By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Major League Battle Riot III special
Taped in July 10 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at 2300 Arena
Aired July 24, 2021 on beIN Sports and streamed via MLW’s YouTube Page
The show opened with a video package that listed the rules for Battle Riot with new entrants every sixty seconds, and eliminations occurring via pinfall, submission, or by going over the top rope to the floor. The winner gets an MLW Heavyweight Championship shot anytime, anywhere… A video listed some of the Battle Riot entrants… The broadcast team was Rich Bocchini and Saint Laurent…
Cesar Duran (f/k/a Dario Cueto) made his entrance while a “lucha” chant broke out. Duran entered the ring with a microphone and said he’s been told that the venue is historic and the people of Philadelphia understand lucha libre. The “lucha” chant grew louder. Duran said he’s been told that the city could be a good place to build a lucha temple.
“But I think all that is caca de la vaca,” Duran said. He told the crowd that they are a bunch of imposters because he couldn’t hear them. Duran riled up the crowd and then welcomed back his “believers.” He said his reputation for super lucha and violence is second to none. “I’ve promoted the best lucha in the century,” he said.
Duran said his country Azteca Underground will promote fights for MLW. He said he made a deal with Court Bauer to become the matchmaker in MLW. He asked what his believers want. Another “lucha” chant broke out. Duran said he had an idea, but he was interrupted.
The “Injustice” duo of Myron Reed and Jordan Oliver made their entrance to a favorable reaction. The broadcast team questioned the idea of interrupting their new boss’s debut. “What up, El Jefe?” Oliver asked.
Duran said it better be good because no one interrupts him without consequences. “Who the f— are you?” Duran asked. Reed introduced himself and Oliver and said they want a shot at the MLW Tag Titles. “We want Los Parks and I know you can make that happen,” Reed said.
A video wall aired for LAX (Latin American Xchange). Konnan headed to the ring with Slice Boogie, Rivera (Danny Limelight), and Doctor Julius Smokes. Konnan played to the crowd and then approached Duran. Konnan introduced the mic to Smokes, who said some people don’t believe in shit until they step in it. Smokes said LAX is flushing the toilet on Injustice.
Rivera said the fans know who he is, but they can call him Rivera today. Konnan introduced Boogie, who played to the crowd. Konnan called for a match against Los Parks for the tag titles. Duran said he’s always open to business, but he doesn’t have time to make a date with dinosaurs.
Oliver took issue with Konnan bringing in his team. He said Konnan isn’t a shot caller, he’s a clown. Injustice fought the new LAX duo to Boogie and Rivera. The LAX duo put Oliver down. Boogie performed an inverted brainbuster on Oliver, then LAX performed an assisted double stomp onto him. LAX worked over Oliver at ringside until Reed performed a flip dive onto them.
Powell’s POV: A really fun angle to open the show. It was great to finally see Duran after the long buildup, Injustice confronting him was fun, and getting a new LAX was a big surprise. I’m still not sure how MLW was able to get the rights to the name, but I like Boogie and Rivera/Limelight as the new members, and it’s fun to see Smokes as part of the act. On a side note, it’s nice to see Bocchini back on the call after he seemed to be bumped for Ray Flores, who also does good work. How does MLW have two good play-by-play voices when some companies can’t find one?
Bocchini and Laurent checked in while standing in front of the MLW backdrop and spoke about the Battle Riot match…
Alicia Atout stood backstage in front of the tumbler used for the wrestlers to draw their Battle Riot number. EJ Nduka joined her and drew his number. He seemed pleased…
The Nduka interview was interrupted by a Contra Unit video. Josef Samael stood with other members of the group. He said fans have tuned in for a new era of MLW, but he asked if the fans were prepared to see their heroes enter a new season of terror. Mads Krugger spoke briefly, and then they cut to Jacob Fatu yelling, “Hail Contra”…
Bocchini asked if they were back on the air. He said he thought they had that cleared up… [C] An MLW merch ad aired…
The broadcast team spoke in front of the backdrop and said MLW Fusion will be back on a new home this fall with a new season. Laurent said they are producing a new mini-series called MLW Fusion Alpha. A video package aired for the new series and listed it as starting in August…
Alicia Atout, Tom Lawlor, and Kevin Ku at the Battle Riot hopper. The Contra logo flashed. Lawlor spoke about how pulling a number takes the perfect technique. He also boasted about winning the first Battle Riot. Ku drew his number and they were pleased. Lawlor drew his number and said it wasn’t bad for a practice run. Atout told him that was his number. Nduka showed up and said The Judge was in the building. Lawlor asked what he was the judge of and said his own name has “law” in it…
Bocchini hyped MLW micro brawlers. He also hyped MLW returning to Dallas on September 11, and Philadelphia on October 2…
1. The 40-man MLW Battle Riot III. The first entrant was Davey Richards. The second entrant was Tom Lawlor. Richards put Lawlor in an ankle lock.
