I am aware of the MLW name, but I know nothing about MLW. I believe Austin Aries wrestled for MLW or maybe still does, but other than hearing about some names like Aries I am not familiar with the product. I saw Episode 16 was listed as “free” on Fite.tv so I decided to watch Episode 15 to see what the show is like. Here comes the review!
Maybe I’m wrong, but the graphics and “previously seen” package reminded me so much of Lucha Underground. Not just because Cesar Duran is on the show, but the graphics look and feel was eerily similar. Anyone else feel this way? Is this intentional?
MLW Azteca started off explaining MLW is touring Mexico. Alex Kane will face Aerostar later in the match. Where did Cesar Duran take Hammerstone? Plus Pagano faces Savio Vega in a hardcore match coming up.
MLW Tag Team Championship Match
5150 (c) vs Skalibur & Destiny
There was some really good fast-paced lucha wrestling in this match. A package before the match tells us 5150 are the heels. When 5150 was able to turn the match into a tag team match and isolate one member of the team at a time, it became very clear that 5150 was by far the better team. I really enjoyed this match even though I had no idea who these guys were. It didn’t matter. The wrestling was fun, entertaining, and the story made sense. If this is MLW, I definitely want more!
Match ended with an attack on 5150 by Drago and Aerostar. It was announced later that these four would face each other on the next episode for the tag titles.
Overall Match Rating – 3.5 stars
Flurry of Segments
Savio Vega Package. Savio wants his company back from Cesar Duran. I don’t know the story well since this is my first episode, so there’s something I’m missing here. N-Zo Segment. Pass, not interested. Davey Richards signs contract extension. MLW wants to find Hammerstone. EJ “The Judge” Nduka video package. A lot of information thrown around in a very short time. Keep up or you’re missing something! Lastly, N-Zo suspended for not apologizing for attack. I didn’t know he was in MLW anyway, so the world is now back to normal.
MLW National Openweight Championship
Alex Kane (c) vs Aerostar
Alex Kane is champion and should have run through Aerostar easily. It never felt like Aerostar had a chance to win and even the few offensive moves he did yielded minor damage against Kane. It took Kane a while to put Aerostar away and was only able to do so after 5150 interfered as retribution for the earlier attack while the referee was distracted. I honestly left this match thinking less of Kane and questioning how he got here because this match diminished him as a champion in my mind. Maybe that was the intent or maybe it was an unintended consequence of how the match played out.
If nothing else, it is clear that this episode is all about 5150 so far. I like them but save something for next week.
Overall Match Rating – 1.5 Stars
Another Flurry of Segments
Cesar Duran Segment. Everyone wants to find Hammerstone. EJ Nduka showed up looking for Hammerstone. Duran asked him to step inside. Bestia 666 promo package. Cut to Mads Krugger chained up. Contra name tossed around. Some lady there offering Krugger to face Fatu if he faces Bestia 666 first, calling him a “Gremlin From Hell.” Match is set. Another “finding Hammerstone” scene. Beef segment? I had to go to the MLW website to look at the roster. Based on the photos, I’m guessing this segment was Gnarls Garvin. Not sure I want to see this guy again. Is he mentally challenged or just supposed to be very southern? Davey Richards was attacked and his cup is missing.
Savio Vega vs Pagano
First of all, I had no idea Savio Vega was still wrestling. He’s never been known as being an extremely fit person, but he does not look like he should be walking laps around a track let alone being in a hardcore match in MLW.
I kept hoping the action would get better. It was a hardcore match and besides a couple of plastic folding chairs in the ring, there really wasn’t much hardcore about this match. It was almost like the two wrestlers realized this and decided to bring out the thumbtacks towards the end. Savio Vega was cut, so if your definition of hardcore is blood, tacks, and foreign objects this was “hardcore.”
Pagano won. I kept asking myself “why” throughout this whole match. I don’t know why this match happened or why Savio Vega is still wrestling at all. I’m sure Pagano could probably have a good match with someone else, but this was a train wreck.
Overall Match Rating – 0.5 Star
Hammerstone is found in a segment to close the show.
Overall Show Rating – 1.5 Stars
Final Summary: I’m probably giving the overall rating a much higher score than it deserved. The first half of the show was really good. I literally went back to the video and paused at the halfway point, which is at the start of the Kane/Aerostar match. This is exactly where the show started going downhill. Thank God for 5150! They were the saving grace for the entire show. After the first half of the show, I just felt confused and frustrated wondering how I was stuck watching such bad content when the first half was so great. For my first introduction to MLW, I leave with very mixed feelings. I want to see what happens next, so I guess it did what it was supposed to do. But I just don’t know which MLW I am going to get in the next episode!