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The W - Pro Wrestling - DLDSVR: MLW #4
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Boston Idol
Blutwurst








Since: 17.2.03
From: San Jose, CA

Since last post: 2900 days
Last activity: 2693 days
#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.54
A few weeks ago I started feeling guilty
because a few months ago someone loaned
me a big bag of wrestling videos and I still
hadn't gotten around to watching them.

Welcome to the "Day Late, Dollar Short"
Video Review. Tonight I will finally get
around to watching MLW from May, 2003.

Fans who have been missing ECW will be
happy to know that somewhere Raven is
still giving overly deliberate speeches,
somewhere Joey Styles is still using terms
like "psychology", somewhere referee
John Finnegan is still making two counts,
somewhere the world's worst cameraman
is still lurching uncontrollably from side to
side, somewhere Sabu is still taking too
long to set up his spots, and somewhere
Bill Alfonso still has the worst teeth in a
profession not known for dental hygiene.

Fear not, jonesing mutants, ECW is alive
and unwell, hiding out in pro wrestling's
answer to the witness protection program:
Court Bauer's "Major League Wrestling."

Unfortunately or luckily, depending on
your tastes, MLW is only "available"
(kayfabe for "buying time") on Florida's
Sunshine Network, along with Goody's
Headache Powders and Richard Petty.

But fortunately or "ratfarts", depending
on my tastes, I've been handed a tape
and I can't put this review off any longer.

The first match is Fuego Guerrero versus
latter day ECW legend Super Crazzy.

The action begins with a repetitive series
of sequences where Crazzy gets the jump
on Guerrero, Guerrero hits a nifty counter
spot, then Crazzy rolls out to the floor.

Styles informs us that Crazzy has worked
in the US long enough to pick up on US
psychology, rolling out to rob his opponent
of momentum. It sure seems to be working,
as Super Crazzy gets the drop on the
supposedly faster Guerrero every time.

The crowd chants "Red" after each spot
and Styles informs us that Guerrero has
wrestled as "Red" in the northeast. He
then says "this new personality, this new
persona, this new gimmick if you will
appears to be money in the bank."

I don't want pro wrestling announcers to
treat their audience like complete idiots,
but Styles love affair with smart jargon
makes it difficult to suspend disbelief.
MLW might as well flash a "FAKE"
graphic in the corner of the screen.

Crazzy controls for a while, then Red
comes back with a pair of highspots and
a near fall. Just as I'm flashing back to
the interminable "Mike Myers versus
Jason from Friday the 13th" psychology
of ECW, Crazzy counters Guerrero
with a jumping powerbomb for the pin.

It wasn't bad for an undercard match,
perhaps due to friendly editing, but
Styles goes into hype overdrive and
claims "a star has just been born."

The next match is "Chairman of the
Board" La Parka against Shocker,
who Joey informs us is the top "rudo,
heel, or bad guy" in Lucha Libre today.

Personally I never understood all the
excitement about La Parka during his
undercard run in WCW. Chairshots?

The match starts with a series of lucha
arm drags and counter arm drags and
counter counter arm drags which lead
to the big "face off" spot where they
establish that nothing they have done
so far has created any momentum.

But hey, it's lucha. Maybe I don't get
it. Anyway, the execution looked good.

The match is suddenly interrupted by an
"Urgent Wrestling News Bulletin" graphic.
What follows is Joey Styles reading a
thirty-second spot for 1Wrestling.com
whee he has the scoop Vince McMahon
doesn't want you to read thanks to his
"sources in the WWE locker room,
offices, and production company."

It's a sure sign of trouble for a promotion
when their announcer does a spot for his
pro wrestling news site on their show and
doesn't even mention their promotion.

MLW: No one cares about their news.

Anyway, La Parka gets the upper hand
and some helpful soul at ringside passes
him a chair. Referee John Finnegan warns
La Parka not to use it, but then Shocker
kicks it into La Parka's face.

