The Catalyst Wrestling promotion is presenting an event on 1/15 in New York and on the match card is a tag bout that will see T.I.M. and Rob Killjoy defend their Catalyst Tag Titles against the duo of BLK Jeez and Joker.
Jeez and Joker have tagged at various points dating back to 2004. This match is going to be their first as a team since 2019 and while speaking to BLK Jeez, he feels that their chemistry will pick up where they left it. He expressed that they have a good understanding of one another and he’s looking forward to sharing the ring with Joker again.
Yeah, it’s instant chemistry man [between Jeez & Joker]. It’s like — because we pretty much started our careers at the same time, you know what I’m saying? So, everywhere, we wrestled the same places all the time so we pretty much had that chemistry from day one and when we tag man, it’s like a different type of intensity. It’s like we think alike, you know what I mean? We don’t even really have to — I don’t know man. I don’t know how you would describe it but it’s like whenever we’re in there, the connection is there. It’s like everything is all good so we’re both looking forward to this match at Catalyst [Wrestling]. It’s our first time tagging together in a while but man, we’re looking forward to killing it at Catalyst man, you know what I’m saying? Looking forward to taking over the scene again.
The Philadelphia native began his in-ring career in 2002. Despite the mileage he has put on his body throughout the years, Jeez feels he’s in the best shape of his life at 42 years of age. In addition to that, he believes he’s doing some of his best on-screen work and adds that he has a few more years left in him.
It’s definitely that. It’s definitely working out, you know what I’m saying? Eating clean and all that but it’s also, I still have a passion for this. There’s still a lot that I wanna accomplish and over the years, we all go through where we might not like it as much, you know what I’m saying? Because the negatives that we gotta deal with in this business or whatever but, when we as wrestlers, when we get motivated, there’s nothing that can stop us. It’s like now, I feel like I’m in the best shape of my life. I’m putting out the best performances, the best promos and all that. I still got a few years left man, you know what I’m saying? I’m loving this.
Out of the 20 years that BLK Jeez has been involved in wrestling, for 15 of those years, he regularly competed at CZW events. It was in the promotion that he became a World Heavyweight and multi-time Junior Heavyweight and Tag Team Champion to become the promotion’s eighth Triple Crown Champion.
In 2014, CZW uploaded a video to their YouTube channel of BLK Jeez addressing the lack of Black talent on the promotional material for upcoming events. Jeez said that was coming from a real place and also touched on his comments directed at the overseas promotions that CZW had relationships with. He felt like talents from those respective promotions were not too fond of him.
Yeah, it definitely was. It [CZW promo addressing lack of Black talent on promotional material] was coming from a real place. That promo, it wasn’t scripted, it wasn’t — and it wasn’t anybody saying, ‘Hey, why don’t you touch on this?’ It was me — it was them putting a camera in front of my face, rolling and me just getting some things off my chest and at the time, that’s exactly how it was. It was like when CZW started working with wXw in Germany, first time we went over there, those cats over there, it was like they were treating all of us like we should all be happy to be there. Not just [Black wrestlers], like all of us. They were just — they were treating us like — they was pretty much young boy-ing us bro. They was treating us like we not sh*t and I wasn’t gonna stand for that and like, a lot of the guys that were there, they were just allowing it to happen and I’m like, ‘Yo bro, are we men or are we boys over here?’ And it’s like — and back then, it was like any time that I spoke my mind, you know what I’m saying, and I looked out for the boys in the locker room, it was frowned upon. It was like, people were like, ‘Oh, that’s just Jeez. That’s just how he is’ so, it sort of gave me a reputation like I’m a hothead or like I’m unprofessional which isn’t the case. It’s all about respect, you know what I’m saying? We’re men first, wrestlers second. So if you want us to respect y’all, you’re gonna respect us and the sad thing about it was the majority of cats in that locker room, they weren’t backing me on it. They were just like — I was just like a man in my own world it’s like. Yeah, exactly [I was a lone wolf] and that’s how it was a lot. That’s how it was for me for a long time on the indies, you know what I’m saying? And me standing on my own two, me not putting up with b.s., that stalled my career a lot, because people would — people didn’t wanna book me, people who I thought were my homies, they wouldn’t even speak up for me so it’s like all these other cats getting bookings here and there and I’m not getting anything and it pissed me off, you know what I’m saying? So for a long time, that entire time that I was in CZW, all those promos, that was my real thoughts, my real feelings, you know what I’m saying? And it was like, it got to the point where people didn’t wanna work with me, especially when it came to [when] we had to do anything that involved getting on the mic and talking, like in-ring promo, stuff like that, people didn’t wanna work programs with me because I don’t know, was it fear? I don’t know. Do people just — people didn’t wanna deal with me. Fellow wrestlers, promoters didn’t wanna deal with me. It was all because of my promos, it was all about the character.
