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ROH Honor United: Edinburgh Results & Review (5/25/18)

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Since I live in the area I decided to purchase and attend Honor United: Edinburgh last night at the Edinburgh Corn Exchange, and what a fun show this was to be a part of as the live audience.

This was ROH’s 2nd show in Edinburgh following last year’s major success with their War of the Worlds Tour which was personally my favourite show to be a part of live outside of WWE events. While the line-up this year wasn’t as stacked as the card given to us almost a year ago I had a tonne of excitement going into this as ROH usually delivers a great experience live, at least from the shows I’ve attended.

I normally don’t keep track of the ROH product as much as I do the WWE product, but I still knew who each talent was, what they entail & what to expect from most the card as it went along. Because this was a UK show the crowd itself was as fun & savage as you could imagine, some wrestlers got less slack than others but at times they really tore into some of the stars present which had mixed results throughout the evening.

I’m not going to waste much time here and shall jump straight into the show itself, hope you guys enjoy!

 

Match #1: Shane Taylor vs Scorpio Sky

I knew very little about Shane Taylor heading into this one, at most I’ve heard of the mans name as well as his inspiring journey of weight loss over the last number of years but besides that he was a completely new face to me. Scorpion Sky on the other hand I’ve always liked both from an in-ring perspective and his person under SoCal Uncensored and was a face I’m fairly familiar with.

SoCal Uncensored are fantastic, like most things involving Daniels & Kazarian who are one of my personal favourite comedy acts in wrestling and went on to cut a quick pre-match promo running down Taylor and positioning themselves above the competition. Taylor denied their request to not compete tonight and instead wanted a piece of Scorpion Sky.

The match started off pretty standard, with both men engaging in traditional lock-ups and establishing Shane Taylor as the powerhouse of this contest before Sky jumped at the opportunity of an advantageous situation. Most of the middle section of this match was by the numbers and pretty standard but did its job before Taylor regained some momentum.

Taylor ended up regaining that momentum and despite a distraction from Daniels & Kazarian, ended up coming out victorious with a great Samoan Driver. This was a perfectly solid start to the show, but from the perspective of being in the live crowd it was clear that neither of these two were that big of a draw for the audience.

Winner: Shane Taylor via Samoan Driver

 

Match #2: The Addiction (Daniels & Kazarian) vs IWGP Tag Team Champions EVIL & SANADA

Right off the back of the opener both Daniels & Kazarian stuck around and hyped themselves up as the best tag team in professional wrestling, which some could genuinely make a case for at least if you’re arguing for them being the most underrated. To prove their worth, they called out their scheduled opponents for the evening, the IWGP Tag Team Champions of EVIL & SANADA.

EVIL & SANADA have been on an absolute role lately, especially to those familiar with the Japanese wrestling product and have produced constant great matches in the last number of months so this definitely had the crowd engage far more. It started off with EVIL & SANADA dominating their opponents, with the rabid fanbase only adding to the aura that the IWGP Champions brought to the ring with them clearly wanting blood.

The one thing The Addiction does so well is blend comedy in with their wrestling, a feat few in the business can achieve at this level (Personally only the New Day do it just as well from my experience). Despite their opponents being serious threats their brilliant blend of comedy with serious in-ring ability makes everything they do so entertaining, especially when you’re a part of the live audience. Throughout the match Kazarian was constantly interacting with the crowd, in particular a fan next to us who had some less than kind words for his current gimmick but it all felt organic and never diminished the threat of the IWGP Champions.

SANADA eventually made the hot tag and cleaned house, his use of the Tumbleweed Cradle got an awesome reaction from the live crowd and an even bigger response for Daniels topple to the mat off that move. The closing 3 to 4 minutes were filled with the break of pin attempts and great saves on both team’s parts to keep the match going but eventually the Champions got the better of their confident challengers and secured yet another impressive victory.

This was a major step up from the opener, the crowd seemed far more invested in not just the talent but the flow of the match itself. It wasn’t the best match of the night by any means, but I really loved the blend of styles both teams brought here, and it made everything so much fun to sit through.

Winners: IWGP Tag Team Champions EVIL & SANADA via Evil is Everything

 

Match #3: Kelly Klein & Chardonnay vs Tenille Dashwood & Sumi Sakai

Aside from seeing Sakai won the Women of Honor Championship at Supercard of Honor XII in January, this was my first match featuring the Women of Honor in any form, so I was anxious to see what they brought out.

Tenille Dashwood, the former Emma in WWE was who my eyes were on, as she boasts an insane amount of talent that for the most part has been untapped throughout her professional wrestling career. Sumi Sakai was fairly impressive when I saw her win the title, but I wasn’t really familiar with either Kleni or Chardonnay, the latter who’ll be challenging Sakai for the gold later on in this tour.

The 4 ladies produced a fairly basic match, one that did its job of establishing the challenger as a formidable threat and the heart of the Champion herself. Sakai did a good job of selling the damage inflicted on her during the middle portion of the match but the crowd for the most part was fairly flat here. Dashwood eventually got the hot tag and shifted the tide in their favour, but I can’t help but think a talent such as her is better suited in the role of a heel as opposed to babyface which is her current gimmick.

