MLW National Openweight Champion Jacob Fatu def. Calvin Tankman
Fatu is the perfect fit as National Openweight champ right now because he's over and can have a good match with just about anyone and this was no exception. I don't know why we haven't seen more of Tankman lately and thus he didn't feel like a legitimate threat to the title, but they worked well together and had a quality contest. I appreciated that Tankman scored plenty of offense before losing and hopefully this means he won't disappear from programming coming out of this event.
MLW World Women's Featherweight Champion Delmi Exo def. Ava Everett in a Winner Takes All Match to Win the wXw Women's Championship
I didn't know much about Everett or wXw prior to this match being announced, but I appreciated the effort to familiarize fans with Everett via the pre-match video package. She's skilled and I thought she had an impressive showing here. She and Exo had a nice match and with the win, Exo is now a double champion. We'll see if that means we'll be seeing Everett more in MLW going forward or if it's just another belt for Exo to hold.
"Hot Sauce" Tracy Williams def. Timothy Thatcher by Referee Stoppage
I was looking forward to this because both guys are wrestling machines and are capable of an excellent match. It started out well enough and I enjoyed what we got, but it was such a bummer that Thatcher got hurt and it cut the match short. It looked like he spiked his head because he could barely kick out of Williams' pin attempt. Hopefully he's okay. Maybe they can run it back at some point?
Mance Warner def. Sam Adonis in a Country Whipping Match
Adonis has the gift of gab, so I'm glad he got some mic time beforehand to generate some last-minute heel heat from the crowd. These two recently had a Leather Strap match on Fusion that Adonis won in fluky fashion. This was similar in the sense that they beat the hell out of each other, except they were strapped together.
Mister Saint Laurent Announced Matt Cardona's MLW Debut
Apparently MLW has an "open draft" going on right now, which I honestly had no idea unless I missed something that was said on Fusion in recent weeks. I guess it's something they've done in the past, but I don't understand the purpose of "drafting" someone to the brand when they can just sign someone instead. It's not as if MLW has two opposing brands. Nonetheless, Cardona is a cool get for MLW. He's shown up in a lot of different promotions since leaving WWE in 2020 and MLW will be fresh scenery for him.
The Calling (MLW World Middleweight Champion AKIRA and Rickey Shane Page) def. Samoan SWAT Team (Lance Anoa'i and Juicy Finau) in a Fans Bring the Weapons Tag Team Match to Win the MLW World Tag Team Championship
Samoan SWAT Team just had a hardcore match this past week on Fusion. This didn't feel much different, and it didn't help that we already had a hardcore match on this show with Warner and Adonis and it felt very similar to that. Of course, I'm biased because The Calling does nothing for me, but I suppose this was fine on the whole. I hate that The Calling are collecting more gold, but then again, I'm not sure who's left for Samoan SWAT Team to defend against given the lack of depth in MLW's tag team division.
I continue to get Jillian Hall vibes from B3CCA and I don't mean that as a compliment. She's decent in the ring from what I've seen, but the signing shtick hasn't clicked and I'd rather MLW not waste time on a special show like this on a mini concert when it isn't entertaining. Love, Doug was the name of the dude who crashed the concert at the end. He's a comedy character, but I've dug the work I've seen from him recently on the independent scene.
Alex Kane def. Alexander Hammerstone to Win the MLW World Heavyweight Championship
I know Kane has organically gotten over in the last few months (even though there was never a formal face turn), but I didn't expect the crowd to be so anti-Hammerstone. That surprised me, but it added to the atmosphere and gave this a big fight feel. Kane proved he could hang at the main event level and they had a top-notch match. Hammerstone has been a champion in one way or another for four years now, so him losing here came off like a massive moment. MLW has done a commendable job of building up Kane up to this point and now we'll see if he can deliver as champion.
This was the first pay-per-view/live special MLW has done since I started following the product in late 2021 and I'd definitely be down for them doing more of them, especially if they're also going to be on the shorter side like this one was. I'm glad Kane winning the MLW World Heavyweight Championship was saved for this show because it closed out the night on an eventful note. The middle of the show wasn't strong, but it was worthwhile and solid overall.