By Chris Vetter, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@chrisvetter73)
Major League Wrestling “Slaughterhouse”
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at 2300 Arena
Streamed October 14, 2023 on FITE+
Davey Smith Jr. is off the show with an illness and is being replaced in the main event by Tom Lawlor. Joe Dombrowski and Matt Striker provided live commentary. Dombrowski is dressed like Nailz and Striker is dressed like Super Mario.
* As the show begins, we see a “Chamber of Horrors” was erected in the ring. It is a cage with weapons inside. (I am a strong advocate of opening a show with the cage match so you don’t have the long intermission to set it up. Have it ready to go as the show begins!) Dombrowski explained that the only way to win is to get an opponent into the electric chair in the ring and electrocute them.
1. “The Second Gear Crew” Mance Warner and Matthew Justice defeated Talon and Cannonball in a Chamber of Horrors match at 10:27. Cannonball is the heavyset masked man, while Talon is skinny and also in a black mask. They brawled on the floor before entering the cage. The bell sounded as they got into the ring just before 2:00. The SGC flipped Talon into a table set up in the corner, and they beat Cannonball over the head with chairs and canes. Cannonball gave Mance a papercut between his fingers, then he did it on his tongue.
Cannonball used a staple gun on Mance’s head and of course, Mance was bleeding heavily. Mance hit a piledriver on Talon onto a pumpkin at 7:30 but the pumpkin barely cracked. Mance put a different pumpkin over Cannonball’s head, and Justice hit a chairshot onto the pumpkinhead. Justice climbed to the top of the cage and did a summersault cannonball onto Cannonball in the corner at 9:00. Mance latched Talon into the electric chair. Sparks flew from the back of the chair and Talon convulsed in the chair while the fireworks were going off. All very silly.
* Sam Laterna interviewed Rocky Romero and Salina De La Renta backstage. Sam asked “how he is feeling” and Rocky just sneered at her. Salina berated Sam and ended with the “Bye, Felicia” line as they turned and walked away. A video montage aired of past “Battle Riots.” The volume of this show is all over the place, as this segment is LOUD.
* Back in the arena, Sam Laterna is ready for a game of “Spin the Wheel, Make the Deal.” Manders came out first. There appears to be about 20 names o the electronic wheel. It is all on a video board, thus, there isn’t a gimmicked wheel. It landed on “Falls Count Anywhere.” Not quite coal miner’s glove on a pole, but it will do!
2. NWA World Historic Welterweight Champion Rocky Romero (w/Salina de la Renta) defeated MLW Middleweight Champion Akira in a title-vs.-title match at 16:11. Akira came out first. Jesus Rodriguez came to the ring. (Is he going to introduce Alberto Del Rio? NO, it’s Romero, but with the same energy as when he would introduce Alberto.) Basic action early on. They traded chops to the ring apron at 3:00, and Romero hit a suplex, with them both rolling to the floor. Romero hit a doublestomp off the apron onto Akira’s chest as he was lying on the floor. In the ring, Akira hit a rapid-fire series of chops.
Rocky applied a mid-ring Octopus, and he snapped an arm backward at 6:00. He hit a series of clotheslines in the corner. Akira applied a crossarm breaker on the mat. Rocky applied his own crossarm breaker. Akira locked his hands behind his back and invited Romero to hit some blows. Akira then landed his own blows. Rocky couldn’t hit a Sliced Bread. Akira hit a back suplex and some Kawada Kicks, then a German Suplex for a nearfall at 9:30. He switched to an anklelock, and he turned it into an STF on the mat, but Rocky eventually reached the ropes. Two masked goons from The Calling appeared at ringside at 11:00, so Selina hit them with a kendo stick and chased them off.
Meanwhile, Rocky dove through the ropes onto Akira. In the ring, Rocky hit a Sliced Bread for a believable nearfall; I thought that was it. Rocky hit a second Sliced Bread for another nearfall. Akira hit an Exploder Suplex into the corner at 13:00 and they were both down. They fought on the ropes in the corner, where Romero hit a third Sliced Bread for a nearfall!
Striker pointed out how the fans are rallying for Akira. Akira again locked his hands behind his back; as Romero charged in, Akira hit a headbutt, then a clothesline, then a running doublestomp to the top of the head for a nearfall at 15:30. Romero hit a low blow uppercut with the ref out of position, then the Trash Compactor piledriver along his back for the cheap pin. So, Romero is now the MLW Middleweight Champion.
3. Rickey Shane Page vs. 1 Called Manders for the MLW National Openweight Championship began a falls count anywhere match... Manders walked to ringside first, but Page attacked from behind. They brawled on the floor. In the ring, Manders was shoved head-first into a chair wedged in the corner at 4:00. They went back to the floor, where Manders hit a piledriver onto open chairs for a nearfall at 5:30. They brawled up onto the stage and to the back at 7:00. The cameras flipped back to Dombrowski and Striker at ringside, so apparently we aren’t sticking with the action. Okay….
* Even before the next match started, we saw a picture-in-picture scene of RSP and Manders brawling backstage.
4. Janai Kai (w/Salina de la Renta) defeated Delmi Exo to win the MLW Featherweight Title at 8:49. Again, Kai is a “phantom challenger” replacing the injured B3cca (who, in storyline, is being forced by her record label to go back to the studio to finish her album.) I’m a big fan of Kai’s overall look and kickboxing style; she competed in the Wrestling Revolver women’s tournament last weekend. Delmi is by no means heavy (she is listed online at 5’7″ and 154 pounds), but she has a size and weight advantage as they opened with standing switches, then mat reversals. (The sound has bottomed out here. Really embarrassing how it’s going up and down.) Kai applied a Dragon Sleeper.
