PJ Black is ready for ArcadeMania to run wild in Los Angeles.
Noe Vega, a renowned international host and club promoter, is bringing ArcadeMania to Los Angeles on March 29. PJ Black is one of the wrestlers that will be on hand for the video games/pro wrestling mash-up that will see competitors square off in a retro video game tournament.
Black spoke with WrestleZone Managing Editor Bill Pritchard ahead of the event about what fans can expect and how the concept came about.
“I grew up playing retro games, like Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, especially Mortal Kombat, 1, 2 and 3. I’m pretty efficient at it, actually. I live in LA and we host tournaments all the time. Noe Vega, the promoter, has the machine at his house. So, we host tournaments all the time,” Black explained. “I think I’m like top five in LA in our league, whatever. So that’s why Noe was like, ‘Hey man, we should just run events,’ and he’s a club promoter and he runs shows all over the world. He’s one of the first club promoters to host parties in Iceland and Denmark. He actually lives in Denmark half the year. And he’s a big Mortal Kombat fan, too, he’s a big wrestling fan. He used to be roommates with LA Knight, actually.
“So, he knows a bunch of the boys and he knows he knows wrestling. He knows wrestling very well. And we came up with this idea, well, he came up with this idea, it’s kind of like an ultimate meet and greet, right? Where you get to hang out with some of your favorite wrestlers,” he explained. “We have seven guys booked in and we have a bunch of other guys that are just going to rock up on the day potentially and just play video games. He had a title belt made, so what’s cool about this concept is like a fan can win this belt or a wrestler can win this belt. And he wants to have these on a monthly basis, so let’s see what happens.”
PJ Black made an appearance in IMPACT Wrestling’s X Division Championship tournament in 2022, making it to the semifinals before losing to Black Taurus. Black said that while that appearance was a one-off, he did have talks about returning to the promotion. Those discussions didn’t materialize into another appearance, but Black is keeping things open.
“Yeah, we did [talk about doing more]. The talks kind of went nowhere. But I did do the tournament and whenever they do tournaments like that, I’ll be involved in that. But other than that, working a full-time schedule with them,” Black explained, “we haven’t really like solidified anything yet. But I’m still talking [to them] and I’m talking to a few other companies, and we’ll see. It’s kind of like a really weird time in wrestling and in the world right now where everything just, I don’t know, maybe it’s just me, but it just feels like everything’s kind of, like, up in the air.”
Santino Marella recently said that PJ Black and JTG were two names that he would really like to see in IMPACT Wrestling. Black shared how Santino thought he was going to be with IMPACT longer, noting that Santino touted his Mortal Kombat skills ahead of the tournament.
“I did that those shows before he [Santino] made his debut, actually. Then a couple of weeks later, I found out that he was going to [be there], and he thought I was there. So, he kept texting me, ‘Hey, man, I’m going to be at the show. Where are you?’ I’m like, ‘I only did the once off in Vegas.’ Then he was like, ‘Oh, well, don’t worry. I’m going to put in a word now that I have some pull’ or whatever. [laughs] I’m still kind of talking to him,” Black said, “Then last minute, we got him onto the ArcadeMania show. So, he says he’s pretty good at Mortal Kombat 2, so we’ll see.”
ArcadeMania will feature two retro classic tournaments for the Mortal Kombat 2 and WWF Superstar arcade games. Not only can the tournament winners walk away with a championship belt, but the night will also feature a costume contest and other pro-wrestling-themed events.
Tickets for ArcadeMania are on sale now; visit www.arcademania.club or the ArcadeMania Instagram page for ticket information and more details. ArcadeMania takes place on March 29th at Blipsy Bar, 369 N. Western Avenue in Los Angeles.
Check out our full video interview with PJ Black below: