15 YRS AGO – MLW in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. (9-19-03): Samoa Joe vs. Mike Awesome, Raven vs. C.M. Punk, War Games with Windham, Funk, Sandman, Dr. Death


Samoa Joe (photo credit Wade Keller © PWTorch)

The following report was published on PWTorch.com 15 years ago this week…


Major League Wrestling
September 19, 2003
Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
Report by Cary Zel, PWTorch.com correspondent

The show was advertised for 7:30, but started about 10 after 8 because people were still coming in. Also, Terry Funk, Dr. Death, Sandman, and Norman Smiley, were all by the merchandise table signing autographs and selling shirts, videos, pictures, etc. Everyone was cool and would sign programs and tickets for free.

I was sitting in the second row at ringside behind the ring announcer. The Extreme Horsemen came to the ring with a masked man. Corino cut a great promo saying that lawler would not be there because McMahon and Ross did not want competition. The WWE realized that MLW was not just another outlaw company. He said no one in the ring would ever sell out. They don’t like sports entertainment, they are all about wrestling. They unmasked their partner and it was Justin Credible, who introduced himself as PJ Walker and did the crotch chop. Then they had one more surprise: War Games was going to be 5 on 3. They announced the “original extreme Horseman”, Barry Windham. Windham looked like he ate Dusty Rhodes. I remember when he broke in with Florida Championship Wrestling (Gordon Solie, Mike Graham, etc.). He was such a tall skinny kid. Well, he’s still tall.

The promo was pretty good. The only complaint is that the whole first part about MLW being better than WWE was really a face promo coming from the lead heel. Minor point.

(1) Los Maximos (with SAT on their trunks) defeated Juventud Guerrero and Super Dragon. Super Dragon was pretty bad and just sold the whole time. Juvi went to the buffet with Windham. He is not fat, but he is much softer than he was in WCW. He wrestled without the mask. Juvi did the People’s Elbow. Okay match. The teams shook hands and hugged after the match. Damien 666 and Halloween no-showed.

(2) J-CUP USA/MLW Jr. Heavyweight Tourney started with Sonjay Dutt facing Tony Mamaluke. Pretty short match with lots of high spots. Dutt sold a leg injury for most of the match. Dutt did his twisting turning splash off the top on Mamaluke. It is a truly amazing sight due to the speed and amount of twists this guy does. Mamaluke got a bloody nose when Dutt held him upside down on this shoulder and dropped down to his knees accordion-ing Mamaluke. Short, but fun. A few “holy shit chants”.

(3) Jerry Lynn fought Eddie Colon in the J-CUP tourney. Lynn was pretty over with the crowd. Eddie Colon had no charisma and a soft body. Absolutely no crowd reaction to him. Lynn dominated most of the match but could not put Colon away. Colon upset him with a sunset flip off the top rope. The crowd was very surprised. Lynn was bleeding for the last third of the match, but it might have been hard way or an old cut because there was no chair shot or post shot that would have “caused” the cut. Lynn threw a chair hard on the entrance way as he was leaving.

(4) Jimmy Yang fought Juvi in the J-CUP opening round. This was the best opening round match-up. Yang has a great look and some cool moves. Juvi got in 2 Juvi drivers, but Yang kicked out and won with Yang Time.

(5) The final opener in the J-CUP was Fallen Angel Christopher Daniels vs. Super Dragon. Dragon got in marginally more offense than he did in the tag match, but not much more. Daniels won with the Last rites/Roll of the Dice finisher. Daniels has a great look and entrance. He really looks major league even. He had great facial expressions whenever Dragon kicked out of a pin attempt.

(6) Mikey Whipwreck beat Norman Smiley. Whipwreck came out without the Sinister Minister. Then Norman Smiley came out to a huge pop. No GI Ho (drag). After several attempt to do the wiggle move, Smiley finally got it in while Mikey was laying down across the ring ropes of the two rings that were next to each other. Mikey won the pretty short match with a top rope Whippersnapper/Stunner.

