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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!


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Platt’s MLW Fusion Review (6/15/18)

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MLW Fusion

Greetings & Salutations! After some technical difficulties (gotta love technology) your MVP is here is recap the latest episode of MLW Fusion. While MLW is still trying to find its footing, it’s consistently one of the most entertaininng hours of wrestling you’ll find each week And as we learn more about these characters and their motivations, the sky is the limit.

The show opens with Colonial Rob Parker, The Dirty Blondes, and friend of the website Mike Parrow discussing strategy for the evenings festivities. Tonight’s main event is The Blondes, Yuta & Cade, and Pentagon Jr & Fenix completing in a triple threat elimination match for the MLW Tag Team Titles.   Next, we see footage of World Champion Shane “Swerve’ Strickland being jumped from behind by Brody King. Brody’s ambitions are to cash in on the $20,000 bounty placed on the champs head by Salina De La Renta.  Up next, it’s time for some action

MVP vs. Maxwell J Friedman

Both men cut promos before the action begins. I’m quite the fan of MJF. He’s your prototypical spoiled rich heel, with an undeniable smugness that makes you want to punch him in the face. Good wrestling early on, as MVP gained the upper hand before being distracted by Sami Callahan and henchmen. As Mr. Porter turned his attention to the outside interference, MJF took advantage. Seizing the opportunity, he hit a low blow, and a cradle with his feet on the ropes to pick up the win. While this was a solid win for Friedman, the match served as a a continuation of the budding feud between MVP and Callahan. It was fun while it lasted, but the competitors weren’t given enough time to really show their stuff.

Winner: Maxwell J. Friedman

Next we see hype for the upcoming 40 man Battle Riot. It’s basically the Royal Rumble meets Money in the Bank, as the winner receives a world title opportunity at anytime, anyplace, anywhere. Jake Hager(Jack Swagger), Barrington Hughes, Jimmy Yuta, and Pentagon Jr. were announced as the first participants. This is followed by an interview with Hughes, as he gives his thoughts about his friend Shane Strickland being attacked. The big has charisma and is obviously a physical specimen. His continued development is something to keep an eye on. Meanwhile, we get a brief interview with Yuta & Cade discussing the main event. The only thing of note here is the continued dissension between the two.

Simon Gotch vs Mike Parrow w/Col. Parker

You all will remember Gotch as one half of The Vaudevillians in WWE. Here, he has aligned himself with Team Filthy and conducts the Gotch Prize Fight Challenge. Its an open challenge for anyone in the back. If they can last 5 minutes in the ring with Mr. Gotch, they will receive $250 cash money. To everyone’s surprise, Parrow and the good Colonial answer the challenge. Nothing of a match here. Tom Lawlor hits Parrow in the head with an unidentifiable object and Gotch chokes him out in about a minute and a half. This appears to set up a program between Team Filthy and Colonial Parker’s Stud Stable(Dirty Blondes & Parrow). Stay tuned.

Winner: Simon Gotch

Fresh off his sneak attack beat down, Brody King challenges Swerve to a match next week. I feel you Brody; 20 grand is 20 grand. MLW CEO Court Bauer calls in on location at the home of the champ. Despite Bauer’s better judgement, Strickland has decided to except King challenge and it’s on for next week.

The Dirty Blondes w/Col Parker vs. Yuta & Cade vs. Pentagon Jr & Fenix w/Salina De La Renta For The MLW Tag Titles

Let me just say, I am here for Salina De La Renta. The idea of a powerful woman with her own stable is intriguing. Plus it doesn’t hurt that she’s easy on the eyes. I dig the issue between her and Swerve. Think 80’s WWF with Hogan taking on various members of the Heenan Family. The match itself was fantastic and they let the competitors plenty of time to tell a good story.  The Blondes were the first to be eliminated. This left the other 4 competitors free to give us a fast paced, back and forth tag match. Within the match, we were again teased with tension between Yuta & Cade. Ultimately, the lucha brothers pick up win, giving Ms. De La Renta her first taste of MLW gold. As good as the match was, the best part was the post match celebration, as the Patron flowed. Even some of the audience members were able to get in on the action.