Klein & Chardonnay picked up the victory following a role-up on Dashwood, sending a message to the champion ahead of their upcoming match on this very tour. I might not sound too excited about this match, and that’s because there was little to get excited over looking back at it. The pacing and structure of it was fairly one-note, it was by no means a bad match just one that gave us little to no excitement at the time and no reason to care about the upcoming championship match. It was fine for what it was, just bare average at best.

Winners: Kelly Klein & Chardonnay

 

Match #4: Kenny King vs Punishment Martinez

I was deeply worried about this one, deeply worried. Kenny King has always been a really great talent that as of late seems to be struggling to find his footing in ROH. Punishment Martinez on the other hand has always come across fairly bland to me and never really gave me a reason to care if I’m being honest. Both men in my eyes needed a win here but more importantly needed to standout.

Thankfully, this match was a lot of fun to sit through. Martinez for someone I haven’t seen that much of prior to this really took me by surprise here and offered a lot more than you would think judging by his immediate persona and mixing it up with Kenny King gave us some really exciting moments. The first half of the match was fairly standard but really picked itself up in the 2nd half when King found his groove.

Most reviews for this match claimed that the crowd lost interest for the two talents as the match went on, but I never really felt that at all. The crowd live was engaged for most of it but started jumping on Martinez when one fan called him out for being a ‘Cheap Roman Reigns’ or ‘Cheap Baron Corbin’ and constantly using both the mentioned WWE superstars to diminish his credibility, which it almost did but this in no way translated to the crowd not being engaged.

The closing minutes of this match were great though, featuring several great near falls and some fantastic combinations from both men. Martinez finally claimed the victory after a lengthy series of trading pins with a chokeslam variation and seemed to actually silence a section of the crowd on their early criticisms. Up to this point, I felt this was the best match on the card and really took me by surprise with some genuinely great moments.

Whether or not the crowd interactions took away or added to the experience of those watching at home, is something I need to revisit at a later date.

Winner: Punishment Martinez via South of Heaven Chokeslam

 

Match #5: Matt & Nick Jackson (The Young Bucks) vs NWA World Heavyweight Champion Nick Aldis & Mark Haskins

Am I jumping on a bandwagon when I say the Young Bucks are one of the most entertaining things in professional wrestling?

Because The Young Bucks are one of the most entertaining things in professional wrestling.

This match was announced not too long before I attended this show, so hearing I got to see the debut of Nick Aldis (the former Magnus in TNA) in ROH was something I personally held excitement for being a big fan of the man and his past work. Having Mark Haskins just added to this, as Haskins has to be one of the most underrated performers in the business today and I see no argument against this.

As for the match itself, it was fantastic from bell to bell. Not only was the crowd red hot throughout the entire length of this match but the action never slowed down for a second. The Bucks put on their trademark taunts and toyed with both Haskins & Aldis for a little while before the British duo gained control and held down the Bullet Club members.

The hot tag made to Nick Jackson is a firm reminder that The Young Bucks hold the title of ‘Best Hot Tag in Wrestling’ because he lit a fire under this Edinburgh crowd after he ran wild on both Aldis & Haskins. What ensued was some fantastic wrestling action, from high spots to some vicious in-ring signature moves which combined with some tension-filled near falls which added to the match in a very big way. My personal favourite spot of the night came in the form of a Meltzer Driver from Aldis & Haskins to the Bucks, which Haskins delivered following a Hurricanrana off the top rope to Nick onto brother Matt and was just as beautiful as it sounds.

Matt & Nick managed to secure an extremely impressive victory after a Meltzer Driver to Haskins in the middle of the ring to an explosion of cheers from the live audience. Being live for this was a wonderful experience and reminded me of why I love The Young Bucks as much as I do and just how fantastic of a duo they are in a wrestling ring. Without question my personal match of the night this time round and definitely worth checking out to anyone who loves any of these 4 men, or even tag team wrestling.

Winners: The Young Bucks via Meltzer Driver

 

Match #6: The Boys vs Yano & Delirious

I’m not going to say much about this, just because it really isn’t worth noting.

In no way do I mean to sound overly harsh, especially considering what this match followed and that the crowd must have been a little exhausted. But nothing here really worked in anyway, it was clearly placed as filler before the evenings 3 big matches went underway and for the most part just seemed to overstay its welcome.

Comedic matched in wrestling don’t really need over 10 minutes to do their job, and this match would have been perfect clocking in somewhere around the 5 to 7-minute mark, but instead we got a really dragged out match which never did anything for anyone. Delirious attempted to use comedy to engage the crowd further, as did Yano but it never really worked and instead dragged the match on.

From a personal perspective, I’ve never really liked The Boys or their gimmick and can’t ever seem to take them seriously. Definitely the bathroom break match for those who were watching live, if they had cut down the length and made this something quick and to the point, it would have been a lot more bearable.