The third entrant was TJP, who put Richard in an octopus hold to break the ankle lock that Richards had on Lawlor. Lawlor and TJP double teamed Richards.
The fourth entrant was Lee Moriarty. The broadcast team noted that this was Moriarty’s MLW debt. He went after Lawlor and TJP. Moriarty put Lawlor in a Fujiwara armbar while Richards put TJP in an ankle lock. TJP escaped and kicked Richards onto Moriarty, who took offense. They shoved one another, then went back to working over the heel duo.
The fifth entrant was Kit Osbourne, who entered to the Von Erichs entrance music while a Lance Von Erich logo was shown on the screen. Laurent said that Osbourne, who worked as Rip Von Erich previously in MLW, was his favorite Von Erich. Bocchini called him a fraud.
The sixth entrant was King Mo. He performed a rough suplex on Moriarty and joined Lawlor and Osbourne in attacking Richards.
The seventh entrant was Calvin Tankman, who threw punches at the heels. Moriarty kicked Tankman, who caught a second kick attempt and then gave him a popup into a spinning back elbow. Tankman and Richards traded strikes in the corner.
The eighth entrant was Arez, who entered the ring and dished out a series of superkicks and then performed a sit-out slam on Moriarty. Arez roughed up TJP, then shook hands with Richards, who performed a backslide for a two count.
The ninth entrant was Gringo Loco. The crowd gave him a nice reaction considering that he loses as often as he wins in MLW. Loco got the better of Arez, then pressed TJP over his head and dropped him, then performed a moonsault onto him and followed up with another form the middle rope. Loco covered TJP late for a two count.
The 10th entrant was Zenshi. After performing moves on a couple of opponents, Tankman caught him. Zenshi got the better of Tankman briefly, but Tankman knocked him off the barricade and onto the timekeepers table. The broadcast team said they didn’t think Zenshi’s feet hit the floor.
The 11th entrant was Aramis. He went right to the top rope and performed a huracanrana on Loco. Zenshi hopped his way back onto the apron while Bocchini noted that he was still alive in the match.
The 12th entrant was Alex Kane. Bocchini said Kane was the newest member of American Top Team. Kane entered the ring and performed several suplexes on various opponents, including an impressive German suplex on Tankman.
The 13th entrant was Myron Reed. He tossed Moriarty over the top rope, but he landed on the apron and grabbed the bottom rope. Several wrestlers tried to kick Moriary away from the ropes, but he held on. Mo hit a series of strikes on Zenshi to knock him off the apron.
The 14th entrant was Savio Vega. He received a nice ovation and brought a kendo stick to the ring with him, which is legal in the match. Vega worked over a variety of opponents with the kendo stick. Meanwhile, Zenshi was shown on the ringside guardrail. He walked on his hands back to the apron to avoid elimination.
The 15th entrant was Jordan Oliver. Bocchini noted that both members of Injustice were in the match. There was a chant for Savio while the wrestlers were all fighting inside the ring. Oliver ended up at ringside. Reed went for a move on Zenshi, who was on the apron, but he ended up flying over him and was caught by Oliver, who saved his tag partner.
The 16th entrant was The Beastman. Tankman confronted his fellow super heavyweight and traded blows with him. Beastman actually got the better of it.
Powell’s POV: Holy shit, Alex Hammerstone has really let himself go since the last time he was on MLW television! I guess this is what happens when the travel ban prevented him from going to Mexico for those supplements his character is so fond of. Oh, wait, Beastman and Hammerstone are not the same person. Bad jokes aside, Beastman actually reminds me of Phil Margera from Jackass.
