MLW “Anniversary 24” results (6/22): Vetter’s review of Mads Krule Krugger vs. 1 Called Manders in a bull rope match, Mistico vs. Sar Jr. for the MLW Middleweight Title, Opera Cup matches

By Chris Vetter, Contributor (@chrisvetter73)

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MLW “Anniversary 24”
Taped June 1 2024 in Atlanta, Georgia at Center Stage
Streamed June 22, 2024 on the MLW YouTube Page

This was recorded the same night as the “Battle Riot” event, which streamed live that night.

Saint Laurent walked onto the stage to open the show. (Seriously, the biggest problem with MLW is too much of Saint Laurent, Salina De La Renta and Cesar Duran.) He showed footage of Paul Walter Hauser eliminating Tom Lawlor in the Battle Riot, then he brought Hauser out to interview him. Hauser said he believes “he fits into this world.” Hauser eventually punched Laurent. Lawlor came out of nowhere and attacked Hauser. I liked absolutely nothing about this segment.

* We went to ringside where Joe Dombrowski and Christian Cole provided commentary. The lighting was good.

1. Bobby Fish defeated Adam Priest at 3:25. Priest was given the enhancement talent “already in the ring” treatment while Fish got a full ring intro. Basic reversals early on and PRiest hit a clothesline. Fish slammed Priest back-first into the corner and hit a Dragonscrew Legwhip at 2:00. He hit an Exploder Suplex into the corner for the pin. While I assumed Fish was winning, this was far shorter than I anticipated.

* Dombrowski narrated a video on the history of the Opera Cup, and this year’s field is 16 wrestlers and the brackets were displayed on-screen. There is one mystery ‘wild card’ participant. Footage aired of a very young CM Punk from MLW’s early days, along with footage of his feud with Raven.

2. Davey Boy Smith (w/Saint Laurent) defeated Timothy Thatcher in an Opera Cup tournament first-round match at 12:36. Davey Boy is a two-time winner of the trophy. MORE mic work from Laurent, who boasted about Smith’s accolades and demanded the fans show him some respect. TOO much Laurent. Thatcher is presented as a babyface for a rare change. Thatcher slapped away a handshake offer and they traded standing reversals. Laurant joined commentary to further torment me. Thatcher twisted Smith’s ankle on the mat, then he snapped Smith’s elbow between Timothy’s legs at 4:00, and Thatcher focused on the damaged arm. Thatcher applied a hammerlock and kept Davey Boy grounded.

They rolled to the floor, where Smith hit a snap suplex onto the thin mat at ringside. Thatcher hit a back suplex at 6:30, and he hit some Divorce Court armbreakers. They got up and traded punches, and Thatcher hit some European Uppercuts. Thatcher got a backslide for a nearfall at 9:30 and they traded rollups. Thatcher hit a belly-to-belly suplex and they were both down. Smith hit a DDT for a nearfall. He hit a German Suplex but Thatcher popped up and hit his own German Suplex, so Smith hit a second German Suplex. Thatcher tried to get a Fujiwara Armbar but Smith avoided it and hit a sideslam at 12:00. Smith then hit a sit-out powerbomb for the pin. Good match.

* Saint Laurent and Davey Boy Smith were interviewed and they both (badly) sang the Canadian National Anthem. Smith vowed he would win the Opera Cup for a third time.

* More footage of bad local theater production known as Salina De La Renta and Cesar Duran. I don’t think this sells a single ticket or drives any interest in the show.

* A video package announced that Kenta will be attending the July 12 show, and he’s the mystery man in the Opera Cup, so he will face Bobby Fish in the first round. Then footage aired of Satoshi Kojima winning the MLW title two decades ago. Backstage, Akira spoke to Kojima and Okumura.

3. Bad Dude Tito (w/Salina De La Renta) defeated Jake Crist to retain the MLW National Openweight title at 7:38. In the first minute, Tito hit an Exploder Suplex, tossing Crist over the top rope and to the floor.  He then powerbombed Crist onto the edge of the ring, and he got a nearfall in the ring at 1:30. He hit a short-arm clothesline and was dominating the action. He hit another Exploder Suplex, this one into the corner, and he paused to flex. Crist hit a Sunset Flip Powerbomb and they were both down at 3:30.

Crist hit a baseball slide dropkick in the ropes, then an Asai Moonsault to the floor. In the ring, Crist hit a top-rope crossbody block for a nearfall. He hit a superkick. Tito hit a German Suplex for a nearfall, then a Blue Thunder Bomb for a nearfall at 6:00. Tito nailed a swinging Flatliner for a believable nearfall. Crist hit a roundhouse kick for a nearfall. Brett Ryan Gosselin ran to ringside and snapped Crist’s throat across the top rope! Tito immediately nailed a Drill Claw-style piledriver for the pin.

