Preview: Black Label Pro – TURBO GRAPS 16 (9/21/19)

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Photo: BLP

Indiana’s Black Label Pro continues a monstrous 2019 with the inaugural TURBO GRAPS 16 tournament. While Pro Wrestling Guerrilla has its prestigious Battle of Los Angeles on the West Coast the same weekend, an equally impressive tournament is now being added in the Midwest featuring some great talent, not just from the Midwest but from around the world as well. The entire tournament is running as two events on Saturday, with the first show starting at 12pm CDT time (1pm EST) and then the second show at 3:30pm CDT (4:30pm EST). Both shows will be airing live on IndieWrestling.tv.

TURBO GRAPS 16 Tournament

Block A – First Round

Photo: BLP

“Warhorse” Jake Parnell vs. Lucky Kid

Photo: BLP

One of many international match-ups, featuring two of the brightest stars from two different countries. Warhorse has been a star on the rise the past couple of years in the US indie scene, working early in his career with Beyond Wrestling and IWA Mid South. In the past two years, the St. Louis native has emerged as one of the Midwest’s top rising stars, including a 175-day run as the Black Label Pro Midwest (Indiana State) Champion. His opponent is one of the top stars from Germany’s Westside Xtreme Wrestling (wXw) in Lucky Kid. Lucky Kid won this year’s wXw 16 Carat Gold tournament and is now looking to break out in North America. A former tag team specialist, Lucky Kid has really come into his own as a singles competitor this year and would love to add a US tournament to his 2019 resume.

Ethan Page vs. Jody Fleisch

Photo: BLP

Another international match-up, this time featuring former BLP Heavyweight Champion “All Ego” Ethan Page from Canada and the UK’s Jody Fleisch. Ethan Page has been a regular with BLP for a couple of years now and held the BLP title for 153 days before losing it to his protegee Kobe Durst earlier this spring. One half of the IMPACT Wrestling World Tag Team Champions The North, Page is a cunning singles tactician. His opponent is a 23-year ring general from the United Kingdom is Jody Fleisch. A top star with the likes of Frontier Wrestling Alliance (FWA), Insane Championship Wrestling (ICW), International Pro Wrestling (IPW) and much more, Fleisch is an unheralded legend of the BritWres scene who has lived through some of the scene’s weaker incarnations to see it explode on the international stage.

Wheeler YUTA vs. Carlos Romo

Photo: BLP

The third straight international showdown, this one features two of the young studs who are bringing a new level of athleticism to the indie scene globally. Spain’s Carlos Romo is one of the Aces of White Wolf Wrestling (Triple W) in Spain and has been tearing up the European scene, especially the UK indie scene, as part of Team WhiteWolf with A-Kid. Romo is back at it in singles competition and on Saturday he faces rising US indie star Wheeler YUTA in the first round. YUTA is only five years into his career, but he’s already making waves in Beyond Wrestling, CHIKARA, Combat Zone Wrestling (CZW) and Major League Wrestling (MLW), and got a subtle shout-out from WWE Cruiserweight Champion Drew Gulak on 205 Live earlier this year.

Allie Kat vs. Danny Adams

Photo: BLP

One of the many names from the vibrant Texas indie scene to blow up in the past year, Allie Kat has become a favorite in Black Label Pro this year, as well as CHIKARA, Beyond Wrestling, and Absolute Intense Wrestling (AIW). Allie Kat is facing St. Louis’ Danny Adams, part of the #NoNewFriends stable with Mike Outlaw and Kevin Lee Davidson who have been terrorizing the Midwest and Southern indies the past year or so. He’s going one on one on Saturday, and Allie Kat maybe just a little hungrier for this one.

Block B – First Round

Photo: BLP

Jeremy Wyatt vs. “Filthy” Tom Lawlor

Photo: BLP

Kansas City’s Jeremy Wyatt is a battle-hardened veteran of the Midwest scene since the early 2000s, taking names in such promotions as Kansas’ Metro Pro Wrestling (MPW), Iowa’s 3XWrestling (3XW) and St. Louis Anarchy. A former 4x MPW Heavyweight Champion and the reigning 3x 3XW Pure Wrestling Champion, Wyatt is a tough veteran. He’s facing off against former MLW World Heavyweight Champion and UFC fighter “Filthy” Tom Lawlor, who has emerged as one of the top names in the US indie scene with his impressive transition to pro wrestling a few years back.

Jake Something vs. Nick Gage

Photo: BLP

While he wrestles alongside his “cousin” Cody Deaner in IMPACT Wrestling, as Jake Something he is a monster of the Midwest. The Detroit native has won titles in Glory Pro and AAW (where he’s the reigning AAW Heritage Champion) and is also active in the Southern Ontario indie scene of Canada as well, combining power, size, and athleticism. He’s going to need everything in his wheelhouse for the first round on Saturday, as he faces the King of American Hardcore and Game Changer Wrestling World Champion Nick Gage in what will be anything but a traditional wrestling contest.

