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Winfree’s MLW Underground #2 Review

July 19, 2020 | Posted by Robert Winfree
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Winfree’s MLW Underground #2 Review  

Hey there everyone, Robert Winfree back for the latest MLW offering. At the moment they’re still just re-airing their Underground series from 2003 so we’re on to episode 2 from that entity.

We open with a recap of the formation of the XTREME Horsemen, and a promo from the only three we have before Justin Credible shows up at some point in the future. Candido does most of the talking, and says they undid the legends of Dusty Rhodes and Terry Funk in one night and that this new threesome represents the old school. Simon Diamond takes over and says they don’t have a bad attitude, they’re just better and all the old timers better step aside. Cue Powerman 5000 music for our intro.

Joey Styles still providing commentary and welcomes us to the show at the Manhattan Center.

Match #1 – Tag Team Match: Dr. Death Steve Williams & PJ Friedman vs. After Burn & Giovanni Jabroni

We join in progress as Friedman and Burn engage in some mat wrestling. Burn gets clotheslined down but he avoids a super kick. Friedman backs Burn into the corner and lands the thrust kick this time before tagging in Doc. Back from a break and Doc is abusing Jabroni. He hits the Doctor Bomb but Burn breaks the up the pin before getting taken out with a dragon suplex from Friedman. Doc hits the back drop driver and we’re done.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Dr. Death Steve Williams & PJ Friedman won when Doc pinned Jabroni about 2:30 shown

Rating: Crookneck. . . SQUASH

Oddly cut in the middle, but it was just a squash match so I doubt anything of real value was lost. A typical squash match.

Styles gives us the tournament brackets for the tournament to crown the first MLW tag team champs. Williams and Friedman will battle Mike Sanders and Jimmy Yang while on the other side XTREME Horsemen Diamond and Anderson battle Los Maximos. I wonder if the newly formed “super” group will wind up holding all the titles, similar to the group who’s name they’re ripping off?

Styles is now talking about Paul London, putting him over ahead of his upcoming debut against Jerry Lynn.

In the back Fuego Guerrero, better known as Amazing Red, with a quick promo about his upcoming debut. Styles announces that Masato Tanaka will be debuting soon in MLW as well, because Mike Awsome is in MLW and Tanaka just wants more of that. Bill Alphonso now talking on behalf of Sabu, puts over La Parka but says Parka isn’t quite like Sabu. Parka shows up and shoves him into some trash cans and abuses him a little bit while trash talking in Spanish. Apparently he challenged Sabu to a Mexican Massacre for their upcoming event. Next week’s main event will be Diamond and Anderson vs. Los Maximos from the tag title tournament.

Match #2 – No Disqualification: Terry Funk vs. Chris Candido w/ Tammy Sytch

They lock up and fight around the corner early. Funk hits an armdrag then slaps Candido. Candido backs Funk into the corner and lands some shoulder thrusts. Funk blocks an Irish whip attempt and they reset. More jockeying for position through collar and elbow tie ups. Funk keeps out thinking Candido early, stopping him from using the ropes and quickening the pace of the match. Side headlock from Funk now, he takes Candido down with a shoulder block. Elbows to the head from Funk now, and the tries an abdominal stretch that leads to some mat wrestling sequences with Funk generally coming out on top. Candido with some punches and chops now then tosses Funk out of the ring. Funk gets bounced off of the time keepers table. They brawl around the ringside area, and Funk starts bleeding. Candido tosses Funk over the barricade and lays in more punches. Candido bites Funk, and he’s got blood around his mouth now. Funk takes more chops before they wind up on the apron, and Funk collapses off the apron to the floor. Sytch comes around with a towel and chokes Funk with it. Funk back on the apron now, more punches from Candido.

Candido tries to suplex Funk inside, Funk counters and launches Candido to the floor over the top rope. Funk starts laying in lefts and tosses Candido over the barricade. Crowd brawling ensues, Funk hits a piledriver on the carpet. Candido back into the ring, Funk hits a DDT and Candido escapes the ring again. Funk follows him and keeps laying in strikes. Suplex/DDT, couldn’t really tell which, onto the metal ramp they’ve been coming down and that leads us to a cut.

