RECOMMENDED NEW PODCAST - EX-WWE CREATIVE TEAM MEMBER DISHES ON BACKSTAGE WWE OPERATIONS...
(Search "wade keller" to subscribe in podcast app)
RADICAN’S MLW “ONE SHOT” REPORT
OCT. 5, 2017
AVAILABLE ON VOD AT MLW.TV
A slick video package introduced the show.
Tony Schiavone and Rich Bocchini introduced the show at ringside in front of a MLW graphic.
The show was held in a small, but filled venue. They had video screens where the wrestlers came out. Martin Stone vs. Tama Tonga is up first.
Tonga jumped Stone by surprise by breaking away from the ref, who was checking him over for foreign objects.
(1) Martin Stone vs. Tama Tonga. Stone fired back and hit a nice suplex. He mocked Tonga and his hand gestures. Tonga fired back and hit a big dropkick. The announcers said NJPW officials were at the show. The action spilled to the floor and Tonga was in control. Tonga went for a charge in the corner, but Stone got his knees up. He hit a flying knee strike off the top and both men were down. Stone hit a flurry of strikes. Both men exchanged headbutts to the chest. Tonga went for another headbutt, but Stone nailed him with an uppercut to cut him off. He made the cover, but only got a 2 count. Stone followed up with a big clothesline, but Tonga kicked out at 2. Tonga caught Stone with the Tonga twist, but Stone kicked out at the last second. Tonga went for a lawn dart, but Stone pushed himself out of it. Stone caught Tonga with a pop up powerbomb for a 2 count. Tonga fired back with a spinebuster out of the corner for a 2 count. Stone staggered to his feet and Tonga hit the gun stun for the win.
Winner: Tama Tonga
Star rating: (**) – This match was fine, but it would have better to open the show with a bang. This match just never got much of a flow to it. Even the finish would have been better served with the gun stun coming out of nowhere.
Aria Blake was introduced as the social media coordinator for the night.
(2) Mike Parrow & Saieve Al Sabah vs. Seth Petruzelli & Rhett Giddins. Schiavone said this was a matchup of MMA vs. power with Petruzelli on one side and Parrow on the other. Parrow and Giddins are about the same side around 6’5 or so. They went at it. Parrow hit some big punches on Giddins. Giddins fired back with a jumping leg drop. Parrow ended up catching Giddins with a German that sent him flying into the corner. Sabah made a blind tag and went to work on Giddins, but Giddins nailed him with a superkick. Petruzelli tagged in and worked over Sabah with a combination of strikes. Parrow ran into the ring and powerbombed Petruzelli into the corner. He went right into Giddins. Sabah made the cover, but Petruzelli kicked out. Sabah was working over Petruzelli, but Parrow tagged himself into the match. Sabah and Parrow jawed with each other. Parrow went after Petruzelli, but he got caught with an arm bar. Parrow managed to drag himself to the ropes to break up the submission. Petruzelli fended off a double team and tagged in Giddins, who ran wild on Sabah. Sabah missed a moonsault and Petruzelli grabbed an arm bar. Sabah tapped out quickly.
Winner: Seth Petruzelli & Rhett Giddins
Star rating: (*1/2) – This was rough in spots, as nobody in the match appeared to be polished in the ring yet. That being said, they all have potential and working on shows like this can only help them out.
Parrow nailed Sabah with a big powerbomb after the match.
Schiavone and Bocchini talked about their respective podcasts on MLWRadio.com.
Maxwell Jacob Friedman cut a promo before his match began. He cut a promo saying tonight will be the most historic moment of Jimmy Yuta’s career because he will lose to MJF. He said he’s better than you and you know it. Schiavone mentioned MJF is only 21 and 2 years into the business.
