanting to watch this, I would recommend Fite.TV. you can get some FITE credits (10 dollars I believe) with the following code: “6m6lyyn”. I’m sure there are other ways to watch it, but FITE has a solid interface and has been worth it so far.

The Card:

  • The Barbarian def. Calvin Tankman
  • Billie Starkz def. Shazza McKenzie
  • EFFY def. Charlie Haas
  • Kobe Durst def. Jessica Troy
  • Big Damo def. WARHORSE
  • The Workhorsemen (Anthony Henry and JD Drake) def. Davey Richards and Mike Bailey
  • Four Way Match: Anthony Greene def. Alex Zayne, Blake Christian and Black Taurus
  • Titus Alexander, Kevin Blackwood and Carlos Romo def. Violence Is Forever (Dominic Garrini and Kevin Ku) and Tom Lawlor
  • Dan The Dad’s Past Your Bedtime Scramble: Kody Lane def. Dan The Dad, Devon Monroe, Shane Sabre, Jody Threat and Puf
  • Texas Deathmatch: Levi Everett def. Big Beef

My Thoughts:

As I’ve stated before, my methodology for this is to avoid giving arbitrary star ratings or anything resembling the typical ratings people give in wrestling reviews. I usually go through the show and pull a half-dozen or so things that I thought were significant or that I liked. You might think some of my choices are dumb and that’s okay – we all like different things!

Solid Nostalgia Match:

Being a big WCW guy from back in the day, I was excited to see the show open with a match featuring The Barbarian of The Faces of Fear fame. This was by no means a mat classic, as The Barbarian is 64 years old and basically retired. That said, this was a blast for the fans in attendance, as you could see huge smiles on everyone and somebody even gave him flowers. The best spot was a shot-for-shot slugfest of open hand slaps between Tankman and The Barbarian that spilled into the crowd, pretty soon Tankman had The Barbarian by his arms and was having random fans slap The Barbarian’s chest. Every chop was sold like it was WALTER doing the hits. This is how to use a legend, and even though guys like Cornette would be mad it was “exposing the business”, he can shut up.

Solid Women’s Division:

I’ve seen both Shazza McKenzie and Billie Starkz wrestle before, but this was one of the better bouts from both that I’ve seen (I need to look up more of Shazza’s matches). Billie is pretty new to wrestling, so having her paired up with a tenured veteran did her a lot of good in the ring, as the only way I’ve really seen her wrestle in the past was in random GCW scramble matches. If I’m not mistaken, Starkz is still in high school or just barely graduation age, so this was definitely a great showing. Much like with Nick Wayne, the indys are full of what most would consider wrestling prodigies, and I’m all for it!

WARHORSE Rules Ass, but Damo Rules a Bit More!

I live in Missouri, and it’s a HUGE shame I have yet to go to one of WARHORSE’s home federations over in St. Louis. He’s a local staple over there, but I live a somewhat annoying distance away. That said, I have seen him live a few times when he works Dark matches for AEW, and he always puts on a great show. Damo looked like a total beast in this match, and both guys really put it on the line. In the end,  Damo hit a devastating senton splash and a Vader Bomb for the pin. Good, hard-hitting big-man match.

Man, I Missed Davey Richards:

I know he’s been back for a bit now, wrestling in MLW, NWA, Impact Wrestling and even Ric Flair’s Last match, but I really missed Davey Richards there for a bit. He stepped away in 2017 due to injuries and going back to school, and only recently returned somehow better than before. His absence did a couple of good things, such as help elevate Eddie Edwards to where he stands within the Impact Wrestling roster, and build up the anticipation for whether he would actually come back at all, but he’s always an asset to any match I see him in. Speedball Mike Bailey also looked like a million bucks here – solid match all around.

God, I love this Gimmick:

While I’m certain this only works on the indys, Dan The Dad always makes me laugh no matter what he does. Whether it be the attire featuring jean shorts, New Balance Shoes, or a tucked in polo, or his mannerisms such as a deep sigh as he enters the ring, almost as if he has discovered the thermostat on too high, I always smile when he’s on anything. I am attending a local show this upcoming weekend that I believe he is booked for, and I honestly can’t wait!

Hell of a “Hoss Fight”:

I was worried this would be lightbulb match or something, but it tuned out to just be a big “hoss fight” with two huge meat mountains beating the crap out of each other. No five star match here, but a solid main event for the show.

Conclusion:

This show aired at like 1-3 AM after Night One of WrestleMania, which kind of sapped the energy from the crowd unfortunately. The last three matches have some issues that I really didn’t go into, but one could tell that everyone was tired. That said, it was a solid show overall, and as stated before, it really puts Black Label Pro on my radar. The Richards/Bailey-Workhorsemen match was probably the best match of the night, but no one match was devoid of anything that a fan couldn’t enjoy. If you have Fite.TV, and have Fite+ specifically, shows are like this are a great selling point for that subscription service and will definitely keep me subscribed. There will be more wrestling reviews coming, believe me, so many more.

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