When this weekend in Enfield, CT- the final Blitzkrieg! Pro show of the year- was announced, there were supposed to be shows on both Friday night and Saturday afternoon featuring different promotions. This was interesting because I wanted to do all three shows but knew deep down inside that it wouldn't be possible, as we simply couldn't spend that long at the House of Pierogis on Saturday, especially after being there on Friday night. It worked out in some weird way (for us as fans, not for the wrestlers or anyone else with power probably) that there would only be a Friday and Saturday night show because though we haven't done it as much lately, two shows in a row is cool.
Shoulder To The Wheel was advertised as a chance for Blitzkrieg! Pro to bring in some wrestlers they haven't yet or haven't in a long time to face their regulars. This show was also cash only at the door, surprise card and if you had tickets to Mark It Zero the next night (which we did) then it's $10 (if you didn't it's $20). This, in a lot of ways, was a nice gesture towards fans because it was in a large way rewarding fans for their loyalty. There are a lot of things which other promotions do to seemingly punish their fans (but I won't get into it here) and yet Blitzkrieg! Pro just seemingly always goes out of their way for their fans, at least in the areas which matter to me. It's just the things which seem like little things but really just mean so much to me.
There was a decent sized crowd for this show but I really wish more people had shown up and packed the place. My logic was that we didn't have anything else going on this night, it was only $10 since we had tickets for Mark It Zero and we would at the very least get to see the B!P regulars to some extent so you know it would be fun. Unless people just had other plans on that particular night I'm not sure what was stopping them from being like "Yeah! More wrestling!" Unless they felt like it was too much and I'm in the minority of people who want to go to wrestling multiple nights in a row.
The show opened with Blitzkrieg! Pro roster member Sammy Diaz taking on newcomer Mike Anthony. Mike Anthony had a pre-show tag team match at Fall Children and was featured during Retro World Expo as well, but this was kind of his first big showing for B!P. I love the fact that the whole idea of Mike Anthony is simply that he isn't crazy (though he looks crazy) and it's as simple as the crowd yelling at him that he is crazy and him yelling back that he isn't. Also, during this match with Mike Anthony being taunted from the crowd, the place really sounded like it was at full capacity so we might not have been as many fans as the next night but we were loud and rowdy fans.
After this match, Sammy Diaz seemed frustrated and almost like he is ready for a heel turn. It's funny because seeing Sammy Diaz in TOS and with Eli6 as part of The Firm, it makes me want to boo Sammy Diaz no matter how good he might be inside that ring (and he is damn good) So having him make this heel turn and maybe even introduce The Firm to Blitzkrieg! Pro is an interesting development. It's fun to cheer Sammy Diaz, but it is somehow even more fun to boo him. I don't know why that is, I don't make the rules.
The second match had Apostles Of Chaos taking on VBU, who we had seen in that Dante Drago was at Retro World Expo but I do believe this was Jack Tomlinson's first time in B!P. Logan Black and Chris Benne are perhaps the toughest challenge that any tag team could have- within B!P and otherwise- and VBU seemed up to it, despite Jack Tomlinson constantly on his phone doing things for his vlog. One of the best aspects of these matches, as well, was that the fans seemed to right away know who to cheer for and who to boo, but it somehow just also worked out that these first two matches had the B!P regulars being cheered.
What was interesting about this show was that it gave wrestlers a spotlight they might not have otherwise had in Blitzkrieg! Pro and every single one of them owned it. This was made especially apparent in the case of Dr Cool Jay Klang, who had a match against CPA. When we last saw Dr Cool Jay Klang at Retro World Expo he was up against bad guys so he was being cheered. During this match, he was being told that he wasn't cool and that CPA was cool, and it was just so much fun seeing it unfold because Dr Cool Jay Klang did not miss a beat with the crowd being against him.
This match in and of itself was also a lot of fun and one of those demonstrations on how what CPA is doing inside of that ring and at Blitzkrieg! Pro is just so special. It really reminds me of how back in the day when you had a promotion like ECW you knew when new wrestlers came in they'd have to go through certain mainstays in the company and you could just imagine what they were going to be put through. It's like when a new tag team would come in and they'd be put up against Balls & Axl (or Balls and someone later on) CPA just has this style and way about him that is going to blow up huge in 2022- that's my prediction. (And let nothing in that statement take away from Dr Cool Jay Klang, who held his own during this match)
One thing we didn't know going into this show was which B!P regulars would be featured. You could have an idea based upon who was on the show Saturday, but only a few of the wrestlers confirmed via Twitter that they would be there. King Crab actually had some confusion about whether or not he'd be there and per my preview on LWOS I told him he was facing Jack Tomlinson. The first real surprise of the night came when Stevie Legend issued an open challenge and it was accepted by Jeff Cannonball. While Jeff Cannonball was scheduled to be at Mark It Zero, I didn't factor him into this show so not only was that a surprise but it was also a "Holy shit that's not who you want to answer your open challenge" moment.
