While Los Angeles may have been battling, Black Label Pro decided to throw on a tournament of its own as they busted out some classic Turbo Graps!
The Summit Park District Building in Summit, Illinois is the venue – EVOLVE have run there in the past, but it’s become a GCW/BLP stronghold lately. We join the parade of entrants in progress, featuring some familiar names to Britwres fans…
Turbo Graps 16 – First Round: Carlos Romo vs. Wheeler Yuta
…and we start with one, as Carlos Romo makes his debut in Black Label Pro!
An exchange of wristlocks led to nothing as both men stayed on the mat, with some nice, pacey exchanges. Romo grounds Yuta with some headscissors, but Yuta headstands free before his dived-in headlock was quickly slipped out of. Romo stays dogged with some Magistral cradles for a bunch of near-falls, but Yuta swings back around with a Muta lock which was quickly broken as Romo snapped away at the hands.
The pace keeps up as a slam and a back senton dumps Romo for a near-fall, but Carlos comes up out of a side headlock as he looked to strike back, knocking Yuta out of the ring. A tope follows, as does a Busaiku knee for a near-fall, before he went for a springboard cutter… which Yuta blocks. Standing switches led to an atomic drop and an enziguiri from Yuta, following that up with an elbow off the top for a near-fall as Yuta continued to pummel Yuta. A German suplex from Yuta nearly puts Romo away, but a small package had Yuta panicking before he caught Romo in an inverted cloverleaf. Carlos rolls free and into a crossface as he turned the tables, turning it into back-and-forth crucifix pins, ending with a lariat from Yuta as they kept going.
From there, Romo surprises Yuta with Cutter Without the E – the springboard cutter – and that’s the win! Perhaps a little too breathless depending on your preferences, this was a hell of an energetic opener. ***½
Turbo Graps 16 – First Round: Jeremy Wyatt vs. Tom Lawlor
Lawlor starts by taking Wyatt to the mat as Sarah Shockey on commentary tickled herself with some of the sponsors on Lawlor’s gear.
Lawlor keeps it on the mat in the early stages, something that Wyatt was willing to do… even if it perhaps wasn’t the best of ideas. Chops from Lawlor sends Wyatt staggering around the ring ahead of a German suplex and an Exploder, but Wyatt manages to turn it around after he threw Lawlor into the ring post.
Wyatt looks for the arm, using a single-arm DDT to take down Lawlor again, this time going after the fingers as he tried to dislocate Lawlor’s digits. Lawlor responds with an old-school airplane spin ahead of a death valley driver, but Tom gets caught on the top rope as Wyatt flung him down with a floatover superplex for a near-fall. A grounded Octopus from Wyatt leads to a roll-up as he continued to target Lawlor’s arm, but Lawlor manages to escape and land a Falcon arrow for a near-fall, before a knee strike and a powerbomb dumped Wyatt…
Somehow Wyatt kicked out and locked in a triangle armbar, then rolled Lawlor into a crossface, only for Tom to roll back out into a tombstone for the win. Wyatt tried to play Lawlor at his own game, and it backfired as Filthy Tom progresses to show two… ***
Turbo Graps 16 – First Round: Jody Fleisch vs. Ethan Page
This probably would have been on a Southside card not too long ago… but hey, it’s always nice to see Jody Fleisch.
Dave Prazak joined on commentary late, so he’s asking what Jody’s mat style is these days… but Dave finds out as the double leapfrog dropkick before he got bulled down by Page. A back elbow keeps Fleisch down, but he’s able to float over Ethan ahead of an enziguiri that took the Impact star outside ahead of a missed pescado as Jody lands in the path of a forearm. Fleisch gets taken into the ring post as I’m aghast as to how many empty front row seats were left, as Ethan Page found a fan who was plugging his Vlog, and took the fight there. He’s nice to his fans like that. A draping butterfly backbreaker off the bleachers keeps Fleisch down as Ethan was a little narked at how the ref wasn’t counting him out… so he keeps going around the crowd!
The crowd brawl ends up backfiring on Page as he got caught out by a wall-flip by Fleisch, much to the annoyance of the Concessions Protector as she didn’t want to lose any popcorn. Quite right, too. Back in the ring, the pair trade cartwheels and superkicks before Fleisch’s top rope ‘rana make Prazak do a swear. Another springboard from Fleisch gets turned into a powerbomb for a near-fall, only for Jody to respond with a 720 DDT that nearly put Page away. From there, Page finds a second wind, but Josh Bishop comes out for a distraction… and Page gets caught with an O’Connor roll as Jody Fleisch booked his ticket to the next round. The interference made sense within BLP’s storylines, but it felt kinda flat as a neutral. Still, Jody busting out his greatest hits will rarely not make for a good match, so I can give this a pass. ***
Turbo Graps 16 – First Round: Nick Gage vs. Jake Something
The cult-like status around Nick Gage always makes for a good reaction when he comes out.