Winners: The Boys via Lung Blower/Codebreaker Combo

 

Match #7: ROH Television Champion Silas Young vs Joe Hendry – ROH Television Championship Match

Edinburgh locals loved this match and who could blame them? Having their hometown hero Joe Hendry debut in ROH was a wonderful sight to see and garnered one hell of a reaction from the live audience, playing the role of the traditional underdog. Anyone who saw last years War of the Worlds tour saw Silas Young headline the event in a near 30-minute war against Jay Lethal and he walked into this years show with some gold around his waist, so personally my anticipation for this was quite high.

This was my 5th time seeing Joe Hendry live in person and I’d be lying if I said his previous efforts were anything spectacular, they were certainly decent but never really ‘clicked’, this was thankfully the best performance I’ve seen from the man to date. While it was your standard heel veteran vs local babyface match, everything they were going for here worked.

The contest started with your traditional mat wrestling, takedowns and all but slowly moved into a straight up fight between the two athletes. Silas Young’s style certainly matches that of Joe Hendry, both men have more ground and pound styles as opposed to some of the faster paced offense we saw from many of the other athletes throughout the evening and this produced some very hard-hitting moments.

Without question the highlight of the match was an incredible sequence towards the match’s conclusion which saw Hendry lock in an Ankle Lock on the reigning champion, which sparked arguably the biggest pop of the entire evening. This effort never transpired the way the challenger imagined unfortunately, as he shortly fell Young’s misery finisher for the fatal 3-count.

Silas Young might have walked out victorious from Edinburgh for the 2nd consecutive year, but nobody is going to take away anything from Joe Hendry’s performance on this evening which resulted in a fantastic ROH debut for the local up and comer. If the middle points of this match had featured something a little more rambunctious this might have turned out to be the match of the night, but this was a fantastic effort to see live regardless.

Winner: Silas Young via Misery

 

Match #8: ROH 6-Man Tag Team Champions The Kingdom (Taven, Vinny & O’Ryan) vs ROH World Heavyweight Champion Dalton Castle, Jay Lethal & Hiroshi Tanahashi – ROH 6-Man Tag Team Championship Match

Almost one year ago, it was the ROH 6-Man Tag Title match that stole the show during the War of the Worlds tour and gave the fans in attendance a title change that shook the Corn Exchange, so I don’t think there was anyone that wasn’t anticipating something fantastic from this semi-main event. The talent was certainly there in the form of the challengers too, one of my personal favourites Jay Lethal, ROH World Champion Dalton Castle & one of the finest wrestlers on the planet in Hiroshi Tanahashi.

Sadly, this match was a let-down which is something I hate to admit to myself.

I’m not sure if it was that lack of drama or believability regarding a title change since most people knew Dalton Castle was set to defend his gold against EVIL later on this week or just some of the matches clunky pacing throughout, but something felt off. The match started off showcasing each individual talent in the ring as most multi-man matches lightly do, but we never really got out of 2nd gear after that.

The match itself plateaued, never really getting to that next level and always seemed as if nothing was happening in a match that spanned almost 20 minutes. There were a few nice spots here and there, showing glimpses of what could have been a fantastic match, but it just never got the crowd nearly as invested as they should have and could have been. While comparing it to the WWE formula may not be entirely necessary, this is exactly how it felt to me, like your traditional house show match that did the bare minimum to extract even the slightest bit of interest from the audience.

Even the matches ending was as uncreative as you could imagine, with EVIL taking out the ROH World Champion in an effort to hype up their scheduled match later on in the tour which received little to no reaction from the live crowd. The matches ending came in the form of the Rockstar Supernova to Jay Lethal to the absolute dud of a reaction from the live crowd.

I don’t mean to be too harsh here but this was a massive disappointment for a match boasting so much talent and potential. Almost nothing felt exciting, the pacing was all over the place and never really tried but worst of all one of the tours special guests in Hiroshi Tanahashi was completely wasted from the get-go. What a shame.

Winners: The Kingdom via Rockstar Supernova

 

Main Event: ROH World Tag Team Champions The Briscoes vs Cody & Adam Page w/Brandi Rhodes

The evenings main event on paper seemed like one primed on cramming the maximum number of stars into one match in order to live up to the advertised card. Cody & Adam Page while both respective members of Bullet Club do not have a storied history as a tandem, which obviously wasn’t the case for the Briscoes.

A concern I definitely understand is the issue of believability which certainly wasn’t the first time this evenings this issue had come about. While many had issues believing Cody & Page could pull of the upset, this didn’t stop the main event from being incredibly entertaining. Cody might not be one of the modern-day Bret Hart’s in terms of his in-ring ability but certainly has the charisma to grant him the biggest reaction of the evening. Adam Page on the other hand was one fire throughout this match and definitely added to the action in the ring with some incredible moments.

Despite a familiar setup to most of the prior tag team matches on the card the one thing that made this work was the aggression of both teams, primarily the Briscoes who oozed their blend of heel charisma into the match. As opposed to the previous matches, this side of the Briscoes persona definitely aided the middle section of the matches as their offense during beat downs in handled with aggressive tendencies and not the traditional headlocks like so many tag team matches.

Everything after Adam Pages hot tag was also fantastic in bringing the crowd to life, including an insane dropkick into a moonsault which I personally loved. One thing however that didn’t work as the match reached its conclusion was the recognition amongst the crowd regarding a title change, which we all basically never saw as a reality. Some moments that occurred could have provided far more impact if we had a long-standing tandem in the place of Cody & Page, potentially even the Young Bucks in retrospect.

