MLW “The Burning Crush” results: Vetter’s review of Jacob Fatu vs. Mads Krule Krügger in a Baklei Brawl, Rickey Shane Page vs. Jake Crist for the MLW National Openweight Championship


By Chris Vetter, Contributor (@chrisvetter73)

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MLW “The Burning Crush”
Taped February 3, 2024 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at 2300 Arena
Streamed February 17, 2024 on the MLW’s YouTube Page

Joe Dombrowski and Christian Cole provided commentary.

* The show opened with a highlight package, notably showing the returns of Mads Krugger, Raven, as well as Satoshi Kojima defeating Alex Kane to win the MLW Heavyweight Title. Alex Kane then walked onto the stage. He said he started the Bomaye Fight Club for himself, but the fans brought the love and passion to every fight. He said he let everyone down, but the crowd chanted “Bomaye!” He said he thinks it is time for him to step away from MLW. However, Mr. Thomas came out and said Kane is not a “goddamn quitter.” He convinced Kane to stick around, and Kane got on the mic and shouted “Bomaye is forever!” The video screen lit up and it’s “Dolla” AJ Francis! He got booed. He said he would make a “better face of MLW.” Francis will be on the Feb. 29 show. “Just like you couldn’t clear the top rope, you ain’t clearing this one,” Kane said.

1. Tony Deppen, Griffin McCoy, and TJ Crawford defeated Nolo Kitano and “Wasted Youth” Marcus Mathers and Austin Luke at 5:53. Interesting to see Luke (think Cameron Grimes) replace Dyln McKay. Deppen’s heel team attacked at the bell. The babyfaces hit stereo dives through the ropes. Griffin hit a top-rope superplex. The heels immediately began working over Marcus in their corner. Kitano made the hot tag and he hit a backbreaker over his knee on Deppen at 3:00.

Kitan hit a Tiger Driver for a nearfall on TJ. Luke hit a superkick on Griffin and a hesitation dropkick. Luke hit a Nigel-style Tower of London stunner for a nearfall. TJ nailed Luke with a spin kick to the head. Nolo hit a twisting neckbreaker. Mathers hit a missile dropkick. Deppen hit a running double knees on Mathers. Mathers hit a 450 Splash. However, Deppen snuck into the ring and hit Mathers with a running kneestrike on Mathers for the pin. That was a fun sprint.

* Backstage, Sami Callihan, Ricky Shane Page and Cannonball are upset at Raven and Akira. Another commercial showed that Bobby Fish will be returning at the Feb. 29 show. Another short video said Matt Riddle also wants a match.

2. Zayda Steel (w/Brett Ryan Gosselin) defeated Notorious Mimi, Tiara James and Delmi Exo in a four-way at 4:56. Selina De La Renta joined commentary. Everyone attacked Zayda at the bell. Delmi hit a dive through the ropes onto two women and BRG. Mimi then hit a top-rope crossbody block onto all four. In the ring, Mimi hit an X-Factor. Selina was bashing Delmi and said she’s not a serious challenger. Tiara hit a clothesline for a nearfall. Zayda hit some jumping kneestrikes in the corner. Delmi hit a facebuster over her knee. We had a tower spot out of the corner, and Zayda tried pinning each woman after another at 4:00. Mimi hit some spin kicks on Tiara. Delmi hit a Rainmaker clothesline, but she was distracted by Selina. It allowed Zayda to hit an Unprettier on Mimi for the pin.

* Selina attacked Delmi on the floor and they brawled. Meanwhile, Zayda got on the mic and said she’s coming for the Featherweight title. Selina got on the mic and said Zayda won’t get a shot at Janai Kai’s title.

* Backstage, Mads Krule Krugger said he’s been waiting two years to get his hands back on Jacob Fatu. We had a commercial for Intimidation Games on Feb. 29, featuring Alex Kane vs. Bobby Fish. AJ Francis will be there, but not facing Kane.

3. Jake Crist defeated MLW National Openweight Champion Rickey Shane Page (w/Cannonball) via DQ at 3:54. If you haven’t seen Crist in a while, he’s trimmed down and is in tremendous shape. Crist immediately dove through the ropes onto Page, and he hit a DDT onto the floor, then an Asai Moonsault. In the ring, Page hit a powerslam at 1:00. Dombrowski agreed with me, saying Crist is in the best shape of his life. Page tossed Crist around and was in charge. Crist hit a second-rope flying forearm. Dombrowski said these two have met in “dozens of tag team matches” in their careers, as Crist hit a flying crossbody block, then a tornado DDT at 3:30 for a nearfall. Cannonball hopped on the apron but Crist hit a superkick. Sami Callihan jumped in the ring and attacked Crist, causing the DQ. Akira ran in and made the save. Crist hit Cannonball with a top-rope flying chairshot, sending Cannonball through a table.

* Backstage, Cesar Duran yelled at Court Bauer. They talked about a lucha expansion. Duran said he’s bringing Mistico to the lucha show in Chicago. Saint Laurent ran up and said he wants to enter a tag team into a match later, and Bauer agreed. We went to another segment where Satoshi Kojima and Okumura talked to Matthew Justice and 1 Called Manders. Saint Laurent, Davey Boy Smith Jr. and Richard Holliday walked up, and Laurent said his guys deserve title shots, too.

