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MLW BATTLE RIOT
APRIL 5, 2019
NEW YORK, NY
AIRED ON BEIN SPORTS NETWORK
REPORT BY MATT CASTLEBERRY, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
NOTE: I continue marching forward through the recent shows to catch up PWTorch.com’s MLW TV Review section…
Announcers: Rich Bocchini, Jim Cornette
We get the MLW open. Still one of my favorite opens in wrestling.
Next up was the intro to MLW Battle Riot 2019, including a rundown of several of the top competing stars in tonight’s big event.
Rich Bocchini and Jim Cornette welcomed us in to the FIRST ever 2 hour MLW live TV event. They gave us a quick rundown of tonight’s action, before they pitched it to the ring.
(1) ACE AUSTIN vs. TEDDY HART, MLW Middleweight Title Match
Jim Cornette said this is Austin’s chance to make history, and thanked us for bringing them into our homes. They cut to ringside where The Dynasty were sitting. Teddy was out next, as always a fan favorite of MLW. It showed the Dynasty again, as all three sipped on champagne. Teddy tried to get a handshake from Austin, as usual for Hart, but Ace didn’t accept.
The match got started with both men trading blows, as Teddy took a quick advantage. Teddy landed several European uppercuts, and finished his flurry off with a powerbomb lungblower. Ace rolled to the outside, but Teddy followed to keep up the action. Teddy gave Austin a snap suplex onto the concrete floor, and then continued to the attack by hitting a springboard arabian moonsault. Teddy is so much fun to watch. Teddy gave Ace a crotch first ride into the ring post, and then decided he wanted to mess with The Dynasty. He took the champagne from them, and then threw it into the face of a security guard protecting the Dynasty.
Austin used all the time to recover, and turned the momentum around with several chops, kicks, and forearms. He rolled Teddy back into the ring, and started to ground and pound, as he was favoring his leg after the shot into the ring post from earlier. Austin tried for a springboard of the top,but Teddy caught it and was going to attempt a top rope Canadian destroyer, but Austin crotched him. Austin his a nice headscissor from the top, and followed it with a guillotine leg drop for a close two count. Ace took Teddy to the top, but Hart fought him off. Austin landed back on the mat, but Teddy immediately leaped off hitting a Canadian destroyer. Hart followed it with a second destroyer, and picked up the three count.
WINNER: Teddy Hart
After the match Kaci Lennox grabbed Teddy for an interview right in front of The Dynasty. She asked who was next for him, and he replied by pointing out Alexander Hammerstone. He said the guy in red (Hammerstone), would soon be seeing Ted, and that would mean he (MJF) was dead. If you don’t love a Teddy Hart promo, I can’t help you. He also said that Richard Holliday was the only one in the group with balls, and insinuates they end up in MJF’s mouth. He offered Holliday a handshake, but Holliday wouldn’t accept, which angered Teddy. Teddy grabbed Holliday, and then MJF cracked Teddy over the head with a champagne bottle.
(Matt’s Thoughts: A solid opener for MLW’s first ever 2 hour live TV event! Teddy Hart is as fun to watch in the ring as anyone, and Ace Austin is someone that could keep pace with him, even in a fairly one sided fight. The shenanigans afterwards help to push forward the Dynasty/Hart Foundation feud further, which is a good thing. Every step of the way has been well played, and perfectly timed to this point, and when you have two talkers like Hart and MJF to do things it REALLY helps. Both groups are advertised for Battle Riot later in the evening, so I expect more firework then.)
We came back to get a replay of the events that just transpired, showing Teddy getting blasted by a bottle of champagne. We are told the other Hart Foundation members did come out to help, but apparently nothing much else happened.
(2) MYRON REED (w/Rich Swann) vs. MINORU TANAKA
Out first came Myron Reed, escorted by the freshly reinstated Rich Swann. Swann was wearing the tape over his mouth, as has become accustomed by Myron Reed in his absence. Rich Bocchini gave us a quick summation of what led to the suspension, in case anyone had forgot Swann’s actions. Out next was Minoru Tanaka, who was currently the GHC junior heavyweight champion. Rich sold Tanaka for being the only man to hold all five major junior titles in Japan (I assume he meant current iterations). Cornette told us that this was the epitome of the Fusion in MLF Fusion. Rich played devil’s advocate, as the referee only checked Myron Reed before the match. Cornette said that Reed was the one who normally brought a weapon, so of course he got checked, but Rich answered back asking if an umpire should always call a strike a strike. They bantered back and forth a bit, until Jim finally told Rich that if he wanted to check both men’s packages he could. They have great chemistry together.