(3) Maxwell Jacob Friedman vs. Jimmy Yuta. Schiavone compared Yuta to Ricky Steamboat. They had a quick exchange early and came to a stalemate. MJF offered a handshake. Yuta seemed skeptical. They shook hands and MJF went for a kick, but Yuta caught it. MJF demanded he put his foot down. Yuta pit it down and hit a nice rope assisted arm drag. He hit a dropkick to MJF’s knee and kipped up. MJF grabbed the ref in front of him in the corner and then hit a punch to get the upper hand on Yuta. MJF went after Yuta’s arm. Bocchini said Yuta isn’t used to people taking shortcuts having spent a lot of time wrestling in Japan. I guess he hasn’t met Toru Yano yet. Yuta fired back as they went at it up top. He pushed MJF to the mat and hit a big cross body. The fans fired up and both men were down. Yuta went on the attack with his good arm. Yuta hit a nice combination of offense capped by a modified one-arm powerbomb for a 2 count. WOW! MJF fired back and hit a double stomp out of the corner onto Yuta’s arm. He followed up with a pump-handle driver for a 2 count. MJF and Yuta went back and forth. Yuta got on top of MJF and nailed him with a flurry of punches. He favored his arm as the ref checked on MJF. MJF grabbed the ref and hit a low blow. He then rolled up Yuta with a handful of tights for the win.
Winner: Maxwell Jacob Friedman
Star rating: (**3/4) – This was good. I’m not a huge fan of dirty heel tactics around the ref, but I think MJF is the type of bad guy character that can pull it off. They built the match around MJF taking shortcuts and working over Yuta’s arm. They also got the crowd engaged in a match on the show for the first time, so this was a good all-around effort from both.
Tom Lawler was interviewed backstage. Lawler was dressed in UFC gear. He was asked about his match against Jeff Cobb. He said he wasn’t going to reveal his game plan. Lawler talked, but you could hear the audience talking in the background. It wasn’t an awful sound mix, but I think they’d be better off cutting the promos where the crowd couldn’t be heard.
(4) Barrington Hughes vs. Markos Espada. Hughes was framed as a super heavyweight. He hit a HUGE splash in the corner on a wrestler that wasn’t introduced. He then covered Espada with one foot for the win.
Winner: Barrington Hughes – I dig that they are building a super heavyweight with squash matches. I’m intrigued to see where this goes.
They showed a replay with a timer. He won in 08:08.
MLW 360 footage was shown to hype the Ricochet vs. Shane Strickland main event.
(5) Darby Allin vs. Jason Cade. Allin rolled through on Cade and got an arm bar, but Cade got to the ropes. Allin hit an insane arm drag jumping off the top rope to get some momentum to send Cade across the ring. They went back and forth off the ropes. Cade caught Allin with a dropkick. Allin ended up on the floor and Cade nailed him with a big flip dive. WOW! The fans fired up and chanted holy s—t. Schiavone mentioned that Cade was trained by current NXT trainer Norman Smiley. Cade kicked out of a pinning combination and Allin hit a sick springboard splash off the bottom rope for a 2 count. They went back and forth and Cade hit a handspring off the ropes into a code breaker for a 2 count. Allin a coffin drop variation off the top to the apron on Cade and both men spilled to the floor! Allin hit another coffin drop off the top for a near fall. That was nuts. Cade rolled through right into a fisherman buster on Allin, but he kicked out at 2. The fans fired up as both men were slow to get up. They went at it up top. Cade went for a sunset bomb. He couldn’t get it so he superkicked Allin’s legs out from under him. Cade wiped him out in the tree of woe and hit a DVD into the turnbuckles for a 2 count. Allin got his knees up on a splash attempt off the top. A short time later he tied up Cade’s legs and got a leverage pinning combination for the win. Schiavone said it was called the last supper.
Winner: Darby Allin
Star rating: (***1/4) – This was a nice dose of athleticism. Both men looked good here and I really enjoyed Allin’s last supper pinning combination finish.
More footage of MLW 360 with Ricochet and Shane Strickland was shown. Ricochet was shown shopping for shoes. Strickland was shown working out in preparation for their match with Seth Petruzelli across town.
