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Well, it’s been an interesting time just trying to get here but it’s finally upon us and it oughtta be good despite the fact that Joey’s gone. Sorry, I’m a big Joe Joe fan; the man knows what he’s doing. But that don’t mean that Eric Garaugilo (sp?) gets lumped on from jump. I’ve never heard the man so I can’t do that.
If you couldn’t already guess, I’m all about some MLW. They ain’t that big at all, but it’s an excellent alternative to WWE just to see something different. No knock on Mondays or Thursdays, but I’m a sucker for the “Hybrid Wrestling” concept, not to mention who’s performing it. I need my fixes of Steve Corino, Jerry Lynn, Christopher Daniels, Sonjay Dutt, Vampiro, all the Samoans – okay, this could go on for a while. But I will say that Gary Hart* is back , so I’m in. Don’t worry – storyline and Rassler explanations will be provided as needed (and if I know them) since some of you may be new to this.
*For you younguns that have no idea who that is, break out the Ric Flair Ultimate DVD and watch the “I Quit” match with Terry Funk. The bald guy with Funk would be Mr. Hart, no relation to the family from Calgary nor Hulk Hogan’s shadow.
All that outta the way? Right, then. Let’s get to it.
MLW Underground TV – 01.17.04
Opening credits still features list of different styles and same clips from before the new Reload. Powerman 5000 is out and some generic shite for music is in. Well, crap.
Eric Garaugilo and Julius Smokes are on commentary. Garaugilo is pretty decent for play-by-play and Julius tries to sound street and actually succeeds. TONIGHT: Sonjay Dutt defends the MLW Light Heavyweight Title and the Power Broker behind the Homicide/Low Ki main event will be revealed! For our first match tonight:
Puma & Bobby Quance vs. The Stampede Bulldogs (Harry Smith & TJ Wilson) – Grand Tag Team Carnival Tournament Match As the name would imply, the Stampede Bulldogs are from Canada, and Harry Smith is the son of the late Davey Boy. Puma & Quance, I couldn’t tell ya. Quance and Smith to start with a collar-and-elbow tie-up. Both men break, unable to gain an advantage, and go for it again. Go-behind by Smith, Quance reverses, Smith with a takedown into a hammerlock. Standing armbar now by Smith and Quance answers with a headlock takeover—
And we go to commercial already? It hasn’t even started yet!
Back to Puma holding Wilson in a overhead hammerlock before a break. Puma gets a kick in on Wilson’s leg before Wilson launches off the ropes with a shoulder tackle. Wilson goes for it again but Puma is ready with the tilt-a-whirl headscissors takeover and Wilson bails. Back in the ring and Wilson with the whip to the corner, reversed, Puma charges and gets sent over the top, landing on the apron where Smith, on the outside, nails Puma one. Smith drops Puma Snake Eyes style on the apron and chops him before sending him back in to Wilson. In the ring, Wilson with a snap suplex and only a 1-count. And man, I mean SNAP – I blinked and almost missed what it was. Both Bulldogs with a double headbutt on Puma and Smith comes off the ropes with a double chop to the chest. Tag to Wilson now, who gets Puma up in an inverted suplex before Smith catches him on the way over and both men hit a double powerbomb/neckbreaker known as History In The Making – nice! Smith gets an anklelock (not Kurt’s version) but Puma reaches the ropes. Rights by Smith and Puma finally stops the abuse with a hurracanrana. Smith goes back to the ankle, however, and Wilson comes in for a friendly stomp on Puma’s back. Smith chops Puma on the ropes and gets a back suplex for 2. Smith with the Running Powerslam (well he is Davey Boy’s kid) but Puma flips out and makes the tag to Quance On Fire! Dropkicks for everybody! Chops on Wilson and a fisherman’s suplex for 2. Puma tags in and tombstones Wilson to setup the Shooting Star Press by Quance for 2~! Corner whip is reversed by Smith, charge and Puma feints and gets Puma hooks him in hurracanrana position again. Not this time – Smith grabs Puma’s head and Puma takes the double powerbomb again - and this time it’s 3. Smith and Wilson advance in the Grand Tag Team Carnival Tournament. Kind of a slow start, but have faith – it’ll pick up.
