MLW “Fury Road” results: Vetter’s review of Alex Kane vs. Willie Mack for the MLW Heavyweight Championship, Jacob Fatu vs. Rickey Shane Page in a Weapons of Mass Destruction match for the MLW National Openweight Title


By Chris Vetter, Contributor (@chrisvetter73)

Major League Wrestling “Fury Road”
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at 2300 Arena
Streamed September 3, 2023 live on FITE+

Joe Dombrowski and Matt Striker provided live commentary.
1) Ricky Shane Page defeated Jacob Fatu in a “Weapons of Mass Destruction” match to win the MLW Openweight Title at 15:21. RSP charged at Fatu as Jacob entered the ring and they immediately brawled. Fatu dove through the ropes onto RSP. In the ring, he hit a Swanton Bomb for a nearfall. The ref is essentially wearing a HAZMAT suit and plastic facemask. RSP tossed Fatu onto an open chair. RSP began removing one of the top rope corner pads; this was taking too long and the crowd taunted him for it. RSP changed gears and threw a chair at Fatu’s head.

RSP finally removed a turnbuckle and he used the hook on Fatu’s bare toe.  Fatu hit a dive to the floor at 7:30. In the ring, Fatu hit a standing moonsault for a nearfall, then a Falcon Arrow for a nearfall. Fatu hit a Swanton Bomb from the apron to the floor. RSP was bleeding from the forehead. Fatu hit a Samoan Drop, sending RSP through a table set up on the floor at 11:00. RSP did a summersault to the floor but Fatu moved, and Page crashed onto a ladder at 13:30. Ouch! Fatu pushed RSP’s head into a box of fireworks, with sparks going off. They got into the ring, but Akira jumped in the ring and attacked Fatu, and the crowd loudy booed.

Akira hit a running boot in the corner as the commentators reminded us that this is no DQ. Akira accidentally kicked Page. Fatu hit a Samoan Drop on Akira. However, RSP hit a low blow and a DDT onto an open chair to score the pin. New champion! Good brawl; it got a bit bloody but not too gross.

* Backstage, Mance Warner had his shoes off and his bare feet were visible, as he was being interviewed by Sam Laterna. Matthew Justice, 1 Called Manders and Laterna were selling being sick to their stomach from the odor of those feet. Mance talked about his “kiss my foot” match later against Matt Cardona.

* Back in the arena, we had “Sessions by Saint Laurent,” a new talk show. He brought out Salina De La Renta, who we haven’t seen in probably a year! Her hair is blue. She said, “good evening ladies and gentle-marks.” She wondered “where is the lucha?” in MLW. Good question. She said MLW has a “new pipeline to Mexico” and it goes through her. She said her first luchador will be debuting next month at “Slaughterhouse,” on Oct. 14. She concluded by saying “Salina De La Renta is back!” Intriguing segment.

2) B3cca defeated Maki Itoh at 7:45. These two have squared off a few times lately, in singles match and a recent six-woman scramble. B3cca sang on her way to the ring, wearing a cowboy hat and a shiny silver outfit with tassels. B3cca said she wants to prove she’s the ultimate pop princess and challenged Maki to a ‘sing-off.’ Maki started to sing but B3cca attacked her from behind to start the match. They immediately went to the floor, and Maki hit B3cca across the back several times with a kendo stick. In the ring, Itoh hit her Kokeshi falling headbutt. B3cca hit a backbreaker over her knee for a nearfall at 1:30. B3cca got a mic and sang off-key and got booed. She tied up Maki on the mat while singing into the mic. They traded forearm shots.

Itoh hit another Kokeshi at 3:30. They fought over the microphone. Maki said “kiss my ass, bitch,” drawing a pop. Itoh hit a series of punches in the corner, then a running boot in the corner, then a tornado DDT for a nearfall. B3cca hit a TKO stunner for a nearfall. Itoh applied a Boston Crab at 6:00, but B3cca reached the ropes. Itoh missed a top-rope flying headbutt. B3cca nailed a running Death Valley Driver at 7:30, then the top-rope 450 Splash for the clean pin! Wow! A really good match and I truly didn’t see a clean win coming. B3cca has improved so much so quickly.

Love, Doug came down the ramp and offered her a present. She turned and walked away and he looked dejected.
3) Matt Cardona (w/St. Laurent) defeated Mance Warner in a “Kiss My Foot” match at 8:56. Cardona shouted “Philadelphia,” then “Philadelphia sucks!” (He did the exact same opening Friday in Portland for Prestige Wrestling.) Cardona stalled early on. In the ring, Mance hit a running boot, and Cardona rolled right back to the floor, and he teased he was leaving. They brawled on the floor. Cardona hit a baseball slide dropkick to the floor, then a DDT on the floor at 3:00. Mance was bleeding from his forehead and he barely got back into the ring before being counted out. Cardona immediately hit a series of punches and was in charge. Matt threw a chair at Mance’s head; I hate that.

Matt hit a running boot in the corner and got a nearfall. Cardona set up a board in the corner. Mance speared Cardona through the wood board for a nearfall at 6:00. Mance hit a series of jabs and his face is red with blood. He hit a clothesline for a nearfall. They stood on chairs and traded punches. Cardona hit a Death Valley Driver onto the open chairs for a nearfall at 8:00. Matt swung a chair and it ricocheted off the top rope back onto his head. Mance immediately hit a running knee for a nearfall but Laurent put Cardona’s foot on the ropes. The ref ejected Laurent, but it allowed Cardona to hit a low blow, then a Radio Silence flying legdrop for the pin. Wow, I didn’t see that coming either… I assumed Matt was kissing Mance’s disgusting foot!