Winners: Pentagon Jr & Fenix

Overall, another solid outing for MLW. Initially, I was disappointed by the lack of time given to the undercard matches. Both match ups could be intriguing if given enough time. However, I understand wanting to give the main event as much time as possible. And boy did it deliver! Go out of your way to check it out. The tag titles are a good landing spot for Pentagon/Fenix. They can put on great matches, and it gives De La Renta’s stable credibility. I look forward to next week to see if Brody King can secure the bag.


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MLW Fusion Results & Review 5/18/2018

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MLW Fusion Pentagon Jr Fenix

MLW FUSION RESULTS/REVIEW
5/18/2018

This week’s MLW Fusion beings with a recap of Pentagon Jr’s attack on Shane Strickland in which he sprayed mist in Swerve’s eyes. As a result, Pentagon was forced to defend his #1 contender-ship in a match against his brother Rey Felix this week. Per usual, MLW does a really good job of hyping the main event for the evenings show. It gives the matches added significance and helps to give the audience a reason to stick around.

Next, we cut to Tony Schiavone and Rich Bocchini hyping the evenings festivities. I’m not sold on the announce team. Having Schiavone and Bocchini feels redundant as they both serve the exact same purpose. MLW is trying to present itself as a legitimate sport. In legitimate sports, you typically have a play by play announcer and a color commentator(someone who either played or coach in said sport). With MVP winding down his in ring career, I feel him and Tony would complement each other well, with Mr. Porter being able to provide the viewer with an insider’s prospective while the allowing the veteran Schiavone an opportunity to do what he does best. While there’s obviously still time for the duo to establish chemistry, I feel a traditional announce team would best serve the product.

Kotta Brazil Vs. Trae Miguel

The opening bout pits Kotta Brazil(who looks like a bootleg Rich Swann) verses Trae Miguel(a bootleg Ricochet). The two put on a highly athletic bout with action you would see on a typical episode of 205 Live. While Trae was more over with the crowd, Brazil delivered an excellent performance as well. In the end, Miguel escaped with the victory after a double knee maneuver from the top rope.

Winner: Trae Miguel

Up next we get a hype video for tonight’s main event followed by an interview with Salina de la Renta at her home. She establishes herself as the plug to MLW’s influx of Hispanic talent. The segment ends with her push Mr. Bochinni into her pool. MLW is clearly all in (pun intended) with the de la Renta character and it’s a smart choice. Regardless of genre, the hot, bitchy shot caller character has always played well on television. And while her promo work does leave much to be desired, she’s one of the few established characters in the MLW universe. The more comfortable she becomes in her role, the more MLW will improve as Ms. de la Renta is one of MLW’s tent-pole characters.

We then get a recap of last week’s match-up of Jimmy Havoc vs. Joey Janella, with the post match beat down of Havoc by Tom Lawlor and Simon Gotch. WWE fans will remember Gotch as one half of the Vaudvillians. Lawlor and Gotch cut a somewhat weird promo in a hotel pool.

The Dirty Blondes (W/Colonel Parker) Vs. Team TBD (Yuta and Cade) In An Elimination Match

We get a prematch tease of tension between Yuta and Cade. The match itself was nothing special. The Blondes are clearly the premier team in MLW. They’re an old school, throwback of a team who rely on a tried and true gimmick in the wrestling business. By far the weakest match of the night. In the end, the Blondes pick up the with a little help from the good Colonel.

Winners: The Dirty Blondes

After the match we get a glimpse of more tension between Yuta and Cade. We’re clearly heading towards a match between the two.

Right before the main event, we get a tale of the tape between the two combatants. Again, we’re going for a legitimate sport feel here, and this was a nice touch.