(6) Mia Yim vs. Santana Garrett. Larry Zbyszko was shown in the crowd. The announcers mentioned he trained Garrett. Yim and Garrett had a couple of exchanges and came to a stalemate. Yim finally hit a kick to the back of Garrett’s head to get the upper hand. Both of these women competed in the Mae Young Classic on the WWE Network recently. Yim took Garrett’s headband and mocked her at one point. Garrett fired up, but Yim quickly cut her off and regained the upper hand. Yim used her leg to choke Garrett against the bottom rope. She continued to wear Garrett’s headband. Garrett had some Wonder Woman themed gear on. Yim got a surfboard and the crowd gave it a mixed reaction. Garrett managed to flip over on top of Yim for a 2 count. Yim went right back on the attack. Yim argued with the ref, which allowed Garrett to roll her up for a 2 count. Yim quickly hit a clothesline. A fan asked Yim to kick Garrett in the back of the head and she teased it and pulled up short. Yim played to the crowd and Garrett recovered and went after her, but Yim cut her off. Yim set up for the package piledriver, but Garrett blocked it. They traded counters until both women hit kicks to the head at the same time that left them both down on the mat. Both women got up and traded blows. Some of the chops landed flush and the crowd gasped. They continued to go back and forth until Garrett hit a Garrett DDT jumping in through the middle rope for a 2 count. Yim hit a German for a 2 count and spit at the ref. Yim lifted Garrett into a gut wrench suplex, but she only got another 2 count. Garrett cut her off up top and took her down to the mat with a hurricanrana. Garrett then hit the shining star press.
Winner: Santana Garrett
Star rating: (***1/4) – This was a good women’s match. Yim dominated most of the action, but Garrett did a good job of coming from behind throughout the match before eventually getting the win. Yim went slight heel her and did a good job of engaging the crowd.
The announcers talked about Barrington Hughes winning a squash match. They showed a replay of his quick win and put him over. They then said MLW would return with a show called Never Say Never in December. I really like the announcer shots in-between matches. This has been a very professional presentation.
Tom Lawler came out for his match against Jeff Cobb. He was accompanied by a couple of corner men. They were all wearing UFC walkout gear. Lawler was wearing a tuxedo compression shirt. The corner men help up a UFC style sponsorship sign.
Both men went back and forth on the mat during early going. The announcers talked about how both men have ametuer background, but neither man could get the upper hand. Lawler backed Cobb to the ropes and did not offer a clean break. He hit a big kick and then did some dirty boxing before hitting another pair of MMA style kicks. Cobb caught a kick and hit a huge release suplex that sent Lawler flying across the ring. Cobb hit a long delayed vertical superplex on Lawler and the fans clapped. Cobb was slow to make the cover and only got a 1 count. Cobb hit a standing moonsault, but came up short on a standing SSP and Lawler grabbed a triangle. He then got a guillotine. Cobb finally managed to toss Lawler to the mat. Lawler kept grabbing submissions while targeting Cobb’s arm. Cobb stood up and ended up running Lawler into the corner. He then hit a powerslam and both men were down. Cobb was bleeding from the nose heavily after that spot. Lawler slid around Cobb and grabbed a slapper. Cobb powered out, but Lawler hit a rebound release German off the ropes. Cobb hit a headbutt and both men were down. They got up and began exchanging blows. Lawler hit several strikes and Cobb went for a suplex, but Lawler turned it into a triangle on the mat. Cobb ended up lifting Lawler up once again, but he slid away from Cobb’s grasp and rolled him up for the three count.
The replay showed that Lawler rubbed something on Cobb’s face. They said he might have gotten something from one of his corner men. Cobb left the ring selling something was in his eyes.
Winner: Tom Lawler
Star rating: (***1/4) – The finish didn’t come off great in real time, but the replay did a nice job of picking up on Lawler cheating to win. This was a good match with some solid mat wrestling and MMA style exchanges. The finish didn’t do a good job of ending the match with a bang, but overall they did a nice job of establishing Lawler here.
Lawler was interviewed after the match. He was asked about his thoughts on beating Cobb. Lawler said he’s 1-0. He said he’s the guy in MLW. He said he won the match and none of the fans did. He told the fans to keep their cheers. He said the fans hadn’t been there for him in UFC. He said he wants someone to step up to him in MLW. He said he wants Matt Riddle. The fans chanted bro. Lawler said bro me and headed to the back. The announcers asked if we’d see that match in December.
They went backstage to Jamie Iovine. He wanted a word with Sami Callihan, but he pushed the camera away.