Nonetheless, this was a really well worked and hard-hitting main event that did its job. Everyone involved seemed incredibly motivated to put on the best match possible under the circumstances, which primarily began to show as the match progressed into its closing moments.

Winners: The Briscoes via Jay Driller on Hangman

Overall

Honor United: Edinburgh was a really fun show to be a part of as a member of the live audience and I can’t wait to go back and watch it again in a few days. The majority of the card did exactly what it set out to do, we were never expecting anything 5-star or revolutionary to occur, just a good 3-hours of wrestling for us to sit through and we got just that. Young Bucks vs Aldis & Haskins and Young vs Hendry were my personal standout matches but we also got a really solid main event and a surprisingly good match out of King & Martinez which I actually think is worth checking out. The rest of the card was entertaining albeit, forgettable. I still think the 6-Man Tag Team Match was a colossal let down and the filler tag team match got way too much time, but other than that this show gets an easy thumbs up from me!


Always Use Your Head and visit the official Pro Wrestling Tees store for The Chairshot All t-shirt proceeds help support the advancement of your favorite hard-hitting wrestling website, The Chairshot!


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Platt’s MLW Fusion Review & Report for 8/3/2018

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Greetings and Salutations! Tonight’s Fusion opens with a recap of Sami Callahan’s brutal attack on Shane Strickland.  Sami then cuts a promo explaining that he attacked his former friend for the money (fair enough). Next, we cut to Tony Schiavone and Matt Striker previewing tonight’s festivities including the main event with Swerve seeking revenge against Callahan.  I prefer this announce team. While I’m not the biggest Striker fan, it’s nice to have a traditional play by play and color commentator.

MATCH 1: BRODY KING VS. JIMMY HAVOC

I really dig Havoc’s character. The only issue is that Aleister Black does it better.  Typical big guy vs little guy match with Havoc trying to chop King down to size.  Ultimately, Havoc picks up the win.

WINNER: JIMMY HAVOC

Up next we’re introduced to Brian Pillman Jr. The interview is interrupted by  Kevin Sullivan, who does a outstanding job of putting Jr over.  Pillman Jr is relatively new to the industry, but obviously is the seed of wrestling royalty. The cosign from The Taskmaster doesn’t hurt, but he still has huge shoes to fill. If he’s half the performer his dad was, he’ll be money.  Even still, I’d cut the faux mullet if I was him.

We then cut to Low Ki excepting his payoff from the Shane Strickland bounty from Salina de la Renta followed by Filthy Tom Lawler celebrating is Battle Riot victory.

MATCH 2: JAKE HAGER (W/ COL ROB PARKER) VS. SIMON GOTCH

Both The Dirty Blondes and Team Filthy were at ringside(though it didn’t play into the finish).  A shade above a squash match, with Hager(formally Jack Swagger) looking pretty strong. The finish comes with Hager delivering a boot to the face after being spat on by Gotch.

WINNER: JAKE HAGER

Kacey Jordan’s interview with Aria Blake is rudely interrupted by MJF to discuss next weeks middleweight title match versus Joey Janella(MJF is awesome btw).  Next we get the MLW Heavyweight Top 10 which is as follows:

10. ACH
9. Ray Fenix
8. Teddy Hart
7. John Hennigan
6. Jake Hager
5. Sami Callahan
4. Pentagon Jr.
3. Jimmy Havoc
2. Shane Strickland
1. Tom Lawler

I really like the top 10 gimmick. It reminds me of old school WCW and it goes a long way in presenting the product as a legitimate sport.

Konnan is shown backstage having a conversation with Fenix before being interrupted by Salina de la Renta who hastily pulls him away from K-Dawg. This is followed by a hype video for the incoming LA Park and what I believe to be the official breakup of Team TBD. I hope that’s it for them. Quit teasing it and break up already!

Next we find Teddy Hart, being Teddy Hart while confronting ACH and Rich Homie Swann backstage. Hart thinks the two are laughing at him and goes all Teddy Hart on them!

MAIN EVENT: SHANE ‘SWERVE’ STRICKLAND VS. SAMI CALLIHAN (W/DEATH MACHINES)

Callihan is one of the best pure heels in the business bar none! Swerve did a good job of playing up the knee injury which would factor in the finish.  It was a good tv main event. Ultimately, Callihan picks up the victory in what was a surprising finish in my view.

WINNER: SAMI CALLIHAN

Overall all an okay show. Not terrible, but a bit of a letdown after the hot show that was Battle Riot. It was good to see Teddy Hart and be introduced to Pillman Jr. Next weeks show should be good with Joey Janela vs MJF and  John Hennigan vs the aforementioned Hart. If you haven’t yet, I highly recommend checking out Fusion as week in and week out, it’s one of the most entertaining hours of television.


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Andrew’s MLW Battle Riot Special Ratings & Review: 7/27/2018

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Well we had a new champion last week, and now we get MLW’s first 2 hour special for Battle Riot. The Battle Riot is their Royal Rumble, with the only noticeable difference of, submissions can eliminate people.

