SHOW DATE: November 18th 2023
ANNOUNCE TEAM: Joe Dombrowski and Matt Striker
OPENING: The event began with a funky little montage of the main competitors before we throw down to Matt and Joe who quickly run down the main event matches before throwing to the first match which is the tag team title ladder match between The Calling and The Second Gear Crew.
The snappy pace it’s moving along at is very welcome.
MATCH #1-MLW World Tag Team Title Ladder Match
The Second Gear Crew (1 Called Manders & Matthew Justice) defeat The Calling (AKIRA & Rickey Shane Page) (c) (12:20)
This being a ladder match and blow off match it starts out hot. RSP with a nice crossbody on the outside. A ladder match like this is so much more fitting and feels so much more high stakes in a smaller promotion like MLW. The announcers really focus on the danger factor of the match which is refreshing.
The competitors actually try to win the match relentlessly. Good. The match is moving quickly but they’re not worried about doing 5000 things.
Dumb spot with Manders and Warner just lying there with ladders on top of them for way too long.
Even though it’s a ladder match this is still being treated with respect and legitimacy.
Matt Striker referring to an errant chair-shot to the face of a teammate a faux pa. Guy got walloped in the skull by his own friend.
Decent ladder match that didn’t outstay its welcome and the right team won.
After its over AKIRA and RSP argue over the loss before AKIRA gets fed up and attacks RSP. The Calling then beat down AKIRA before RSP gives AKIRA an Impaler DDT onto sideways set-up steel chair that looked brutal, seemingly turning him babyface. I actually really enjoyed this angle and it worked well.
We then throw to a cheesy in a good way 8-s style promo for the December 7th One Shot show which is humorously being promoted as a cross promotional event between MLW and MSL’s WTF Promotion.
We then throw to a hype package for the Loser Leaves MLW match between Mance Warner and Matt Cardona. Frankly I’m glad this feud is over because its floundered from the outset in my opinion.
MATCH #2- Loser Leaves MLW Match
Matt Cardona (w/Saint Laurent) defeats Mance Warner (8:09)
These two have decent enough chemistry it’s a shame they weren’t given more of an opportunity to work together. Nice DVD by Cardona unto a bunch of chairs.
Cardona is a great heel foil for Warner. Nice suplerplex by Warner. Both guys go under the ring and get wooden boards out, set them up in the corner. Striker calls Cardona Matthew which pops me.
The ref eats shit after Cardona ducks a chair-shot. Warner boots a trashcan into Cardona’s face, but there’s no ref to make the count.
MSL is also out there by this point. Steph De Lander, Mance’s love interest runs out and predictably costs Mance the match by turning on him.
This was good but the ending was telegraphed and it wasn’t given enough time to really get cooking.
Afterwards there’s a good bit of drama as Warner is removed from the building while Cardona, MSL and De Lander gloat. Then we throw to the announcers taking it all in. Warner came across like a badass after the loss.
I guess the feud may not be over but at least it feels like a new chapter in it has begun.
Then we see a recap of the action on the show so far.
MATCH #3- Tag Team Match
Ichiban & Mascara Dorada defeat Promociones Dorado (Barbaro Cavernario & Rocky Romero) (w/Salina de la Renta) (11:59)
This was a very entertaining lucha rules tag match despite the fact that it felt a little odd in this particular spot on the card.
Seems like they used it as a buffer before the main event but it was a better match than that. They did a good job of highlighting the lucha libre action as an important element of MLW. Selina De La Renta is great as a manager.
We then go into a quick hype package and Tail of The Tape for the main event.
Both guys then come straight out for the match which looks like it will take up almost half the episode’s running time.
MATCH #4– MLW World Heavyweight Title Match
Alex Kane (w/Faye Jackson & Mr. Thomas) (c) defeats Jacob Fatu (48:03)
It’s unfortunate that the aura Alex Kane had around him as a champion isn’t present at all times on MLW TV. Maybe that will change after this. This definitely felt like a main event match as both guys stared off in the ring.
This was by far the best match on the card and also probably the best pure wrestling match I’ve seen in a while in MLW.
They built it up slowly starting out grappling for advantage and then slowly escalated the impact and intensity of the match, with the fight continuing to be a fight for advantage throughout a large part of this.
Alex Kane’s strength and ability to suplex people around is very fun to watch. It is clear why Jacob Fatu is the promotion’s golden boy. He is just an incredible athlete, and any of the major promotions will be vying for him any chance they can.
This is the kind of performance I’ve been wanting to from Alex Kane since I’ve been reviewing the product, and I hope it continues coming out of this excellent performance. Both guys are credible, intense and the audience cares about what they’re doing.
There are too many impactful moves to keep track of them in my notes, it’s definitely being worked by these two as an all or nothing match. Great job as always by the commentatorsmaking this feel like a huge deal.
I really enjoyed this main event even though I think you could have shaved some time off it and given it to either the ladder match or the loser leaves match, but other than that, a fine championship main event for a show like this.
The WTF crew runs down and beat down Alex Kane after the biggest win of his career and get some good heat on him. Looks like Matt Cardona is being positioned as the next World Title challenger in the build-up to MLW One Shot, which I think will be a nice elevation in opponent for Alex Kane.
FINAL THOUGHTS & RATING:
This is the shot of adrenaline MLW has needed for a long time. I am very happy to be feeling good coming out of an MLW show. We’ll see if the momentum holds. My final rating shall be 7/10. This was a very good show from MLW.