By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Major League Wrestling Underground
Taped January 7, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at 2300 Arena
Aired March 14, 2023 on Reelz
Joe Dombrowski and Matt Striker checked in on commentary, and Tim Barr was the ring announcer…
Real1 was wheeled onto the stage in a wheelchair and he had a crutch in his hand. Real1 took verbal jabs at Microman and especially Mance Warner. Real1 said that he would call the cops if he’s ever hit by a car again. The unnamed man behind Real1 wheeled him to ringside.
Mance Warner made his entrance. The broadcast team said that Warner hitting Real1 with his car was like something out of “On Patrol Live.” Warner started to speak, but he was quickly interrupted.
A calling card attacker video aired that focused on Rickey Shane Page, who made his entrance as Warner’s opponent. They brawled at ringside while Real1 said he wanted a front row seat for their match…
1. Mance Warner vs. Rickey Shane Page in a hardcore match. Real1 joined the broadcast team and two masked men were at ringside for Page. Page threw a chair at Warner a couple of times. One of the masked men passed a knife to Page, who cut a turnbuckle pad and then dropped a chair onto the head of Warner, who was bleeding at ringside.
Page rolled Warner back inside the ring and then jabbed a chair onto Warner’s head. Warner eventually battled back with a couple of bionic elbows heading into a commercial break. [C]
Warner tossed a bunch of chairs into the ring and then hit Page with a kendo stick. Warner tossed a trashcan into the ring and then pulled out a couple of door boards and slid them inside the ring.
Warner propped the door boards in the corners of the ring and then set up a chair. Warner performed a neckbreaker onto the back of the chair and then he speared Page through one of the door boards and covered him for a near fall. Page battled back and tossed Warner through the other door board.
Page set up three chairs in the ring. Warner hit Page with a piece of the door board and then slammed a chair over his back before setting it up next to the other chairs. Warner grabbed two more chairs and lined them up. Page drove Warner into the corner and then went up top.
Warner joined Page on the ropes where they fought for position. Warner got the better of it and suplexed Page onto the chairs that were set up in the ring. Warner covered Page for just a two count.
Warner and Page traded strikes and then Warner put him down with a lariat and covered him for another two count. There were actually three masked men at ringside with one of them appearing to give orders. Two of the masked men set up a table at ringside.
Page set up for a chokeslam from the apron, but Warner avoided it and then DDT’d Page through the table on the floor. Warner threw Page back inside the ring. Real1 stood up and hit Warner with his crutch. Page chokeslammed Warner in the ring and then pinned him.
Rickey Shane Page defeated Mance Warner in a hardcore match.
Powell’s POV: Page was revealed as one of the calling card attackers in a video on last week’s show. The live crowd didn’t seem very familiar with him or they just weren’t very hot for the match. The story continues to be a hot mess. The reveal took place without any warning or fanfare and it came off like the broadcast team was unaware of who would be revealed when this match was taped.
Dombrowski hyped the tag team title match for later in the show…
Taya Valkyrie, John Morrison, and Sam Adonis were shown interrupting a Billie Starkz photo shoot. Starkz told Valkyrie that she wants her MLW Featherweight Championship. Valkyrie said gold doesn’t look good on Starkz. Valkyrie ended up agreeing to give Starkz a title shot…
Cesar Duran made his entrance with one of his masked henchmen and spoke on the stage. Duran introduced La Estrella as the next MLW Middleweight Champion. The action champion Lince Dorado made his entrance… [C]
2. Lince Dorado vs. La Estrella (Cesar Duran, masked henchman) for the MLW Middleweight Championship. Dorado went for a moonsault at one point, but Estrella put his feet up and took offensive control. Estrella put Dorado down with a missile dropkick. When Dorado stood up, Estrella performed a Poison Rana that resulted in a near fall.
Estrella went up top and then Dorado fired back and performed a huracanrana. Dorado covered Estrella, but Duran pulled Estrella out of the ring right in front of the referee.
Microman showed up and dove off the apron onto the masked henchman. Microman grabbed a cane and approached Duran, who jawed at him. Meanwhile, Dorado escaped Estrella’s attempted move and the powerbombed him. Dorado performed a shooting star press and scored the pin…
Lince Dorado defeated La Estrella to retain the MLW Middleweight Championship.