Kai hit a running kick to the face at 3:30 then some hard kneelifts to the jaw. She hit a running Penalty Kick for a nearfall. Delmi fired back with a running double knees in the corner. Janai hit a belly-to-belly suplex at 7:30 and a series of kicks to the spine. Delmi hit a kick to the stomach for a nearfall. Janai applied a Dragon Sleeper (same style as Ivy Nile uses in NXT) and Delmi tapped out. New champion! While Salina was there at ringside, she had no impact on the outcome.
* A LOUD COMMERCIAL FOR THE ONLINE STORE. We then caught up with Manders and RSP brawling into the back. Dombrowski and Striker are now inaudible. We return to ringside and they are slightly louder; Striker in particular gets too quiet at times.
5. Minoru Suzuki defeated Jacob Fatu at 10:58. The crowd chanted “Holy shit!” then “this is awesome” before they even locked up. Fatu hit a chop. Suzuki charged at Fatu, but went down as they collided. Fatu hit a bodyslam. Suzuki applied a cross-armbreaker in the ropes and he broke the hold at 3:00. They brawled on the floor, and Fatu slapped him a few times in the face, which just ticked Suzuki off. In the ring, Suzuki applied an anklelock on the left leg. Fatu hit a Samoan Drop at 6:00, then the handspring-back-moonsault for a nearfall. He hit a running buttsplash in the corner on Suzuki for a nearfall.
Suzuki hit a running penalty kick to the chest with a cocky one-foot cover at 7:30. They traded chops with Suzuki laughing off the blows. They switched to forearm strikes and Fatu hit some open-hand strikes. Minoru dropped Fatu with a violent forearm strike. Fatu nailed a Falcon Arrow for a nearfall at 9:30. Suzuki applied a rear-naked choke but Fatu quickly escaped. Suzuki applied it again, then he nailed the Gotch-style Piledriver for the clean pin! I know Suzuki is a world-beater, but to me, this is an upset, considering how much Fatu has been pushed in MLW.
* Backstage, Manders and Page fought in an empty semi-truck. Only a few seconds were shown before we went back to Dombrowski and Striker. Dombrowski said de la Renta has brokered a deal to bring more luchadors to MLW. Meanwhile, RSP and Manders brawled out of the back and down the ramp to ringside.
Rickey Shane Page defeated 1 Called Manders in a falls count anywhere match to retain the MLW National Openweight Title at 3:52. Page hit a running crossbody block in the corner, then a top-rope frogsplash for a nearfall. Manders dove through the ropes onto RSP, then he hit a snap suplex onto a thin mat at ringside for a nearfall. They brawled back up the ramp, and Manders hit him with tombstones that is part of the set. Manders slammed RSP through a wood board leaning against the ring for a nearfall at 3:30. Akira walked to ringside! RSP pushed (his partner!) Akira into Manders. Page immediately hit a DDT onto the floor to pin Manders. Akira was angry at RSP. RSP pushed Akira to the ground and stormed to the back alone. Good conclusion of the match and a fun way to spread a falls count anywhere match over several segments.
* A commercial aired for the MLW action figures made by Boss Fight Studio. (I have figures of Taya Valkyrie, Juventud Guerrera and Black Taurus made by BFS and I think they are pretty high quality.) The commercial was quick, but it showed a Lince Dorado, a Micro Man, and an EJ Nduka, which shows how long ago they were working on them.
* Mister Saint Laurent came out, but he didn’t do anything.
6. Alex Kane defeated Tom Lawlor to retain the MLW Heavyweight Title at 17:30. Kane had a huge entourage, maybe 15-20 men and women. An intense lockup to open and mat reversals and it feels like a shoot fight. Lawlor removed his short-shorts at 5:00 to reveal even tinier shorts underneath, and he choked Kane with the ones he removed. Lawlor snapped the arm backward and got a nearfall at 7:30. He tied up Kane in a pretzel; Kane suplexed Lawlor into the corner and they were both down at 9:30. Kane hit a belly-to-belly suplex. Lawlor slammed Kane shoulder-first into the corner, and he immediately tied up the arm.
Kane hit a second-rope superplex. Lawlor hit a pair of enziguiris and a running kick, then a modified uranage for a nearfall at 12:30, and he went back to working on the arm. Kane applied a single-leg crab at 14:00. Lawlor applied a Triangle Choke but Kane turned it into a powerbomb and they were both down. Kane hit a clothesline for a nearfall at 16:00. Lawlor hit a spin kick to the head, then his kneestrike to the back of the head for a believable nearfall, and Tom was shocked that didn’t get the win. He applied a rear-naked choke, but Kane escaped and applied his own rear-naked choke. Lawlor re-applied his, but Kane flipped his body weight over and got the pin! Good match.
* Matt Cardona walked to the ring with Saint Laurent. Cardona did his “all hail the death match king” schtick, then he proclaimed he is an “ECW original,” which drew jeers. Cardona boasted he has two million Twitter followers. Cardona and Kane brawled on the floor. Good angle to close the show.
Final Thoughts: An entertaining show, and my biggest complaint was the sound going up and down from one segment to the next. A strong main event, and an entertaining Fatu-Suzuki match. I get it that Minoru rarely loses in the U.S., but I really thought Fatu was picking up a big win here. I’l go with a strong Akira-Romero for third best. Kai is a smart addition to this roster and I don’t mind her winning in her debut.