(7) Sami Callihan vs. MVP. MVP apparently does not watch Sami Callihan matches. The bell rang and Callihan ran across the ring and kicked MVP. MVP returned the favor a short time later. Callihan hit a dive to the outside and slammed several chairs on top of MVP. Both men ended up seated on the outside and they began exchanging blows. Callihan blocked a suplex by raking MVP’s eyes. He then hit a suplex of his own into a pile of chairs. They brawled around the ring as the fans fired up. Callihan set up MVP in a chair and got a running start around the ring, but MVP greeted him with a big kick to the head. MVP set Callihan up in the chair and nailed him with a running kick to the head. MVP went for another boot, but Callihan pulled the ref in front of him. He then nailed MVP with the chair. Callihan mocked MVP’s ballin spot, but MVP managed to get his knees up when Callihan went for a splash. MVP hit a big series of blows capped by a clothesline to send Callihan down to the mat. MVP hit the ballin elbow drop a short time later. He hit a fisherman suplex, but Callihan kicked out at 2. Callihan eventually got the stretch muffler. MVP managed to kick his way out of it. He then got up and hit a big clothesline. MVP hit his finish, but Callihan kicked out at 1! MVP then nailed Callihan with a big running kick to the head. Callihan kicked out at 2 and spit at MVP. MVP hit another kick to the head and a fisherman suplex for the win.
Star rating: (***1/2) – This was a good match. It seemed rather pedestrian that Callihan lost to a fisherman suplex after kicking out of one earlier in the match. They had a good brawl, but I think the match could have built to more of a bang in the end, especially with Callihan showing fighting spirit in the end.
MVP tossed Callihan out of the ring after the match. They showed a series of replays from the match.
The announcers were shown doing a reset after the Callihan-MVP match. They mentioned Lawler had challenged Riddle at the next MLW show. They went to Iovine backstage with MVP. The audio wasn’t great for the interview. MVP said he was getting old, but he felt good. He talked about Callihan, but was confronted by a woman, who handed him a card.
They went to another MLW 360 video hyping Shane Strickland vs. Ricochet in the main event. Dave Meltzer of The Wrestling Observer was shown talking about the matchup.
They showed a nice tale of the tape for the main event with Totino’s as the sponsor.
(8) Ricochet vs. Shane Strickland. Ricochet got the crowd fired up with his entrance. They did formal introductions before the match started. They started off slowly with both men feeling each other out. They eventually built to a great exchange with Ricochet going for the benadriller and Strickland matrixed out of the way and nipped up. Ricochet looked shocked after Strickland used that technique to escape his finish. Strickland got the upper hand after Ricochet tried to stall. Ricochet looked in a double arm submission. He then lifted Ricochet’s arm up and snapped it down with his leg at a bad angle. The fans gasped as Ricochet sold his arm. Strickland slowed the pace and continued to go after Ricochet’s arms. They picked up the pace and Strickland went for a leap frog, but Ricochet nearly dropkicked him out of the ring! WOW! Ricochet went to work on Strickland with a huge uppercut in the corner. Ricochet sold his arm as he picked apart Strickland with some strikes. Ricochet set up for the people’s standing moonsault and hit it for a 2 count. Ricochet slapped Strickland across the back of the head and they went back and forth until Ricochet landed a huge chop. They went back and forth again. Strickland hit a knee lift. Ricochet tried to hang on, but Strickland tripped him and then hit a rolling cutter. Neither man got up after that excellent sequence. WOW!
The fans chanted for both men. Strickland hit a slingshot flatliner. He held on and hit an arm capture suplex into the turnbuckles for a 2 count. This has been a very mature match so far from these two. They’ve paced it really well. It feels like a real fight. Strickland is staying away from the high flying for the most part and is going after Ricochet’s arms. Ricochet fired back and rolled through into a shotgun dropkick and both men were down. They had a really crazy back and forth exchange in the corner. Ricochet hit a 619, a springboard forearm, and a running SSP for a 2 count. The fans chanted for Ricochet. Another chant broke out for Strickland. Strickland hit a nice trip near the ropes. He then hit a springboard double stomp for a 2 count! They went to another exchange off the ropes and Ricochet turned Strickland inside out with a HUGE clothesline off the ropes. The ref began his 10 count with both men once again down on the mat. Both men got up and exchanged blows. Both men hit big forearm strikes at the same time. Ricochet finally hit a kick and a big release German and the fans fired up. They battled up top a short time later. Ricochet slapped Strickland across the face, but Strickland fired back with a kick to the head. Ricochet went for a tombstone, but Strickland managed to escape. Strickland hung up Ricochet in the corner with a dropkick and spiked him with a DDT for a 2 count! Strickland went up top and hit the swerve stomp for a near fall! WOW! Strickland had Ricochet on his shoulders, but Ricochet punched his way free. Strickland tried to get Ricochet on his shoulders again, but Ricochet hit a poison hurricanrana. He then hit his rolling suplex and a springboard 450 for a near fall! WOW!