Main Event: Pentagon Jr. Vs. Rey Fenix

The crowd was hype for this one and they weren’t disappointed. I frankly don’t think it’s possible for these two to have a bad match with each other. If you’ve read the spoilers, you know how this one ended. However, it was solid back and forth Lucha action, with enough near falls to keep the crowd invested. In the end, Pentagon picks up the win with the Pentagon Driver to go on to meet Shane Strickland next week for the MLW Heavyweight Title.

Winner: Pentagon Jr

Overall, another solid effort out for the MLW banner. While the tag match left something to be desired, the opening bout and main event certainly delivered. The jury is still out on MLW. I like the diverse cast of characters which are representative of the changing demographics of our society. In the ring, the action is always solid at worst. However, they still seem to lack that one dynamic personality which will ingratiate the audience with the product. Overall, the it’s still a highly digestible hour of wrestling every week and I still look forward to see where they go from here.


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MLW Fusion Ratings & Review: 4/27/18

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MLW Fusion Shane Strickland vs Jimmy Havoc

Greetings and Salutations. Episode 2 of Major League Wrestling is in the books! And While there is certainly room for improvement, the product has an unique look and feel to it, as well as access to some of the best wrestlers in the world not associated with the “E”.

Week 2 begins with video hyping tonight’s main event between current Heavyweight Champion Shane “Swerve” Strickland and Jimmy Havoc. Then, it’s cuts to Rich Bocchini and a rejuvenated sounding Tony Schiavone to prepare us for tonight’s action.

The Dirty Blondes(W/ Col Robert Parker) vs. Jimmy Yuta & Jason Cade

Pretty basic, old school tag match designed to establish the Blondes as a force to be reckoned with. Certainly, fellow WCW heads will feel a twinge of nostalgia seeing the good Colonial back on our airwaves. The Blondes have a possibility to be a player as MLW looks to establish their tag division. Meanwhile, Yuta and Cade could play the role sympathetic babyfaces(think Rock N Roll Express) well if given more time to display their offense. The finish comes with assistance from the Colonial to give The Dirty Blondes the win.

Winners: The Dirty Blondes

Garza Jr.(W/Salina de la Renta) vs. Ultimo Ninja

Easily the match of the night. Fast paced, lucha style action. Plenty of big moves that eventually won over a crowd that was somewhat lethargic when the competitors first came out. The announcers did a good job of putting over De la Renta, whose unmasking of Ninja led to Garza’s victory. It’s clear there are big plans for her stable, which includes Pentagon Jr. who will face champion Shane Strickland at the company’s Intimidation Games ppv on Thursday.

Winner: Garza Jr. (w/Salina de la Renta)

Vignettes air which featured Filthy Tom Lawlor, The Dirty Blondes, and MVP. These will be key as MLW looks to establish it’s characters and their motivations.

Shane “Swerve” Strickland vs. Jimmy Havoc

Havoc has an unique look and sells like a champ. Strickland is the current cornerstone of the MLW product. He oozes charisma and was over with the Orlando Crowd. Throughout the evening, vignettes aired hyping the tonight’s main event. The story being told was that Swerve had never defeated Havoc, and had to exercise that demon. The match itself was good, but not great. These two have had better matches and I feel the time restraints factored into what they could do. However, they did a good job of telling the story they were looking to tell. Strickland picked up the victory after a double foot stomp from the top rope.

Winner: Shane “Swerve” Strickland via pinfall with the double stomp

Overall, while not as good as the inaugural episode, it was an entertaining hour of wrestling. MLW is still in its honeymoon stage, trying to establish characters and their motivations. The presentation of the product is very sports like, which should appeal to the average fan. Production wise, they are light years ahead most of the other promotions(not named WWE) and present an easily digestible and entertaining hour of television. They have a nice mix of recognizable and new faces that both attract the casual viewer and keep them engaged. And of course, its pretty damn cool to have Tony Schiavone’s voice back on our television.

I’m out of time, but the tape machines are running!


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