4/12 MLW TV Taping in Orlando, Fla.: First TV tapings, first champion crowned in Riddle-Strickland match, plus MVP, Callihan, Pentagon

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APRIL 12 2018

Please send results of live events you attend to pwtorch@pwtorch.com. Thank you! Also, please include any photos you take of either the arena setting, entrance stage, and clear pictures of wrestlers on way to ring or inside the ring.

The event ticket was billed as the final “Road to the World Championship”. As the first announced TV taping, the graphics in the Gilt Nightclub read “MLW Fusion”. As of this writing, March’s MLW: Spring Break has not become available for on-demand streaming nor has it been released on YouTube. It may become the first Fusion content we see on BeIn Sports.

On screen before bell time, Low Ki confronted MVP saying “It ain’t over,” and throat-chopping a bouncer before the two were pulled apart. The video played repeatedly to the point that fans began quoting along with it.

Instead of a VIP lounge, the ringside area was set up as a commentary booth for Tony Schiavone and Rich Bocchini.

Ring announcer Tim Barr handed out BeIn Sports hats and shirts, and addressed the crowd, “MLW is going nationwide; do you want to be on TV?” He then joked that attendee and NXT regular who has earned the name “Stunt Granny” is his grandmother, and that another female fan’s boyfriend looked like they could beat him up.

(1) Mike Parrow pinned Vandal Ortagun. As Parrow dominated his rival Ortagun, Colonel Robert Parker appeared on the ramp to scout. Parker looked pleased as Parrow collected an easy win with a murderbomb. Parrow accepted a handshake from Parker as the two exited together. Parker appeared to be contending with a nagging cough.

Jimmy Havoc took the mic and sarcastically referred to Joey Janela by his nickname “bad boy.” He called Janela out, citing two prior attacks. Janela entered, and the two began exchanging rights. They brawled to the outside and out of view as Low Ki made his way to the ring.

Low Ki complained that Black Friday Management’s license was being revoked, and he was being suspended indefinitely by MLW. MVP entered to confront his adversary, but Sami Callihan appeared and choked him out with a baseball bat. Callihan held his bat high and shouted, “All hail Callihan!”

Team Filthy entered looking unhappy. “Filthy” Tom Lawlor – booked to face ACH – attempted to calm the crowd’s praise, and due to his forearm injury announced his displeasure at being unable “to perform for the best… uh… well, to perform in front of some fans.” He said Simon Grimm would wrestle ACH instead.

(2) ACH pinned Simon Grimm. ACH toyed with Grimm during initial tests of strength. ACH worked Grimm’s left arm, gloating and showing off between holds to further infuriate his opponent. At ringside Tom Lawlor attempted to change chants of “Go, Go, ACH” to “No, No, ACH.” Grimm absorbed chops, and sank in to a headlock. The contest escalated evenly before ACH rolled Grimm up for the win.
After the bell, Lawlor attacked ACH from behind. He was interviewed by Andrea Ocampo on the ramp and said, “The only place ACH is going tonight is the ICU.”

Tim Barr hyped the crowd up once more, reminding everyone that they’re on TV. He said, “Mania weekend continues! I know you’re not tired!” He went on to promote the next tapings, billed as MLW: Intimidation Games.

(3) Trey Miguel pinned Kotto Brazil. Brazil did not wear the mask Low Ki had ripped from his face. The agile grapplers seemed to spend more time in the air than on the ground. Miguel hit a springboard front flip to the outside, and rhythmically snapped his fingers in celebration after achieving a two count. Brazil gained an upper hand, and scored the nearest fall to that point with a German suplex. Following several further near falls, Miguel leapt off the top turnbuckle and landed on Brazil with his knees for the victory.

Tim Barr collected one of the wrestlers’ pieces of gum from the ring, and stuck it to the hand of a still photographer. The crowd chanted, “Wash your hands!”

Colonel Robert Parker took the mic from Tim Barr, and introduced the individual elimination tag team match. He introduced the Dirty Blondes from his “stud stable.”

(4) Dirty Blondes pinned Team TBD (Jason Cade & Jimmy Yuta). On his way to the ring, Leo Brien pointed to a fan in a Rush shirt and said, “Rush sucks!” Cade and Yuta appeared to have things well in hand as they isolated Brien, and then Mike Patrick. Cade dove over the top rope on to the Blondes, but while he was on the outside his partner was rolled up by Brien and eliminated. Left alone, Cade suffered the wrath of the Blondes. Parker coached, exclaiming, “What do I pay you for?” Cade rallied, managing to eliminate Patrick. As Cade looked to put Brien away, Parker tripped him. Yuta protested, and with the referee’s attention turned both Blondes dominated Cade for the decisive fall. Team TBD did not appear particularly pleased with one another.

