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Found 13 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. This is the first semi-final in the tournament to crown the first MLW Champion. Douglas defeated Corino in the QFs, while Lynn got past LA Parka. On his way to the ring Lynn is confronted by Christopher Daniels who says that he wants to “cleanse him of the sins of his past disappointments” and that all the companies that Lynn’s ever worked for have never treated him with any respect. This is foreshadowing the heel run that Lynn would have in MLW. Douglas gets the jump on him to start the match after faking him out with a handshake – it’s pretty ambiguous throughout the tournament if we are meant to be behind him or not, but is consistent with the Franchise character, I guess. There’s not too much to the match, but it has a decent flow to it. Lynn keeps it relatively interesting, wrestling at speed around Douglas to compensate for Shane’s lack of mobility. If you watch the whole tournament, then in contrast with what you see in modern wrestling, there’s not lots of unbelievable kick outs of big moves, so it gets a good reaction in this match when each kick out of the others finish; Douglas out of the cradle piledriver and Lynn out of the belly to belly. A bit like the Lynn/LA Parka match in the round before, just as it’s starting to look like hitting a big closing stretch, Douglas catches Lynn in another belly to belly to advance to the final. Solid stuff. (** ¼)
  4. Joey Styles on commentary says this a first time ever match and plays up the fact that it’s two former ECW and NWA champions, something that will play into the conclusion of the tournament. Douglas gets the biggest pop of the night coming out, leaning heavily of course on his ECW past. Before the match we get promos from both guys, who both have great delivery, but a lot of the content is very early 2000s with plenty of ‘shoot’ and insider comments which do not age well. Corino’s promo is pretty good, presenting himself as a defender of tradition and how proud he was to wear the NWA Title compared to Douglas who threw it down, but that makes it unclear who is meant to be the heel and face in this, as he veers between being sympathetic and antagonistic. In the end Douglas sucker punches him to start the match. Douglas gets an initial shine and there’s nice punch exchanges from both guys, but outside of that there’s not much to get excited about or invested in. You can see some of the influences that going over to Japan with Zero 1 was starting to have on Corino with him building in things like the facewash in the corner. Douglas in return, outside of punches and the odd suplex, doesn’t bring much of anything. Even by 2002 he feels like something of a relic that wrestling has now passed by. There is a storyline that could’ve been told between the two, of Corino being a younger version of Douglas in terms of his accomplishments, but this never really gets played up in the match. Even the ringside brawling is largely lifeless and non-descript. Douglas ends up winning when he counters the Old School Expulsion neck breaker into his belly to belly. Solid, but disappointing given I thought it would be more heated. (**)
  5. This was meant to be Kea vs Bam Bam Bigelow, who apparently no showed and is replaced by The Wall. Because of this Bam Bam gets a mild dose of the Mike Awesome treatment from Styles with a bit of a burial on commentary. With his WCW background and the fact that big muscle guys weren’t very en vogue at the time - with the implication they couldn’t work and were ‘too WWE’ - The Wall gets crapped on by the crowd with plenty of “we want Bam Bam” chants. To be fair he doesn’t do much – or doesn’t get the chance to do much – to win anyone over. Kea is from All Japan and is the protégé of The Great Muta. MLW’s strap line at this time was ‘hybrid wrestling’ with the idea that it would be a melting pot of different styles and guys from different parts of the world, and they would build a relationship with All Japan which would be seen by the run that Satoshi Kojima gets as their champion eventually. There is little to no chemistry between these guys with little in the way of energy. Kea has a clear game plan in trying to work over The Wall’s legs, which makes sense, with some drop kicks to the knee and a dragon screw leg whip. He’s got some nice strikes and chops but doesn’t seem to mesh with The Wall’s standard big man offence of punches and stomps. The Wall hits a couple of decent, if rather basic power spots but after just four or five mins, Kea hits a quick flurry of kicks and finishes with a northern lights suplex. Nothing to see here. (*)
  6. 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)