They start in the crowd as Gage throws Something into a chair that a fan had kindly held up… in the ring, the match actually starts. Something takes Gage outside for a tope that almost went sour, before he took Gage into a chair for a sliding cross body. Back in the ring again, Something drops Gage with a forearm, then a slam, as this was turning out to be something of a methodical slugfest, if they exist…
An Irish whip sends Gage hurtling into the corner for a two-count, but Gage comes right back in with a spinebuster and a running boot in the corner that has Something heading outside for cover… which was quickly broken as Gage hit a flip senton off the top! Gage throws Something back inside, along with a bunch of chairs, and of course he uses them on Jake. A chair bridge gets set up, but it looks wonky as Something ends up spiking Gage with a Michinoku Driver onto the wacky set-up, seemingly hurting his thigh on the impact as a near-fall was called.
Gage gets payback by suplexing Something onto a chair, before Jake tosses a chair at a running Gage. A clothesline nearly does it, before Something ended up taking a chokebreaker, then a piledriver… but that’s not enough! The pair trade forearms from there, before Something lands a low blow and a Black Hole Slam for the win. Huh. Not a popular result, for a match that never really clicked with me. It brought all your usual Nick Gage spots, but it felt like something was missing here… **¼
Turbo Graps 16 – First Round: Matthew Justice vs. Gary Jay
Justice charged out of the gates, taking Jay outside for a pescado in the opening minute.
A tope misses as Justice spills into the crowd, with Jay sending him deeper with a tope of his own before a second tope got caught, with Justice turning it into a running death valley driver into the chairs. Oof. Chops follow in the crowd as Justice got right in the camera lens, before he caught an attempted ‘rana off the apron to powerbomb Jay on the edge of the ring instead. Back inside, a Coast to Coast dropkick crashes into Jay, with Justice following up with a Jackhammer for a near-fall, then an Irish whip into the corner.
More chops greet Jay after he was lifted to the top rope, before a spear decks the “Stiff Robo Ginger” as Justice seemed to be enjoying the lion’s share of offence… until the pair clattered into each other. Yep, more chops led to a double stomp as Jay flattened Justice for a near-fall, following up with some more forearms as Justice just wouldn’t stay down… until a rolling elbow did the trick for Jay. Eh. Another one that was good, but just didn’t grab my attention I’m afraid. **¾
D-Lo Brown vs. Jordynne Grace
Ah man, the old-school D-Lo Brown music always gets me going!
After some slaps start the match, Grace was left to pratfall D-Lo early on as she was having trouble powering up the former Eurocontinental champion. A low bridge takes D’Lo outside, where a tope/bulldog took D-Lo into the front row almost unawares. From there, Jordynne piggybacks him off the apron, but he just backs her into the ring post to no avail, as Grace looked to choke the life out of him.
Grace lets go as she looked to snatch a count-out win, but D-Lo recovers on the floor, so Jordynne goes for another tope, which got caught as D-Lo again took her into the ring post. It’s D-Lo’s time to look for a count-out, but Jordynne gets back in and nails a DDT off the middle rope for a near-fall. Grace clung onto the ropes to avoid a neckbreaker out of the corner as a Vader bomb followed instead for a near-fall, before a simple forearm decked Jordynne. Another clothesline from D-Lo drops Grace, but she doesn’t stay down and instead begins to fire back with forearms… only to run into a Sky High Powerbomb and that’s all! D-Lo’s greatest hits were on show here, bar the Lo Down, but this was very much my graps. Just don’t expect the world from D-Lo and you’ll be fine! **½
Turbo Graps 16 – First Round: Lucky Kid vs. Warhorse
Hey, who gave Lucky Kid the Schadenfreude music?! Since winning 16 Carat Gold, Lucky’s tournament form has been very rocky to say the least, and with the former Jake Parnell being a crowd favourite, this could be a tough one for him.
Lucky starts out with a side headlock on Warhorse, before Lucky sent Warhorse into the ropes and took him out with a low dropkick… following up with a handspring and a pescado as Warhorse was left down on the floor. Lucky begins to stack up baseball caps as he took Warhorse around the ring, but the tables turn as Warhorse caught Lucky with shoulder in the corner ahead of a Northern Lights suplex for a near-fall. Chops take Lucky around the ring, following up with some repeated stomps as Lucky was being restrained on the mat.