Colonel Robert Parker announced the signing of a new member to his “stud stable,” calling him an All American. Alleviating any remaining suspense, Parker confirmed his new signee is none other than Jake Hager (FKA Jack Swagger). Parker went on, “For those of you born yesterday who don’t know what Bellator is, I’m going to sum it up for you: Danger! Danger! Danger!”

On screen, Andrea Ocampo tried to interview Tom Lawlor and Simon Grimm but was not permitted access to their dressing room. She said she’d learned Lawlor was cleared to wrestle after all, but Lawlor comically feigned pain in response.

(5) Maxwell Jacob Friedman submitted Fred Yehi. MJF jawed at Yehi throughout the match, once luring him in to a facelock through a disingenuous handshake. MJF referred to himself as a “two-year vet,” and Yehi as simply an “idiot.” MJF survived his foe’s repeated comeback attempts, and stomped on Yehi’s left arm. Yehi kneed MJF in the head over and over, then bicycle kicked him in the chest. MJF kicked out at two after suffering a suplex, then unsuccessfully begged off. MJF used the referee as a shield, double-stomped Yehi’s left arm from the top turnbuckle, and rolled him up for the win.
After the match, MJF snatched a fan’s chair so he could take a seat during his interview with Andrea Ocampo. He said he understands if fans don’t know him, since most of us can’t afford Internet. He said he knows we boo him because we’re jealous, but he’s actually jealous of us. For us he is willing to bear the cross of going home to his perfect ten’s attitude, and having to deal with his subpar limo driver. He thanked Ocampa with the sentiment, “It’s so hard to find good help these days.”

(6) Pentagon Jr. (presented by Salina de la Renta) pinned Rey Fenix. Posturing did not last long as these luchador siblings immediately launched in to a sequence of insane high spots. Pentagon took control on the outside, chopping and kicking Fenix. Between the ropes, he silenced the crowd before laying in another sickening chop. Fenix did just enough to stay alive as Pentagon continued to dominate. Pentagon scored a near fall after powerbombing Fenix on to his knee. Fenix springboarded up the turnbuckle and stomped on Pentagon’s head. Fenix cleared a nearby seating section of fans, but Pentagon folded him up in to a package piledriver on the apron. It took a devastating Pentagon Driver and another package piledriver to put away the resilient Fenix. The brothers embraced after the bell.

(7) Santana Garrett pinned “Big Swole” Aerial Monroe. The wrestlers chained mat sequences to open. Garrett fought to stay in it as Monroe pounded at her and verbally harassed MLW’s “Wonder Woman.” Garrett blocked a kick, but Monroe left the kick hovering until Garrett lowered her guard. Garrett managed an eat defeat for a two count. Monroe retaliated with a headbutt to Garrett’s chest, collecting a near fall with a subsequent powerbomb. Garrett got the win with her shining star press.

(8) Sami Callihan pinned MVP. Callihan, baseball bat in hand, spat in to the ring as he entered. MVP didn’t wait for his own entrance theme before entering the ring to get down to business. Callihan ducked a chop, and MVP’s hand went in to the ringpost. Callihan barreled in to the seated MVP once, and was sent head-first in to a chair upon a second attempt. Callihan tried helplessly to avoid MVP. He goaded heckling fans to try getting in the ring with him. He disposed of MVP and took a bow. He chanted “you suck” back at the crowd. MVP responded to the referee’s 20-count. Callihan ripped off MVP’s nasal strip and placed it on his own nose. MVP delivered an uranage to Callihan on the apron. The wrestlers both managed to barely answer another 20-count, and immediately began kicking one another. Callihan cursed at MVP. MVP hit Ballin’ for a two-count. Saliva flew, hitting a member of the ring crew as well as adhering to Callihan’s face. Callihan chewed on MVP’s forehead, and went for the bat. As the brawlers fought for possession of the weapon, the referee was knocked down. MVP nearly evaded danger, but Leon Scott ran in and attacked him. Callihan scored a near fall, but MVP did not appear to have lifted his shoulder. Callihan delivered a shoulder breaker to correct the situation, and was gingerly carried away by Scott.

