Alec Price and Wasted Youth def. TJ Crawford, Tony Deppen and Griffin McCoy
Price is someone to keep an eye out for this year. Granted, all six of these stars are talented, but Price may have a higher ceiling than the rest of them and belongs on a bigger platform in 2024. Wasted Youth have also been impressive as of late and rack up yet another victory. They have to be next in line for a shot at the MLW World Tag Team Championship, right? This was a very fun opener.
MLW World Women's Featherweight Champion Janai Kai def. Hyper Misao
MLW wisely continues book Kai like an unstoppable force. MLW viewers probably aren't familiar with Misao (I'm certainly not), but she scored enough offense that she definitely gained something even in defeat. They had a well-worked match in the time they were allotted. I was never the biggest fan of Kai previously, but this is the perfect role for her. She's having a solid run as champion and they've done everything right with her so far.
MLW World Tag Team Champions Second Gear Crew (Matthew Justice and 1 Called Manders) def. WTF Superstars (Josh Bishop and "Filthy" Tom Lawlor)
The World Titan Federation haven't had a lot of luck lately, so I thought they might capture the tag titles here to start building some momentum. Well, apparently not. This was one of those instances where I don't believe it was advertised as a No Disqualification match, but it basically was one. They had a good brawl and Bishop had a standout performance. That's why I was puzzled when he was pinned decisively. You'd think they'd want to protect him considering he just debuted.
MLW National Openweight Champion Rickey Shane Page def. AKIRA in a Taipei Deathmatch
AKIRA previously lost to Page twice, so it made sense for this to be where he finally gave Page his comeuppance and took the title. Again, apparently not. The hardcore stuff isn't my cup of tea personally, especially with how overdone it's been in MLW in recent months, but they certainly made the most of the stipulation, I'll say that much. Sami Callihan was already advertised for this event, so his appearance wasn't a surprise, but him costing AKIRA the win was. We'll see if this means he's joining The Calling (I hope not) or if he simply has a score to settle with AKIRA.
Love, Doug def. Brett Ryan Gosselin in a Love is Blind(fold) Match
Props to these two for building up a nice little storyline over the last month or two. Funnily enough, I'm familiar with both guys from the stuff they've done in Northeast Wrestling. They compliment each other well. Blindfold matches tend to be silly and this was no exception, but it worked for what it was and didn't overstay its welcome. Gosselin cheating to win keeps the feud alive. By the way, when's B3CCA coming back?
MLW World Heavyweight Champion Alex Kane def. Richard Holliday
The top title should almost always go on last, but Matt Riddle vs. Jacob Fatu was the bigger attraction and therefore was the better fit for that spot. I enjoyed this, but I could've done without all of the nonsense that comes with anything involving the WTF. Much like Cardona, this felt like a one-off for Holliday as he's another notable name Kane can lay claim to beating. I believe he remains a free agent should any company want to sign him soon (and they should).
Satoshi Kojima and Sami Callihan Brawled
Kojima was named next in line for a shot at the MLW World Heavyweight Championship, which is logical seeing as how he defeated Lawlor at One Shot last month in addition to how he was the inaugural MLW World Heavyweight Champion. Callihan quickly crashed the segment because he believes he's more deserving of the opportunity, so it's possible Kane defends against both of them on the next live special. I like how they didn't waste any time announcing Kane's next challenger.
Matt Riddle def. Jacob Fatu
I wasn't watching MLW during Riddle's last run, but I know it's where he came into his own as a performer ahead of signing with WWE. It's fitting his first match post-WWE was with MLW and it was a banger to boot. Fatu is obviously excellent in his own right, so it was hardly shocking they gelled so well together. I assume he's here to stay for the foreseeable future based on the outcome. My only nitpick of this was Matt Striker's stupid comments about Riddle on commentary (seek them out if you don't know what I'm talking about). I'm not sure why he thought those things would be smart to say with them being in poor taste, but it also wouldn't be the first time he has said something dumb.
MLW's hiatus for the holidays breezed by and they came back with a bang here. This didn't dawn on me, but I saw someone say that MLW may have been able to increase their budget after settling with WWE in that lawsuit and there might be something to that. I know Riddle has history in MLW, but I'm sure he doesn't come cheap. If that's the case, I'm looking forward to MLW hopefully expanding their roster some more in 2024. As for Kings of Colosseum, it was an easy thumbs-up event with enough quality matches to make it worthwhile, especially at the end.