MLW Reload results: Vetter’s review of Satoshi Kojima vs. Sami Callihan, Matt Riddle and Alex Kane vs. Tom Lawlor and Josh Bishop, Delmi Exo vs. Tiara James

By Chris Vetter, Contributor (@chrisvetter73)

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MLW “Reload”
Taped January 6, 2024 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at 2300 Arena
Streamed January 20, 2024 on the MLW’s YouTube Page

* The show opened with Saint Laurent on the entrance ramp and the crowd was booing him. He introduced Alex Kane. Laurent declared he “discovered” Kane and signed him to his MLW contract. He proposed a “merger” between WTF and the Bomaye Fight Club. Of course, Kane tore up the contract.

* We then headed to the show-opening video, and we saw and heard from Joe Dombrowki and Matt Stryker as they listed the matches on tonight’s show.

1. Zayda Steel (w/Saint Laurent) defeated Notorious Mimi at 4:06. Mimi (formerly NXT’s Sloane Jacobs) is a heel here; I don’t understand having a heel-heel matchup. Mimi got some quick rollups and a hard chop. They pulled each other’s hair and both landed face-first at 2:30. Zayda got a rollup with her feet on the ropes but the ref saw it. Mimi got a spin kick to the jaw and a rollup but the ref saw her pulling on the shorts. Mimi hit a Helluva Kick. Zaya pushed the top rope, causing Mimi to fall throat-first across the top rope. Zayda immediately hit the Unprettier faceplant for the pin. Okay.

* Laurent AGAIN got on the mic and he put Zayda over. Dombrowski was forced to say a line that Zayda was “the most downloaded woman of 2023.” She grabbed the mic and started to complain about Court Bauer not giving her a title shot; the crowd drowned her out with boos. An okay segment but just too much Laurent on this show.

* The commercial aired for Mistico, who is coming Feb. 3, when MLW returns to the 2300  Arena in Philadelphia.

2. Good Brother No. 3 defeated Steph De Lander at 8:53. Dombrowski talked about SDL and Mance Warner being a real-life couple. Good Brother No. 3 cut a backstage promo; again, they are making no effort to conceal that he is Mance. She kissed him on the lips and got a rollup for a nearfall. She hit him over the head with a beer can. They went to the floor, where he shoved her head-first into the ring post. GB3 pushed some chairs and a board into the ring. He sat on a chair and she danced suggestively for him. He teased removing his sweater. This whole match is very “WWE-style sports entertainment”; up to you if that’s good or bad.

She slammed him head-first onto an open chair, then she hit a chairshot onto a chair wrapped around his head. SDL speared him through the board set up in the corner at 5:00. GB3 threw a chair at her head and got a nearfall. She hit a low blow uppercut. They paused fighting to talk on the mic. GB3 said he thinks “he found the one” in her, and he dropped to one knee, and asked her to marry “Ol’ Mance, I mean Good Brother No. 3.” She said yes. They celebrated by drinking his beer. He gave her an eye poke, rolled her up, and pinned her. Eye-rolling dumb, yet somehow entertaining enough.

* Backstage, Tom Lawlor and Josh Bishop talked about their upcoming tag match.

* Highlights aired of the grossly, bloody Akira-Rickey Shane Page match from the prior MLW show.

3. Ichiban defeated Jimmy Lloyd at 6:00. Lloyd is popular wherever he goes and he got a nice applause. Ichiban immediately hit some armdrags, then a flip dive to the floor. In the ring, Ichiban hit a Stinger Splash then a series of punches in the corner, with the fans chanting “One!” to each blow. Salina de la Renta and Jesus Rodriguez walked to ringside, distracting Ichiban. Lloyd slammed Ichiban stomach-first to the mat for a nearfall. Ichiban hit a cartwheel-back-elbow and a missile dropkick at 3:30. Ichiban hit his version of Code Red, and Dombrowski called it “Code One.”

Ichiban dove through the ropes but Lloyd caught him and hit a Death Valley Driver onto the floor. Jimmy got a ladder and slid it into the ring. Jesus grabbed Ichiban’s ankle, but Ichiban shrugged it off. Ichiban hit his top-rope flying Flatliner, yanking Lloyd off a ladder, to score the pin. Salina and Rodriguez headed to the back.

4. Nao Kakuta defeated Moko Miyamoto at 6:23. I don’t know these two at all. Moko, with longer dark hair, was all smiles as she walked to the ring and she has a very young face, and she wore a traditional wardrobe. Nao has a shorter Asuka-style haircut and more modern style skirt and top. Nao flipped Moko by her hair. Moko hit a bodyslam and they were both down at 3:00. Nao choked Moko in the ropes and got a nearfall. Moko hit a leg lariat. Nao hit a Flatliner faceplant at 6:00, then a TKO stunner for the pin. Okay.

