Show Reviews

MLW Saturday Night Superfight Review

Iain Oliver reviews MLW’s Saturday Night Superfight pay-per-view.

In a week filled with travel chaos, geopolitics, stereotyping, TV rating decreases, and plummeting stock prices, MLW injected some well-needed positivity back into the wrestling world with a tremendous per view presentation: MLW SuperFight.

The main event between Jacob Fatu and LA Park for Fatu’s world heavyweight title stole the show as the match of the night- but only barely given the tremendous amount of talent on show throughout the card.

Pre-Show

Leo Brien vs Savio Vega

Finish: Leo Brien via pinfall after a cowbell shot

Grade: C

A nice by the numbers match to warm up the crowd but nothing stood out as being memorable. Brien used his cowbell behind the referees back to get the win, however, Vega got some heat back when he chased Brien to the back with his pair of kendo sticks.

Gino Medina vs Air Wolf

Finish: Gino Medina via pinfall

Grade: C-

This was the debut of Gino “El Intocable” Medina as he bested Air Wolf in another good early encounter to warm up the Chicago crowd. It was slightly sloppy in places, but both still looked good. Medina got the win with his version of Eat The Feet.

Medina’s debut has been hyped up recently so expect to see him in a program soon.

Zenshi vs El Hijo del L.A Park

Finish: El Hijo del L.A Park via pinfall.

Grade: A-

This was where the pre-show really took off. I had this down as a potential match of the night and it did not disappoint. Zenshi flew early with his unique body springboards off the top rope, but Hijo soon used tactics right out his dad’s playbook with chair shots on the outside. The action did not stop throughout this match, Hijo hit a Spanish fly from the top rope then Zenshi retaliated with a coast-to-coast corner to corner forward rolling dropkick. Hijo picked up the win moments later with a reversed tombstone pile driver in a great little match.

CONTRA (Simon Gotch & Ikuro Kwon) vs Spirit Squad vs Dominic Garrini & Douglas James

Result: CONTRA via pinfall.

Grade: B

After interrupting Salina de la Renta’s post-match promo, CONTRA Unit (Simon Gotch and Ikuro Kwon) then won a triple threat tag team match also featuring the Spirit Squad and the team of Dominic Garrini and Douglas James.

James looked really good here, and Garrini also had two or three really unique transitions into submission holds. Gotch won with his piledriver after Kwon spat red mist into Mike Mondo of the Spirit Squad’s face.

It was quite a smart move using the last two pre-show matches to get wins for associates of the main eventers in the world title match. It built up the main event and gave it a big match feel as we moved towards the main show.

MLW Tag Team Championships, Texas Tornado Match: The Von Erich’s vs The Dynasty

Result: The Von Erich’s win the titles via pinfall

Grade: B

The pay per view then started hot with the tag team title match. MJF and Richard Holliday mouthed off at the crowd to rile them up before the Von Erichs came in like a house of fire and cleared the ring. Marshall was taken out with the ring bell shot and a Market Crash on the ring apron.

A nice spot, later on, had Holliday superplex Ross, MJF hit a top rope splash on Ross, but then Marshall broke up the double pin attempt with a big moonsault onto all three of them piled up. The Von Erichs picked up the win and the titles with the Claw assisted slam.

Injustice (Myron Reed, Jordan Oliver & Kotto Brazil) vs Septimo Dragon, Gringo Loco & Puma King

Result: Injustice win via pinfall

Grade: A

The crowd lapped up the six-man tag between Injustice and Gringo Loco’s trio of he, Septimo Dragon and Puma King. This was a great display of Lucha Libre with non-stop multiple person high spots. You couldn’t take your eyes off the action or you would miss something special. Septimo Dragon and Myron Reed worked well, as did Kotto Brazil and Puma King. Loco and his team hit three different dives in quick succession that the crowd loved.

Loco then caught Jordan Oliver off a springboard with a big sit-out powerbomb. Reed hit his amazing cutter onto Loco after leaping over the top rope, grabbing Loco on the apron and planting him on the floor below. Puma King then came under attack from a springboard stunner from Oliver, a Shiranui from Brazil and a 450 splash from Reed that gave Injustice the win.