This should be fun to see how MLW handles this first 2 hour show and we’re given a surprised before any action in the ring happens. Tony Schiavone is joined by a different announcer, Matt Striker is joining Tony tonight.

So with an announce team upgrade and a big event feel, let’s see what the show gives us.

 

Myron Reed vs Kotto Brazil

A lot of athletic back and forth that ends in a kip up stare down. But everything continues to go one for one until Reed hits a Springboard Seated Senton for a near fall, then a Scoop Slam for another near fall. Reed keeps up the offense into the corners before Kotto counters a splash attempt and hits a Wrecking Ball Dropkick for a quick 2.

Kotto applies an arm capture crossface that Reed needs to struggle out of, but then we see a few athletic maneuvers before both men crash into each other after dual Crossbody blocks. Myron gets caught across the middle rope which allows for multiple strikes sending Reed to the outside, and Kotto hits back to back Suicide Dives, tries a third, but Reed counters, sends Brazil to the outside and lands a Flying Hip Attack,

Springboard Uppercut gives Reed a near fall, but now it’s time for Myron to put something together. Brazil gets sent into the corner, as he catches Myron’s head, drives it into the middle turnbuckle and a German Suplex gives him a 2 count. Frog Splash attempt from Kotto is almost countered, but Kotto lands on his feet and applies a Trailer Hitch submission for a near submission victory.

Reed matrixes under a Kotto back springboard attempt, hits a Cutter for 2. 450 Splash attempt from Reed, lands on Brazil”s knees for a near fall for Brazil. Inside Out Stunner gave Reed an opening but Kotto pulls a Standing Sliced Bread out of nowhere for the victory.

Winner: Brazil via Stranding Sliced Bread

Rating: *** 1/4

 

Kaci Lennox is interviewing MJF, *insert smarmy crap and happiness for New York since he was born there*, ya MJF, is an incomplete acronym. Maxwell “Just Freaking Awful”.

Kaci Lennox is backstage again, this time with Konnan talking about why he came out of retirement for Battle Riot.

Short trailer for LA Park coming to MLW

Kaci again (I love her), this time with Joey Ryan talking about his Middleweight title match against MJF. Adds a few funny moments about needing to cut weight so no more lollipops and no baby oil for this match.

More Kaci, this time with Team Filthy and the Battle Riot carousel pull. A little discussion about the match last week against Jimmy Havoc, but Tom Lawlor makes a funny excuse and pulls his number.

 

Inaugural MLW Middleweight Championship Match: MJF vs Joey Ryan

Joey does his thing, sharing the lollipop with a fan, oiling up, and then we go to commercial.

After the commercial the match starts and he immediately goes to the “touch it” spot. Full arm drag and twist from Joey, but countered by MJF, until Joey hits a kip up and does a reversal of his own. A lot of jawwing back and forth since they’re both more known for characters than ring work. MJF hits a leaping through the middle rope Arm DDT and starts driving repeated knees into the arm. From there, MJF locks in an Armbar to keep working over the arm he already damaged.

MJF keeps yelling at the crowd and working on the arm, but Joey slides through with wrist control and hits a Wristclutch Exploder Suplex. A little back and forth until Joey catches MJF with a Spinebuster and gets a 2 count.

Arm Capture Side Slam gives MJF a 2 count, as the two competitors begin trading some slaps. MJF spits on Joey, ducks under the lariat, says wait and pokes him in the eye. Both men run into each other, and MJF falls face first into Joey’s crotch. Then when they both get up, MJF tries an Inverted Atomic Drop and injures himself. Joey goes for the lollipop in the mouth spot, sticks it in MJF’s mouth, uses the referee as a shield, pokes Ryan in the eye and then hits a Package Shoulderbreaker, all while keeping the lollipop in his mouth.

Winner: MJF via Package Shoulderbreaker

Rating: **

 

Kaci Lennox with an in-ring interview asking MJF how he feels. He buries the crowd, but all I take from this, is I’m glad red is my favorite color anyway, cause with Kaci’s outfit, it was gonna become my favorite color regardless.

Vanessa Craft now backstage with the Death Machines, but Sami Callihan sends her away and they make their picks.

Kaci Lennox with Swoggle, makes a WWE writer jab, but hey, more Kaci is a good thing.

Highlight package of the Bounty storyline, starting with Brody King, Sami’s blind side attack and Low Ki’s victory.

Vanessa Craft with Salina de la Renta and Low Ki. Vanessa looks scared as Salina announces a Black Friday Management and Promociones Dorado partnership. Low Ki with a nod to Gary Hart and original MLW. Salina ends the interview with the Iceman from Top Gun teeth chomp. 

 

40 Man Battle Riot Battle Royal

Out first, Pentagon Jr and second is Rey Fenix. Should be interesting with how hard they go after each other when there’s a new entrant every 60 seconds. Also should be noted that Fenix and Pentagon are currently MLW Tag Team Champions.