The 17th and 18th entrants were Slice Boogie and Rivera. Julius Smokes came out with the LAX duo and brought a shopping cart of weapons. A big board was set up in the corner of the ring. Boogie caught Reed and drove him into partner Oliver and through the board. Rivera used a kendo stick as a weapon.
The 19th entrant was Matt Cross. Laurent said Cross was last in an MLW ring in 2004. LAX pinned Vega to eliminate him. Bocchini said it was the first official elimination.
The 20th entrant was Bu Ku Dao, who didn’t get much of a reaction. Dao was greeted by TJP at ringside and ended up running him into the apron. Richards eliminated Lawlor with a kick that knocked him off the apron.
The 21st entrant was Marshall Von Erich. Boogie eliminated Arez by shoving him off the top rope. Marshall slammed Osborune and pinned him to eliminate him. Marshall put the Iron Claw on Beastman, who broke it by raking Marshall’s eyes. Smokes was shown standing at ringside with a shovel in hand. Beastman yelled “Huss” repeatedly in a tribute to Bruiser Brody.
The 22nd entrant was EJ Nduka. Beastman was immediately eliminated by Nduka, who also tossed Zenshi over the top rope, but Zenshi skinned the cat. Nduka eliminated Gringo Loco.
The 23rd entrant was Kimchee. Yes, it was someone dressed up in the Kamala handler’s outfit. Funny. Nduka eliminated King Mo. Kimchee had a club in his hand. Nduka eliminated Kimchee, which drew some boos. Nduka eliminated Arez. Dao fired up and stood up to Nduka, who responded by putting him down with a spinebuster.
The 24th entrant was Zicky Dice. Nduka eliminated TJP. Dice pulled magician’s string out his mouth for some reason.
The 25th entrant was Kevin Ku. Nduka eliminated Cross.
The 26th entrant was KC Navarro. Laurent put over Navarro as a future star. Tankman knocked Moriarty off the apron to eliminate him. Tankman and Nduka met in the middle of the ring and traded forearm shots.
The 27th entrant was Lance Anoai. Nduka put Tankman on his shoulders and walked him to the ropes and dumped him onto the apron. Tankman pulled Nduka over the ropes to eliminate him, then the LAX duo of Boogie and Rivera ran over and kicked Tankman off the apron to eliminate him. Boogie and Rivera charged at Oliver and Reed, who moved and held the ropes down, causing Boogie and Rivera to tumble over the top rope for their elimination. Boogie and Rivera pulled Oliver and Reed from the apron to the floor to return the elimination favor.
Powell’s POV: I could be mistaken, but was the idea was for the LAX duo to eliminate both men, but Nduka fell to ringside before they could get there? Either way, Nduka was made to look like a major force in his debut with Bocchini crediting him with twelve eliminations. I liked the showdown between Nduka and Tankman, though it felt like it should have happened at a time when there were fewer wrestlers in the ring to distract from what they were doing.
The 28th entrant was LA Park. The broadcast team noted that Park trimmed down, then Bocchini said something seemed fishy. Inside the ring, Von Erich put Park in the Iron Claw and removed his mask, revealing that the imposter Park was Lawlor. Von Erich eliminated Lawlor/Park again.
The 29th entrant was Simon Gotch. He went after the other entrants without showing any favoritism.
The 30th entrant was Shawn Daivari. He brought a Contra flag to the ring with him and choked Navarro with it. With the flag around Navarro’s neck, Daivari tossed him over the top rope and continued to choke him until Navarro kicked him.
The 31st entrant was Blue Meanie, who received arguably the biggest pop of the match. A “BWO” chant broke out. Daivari ended up knocking Meanie down with a punch, which drew boos.
The 32nd entrant was Ikuro Kwon. Bocchini noted that it was Kwon’s first match back from a long injury layoff. Laurent noted that Contra had three men in the ring with Kwon, Daivari, and Gotch. The broadcast team wondered what would happen if a Contra wrestler won the match given that their leader Jacob Fatu holds the championship. Kwon pinned Dice to eliminate him.
The 33rd entrant was Ross Von Erich. He went after Contra members.
The 34th entrant was Josef Samael, who was the fourth Contra member in the match. He brought a spoke to the ring and went after Ross Von Erich.
The 35th entrant was Alex Hammerstone, who was jacked and got a good reaction. Hammerstone worked over Daivari.
