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Jeremy’s MLW Fightland Review 10.7.21

October 7, 2021 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
MLW Fightland
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Jeremy’s MLW Fightland Review 10.7.21  

Hello MLW fans! It’s time for the long-awaited debut of the promotion on Vice TV with MLW Fightland. I’m Jeremy Thomas, and tonight MLW brings its momentous event to Vice for what is likely to be one of its biggest shows ever. We have two big matches set for tonight, both with titles on the line as Myron Reed defends his World Middleweight Championship against TAJIRI, Arez, and Aramis. And even bigger than that is the MLW World Title match between MLW National Openweight Champion Alexander Hammerstone and MLW World Heavyweight Champion Jacob Fatu.

But enough of my babbling; let’s get right down to it, shell we? Yes, indeed we shall.

As a reminder, the GoFundMe for Larry’s daughters is still active and if you can make a donation, that would be awesome. Thank you so much to everyone who’s done so thus far.

We start with a pretty well-done preview of Hammerstone vs. Fatu at tonight’s show and then we’re in Philadelphia at the 2300 Arena where Rich Bocchini and Saint Laurent are there to get the show going, hyping up the Title vs. Title match first and then taking us to the ring for the opening contest.

MLW Middleweight Title Match
Myron Reed vs. TAJIRI vs. Arez vs. Aramis

All four man chill in their corners as the crowd chants for Tajiri for a moment, and Aramis offers Taijiri a handshake before Myron follows suit. And then finally Arez, who pulls him into a full nelson and Tatiri hits the charging Reed and Aramis with a double kick. Counter-wrestling from Arez and Tajiri, Arez with a nearfall followed by one to Arez from Reed via backslide. We get a sequence of rollups, crucifix pins and the like before it devolves into strikes and Reed and Tajiri are to the outside.

Arez and Aramis match off in the ring, Aramis ends up on Arez’s shoulders and spins his way around his body before being snapmared to the mat for a two-count. Aramis floats over into a straitjacket, Arez escapes but gets dropped with a single leg takedown. Aramis off the ropes and Arez catches a stomp, kips up and flips around into a headscissors but Aramis gets one of his own. They’re trading strikes, Aramis comes off the ropes into a fireman’s carry. They counter each other’s action and Arez pushes Aramis into the ropes where Reed hits a scissor kick on him. Punch to Arez from Reed, who comes into the ring and slams Arez down. Springboard legdrop and a kippup from Reed! Reed comes off the ropes for a springboard but gets caught by Arez and Aramis, they toss him but he flips and then gets kicked by Tajiri. Big kicks from the Japanese Buzzsaw to all three opponents, and the crowd chants for him.

Tajiri and Aramis face off, and they lock up into a headlock from Tajiri. Aramis off the ropes and flips to the outside, he comes in over Tajiri and hits a dropkick to sent him to the outside. Arez goes through the ropes and takes out Tajiri, then Aramis dives through onto Arez. And Reed dives through onto Arez! Arez dives onto Reed, and Aramis dives onto Arez! And then one more by Reed.

We cut to break and come back with all four men down. Reed is in the ring, Aramis on the apron and Tajiri distracts him which allows Reed to hit a flying cutter! Reed rolls Aramis back in, springboard 450 and a cover but Tajiri hits a big kick and then a brainbuster. Cover but Arez breaks it up. Tajiri and Arez kicking at each other, Arez rolls through a rollup and hits a double stomp Aramis in now and turns a suplex into an inverted suplex, cover but Tajiri breaks it up. Aramis sends Tajiri into the corner, he kicks a charging Arez and then catches Aramis in a Tarantula! Arez kicks at Arez until Tajiri releases. Reed in now, Arez grabs him in the corner and pulls him up into a high tree of woe while Tajiri kicks him in the chest. Arez off the ropes and gets kicked down by Aramis, they trade counters and Arez with an enzuigiri. Reed gets kicked in the back and forth, Arez dives onto Tajiri and Aramis dives onto Reed. Arez hit with a Spanish Fly by Aramis, who rolls him in and takes out the legs. Arez back up, gets hit with a kick but hits a spin driver and cover for two. Arez is going up top but Reed is in, he leaps and Reed hits a cutter! Fireman’s carry into a slam by Reed and a cover but Tajiri breaks it up. Brainbuster countered into a Stunner, Reed gets pushed into the ref and comes back, GREEN MIST! Tajiri knocks Arez off the apron, Buzzsaw Kick, it’s over!