(7) Mana came out for a handicap match against 2 guys. I could not hear who they were. One used to be the Perfect Creation. Francine came out, I suppose to scout MANA. The stiffs got in a few moves, but were basically getting squashed. Then the Samoans came out from the back brawling with Monsta Mack. I guess B-Boy is not here. The announcer said this will be the fans bring the weapons match. The Samoans went to the back and got 2 trash cans full of weapons that fans dropped off when they entered. Pretty standard stuff except a wheel chair and a VCR. They put one of the stiffs on the wheel chair and rolled him off the stage. When Monsta Mack made a comeback, he hit 2 HARD chairshots outside the ring on MANA that he no sold. He bent the chair and MANA did not put his hands up. Ouch! The crowd was cheering for the VCR, so they used it. They finally set up one of the jobronis on a table in the crowd past the security rail and Ekbo/Jamal splashed him from the turnbuckles of both rings for the win. Awesome sight.

(8) Mike Awesome fought Joe Seanoa. Samoa Joe looked soft. After the crazy big-men battle right before, the crowd was pretty dead for this one. Joe got in a few moves, but Awesome won with a frog splash onto a chair on Joe’s chest.

(9) J-Cup round 2 had Sonjay Dutt facing Colon. This was a longer match than Dutt’s first one. He did not sell the leg injury from the first round. More high spots and Colon looked better here than in the first round match against Lynn. The crowd loves Dutt. Dutt advanced.

(10) Christopher Daniels faced Jimmy Yang. Daniels came out in his whole outfit again. Mikey came with him and interfered some. This was a good match. I thought Yang would win to set up a rematch of Dutt’s MLW debut, but Daniels got the pinfall after several near falls for both guys. Both worked hard.

(11) Raven fought C.M. Punk’s flunky Nosawa. Nosawa has a cool look. For some reason, they announced him as coming from Mexico. Whatever. Raven won with the evenflow DDT. CM Punk came out to complain to Nosawa. Vampiro came from the crowd to make the save.

(12) They started the match. Vampiro had on the while face paint and had short hair. He wore a shirt the whole match. Back and forth match that had C.M. Punk take control of. Then Vampiro won out of nowhere and retreated into the crowd. C.M. Punk yelled at him for a while and then went to the back.

(13) J-Cup Final: Daniels vs. Dutt. Daniels again came out in his outfit with Mikey. Great match had Daniels control most of the offense but was very frustrated that he could not put the Playah from the Himalayas away. Daniels was on the floor and Dutt was on the apron. Dutt did a quadruple springboard plancha onto Daniels. There were also several submission moves. He went from the apron to the top rope of one ring to the inside top rope next to it, then to the other ring’s inside top rope and finally to the top rope towards the crowd. Spectacular. He finally won with this spinning, twisting splash. The ring announcer said “Remember this night. A star is f—ing born.”

They took an intermission to set up the cage. Francine, Nosawa, Raven, and Smiley were over by the tables taking Polaroids and selling stuff. Raven only had stubble on his head and his head was pretty scabbed up on the top from the butcher job Mitchell did on him.

Everyone was cool. It was $5 to take a picture of Francine with YOUR own camera. At least she was nice about it. Nosawa signed pictures were only $3. Funk’s wife was also selling his stuff.

(14) War Games started. The Horsemen won the coin toss (of course). The order of entry was CW Anderson, Sandman (w/Singapore cane), Corino (w/ Barbed wire), Funk (w/branding iron) , Simon Diamond, Dr. Death, and P.J. Walker (w/ladder). Then when you expected Windham, Sabu came out. It was all over the internet and in the program that Sabu double booked himself and would not be there. His arm was in a cast so his left arm was fixed at a right angle. Alfonso came out with him and put a table in the ring. Then Windham came out. Alfonso took the mic and said “5 on 4 is not fair. I’ll probably get my ass kicked, but I am going to try. He went in the cage and did get his ass kicked. Sabu put Walker through a table with a leg drop off the top. Everyone but Windham was bleeding. Funk lit the branding iron and branded Corino in the back of the neck or head. He then spit fire (ignited by the branding iron at Corino’s face. When he went down he put him in the spinning toe hold and CW Anderson gave up to save Corino. The medics came down and they tended to Corino’s face and helped him to the back. Diamond said Funk won the battle, but the war was not over.

Overall a good card with a bunch of different styles. Dutt and Daniels had great nights. I missed not seeing Homicide who was awesome last time in Ft. Lauderdale. They are returning Dec. 29.


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