Styles explains this isn't a DQ since La
Parka was the one who had brought the
chair into the ring, but later Shocker
dives out to the floor and La Parka
hits him in the face with the chair and
isn't DQed, so I'm totally confused.

Shocker hits a run of hot spots down
the stretch, but La Parka counters a
second "bronco buster" attempt in the
corner and takes it home in 20 seconds.

Again not bad for filler, but I find myself
wondering if every MLW singles match
follows the same basic "back and forth,
loser gets a hot stretch, then gets pinned
quickly" template. Who's laying out these
matches, Chris Daniels?

The main event of the show has former
future All Japan star Maunakea Mossman,
now using the personality, the persona,
and the gimmick if you will of Taiyo Kea,
facing longtime ECW legend Sabu who
is still managed by Bill Alfonso.

Young fans may be shocked to learn that
Alfonso was once a reasonably clean cut
referee before falling in with Paul Heyman
and becoming the Gollum of pro wrestling.

Kea has also undergone a transformation,
shaving his head. He looks like a cross
between Muta, Kurt Angle, and Low Ki.

Sabu comes to the ring wearing a US flag
over his head. I guess that makes him a
babyface. Actually there wasn't much of
any heel/face psychology in the first two
matches, though they sorely could have
used it to make the "my turn, your turn"
segments a bit more meaningful.

Sabu and Taiyo Kea do nothing much for
two minutes and we cut to another series
of commercials. When we return, Kea
"once again" tries a pescado and misses,
so obviously this match has been clipped.

Styles commentary is canned and in fact
they later have him adding promo tie-in
commentary over the canned commentary
in a different voice. Nevertheless Styles
tries to sound excited, punctuating long
stretches of dead air with his earworn
cliches and news updates from Japan.

Sabu gets the better of Kea on the floor
and tosses him into the crowd. Kea is
forced to wait there for almost thirty
seconds while Sabu returns to the ring
and calls for a chair so he can execute
a springboard axehandle to the floor.

Sabu also does another long setup spot
for a legdrop through a table outside
the ring, but later he tops it all with a
convoluted spot where Alfonso attempts
to hang upside down in the corner so he
can hold a chair over Kea's face so that
Sabu can run and stomp on the chair.

Sabu didn't blow his contrived spots in
this match, at least not in the parts of the
match that aired, yet the sheer contrivance
of the spot setups was usually annoying.
At one point Kea threw a chair at Sabu
and Sabu caught it to the side, then
turned and held it up in front of his face
so that Kea could kick it into his face.

Finally Kea countered Sabu and hit his
three strange moves of doom, a Death
Valley Bomb, an Angle slam, and what
might have been an "Ace Crusher" from
a transverse backbreaker, for the pin.

MLW's focus seemed to be on action
in the ring, though I fast forwarded
through several slow Insane Clown Raven
segments and generally ignored Styles
when he wasn't talking about the scoops
Vince McMahon doesn't want me to read.

The lack of heel/face psychology made it
very hard as a new viewer to get into the
matches because I had no idea who was
supposed to be sympathetic. As such the
action came off mainly as "back and forth",
perhaps not as rushed as a WWE TV
match, but less involving in the end.

The production hardly matched the name
"Major League Wrestling", but the action
in the ring was a step above the dying days
of ECW on TNN when Dreamer versus
Baldies was getting way too much air time.

I guess I'd watch it occaisionally if it was
available locally, but I would not go out
of my way to order tapes. The MLW
product simply isn't compelling enough.

Frank
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CRZ
Big Brother
Administrator








Since: 9.12.01
From: ミネアポリス

Since last post: 1 day
Last activity: 14 hours
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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.65
You know, after that episode, I'm not sure I remember Red ever coming back....although the Maximos are all over the place in MLW, feuding with two fat guys - I mean, "Samoans"

I think it gets a LITTLE better after the cycle out all the footage from New York, but I'm convinced that there's no way to differentiate this "hybrid wrestling™" from run o' the mill ECW Hardcore TV.

