MLW “Fury Road” results (5/18): Vetter’s review of Satoshi Kojima vs. 1 Called Manders for the MLW Title, Janai Kai vs. Delmi Exo vs. Miyu Yamashita vs. Zayda for the MLW Featherweight Title, Matt Riddle vs. Sami Callihan

By Chris Vetter, Contributor (@chrisvetter73)

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MLW “Fury Road”
Taped May 11, 2024 in Chicago, Illinois at Cicero Stadium
Streamed May 18, 2024 on the MLW’s YouTube Page

Attendance was about 600 and it was a sellout. Joe Dombrowski and Christian Cole provided commentary. Joe said it was the largest gate and attendance in the company’s history. Several times, the cameras panned out and showed this packed room; they really used some good angles to make this room look large and packed.

1. Jake Crist defeated Brett Ryan Gosselin at 5:31. Crist hit a kick that sent BRG to the floor just seconds into the match. Crist dove through the ropes, then he hit an Asai Moonsault. BRG took control in the ring and hit a short-arm clothesline for a nearfall at 2:30. He snapped Jake’s throat across the ropes and kept Crist grounded. Crist hit a clothesline for a nearfall. BRG hit a spear at 5:00 and was booed. Jake got a backslide for the pin. BRG stomped on him some more after the loss.

* A video package of highlights of last week, ending with the Azteca henchmen kidnapping Selina De La Renta. Worst angle of the year?

2. Akira defeated Bobby Fish at 5:54. They immediately traded mat reversals. Fish hit a slingshot senton for a nearfall at 1:30. Akira hit a Dragonscrew Legwhip in the ropes, then a top-rope flying forearm for a nearfall. Fish hit a legsweep that knocked Akira off the apron to the floor. Fish applied an ankle lock, but Akira reached the ropes at 4:30. Fish suplexed Akira into the turnbuckles for a nearfall. Akira hit a Dragon Suplex, then a roundhouse kick to the head, then a Snow Plow move for the pin. Good action.

* Backstage, Matt Riddle selected his Battle Riot number out of a tumbler. He was pleased with it, but he didn’t share what number he drew.

3. Alex Kane defeated A-Game at 1:26. Kane came out first. Outside, AJ Francis pulled up. He sent in a young, thin Black man, A-Game, to fight. Kane hit a suplex on the floor and I started my stopwatch at first contact. They got in the ring, the bell rang, and Kane choked him out. On the video screen, AJ Francis challenged Kane to a “Ritual Combat” match on June 1, and the winner gains control of the Bomaye Fight Club. Back in the arena, Kane accepted the challenge.

4. Mads “Krule” Krugger defeated Matthew Justice in a falls count anywhere match at 8:21. Justice beat up four Contra soldiers just to get to the ring. Mads dove onto him to kickstart the match and I started my stopwatch here. He chokeslammed Justice onto the ring apron. Justice slammed door shards over Krule’s head. He tossed garbage cans and boards in the ring. He slammed the garbage can on Krule’s head at 4:00, and he shoved gusset plates into Krule’s chest and the top of his head, and Krule was immediately bleeding a lot. This is gross. They brawled out of the ring and up into the bleachers. Krule flipped Justice over the railing and Justice crashed 10-15 feet down, onto a table. Krule then climbed on the prone Justice for the pin. This match just didn’t need those gusset plates and blood loss. Justice got up and kept fighting the masked goons.

* After a commercial, we saw Krugger and Justice fight down a flight of stairs. Janai Kai helped beat up Justice, so I guess she is aligned with him now.

5. Janai Kai defeated Miyu Yamashita, Delmi Exo and Zayda (Steel) in a four-way to retain the MLW Featherweight Title at 6:42. Zayda was fighting in Korakuen Hall in Japan on Saturday while this taped show was airing. All four fought at the bell. Zayda dove through the ropes onto Janai at 1:30. In the ring, Delmi hit a standing neckbreaker on Miyu. Zayda wanted to team up with Janai; Kai responded by hitting her with some kicks for a nearfall. Kai hit a stiff kick to Zayda’s spine at 4:00. Kai and Miyu traded spin kicks; they shoved Zayda out of the way so they could continue their strike exchange. Delmi hit a top-rope double dropkick on both. Zayda went for I’m Prettier, but Delmi blocked it. Janai tied up both Zayda and Miyu in a double Demon Clutch, and one of them tapped out. That was really good.