MLW Middleweight Championship: Austin Aries vs Teddy Hart

Result: Teddy Hart via pinfall to retain the title

Grade: A-

Austin Aries (with a newly shaven sculpted goatee and sideburns) then challenged Teddy Hart and put on a great showing here, he went 100 mph from the get-go by hitting a bottom rope suicide dive and not letting up from there. They told a good story as well with Hart playing up the storyline neck injury from the Brainbuster attack from a few weeks ago, and this then increased tenfold when Aries hit him with a Death Valley Driver on the apron early on.

Aries locked in the Last Chancery after a sunset flip powerbomb off the middle rope but Teddy struggled to the ropes to break. Hart’s struggle to shrug off the injury would play out throughout the match but he was still able to kick out of another Brainbuster towards the end. The finish came when Aries missed a second bottom rope suicide dive and went face and mouth first into the guardrail. Hart then caught him with a Canadian Destroyer back inside the ring to pick up the win.

Backstage Josef Samael revealed he had an offer the Von Erich brothers that they could not refuse, and also put a target on Teddy Hart’s back after his title retain before we swiftly moved onto the next bout.

Brian Pillman Jr vs Low Ki

Result: Low Ki wins via TKO

Grade: B+

These two had a hard-hitting chop-fest which left both coming away with red chests from the relentless torso attacks. This was very good too and told the respect story very well. Pillman was put in his place by Ki throughout the match not being allowed to mock Ki too much as the veteran kept fighting back with chops and kicks. They went back and forth, Pillman hit Air Pillman but moments later Ki used three different kicks to knock Pillman out cold and pick up the win via TKO.

Before the final shot, Pillman threw his mouthpiece at Low Ki as a last show of disrespect but moments later he was sat slumped in the corner after a rolling heel kick from Ki. A handshake between the two (once Pillman made it back to his feet) could signify that Pillman’s recent change in attitude was just a blip and he will continue as a babyface, but only time will tell if he really did learn a lesson in respect here.

Timothy Thatcher vs Tom Lawlor

Result: Tom Lawlor wins via submission

Grade: B

After the announcement of MLW’s special partnership with AAA, Timothy Thatcher and Filthy Tom Lawlor came out and beat each other up in a very tough but technical masterpiece. They clubbed each other in the chest, they forearmed each other in the face, and they tied each other up in various submission holds. They had an open hand slap battle while Thatcher had a kneebar locked in, but Lawlor grimaced through the pain and transitioned into a figure four leg lock.

It was a real battle of the toughest men in MLW when they started suplexing each other and taking longer and longer to get back to their feet. Lawlor came close with a tombstone piledriver in between the suplexes but soon locked in the rear-naked choke to finally put the tough Thatcher down.

Stairway To Hell: Jimmy Havoc vs Mance Warner vs Bestia 666

Result: Mance Warner wins via pinfall

Grade: B

I can only describe the Stairway to Hell match between Bestia 666, Mance Warner and Jimmy Havoc as a violent bloodbath filled with weapons, high risk and a lot of action. All three competitors put in a lot of effort and should be complimented for putting their bodies on the line. Instead of waiting until the end of the match, Warner started pre-maturely collecting tip money from the fans at ringside, but instead of pocketing it for himself he decided to staple the notes to Jimmy Havoc’s arms and back instead. Warner was busted open minutes later but it was Havoc who had more punishment coming his way when Warner pushed him off a ladder right through a wooden board.

Bestia then took a nasty-looking fall off a ladder when he landed back first on a seated chair that had been pushed on its side. The barbed wire was put to good use too, Havoc used it against Warner’s forehead and Bestia, unfortunately, had it drilled into his groin. The barbed wire must have taken its toll on poor Bestia as he was soon superplexed through a wooden board by Warner who got the pin and the win in this ultra-violent encounter. Havoc jumped Warner and gave him a piledriver onto a guard rail after the match so it looks like they will continue to brutalize each other for the foreseeable future.