Powell’s POV: This match just sort of popped up out of nowhere. It was not advertised last week, nor did the wrestlers get any promo time to push the match. The crowd was really flat.
Alex Kane delivered a promo while Mr. Thomas stood behind him. Kane said “submission is the mission” for his match against Davey Boy Smith Jr. Yes, they yelled Bomaye a bunch of times… Dombrowski said Kane vs. Smith will air on the show in two weeks…
Next week’s show has Alex Hammerstone vs. Jacob Fatu for the MLW Heavyweight Championship, and Taya Valkyrie vs. Billie Starkz for the MLW Featherweight Championship. Dombrowski hyped the contract signing for after the break… [C]
MLW promoter stood on the stage where a table and chairs were set up for the contract signing. Three men dressed in suits stood behind Bauer, who introduced Jacob Fatu and then Alex Hammerstone. Both men shook hands with Bauer, who sat between them at the contract signing table.
Bauer passed the contract to Fatu, who signed it. Bauer passed the contract to Hammerstone, who quickly signed his name. Bauer added his signature and said the match was official. The calling card video flashed on the screen and interrupted Bauer.
Hammerstone stood up and asked Bauer if he didn’t think he realized what was happening. Hammerstone spoke about Bauer’s relationship with the Samoans. Bauer laughed. Hammerstone said he didn’t care who Fatu’s daddy or cousin are. Fatu and Hammerstone traded punches and were quickly pulled apart…
Powell’s POV: The calling card video flashes are similar to the old Contra logo flashes in that both are used to creatively cover up in-ring flubs or to avoid running dated promo material. In this case, I’m guessing Bauer listed the date for the title match that was held back in February. While the calling card gimmick isn’t packing nearly as much of a punch as Contra Unit did back in the day, it’s still a clever way to avoid running certain things.
A graphic listed Hammerstone vs. Fatu for next week’s show, and then another graphic pushed this episode’s main event…
Members of the Anoa’i family were shown seated in the crowd, and then Juicy Finau and Lance Anoa’i were shown backstage…
Cesar Duran was shown walking backstage with two masked henchmen. One of the henchmen stopped Duran and then another put a sack over his head. The henchmen dragged Duran away…
Juicy Finau and Lance Anoa’i made their entrance for the main event. EJ Nduka and Calvin Tankman came out and attacked the challengers from behind. The teams brawled at ringside and the referee started the match once two men were in the ring…
3. “Hustle & Power” EJ Nduka and Calvin Tankman vs. “Samoan Swat Team” Juicy Finau and Lance Anoa’i for the MLW Tag Team Titles. A table was leaning in a corner of the ring. Anoa’i charged Nduka, who ended up avoiding the move and putting Anoa’i through the table. [C]
Anoa’i performed a top rope splash on Tankman for a near fall. Anoa’i pointed to Finau, who then went up top. Nduka hopped onto the apron and knocked Finau off the ropes. The champions isolated Anoa’i while Finau ended up at ringside, but they couldn’t Anoa’i away.
Finau pulled Tankman to the floor and ran him into the barricade. In the ring, Nduka pulled out powder, but Anoa’i kicked it into his face. Finau returned and performed a Samoan Drop on Nduka, and then Anoa’i performed a top rope splash and scored the pin.
“Samoan Swat Team” Juicy Finau and Lance Anoa’i defeated “Hustle & Power” EJ Nduka and Calvin Tankman to win the MLW Tag Team Titles.
Jacob Fatu and Anoa’i’s father Samu mother Melissa walked out to celebrate with the new champions. A group of Anoa’i family members entered the ring and posed with Anoa’i and Finau…
A video package set up next week’s Hammerstone vs. Fatu main event…
Powell’s POV: This won’t win any best tag team match awards, but the live crowd was up for this match more than the two earlier matches. Nduka has left the company since this match was taped, so I’m looking forward to seeing what’s next for Tankman in the singles division. I like the touch of the Samoan family members being in attendance to celebrate the title change.
Overall, this was a rough show with garbage brawls in two of the three matches, and the odd unannounced middleweight title match in the middle. The important thing is that they did a good job of pushing the long awaited Hammerstone vs. Fatu match for next week. I will have more to say in my weekly audio review of MLW Underground for Dot Net Members (including our Patreon patrons).
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