Some time within the last month Styles announced that "matchmaker Court Bauer" (danger, danger - he's getting his name out) relaxed/removed the DQ/countout rules - so that'll at least eliminate some of your confusion should you stick with the promotion...not that I wouldn't blame you for not bothering.

In closing, wait'll you get your mits on some of the "AIW Slams & Jams" Puerto Rico IWA!!! ;-)



CRZ™
thecubsfan
Scrapple
Moderator








Since: 10.12.01
From: Aurora, IL

Since last post: 3 days
Last activity: 4 hours
#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 10.00
>The match starts with a series of lucha
>arm drags and counter arm drags and
>counter counter arm drags which lead
>to the big "face off" spot where they
>establish that nothing they have done
>so far has created any momentum.

>But hey, it's lucha. Maybe I don't get
>it. Anyway, the execution looked good.

Sounds more like US Indy wrestling. If it was lucha, Shocker would have gone to the second rope and celebrated hitting an armdrag while La Parka opted to watch instead of attacking from behind.
RYDER FAKIN
Six Degrees of Me








Since: 21.2.02
From: ORLANDO

Since last post: 74 days
Last activity: 73 days
AIM:  
#4 Posted on
Boston Idol:
Young fans may be shocked to learn that Alfonso was once a reasonably clean cut referee before falling in with Paul Heyman and becoming the Gollum of pro wrestling.

Aint that the truth. I grew up on 80s Florida Championship wrestling and Alfonso was quite human looking back then (including the greatest ref sell of the figure four being locked in place!!!!!the guy would literally jump 3 feet in the air and then DIVE to check for submission / shoulders on the mat.) The only other one I have ever seen with that much passion is (was) Hildebrand.

Fast forward about 10 years and I ask someone at the ECW Arena who the hell is that ugly freak with the whistle

CRZ:
I think it gets a LITTLE better after the cycle out all the footage from New York, but I'm convinced that there's no way to differentiate this "hybrid wrestling" from run o' the mill ECW Hardcore TV.

Yes Indeed - MLW has improved 10 fold over the original shows the last several weeks (to me at least). The TV shows have focused on matches, in lieu of the goofy backstage insider skits that plagued ECWs dying days. Other than the obvious, I dont know why they are so adamant about screaming Its HYBRID WRESTLING not ECW! when its pretty clear they go out of their way to present nearly the exact same TV product right down to the editing and metal music.

If you have any interest (Boston Idol / CRZ), I can send you some TV tapings it plays twice a week here in Orlando.

One cool thing in a few weeks they plan to revive Dustys War Games for a show in Ft Lauderdale, which should be a good ol' fashioned BLOODBATH! The only downside to the live shows is that most of the crowd are 2nd rate ECW fan wannabes, right down to the chants and Philly was 3rd rate re: civilized behavior at a wrestling event.

FLEA




Demonstrations are a drag. Besides, we're much too high...

FLEA - IWC 100! And MORE!
CRZ
Big Brother
Administrator








Since: 9.12.01
From: ミネアポリス

Since last post: 1 day
Last activity: 14 hours
AIM:  
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Y!:
#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.65

    Originally posted by RYDER FAKIN
    If you have any interest (Boston Idol / CRZ), I can send you some TV tapings it plays twice a week here in Orlando.
Usually one of those shows will run on one of the three Fox Sports Digital channels - I think I've only missed one show in the past few months. (God knows WHY I'm taping it. Anybody wanna buy MLW tapes?)



CRZ™
darkdragoon
Bockwurst








Since: 26.8.02

Since last post: 3728 days
Last activity: 3728 days
#6 Posted on
pretty eh all around. it was fairly interesting when they brought over Kojima as champ, but it seems to be the same old faces over and over again.
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If Edge turns face to face Jericho for the summer then it will be awesome. I don't know what you would do with Rey maybe move him against Punk or move down to face Shelton.
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