Fenix shrugs and offers a hand shake, Pentagon takes it and kicks him as the two trade some sexy lucha moves and locomotion cradle attempts. Stereo High Kicks send both men to the mat as the third person is Brody King. King lays in immediate chops on both and then lariats into the corner, before the Lucha Bros start working together. Nice tandem cannonball/monkey flip from Fenix and Pentagon.

4th participant is Kenny Dykstra…no Doane…Kenny Doane, the other one is a lawsuit. Spirit Squad chant kicks up before dual Superkicks knock him down, and then King and Doane start working together. Number 5, Tom Lawlor, the best thing in MLW. Lawlor immediately goes after King and sinks in the rear naked choke, and submissions do eliminate people in this match. So Brody King is the first one eliminated from the Riot. Lance Anoa’i comes in 6th but runs into Fenix after only a small glimmer of offense.

Kenny tries to eliminate Pentagon as number 7, Rey Horus comes in. Horus goes after Doane, and then Pentagon grounds him with a Hammerlock -commercial break-

After the commercial Fenix almost eliminates himself as number 8, the Taskmaster Kevin Sullivan shows up with a golden railroad spike. Lawlor catches him in the Rear Naked Choke after Sullivan knock a few people down with right hands. Fallah Bahh is number 9, the Filipino big boi, tells Rey Horus “No, No No”. Crossbody from Bahh flattens Horus. 10th entrant is Swoggle and he immediately bites Fallah”s butt and German Suplex Kenny and Fenix. Pentagon misses a kick and gets Suplexed. Lance Anoa’i ends the small Suplex City as Samu comes in at 11 headbutting everyone.

Samu goes to the corner to celebrate and Lance eliminates his dad. ACH is 12th and we just see a lot of strikes. Swoggle starts lighting up ACH before Pentagon kicks him. Konnan gets the unlucky number. Hasta la muerte despues! Rey Horus steps up as Konnan puts Horus in the Paradise lock,spins out of Lawlor’s moves and goes for the Tequila Sunrise but ACH breaks it up.

Barrington Hughes comes in and him and Fallah Bahh have a belly bump as Swoggle tries to interfere but Lawlor chokes him out with a Guillotine. Jimmy Yuta is 15, and starts putting together some offense as Hughes takes out Lance, Kenny and Konnan. Fallah Bahh, Pentagon and Fenix wipe each other out as Kotto Brazil comes in to a significantly more empty ring.

Rey Horus tries to jump on Barrington, but Hughes tosses him into the corner and splashes the soul out of him. 17th is Richard Holiday. Holiday tries to avoid Hughes but Hughes goes after him. Fred Yehi flies in to try and help out fellow Team Filthy member and he and Lawlor murder Brazil. Jason Cade shows up at 19 while Yuta is still in the ring, and the bickering continues, but they all try to gang up on Barrington. Hughes drops Horus out and everyone except Tom Lawlor spills over the top trying to eliminate the big man.

Teddy Hart is 20, and he just does a Moonsault onto the group of people on the outside. So Teddy eliminates himself and doesn’t care. -commercial break-

Vandal Ortugun is 21, starts trading strikes with Lawlor, but this isn’t close. Armbar and Vandal taps. Mikey Mondo derps to the ring, Lawlor seems confused and insulted. Mikey keeps a whistle in his mouth to add comedic effect during the rear naked choke. FINALLY NOT A JOBBER! PCO is 23! Lawlor grabs a strike and tries a Fujiwara Armbar, into a Crossface but then transitions to ground and pound. LA Smooth at 24, another Samoan taking it to PCO. PCO levels Smooth with a Lariat and gets the 3 count. Simon Gotch trying to come in at 25 to help his teammate Tom Lawlor. The Team Filthy members gang up on PCO at 26 counts down and ends up being Homicide, Mr. 187. Homicide goes after PCO and Team Filthy just stands there and watches.

Davey Boy Jr is 27, and starts going after Gotch and Homicide. Lawlor interferes when the attention is on Gotch, but he starts taking on both Team Filthy members. Blue Meanie is the 28th guy, and does his Meanie dance in his bWo belly shirt. Meanie tries to make friends with Homicide, but Homicide kicks him and eliminates him while Team Filthy takes out PCO. Michael Patrick of the Dirty Blondes is next out, and he’ll add some size to the people in the ring, but he’s a tag team wrestler, so it’s not likely he has a shot. Big number 30 is Sami Callihan. Sami eliminates Homicide immediately  and then allies with Michael Patrick to try and take out Gotch. An elbow and Enzuigiri save Gotch -commercial break-

Three quarters of the way through the participants, we come back from commercial to see Sawyer Fulton run in at 31, which means there are 2 Death Machines and 2 member of Team Filthy. The Death Machines go after Davey Boy Jr and they struggle to take out the baby bulldog. 32, the former champion, Shane ‘Swerve’ Strickland goes right after Callihan. The last Death Machine Leon Scott comes in at 33, and they focus Strickland and Davey Boy. They finally get out Smith, as Simon Gotch and Tom Lawlor try to take it to them. Drago enters in next, as starts kicking whoever is down and bites Callihan’s foot. Leo Bryan, the other half of the Dirty Blondes is in there now as they take it to Gotch, and try weaken Team Filthy.

