Preview: Blackcraft X Destiny – The Ritual (2/23/19)

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Blackcraft vs Destiny
Credit: Blackcraft Wrestling and Destiny World Wrestling

Following a successful second show, Spirits of the Dead, Blackcraft Wrestling announced their plans to invade the North, by waging war with Canada’s Destiny World Wrestling. The one night only special attraction will air live on the FITE app this Saturday, February 23rd at 7 PM.

The battle lines have been drawn as the two sides, along with the wrestlers representing their teams, have issued preemptive strikes through Twitter encouraging people to join #TeamBlackcraft and #TeamDestiny.

The sides have also engaged in some more playful banter, the most notable of which came when Blackcraft Women’s Champion Saraya Knight was forced to pull out of the show due to commitments for Fighting with My Family. While the real battle waged between Knight and LuFisto, Destiny didn’t hesitate to chalk that one up as a win as Knight was to face Destiny’s Shotzi Blackheart at the event, tweeting, “Hahahahaha it has begun! Who else will pull out! We are keeping track. 1-0.”

There has also been additional back-and-forth, all leading up to this first-time ever crossover event:

Blood Ritual Death Match: Channing Decker vs G Raver

decker vs g-raver
Credit: Blackcraft Wrestling and Destiny World Wrestling

The first match announced for the Blackcraft X Destiny crossover puts Destiny’s Channing Decker against Blackcraft’s G Raver in what is being called the first-ever Blood Ritual Death Match. At this point, it’s unclear what exactly that entails, though Destiny has said, in response to a comment on Twitter, it’s like a first blood match but more devilish. Given Blackcraft’s penchant for the supernatural, one can only wonder what exactly this match might be.

Representing Destiny is the 30-year-old Decker, who has been wrestling since 2013. He made his Destiny debut two years later. A former Greektown Cup Champion, Decker is most known for his tag the Fraternity, where alongside Trent Gibson he has won the International Wrestling Cartel tag team title thrice, Pro Wrestling Eclipse titles twice and the Lucha Toronto Royal Canadian Tag Team Championship once. At Destiny’s most recent event, Carnage, Decker defeated Ethan Page, ACH, Kobe Durst, Randy Reign and Ryan Wright in a six-way ladder match.

Representing Blackcraft Wrestling is the 11-year veteran, G Raver, who was trained by both Mike Quackenbush and DJ Hyde. Known as a great deathmatch wrestler, G Raver has worked for Combat Zone Wrestling where he twice took part in their Tournament of Death, Renegade Wrestling Alliance where he is an eight-time champion (4x cruiserweight, 3x tag team, 1x heavyweight), Vicious Outcast Wrestling where he is a five-time champion (2x tag team, 2x hyper sonic, 1x anarchy) and winner of Lord of Anarchy 3, and recently as a regular for Game Changer Wrestling, where he has taken part in the Nick Gage Invitational 2 and 3. In his first two matches with Blackcraft, GRaver took part in a ladder match and six-man tag team no disqualification match which his team won.

3 vs 3 Elimination Match: Team Blackcraft (Pinkie Sanchez, Zicky Dice and Ace Austin) vs Team Destiny (Fallah Bahh, Ryan Wright and Lee Costa)

Blackcraft X Destiny survivor series
Credit: Blackcraft Wrestling and Destiny World Wrestling

Much like WWE‘s Survivor Series, it wouldn’t quite be a proper war between brands/promotions without an elimination style tag team match and that’s exactly what we’re getting here as three of Team Blackcraft’s wrestlers will take on three of Team Destiny’s.

Representing Blackcraft are Pinkie Sanchez, Zicky Dice and Ace Austin. A 14-year veteran out of New York, Sanchez, or “El Presidente” as he calls himself, has been wrestling since 2004, most prominently on the East Coast circuit. He is former two-time Undisputed King of Crazy and one-time Falls Count Anywhere Champion in Inter Species Wrestling, and a former GCW Extreme Champion, a title he held for 391 days. He teamed with Chris Dickinson to pick up a victory in his BCW debut at Spirits of the Dead.

Trained at the Black and Brave Wrestling Academy, BCW’s sister school as it were, Dice has been wrestling professionally since 2015. While relatively new to wrestling, he made his BCW debut at Burning Bridges in a dark match before picking up a victory in the scramble match at Spirits of the Dead.

