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Found 8 results

  1. This is the final of the tournament to crown the first MLW World Champion on the first MLW show. For why it’s a three-way match, see my review of the semi-final of the Vampiro vs Taiyo Kea match that went to a time limit draw, only for Douglas to come out and make it a three way. Most of this review is going to talk about the aftermath and the booking, as there is nothing to this match at all, with barely 2 mins of ‘action’. Having already wrestled twice that night, Douglas looks knackered and basically sells for a minute and half as it initially looks like Vampiro and Kea will work together. But very soon Vampiro catches Kea with a kick when Douglas moves, who then hits his belly to belly for the title. (N/R) If you’ve read through my reviews of all the matches on their first show, MLW were clearly and obviously just in ECW rehash mode for their first show. It was in the former ECW arena, it had a load of ex ECW guys on the show, the final was turned into an impromptu three way and then after the match we get a reprisal of the infamous birth of Extreme angle with Douglas throwing down the MLW Title just like he did with the NWA one back in 1994. Unlike the original angle which was ground breaking, edgy and had a point to it, this just felt like a cheap rip off and his promo to go along with it doesn’t make much sense. There’s plenty of swearing and shots at the likes of Vince, Heyman, Flair and The Kliq but nothing about why he doesn’t want the title. The show finishes with referee Jim Molineaux basically squaring up to Douglas and telling him that if he doesn’t defend the title – which he never did, and I don’t think appeared for MLW again – he’d be suspended from wrestling in Pennsylvania by the State Athletic Commission. It’s a terrible ending to a pretty uninspiring debut show from MLW, although I think things start to pick up from their second show when they started to try and forge a bit more of their own identity rather than being a straight ECW tribute rip-off. Most of the matches on the first card are solid, but nothing stands out or even reaches ‘good’ levels, although I will say there is a satisfying amount of clean finishes, and no run ins or cheap endings. There’s a contrast with ROH, which had a great main event on its first show which helped build buzz and the fact that they took till several shows in to crown a champion when they had established some guys and storylines. Will look forward though to seeing how the company progressed at the time moving forward.
  2. This is the second semi-final in the MLW World Title Tournament. Vamp beat Christopher Daniels in the QF, while Kea defeated The Wall. Like his earlier match against Daniels, Vampiro is slow and methodical in his approach, but without someone in there with speed to move around him, it means this comes off as lethargic and devoid of energy. Kea again looks good with his kicks and some brutal sounding chops, keeping to the basics, but neither of the guys brings anything compelling to the table and there is no real story to the match for you to get invested in. Because of this, even when they do try to throw in some big moves like a blue thunder bomb and snap hurricanrana, the crowd is pretty dead. Whether it’s legitimate or not, Vampiro looks to be carrying a head or neck injury as he is clutching it after everything he does, but it’s not something that Kea is really focussing on. The two look like they are just going through the motions and killing time, which is backed up by the timekeeper ringing the bell out of nowhere to a confused crowd. I guess this is a 15 min time limit – although the match is only about 12 mins at that point – but that’s never really explained, only that the ref signals for a 5 minute extra time period, until Shane Douglas – who won the first semi-final and who is due to meet the winner comes out to turn the final into a three way match. A not very good match, with a really crappy ending – didn’t enjoy this. (* ¼)
  3. Daniels is the only guy in the tournament that wasn’t a former WCW or ECW ‘name’ (I know he was in WCW briefly, but he was essentially a guy that was making his name on the Indies). Because of being a key part of the first few months of ROH – there’s probably a fair crossover with the crowd from the early ROH Murphy Rec shows – there’s a buzz when he comes out and the crowd are behind him in this match despite him ostensibly being the heel. Vamp has lost the dreadlocks and face paint from his WCW run here, and Joey Styles on commentary is trying to put over the story of him being a more serious character and training in MMA. In the early exchanges there is a lot of mat work, and it’s wrestled at a very deliberate pace. Perhaps surprisingly – given he was coming off a run in WCW where he was involved in lots of garbage matches and hokey supernatural storylines – Vamp looks good in the mat work and he more than holds his own with Daniels. You can tell that there’s probably a mix in the crowd between fans who had been going to the early ROH shows and were starting to get into more technical wrestling and those that had been ECW fans, as you can sense some getting restless at the beginning but it never spills over into any “boring” chants. Daniels is so smooth in his movement and exchanges and you can already see how polished he is. The match is fairly low key until Vampiro takes it to the outside, where as more of a brawler he has the advantage. It’s clear that MLW is going down the ECW route of not really having DQs as Vamp uses a chair and then the timekeepers hammer to hit Daniels low. As I mentioned, I think Vampiro was meant to be the face here, but it’s Daniels who the crowd seems to be behind especially when he starts to bust out some of his big moves like the Best Moonsault Ever. This gets a good nearfall, before Vampiro takes the match with a belly to belly suplex off the top rope. (** ¾)
  4. Included for Juventud's gems. Prince Iaukea debuts as The Artist Formerly Known As Prince Iaukea, looking entirely like Prince. I love Prince, but I'm not sure how this would get him over. Anyway, Juventud Guerrera says, "What a great gimmick for the single worst wrestler in the company." Then he loudly boos Vampiro and accuses him of stealing his moves. Amazing.
  5. I did a podcast with LuchaWorld's Fredo Esparza talking about every candidate in the Lucha region of the Observer this week and we got into pretty much everyone, but would really enjoy the fine folks at PWO to give it a listen and see what the experts here think, whether you're a voter or just someone more interested in Lucha history I think this show hits on a few levels and we even go into a few meta topics like how important magazines were to Lucha Libre back in the old days, how hot things were in the 80s, how influential Los Misioneros are to Trios wrestling style, "cool" rudos, how awesome Sangre Chicana is, how big a star Huracán Ramirez was in the movies, and who the better dancer is between LA Park and Kraneo, among other things like a comprehensive bio of Ruben Juarez in Fredo's own words. it's hard to tell which way the wind is blowing in regards to the voters, but it was worth it just to talk about all these legends. I did my part to run point and hopefully came across well as outside of Juarez I was familiar with the rest. I really enjoyed the show and hopefully you enjoy it too. Show link: https://art19.com/shows/lucha-talk/episodes/1fa28aab-7c55-42a4-bc64-951fbdc17973
  6. I remember reading OJ's review of this months ago and being disappointed that it sounded...well, disappointing. I wasn't hugely fussed about watching it, but I'm going to watch the Casas/Fiera apuestas soon and wanted to see at least a little of the build. As a lead in trios this wasn't as strong as those Dandy/Fiera or Dandy/Llanes trios, but maybe my lowish expectations helped matters because I still enjoyed it. I don't disagree with the criticism that it felt like three separate issues playing out with no real thread to tie them together. I didn't really mind everyone mostly sticking to the one dance partner, though. If the brawling was pedestrian then I might've, but I didn't think this was that. It captured a pretty nice sense of chaos and it wasn't like there weren't moments where one guy would stop beating on their rival to take a swing at someone else. They may not have been brothers in arms, but for this night at least they were makeshift comrades and they had a common goal. Casas/Fiera showed flashes of greatness, I thought. Black Magic/Vampiro and Atlantis/Mano Negra had their moments as well, but it's Casas v Fiera at the Anniversary show and that was the most spotlighted match up. When they turned it loose we got a few cracking moments, like Casas trampling over fans as Fiera chased him into the crowd, Fiera repeatedly ramming Casas' head into a seat and later slamming him into the second row. Casas got himself some nice colour after being lawn darted into the post as well, and on the whole it whet the appetite for the hair match. I can't complain.
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