Even though he lost the Middleweight match, Joey Ryan manages to draw 36 and goes after Callihan. The other half of the Middleweight match MJF shows up next, and him and Ryan pick up where they left off. Team Filthy eliminates both Middleweight competitors. Jake Hager draws so late and it’s a good position for him at 38. Hager eliminates Leon Scott as the other Death Machines try to eliminate Hager. John Hennigan is the next to last entrant as he flies in on Callihan. Hennigan eliminates Michael Patrick with a little rope-a-dope.

The last man to enter is Jimmy Havoc, and he goes right after Drago and dumps him over the top even after a missed Acid Rainmaker. Swerve Stomp on Leo, as he then gets tossed out even after Havoc takes Strickland’s attention. Hennigan with a Small Package on Sawyer Fulton -commercial break-

In off the commercial Shane throws Havoc out,  Sami tries to eliminate Swerve, but he holds on and they fight on the apron. Piledriver onto the apron eliminates Swerve, Lawlor chokes out Callihan over the rope and he slinks off the apron. Hager takes out Hennigan, which leaves two Jake Hager and Tom Lawlor, number 38 versus number 5.

Driving Spinebuster from Hager on to Lawlor as he takes him to the top turnbuckle following a near fall. Lawlor applies the Triangle Choke over the top turnbuckle, Hager turns it into a Powerbomb for a 2 count. Jake keeps trying to throw out Lawlor, Lawlor slips out and tries to eliminate the bigger man. Hager fights out and Lawlor hits a desperation German Suplex. Tom Lawlor looking for a 17th wind, as the two men start striking with uppercuts and forearms. Lawlor gets the best of the exchange with some kicks and quick rabbit punches, as he then starts a succession of mid kicks followed by a running Front Kick, for only 2.

Lawlor goes for the Rear Naked Choke as Hager keeps trying to toss Lawlor but slowly starts dropping. Hager rolls through the choke and applies an Ankle Lock as Lawlor tries to find a way out of it.  Lawlor goes to the ropes for leverage but falls down, as the crowd chants “Please Don’t Tap”. Tom starts biting his hand to not tap, and walks up the ropes to try and get leverage out of the  Ankle Lock. Lawlor manages to flip Hager out of the ring and land on the apron as Jake goes crashing to the floor. Lawlor goes in at 5 and now has a title shot whenever he chooses.

Winner: ‘Flithy’ Tom Lawlor

Rating: ***

Post match interview with Matt Striker and Tom Lawlor, gets across that Lawlor finally gets the guarantee he deserves and the L in MLW will stand for Major LAWLOR Wrestling.

Thoughts:

Now like I’ve gone over before, and recently in POD is War, Battle Royals, Royal Rumbles, I don’t grade highly. It’s more of an “entertaining” or “train wreck” kind of perception. Just too many moving pieces, too many obviously filler moments with jobbers and comedy that grading a Rumble the same way as a regular match really just isn’t fair.

That being said, the show was pretty damn good. I don’t care for Joey Ryan or MJF, so their shtick doesn’t add to a match for me, so even though I wasn’t a fan of it, it might resonate better with others. We do however see the right guy win the Battle Riot. Tom Lawlor really should be the face of the franchise, cause not only is he a legit fighter with his MMA background, he’s extremely charismatic and a likable tweener.

Also purely biased point here, the more Kaci Lennox is on the screen, the happier I am. So if you keep her as the main interviewer, I will have less and less to complain about. MLW put on a damn good show, check out their YouTube channel over the weekend if you didn’t see it live.


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US Independent Coverage

Andrew’s MLW Fusion Ratings & Review: 7/20/2018

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Well last week we had my favorite episode of MLW Fusion recently. This one however, promises to pay off some storylines so we can mostly clean the slate going into Battle Riot.

Low Ki looks to get a championship and $60,000 dollars in this episode, which would also make Salina de la Renta happy. While the other story that comes to a head is Jimmy Havoc finally getting his hands on Tom Lawlor, and if Lawlor can maintain his number 1 status in the MLW Top 10.

Time to find out what happens.

Kiki Roberts vs Kahuna Khan

The “prospects” or jobbers square off and as soon as they shake hands, the lights go red and Su Yung’s music hits. Thank God, we get Zeda Zhang and Su Yung beating the hell out of this dumb looking jobbers.

Zeda and Su make another statement, and I really enjoy the fact that they attack men, and completely destroy them. Apparently going by Kodokushi Death Squad and I’m not even mad. Death by beautiful Asian women seems good to me.

Winner: N/A
Rating: N/A

 

Stud Stable seen in the back, Parrow and the Dirty Blondes try to intimidate Fred Yehi until Tom Lawlor and Simon Gotch show up. They hand Yehi a Team Filthy hoodie, the guys shake on it and Gotch asks for Yehi’s mask as trade. Seems like Yehi has joined the team.

Off the commercial they show Shane Strickland showing up to the building for his match with Low Ki.

Then we get a summary preview of the Jimmy Havoc/Tom Lawlor storyline

 

Grudge Fight: Tom Lawlor vs Jimmy Havoc

After a little banter, Havoc clocks Lawlor with a forearm that sends him to the outside, followed by a Suicide Dive. Havoc throws a few chairs in the ring and the two men trade strikes amongst the crowd.