The 36th entrant was two Sentai Death Squad entrants. The broadcast team explained that only one of them was supposed to enter the match.
The 37th entrant was Kwang The Ninja. He came out with nunchucks and used them on various opponents until Contra attacked him and he dropped them.
The 38th entrant was King Muertes. He hit a Flatliner on Meanie and pinned him to eliminate him from the match. Muertes followed up by going after Hammerstone along with Contra members, but Marshall Von Erich prevented the group from eliminating him.
The 39th entrant was Gino Medina. He entered the ring and went for pins on both Von Erichs, but they both escaped. Medina and Muertes traded blows.
The 40th entrant was Mads Krugger. He walked onto the stage and pointed at Hammerstone, who stared him down from far side of the ring. Krugger entered the ring and eliminated Anoai and then threw Navarro over the top rope onto Anoai to eliminate him.
Krugger attacked Hammerstone. Muertes eliminated Medina. Muertes pinned Kwang the Ninja to eliminate him. The Von Erichs threw Muertes over the top rope to eliminate him.
Hammerstone and the Von Erichs met up in the middle of the ring with their backs to one another and then fought the various Contra Unit members. Hammerstone eliminated one of the Sentai Death Squad members. Ross held the ropes down and then the other Sentai member and Samael were eliminated.
Marshall gave Kwon an Iron Claw slam on the apron, and Kwon rolled off for his elimination. The Von Erichs went after Krugger, who grabbed them both by the throats and ended up clotheslining them over the top rope to eliminate them. Hammerstone eliminated Gotch and Daivari by clotheslining them over the top rope simultaneously.
The match came down to Hammerstone and Krugger. A “Hammer” chant broke out. Hammerstone picked up Krugger and drove him into the corner where he gave him shoulder blocks. A “f— him up, Hammer” chant started, but Krugger ended it by performing a spinebuster on Hammerstone. Another “Hammer” chant started moments later.
Hammerstone got to his feet and threw some punches, but Krugger knocked him back down to his knees with a strike. The fans booed while Krugger held up his hand. Krugger grabbed Hammerstone by the throat and yelled, “Hail Contra.” Hammerstone broke free, but he ended up taking a Full Nelson Slam that resulted in a two count.
Krugger chokeslammed Hammerstone and covered him for a one count. Hammerstone fired up and had the crowd with him. Hammerstone blocked Krugger punches and fired back with punches of his own. Hammerstone threw some kicks, but he ran into a big boot from Krugger.
Krugger pulled a spike out of the corner and swung it at Hammerstone, who ducked it. Hammerstone hit Krugger, who dropped the spike. Krugger knocked Hammerstone down with a clothesline. Krugger grabbed Hammerstone’s head and jawed at him, but Hammerstone flipped him off and slammed the spike onto Krugger’s foot.
Hammerstone hit Krugger with the spike and gave him a back body drop. Hammerstone clotheslined Krugger over the top rope. Krugger landed on his feet for his elimination.
Alexander Hammerstone won the 40-man Battle Riot match to earn an MLW Heavyweight Championship match.
After the match, Hammerstone grabbed the Contra flag out of the corner and tore it in half while Krugger headed to the back. Hammerstone flexed in the ring and played to the crowd.
MLW Heavyweight Champion Jacob Fatu and Josef Samael headed to ringside. Samael held Fatu back from entering the ring. Two referees joined Samael in trying to keep Fatu out of the ring. The broadcast team played up Fatu vs. Hammerstone now being inevitable.
Hammerstone went back to celebrating and then slapped hands with the fans at ringside. A female fan handed Hammerstone a bottle of baby oil. Hammerstone returned to the ring and poured some on himself and posed while the woman freaked out. Bocchini closed the show on commentary while Hammerstone was walking toward the back…
Powell’s POV: An entertaining Battle Riot match. It was a simple story with an outcome that was easy to see coming a mile away, but that’s not a bad thing if the fans enjoy the ride, which the live crowd certainly seemed to. I like the story that Hammerstone’s only hope of getting a title shot was winning the Battle Riot match due to Samael having control over who Fatu will defend the title against. Hammerstone’s post match celebration could use a little work, but this played out nicely and sets up MLW’s big showdown match for a future date. There’s still no word on where Fusion will end up in the fall, but we’ll see what the new Fusion Alpha series is all about when it premieres next month.