A lot of fellow wrestlers and promoters, they just felt like the character was too real. It was like they hear my name, they’re like, ‘Ah, nah. Nah, he’s a problem,’ you know what I’m saying? And it was messed up and the crazy thing is, you know how it is these days where everybody is all about the culture and that’s great. I was on that years ago and people frowned on me about it. Even people that look like us bro, like seriously. People that look like us, they were frowning on me about it and I’m looking out for myself, I’m looking out for all of us and they weren’t even trying to hear it. When it’s kind of funny now, everybody is on it. I’m not saying it’s fake. I’m not saying it’s all about clout, but bro, I was on that years ago and y’all cats was frowning on me. Now all of a sudden, all of y’all are about it. Is it for real or is it clout? I think a lot of these cats is just for clout. Not all of ‘em. Some of them are really about it, some of them are really about clout. Some of ‘em is all about just doing this and that just so they can get bookings. They try to use it so they can back people into a corner for them to get bookings, for them to get pushes and it’s sad, you know?
Over the past several years, there have been a surge of Black wrestlers rising to the forefront. Jeez is happy to see the business progressing when it comes to Black talents being able to use their respective voices and speak out on issues without fear of being penalized or held back.
Jeez reiterated that when he attempted to speak out on issues pertaining to race, it was frowned upon. He shared that he always spoke his mind and that garnered the respect of some.
It’s always been a battle for me, you know what I mean? And I’ll say this, I’ve never been called the n-word. It’s happening by a couple fans. But as far as like promoters and the boys, I’ve never been called that to my face. The not getting opportunities because of color of skin, it’s there, it’s been there. That’s something that — you know, that’s something that everyone knows it’s been around in pro wrestling. It’s definitely happened, you know what I mean? But not once have I ever tried to use the race card to try to get an advantage. I just always looked at it like, ‘All right –’ exactly, it is what it is. I have an idea of why this person is getting this, this person is getting this and I’m not. But maybe it’s not that. Maybe they’re more advanced than I am, maybe it’s not the color, you know what I mean? So I never use the race thing as a crutch or nothing. I just looked at it like, ‘Okay, cool. I’m gonna get there,’ you know what I mean? I’m strong enough and talented enough and confident enough to where I’m gonna make it there. I just think that it’s weak to use that. Now like, in CZW, I started from the bottom and worked my way up. Like everything I ever had, I had to fight for it, you know what I’m saying? And it’s like when we were doing Blackout, it was a group of us so, it was easier to get those opportunities. Even if people in the back [are] playing politics, when we went out there, the audience was telling you who they wanted to see. So, it was a fight but when it was Blackout, we banded together to make it happen and then when I was like a solo guy in CZW, I just fought for what I wanted and I was never quiet, you know what I’m saying? If it was something I didn’t like, I spoke up and that’s what you have to do. The environment in CZW over the years, it was a toxic environment, but, you would only get treated badly if you allowed it to happen. If you allowed it to happen, it happened. If you didn’t allow it to happen, it wouldn’t happen and that comes from commanding respect. We’re all adults, adult-age, act like it, you know what I’m saying? If you allow yourself to be treated like a child, then it’s gonna happen. There’s been several times in CZW where like, people would be scared to speak up for themselves and they would mention it to me and I would say something and help them out, you know what I mean? So it’s like, again man, it is what it is. It’s like if you allow it to happen, it’s gonna happen. If you don’t allow it, it won’t happen, you know?
There have been several stories that have emerged over the past several years about the treatment of women in CZW throughout the promotion’s history. Jeez said women in the promotion were treated poorly and CZW was a toxic environment for them.
Jeez recalled when he and fellow talents would often speak to the promotion owner (either John Zandig and/or DJ Hyde) to address the treatment of female talent.
But CZW was a toxic environment though. It was a toxic environment, especially for the women. The women were treated very, very badly, you know what I’m saying? And there were times when not only me, there’s several of us guys that would go to the owner and put him in his place, and then he would chill but then he would still go back to the b.s., you know what I’m saying? It was very disrespectful to the women bro. Very disrespectful.
It wasn’t, it wasn’t cool because women go through enough b.s., you know what I’m saying? And not only in wrestling, in all forms of entertainment, they go through enough b.s., that they shouldn’t have to go through. For somebody that has a — that’s an owner that has a leadership role. For you to try to use that to make women do what you want them to do, it’s clown sh*t and it shouldn’t happen, you know what I mean?