In The Back, someone in a hood is saying that he’s dedicated the last 4 years of his life to this sport only to get no respect out of it. He went to Japan and came home to an empty house and a hospital bed. In that bed, he had an epiphany and he’s out for respect, starting with Vampiro (?). Vampiro comes and goes as he pleases and everybody loves him – which makes this guy sick. Vampiro’s on borrowed time – and PJ Friedman will end his career as we go to:
Back to Jack Evans vs. Sonjay Dutt (c) – MLW Light Heavyweight Championship Match Evans is a member of Hart Foundation version 2.0 – and he’s breakdancing. I’d imagine Stu is doing the same in his grave right now, albeit involuntarily. Speaking of Harts, Teddy Hart is out to join Eric on commentary. Teddy sounds like Owen, only with a lot more attitude. Eric wants to know why Hart is ducking Steve Corino. Oh, no way – they’re turning this into an angle? Oh, man...Hart’s not ducking Corino or anyone else, he’s like religion when he speaks; people just fall under the spell and follow him. Jackyl 2.0? Collar-and-elbow tie-up to start and Evans gets the headlock. Sends Dutt off the ropes and eats a shoulderblock. Off the ropes again and Evans leapfrogs Dutt but Sonjay returns with a takeover. Armbar by Dutt and Evans escapes. Cat and mouse game ensues before Dutt ends that with a clothesline. Chops in the corner as Eric pimps the Burning Crush Tour and the Dragon’s Gate 6-sided ring. Can you wait until near a commercial to do that, dude? Thank you. Dutt is outside now and Evans is on the apron with the stomp—no, Dutt grabs his leg and YANKS him off the apron. Man, that landing looked brutal! Back in the ring, Dutt lands some punches before an Irish whip into a hurracanrana for 2. Hart is officially caling out Steve Corino as we go to:
Back to Irish whip and an elbow by Dutt. Clothesline and Dutt goes up top for a sweet elbow for 2. Hart’s getting all excited and Eric tells him not to puke all over himself. Heh. Dutt goes up top again for the Hundu Press~! – which misses and Sonjay rolls through it and pops up on his feet! Wow, now that took some skills. Dutt opts for a bridge pining combination for 2. Dropkick and Dutt nails a Standing Shooting Star Press (your official Move Of The Night!) for the 3-count and successful title defense. Afterward, Hart leaves the table and heads to ringside for the attack on Sonjay. Evans joins in and they hit Dutt with the Next Generation Hart Attack (wherein the clothesline is done springboard-style from the apron in the ring). Christ, Eric is almost worse than Jim Ross with the outrage here, but I think it’s meant to be to put over the hatred of Hart. Between how he sells his disdain, Hart’s own comments and the fan reaction, Hart could be to MLW what Shane Douglas was to ECW if they play this right.
Back to In The Back, Sonjay should out partying and celebrating a victory, but he’s not & he’s pissed! Los Maximos are out (!!) to confront Sonjay and they’re pissed, too!. He called them the World’s Greatest Scrubs (has Sonjsy ever seen them in action?) and they challenge Sonjsy to find 2 partners – they already have a 3rd man – and accept the challenge for the Dragon’s Gate 6-sided ring, Lucha Libre Style. Holy shit, that’s gonna rock! Sonjay accepts and Los Maximos shake his hand and walk away. Gotta love Joel and Jose – they can get fired up but they’re still cool about it.