The match finally started, and as Myron often does he rolled out of the ring in typical heel fashion. Reed played off as if his shoulder was bothering him, and Swann helped him stretch it. Reed finally rolled back in, but was hesitant to lock up with Tanaka. When Myron finally did, Tanaka pulled a quick wristlock. The two switched holds, and then went into trading momentum off the ropes, until Tanaka hit a solid dropkick. Tanaka went to hit the ropes, but Rich Swann hit him from behind (of course the ref wasn’t looking) giving Reed the chance to hit an enziguri for a two count. Then we went to break.
We came back from break with Tanaka taking control, hitting a dropkick from the top. Tanaka hit a nice snap suplex, into a knee drop, into an arm bar. It was a very nice combo by Tanaka, but Reed made it to the ropes. Cornette talked about how serious wrestling is taken in Japan, mentioning Rikidozan (Uncle Dave would be proud) drawing an 87.9 rating on TV, which still holds today as the highest rated program ever. That was, of course, a title match against Lou Thesz. Tanaka and Reed traded back and forth countering a suplex, until Reed reversed Tanaka’s attempt into an ace cutter for a VERY close two count. Both men hit the ropes, but Reed springboard off for another cutter getting a two count again. Reed missed a springboard, which looked to just be setting up the finish, and Tanaka jumped into a rolling armbar that he rolled further into a cradled pin for the three!
WINNER: Minoru Tanaka
(Matt’s Thoughts: Tanaka had a good showing in his first MLW match, at the expense of Reed. who hasn’t had much luck with this new gimmick. I understand you want to put over the talent coming in, and Reed is pretty easy to work with for a young guy, but I hope these losses are building to something for him. The heel personas of Swann and Reed have grown on me a bit.)
Rich again put over Tanaka, and the finish, which was a cool spot. He then told us that next we would see Tom Lawlor and Jimmy Havoc for the MLW World Title, as we went to break.
We came back seeing a CONTRA Unit vignette, again recapping their violence on MLW. Jacob Fatu told us they were here to infiltrate and destroy. Simon Gotch said the age of innocence is over, just ask Tom Lawlor. Josef Samael said the hostile takeover has begun.
Next up we got Salina de la Renta (as scantily clad as we come to expect, which has bearing just a wee bit later) with the whole of Promociones Dorado, and they are there to pick their entrance number for Battle Riot. Salina was completely nonplussed by how long things were taking Kaci, so she drew the numbers herself. LA Park stole the scene, as he took Ricky Martinez’s number from him without a word. Sami Callahan burst into the scene asking about the money he was owed. Since she refused to pay up, Sami said he’d see all of them in Battle Riot. As the moved off screen, Mance Warner came in and swapped out his number for one of the ones they dropped during the scuffle. Promciones returned, but Salina didn’t seem happy with their draws.
Rich and Jim discuss how important Battle Riot can be, as Tom Lawlor won last year and turned his title shot into a title win. We then head to break.
Back to it, and we got a vignette on the Tam Lawlor vs. Jimmy Havoc match. Jimmy, as has be told several times, was the last man to beat Tom Lawlor in an MLW ring. We also got a preview for next week, where we’d see Sami Callahan taking on LA Park, which you know should be fun.
Kaci Lennox was standing by with Brian Pillman Jr. She asked him if he got a lucky number, and he began to talk it over, but was interrupted by Salina de la Renta. Salina said it was his lucky day, and he responded very awkwardly that “it was nice to chest you, nice to meet you, I mean meet your chest…Nice to meet your chest.” She told Brian that she had heard he got a good number, and asked what he wanted for it. She asked how much money it would take,or maybe he could trade it for some goods and services. He said as enticing as that was, he represented a foundation of excellence, and he couldn’t condone of any boobery…err bribery. Salina seemed offended, and called Pillman a loser as she left. Pillman said, as she walked away, that he couldn’t be brideb, and sorry to get you boobs up…I mean get your hopes up. Pillman walked off, and Kaci pitched it back to the announcers.
