For those fans whom have been sleeping under a rock for the last 20 years, or for those fans new to Professional Wrestling, or just need a straight forward reminder, slamforce-africa.com decided to remind everyone just exactly who is PJ Black.
PJ Black, formerly known in the WWE as Justin Gabriel, has been wrestling for 22 years. Starting at a young age, of 16 years old, in South Africa, under his father’s tutelage. For our more hardcore South African wrestling fans, who have been there in the 80s and 90s when wrestling enjoyed the same popularity as rugby with household names such as Jan Wilkens, Danie Voges, Jimmy Abbot and of course, PJ Black’s late father, the Pink Panther.
Black always had a dream to get to the top of professional wrestling, and he was the first South African to get all the way up there to the WWE.
Participating in the very first WWE NXT, before NXT was what we all know NXT to be today, when it still followed a “Next Generation Boot Camp” type of competition. Coming 3rd in the inaugural season of NXT, PJ Black did not stop there. Quickly being called up to the main roster of WWE to form part of one of the most talked about and most successful faction in WWE history, The Nexus. Along with guys such as Wade Barret, Heath Slater, David Otunga and Ryback, the Nexus dominated the WWE for a long time, and eventually aligned with CM Punk as their new fearless leader.
During his stint in the WWE, PJ Black captured the WWE World Tag Team Championships three times. He also won 3 Slammy Awards (you can call the Slammy Awards, the Oscars of Professional Wrestling), for Best Faction of the Year, Best Feud of the Year and for Best Animal of the Year…yes, you read that right, Best Animal of the Year. PJ Black was also known in the WWE for a short time, as the WWE Easter Bunny. Only in the WWE can a bunny do 450 splash off the top rope.
After his stint in the WWE, Black moved on, on his own terms and joined TNA Wrestling (the precursor to Impact Wrestling), where he became the TNA King of the Mountain Champion, he also had a stint on Global Force Wrestling (GFW) where he became the very first GFW NEXGEN Champion.
For a very short while, Black was out of action after an unfortunate and career threatening Base Jumping accident. Black has said in previous interviews that doctors told him his wrestling career is over and he will be lucky to be able to walk again if all goes well. The determined man that he is, Black refused to accept his career is over, and he started a gruelling rehab period that eventually saw him return not only to the ring in a little bit over a year after the accident, but also saw the Darewolf return to his adrenalin junkie ways and immediately got a few successful base jumps under his belt…just to prove a point.
After his return to wrestling Black had a highly successful stint in Lucha Underground, where he had great matches involving the likes of Rey Mysterio and Prince Puma (known as Richochet in the WWE) as well as teaming up with best friends and power coupe John Morrison and Taya Valkyire to form World Wide Underground and captured the Lucha Underground Trios Championship shortly after.
Recently, PJ Black has been signed to a 1-year deal with Ring of Honor and has been making massive waves for the company, that is currently the second biggest wrestling promotion in the United States. Rumour behind the scenes in ROH is that management feels they made a big mistake in signing Black for only one year, they are busy negotiating a much longer and more lucrative deal with PJ Black to have him stay longer.
Other than an amazing resume, Black still dreams of wrestling in New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) one day, making him officially one of a very, very small percentage of wrestlers whom wrestled for every single Premier Promotion on earth. With his deal in Ring of Honor, the likelihood of Black wrestling in NJPW is looking great, due to a very close working relationship between NJPRW and ROH.
Indeed, an international wrestling phenomenon, there is not a single place on earth Black has not yet wrestled, recently coming off an Australian tour where he faced Maddog and UFC legend and Hall of Famer, Ken Shamrock. Black remains very humble about his South African heritage and has a great desire to see professional wrestling in Africa return to its glory days that it enjoyed in the 80s and 90s. Back told Cyrus Fees, the legendary wrestling and mma play by play commentator, recently on FITE TV’s FREE FOR ALL Magazine program during Wrestlemania weekend, that he had always wanted to come back and have a bigger role to play in seeing his dream of wrestling in South Africa and Africa rise from the ashes and take it to the next level, so when the anonymous “Mr. C” came along and laid down the blue prints for Slamforce Africa, he (Black) couldn’t say no this opportunity.
On 27 October 2019, PJ Black will make his long awaited and anticipated return to South Africa, not as part of a WWE tour or a quick family visit. But to return as a full-time mainstay member of the Slamforce Africa roster as a competitor. Black dropped a video on Instagram and Facebook via the Slamforce Africa social media network confirming his return first hand and his intentions to hunt down Slamforce Africa’s World Heavyweight Championship.
Wrestling fans all over Africa has shown their excitement for Black returning, overflooding SFA social media inbox with messages of excitement and support.
But who will PJ Black face for the Slamforce Africa World Heavyweight Championship on October 27th?
*Disclaimer: Slamforce-Africa.com makes use of independent sports journalists to contribute to our news section. The views and opinions of these journalists is completely their own and not the views and opinions of Slamforce Africa Pty. (Ltd.) unless expressly stated as such.