  7. What with the return of MLW in 2017, I thought it would be fun to go back and watch the initial run of shows from the company and compare it with the other Indie companies of the time that were all striving to try and fill some of the void left by the closure of WCW and ECW the year before. This is the first match on their first show, and it’s a quarter final match in an 8-man tournament to crown the first MLW World Champion. As with many companies at the time, MLW chose Philadelphia as the place to launch and their first show comes from the artist formerly known as the ECW Arena. As I think we’ll see, MLW would lean on a lot on both the talent and concepts from ECW, and this show has it in spades. Joey Styles being the announcer another clear link. Jerry Lynn was just about to start a strong period in his career, being one of the pioneers of the early days of the X Division and one of the big positives about TNA in their first couple of years. He gets a big pop here and looks very good in the match. LA Parka interestingly is now a featured player in MLW some 17 years later but here he looks positively svelte. I dug his white suit and sombrero look with his normal gear. LA Parka dominates the early stages, being a great dick heel with plenty of kicks and slaps and lots of his trademark taunts and dance moves. He doesn’t do too much, but he doesn’t have to – his charisma and personality carries his offence. When the pace picks up its Lynn that is able to take control, and through his time in WCW and ECW he’s got plenty of experience of course with working with luchadors. The two work well together, and there’s plenty of smooth sequences, but just as it looks like the match is about to kick into high gear it ends rather abruptly via a Lynn Tornado DDT. This was fun for what we got, and with a one-night tournament the first-round matches can’t go too long, but if they had some more time this could’ve been really good. (** ½)
  8. I remember loving this match years ago and it's really nice of MLW to upload this in excellent quality. Some fun early wrestling exchanges where they mesh better than you expect and Sabu hits everything cleanly. They even did a good build, for example by avoiding the obvious table bump early on or La Parka understanding the Camel Clutch is a finisher. But the crowd keeps calling for tables, so the match turns into the usual Sabu bombfest. Parka really outbumps Sabu here, take a big Necro bump where he nearly overshoots the table and just flying into the turnbuckle. Sabu grabbing the scissors (backstory?) and carving Parka up added some needed grit to this spotty type brawl. There was also a great exchange where Parka was working over Sabus body with stiff kicks while Sabu tried these lunging desperate punches. These two are really decent pro wrestler aside from the hardcore stuff, so you get Parka expertly covering up a Sabu botch or selling his blood loss and making the walk back into the ring seem important etc.
  9. Major League Wrestling has posted the latest episode of Fusion to their YouTube channel. This show taped on July 12 in Orlando, FL, and looks on paper to be a card with solid potential. The matches: Kahuna Khan vs Kiki Roberts Anything Goes Grudge Match: Tom Lawlor vs Jimmy Havoc MLW World Title: Low Ki (c) vs Shane Strickland You can watch the show below. Let us know what you think in the comments!
  10. Not a MOTYC by any stretch, but a really entertaining indy-rific match. Having been there, I'm sure I liked this more than most peeps. Anyway, they work pretty evenly and develop this by putting over Riddle as a former UFC fighter and legit bad ass taking on an up and coming future star with Riddle getting the upper hand when involved in the rough striking exchanges and finding a way to always counter whatever it was Swerve was able to bring to the table. Both guys landed some fantastic strikes, with Riddle murdering Swerve with some brutal slaps and there's a point where he blasts Swerve with a nasty body kick that sounded like a gun shot. Swerve also brought some pretty great looking strikes, namely some cool looking face kicks while he tried pulling off the Keys to Swerve City. Pretty cool finishing stretch which turned into a bomb fest featuring some pretty nasty stuff. Loved Swerve countering the Bro 2 Sleep into a double stomp. MLW has far better production values than a lot of other U.S. indies and thus they made great work of putting over the lively split crowd at the venue and really brought out the big match feel this had. Plus Tony Schiavone and Rich Bocchini are a fun commentary team. You can put any type of spins you want on this, but the crowd left home happy for the most part and they were pretty lively for it, so it served it's purpose perfectly. Easily the best Swerve singles match I've seen, however not on par with a lot of Riddle's best stuff from WM weekend, but still well worth a watch if you dig the U.S. indy stuff.
  11. I got a chance to re-watch this again as I loved it live and had seen it previously, but forgot to post about it. Anyway, it's a pretty fantastic match between these two. Not sure if I'm more impressed by Cobb ragdolling Riddle or Riddle deadlifting Cobb. The match is worked pretty evenly. It starts out slow with them keeping it clean as they're friends and it eventually breaks down and they go all out on each other. Cobb does a fantastic job throwing Riddle around and cutting off his hulk ups and Riddle is pretty great at deadlift suplexing and hitting Cobb with some brutal strikes, namely with some stiff knees that bust up Cobb. The finish was awesome with Riddle nailing Cobb with a brutal knee. ***1/2
  12. Far from an MOTYC or anything like that, but still the chaotic mess you'd expect from these 2. Darby plays the usually smaller underdog against the stocky bruiser in Callihan. The match is basically Darby using his speed and innovative offense to try and down Callihan and Callihan brutally puts a beating on Darby whenever he's given the chance to. The highlight of the match is easily the nasty bump Darby took off the top into the balcony of the venue. The Jimmy Havoc run in wasn't that greatly executed, but it didn't hurt this that much. ***
  13. Talk about it here. http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x81ey5_teddy-hart-vs-bryan-danielson_sport
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