* Cesar Duran was interviewed backstage, who claimed he’s been a good father to Salina De La Renta. Am I the only one who hates this stuff?

Matt Riddle was interviewed backstage. He isn’t sure when he will cash in his title shot. Sami Callihan attacked him and they brawled. We went back to ringside, where Bobby Fish joined commentary.

4. Akira defeated Ikuro Kwon in an Opera Cup tournament  first-round match at 5:33. Kwon attacked and hit a neckbreaker over his knee. Kwon flipped Akira head-first into the corner at 1:30 and he took control. Akira applied a cross-arm breaker. Akira hit a German Suplex for a nearfall, then a doublestomp. Kwon hit some kicks and a pop-up neckbreaker for a nearfall. Akira bit Kwon’s left arm! He flipped Kwon to the mat for a nearfall at 5:00. Akira then hit an inverted DDT-style slam for the pin. Solid match. The right man won; I had expected Kwon to go over.

* Backstage, Tom Lawlor was ranting about being eliminated from Battle Riot by Paul Michael Hauser. We then flipped to Callihan and Riddle being pulled apart while brawling backstage.

5. Mistico defeated Star Jr. to retain the MLW Middleweight Title at 14:37. Quick lucha reversals early. Mistico wore white and Star Jr. was in blue. Mistio dove through the ropes at 1:30. In the ring, Star Jr. tied him up and kept Mistico grounded with a leglock around the neck. Mistico hit a huracanrana at 5:30. He hit another dive through the ropes at 7:30. Star Jr. hit a top-rope Spanish Fly in the ring for a nearfall at 9:30. Mistico hit a superkick for a nearfall, but he missed a Swanton Bomb. Star Jr. nailed a springboard frogsplash for a nearfall. Mistico hit a top-rope armdrag to the mat and got a nearfall at 14:00. He swung Star Jr. to the mat, slapped on the Fujiwara Armbar, and Star Jr. tapped out. Easily the best action of the night so far.

* Mistico said a few words in Spanish, then said he loves the fans in Atlanta. This isn’t a production problem; he’s just hard to comprehend with the mask on.

* Backstage, Mads “Krule” Krugger spoke. Hail Contra! Back to the arena, where we saw Jimmy Yang seated in the crowd. His daughter came to the ring for the next match!

6. Miyu Yamashita defeated Jazzy Yang and Dani Jordyn at 4:15. Dani has appeared on AEW TV before and she wore pink top and bottom and she’s of average size. Miyu just carries herself like a star and she’s been a regular in GCW and a few other US promotions this year. Miyu hit a stiff kick to Jordyn’s back. Jazzy hit a spin kick to Miyu’s face. Dani hit a running knee to the back of Jazzy’s head. Miyu hit a variety of kicks on Dani. Dani hit a DDT on Miyu for a nearfall at 2:30. Jazzy hit a top-rope splash onto both opponents on the floor, and she got a nearfall on Miyu. Miyu nailed a Skull Kick on Dani, then a Death Valley Driver for the pin. I enjoyed this.

* Backstage, Sami Callihan is still angry at Matt Riddle and “we gotta do this one more time.” He doesn’t care what type of match it is.

* Wrestling executive Gary Juster was honored. A very nice video package aired of his contributions to pro wrestling. He was given a lifetime achievement award. More classic MLW footage aired with Steve Corino and Dusty Rhodes.

7. Mads “Krule” Krugger defeated 1 Called Manders in a bull rope match at 8:42. Krule came out first; Manders attacked him and they brawled on the floor. The Bull ropes are around their wrists. In the ring, Krule choked him over the top rope with the bull rope. He whipped Manders with the rope. Manders hit a top-rope superplex through a table for a nearfall at 6:00. Manders hit a hard clothesline and they were both down. Manders grabbed the cowbell in the middle of the rope and slammed it against Krule’s head, and he wrapped the rope around Mads’ neck. Janai Kai jumped in the ring at 8:30 and kicked Manders. It allowed Krugger to hit a faceplant for the tainted pin. Solid match.

* Backstage, the Contra Unit continued to beat up Manders, as well as Matthew Justice.

* More stupid De La Renta-Duran stuff. She’s pregnant. I feel dumber for having watched this segment.

Final Thoughts: On a production side, this show gets a big thumbs up. We had a good use of video packages, highlight reels, backstage segments, between matches. I love a tournament and one thing it does is it helps a promotion get focused — we had two first-round matches here and already know the other six to come. I know I’m a broken record on this, but the biggest problem is such a heavy emphasis on managers and characters that don’t draw a dime and take up so much camera time. The Mistico match is my preferred style and that earns best match. Smith-Thatcher takes second, and Crist-Tito is third. The main event was a solid brawl and I’m sure many people will like it more than I did. This show is free on YouTube, and the July 12 Blood & Thunder show also will air live and free on YouTube.


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