11/6 MLW War Chamber spoilers: McGuire’s in-person report on the taping for upcoming shows (spoilers)

By Colin McGuire, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@McGMondays)

MLW War Chamber
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at 2300 Arena

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1. Alex Kane defeated Alex Shelley, Zenshi, Myron Reed and ACH in a ladder match to win the MLW Openweight Championship. This was the spotfest you’d think it would be. It was a minor surprise to me that Reed didn’t win because at the last tapings, Reed was talking about moving on and up the card and it seemed logical to me that he’d win here. But it wasn’t to be. Shelley worked like a heel but was universally cheered. Zenshi looked pretty good and I’m not just saying that because I watched this next to his mom. After the match, Calvin Tankman ran down to confront Kane, but the two were kept separated.

2. Gnarls Garvin defeated Budd Heavy. This was a squash but was most notable for the Budd appearance because Budd continues to be very over with the live crowd (and me). Afterward, Alicia Atout came out to interview Garvin, but Garvin just took the mic and ranted. He had good fire, though.
3. nZo defeated Matt Cross. nZo was attacked by KC Navarro after the match, but nZo got the best of the exchange and he was also heavily booed after that. Prior to that, however, nZo had a lot of the crowd on his side…until he used a low blow to win. This was more competitive than I thought it would be and nZo looked rusty and even kind of out of gas, but that was to be expected given his time away. Dude was bleeding by the end of everything, too. All judgments aside, I wonder if he’ll be in MLW this time next year. If they are going to use him, I’d like to see how he does in a long-term program. Meanwhile, nZo eliciting “Joe Exotic” chants makes me laugh.
4. TJP defeated Calvin Tankman in an Opera Cup semifinal match. The finish was dumb. Alex Kane ran into the ring while the ref was in the ring, looking the other way, and ran Tankman into an exposed turnbuckle. TJP hit a frog-splash and that was it. The match had mostly good action until the end, but I did have to start to question TJP going for top rope moves because each time he did, Tankman caught him. I mean, he could have stopped after, like, what, five attempts and five failures? Anyway, this was marred by a lousy finish. Love the guys involved. The creative did them no favors.
5. 5150 defeated Los Parks in a Philadelphia Street Fight to win the MLW tag team titles. This was a lot of fun and if you closed your eyes and tried to imagine how this match would go, whatever you’d see in your head would probably be right. A bunch of chairs and weapons were on display, but the meat of the match featured some very good in-ring work between everyone involved. For it being billed as a no-DQ bout, it was refreshing to see these guys work, too. Outside of the opening ladder match, this was the most entertaining match to this point.
6. KC Navarro defeated Warhorse. The finish felt abrupt and out of nowhere so I’m not sure if they had to cut some things or what. This was OK for what it was. KC is even more over than Warhorse with the MLW crowd and I didn’t think that was possible. Also: Warhorse seems to lose a lot.
7. “The Sea Stars” Delmi Exo and Ashley Vox defeated “Top Dogs” Davienne  Skylar. Ashley Vox got the winning pin, but I don’t think she tagged in. Ah, well. Anyway, this was short and the outcome felt a little predictable because the Sea Stars seem to be a featured female act in MLW. After the match, Willow Nightingale and Holidead brawled up the ramp to the back.
8. Davey Richards defeated TJP to win the 2021 Opera Cup. Easily the best wrestling match of the night and I can’t imagine anything topping it, knowing what lie ahead. No knock on the rest of the matches, but we have a lot of gimmicks coming up. Go out of your way to see this when it airs. The near falls toward the end were fantastic and those two had the crowd in the palm of their hands. After the match, Richards cut a heart-felt promo that kept the crowd alive. This was very, very good and kudos to TJP for coming back from an injury at the last tapings to lay down at these tapings for Richards, who was a sentimental favorite among everybody.
9. La Park defeated Homicide. Like having a nice steak dinner one night and following that up the next with a gas station hot dog. All respect to Homicide and La Park, of course, who are legends in their own right, in their own way, but this was sloppy and disjointed. It even came complete with a sloppy and disjointed ref bump. 5150 and Los Parks should be moving on to different dance partners soon, I would hope.
10. Holidead defeated Willow Nightingale. That’s two ref bumps in a row. A lot went on here as Nightingale brought out the Blue Meanie for support and while that warranted a few fun spots, it turned out to be much ado about nothing, really. There was interference everywhere, including a run-in from Arez, who helped Holidead win. Because of as much, it never quite felt like the match got its feet under it. Still, I like Nightingale and Holidead a lot; I’d just let to see them get more substantial shine.
11. Arez defeated Aramiz for a briefcase of Cesar Duran’s cash. These two work so well together … but I’ve seen better from them. There were a few hot sequences, though it kind of felt like they shaved three or four minutes off the end product. The finish involved Holidead and Dr. Dax, so there’s reason to run this back again if they want, but if they do, I’d much prefer these two get a clean finish rather than what happened here. I had high expectations for it and they came up slightly short in the end. Only the War Chamber is left.
12. “Team Hammerstone” Alexander Hammerstone, Richard Holliday, EJ Nduka, Jeff Cobb, and Savio Vega defeated “Team Contra” Jacob Fatu, Mads Krugger, Ikuro Kwon, two Sentai Death Squad members in a War Chamber match. Ohhhh, this was not the way to go. I’m not talking about the outcome – it’s fine to have Hammerstone get the tap-out victory for his team – but this entire production of a match felt like a dud at best. Hammerstone couldn’t have been in the ring for more than five minutes before lifting someone up for a Torture Rack and getting the tap out (Hammerstone was the final participant to enter the Chamber). The other non-surprise was Savio Vega being the mystery member of Team Hammerstone not named Jeff Cobb. The crowd booed after this and I don’t know if it was because they loved Contra or if they felt cheated with the finish. My guess is the latter.
After the match, Jacob Fatu essentially turned on Contra, which sets up some fun stuff moving forward. But we’ll see how that goes. Either way, this was a more convenient taping than the Fightland tapings from last month, if only because it didn’t go six hours and 18 matches long. In terms of in-ring work, though, the previous outing was better. Can you have your cake and eat it too? Maybe not. I’ll have a lot more to say in my McGuire’s Mondays piece this week.

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