MLW Openweight Championship: Alexander Hammerstone vs Davey Boy Smith Jr.

Results: Hammerstone wins via pinfall, retaining the title

Grade: B-

After the craziness of the Stairway to Hell, we calmed down with another solid professional wrestling contest between two of MLW’s powerhouses for the MLW National Openweight title when challenger Davey Boy Smith Jr. challenged champion Alexander Hammerstone. Smith got the better when they traded delayed vertical suplexes but Hammerstone soon pulled off the top turnbuckle pad that would play into the finish to the match. But before we got there Smith hit the Hulk Hogan big boot and legdrop of doom, but amazingly Hulkamania wasn’t running wild as Hammerstone kicked out and even fought back to hit a big missile dropkick from the top rope moment later.

Smith hit a big superplex and a diving headbutt towards the end but after a German suplex trade-off and a cross-face attempt, MJF and Holliday got involved and caused the distraction for Hammerstone to whip Smith back first into the exposed turnbuckle. Moments later Hammerstone rolled Sith up and grabbed the ropes to pick up the win and keep hold of his Openweight title, much to the annoyance of the Chicago crowd.

MLW Heavyweight Championship, No Disqualification – L.A Park vs Jacob Fatu

Result: Jacob Fatu wins via pinfall

Grade: A+

The Park vs Fatu collision was a battle of the monsters and had a big fight feel to it. They had the tail of the tape followed by a video package recapping the big moments from the last year that all built towards this night: LA Park’s Battle Riot win, Fatu winning the title from Tom Lawlor, and Salina declaring the cash-in date. Park’s entrance included a parade of undead brides given it was Dia de Los Muertos (The Day of the Dead) in Mexico.

The match itself was as wild as you would imagine it to be. Park’s athleticism for his age is still incredible. He hit an early suicide dive to the outside that had Fatu’s manager Josef Samael worried. Salina de la Renta, who accompanied LA Park to ringside, unintentionally distracted the referee which let Samael freely enter the ring and use a spike to bust open LA Park. Fatu had also ripped his mask in half so the blood was visibly pouring out of the Mexican legend’s forehead.

They brawled around ringside as the fans got an up-close and personal look at the carnage in front of them. Back in the ring, Fatu continued the beat down as we were told that Salina de la Renta had recently been spending time in Mexico looking for contracts for reality programs instead of spending time preparing for the title match with her team: Promociones Dorado.

Park’s insane athleticism was on show again as he pulled out another amazing maneuver when he hit a twisting springboard senton off the top rope! On the outside, Park threw a table at the champion then broke the timekeeper’s bell across his forehead busting him open too.

Fatu soon retaliated with a springboard twisting senton of his own but then the move of the night came when Fatu ran and launched himself from inside the ring, over the top rope to the floor and hit Park with a twisting crossbody. He then tried to put Park away inside the ring with his moonsault but Park moved at the last minute. Park then slowly crawled and made the cover but Josef Samael came in and broke the count by throwing a fireball at the referee!

This brought Salina in to confront Samael but she ended up taking a spear from LA Park through a table in the corner when Samael moved at the last moment. Fatu then hit a superkick to Park, an elevated Samoan drop and a double jump springboard moonsault to retain his title. I previewed this match last week and described it as organized chaos, and this was exactly this and more.

Both warriors were bloodied, we had a referee on the floor burned by a fireball, Salina was crushed under a destroyed table in the corner, and Jacob Fatu barley staggered his way to the back with his title draped over his bloody and battered shoulder.

All in all, it was a great night of action from MLW and they can go from strength to strength as their next MLW Fusion taping is this weekend in Orlando Florida. Already confirmed for that taping is “Filthy” Tom Lawlor vs Davey Boy Smith Jr., Mance Warner vs Jimmy Havoc in a Falls Count Anywhere match, Timothy Thatcher vs Low Ki and Zeda Zhang will take on the Spider Lady in MLW’s first match of their women’s division.

There will also be a “Mystery Box Battle Royal” but all the regular names and faces are scheduled to appear.

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