(Matt’s Thoughts: I usually only do these after matches, but I had to stop and say something about this. It. Was. Hilarious. Brian Pillman Jr’s comic timing was wonderful, and Salina plays the perfect “use your assets to get your way” kind of heel. This is the proper way to do “sophomoric humor” as good ‘ol JR used to call it.)
Cornette gave us his take on Salina’s shenanigans, and them introduced our title match which was up next.
(3) JIMMY HAVOC vs. “FILTHY” TOM LAWLOR – New York Streetfight for the World Heavyweight Title
Out first came the challenger, the maniac Jimmy Havoc. Jim Cornette let us know he doesn’t understand Havoc’s motivation for this hardcore lifestyle, referencing all the scars on the back of his skull. Next out came the champion, as Cornette ran down some of his accomplishments in the ring and the octagon. Before the match could even get started, Havoc was searching for weapons outside.
The formal introductions were made, as Havoc had brought in a chair and was sitting in it. Havoc attacked Lawlor before they could finish Filthy’s introduction. Lawlor, though, took quick control as he hit a high overhead German suplex. Havoc switched momentum, as he hit a rolling DVD on Lawlor followed by a chair throw to the face. Both men spilled outside, and both went looking for weapons. Havoc tried to bring out a table, but Lawlor cut him off. Lawlor set up a piece of wood bridging from the ring apron to the guardrail. Lawlor and Havoc brawled around the ring, Lawlor giving Havoc stiff kick after kick. Filthy missed a chair shot, letting Havoc take over hitting multiple shots on Tom. Havoc stopped a minute to jaw back and forth with the fans, giving Lawlor time to recover. Lawlor tried to hip toss Havoc through the wood set up, but couldn’t flip him, so Havoc plunged face first through the wood. Lawlor then grabbed an air horn out of the crowd, but Havoc took it from him and hit Tom with it. Havoc rolled Tom back into the ring, tossing in chairs and another sheet of wood behind him. Havoc with a chair shot to the back, and then set it up in the corner. He tried sending Lawlor into the chair, but Tom reversed it into a pumphandle suplex. Lawlor then tried to send Havoc into the chair, but got reversed head first into it. Havoc followed it with a DDT for a close two count. Havoc set up a board between two chairs with two more chairs on top of that, and set Tom on the top rope. He climbed up and tried for a hurricanrana, but Lawlor held him up, and jumped off, powerbombing Havoc through the chairs and the wood! It only got a two count! Lawlor signaled to the crowd it was over, and hit an overhead belly to belly suplex through a chair on Havoc for ANOTHER two count. Lawlor set up another piece of wood in one corner, but Havoc tossed him over the top when he attempted a running forearm in the corner. Havoc followed him outside and retrieved a staple gun, but Lawlor took him down and then applied a figure four on the floor.
Havoc broke up the figure four by stapling Lawlor’s head, which led to Lawlor being busted open. Havoc rolled Filthy back into the ring, sat him him in a chair, and then licked his bloody head. Havoc tried to use the staple gun again, but was pulled away by the ref. Havoc was not pleased, so he hit a rainmaker on the ref. Havoc would then try to send Lawlor into the board still set up in the corner, but Tom reversed it and pulled him into a spinning DVD through the board. Lawlor made the cover, but there was no ref to count the fall. He pulled Havoc to his feet, but Havoc reversed into a rainmaker, but Lawlor ducked. Lawlor used Havocs missed momentum to hit some sort of facebreaker onto the chairs piled in the ring (think of a face first deep six). Lawlor made the pin again, but there was still no official to count. Finally a stand by ref made their way out, but it was too late and Lawlor only got a two. Lawlor hit a knee to the skull, with a chair assist, and then repeated it again for the three count!
