Why Calvin Tankman is the heavyweight to watch out for

Wrestling (Photo by Etsuo Hara/Getty Images)
Wrestling (Photo by Etsuo Hara/Getty Images) /

Calvin Tankman is a name wrestling fans need to know.

On August 22nd, Black Label Pro held its first show since indie wrestling was justifiably called down for quarantine. This show, Erick Stevens Presents: Professional Wrestling, was a stacked card containing a whole assortment of matches that could main event any BLP event.

From Warhorse successfully defending his title against the newly christened A Very Good Professional Wrestler. To the bout of AJ Gray vs Arik Royal which displayed new feats from both men. It was a very enjoyable night from a card that was completely delivered.

But we are going to focus on the main event. Or rather, one man in the main event. Making his Black Label Pro debut against the resident headlining champion and namesake for the event, Erick Stevens, was Calvin Tankman. And within only the span of one match, everyone in the crowd at home and in the stadium wanted to see more of the newly-christened champion.

Why Heavyweight Hustle is one to watch

According to Cagematch Wrestling, Calvin Tankman’s first debut match, at least recorded online, came in the form of a five-way bout in 2016 in Wild Championship Outlaws promotion in March of 2016. How I have not noticed Calvin’s matches in the span of over four years is a mystery to me and one I seek to correct.

Combining a barrage of different styles, Calvin “Heavyweight Hustle” Tankman truly lives up to that moniker. While easily appearing as a powerhouse from appearances alone, Tankman shakes it up with an agility allowing to pull off phenomenal suicide dives and running Shooting Star Presses that never fail to get a pop from the crowd. One move of his that always stands out to me is his hard-hitting Hidden Blade.

Calvin Tankman has been taking the indie American scene by storm, from holding the headlining title of Bizzaro Lucha to wrecking roughshod over the scramble during GCW’s The Wrld On 2 event which earned him an MLW contract for his remarkable performance.

Things do not seem to be slowing down for Heavyweight Hustle. And frankly, I cannot wait to see what Calvin Tankman pulls out next in the coming months of matches that he very much deserves to be a part of.

Calvin Tankman Matches To Watch

Erick Stevens vs Calvin Tankman-Erick Stevens Presents: Pro Wrestling

Erick Stevens formed the obvious heel, his sexist gimmick comments on Twitter from the previous day being understandably disliked. While you could make the argument that Calvin Tankman earned easy cheers from being the opposer to Erick, Calvin’s resume was brought up by the commentators, establishing him as a traveled performer of the scene.

And the chants of “New Champ!” showed the crowd felt the respect was well-earned.

The match shows early that Erik Stevens can’t compete with the fine-tuned physical skill and capability of Calvin Tankman and so resorts to strategically targeting the arm, hoping to disable the offense of Tankman. The match becomes a game of push and pull as Calvin Tankman switches between dominating the bout to Stevens rendering Tankman incapacitated through the limb targetting, utilizing the ring and submission maneuvers to continually destroy the arm.

But it is not enough for the fighting spirit of Tankman who powers through the veteran skill and strategy of Stevens and captures the Black Label Pro Heavyweight Championship.

Until what was a not great decision to have Tankman immediately lose the title afterward to a “Money In The Bank ”-esque cash in from the opportunistic Jake Something who takes the reign for himself.

But at least it led to a good match. One we’ll talk about right now!

Calvin Tankman Vs Jake Something-Turbo Graps Part 1

Looking for revenge against Something’s cowardly act of winning the BLP Heavyweight title, Tankman entered as a returning hero. In comparison to the previous legitimate reason for spite towards his rival, this match contained only in-script reasons for heat/pops. Still didn’t halt it from being a banger of a match.

Contrasted to the more submission and hold based Stevens, Jake Something has a similar size and power to Tankman, allowing for an even match in give and take. However, the Babyface Fire of Calvin gives him the edge, repeatedly gaining the upperhand against Something from the get-go of a suicide dive to Something the moment he enters the scene.

It’s only through resorting to not one, but two low blows does Something manage to sneak away with his title. While he may have won the victory once again Calvin Tankman, it was only in the most definite terms of the contract both times, leaving Tankman reigning strong in spirit.

Calvin Tankman Vs O’Shay Edwards-For The Culture

In my own personal opinion, this was tied with Trisha Adora vs Suge D for match of the weekend in the Collective. Rarely do you see a match between two big men wrestlers that lives up to all the hype it has been given. O’Shay Edwards is bordering on earning his own Spotlight at some point, having some of the best online promos and well-executed move arsenal today. Both men show that the heavyweight style is far from going out of style in any of their matches.

The match has a multitude of agile maneuvers between both men. But as opposed to a Dijakovic/Lee match, Tankman and Edwards go for a slow burn of milder – but still impressive – moves. There were float overs between the two of them, a springboard across the back from O’Shay, and an impressive catching dropkick from Tankman.

And that match benefits from this. As opposed to going 200 miles a second, it instead gradually raises the maneuvers higher and higher, earning equal gradual engagement from the audience. This leads to Calvin’s running Shooting Star Press seeming as if it would end the match if it hit O’Shay.

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While a short match, I believe it’s a testament to its ability that it only lasted a little under 10 minutes but still was a huge amount of fun to rewatch for this article.