Back to Low Ki vs. Homicide Aww yeah. This is being billed as teacher (Homicide) vs. Student (Low Ki). The Power Broker will be revealed tonight! There’s a VERY distracting difference in audio between the overdubs and live announcing. Collar-and-elbow tie-up gets both men to the corner where they break clean. Collar-and-elbow tie-up again and Homicide takes Low Ki over in the tie-up. Homicide takes Low Ki over again and Ki nips up as we go to:
Back to the collar-and-elbow tie-up, takeover, Homicide with the monkeyflip and Low Ki lands on his feet, bridged and the lockup is still on. Damn, but that’s cool! Low Ki gets dumped outside by Homicide, but Low Ki still hangs on to the yuji-gatame armbar. Both men in and break. Homicide with the side headlock, Ki off the ropes with a shoulderblock. Ki off again and Homicide with the leapfrog, back and an armdrag by Homicide. Low Ki answers with a few of his own, dropkick misses and we have a stand-off. Test of strength is disengaged. Another try and Homicide kicks Low Ki in the gut and a chop. Headlock and a shot to the dome by Homicide. Chop and an Irish whip now by Homicide, drops down, Low Ki runs over, back, and hits the high cross body block. Standing dropkick by Low Ki who gets dumped outside afterward. Homicide goes for the Poetic Tope (somersault tope suicida) but Low Ki stops that with a kick straight to Homicide’s head in mid-stream~! Owch! Back in the ring and Low Ki gets 2. Ki with the snapmare and off the ropes with an elbowdrop. Chops in the corner and whip to the other side, charging kick and a double underhook suplex for a 2-count on Homicide. Chops again, but Homicide pokes Low Ki in the eyes and lets loose some chops of his own. Corner whip by Homicide reversed by Low Ki for the Handspring Kick. Pretty. Chop and Homicide tumbles onto the apron and takes 2 stiff kicks to the ribs on the way back in. Fuuuck, dude! Homicide tosses his bandanna off, a little hot under the collar. Hell, I would be, too. Low Ki charges and nails a Yakuza kick, but gets caught on the ropes going to the well once too often. Homicide wrenches the leg before dropkicking Low Ki out of the ring and hitting the Poetic Tope proper, sandwiching Low Ki between him and the barricade. Very little psychology to speak of, but this is painful stuff. Back in the ring and Homicide gets 2. Looooooonng delayed vertical suplex on Low Ki and a Velocity Lock surfboard by Homicide. Guys this is Friday night, not Saturday. Low Ki breaks it with a kick to Homicide’s grill as we go to:
Back to an overhead belly-to-belly suplex by Homicide for 2. Low Ki goes up top and Homicide catches and spikes him for 2 again. Homicide up top now with the Diving Headbutt, but Low Ki moves and Homicide eats canvas. Low Ki with rapid-fire chops, corner whip is reversed by Homicide who gets the clothesline. Low Ki is up and hits Homicide with a set of kicks stiffer than Lenin’s corpse affectionately known as the Ki Combo. Homicide goes for the Cop Killer (Vertebreaker) but Low Ki rolls out and lands another wicked kick before hitting a brutal German Suplex, dropping Homicide dead on the back of his neck. Ow – careful with that shit! Dragon screw legwhip by Homicide, who gets Ki in the corner and whips Ki out of the same way. Homicide gets the STF on Low Ki dead center of the ring~! Homicide breaks, thinking Low Ki has tapped and Ki takes the opportunity to cinch in a dragon sleeper but Homicide makes the ropes for the break. Ki goes for the Ki Crusher but Homicide escapes and instead gets the Black Magic for 2. Low Ki goes back to the dragon sleeper but Homicide escapes and comes off the ropes with a lariat for 2. Homicide with another Cop Killer attempt, Ki floats out and goes for the dragon sleeper again, but Homicide turns him over and hooks a leg for the 3-count and the victory! Finish came as a surprise, but if you want a little brutality this was your match.
Post-match, Jerry Lynn is in to attack Homicide (as a receipt for the losses Homicide handed Lynn), and Low Ki joins in the attack – on Lynn! As they beat him down, the Power Broker reveals himself to be Gary Hart, directing traffic and ordering Ki and Homicide to end Lynn’s career then and there. Who’s that oriental bodyguard with Hart? The guys looks kinda scary, truth be told. A fan jaws at Hart from ringside, so Hart sics Homicide and Ki on him! Eric goes into hardcore JR mode, selling this like Low Ki and Homicide just raped the guy’s dog. Hart is talking about how he runs things now, and MLW Owner Court Bauer (!) is out to call Ki and Homicide off of the fan. Any guesses on who Homicide jumps next? Yep – Bauer catches a shot to the mush. Hart says that tomorrow night, Funks career will end in the ring and that Bauer can do whatever he wants but nothing will stop him from Funk. Bauer promises that Hart and his crew will pay – monetarily, since he’s the promoter and all – and Homicide’s response to that is a broom to the back of Bauer’s head. Homicide sweeps trash on Bauer as Hart declares his intent to take over and ruin Funk’s career as we close the show.
Not bad at all for the return show. The wrestling on here is a kind I could go crazy for, but it needs some polish and a little faster pace, especially in the main event. Still, a couple good angle developments and the return of Gary freakin’ Hart sold me on this one. Definitely be back next week for more.
L8. Thanks for reading, y’all.
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Eh, as long as the WWE doesn't send JR for a visit to any children's hospitals. "OH MY GOD, King! Would you look at that. That kid is hideous! He's as white as a ghost, no teeth... I'm speechless. Is that even human?