Indie Watch is our regular series that looks at all of the amazing talents working the independent circuits around the world. Some are veterans revitalizing their careers, some are indie prospects hitting their peaks, while others are names to be on the watch for! In this edition, look at the career of indie wrestler Joe Black.
On the first Friday of every month, Southern Honor Wrestling emanates from the Action Building in Canton, Georgia. The promotion, led by Gary Lamb and Dylan Frymyer, is widely considered amongst fans, promoters, and wrestlers alike to be one of the best in the state for their in-ring product, production value, and storytelling. The roster is loaded with stars like AC Mack, Zicky Dice, Owen Knight, Ashton Starr, Dani Jordyn, and more. As with any wrestling company, there’s a standout performer that checks all the boxes and deserves the spotlight arguably more than anybody.
It All Starts Somewhere
Joe Black grew up in Greensboro, North Carolina, but has lived all around the world due to his father being in the Air Force. Black related to a lot of people in a personal way. He found professional wrestling as an escape from the real world and its never-ending issues. Despite being very withdrawn and disenfranchised in his childhood, a slew of wrestlers like “Macho Man” Randy Savage, The Undertaker, Jake “The Snake” Roberts, and Chris Benoit all left an indelible impression on Black as he began his wrestling career.
CWF Mid-Atlantic was the home for Black for the early portion of his time in wrestling, making his debut for the promotion in 2010. In the come-up, Black noted that he was trained by Roy Wilkins, Jeff Rudd, Walter Eaton, and ACEGAWD Arik Royal. Black’s “class” of trainees included Andrew Everett and Trevor Lee (Cameron Grimes). Within only two years, Black was already getting interest from outside independent promotions like PWX and captured the CWF Mid-Atlantic Rising Generation Championship at the end of 2011.
While Burlington, North Carolina was still where Joe spent most of his time in the squared circle, other promoters around the south began to take notice — leading to Black making his debut in Tennessee and Georgia in the coming years. “The Grind” had officially begun at this point, as Black’s independent schedule began to fill up.
Black vs. Huckaby
Black began to become a hot name in the Atlanta independent scene around 2015 when he made his debut at Atlanta Wrestling Entertainment with tag partner William Huckaby. He and Huckaby had won the NWA Mid-Atlantic tag straps together. The duo went by the name of The Sound And The Fury and although they had some fantastic feuds around that time in AWE, the team didn’t last.
That wasn’t necessarily a bad thing though, as Black and Huckaby would go on to have, in my opinion, one of the best feuds in independent wrestling history. It wasn’t a feud that had an excessive amount of matches or unnecessary story points. Rather a beautiful display of hatred between two former partners that spread across multiple promotions across the state. The feud earned an award for “Best Feud” in the Georgia Wrestling History awards in 2019.
The previously mentioned Southern Honor Wrestling has become the staple of Black’s wrestling career, and a big part of that was his feud with Huckaby. In early 2020, the blowoff match for the rivalry (for now, at least) was a Dog Collar match that was widely considered the Match Of The Year in the state and I can personally vouch for that. Although I didn’t see it live, I’ve watched it on IWTV a countless amount of times.
The Climax and The Downfall
Despite having won other important championships, including the Georgia Wrestling Crown title, Joe Black was able to capture arguably the top prize in the state later on in 2020 after defeating Corey Hollis for the Southern Honor Wrestling Championship. In devastating fashion, Black lost the title hardly two months later when he suffered a severe knee injury.
The climb back is always the most important aspect of a story, and while Black hasn’t necessarily reached that peak of championship fame he once had, he’s recently taken on a new attitude that’s more aggressive and unapologetic than ever before. After returning from the injury in June of this year, “The Grind” has begun again and Black has even appeared in new promotions like Intense Wrestling Entertainment. Although Black hasn’t done much work with the “big” companies aside from one dark match in WWE and ROH, I personally believe his work speaks for itself and that opportunity will present itself soon enough.
Writer’s note: As a special twist, I’ve asked Joe Black to share three of his favorite matches and share a few personal thoughts.
Joe Black’s favorite matches:
Personal Thoughts From Joe Black:
“Live your dream, but don’t forsake your reality. Watch wrestling, love wrestling. More importantly, love yourself and reciprocate the love you’re shown, however subtle. Knowledge of self is vastly more important than knowledge of any other medium you may be involved with. Why? Don’t know who you are, nobody else will either.”
“So I know I’m not largely known, but I know myself. So that counts for something.”
Special thanks to Joe for taking the time to participate in this Indie Watch. You can follow him on Twitter here.
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.