Stevie Legend still gave it his all and I'd like to see him back in B!P one day. Stevie Legend vs Sammy Diaz, for example, could be a great fit for B!P in the future. Speaking of the future, the trios team of Pancakes, Abby Jane and ABBS took on Leary, Skylar and Perry Von Vicious in what was just an insane match. I'm going to say this now because this match feels most fitting for it, but this was a great card, top to bottom. This was the type of show that had match graphics been made and the whole presentation of the card been laid out before you, then more people might have shown up based on the idea of "Whoa that card looks sick", but if you're not willing to pay $10 and put your faith into Blitzkrieg! Pro then that's kind of on you if you missed this card.
This trios match was a lot of fun because there were so many different dynamics to it, with each wrestler in the ring squaring up differently with the other. The big money match was Perry Von Vicious vs ABBS, father vs son, which briefly happened. Skylar vs Abby Jane was also a lot of fun. Of course Leary and ABBS held down their ends of the teams, making it feel like they had to be in this match or it just wouldn't have been quite the same.
There was no intermission (presumably to keep the show moving if you needed to go home to sleep before tomorrow and also because you wouldn't want someone to come out and sell merch during intermission if it meant spoiling the surprise of seeing them later that night) We went instead into one of the matches of the night, which says a lot when you consider everything which this card put into the world, and that was the debuting Austin Luke taking on Travis Huckabee.
I must apologize here to the fine people at H2O as I just assumed that if you're training under Matt Tremont your specialty is going to be hardcore matches. I don't really watch H2O and I'm not familiar with their entire roster, a lot of the kids blend together for me, but I just assumed they were all down there blasting each other with light tubes and doors. But wow can Austin Luke wrestler. This was a straight up grappling/submission style match with Travis Huckabee and Austin Luke held his own. I didn't know Austin Luke was capable of this, but I was impressed. It also makes me wonder what other secrets H2O is hiding from me. (But maybe not enough to start following them next year because there is just so much wrestling as it is now)
In an interesting tag team match, Big Juicy and Jay Baker took on Kirby Wackerman and King Crab. I know that Kirby and the Crab were the B!P regulars, but I still think of Big Juicy as being a B!P regular because the first time I saw her was in a B!P ring and I really feel like even though we've seen her in other promotions, B!P is still where we've seen her the most and so it feels like her home. Jay Baker still feels relatively new to B!P though, going back to the Beer Bash show this summer. I also felt torn on this match because at Retro World Expo Big Juicy and Kirby Wackerman made this awesome tag team.
What could be considered the second big surprise of the evening was seeing Davienne make her way to the ring to take on Gal Barkay. This was a surprise because I didn't know Davienne would be here (she was, oddly, not booked for Mark It Zero) and then she also came out to wrestle Gal Barkay, which was just an amazing match overall. We've seen two singles matches in person so far of Gal Barkay and the first was against Anthony Greene so to think that he isn't doing something special out there would be what the kids call sleeping on him. For Gal Barkay to be a huge star- it's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when.
The final match saw Shook Crew taking on Miracle Generation. Now, Miracle Generation announced on Twitter that they would be here and so did Bobby Orlando. In fact, when we arrived at the House of Pierogis- before we could even pay for tickets- Bobby Orlando gave me my very own special introduction, letting everyone else there know I had arrived. So by process of elimination, we hit that point of knowing this was the main event, but it didn't make it any less amazing.
Miracle Generation- if you don't know- consists of Kylon King and Dustin Waller. They are two of the fastest moving, most innovative wrestlers out there today and putting them up against your best is a great idea and one you won't regret. During this show, Bobby Orlando was selling small versions of Bobby Jr and he had sold quite a few so the crowd was behind Shook Crew, who are normally heels. And Miracle Generation didn't get booed either because they had so many of these "Holy shit!" moments that they truly won over the crowd by the end of it all.
What I love about this show is that to preview it for LWOS, I came up with this kind of fantasy booked card which I explained and it made sense to me. To me, it felt like a solid card that everyone would have enjoyed watching. But then, Blitzkrieg! Pro came through and did completely different matches than what I had predicted and yet from top to bottom it was still an amazing card and one of the best shows I've seen this year.
The true testament to this show relies on two factors (and those are outside of the venue and fans, which were both also above and beyond) First off, this show was made possible because of the wrestlers who are regulars in Blitzkrieg! Pro. That connection- whether as a face or heel- is what made this show feel so special because even if the crowd didn't know who their opponents were they could still cheer/boo the regulars, who they all knew.
Secondly, this show was made so great because of the way the wrestlers who were either debuting or coming back to B!P (such as Dr Cool Jay Klang, Austin Luke and Miracle Generation) stepped up and really just gave it their all, showing out for the crowd. I felt like this was not only a sign that the future of wrestling is good but that the future of Blitzkrieg! Pro is good because regardless of what happens they always seem to know how to put on a show that just triumphs.