WINNER: “Filthy” Tom Lawlor
(Matt’s Thoughts: It was an entertaining street fight, if you like that kind of thing, that made both men look good. Lawlor got his measure of revenge over the last man to beat him, and Havoc took a ton of damage to be put away. This was probably a one off, as I would assume Lawlor would be looking to exact revenge on CONTRA Unit next. Plus Lawlor has the winner of Battle Riot knocking on his door as well. Lawlor, as did Low Ki, give the MLW title a feeling of real prestige. Havoc bring an edge to MLW, and I hope he still gets to visit even with his signing with AEW.)
A bloodied beaten Tom Lawlor celebrated in the ring, as both Cornette and Bocchini lauded his accomplishments to this point. It was time to get ready for Battle Riot, though, as we headed to break.
Back from break, and we got our first promo for the next set of big events by MLW. We’d be getting Fury Road June 1st, King of Colosseum July 6th, and finally Never Say Never July 25th (from Milwaukee, Chicago, and New York respectively).
We cut to Salina de la Renta approaching some new guy backstage (name to come later). She told him he was new around here, and asked if he’d give her his number. He was thinking phone number, she corrected him saying Battle Riot number. He declined, and she persisted with help from LA Park, Hijo, and Ricky Martinez. They took his number, and continued to welcome him to MLW.
Rich introduced last year’s Battle Riot highlights, as we get a rundown of Tam Lawlor’s road to victory. Now it would be time for the Main Event.
(4) BATTLE RIOT: 40 MAN BATTLE ROYAL – Winner gets a World Title shot
(Quick Notes: Here are the rundown of the Battle Riot rules for any that are not familiar. The first two men start in the ring, and then every minute afterwards another entrant will come out. The only ways to eliminate your opponent are by pinfall, submission, or over the top rope with both feet touching the floor. The last man remaining will receive an upcoming World Title shot, any time any where.
I will do my best to follow the action, and keep track of entrant and eliminations. With so many men and such a quick turnaround, that may be tough at times. Every time someone enters, I will put their number beside their name to cut down on confusion, and keep things concise. Other than that, enjoy Battle Riot 2019!)
The first entrant is introduced, and out comes MJF(1). He was obviously not happy with his selection, but still took the time to let everyone know he was better than them. He told the crowd they were as bright as black crayons, and that they would never be as great as him. He said he wasn’t scared to be number one, because the 39 other men weren’t as good as him. He called himself the ultimate fighter in MLW…which set up the man who drew number two. Out next was UFC hall of famer, The Beast Dan Severn (2), who looked in pretty good shape for being 60. MJF, who had just told us how he wasn’t scared, was not liking that Severn drew number two. Cornette told us that Tank Abbott once said that fighting Dan Severn was like being prison raped by Freddie Mercury. Rich was not pleased with that, as I’m sure neither was Bein Sports.
Severn offered a hand to MJF, and he accepted, but tried to cheapshot Severn. It didn’t work, as Severn took MJF down quickly. Next coming out was Hijo de LA Park(3). He blindsided Severn, and then his a flying headscissor on MJF. Severn hit Hijo as he celebrated in the ring. Rich Bocchini let us know that Teddy Hart had been taken to a local hospital after the incident earlier with a concussion among other possible things, putting his night in doubt. Next entered Air Wolf(4), who quickly dropkicked everyone in sight. Severn worked on MJF still, as out next would be Minoru Tanaka(5). Tanaka came in and took out Air Wolf and Hijo, before being attacked by MJF. He reversed MJF’s attack, and then went face to face with Severn. Next out was Jordan Oliver(6), the amateur from New York. He missed everyone on his entrance, and Hijo quickly started laying in chops on the youngster. Next we’d get fan favorite Rey Fenix(7), one half of the Lucha Bros. Fenix came in and took down Air Wolf, which MJF tried to cover. No one to the point had been eliminated, but business picked up as next out was Pentagon(8). He and Fenix went head to head, as Pentagon took control of the ring. Robert Dreissker(9) was on his way next, as Oliver bounced off him with a cross body from the top. MJF paid him to help him out, as Dreissker took out severn. Fenix got crotched by MJF, and then became our first elimination. Next out was Ace Romero(10), who quickly went after everyone with chops. Romero eliminated Jordan Oliver, by throwing him on top of officials outside. Hijo eliminated Pentagon, hitting an enziguri as Penta stood on the apron.
