Airdate: Saturday, July 20
Taped: Saturday, July 6
Location: Cicero Stadium in Illinois
*Alex Hammerstone over Davey Boy Smith Jr. by DQ at 9:23 for the MLW National title
*L.A. Park & El Hijo de L.A. Park over Dr. Wagner Jr. & El Hijo de Dr. Wagner Jr. in 16:29
-The opening of the show was excellent with Salina de la Renta on top of a blanket with a chalice that was designed to contain blood. The two sides are feuding after Warner stole L.A. Park’s ‘golden ticket’ he received for a future MLW title shot after winning Battle Riot II. She began to recite a curse towards Warner and wrote out ‘666’ on the blanket to summon Bestia 666’s arrival in MLW as de la Renta’s hired hand. The style of this video was so great and de la Renta continues to be one of the best characters in wrestling and on my shortlist for best non-wrestler of 2019.
-The Dynasty cut a series of promos before Alex Hammerstone’s match against Davey Boy Smith Jr. Backstage, it was Richard Holliday running down the Hart family alongside Hammerstone and Ariya Blake. Each member of the group has their role with MJF as the leader, Hammerstone is the muscle that you sense will eventually turn, Holliday plays the brains of the operation, and Blake is the sidekick dating MJF and accentuates his role as the top asshole. In the ring, MJF stated the Hart family grew up near a nuclear power plant and Teddy Hart wears his gold chains to hide his gills, which Jim Cornette was appalled by.
-Alex Hammerstone retained the National title due to disqualification after Smith used the Canadian flag. They had a good match, led by Smith’s aggression that the audience responded to and cheered him throughout. Hammerstone attacked his elbow dropping him onto the guardrail. They traded German suplexes to put the two on the same level in terms of power. Smith landed a diving head butt when MJF spit on the Canadian and put it into his nose (the Shawn Michaels spot from 1997) and led to Smith attacking him and using the flag as a weapon against Holliday and Hammerstone when the match ended. You could never get away doing this with the American flag. The match was good, and the audience was behind Smith. They had the logical explanation for Teddy Hart and Brian Pillman’s absence that their flight was delayed.
-There was a feature on Marshall & Ross Von Erich and setting their sights on Contra Unit. They have inherited the Von Erich’s delivery style, which doesn’t jump through the screen in delivery, but the charm is there that makes them feel like regular guys. Contra Unit accepted their challenge later in the show for a tag match next week involving Simon Gotch & Josef Samael.
-The overarching feud is between Salina de la Renta and Konnan with the threat of a ‘secret’ that de la Renta is holding over Konnan. This week, Konnan revealed he found de la Renta’s phone after last week’s issues between de la Renta and Warner. I assume Konnan knows the password because he has threatened to expose the contents of the phone. Salina’s carrier must be very liberal regarding their security measures.
-Mance Warner cut a promo stating “the devil ain’t got shit on Mance Warner” referencing Bestia 666. He took a pail of blood and put it over his face and is planning to “kill”. He is great.
-The main event featured L.A. Park & El Hijo de L.A. Park against Dr. Wagner Jr. & El Hijo de Dr. Wagner Jr. The environment was great because at the MLW shows they encourage the usage of airhorns and makes it feel like an authentic Lucha Libre match in Mexico as opposed to Luchadores transplanted in the United States. The match dragged at certain points, but it was structured around several dives with stereo suicide dives from each team. L.A. Park removed Dr. Wagner Jr’s mask and led to a funny story from Cornette about catching Mil Mascaras without his mask in 1990 prior to an international flight where he was prohibited from wearing it. Wagner Jr. hit a somersault senton off the apron to L.A. Park and crashed into the announcer’s desk, which didn’t look fun. L.A Park pinned El Hijo de Dr. Wagner Jr. with a spear. It was longer than it needed to be, but the audience seemed lively and the four worked at a good pace. El Hijo de L.A. Park was the standout and relied on for a lot.
-Overall, I wouldn’t say either match was a must-see but each one was an easy-watch. The show was highlighted by the variety of personalities with free reign on promos that stand out and build their respective promos. It has a territorial feel hearing from Mance Warner, The Dynasty, Konnan, The Von Erichs, and that awesome feature off the top with Salina de la Renta. They promoted next week’s match between Warner and Bestia 666 very well and made Bestia feel like a big deal.
*Marshall & Ross Von Erich vs. Josef Samael & Simon Gotch
*Mance Warner vs. Bestia 666
*Tom Lawlor speaks after losing the MLW title
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