Episode 183 opens with the excellent signature video showing a lot of the big names that spent time in MLW, tying in nicely with the young competitors of MLW’s current roster. We then cut straight backstage to Mance Warner and company; Mance is fired up and cuts a good little promo hyping up his boy Matthew Justice who is taking on AKIRA in the non-title main event.
The announcers mention that Microman is missing, after failing to appear for a schedule autograph signing. This was done with a slight tinge of humour and was very fitting for Microman as a character- it makes sense that he would be in high demand for events such as autograph signings and it makes sense that a person with his diminutive stature would be vulnerable to this sort of thing- the announcers hope to have an update later in the show. There is a great consistency in MLW with storytelling week to week.
Don King will be appearing on MLW to cut a promo. It’s definitely intriguing to see and a good way to keep the audience curious and tuning in.
We then go to a middleweight division match between Nolo Kintano; who appears to be working some sort of “ghetto Samurai”, to coin a phrase from the announcer- persona. Not quite sure how well this will fit in at first glance, but the ring gear looks good and there’s a good effort put into the presentation.
Kintano vs Ichiban
Kintano is facing Ichiban, who has been picking up wins over the past couple of weeks. This match was framed as a fast-paced competitive match-up between two speedy technicians, and the weight divisions are treated like they matter. Kintano and Ichiban have a very solid technical wrestling match to start the episode on the right note, which continues Ichiban’s growing winning streak. The sport-based presentation continues to add a layer of legitimacy to MLW matches.
Kintano v Ichiban: C+
Backstage Segments and Promos
Featuring Matt Cardona, Sam Adonis, MSL, Becca, Don King
Joe Dombrowski and Matt Striker may very well be the best announcing team not on national TV in professional wrestling. It doesn’t feel in any way like there’s a forced or manufactured chemistry between them.
After a recap of Matt Cardona debuting in MLW at Fury Road; we cut to Cardona backstage discussing that debut, a victory over Mace Warner. Cardona is the first official member of World Titan Promotions. He puts himself over and ignores the fact that he got humiliated after winning that match. Great work by Cardona.
We then cut backstage to Sam Adonis, who was beaten last week by Microman. Adonis is attacked backstage by the Azteca Henchmen, masked assailants whose identities are still unknown.
Mister Saint Laurent is out next for his MSL Sessions talk show segment with his guest, The International Pop Sensation Becca. Becca brags about injuring her opponent from last week and she and MSL brag and boast to draw more heat. This was very well done.
Don King cuts a little promo hyping Alex Kane and his next big PPV match. Don has clearly never met Alex Kane and won’t be actually watching the match at all, and yet strangely just having him read whatever they gave him to read still added to a sense of legitimacy for Alex Kane and MLW and so it was worth doing for that reason.
Little Guido vs Love, Doug
Little Guido is out for the next match, still in tremendous shape. He will be taking on the very annoying Love, Doug. Becca is on commentary addressing Doug’s ongoing obsession over her. This is another very solid match, with Guido leading as the experienced veteran. Decent match but was kept at 2nd gear for the most part. Little Guido does the honours and puts over Doug. Very cool.
Little Guido vs Love, Doug: C-
Becca rejects Doug after the match again, great consistency continues with this story as well.
Featuring Mance Warner, Matthew Justice and Selina De La Renta
Backstage Mance Warner and his crew pump up Matthew Justice for his main event match against AKIRA. Selina De La Renta cuts an aggressive promo about wanting to rid MLW of Jacob Fatu.
Non-Title Match Main Event
Matt Justice vs AKIRA
Matt Justice and AKIRA come out for the main event. The announcers do a great job making this main event between mid-carders feel just as important as any other main event match. These guys approached this match with great ferocity and intensity and made the most of their opportunity here.
This was a grudge match and it was very physical and in keeping with the sport-based feel of the product; this felt like two people actually fighting and there was a sense of danger and tension all throughout.
This was an excellent main event match that showcased two of the up and comers in the promotion. It ended in a No Contest when Ricky Shane Page attacked Justice and he his crew beatdown both guys in the match, before Mance Warner, and his crew run out to make the save to a MASSIVE pop from the live audience. This is a great real time example of why the consistent storytelling and attention to detail in MLW has fruitful results for the product. We go off the air with another wild brawl, nicely tying into the brawl that brought Episode 182 to an end.
Matthew Justice vs AKIRA ends in No Contest: A-
Overall MLW Fusion Episode 183 was an exhilarating and entertaining hour of wrestling. There was a great sense of excitement built around the next PPV MLW Slaughterhouse, and all the major storylines were given updates and built upon.
Episode Grade: B+