* Backstage, Saint Laurent was on the phone and he said he’s going to melt down the title belt and turn it into a WTF belt. Satoshi Kojima attacked Laurent and reclaimed his belt. Manders came up and shook his hand, noting they are fighting each other later.

6. Matt Riddle vs. Sami Callihan ended in a double count-out at 10:42. Dombrowski noted that Riddle is still undefeated in MLW. They started brawling on the floor; Cole noted the bell hadn’t sounded. Callihan whipped him into the guardrail. Sami accidentally chopped the ring post. Sami got his 8×10 photo to give Riddle a paper cut between his fingers. (They are both in the ring now but the bell hasn’t rang.) Sami gave him a paper cut between his toes! That’s what you get for wrestling barefoot! The bell rang at 3:00. Riddle hit a jumping knee for a believable nearfall, then a senton.

Callihan hit a piledriver and remained in charge. They brawled to the floor, and bot got back in at 7:00 before being counted out. They traded forearm strikes while on their knees, then while standing. Riddle hit a top-rope corkscrew splash for a nearfall. Sami shoved the ref into the way, and Riddle hit a stunner on the ref! Callihan hit a low blow and a piledriver; a new ref counted a nearfall at 9:30. Riddle applied a modified Tarantula in the ropes; Sami BIT A TOE to escape! They brawled more on the floor. As Riddle tried to climb back into the ring at the nine-count, Sami pulled him back to the floor, and the ref counted them both out. Again, “official” bell-to-bell time is about 7:40.

* Backstage, Bad Dude Tito was beating up the red masked Azteca henchmen and he confronted Cesar Duran. He wants to know where Selina is.

* Dombrowski announced that Contra will unveil a new member at Battle Riot on June 1 in Atlanta. Overall, MLW is doing a good job in promoting Battle Riot on this show.

7. Satoshi Kojima (w/Okumura) defeated 1 Called Manders to retain the MLW Heavyweight Title at 9:22. We have the ‘tale of the tape’ graphic with height, weight, etc., and I just think this adds so much. Christian Cole noted that Satoshi has a “torn-up knee.” Dombrowski reiterated these two were just  teammates in the war games match. Manders knocked him down with a shoulder tackle. They brawled to the floor and traded forearm strikes. They got back into the ring at 3:00, with Manders in charge. Kojima hit his rapid-fire chops in the corner. It was then Manders’ turn for rapid-fire chops in the corner.

Manders sat on the top turnbuckle; Kojima clotheslined him to the floor at 6:00. In the ring, Manders hit a Doctor Bomb/gutwrench powerbomb for a nearfall. Satoshi hit a stunner for a nearfall at 8:30. Manders hit a hard clothesline for a nearfall. Kojima hit a clothesline for a nearfall. Kojima hit another clothesline for the pin. Solid match.

* The Contra goons, all dressed in black, hit the ring and beat up Kojima, Manders and Okumura. Krule and Janai Kai came to the ring, too, and she hit some kicks. The ref got beat up too. Matthew Justice and Akira ran down for the save. “We have lost all control in Chicago!” Christian Cole shouted. More guys from the locker room hit the ring.

Final Thoughts: This show topped my admittedly low expectations. Sami-Riddle was really good for the time given, and I fully expected the non-finish. The post-main event brawl really worked for this crowd. The women’s four-way was really good, and the opening matches were solid, short bouts. My biggest problem with the show was that gusset plate causing Krule to bleed so much. The match just didn’t need it. MLW’s biggest problem continues to be its reliance on Cesar Duran and Selina De La Renta, and they still haven’t told us which one is a babyface, or why we should care about either of them. I will reiterate that they did a great job in telling us what to expect at Battle Riot.


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