Date: February 2, 2019
Location: 2300 Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
- The Hart Foundation def. The Lucha Bros [*1/2]
- Ricky Martinez def. Kotto Brazil [**1/4]
- Tom Lawlor def. Low Ki [**]
We’re in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at the 2300 Arena. MLW ran themselves a supercard and it’s on YouTube. I watched most of the build up so I might as well watch the big fight card! This is only three matches long as most of what was taped will end up on MLW TV blocks. All the superest fights are contained within! Bad news to start; Matt Striker replaces the ever dependable Tony Schiavone on comms.
MLW World Tag Team Championship
Lucha Brothers (c) vs. The Hart Foundation
The Harts are Teddy and DBS Jr. Ted brings his cat, “Mr Velvet” with him. Yeah, he’s…a strange boy. MLW is a fun place to watch graps because they use guys like Hart who’ve burned every other bridge in the business. Then throw him in with guys who are barely more responsible in the Lucha Bros. Davey is the only man in the match with any regard for his own body.
Striker decides to explain the rules of tag team wrestling in case you’re a complete dips**t. Davey has literally zero chemistry with everyone else. Lucha Bros basically use him for target practice when he forgets how to take an Irish whip. Davey is getting worse at wrestling in front of my very eyes and I don’t know how to understand that. I always thought he was passable in New Japan before the NOAH excursion but now he’s dogs**t.
Penta is clearly unimpressed and decides to slow up on the selling business. Oh god, I hope him versus Teddy turns into a shoot with shoot Canadian Destroyers. This match goes from normal to nuts in a matter of moments and suddenly there are Destroyers everywhere. Everywhere! Teddy pulls Penta’s mask off, nut shots Fenix and hits a Super Destroyer on Rey for the pin and the belts.
This match was stupendously dumb. The Hart vs. Penta match from MLW TV was dumb but at least it was fun. This was a car crash. There’s a reason why no one will hire Teddy Hart even when the talent is spread thin over so many promotions. Lucha Bros will be joining AEW. Fair play to them. Hope they make a tonne of money.
Final Rating: *1/2
Kotto Brazil vs. Ricky Martinez
Brazil nearly lost an eye when Martinez attacked him in a nightclub. I appreciate MLW doing these weird angles. Somewhere between NWA and John Cena as a rapper era of WWE. Martinez is in Salina de la Renta’s stable. She’s one of the few highlights for MLW at the moment and she’s not even a wrestler.
Kotto tries to jump over the ref, Salina and the ropes to start and very nearly faceplants into concrete. Kotto is wrestling the match with an eye patch, which is astonishingly stupid because he cannot see depth and is taking spots over the ropes. Most of the match is Martinez bullying the man whose sight he took before an inevitable Kotto comeback. Then it’s cut off and they just go back to drudgery. For a grudge match it’s a chore.
Ricky pulls the eye patch off and Kotto decides to sell by keeping one eye shut, which leads to a very awkward spot where he’s kneed in the face. Ricky taps out but Salina has the ref distracted. Salina has made the very obvious choice of bringing a bag to the ring, which naturally contains some sort of spray and Kotto gets sprayed in the only functioning eye for the loss.
This match was patchy at best and the outcome is mystifying. I struggle to see Martinez as a big deal so this should have been a pay off for that feud. It’s not. We’re still going.
Final Rating: **1/4
Video Control shills the return of Jimmy Havoc, who’s just signed for AEW so please forget you saw anything, thx.
MLW World Heavyweight Championship
Low-Ki (c) vs. Tom Lawlor
Filthy Tom has been built up as the challenger for ages so if he doesn’t win here where are they actually going with Ki’s ridiculously long undefeated streak in MLW?
The worry here is there’s no time. It starts and there is less than ten minutes on the show clock. Nothing much happens before Low-Ki pulls a table out from under the ring. Well, it’s basically a plank that Ki accidentally punches a hole in.
Ki tries for the Dragon Sleeper and Lawlor counters into a choke and it’s over? It’s over? What? What’s the opposite of epic? I guess they wanted to cement Lawlor as their top guy by having him go over the unbeaten Ki quickly but this was very disappointing. Aside from the punch through the door spot it was all very bland.
Final Rating: **
Summary: MLW needed to kill this show. It needed to be something truly memorable and it was. For all the wrong reasons. Based on this there’s no reason for anyone to stick around MLW. They might as well all sign for AEW and get some Tony Khan cash in their pockets.
Court Bauer has been exposed here as someone who can’t follow through on the potential his MLW TV shows have been teasing. Every time something potentially big comes around it falls on its face and it did again here.
Very, very disappointing show and with several of the guys involved having signed for AEW since it happened, chances are this company is on borrowed time. The first victim of the WWE/New Japan/ROH/AEW war of 2019. In every war there is collateral damage. MLW wasn’t a big enough dog and there’s not enough dog food to go around.
It’s sad really because I was digging their TV. Ki had been a mesmerising champion. The angles were building nicely but if there’s never a pay off then what’s the point?
For more reviews from Arnold Furious check out his archive of work over at RearViewReviews