* Nao left the ring. Moko looked sad as she sat on the mat. Out of the back came Love, Doug! He got in the ring, helped her to her feet, and wondered if “he should be brave tonight.” He said he’s been a secret admirer of her for a long time, and he asked her out to dinner. She said yes. Matt Stryker was disgusted by this.

* Backstage, Zayda was trying to pack up her gear. She opened a door and Brett Ryan Gosselin was going through her gear! She screamed. He pointed out a bottle of nail polish he saw she had. They … agreed they were going shopping together? In one video, BRG has turned from being “B3cca’s boyfriend” to “Zayda’s male effeminate shopping friend.”

5. Delmi Exo defeated Tiara James at 2:32. Stryker said Delmi is “missing something.” Dombrowski agreed Exo has hit a “rough patch.” Standing switches to open. Delmi hit a dropkick; this crowd is quiet. (They already sat through a live episode before this taped event.) Tiara hit some clotheslines. Exo got a rollup for the pin. I rarely write this… but this was bad. These two just weren’t on the same page. Both are better than what we saw here.

* Delmi got on the mic and said she is “finally back on the right track.” However, she has some demons remaining, and she called out Janai Kai. Kai and Salina de la Renta got in the ring. Salina said she’s not getting another match against Kai. Zayda and Saint Laurent (again?) hit the ring. Zayda called Salina a “blue-haired bitch.” All five in the ring began fighting. Refs came ou to separate them. The red-masked goons appeared in the entrance-way. One handed Exo an over-sized key, and the other goon handed her a cell phone.

* We saw a creepy backstage promo from Sami Callihan.

6. Matt Riddle and Alex Kane defeated Tom Lawlor and Josh Bishop (w/Zayda, Saint Laurent) at 10:46. There is just too much Saint Laurent in this promotion; it’s nearly every segment. Lawlor and Riddle opened and the commentators talked about their MMA backgrounds. They traded some intense mat reversals. Kane entered and hit a bely-to-belly suplex on Lawlor at 2:30. Kane hit an Exploder Suplex for a nearfall. Josh got in and he grounded Kane. He hit a bodyslam. Lawlor whipped Riddle into a guardrail. Kane dove through the ropes onto Lawlor. However, as Kane got back into the ring, Bishop caught him and hit a Black Hole Slam at 6:00.

The heels began working over Kane in their corner. Lawlor hit a Bronco Buster in the corner on Kane’s chest. “It’s a sports entertainment maneuver,” Dombrowski said. Riddle finally got the hot tag and he hit an Exploder Suplex on Bishop at 10:00. Kane and Riddle hit stereo German Suplexes. Richard Holliday tried to interfere but Kane knocked him to the floor. Riddle hit a top-rope corkscrew moonsault onto Bishop for the pin. Pretty standard tag match.

7. Satoshi Kojima defeated Sami Callihan at 10:41. We had the ‘tale of the tape,’ showing Kojima has the height and weight advantage. Kojima came out first but Sami attacked him on the stage. They brawled to ringside and Sami tossed chairs in the ring. (I start my stopwatch at first contact.) In the ring, Sami gave Kojima a paper cut between his fingers, earning a “you sick f—!” chant. (The bell hasn’t sounded yet.) Sami gave him a paper cut on his lip. The bell finally rang at 1:30, and Kojima immediately hit a clothesline, so Sami bailed to the floor. Kojima hit his rapid-fire chops on the floor as Callihan was leaning against the ring post.

In the ring, Sami twisted Kojima’s fingers and wrist at 4:00. Sami spit at the referee. He hit his own chops. The crowd chanted “you’re disgusting!” at Sami. Kojima again hit his rapid-fire series of chops at 7:00. Callihan hit a Death Valley Driver for a nearfall. He set up for a piledriver but Satoshi blocked it. They each spit on each other. Kojima hit a DDT at 9:00. Callihan hit a back suplex. Kojima hit a stunner, then a clothesline for a nearfall. He hit a running clothesline for the pin. Solid brawl.

* Backstage Alex Kane sat down for a press conference. He admits he doesn’t love Kojima and the “manufactured hype” pushed on social media. He said Kojima is the next one on his list because he can’t stop this movement of the Bomaye Fight Club.

Final Thoughts: The crowd rebounded for the last two matches, but they were a bit quiet during the middle of the show. Undoubtedly, MLW’s decision to hold four-hour shows (a two-hour live event followed by taping another event) takes a toll on fans. On the plus side, they did an excellent job of promoting the next event on Feb. 3.


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