Gary Jay vs. Matthew Justice

Photo: BLP

Two of the most underrated Midwest wrestlers, these two long-time veterans are finally getting their comeuppance in 2019. Ohio’s Matthew Justice has been wrestling since 2006, trained by legendary Ohio indie star JT Lightning, where he’s brought his size, grit, and determination to such indies as International Wrestling Cartel (IWC), New York Wrestling Connection (NYWC), and finally exploding in his home state AIW, where he’s the reigning 2x AIW Intense Champion. His opponent is 16-year veteran Gary Jay from St. Louis, who has spent nearly two decades creating a resume of being one of the toughest strikers out of the Midwest. A long-time mercenary, he’s fought in St. Louis Anarchy, IWA Mid South, AIW, CZW, Glory Pro, and many more, including a lengthy stint with Texas’ Anarchy Championship Wrestling (ACW).

Erick Stevens vs. ???

Photo: BLP

With a rise in independent wrestling the past couple of years due to the easy access to follow wrestlers, many stars of the early days of the indie boom of the early 2000s are mounting successful comebacks. One of 2019’s success stories has been the amazing return of former Ring of Honor star Erick Stevens, who returned to pro wrestling this year after a 10-year hiatus from the ring. Stevens will be the only competitor in the tournament who hasn’t been able to scout his opponent, as he won’t find out the 16th entrant in the tournament until right before his match.

Non-Tournament Matches

Jordynne Grace vs. D’Lo Brown

Photo: BLP

A match requested by both parties, as WWE Legend and current IMPACT producer D’Lo Brown steps into the ring against a woman he knows all too well – IMPACT Knockout Jordynne Grace. Jordynne Grace is pound for pound one of the strongest competitors in the squared circle, but Brown is a crafty veteran. Should make for a fun match-up of generations.

Swoggle vs. Marko Stunt

Photo: BLP

Last September at BLP Darkest Timeline tournament (incidentally, the precursor to TURBO GRAPS 16), Marko Stunt defeated Swoggle in one of the most underrated matches of 2018. While Marko Stunt’s athleticism has never been in question, the lack of size difference between the two diminutive wrestlers played heavily into Swoggle’s favor. Normally, Swoggle is used more as a comedic wrestler with opponents easily twice his size. But the closeness in size allowed Swoggle to have his most competitive match in his career and showed a side of Swoggle that few have witnessed. With Marko Stunt only weeks away from leaving the indie scene for All Elite Wrestling, expect these two to top last year’s sleeper.

Bear Country (Bear Bronson & Beer Beefcake) vs. Violence is Forever (Dominic Garrini & Kevin Ku)

Photo: BLP

Thanks to the debut season of Beyond Wrestling’s Uncharted TerritoryBear Country has emerged as one of the US indie scene’s breakout new tag teams. While they competed in 2018 in Chaotic Wrestling and WrestlePro (amongst others), it was their run on Uncharted Territory that really opened up Bear Country to a wider audience, even defeating LAX (Santana & Ortiz) at Beyond Americanrana ’19. They face another breakout tag team this year, in Violence is Forever (formerly Sadkampf), in a rematch from June’s Beyond Secret Show. The tandem of Dominic Garrini & Kevin Ku are making waves themselves, working with Beyond, BLP, GCW and many others.

Alex Zayne vs. Blake Christian

Photo: BLP

Two indie stars that were relatively unknown six months ago, thanks to debuts with GCW this year, both Alex Zayne and Blake Christian are now the buzz stars of the second half of 2019. Alex Zayne went viral after the GCW July 4th Backyard Wrestling event, while Blake Christian made his GCW debut the night they debuted in Nashville. Since then, both have not only become new staples of GCW, but are seeing their stars explode everywhere. They both just faced off (in tag team action) in their Pro Wrestling Guerrilla debut this past Thursday on night one of PWG Battle of Los Angeles and are now touring the US to continue their explosive rivalry.

BLP Midwest Championship: AJ Gray (c) vs. Jonathan Wolf

Photo: BLP

AJ Gray is another Midwest star (although he hails from the South) who is seeing his stock explode in 2019. A stellar combination of strength and speed, Gray is nearly two months into his reign as the BLP Midwest Champion and is nearly a year into his reign as the Paradigm Pro Champion. He’s facing Indiana’s own Jonathan Wolf, a 22-year old rising star who has made a name for himself in IWA Mid South the past few years. He’s best known as being part of the indie tag team IFHY with Shawn Kemp, who have held multiple tag team titles, but on Saturday he gets a big chance for some singles gold.

Stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world, as well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world. The entire tournament is running as two events on Saturday, with the first show starting at 12pm CDT time (1pm EST) and then the second show at 3:30pm CDT (4:30pm EST). Both shows will be airing live on IndieWrestling.tv.

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