I just want to put a quick NSFW warning on this review.
In all seriousness; some of the stuff on this show is crazy. It features things that some people may not agree with. I don’t want people to start reading this and suddenly hate what they’re hearing so, yeah, now that’s out of the way:
This show is fucking mental. There’s a pissing crucifixion right at the start. I’m not even joking.
Strap in for this. Let’s go.
Who are Blackcraft?
Before I watched this show, I didn’t really know. I knew they had a lot of talent featured on their shows before that are now huge stars in the industry, and I knew a lot of people held them in reasonably high regard.
They advertise themselves as a ‘cult of wrestling’ and are incredibly proud(?) of that fact, and, honestly, I love it.
I think those in charge at TWM Towers that gave me this show to watch know that I’m super into horror (ED: No, we just like to punish you).
Weird, creepy, esoteric, strange things are my favourite type of media to consume whether that be wrestling or otherwise.
The aesthetic of the whole promotion is really, really cool and I can definitely see why the promotion has attracted the following it has. But I feel this show…does not give the best first impression.
While I adore horror, morbid, strange, creepy media, I’m honestly not a fan of death match wrestling in the general sense. I absolutely love Jimmy Havoc and his entire persona, and have watched most of his matches, and feel that hardcore style matches absolutely have their place in wrestling.
But, for example, promotions such as CZW don’t interest me, as it’s very much one style. Not to say CZW isn’t a good promotion; they’re absolutely fantastic but just personally aren’t for me. When the first match is classed as a ‘Devil’s Den’ match, I was a bit worried.
But let’s get onto the actual show itself.
The first 25 minutes of the stream is the name of the iPPV, ‘No Apologies’ with the two commentators chatting and having a laugh, clearly having absolutely ZERO clue that they were being heard by those watching at home. It’s not a great start.
The first thing we see, the FIRST THING, is ‘The Preacher’ who is clearly, in kayfabe, the de facto owner/leader of the promotion and is in charge of all goings on. He orders the crowd to chant along, then suddenly, picks a member of the ‘crowd’, (a plant), to be crucified.
I honestly don’t know if they gimmick-ed it, because, by the reactions of fans in the immediate vicinity, they nailed a guy to a cross through his hands. I am certain he didn’t actually get nails through his hands but I honestly can’t be sure.
Moving onto the matches, they’re… weird. That’s the best way I can describe it. I don’t really understand what’s going on. Most matches have people enter with fans walking about, not really paying attention and just cutting about in front of the entrance ramp. Simon Grimm defeats Pentagon after four minutes, (YOU ONLY GAVE PENTAGON FOUR MINUTES?!?!?), and then just gets a fan to stand up and he ruins the chair.
I don’t get that.
The Final Half Hour
The last two (technically three) matches are INSANE and the main reason this show is remembered with so much confusion/mockery. The whole show builds up to the world title match between David Starr, a clear fan favourite, and Johnny Blackheart (John Morrison). The match lasts five seconds, literally, as Starr is immediately rolled up. Fans chant bullshit and you can see many leave in the background.
THEN, Matthew Justice, who has been feuding with the Preacher for several weeks and defeated Gangrel earlier in the night, comes out to demand a world title shot. The Preacher says “over my dead body” and, NO JOKE, Justice pulls out a knife and slits his throat. He just straight up kills the guy in kayfabe. He then walks to the ring and becomes world champion. With no crowd noise as they have no idea what’s happening.
So, you’re thinking ‘Right: world title shenanigans, wasn’t great but fair enough’. AND THEN THERE’S A BATTLE ROYALE?! All the wrestlers just…walk out to ringside and get into the ring with no entrances, fans are leaving because they just don’t know what’s happening. Danhausen immediately eliminates himself because he doesn’t piss about and knows how bad this is.
The Battle Royale then speeds up to 100,000x as the house lights go up and the commentary team go “We’re getting kicked out the building folks” and THAT’S THE ENDING.
THAT’S HOW THIS PPV ENDS.
The show is worth watching for the last half hour. But there’s also a biblical form of torture and a murder on it so, y’know, fun for all the family.
I absolutely loved this. It was incredible. It’s hard to say it’s bad because that implies you can comprehend what’s going on well enough to critique it. It’s so all over the place, so topsy turvy that you just can’t do anything but sit and embrace it.
Seriously, go and watch this show. It’s absolutely mental.
The bosses at this place thought this show would be like all the others I’ve watched for this series; something that I’d hate, get annoyed at and be furious. But no. The fools.
‘No Apologies’ made me a fan of Blackcraft Wrestling and I am delighted to be welcomed into the cult.
You can find me on Twitter @McIverTheMark