* Matt and Laurent sat on chairs and removed their boots. Mance said he was a man of his word and he bent over… but he bit Laurent’s big toe! Cardona scrambled from the ring, along with Laurent.
4) Ichiban defeated Tracy Williams at 9:48. Standing switches to start, and Tracy has a significant height and overall size advantage. Ichiban fired back with some deep armdrags and a dropkick at 2:00. Williams hit a suplex for a nearfall, and he kept Ichiban grounded. Tracy hit a brainbuster-style move for a nearfall at 4:30, then a DDT, but Ichiban rolled to the floor before he could be pinned. Back in the ring, Ichiban hit a backbody drop at 7:00 and was fired up. He hit a flying elbow and a stunner. Ichiban hit a flip dive to the floor, then a top-rope crossbody block for a nearfall at 8:30. Tracy hit a Death Valley Driver. Ichiban nailed a leaping Flatliner for the pin. Good match. I’ve seen Ichiban for a while now, but for those who are seeing him for the first time here, he made a good first impression.
5) Kushida defeated Tony Deppen at 12:16. Deppen wrestled in Chicago for GCW on Friday; so good to see him back in action after breaking his arm a few months ago. Kushida hit a basement dropkick that sent Deppen to the floor. In the ring, Kushida applied a cross-armbreaker and he kept Deppen grounded. Deppen twisted Kushida’s left leg on the mat and focused on it. He hit a suplex for a nearfall at 6:00. Deppen nailed a top-rope doublestomp to the chest for a believable nearfall. They brawled to the floor, where Deppen rammed Kushida back-first into the ring at 9:00.

Kushida channeled his inner Sabu by leaping off a chair and barreling into Deppen as Tony was seated on a chair at 10:30. Kushida hit a basement dropkick and a running kick to Tony’s elbow. He again applied a keylock. Deppen hit a running knee. Kushida hit a straight punch to the jaw and they were both down at 12:00. Kushida hit a Small Package Driver for the pin. (Tyler Black used that as a finisher and I’m really surprised it hasn’t caught on as someone else’s finisher.) That was really good, although I never thought Deppen was winning this one. Deppen faked he was going to shake Kushida’s hand, but instead gave him the middle finger and left.

* A video aired, showing that Minoru Suzuki is headed to MLW on Oct. 14. We then headed to the video that showed every MLW champion ever. More promotions should do this; it’s classy and I have no problem whatsoever with acknowledging wrestlers that have since left your promotion. We have the graphic showing the height, weight, wrestling history, etc., of our main event competitors.
6) Alex Kane defeated Willie Mack at 18:02. Kane had an entourage of eight Black men and women, all shouting “Boomaye!” They traded slaps to the face, with Mack dropping Kane and getting a nearfall inside the first minute. Mack hit a running kick, sending Kane to the floor. Mack nailed a flip dive to the floor and crashed all that weight onto Kane at 3:00. Mack hit a running knee on the floor; the camera inexplicably showed the crowd as he was landing the blow. Terrible prodution decision. Kane hit a release German Supex onto the thin mat on the floor at 5:30! Ouch! Kane hit a running splash onto Mack, who was lying on the ring apron, and Kane took control. In the ring, Kane hit a release suplex, tossing Mack across the ring and getting a nearfall at 7:30. Mack fired back with a release German Suplex, then an Exploder Suplex.

Kane hit a Saito Suplelx for a nearfall at 10:00. Mack nailed a hard clothesline and a spin kick to the jaw, then a kneedrop and a standing moonsault for a nearfall at 12:00. Mack hit a stunner, but Kane rolled to the floor to avoid being pinned. Mack nailed a plancha to the floor. In the ring, Kane hit a gutwrench suplex at 14:00, then a spear for a believable nearfall. Mack nailed a sit-out powerbomb for a nearfall. Kane nailed an Angle Slam and a release suplex for a nearfall. Mack went for a stunner but Kane avoided it. Kane nailed a leaping Flatliner and he applied a rear-naked choke on the mat. The ref raised Mack’s arm three times and he didn’t respond, and the ref awarded the match to Kane. Good action, but again, I never thought Mack was winning here.

* Kane got on the mic and said Mack showed he had the drive and desire, and he said Mack has earned his respect. He offered a handshake, and Mack shook his hand, and the crowd applauded. He asked Mack to say “Boomaye!” and Mack hesitated, but then he said it and the crowd popped.

Final Thoughts: The biggest problem with MLW is their shows are recorded so much in advance that it leaves the product feeling disjointed; episodes that aired in recent weeks were actually filmed months and months ago. Calvin Tankman’s absence loomed large as his contract has expired, but where was Davey Boy Smith Jr.? He just won the months-long Opera Cup tournament! Where was Kevin Blackwood, who they promoted as being “drafted to MLW?” Where was Alexander Hammerstone? And De La Renta pointed out something else; this promotion that used to have such a strong lucha presence had none here.

I personally liked Deppen-Kushida for best match, ahead of the main event, then Ichiban-Tracy for third. B3cca really has a strong grasp of her character and knows how to get the crowd into everything she’s doing right now. I enjoyed this show, but I do want MLW to have a promo of other wrestlers not in action on this night. If MLW can sign and retain a roster and not have constant turnover, they can be a fun promotion because the pieces are there.


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