Sanchez and Dice will be joined by the 21-year-old Austin, who is becoming one of the top names to watch on the indies. Just a three-year pro, Austin, a regular with CZW and former Wired Champion, has already wrestled for Major League Wrestling, IMPACT Wrestling and WWE, where he was used on an episode of 205 Live. Perhaps the most important company he’s worked at, at least in terms of this Saturday’s card, is Destiny, as Austin has chosen to represent BCW instead.

Representing Destiny are the team of Ryan Wright, Lee Costa and Fallah Bahh.  The youngest of the trio, Wright, who is better known as Dustin Quicksilver, is a student of the Battle Arts Professional Wrestling Academy where he is a former light heavyweight champion. In 2016, he began wrestling for Border City Wrestling and Destiny Wrestling. Wright made his IMPACT debut in 2018 and with his Battle Arts coach, Santino Marella in his corner, even wrestled Austin Aries for the world title.

Also trained by Marella and Battle Arts is Costa, who is more well known as Randy Reign. A former Battle Arts Heavyweight Champion and current CBPWA Blue Ribbon Champion, Reign has been wrestling for Destiny since 2014. He made his WWE debut in a squash against Mark Henry in 2016 and took part in a two-month long excursion of Pro Wrestling NOAH in Japan where he primarily teamed with Cody Hall.

Rounding out the team is 33-year-old Fallah Bahh. A 14-year veteran Bahh has won 16 championships in his career including the Monster Factory Pro Wrestling tag titles alongside Bobby Wayward and Mario Bokara, which he currently holds. Bahh primarily wrestles for WrestlePro and IMPACT Wrestling and is somewhat of a ringer here because The Ritual will mark his Destiny debut.

Stone Rockwell vs Dick Justice

Justice vs Rockwell
Credit: Blackcraft Wrestling and Destiny World Wrestling

Representing Destiny is the 39-year-old Stone Rockwell. A favorite of the Canadian indie scene, Rockwell has been bringing his brand of epic adventures to pro wrestling for the past 18 years. In his career, the real-life action hero has won 14 championships and has wrestled for companies such as IMPACT, Ring of Honor, Great Canadian Wrestling, Empire State Wrestling, UWA Hardcore Wrestling, Pro Wrestling Rampage, IWC, BCW, and of course Destiny Wrestling, which he began working at during their inaugural year in 2014. Wrestling’s Adventure Man, Rockwell is definitely one of the faces of Destiny and is recently coming off a victory at Carnage where he teamed with Marella to defeat the Desi Hit Squad (Gursinder Singh and Rohit Raju).

Representing Blackcraft Wrestling is 11-year-veteran Dick Justice, whose patriotic supercop gimmick might be the perfect counter to Rockwell’s Indiana Jones-esque style. Comedically, the two will match up perfectly. A three-time champion, Justice spent his early years wrestling in the New York indie scene for Upstate Pro Wrestling, NWA Empire, ESW and Squared Circle Wrestling. By 2014 he landed with Absolute Intense Wrestling in Ohio as well as making regular appearances for Beyond and WrestleCircus. Three years later, Justice debuted in IMPACT as “standby wrestler” Richard Justice. Initially not used at all, Justice was seen in backstage segments warming up in case his name was called upon, which it has been six times in the past two years (2017-18). So far, Justice has wrestled on both BCW cards, taking part in the Dance with the Devil Battle Royale from Burning Bridges and a scramble at Spirits of the Dead.

Chris Dickinson vs Michael Elgin

Dickinson vs Elgin
Credit: Blackcraft Wrestling and Destiny World Wrestling

Representing Blackcraft is the 16-year veteran, Chris Dickinson. Now 31 years, Dickinson has been wrestling since he was just 15, bringing a background of taekwondo and mixed martial arts to his in ring style. Well known on the indie scene, Dickinson counts Harley Race and Ricky Steamboat among his trainers as he got his start under their tutelage. Dickinson began to work regularly in 2008, becoming a mainstay at Beyond, Jersey All Pro Wrestling, CZW, AIW and GCW in the ensuing years. A nine-time champion, Dickinson is perhaps best known for his recent work in EVOLVE/World Wrestling Network where he is a former 2x tag team champion alongside Jaka as Catch Point. He is the current ISW Undisputed King of Crazy Champion and is coming off a victory in his last BCW match, where he teamed with Sanchez to defeat three other teams. In his BCW debut, he wrestled to a double count out against PCO, showing that he is certainly not one to be messed with.

