Don’t worry, we’ve got a new MLW/Azteca Underground series coming in January! And I’m not sure this Major League Wrestling Alpha mini-series has been entirely successful. Too much soap opera. This week was a good case in point. Let’s see what worked and didn’t in some segments.
Arez v Aramis
Worked: Their in ring quality. They did this a few weeks ago on MLW Alpha and there’s no reason they couldn’t be just as good here. They weren’t, but it was still bloody good. An Arez slide out to a gutwrench suplex? An Arez pop up uppercut? Helicopter powerbomb from Aramis? All great.
Add to that Aramis and his fabulous moonsault to the outside the Arez thing of beauty, that twisting legdrop for the pin.
Not Working: El Jefe Cesar Duran with a caseful of cash, seemingly saying this was to determine the best Lucha in MLW. Hang on, there are other Luchas in MLW. Where was the tournament? Never mind that – there’s cash!
The Guerilla Journo
Escobar? With his phone? Getting the scoops? He never finds anything out. Just runs away and leaves footage CSI couldn’t decipher.
The Mexican Connection
Not Working: When you show El Jefe to be weak, beset with problems and reverses, it isn’t a good look for the ultimate boss of MLW. When you bring in a woman to join him but don’t explain it, it’s even worse. So here the lights turned red, she provocatively sashayed up to Myron Reed and showed her tarot cards. So far, so hokey, and Reed looked at the camera as if to say ‘someone actually thought this was good’.
Hammerstone Is Always Fighting
Not Working: He’s your MLW champ. So this week he’s seen fighting an unnamed foe. We kept going back to it, as we did in the weeks before he was the champ. He even broke Holliday’s dynastic coffee mug which shattered into a thousand pieces. Are these in the MLW shop? Careful washing it. Hammerstone is beleaguered. He leads the company. And yet he’s fire fighting, there’s no feeling of a mission statement. At the top it’s empty.
Matt Cross v nZo
Working: Matt Cross. Stocky, energetic, excellent. Never got the break he deserves. And his work here is stunning, cartwheel back elbow, high springboard crossbody, all with such snap and pep. Then a slingshot cutter. He really is classy.
Not Working: nZo is a character. I wasn’t watching WWE when he was there, so he doesn’t seem as big a draw to me. He certainly didn’t do as much of the work here but got the attention, from the busted open forehead to the twig and berries shot and the pin. And then he attacked KC Navarro as he came out for his match, apropos of nothing. No reason for this, except to give nZo some attention perhaps.
Commentary seemed to suggest during the match that being a divisive figure in the dressing room is somehow exciting. Navarro sold the nZo crotching on the guardrail and rather good razor’s edge into the ringpost well. This isn’t an attack on nZo, he has a name and a big whack of charisma, it’s the way that Cross and Navarro were served up for him. That isn’t his fault.
Hollidead, Dr Dax and Arez Are A New Faction
Not Working: This. They were just laughing like panto villains over the money they’d won. Might as well have been twirling false moustaches. This Faction? Might get better. Now? It looks like a retread of Decay – now, MLW, who wants that?
The Philly Street Fight , 5150 v Los Parks
Not Working: The generic ‘street’ promos 5150 are doing. It’s not that Limelight, Slice and Smokes don’t do it well, it’s just that it’s been done so many times before and Konnan, a paterfamilias figure here, did a few of ’em. It just makes tag teams like this, who are a great acquisition for MLW, seem a little hackneyed.
Working: This match was rather good. It stayed in and around the ring, it had a shopping cart full of instruments to use, there was a rake to the back – not an El Phantasmo rake, a garden rake.
Limelight hit a slingshot legdrop to the outside and his partner Boogie followed up with an over the ringpost German suplex. Of course, Los Parks pulled the bait & switch and hit a sweet powerbomb backstabber combo which looked as good as it sounds. The pin though, and the tag team belts, went to 5150 with their not entirely impressive double stomp off the top/sort of DDT type move.
It’s important 5150 win the MLW tag belts. No point bragging unless you got the belts to brag about.
So, It Was Good Then?
In parts. The wrestling really delivered at times and MLW has the talent, like Boogie and Limelight, Arez and Aramis, Willow, Davey Richards, Cross and so many more, to turn it on in the ring.
It’s the soap opera stuff I find hard to stomach. And I fear the Azteca season will have just as much.