Wrestling Night in America Reunion: PWTorch columnist Greg Parks is joined by former PWTorch columnist Pat McNeill for a full match-by-match preview of WrestleMania 36
(Search "wade keller" to subscribe in podcast app or CLICK HERE to subscribe in Apple Podcasts.)
MLW ONE SHOT
OCTOBER 5, 2017
ORLANDO, FLA. AT GILT NIGHTCLUB
REPORT BY TOM STOUP, PWTORCH CORRESPONDENT
Orlando’s Gilt Nightclub made for a unique atmosphere. Wrestlers and other personalities were casually mingling in bar areas, and preceding bell time this reporter was lucky enough to be invited to sit with several well-known independent wrestlers on hand to cheer their friends.
To open the show, Rich Bocchini introduced Tony Schiavone back to the broadcasting booth for the first time in decades. Schiavone started an “MLW” chant and told someone in a Bullet Club shirt not to “too sweet” him for fear of being sued.
(1) Tama Tonga pinned Martin Stone (NXT’s Danny Burch). Following an exchange of hard hits, the action spilled to the outside where Tonga took a fan’s beer and poured it in Stone’s mouth (after the match the fan’s beer was replaced by event staff). A series of counters led to Tonga hitting a diamond cutter for the three, and he celebrated by giving fans at ringside an upside-down “too sweet.”
(2) Rhett Giddins & Seth “Silverback” Petruzelli defeated Parrow & Saive Al Sabah. After much dissension between Parrow and Al Sabah, Petruzelli scored a submission on Al Sabah with a cross armbreaker. After the bell, the massive Parrow powerbombed Al Sabah, much to the victors’ shock and amusement.
(3) Maxell Jacob Friedman defeated Jimmy Yuta via pinfall. MJF entered first and called Yuta “a good kid, humble,” and said tonight would be historic due to Yuta’s opportunity to lose to him. MJF spent the match telling fans he’s better than them, telling them to shut up, and sarcastically encouraging Yuta cheers. It was fantastically entertaining. MJF faked a broken jaw to sneak a low blow behind the ref’s back, then rolled Yuta up for the win.
(4) Barrington Hughes defeated Markos Espada via pinfall. The absolutely massive “Caramel Colossus” Hughes hit a single splash in the corner and placed his foot on “Anti-Luchador” Espada for the fall.
-King Ricochet appeared on screen calling Shane Strickland a jabroni and promising that Strickland will bend the knee.
(5) Darby Allin pinned Jason Cade. The high-flying affair – which saw a wild dive in to the front rows among many other risky spots – ended when Allin locked in a sharpshooter and spun in place, bending back to create an inescapable pin.
(6) Santana Garrett defeated Mia Yim via pinfall. Yim adopted a heel role for this one, even calling out the ring announcer for a late opening bell. Yim dominated, at one point taking Garrett’s signature headband for herself. Garrett rallied when she regained the headband but only managed to score the fall after Yim turned her focus to a fan. The fan had shouted something about Yim’s friend Shelton Benjamin, to which Yim responded, “Keep drinking your beer, fatass!”
-MLW Never Say Never was announced for Dec. 7.
(7) “Filthy” Tom Lawlor pinned Jeff Cobb. Cobb appeared to give himself a profusely bloody nose when the Olympian missed a standing moonsault and landed on his face, which Lawlor turned in to a facelock. Lawlor eventually gained the rollup win after a a series of counters.
-After the bell, the ring announcer interviewed Lawlor, who flaunted his 1-0 status in MLW, and called himself “the guy.” He told the crowd to keep their cheers to themselves, because they have never been there for him before. He then called out Matt Riddle, presumably for a match at Never Say Never.
(8) MVP defeated Sami Callihan via pinfall in a no disqualification match. Callihan shook a fan, threw the fan’s hat, and threw empty chairs in the ring as he entered. MVP antagonized fans on his way to the ring before Callihan threw an empty cup at his head and gave him the finger. This was an insane bout from the get-go, including multiple spots that destroyed the ringside seating area. Half the fun was watching fans try to sort out the chair arrangement afterward, only to have it destroyed again. Callihan pretended to beg off several times, only to announce “Sucker punch” before indeed sucker-punching MVP. Once Callihan suplexed MVP on a pile of chairs a fan on the other side of the ring shouted, “I paid $100; I can’t see!” Callihan threw a cup at the fan and gave him the finger, but then dragged MVP over to that side to give those fans some action, too. Back in the ring, the dominant, energetic and vulgar Callihan mocked MVP’s “Ballin'” catchphrase and signature elbow. This lit a fire under MVP, who retaliated and hit Ballin’ himself. MVP hit a series of apparent finishers that Callihan no-sold, spitting in MVP’s face and, yes, giving him the finger. Finally MVP hit a fisherman suplex pin to emerge victorious. MVP posed in celebration as Callihan took selfies with fans, spat beer, and finally shook the same fan he shook at the beginning… and threw the fan’s hat.
-Intermission was called unexpectedly (and extended twice), possibly to promote what appeared to be a dwindling bar. Jason Cade, Jeff Cobb, and Santana Garrett hit ringside to meet fans and sell merchandise, while Seth Petruzelli and Mia Yim mingled with friends and found places from which to witness the main event.
(9) Shane “Swerve” Strickland defeated Ricochet via submission. “No time limit” was announced during in-ring introductions. The two toyed with one another to begin with, then transitioned to a sequence of mat wrestling. The controversial coordinated aerials that made Ricochet’s match with Will Ospreay infamous then took over. Strickland turned his focus to working Ricochet’s arm with various crippling holds before Ricochet took over on the merit of his hard strikes and hit a People’s Elbow-style standing moonsault. The wrestlers exchanged strong blows until Strickland regained control with several devastating spots. Strickland began exclaiming “Got you!” and “Die!” before impact. Ricochet retook the upper hand and scored the nearest fall to that point. From the event personnel section, Tessa Blanchard attempted to start a “This is awesome” chant. Heavy back-and-forth strikes again defined the action before the two climbed to the top turnbuckle and began a series of high spots and near falls including Strickland landing a double-stomp, Ricochet nailing a springboard 450, and Strickland evading a shooting star press. Ricochet shut down a “Both these guys” chant attempt. Strickland hit a GTS and maintained control of the arm – he began attempting to lock in cross armbreakers as he countered Ricochet’s offense. Ricochet hadn’t sold his arm in some time, but finally tapped to the hold and gave Strickland a respectful nod as he exited. Strickland ended the event celebrating in the ring.
If you attend a live event in the future, send a report like the one above to firstname.lastname@example.org.