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MLW Underground: Aug 29th – The End of Underground?

Welcome to the MLW Underground: Aug 29th review. I’m not going to lie, I was left wildly confused by the previous episode of Underground. We had one match, which was a really great match to be fair, and a series of promos that showed both the introduction and the closure to the anxiously awaited Orlando show that the entire series has been building up to. I was left confused as to whether or not we were even getting the conclusion to this series of shows, which it now seems as though we are, so I am feeling slightly better than I had previously.

In general MLW news, well… there is a lot of good news. Not only are independent wrestling shows making a return while seemingly putting forth their best effort in creating a safe environment for both fans and wrestlers, MLW itself recently announced the return of the promotion in the fall. We are bound to see some really significant differences from the last time we saw an episode of Fusion. Wrestlers such as MJF will never be seen again, while newcomers such as Calvin Tankman are sure to make an incredible impact. I’m not exactly sure what we will be collectively viewing, but I’m sure we can trust MLW to deliver. For the time being, it is time to dive back into the past with yet another episode of Underground.

The show starts with the never before seen “Horsemen Cam” (side note: the “XXXX Cam” was very much a thing throughout the late 90s and early 2000s), and we join Steve Corino and the gang inside of the Horsemen’s limo. Unfortunately for Terry Funk, he is spotted outside of the building and the Horsemen unsurprisingly jump him and leave him bloody in front of the venue. While not a surprising piece of television, that must have been an absolute treat for the patrons waiting outside.

Joey Styles is so good at his job. For some reason he has to sell a second attack on Bill Alfonso from La Parka and states that it is too violent to show on television. Whether Bill was a no-show or the company just decided to add this little detail, Styles looks as though he comes up with the angle on the spot, because he definitely isn’t viewing the violence on a monitor. “Bill Alfonso will not be in Sabu’s corner any time soon”, Styles states… maybe it’s because Bill screwed up every single spot he was involved in during the previous Sabu match. Just sayin’.

We are sixteen minutes into this episode and all we have seen are promos – a repeat of a previous Corino promo, Paul London and Los Maximos. There isn’t enough to really talk about with any level of depth and substance. I was all excited about these Tabu shows and we seem to be getting one match per show… unfortunately, our single match on this episode is the Tag Team Championship match with the Extreme Horsemen and an over-the-hill ‘Dr. Death’ Steve Williams. I honestly don’t remember the name of Williams’ protégé… do you see my mood shifting? We didn’t even get to see the Mike Awesome and Masato Tanaka match, they just showed a clip of Awesome putting Tanaka through a table with an Awesome Bomb. What is happening? Styles even said that they are only showing clips of Sabu and La Parka from the King of Kings home video… I’m like… really sad.

PJ Friedman and Dr. Death vs. The Extreme Horsemen – MLW Tag Team Championship

The matches throughout the previous tag tournament leading to this match were well placed in the mid-card. They have been fairly short affairs, the results of which were never in question. Friedman is really green, Williams is too weathered to be wrestling at the highest level. I am already aware of the ultimate result of the championship match, but even if I wasn’t, I could venture a guess as to who was coming out on top of this one. The Horsemen are homegrown in MLW and it makes all the sense in the world to put the belts on them. As a team, Simon Diamond and CW Anderson have looked pretty solid. Both heavyweight bruisers, they do a good job in looking imposing while successfully playing the heel bruisers.

There are only four minutes remaining in this episode of Underground when the wrestlers START making their entrances. I’m guessing this won’t be much of a contest. In fact, I thought it was over immediately because The Horsemen actually take a chair to Friedman just as he comes through the curtain. Dr. Death gets some offense in while his partner is on the ground, but considering it is two-on-one, his fire goes out pretty quickly.

They cut ahead in the match after a replay of Anderson’s spine-buster on Dr. Death, and Friedman gets a chair kicked into his face and takes the pin. I don’t even know how he became the legal man.

Final Thoughts

I think I may be officially over it with Underground. This really took the wind out of my sails after almost two months of really solid programming that may have been wonky at times, but always delivered on surprises. I know for a fact there were instances when I wasn’t exactly jazzed about watching this show, but Underground always turned it around by the end. I don’t know if MLW is attempting to stretch these out before they get to new Fusion episodes in the Autumn, but the last two episodes have been just plain weird. Where is Christopher Daniels, CM Punk, Vampiro, Kojima, Lynn and all the others that allowed me to gravitate toward this forgotten piece of wrestling history? That six-man tag from a couple of weeks ago may have been the climax of Underground, and that’s ok, but I am really missing The Dynasty in this moment.

Written by Andrew Stewart

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