(9) Jimmy Havoc pinned Joey Janella (with Aria Blake) in a Bogus Adventure match. The wrestlers simultaneously booted one another, and Janela dove through the ropes on to Havoc. Havoc attempted to reciprocate but was clocked in the head with a chair, then suplexed in to another chair. Back in the ring, the two exchanged chops, then Janela hi-fived a fan on the balcony before coming off the top turnbuckle. Havoc retrieved a wooden door and several chairs from beneath the ring. The door was leaned upright in a turnbuckle. Janela put a chair around Havoc’s neck, and stomped him in to another chair. Havoc side-slammed Janela in to a standing chair. Janela blocked a monkey flip, propped a chair on Havoc, and flipped from the top turnbuckle on to his prone opponent. Janela brought out a table, but was met with a chair shot to the head. Janela earned a two-count after package piledriving Havoc on a mound of chairs. Havoc avoided a top rope senton, resulting in Janela going through the table. He then dropkicked Janela through the door and picked up the win after clotheslining Janela on to the chairs.

As they cleared the disaster zone, the ring crew was met with chants of “Too Sweep,” and “Sweep Forever.”

Tim Barr announced the following match as a BeIn.com exclusive. After being met with crowd derision he added, “Just kidding; it’s not.”

(10) “Filthy” Tom Lawlor (with Team Filthy) submitted ACH. ACH battled for survival through Lawlor’s crafty and relentless offense. Lawlor worked various body parts between suplexes. He finally got Lawlor down and dropkicked him in the face, leading in to a series of near falls. When ACH was looking to put things away, Simon Grimm distracted him on the apron. Lawlor clocked ACH in the back of the head with a forearm, and quickly choked him out.

On screen in an interview with Andrea Ocampo, Shane Strickland said he is setting his critics aside to get the job done for his supporters at the Gilt Nightclub. He encouraged the crowd to chant, “Swerve’s House.”

(11) Shane Strickland pinned Matt Riddle to become the first MLW World Champion. Senior official Frank Gastineau presented the new title belt to the cameras. Strickland entered to Chaka Khan’s “Ain’t Nobody” again, suggesting MLW has obtained the rights to use it on their TV. Tim Barr announced the match as a BeIn Sports exclusive, and individually introduced the contenders.

After feeding off the crowd, Riddle launched in with his specialized mat grappling but Strickland matched him, showing he’s been studying. The two cautiously tested one another before escalating to higher spots for near falls. Strickland consistently targeted Riddle’s left arm. Riddle rolled through a German suplex, and survived a double-stomp to hit a cradle suplex for a two-count. Showing frustration, Riddle nearly caved in Strickland’s chest with a kick. Strickland responded in kind. No thigh slaps were detected until Riddle graduated to a pele kick. Riddle and Strickland soaked up adulation as they each lay on the mat, regaining strength. Strickland flipped Riddle over the ropes, and stiffly kicked him to the floor. Riddle limply draped himself upon the front row.

In the ring, Strickland double-stomped Riddle from the top turnbuckle for an incredibly close near fall. Riddle pleaded at Strickland’s feet, but Strickland crushed his right hand with a stomp. Riddle mounted a comeback for his own ridiculously close near fall. Riddle scored a subsequent near fall with a top rope senton, triggering an “MLW” chant. The wrestlers began slapping each other’s faces extraordinarily hard. As Riddle appeared to have the contest in the bag, Strickland attempted an armbar as Rich Bocchini could be heard recalling Strickland defeating Ricochet in the same fashion in the main event of MLW: One Shot – the first MLW event. Strickland snapped Riddle’s arm. Riddle fought through the pain, lifting Strickland for a maneuver. Strickland countered in to a double stomp, then crumpled Riddle to the mat for the pinfall. Riddle congratulated Strickland, and gave him the ring. Strickland celebrated in a shower of confetti, and made the rounds letting fans touch his new title belt.

FINAL NOTES: On a personal note, this crowning felt extremely special – a reward not only for Strickland, but any of the MLW faithful who have supported him. Touching the new belt was a unique treat, as was blasting “Ain’t Nobody” on my way out of the parking lot and drawing a smile and point from MVP in the process.

Please send results of live events you attend to pwtorch@pwtorch.com. Thank you! Also, please include any photos you take of either the arena setting, entrance stage, and clear pictures of wrestlers on way to ring or inside the ring.

NOW CHECK OUT THIS RECENT REPORT: 4/7 House of Hardcore in New Orleans, La.: Carlito vs. MVP, Rock & Roll Express & Hurricane Helms vs. Squad, Joey Ryan vs. Teddy Hart

1 Comment on 4/12 MLW TV Taping in Orlando, Fla.: First TV tapings, first champion crowned in Riddle-Strickland match, plus MVP, Callihan, Pentagon

  1. “On a personal note, this crowning felt extremely special – a reward not only for Strickland, but any of the MLW faithful who have supported him.”

    Faithful? What faithful? MLW has only been around for a couple of months. Now they faithful fans? Please.

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