Black Velvets
Members: Dan "Cypher" Kilburn, Merrill "Shadowbird" Waters
Federations Participated In: HVW, WOF, XDF, XOW, WFC
Hailing from: Lafayette, Louisiana
Combined Weight: 378 lbs.
Entrance Music: Black Velvet by Alannah Myles
Team Finisher: Louisiana Lockdown
Created: September 18, 2005
Disbanded: November 12, 2006 (mutual agreement)
Accomplishments: WOF/HVW World Tag Team Champions (10/23/05 - 1/29/06, vacated)

The Black Velvets are the tag team of Dan "Cypher" Kilburn and Merrill "Shadowbird" Waters. Together, they have participated in a total of five feds and have held the WOF/HVW World Tag Team Championship one time. They are currently separated by mutual agreement. They hail from Lafayette, Louisiana, and their primary finisher is the Louisiana Lockdown, which consists of Cypher lifting an opponent up and slamming him down as Merrill hits his Twilight Neckbreaker.


Formation in HVW and Cypher's XDF

Merrill Waters and Dan Kilburn entered High Voltage Wrestling at its inception, as it had just opened as a developmental territory for WOF. Both instantly proved that they were promising, and a friendship between the two quickly developed. At the second show, they were both booked against two other breakout stars, Dustin Diablo and Jae Millz. Merrill took on Diablo and prevailed, and later in the night, Cypher took on Millz. Cypher also won his match, but ended up caught in the middle of a brawl between Millz and Diablo, who had clashed from the get-go. Merrill ran in, carrying a pair of leather jackets, and he handed one to Cypher. Cypher accepted, and a handshake sealed the birth of the Black Velvets. Merrill, Cypher, and Diablo then proceeded to hit their respective finishers on the hapless Millz, but when Diablo had his guard down, Cypher and Merrill took him out with their Louisiana Lockdown finisher, and in one night, the Black Velvets had announced to the world that they were a force to be reckoned with.

During this time, it was rumored that some HVW stars would already be brought up to the WOF roster. Among the rumored frontrunners were, not surprisingly, Cypher and Merrill, who were excited at the prospect of possibly competing for a tag championship. Not long before Downward Spiral 2005, the announcement came that the rumor was only partially true: the whole HVW roster would be promoted. The Black Velvets continued their winning ways, with Cypher winning the Battle Royal at Downward Spiral and winning a shot at the newly created High Velocity Championship. With momentum on their side, Cypher and Merrill prepared to enter WOF and earn their place in the tag division.

Also during their tenure in HVW and WOF, Cypher invited Merrill to participate in his dueling entertainment promotion, XDF. Merrill accepted and stepped in briefly as a co-General Manager. But some in XDF did not like this move...specifically, the other GM, Scar. He and interviewer Sheila Qualey, whose attempted sexual advances had been ignored by Merrill, sought to oust him from XDF at all costs. It culminated in the first ever tag team duel in XDF, where Cypher's Monarchs and Merrill's Dragons ensured a Black Velvet victory. Sheila Qualey was fired, and Scar was disgraced.

Domination in WOF

A mere two weeks later, on a night where Cypher and Merrill had both failed to capture a spot in the finals for the High Velocity Championship, they received the chance to make a true statement as members of the WOF tag division. With then-WOF Tag Team champions Fyr and Ice stripped of the titles, they were pitted against the then-number one contenders the Guerrera Brothers, where the winner would be crowned the new champions. The Black Velvets did not disappoint, as they dominated the Guerrera Brothers and pinned them in short order, winning the belts in an impressive fashion.

Despite this, not all was well for the young tag team. On the next Destruction, the Black Velvets were pitted against the Kings of War (Scotty Bishop and Trevor B) in a non-title contest. Merrill eventually picked up the win for his team, but Cypher acted erratically throughout the whole match, and began to curse his family and the people who had antagonized him in high school. Merrill went over to him in concern but received a shove and a series of stomps for his troubles. It appeared the Black Velvets had burnt out, but Grave Digger suddenly appeared to (literally) knock some sense into Cypher's head. Cypher took the admonition to heart and conquered his high school demons just in time, because the Kings of War had been granted a rematch for the tag titles at Apocalypse 2005.

Separately, the Black Velvets were able to conquer the Kings of War on the last show before Apocalypse, with Merrill destroying Trevor B and Cypher defeating Bishop. However, things were more unsettled backstage. Morale was still shaky from Patriot Games, and Merrill himself was in a battle against one of the co-General Managers, Nathan Yager over Merrill's plans for a match against his brother. The Black Velvets retained at Apocalypse, but after the year-end break, Merrill decided that he had had enough of Yager and signed an exclusive contract with XOW. That, coupled with the split between WOF and HVW, ended the Black Velvets...or at least, so it seemed...

A Parting of Ways

Before long, Cypher followed Merrill over to XOW, and the pair looked to continue their dominating ways. Unfortunately, they failed to capture the XOW Tag Team Championships at Zero Hour 2006, and later in the night, they were set to start out against each other in the Pyramid Cage match for the XOW World Title. This continued a friendly rivalry between the two that began with an exhibition match between the two in XDF. But even this did not last very long, as within a month, Merrill went out with an injury, and not much longer after that, XOW folded. The team separated for a short time to focus on other goals - recovery for Merrill, and a World title for Cypher.

Unfortunately, Cypher met with mixed success, and once Merrill finally returned to HVW three months later, he wasn't around for very long. At the time Merrill returned, HVW had grown a large tag division, and Merrill hoped to reunite with his friend to regain the titles they never technically lost, the reborn HVW World Tag Team Championship. Just as they were going to compete in their first match, Cypher left HVW because of family issues, notifying no one but Heath Lancaster. Merrill was left chagrined, even after finally receiving an explanation from Cypher personally.

The friends ended up returning to HVW once again, each having a match on the Nov. 5th edition of Aftershock. With both in HVW once again, rumors circulated about another possible reunion of the Black Velvets. However, Merrill crushed this rumor on Shockwave the week before, declaring that the BVs were no more "for the foreseeable future".

The Future?

Currently, both Cypher and Merrill are employed in the UHWF, with Cypher being a part of the New Breed stable. Since Cypher and stablemate Scotty Bishop were instrumental in bringing Merrill in to UHWF, rumor has it that a reunion is possible. However, Merrill has denied it for the time being, although both have stated that "you never know." Therefore, although there are currently no official plans for them to reunite, the Black Velvets should not be considered forever gone.

Record and Accomplishments


  • 1x WOF/HVW World Tag Team Champions (10/23/05 - 1/29/06); vacated
  • 3rd Place 2005 E-fed Tag Team of the Year


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