Ricochet went up top and missed a SSP, but landed on his feet. Strickland popped up and nailed him with a dropkick in the corner. They went back and forth and Ricochet got the upper hand, but Strickland rolled him up for a 2 count. Strickland went for an arm submission, but Ricochet escaped. Ricochet ended up in the Gory special positon and Strickland spun him around into a slam on the ground. Strickland locked in an arm submission a short time later using his legs for leverage. Ricochet tried to escape. He eventually lifted Strickland and slammed him to the ground! Strickland blocked another benadriller attempt, but Strickland caught his leg. Ricochet tried to roll through, but Strickland got his leg trap modified arm bar once again. Ricochet couldn’t get to the ropes and ended up tapping out!
Winner: Shane Strickland
Star rating: (****1/4) – This was awesome. In front of a different crowd, it probably would have been an incredible match. The crowd was receptive to the action, but they weren’t red hot and on their feet like I expected given the quality of match that this was. Go out of your way to see this match.
Ricochet bailed out of the ring and nodded at Strickland. The fans applauded as Strickland stood tall in the ring. They went to a series of replays from the big spots in the match. Schiavone said MLW Never Say Never was their next events and as of this writing tickets are already on sale.
A video aired. Jimmy Havoc appeared and said fans wanted to see Dusty busted open by The Butcher. He said fans have paid money to see Steve Corino wear a crimson mask. Havoc said that was about to change. He said the fans would get exactly what they want. A plug for Never Say Never was shown as Havoc’s theme played to close the show.
Overall thoughts: (7.0) – Court Bauer is definitely onto something here with the relaunch of MLW. There’s a market for a high quality indie with good production values and professional announcing based around wins and losses with a mix of rising and established stars. This show looked really good on tape. MLW filled a small nightclub that had great lighting and videoboards. The show took some time to get going, as there wasn’t much thrilling on the undercard, but it closed with a great main event between Shane Strickland and Ricochet, which MLW built up for over a month with MLW 360 videos.
MLW has some things they need to work on. The sound mix wasn’t perfect. The crowd seemed a little muted. When the announcers were talking Tony Schiavone sounded great, but Rich Bocchini was a little low. The backstage segments didn’t seem to serve much of a purpose with Jamie Iovine, so going forward perhaps they can use those more effectively to build up characters of the wrestlers they are going to use on a regular basis.
The show had some good matches. Mia Yim vs. Santana Garrett was very good on the undercard, as was Lawler vs. Cobb. They did a good job of giving Lawler a big win over Cobb and setting him up to face Matt Riddle on the next show in December. Right now Matt Riddle vs. Tom Lawler is the marquee match for the next show. Lawler did a good job playing the heel, but he needs to do more to get the crowd against him on the mic.
Tony Schiavone and Rich Bocchini were really good on commentary. They gave the show an authentic sports-like feel. It was great to hear Schiavone calling wrestling matches again after he had been away from wrestling for so long. I like that wins and losses are going to matter in MLW. It’s tough to stick to that as we’ve seen with EVOLVE, but hopefully if MLW grows and runs more regularly, they can make wins and losses count and keep fans interested. It’s not easy to do that with a shifting talent roster.
The show ended on a high note with two really good matches. The crowd wasn’t super hot all night, but they were good for Sami Callihan vs. MVP and Shane Strickland vs. Ricochet. Strickland vs. Ricochet is worth going out of your way to see. They had a very mature match. They paced it well and told a good story with Strickland working over Ricochet’s arm throughout the match before submitting him in the end.
Overall, I give this show a strong recommendation. You get the VOD for a week and a free download of the show at MLW.tv for $4.99, which is a steal for a show of this quality.
You can purchase this show at MLW.TV. The show is available for 7 days on VOD, but you get a one time download of the MP4, which is yours to keep forever. For more information on MLW, visit MLW.com.