* Dombrowkski revealed the sixth annual Battle Riot will be in Atlanta on June 1.

4. Tom Lawlor (w/Saint Laurent) defeated Matthew Justice at 8:09. Lawlor came out first but Justice attacked him from behind and they brawled on the floor. They got in the ring, but Lawlor hit a Dragonscrew Legwhip at 2:30, and Justice was hobbled. Lawlor hit a back suplex for a nearfall. He tied up Matthew on the mat, but Justice reached the ropes at 5:30. Justice hit a top-rope flying clothesline, then a tornado DDT for a nearfall. Saint Laurent tugged on Justice’s ankle, but Matthew fought free and hit a spear for a nearfall. Manders came to ringside and he yelled at Laurent, and he clotheslined Laurent. Meanwhile in the ring, Lawlor hit a buzzsaw kick to the head and scored the pin.

Cesar Duran stood at the entrance; he has been gone recruiting luchadors from all over the world. Barbaro Cavernario, Atlantis, Mistico were shown on the screen. Salina De La Renta came out and argued at Duran; this became really bad local theater production. They agreed to have a fight later. I didn’t care for this segment.

5. Brett Ryan Gosselin (w/Zayda Steel) defeated Love, Doug in a lumberjack match at 4:06. This feud began when Doug had a crush on B3cca, who is dating BRG. (Of course, B3cca is out of action now.) Doug clotheslined BRG to the floor. I see Ryan Clancy among the lumberjacks; he’s not had a match here yet. Brett hit a dropkick on Doug, but the lumberjacks helped him stay on the apron and not fall to the floor. Doug hit a springboard bulldog for a nearfall at 2:30. Of course, everyone on the floor started fighting. Doug hit a top-rope dive to the floor. In the ring, Gosselin hit an Unprettier faceplant for the pin. A bit messy but acceptable.

* Backstage, Jake Crist, Akira, Raven… and Blue Meanie? … talked briefly. A Blue Meanie appearance is pretty random, but hey, they were in Philly.

6. Satoshi Kojima and Okumura defeated Davey Boy Smith Jr. and Richard Holliday (w/Saint Laurent)  at 6:50. Laurent got on the mic; he is so over-exposed in this promotion. Okumura is currently in Japan as part of the NJPW/CMLL “Fantastica Mania” tour. Holliday and Okumura opened with mat reversals and a standoff. Kojima tagged in at 1:30, so Davey Boy also tagged in. Davey, wearing blue jeans, hit a shoulder tackle. Okumura tagged back in and traded forearm strikes with the much bigger Smith, then Okumura hit a Flatliner for a nearfall.

Kojima got the hot tag at 5:00 and he hit his rapid-fire chops in the corner on Holliday. Kojima hit a DDT on Smith. Okumura hit a running stunner on Holliday. Okumura hit a T-Bone Suplex on Smith, then a rolling summersault from the apron to the floor on Smith. In the ring, Kojima hit a stunner on Holliday for a believable nearfall. Kojima then hit a clothesline for the pin on Holliday. A bit of a surprise, I presumed Okumura was in this match to eat the pin.

* We learned who has signed the open contract to face Matt Riddle… it is Bad Dude Tito! While I’ve seen plenty of Tito in NJPW Strong and on some West Coast indies… I don’t know if that name is big enough to grab people’s attention, even though that should be a fantastic pairing.

7. Mads “Krule” Krugger defeated Jacob Fatu at 11:20. Krugger came out first. Fatu powerwalked to the ring and they brawled on the floor. Krugger hit a chairshot over the back at 3:00, and they finally got in the ring. Fatu threw a chair at Krugger. Krugger slammed him face-first onto an open chair. Krugger set up a table in the corner. Krugger charged at Fatu, but Fatu moved and Krugger crashed through the door. Krugger slammed Fatu hit a pop-up Samoan Drop at 7:30, then a handspring-back-moonsault, then a dive through the ropes onto Krugger.

In the ring, Fatu hit a spear for a nearfall, then a top-rope Swanton Bomb for a nearfall. They went to the floor, where Fatu speared Krugger through a table leaning against the guardrail at 9:00. In the ring, Fatu hit him with a kendo stick. He slipped in the corner but still hit a top-rope moonsault for a nearfall. Krugger threw a fireball in Fatu’s eyes! Krugger applied a full nelson and slammed Fatu face-first to the mat and scored the pin. Okay brawl. With Fatu apparently exiting the promotion, this is the right finish.

* The masked Contra goons came to ringside and they put Fatu in a body bag and zipped it shut. They then carried the body bag to the back.

Final Thoughts: MLW somehow keeps plugging along… even though Fatu has apparently joined Calvin Tankman, Alexander Hammerstone, EJ Nduka, Arez and Aramis in leaving. A solid show and it didn’t have a gross, violent hardcore match like the last show (which occurred at the same event as this taped show.) Nothing must-see here but the opening six-man had good energy, and Fatu always delivers in the ring, too.

I really think MLW spends too much time letting managers and valets speak. There is just too much Saint Laurent, Salina De La Renta, and Cesar Duran talking. I really would rather hear from some of the wrestlers. A reminder the next live MLW show is Thursday, February 29, on Triller+.


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