Out next was Ken Kerbis(11), who was victimized by Salina de la Renta and company earlier. Air Wolf and Tanaka were both on the outside, but neither were eliminated. Romero and Dreissker went head to head, and ended in a stalemate. Next up was Leo Bryan(12), who entered with a cowbell. MJF was saved from a double submission by Dreissker. Tanaka eliminated Severn, to a chorus of boos. The next man in would be the other Dirty Blonde, Mike Patrick(13), which is always convenient. The Blondes almost eliminated Dreissker, but he holds on. Leo Bryan was eliminated by Tanaka, and out came Gringo Loco(14). Loco came in a “house of fire”, as described by Cornette. MJF eliminated Hijo de LA Park, and Tanaka made Mike Patrick submit. Both Dirty Blondes had been eliminated, and the first member of Promociones Dorado. Next up was Kotto Brazil(15). He hit a spear on Gringo Loco, then a big splash on Loco, and then tangled with Ken Kerbis. An update on Teddy Hart said he was out of Battle Riot as far as Rich knew. Rey Horus(16) was out next, going right after Kotto. MJF tried to steal a pin on Kotto, but failed. Out came Rich Swann(17), who quickly hit a superkick on Kotto and a senton on Tanaka. He laid MJF out with a crescent kick, before being stopped by Rey Horus. Next out was Myron Reed(18), as we continued the theme of tag teams coming out in pairs. Reed and Swann double team Tanaka to eliminate him, after a great run. Dreissker eliminated Gringo Loco, without the announcers mentioning it. Out next was Barrington Hughes(19), who Cornette said didn’t have a waistline…but a coastline. Ace and Barrington eliminate Myron Reed, and turn their sights on Dreissker. Ace Austin(20) came out next, and went right after Hughes. He, and a group of others, eliminated the big man. Swann, who helped, was celebrating but Ace Romero ended that. A big splash later, and Swann was eliminated. Next in Battle Riot would be Jimmy Yutta(21), just as Ace eliminated Dreissker. Yutta quickly eliminated Ace Austin. MJF rolled outside for a breather, and in came Jacob Fatu(22), the first member of CONTRA Unit.
Everyone stopped to wait for Fatu, when suddenly Simon Gotch and Josef Samael hit the ring from the crowd. The began to clear the ring, while Gotch held a gas can in his hand. They stacked bodies up, and Fatu sentoned the whole lot of them. CONTRA Unit threatened to set the ring, and everyone in it on fire, but security and officials came out and attempted to remove them from the ring. Fatu ignored them and hit a big moonsault onto the pile of bodies in the ring. Fatu, and the rest of CONTRA Unit, finally left the ring eliminating himself as everything had come to a halt.
MJF, who wisely hid from CONTRA Unit under the ring, quickly entered and scored quick pins on Rey Horus, Kotto Brazil, and Jimmy Yutta. He tried with Ace Romero, just by standing on him, but Ace pushed out. We finally got our next entrant, as Brian Pillman Jr.(23) came in to confront MJF. MJF took several punches, and then spit at Pillman. Pillman answered with a superkick, which sent MJF over the top and eliminated. The next one out was Daveyboy Smith Jr.(24), as partners get paired again. Ace Romero was, I believe, the last man in the ring aside from the Hart Foundation duo. He tried attacking those two, but failed and was subsequently eliminated by Smith and Pillman. The Hart Foundation waited in the ring for who was next, and it was LAX(25) as a group somehow (Konnan, Santana and Ortiz). I’m counting them as one entrant, so if the number end up off at then end, this is one reason why. Konnan attacked Pillman, the other two Smith, but Pillman hit a low blow. Next out would be Low Ki(26), as Smith eliminated Santana and Ortiz. Konnan rolled outside, as Low Ki took down both Hart Foundation members. Next to the ring would be the chairman, LA Park(27). Cornette told us Fatu had been detained by NYPD because he continued to attack security after they were removed. Next out was Neil Sitochi(28) (who?), and then Daga(29). Sitochi, I had never heard of, but is apparently Dutch. Daga went right after Low Ki, as he had previously said he wanted to kill him. Next to the ring would be the Blue Meanie(30), who got a huge pop. He hit a few eye pokes, but Daveyboy hit a suplex to end that.