Havoc grabs a piece of plywood, a few more weapons and even finds a cheese grater. Lawlor gets the better of the exchange, and takes the cheese grater to Havoc’s forehead. Lawlor puts Havoc’s arm through a chair and applies a Double Wristlock, which Jimmy only breaks by clawing at Lawlor’s eyes.

Jimmy then finds a stapler and tries to use it, but Filthy Tom reverses that too. The more Havoc tries to introduce different weapons, they more they get used against him as Lawlor staples a brochure to Havoc’s head. But as they move back into the ring, Lawlor catches the grater to the balls.

After piling up a few chairs, Jimmy tries the Acid Rainmaker, but misses and Lawlor counters with a German Suplex onto the previously mentioned chairs. Filthy leads the plywood in the corner and tries to put Havoc in a position. Jimmy fights it off, gets put in a Sleeper Hold, but manages to grab the paper from earlier and give Lawlor paper cuts to break the hold.

Now since he sufficiently sliced open Tom’s hands, he gets some lemons and squirts lemon juice into the cut. Next new toy is a pizza cutter that gets used against Havoc, but all in all this match is just a collection of spots with weapons and no real flow. Both men are cut open as Lawlor hits a sideslam onto chairs, but before he can finish things Havoc hits the Acid Rainmaker out of nowhere.

The match ends abruptly and could be due to Havoc seemingly getting cut bad. The plywood was never a factor and the match was generally just spots and spectacle.

Winner: Havoc via Acid Rainmaker
Rating: ** 1/4

 

Coming off the commercial, Sami Callihan reveals that he’s the one that attacked Shane Strickland. He’s sick of just making friends he wants to make money and doesn’t like what Shane has become.

Kotto Brazil, Barrington Hughes and Shane Strickland are caught back stage reacting to Callihan’s reveal. Shane has an idea, and they all walk off to discuss battle plans.

Low Ki seen warming up for his match, as Salina de la Renta approaches him to remind him about the 60,000 ways she has to insure Shane loses.

 

$60,000 Bounty MLW Heavyweight Championship Match: Low Ki vs Shane Strickland (c)

Low Ki mockingly starts a Swerve chant and smiles big at Strickland. After about a minute of smack talk and posturing, Low Ki slaps Swerve and Strickland returns a multitude of strikes.

Strickland catches a punch into an Arm Drag, transitioning into an Arm Breaker as he then pulls him by the suspenders and throws him in the corner. After a few more strikes from Strickland, Low Ki manages to get in a few strikes and begins working over Shane in the corner. A Scoop Slam and few strikes allow Low Ki to give a cocky cover, that only gets 1. But working over the champion with headbutts, kicks, chops and elbows continues. It’s been a solid 3 minutes of Low Ki lighting up Strickland like the dummy from 3 Ninjas.

The referee applies the standing 10 count, and Swerve gets up by 6, but Low Ki keeps the hits coming. Swerve tries to get space by dropping Low Ki onto the apron, but Low Ki ties him up with a Dragon Sleeper through the ropes, followed by a Springboard kick. Ki drops his guard for a bit as the referee gives the standing 10 count again, so Shane pops up and starts landing a barrage of strikes.

Low Ki counters some of the momentum with the roll through Double Foot Stomp into a near fall. Continuing to get a little cocky Ki grabs Strickland through the ropes, but Strickland tosses him to the outside. Handstand Headscissors Takeover from the apron to the floor from Swerve, might finally give him the first real opportunity to put in offense.

Strickland tears Low Ki’s shirt, lays in some strikes and then moves to the corner to reign down punches. Strickland executes a very nice Half and Half Release Suplex for only 2. Shane catapults Low Ki into the corner, but Ki lands on the middle turnbuckle and jumps backwards to nail Strickland with a Double Stomp for a near fall.

Rolling Cutter attempt 1 gets countered, but a different angle Rolling Cutter gets Swerve a 2 count. Shane goes to the top, attempts Swerve Stomp but misses and continues to sell his right knee. Low Ki lands a shot to the back of Shane’s head, measures the champion and ends the match with the Switchblade kick.

New champion, and $60,000 richer, Low Ki.

Winner: Low Ki via Switchblade Kick
Rating: *** 3/4

 

Thoughts:

Well this saw a fairly convincing end to both of the storylines that were leading into it. Havoc got his revenge on Lawlor and regardless of if I liked the match or not, there will be people that enjoyed the spectacle. As for Low Ki versus Shane, it was hurt a bit by the fact that crowd was generally silent. Schiavone and Boccini tried to say they were just tense because of the high stakes of the match. But making less noise than a Japanese crowd really doesn’t translate well on TV. But either way, still not a bad show, it just had a different feel than all the others.

Either way, we have a new champion, an immediate feud for the former champion to give him some space to breathe and Battle Riot to look forward to next week. I believe they said a 2 Hour Special, so that’s already a positive indication for MLW that BeinSports is giving them an extra hour only 3 months into the shows run.


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