Representing Destiny is another longtime veteran of the industry, 15-year-pro, 32-year-old Michael Elgin. Known most recently for his time in New Japan Pro Wrestling where is a former NEVER Openweight, NEVER Openweight Six Man and IWGP Intercontinental Champion, Elgin’s early career saw him wrestling in Canada and New York before he found his first real success in IWA: Mid South. Elgin continued to break out into the indie scene in the late 2000/early 2010s when he began working as a regular for ROH, where he is a former world champion. In his stellar career, Elgin, who is also known for his time in AAW: Professional Wrestling Redefined (1x heavyweight, 1x heritage, 1x tag team champion) and Pro Wrestling Guerrilla (1x tag team champion), has won 31 total titles and has competed in prestigious tournaments such as the Bruiser Brody Cup, G1 Climax, Ted Petty Invitational, New Japan Cup, Best of the Best, Battle of Los Angeles, Jim Lynam Memorial Tournament, which he won in 2017, and Survival of the Fittest, which he won twice (2011, 15).

Blackcraft Tag Team Championship: oVe (Dave and Jake Crist) vs Kobe Durst and Aiden Prince

BCW tag team titles
Credit: Blackcraft Wrestling and Destiny World Wrestling

The first of three title matches on the card will see oVe (Dave and Jake Crist) defending their Blackcraft tag team titles against Destiny’s exciting young duo of Kobe Durst and Aiden Prince. This could very well be oVe’s toughest challenge yet.

Representing Blackcraft Wrestling is oVe, a dangerous duo who seem to think that the rules don’t apply to them. oVe were originally scheduled to take part in the match to crown the first Blackcraft tag team champions but were removed from the match due to their actions leading up to Burning Bridges. However, the duo returned, were added to the match and went on to win the titles. At Spirits of the Dead, they successfully defended the belts, losing by DQ against The Butcher and the Blade (Andy Williams and Braxton Sutter). The Crist brothers, formerly known as the Irish Airbourne and Oi4K, began wrestling in 2003, primarily with the Heartland Wrestling Association, where they are 7x tag team champions, and later IWA:MS, ROH, IWC, AAW, AIW, CZW, IMPACT, the list goes on. In 2014, they took over for Cody Hawk in booking Rockstar Pro Wrestling, a promotion they still run today. One of the top tag teams on the indies and one of the best stables when you add in Sami Callihan, the Crists have won 31 titles including in Blackcraft where they are the first and so-far only ones to hold the belts.

Perhaps Prince and Durst could change that, even though this will be just the third time they’ve shared a ring and first time as a team. Wrestling since 2012, Prince began in the backyard indie scene so to speak before later training at Scott D’Amore‘s Can-Am Wrestling School. Recently, he’s become a rising star in the Canadian indie scene, notably with BCW, SMASH Wrestling, IMPACT and Destiny, where he made his debut last year. Prince is currently one-half of the BCW Can-Am Tag Team Champions alongside partner, Brent Banks. He’ll have a different partner on Saturday in the 23-year-old Durst, who has quickly made his own impact in the six years he’s been wrestling. A product of Toronto, Durst has been a regular of SMASH, Freelance Wrestling, Capital City Championship Combat, where he is a 2x champion (1x C4 Underground, 1x C4 Champion) and Alpha-1 Wrestling, where he is four-time champion (3x Alpha Male, 1x Zero Gravity).

Blackcraft Championship: PJ Black vs Johnny Blackcraft

Black vs Blackcraft
Credit: Blackcraft Wrestling and Destiny World Wrestling

On January 15, 2016, John Morrison defended his 5 Star Wrestling championship against PJ Black. Two days later, the newly formed trio of Worldwide Underground (Johnny Mundo, PJ Black and Jack Evans) wrestled their first match together, winning the Lucha Underground trios championships. And since the formation of that stable, which has lived on at WrestleCade and at Bar Wrestling and PCW ULTRA, Mundo and Black have only fought alongside each other, not as opponents. On Saturday, that all changes as Johnny Blackcraft is not representing Worldwide Underground, he’s representing Team Blackcraft, and PJ Black is not fighting for Worldwide Underground, he’s fighting for Team Destiny.