Lucky fought back with a palm strike, knocking Warhorse down as he followed in with some Danielson elbows, before the match descended into some back-and-forth forearms. A jawbreaker from Lucky and a hiptoss knee keeps Warhorse on the back foot, but a powerslam counters back as the painted-up Warhorse looked to get back into it. A handspring elbow from Lucky Kid looked to stop Warhorse’s momentum, but instead Lucky’s quickly clocked with a clothesline for a near-fall. Warhorse misses a double-stomp and gets popped up into a Ligerbomb for a near-fall. Another comeback sees Lucky flip out of a half nelson suplex before a springboard cutter led to a crossface, only for Warhorse to roll free for a pinning attempt.
Another handspring from Lucky gets countered into a German suplex, as Warhorse quickly followed up with a double stomp off the top for the win. Lucky looked decent here, but another early tournament exit continues the poor form he’s had since Carat. ***¼
Turbo Graps 16 – First Round: Danny Adams vs. Allie Kat
Allie Kat tried to pay off Danny to lay down and give us a repeat of the Fingerpoke of Doom… but he kicked out at two.
Allie tries to make him quit to a wristlock, before a second pinning attempt ended with a one-count, before a trio of, erm, other alley cats come out to try and make Danny do the deal. He just wipes them out with topes, before an errant forearm wiped out the third as Allie got tossed to the outside. Danny followed her outside for a flip senton into the pile, before the pair ended up on the apron as Allie looked for a piledriver… and instead ended up trading forearms. A STO dumps Adams on the edge of the ring, before a push-down stomp from Allie saw her push on, all the way into a cannonball in the corner for a near-fall.
A back elbow dumps Danny for another two-count, but Adams made a comeback, catching Allie Kat with a German suplex… only for her to issue an instant receipt. Adams’ snap suplex gives Allie an awkward landing, but we’re still no nearer a win, before Allie snuck in an eye poke behind the ref’s back. She follows that with a headbutt, which dropped Adams to the mat for a near-fall, as did a clothesline… but Allie pulls him up.
She’s quickly made to pay for that as well, as she gets her money back from Danny… only for a piledriver to get countered into a jack-knife roll-up as Danny Adams booked his spot in the semis. I could have done without the wacky cats at the start, but this told a decent story, even if commentary didn’t seem overly clued in on it. **¾
IWTV Independent Wrestling Championship X Turbo Graps 16 – First Round: Erick Stevens vs. Orange Cassidy (c)
There was a mystery entrant in Turbo Graps 16, and they saved him until last as Orange Cassidy made an appearance… and put his IWTV title on the line as well. It seems Lucky Kid wasn’t the only person doing the LA to Chicago loop…
You know the deal with Orange Cassidy matches – it’s all about the pockets, and Erick Stevens didn’t appreciate being taken for a fool. So much so, he went for his ring jacket to grab his own sunglasses to ape Orange as much as he could. Shoulder blocks sent each man into the ropes, before Erick’s attempts to up the tempo were again frustrated as Orange had a knack of getting into the right place at the right time. Rather than go for a dive or two, Stevens runs out for chops, before Orange rolled across the ring to safety… and back to the outside, where he had his pick of the front row.
Orange is all Limp Bizkit, as he keeps rollin’ rollin’ rollin’, before kipping up and catching Stevens unawares with a tope. A crossbody, too, then a satellite DDT has Stevens befuddled and almost beaten. Cassidy trips Stevens into the corner, before he teased a superplex to the floor… which of course doesn’t happen as Stevens gets thrown down ahead of a flying DDT as Cassidy was turning it on. Stevens is right back in with a fireman’s carry gutbuster and a sit-out powerbomb for a near-fall, before some chops and forearms began to sting Stevens. A Superman punch give Orange a way back in, before some orange mist and a Destroyer led to a near-fall… only for Stevens to score with a quick gutwrench powerbomb… and we’ve got a new IWTV champion!
Well, this was about every Orange Cassidy match you ever saw to begin with, but when they kicked it into gear, this became quite the little slugfest. It’s just a shame it felt quite short in the end… ***
It’s a bit strong to say “I hate”, but one-day tournaments tend to be a matter of spreading things out too thinly, regardless of the format. With this show over and done with in a little over two hours (excluding interval), this was a nice, tight watch… but with nine matches on tap, and everything roughly having 15 minutes from end to end, nothing really had a chance to stand out. A good first round – onto show two to see if Turbo Graps part two kicked it up a notch!