Second Gear Crew (1 Called Manders and Matthew Justice) def. The Calling (AKIRA and MLW National Openweight Champion Rickey Shane Page) in a Ladder Match to Win the MLW World Tag Team Championship
The last thing wrestling needs is more Ladder matches (I've seen enough to last me a lifetime), but admittedly, the stipulation did make this match more interesting because I'm not overly invested in either team. They made the most of it and the crowd was into the action. Page and AKIRA have been teasing tension as of late, so this felt like the right time for Second Gear Crew to finally take the titles. The post-match angle certainly seems to suggest AKIRA has been officially booted from the group.
Matt Cardona def. Mance Warner in a Loser Leaves MLW Match
These two have been feuding for a few months, and while the stipulation was logical in that their bad blood can't allow them to coexist in the same company, it didn't pack much of a punch because Cardona's only been with MLW since September. I'm also not convinced Warner is actually gone from MLW. That said, they had a decent hardcore match. They went the "swerve" route with Steph De Lander showing up and teasing helping her boyfriend Warner win, only to turn on him and help Cardona pick up the victory. How many people watching were aware they're together in real life or even care? I get what they were going for, but the angle didn't come off as well as they were probably expecting it to.
Mascara Dorada and Ichiban def. MLW World Middleweight Champion and CMLL World Historic Welterweight Champion Rocky Romero and Barbaro Cavernario
This was part of MLW's working relationship with CMLL. For the record, Dorada is not Metalik but rather another person who is now using the name. I'm not familiar with him or Cavernario, but they were impressive while Ichiban and Romero shined as always. This was a fun lucha tag match with no dull moments. Ichiban is owed a shot at the MLW World Middleweight Championship, so it made sense for his team to go over.
MLW World Heavyweight Champion Alex Kane def. Jacob Fatu
These two got way more time than I thought they would. It definitely went longer than it needed to, but it was still very good and they put forth a strong effort. Despite not being officially billed as such, it was basically a No Disqualification match considering all the weapons they ended up using. It would have been easy for the finish to be a no contest with the show-closing brawl starting sooner, but I'm glad Kane won decisively. He's now beaten the last three men to hold the top title since dating back to 2019 and that's a hell of an endorsement of him. Post-match, Mister Saint Laurent's new WTF stable surfaced and they were joined by Alexander Hammerstone, who was believed to have requested his release but apparently will be sticking around a little longer. I do think he wanted out and that this is their way of using him for the time being until he is able to actually depart.
I have no idea why MLW would run this event opposite of AEW's Full Gear pay-per-view since not a single soul was talking about it on social media, but maybe they had little choice. On the bright side, this was another short and sweet show from MLW that ended up being fairly noteworthy with the tag titles changing hands, Steph De Lander debuting, and the big angle at the end. It was an enjoyable two hours and hopefully it helps MLW gain more positive momentum.