While in CZW, Jeez won the promotion’s World Tag Team Titles on five separate occasions with Ruckus. On January 22nd, Ruckus is going to be honored at Game Changer Wrestling and Orange Crush’s Indie Wrestling Hall of Fame ceremony. He is a member of the inaugural class.
Jeez is happy that Ruckus is receiving the honor and described him as an innovator of the high-flying style of wrestling.
Yeah definitely, it’s well-deserved man [Ruckus going into the Indie Wrestling Hall of Fame]. Ruckus is an innovator man. A lot of the guys that have the popular style now, Ruckus is the father of that, and also, even back then, when other guys were getting more recognition than Ruckus, a lot of these guys, they were only good in-ring. Ruckus, not only was he good in the ring, he was a character, you know what I’m saying? He held it all down, you know what I mean? So like, it’s real cool that he’s getting in that Hall of Fame man. He definitely deserves it, definitely. If it was up to me, Ruckus would be a millionaire right now if it was up to me.
The last time Jeez appeared for an event under the GCW banner was Homicide’s celebration show in 2019. The likes of Julius Smokes, Ruckus, Joker, Santana, Ortiz and the late Jimmy Rave were a part of the show. Jeez reflected on that day and how it felt like a family atmosphere from start to finish.
It definitely was man [like a family atmosphere — GCW’s Homicide celebration show], definitely. A lot of times when you go in these locker rooms man, it’s like, there’s a lot of clicks, you know what I’m saying? And some guys are over here, some guys are over there. That night, everybody was together and it’s fun when it’s that way when it’s like no egos, no b.s., everybody is there for the same reason, you know what I’m saying? That’s exactly how it was. It was like a family that night. We need more of that.
During the summer of 2021, Jeez began competing under the National Wrestling Alliance banner again. He made his in-ring return on an episode of Powerrr.
With two decades spent in pro wrestling, Jeez was asked if he’d be interested in taking on a backstage or agent role in the NWA. The behind-the-scenes roles never peaked his interest but when he saw Homicide begin to agent matches for the organization and witnessing how he navigates his role, it opened up Jeez’s mind to the idea of taking on that role.
Before, that was something I never wanted a part of [producing/agenting]. I never wanted to do anything behind the scenes. I just wanted to be a performer. But like, real sh*t, once Homicide became an agent and I see how he does things and how he’s treated as an agent, it opened my mind to in the future [about] wanting to be a coach, wanting to be a trainer, wanting to be an agent, you know what I’m saying? It’s an important job to have. It’s like, it’s very important. It’s like the guys who have a match, they have an idea of a match, the agent is the third set of eyes. I would love to do it in the future, definitely. With a lot of things happening right now, it’s opening my eyes to different things in wrestling and again, going back to how NWA is really big on being able to talk, when you’re a strong talker, that can lead to other things as well. That could lead to commentary, that could lead to, for example, take somebody like MVP, hell of talker. You remember when he had his own show on Raw, you know what I’m saying? That type of stuff bro so like, when you’re a strong talker, when you can put words together, when you can talk people into the building, however you wanna word it, that can lead to a lot so, I’m loving it bro, loving it [being with the NWA].
In 2011 and 2012, BLK Jeez had opportunities to travel to Japan and be a part of Big Japan Pro Wrestling tours. He shared the ring with the likes of Daisuke Sekimoto and Yuji Okabayashi. In 2012, Jeez teamed up with the now-retired Shinya Ishikawa to take on Michael Dante and AEW’s Malakai Black.
Jeez looks back fondly on his time in Japan and expressed that it was a great experience that he’ll always remember.
Yeah, it was real cool [to tour with Big Japan Pro Wrestling]. One thing that I can say about Japan, it was clean as hell over there. I’m used to Philly, I’m used to trash being everywhere, I’m used to it being dirty. Everywhere we went in Japan was clean as hell bro. That was definitely shocking, but I didn’t really have a negative experience, because remember, that’s all I wanted to do. I just wanted to go to Japan and wrestle and I loved it. My time over there, I loved it because again, Big Japan, they’re product is really big on death matches, you know what I’m saying? But it was no different from working for CZW when CZW’s big thing were death matches. I didn’t do any death matches in Big Japan. I did wrestling, you know what I’m saying? I got to wrestle with the majority of the roster [which] was cool. I got to get in there with [Daisuke] Sekimoto. It was cool man, it was a great experience in Big Japan bro.
BLK Jeez is scheduled for the NWA’s ‘PowerrrTrip’ event on February 12th in Oak Grove, Kentucky.