Wrestling out of Destiny’s corner, the 37-year-old Black has had a phenomenal career as perhaps the most successful South African wrestler of all time. In his 22 years as a wrestler, Black, a 12-time champion, who was recently signed to a full time deal with ROH, is known for his time in WWE and its developmental system, where he wrestled as Justin Gabriel. In his six years with WWE, Black won the Florida Championship Wrestling tag team and heavyweight championship and is also a 3x WWE tag team champion alongside Heath Slater as members of the Nexus and later the Corre. After leaving WWE in early 2015, Black began a solid career on the indies, wrestling regularly for LU and Global Force Wrestling, where is a former NEXGEN Champion, as well as with IMPACT, where he is a former King of the Mountain Champion, EVOLVE, House of Glory and most recently ROH and Bar Wrestling. Black also wrestled for Destiny, where he is the company’s first-ever champion. He’ll be making his return to Destiny for the first time since he lost the title in at three way against Rey Mysterio and Ricochet at No Limits 2015.

Another man to be the first to hold a promotion’s title is the 39-year-old Blackcraft, who defeated Brody King and Jimmy Havoc to win the championship at Burning Bridges. He successfully defended the title at Spirits of the Dead against Killer Kross. Blackcraft’s career spans 17 years and almost as many if not more ring names. Blackcraft, under his real name John Hennigan, wrestled just a handful of matches before joining Ohio Valley Wrestling in 2003 after winning the third season of Tough Enough. Undoubtedly the most successful winner of the competition, Hennigan/Morrison went on to spend nine years in WWE, where he is a former 5x tag team champion, 3x Intercontinental Champion and 1x ECW Heavyweight Champion. After leaving WWE in 2011, Blackcraft wrestled sporadically on the indies but it wasn’t until he began with LU in 2014 that his career began to be revitalized. Now, he is a regular with several high-profile promotions including MLW, IMPACT, where he is the current world champion, LU, World Series Wrestling, Lucha Libre AAA and of course, Blackcraft. He’s won 25 titles in his career, including the triple crown in both AAA (where he held the heavyweight, cruiserweight and Latin America championships all at the same time) and LU (Gift of the Gods, trios and LU Championship).

Destiny World Championship: Josh Alexander vs Simon Grimm

Grimm vs Alexander
Credit: Blackcraft Wrestling and Destiny World Wrestling

In the main event of the night, Blackcraft’s debuting Simon Grimm will take on Destiny’s Walking Weapon and newly crowned world champion, Josh Alexander.

Currently in possession of four titles, the 31-year-old Alexander is a 14-year-pro who is considered one of the top indie wrestlers in Canada. Alexander’s career began in 2006 with New School Wrestling, Pure Wrestling Association and Great Canadian Wrestling. He wrestled primarily for these promotions until 2010 when he began working regularly for A1 and C4 as well. In 2013, Alexander branched into the East/Midwest scene, wrestling for ROH, AAW, AIW as well as SMASH in his native Canada. Alexander is mainly known for his time in A1, where he is six-time champion (4x Alpha Male, 1z Zero Gravity, 1x tag team champion) but he’s also been a regular for Destiny ever since it opened in 2014. Last year, Alexander battled Pete Dunne for the world title, falling just short and leading to him receiving a second shot at Carnage in January, where he defeated Dunne to win his then-26th career championship (he now has 28).

Representing Blackcraft Wrestling is the 18-year veteran, 36-year-old Grimm. Counting Bryan Danielson and Race as well as the WWE Performance Center among his trainers, Grimm’s career began with All Pro Wrestling in 2002. He wrestled at various indies over the next seven years before heading to World League Wrestling in 2009 and joining WWE four years later. Grimm remained with WWE, where alongside Aiden English as the Vaudevillians is a 1x NXT tag team champion, until 2017 at which point he returned to the indies and found a home with MLW. The current Xtreme Wrestling Alliance Frontier Sports Champion, Grimm is set to make his Blackcraft debut on Saturday night.

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