Winner: Tajiri (11:15)
Rating: *** 1/2
Thoughts: This is not my kind of match; I love a good high spot but these tend to be too much for me. That said, all four guys really delivered in a high-speed outing. Nice to see Tajiri get a title win here, and the crowd was super into it all which helped a lot.

The crowd goes wild for Tajiri, who celebrates in the ring with the title.

* We then get a vignette from CONTRA with Mads Krugger telling Hammerstone that destiny calls, and the Black Hand of CONTRA will hunt him down. Hammerstone will be denied gold and the black flag of CONTRA will be draped over his broken body. HAIL CONTRA!

* Backstage, Krugger grabs some poor guy and demands to know where Hammerstone. He points and off they go.

* Next week, Tom Lawlor battles Davey Richards in the Opera Cup on MLW Fusion ALPHA. Then on November 6th, Will Ospreay makes his debut.

* Our halftime show is next, MLW Embedded. Alicia Atout is there with Raj Giri, Andreas Hale, Emilio Sparks, and Dave Meltzer (remotely). Alicia mentions the release of WWE staffers and asks about WWE being for sale. Dave says you always hear stories about WWE being for sale and the Peacock deal tells you that they’re looking at being able to make money off bigger companies. Raj points out how WWE always said they’re not for sale, and that they now say they’re open for business. He says we know that FOX and WWE had some kind of talks about it back in 2017. Hale says it’s more about cleaning up the books and needing to cut some fat. Sparks agrees and says it got everyone talking, while they renegotiate the field. Alicia asks Raj about potential buyers and he mentions CAA where Nick Khan was once head. He mentions FOX again, plus NBCU. Alicia asks Sparks how realistic a potential sale would be, and he says the wrestling fan says no but the business side of him says it might happen in 10 years or so.

Alicia then moves onto AEW and talking about their signing Punk, Danielson and Cole, and who might be next. Hale says Kevin Owens and points out that his contract is almost up and his friends are in AEW. Raj says Bray Wyatt, and Alicia asks when Owens’ contract is up. His contract expires in January. Asked about any other names whose contracts are up, Raj mentions Sami Zayn. Alicia then she has her own scoop: Will Ospreay is coming to MLW. She asks Dave about it, and Dave puts Ospreay over as one of the biggest talents in the business. Raj says it’s huge and a big deal; Hale says he’s ultra talented and there are so many potential opponents. Sparks says there’s a certain cache when you say you’re the “real” IWGP World Heavyweight Champion and he’s bringing in an already prestigious title. He says the opportunities are tremendous and he points out Reed vs. Ospreay as a match of the year candidate.

* Up next: Hammerstone vs. Fatu.

* Mads is backstage still with the goons looking for Hammerstone. He walks into a locker room and the MLW roster is waiting for them. The door is shut and Cesar Duran says no one’s ruining his world title match.

* We then get a montage of the MLW Champions over the years leading into the title match.

MLW National Openweight & World Championship No DQ Match
Jacob Fatu vs. Alexander Hammerstone

They charge in right off the bat and Hammerstone lifts Fatu into the corner, laying in strikes. He pulls Fatu into a short-arm lift and then carries him to the other corner for more fists and a few stomps for good measure. He poses for the crowd and that allows Fatu to recover and toss Hammerstone into the corner for some shots of his own. Fatu with a headbutt and he pulls Alexander all the way across the ring for a headsmash in the turnbuckle and then a running smash. Shots from Fatu and then an Irish whip, reversed into a belly to belly overhead suplex! And another! Hammerstone clotheslines Fatu over the ropes and he lands on his feet on the outside.