Alexander Hammerstone(31) was out next, going right after Pillman. Pillman was eliminated by Alex, and then out came Sami Callahan with a baseball bat (peanut butter jelly time?). Callahan eliminated Blue Meanie after a shot with the bat. Daga eliminated Low Ki. Sitochi was tossed by Smith. Ariel Dominguez(32) charged out next, and was tossed immediately by Hammerstone. Another member of Promociones was coming out, as Ricky Martinez(33) hit the ring. Low Ki locked up with Daga from outside, and LA Park tossed Daga out. Next up would be Lance Anoai(34), who went right after Martinez. Mance Warner(35) would enter next, with a 2×4 shades of Hacksaw Jim Duggan. Warner hit a big knee on Hammerstone, but just for two, as Richard Holliday(36) would come out next. Rich said he was the last man to enter, so obviously each of LAX (who came in at once) counted as individuals, as did the other two members of CONTRA Unit. That gives us our 40 folks, as we had Daveyboy Smith Jr., Alexander Hammerstone, Lance Anoai’, LA Park, Mance Warner, Sami Callahan, Ricky Martinez, and the aforementioned Holliday left in Battle Riot.
Holliday milked his entrance as long as possible, but Callahan finally pilled him inside. Warner eliminated Ricky Martinez. Holliday hit a neckbreaker on Anoai’, and Hammerstone helped cover him for a three count, eliminating Lance. Smith sent Holliday over the top, and hit a big boot to eliminate him. Hammerstone followed that by eliminating Smith from behind. We were down to our final four, Mance Warner, Sami Callahan, Alexander Hammerstone, and LA Park. Callahan got blasted by the baseball bat via Warner. Hammerstone hit a stalling suplex on Warner, but the pin was broken up by LA Park with the bat. Warner was nearly tossed by Hammerstone, but saved himself. He and Hammerstone battled on the apron, until Mance eliminated Alex. Mance was quickly pushed off by LA Park, leaving us only two men, he and Callahan.Callahan and Park went at each other, with Park taking control with arm drags. Park speared Callahan, then tossed him out over the ropes onto the entrance ramp, which apparently doesn’t count as the floor. Sami battled back, before LA Park hit a stiff right chop sending Sami to the floor.
WINNER: LA Park
(Matt’s thoughts: I’m not a huge fan of LA Park winning this. Don’t get me wrong, I love the guy, but I would use this as a way to elevate someone new like Mance Warner or Alexander Hammerstone. I guess the thought is to push Promciones Dorado back into the spotlight, which I hope leads to jealousy and infighting as LA Park usurps Low Ki on top of the Promciones hierarchy. If not, I see this as a wasted opportunity in giving this spot to a guy in his 50’s who is entertaining, but doesn’t NEED this in any way. Maybe he has to put that shot on the line down the road, and puts over someone like Mance? We’ll see.)
Salina de la Renta joined LA Park in the ring, as he celebrated his victory, as we went to our final break.
Back from the last break, and Rich and Jim again ran down what LA Park had just won. He would be afforded a title shot anywhere, at any time. Once again the ball would be in Salina de la Renta’s hands. We’d get a word from Tom Lawlor next. Lawlor said he was ready to face anyone from around the world. He told us LA Park the bigger they are the harder they fall. The “press” asked him about CONTRA, and before he could answer, they attacked him (I thought Fatu was arrested). They laid out the champ, and draped him in their flag, as our show ends.
FINAL ANALYSIS: Battle Riot delivered in spades! Every match was entertaining, every story was progressed forward, and the stakes in every feud were raised. Teddy being removed from Battle Riot thanks to the attack by the Dynasty adds another level to this already heated feud. Promciones Dorado is back on top, and Salina controls her own fate again. CONTRA Unit stole the show, yet again, by disrupting EVERYTHING and destroying EVERYONE in their path…even the champ, yet again. The MLW train keeps gaining momentum, as it has become must see tv each and every week. Where do we go from here, as we wind towards Fury Road? We’ll have to wait and see, but until then… Matt out!