Fatu back in and Hammerstone charges but gets carried to the corner. Big chop by Fatu, and another. Stomp and a whip across the ring hard into the other turnbuckle, and Hammerstone is down. Punch from Fatu to Hammerstone, whip into the opposite turnbuckle again. Fatu charges in but eats a back elbow, Hammerstone is caught in a crossbody attempt and gets hit with a swinging uranage! He goes out of the ring and Fatu follows, sending his opponent into the guardrail. Fati up onto the guardrail, MOONSAULT to take Hammerstone down! Hammerstone manages to recover and sends Fatu’s head into the apron, then pulls him up onto it. They trade blows, back elbow by Hammerstone and a fireman’s carry, but Fatu gets down. Kick the cut, PILEDRIVER on the ring apron and we’re on break.

Back from break and Hammerstone is in the ring with Fatu over him. Fatu sends him across the ring but Hammerstone collapses. The World Champion picks Hammerstone up and sends him headfirst into a chair that Josef Samael set up in the corner. Fatu goes out of the ring with the chair and goes up top — COAST TO COAST with the chair! The crowd chants for Fatu as the champ crawls over and covers for a nearfall.

Fatu up now and locks in the nerve vise, which turns into a chinlock. Hammerstone to his feet, back elbows and a side suplex to escape. FGatu charges at Hammerstone but eats a boot, he tries again and gets hit with an enzuigiri. Exploder suplex in the corner! Hammerstone is up now and hyped, running clotheslines and then a running high knee, charging uppercut and a single leg dropkick! Cover gets two. Hammerstone up now and he grabs Fatu, who picks him up in a fireman’s carry but Hammerstone slides out and hits a bicycle kick. Hammerstone with a release German suplex, sitout powerbomb and the cover gets two as we go to break again.

We’re back from break and Fatu is back in control. He sends Hammerstone into the ropes for a pop-up Samoan drop, then goes up top. High Eagle senton and Hammerstone manages to roll out of the ring to avoid the cover. Fatu confers with Samael and then hits a suicide dive on Hammerstone into the guardrail. Fatu rolls him in and he manages to get up and knock Fatu off the apron to catch his breath. Hammerstone with a slingshot dive onto Fatu! He rolls Fatu in and is going up to the top. Fatu to his feet, Hammerstone with a missile dropkick that launches Fatu into the opposite turnbuckle!

Both men slow to get up, but they get there and meet in the center of the ring. Fist from Hammerstone, strike by Fatu. They start trading blows, Fatu down to one knee and Hammerstone with a headbutt. And Fatu unleashes a torrent of headbutts, only for Hammerstone to lay in with fists! He comes off the ropes, Samael grabs the leg and Fatu clotheslines Hammerstone over the ropes to the floor. Samael hits Hammerstone with the spike to the throat!

The Openweight Champion is rolled back in as Fatu pulls a table out and slides it in. He sets it up and sets Hammerstone on it, then lays in a couple fists and draps him in the CONTRA flag. Top rope moonsault through the table! Cover gets two but Hammerstone kicks out! Hammerstone is up and hyped, he lays in fists and hits a running clothesline. Fatu kips up, comes off the ropes right into a powerslam. Hammerstone with a neckbreaker and the pinfall!

Winner: Alexander Hammerstone (16:21 shown)
Rating: ****
Thoughts: This was a hell of a match from both guys as befitting one of the biggest matches in the company’s history. Both guys gave it their all and while I think perhaps the ending could have been laid out slightly better — it was just the tiniest bit abrupt — I have no other complaints here.

Hammerstone celebrates with the titles and confetti comes down as we fade to black.

The final score: review Very Good
The 411
MLW had one big goal with Fightland: show a new audience of potential fans what they were all about and present their best face. They did that tonight. The Middleweight Title match and double title match were two very different styles of bouts and it definitely gave the impression that there's something for everyone in this company. The main event delivered in a big way and while the halftime segment will be polarizing to say the least, I think new fans will find it interesting. MLW took a big swing here, and by and large they nailed it.

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MLW Fightland, Jeremy Thomas