Back as Candido brings a ladder to the match. Funk is down in the ring, no idea what transpired during that cut. Headbutts from Candido and he puts Funk on the top rope. Candido up, but Funk intercepts with headbutts and Candido falls onto the ladder. Another cut, Funk slams the ladder onto Candido. Funk tries the spinning toe hold but Candido kicks him off. Candido hits a suplex, heads to the top rope and hits the diving headbutt for a near fall. Candido sets up the ladder and goes for the headbutt from the ladder but Funk rolls out of the way. Funk back up and unloads with punches and tosses Candido over the top rope. Sytch in and low blows Funk then slaps him. Funk back up and DDT’s Sytch then bites her butt. Funk goes for the piledriver onto Sytch but Candido is in and smacks him with a chair. Candido gets more chairs, hits a neck breaker then starts setting up the chairs. He makes a bridge of three chairs, Funk fires back up and drops Candido across the chairs with a neck breaker. Spinning toe hold from Funk, Candido fights him off with punches. Candido lands rights, Funk tries the toe hold again, Candido counters with an inside cradle, Funk counters so he’s on top and pins Candido.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Terry Funk pinned Candido about 14 minutes shown

Rating: 2.5 stars

They actually had a pretty good story here, Funk was the superior technician early and that wound up playing into the finish as Candido got away from brawling and tried to counter with wrestling only to find himself a step behind Funk in that regard. It was a little slow in places and there’s a very real ceiling on how interesting you can make crowd brawling, but there was also enough smoke and mirrors to help keep things interesting.

Post match Candido lays out Funk with a piledriver.

Joey Styles talks up two new debuting wrestlers for MLW, the aforementioned Fuego Guerrero and a young man with a bad attitude, CM Punk.

Corino promo, he basically repeats the promo from last week to start then mentions Funk needs him to bring out the best in him not the other way around. Corino mentions that at less than 30 he’s done everything Funk has better and faster. Side note, Corino’s forehead is a total mess before he’s 30 apparently, it’s a little distracting. Next Corino mentions he was trained by Terry’s brother Dory and talks about how Dory was a better NWA champion than Terry was. He promises to end Funk’s 38 years in pro wrestling.

Apparently Sabu showed up at the hospital where Alphonso was taken and caused a near riot while accepting La Parka’s challenge. I’m not sure whether those little touches are endearing or annoying at this point.

Match #3 – World Title Match: Jerry Lynn vs. Satoshi Kojima

This is the same match that they aired on the Kojima anthology episode, it’s Kojima taking the vacant title. They tie up and trade some arm wringer sequences into mat wrestling, back up and more hammer locks traded. Kojima with some side head lock takeovers, Lynn switches to a cradle and moves to an armbar but Kojima uses the ropes to force a break. Another tie up, Kojima playing the physical powerhouse. Kojima lands a shoulder block, they then trade missed strikes on the mat and they stand off.

We get a fast forward to some brawling from the two of them. Lynn tries to take Kojima out with clotheslines but Kojima stays upright. Lynn counters a Michinoku Driver attempt into a reverse DDT for a near fall. Kojima clotheslines Lynn in the corner, then hits a running forearm. Top rope for Kojima, he lands a diving elbow for a near fall. Kojima takes off the elbow pad to set for the lariat, but Lynn ducks it and hits a German suplex. Lynn can’t get the pin yet, and lands stomps in frustration. Diving Tornado DDT from Lynn for another near fall. Lynn winds up running into a sitout spine buster and now Kojima gets the near fall. Lynn counters an Irish whip attempt and hits a TKO but still can’t put Kojima away.

Lynn tries the cradle piledriver, Kojima back drops him out of it, hits a Michinoku driver for a near fall. Not deterred, Kojima hits the lariat and pins Lynn.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Satoshi Kojima pinned Jerry Lynn at about 7:30 shown

Rating: 2.5 stars

This match didn’t benefit from the edit down, it kind of needed the extra time to build the story so this version winds up going down a bit from my review of Kojima’s Anthology episode. Kojima played the powerhouse well, Lynn is a solid worker but these two never quite meshed the way you’d like. Part of that is just presentation, Lynn presents rather straightforward and a little bland at times while Kojima is deliberately flashy and occasionally over the top.

Kojima celebrates with the belt post match, and then stares down Taio Keya who will be his first title challenger. Mic time actually for Kojima as well, but the mic isn’t hooked up to this recording I guess because I can’t hear him.

Promo from Raven now, he addresses Vampiro and references their history in the Dead Pool with the Insane Clown Posse. He doesn’t like how Vampiro has talked about him but not to him, which means he’s trying to get his attention either because they’ve got a problem, or because he needs his help. Raven is happy to figure out which one of those it is.

That wraps this weeks episode, thanks for reading.

The final score: review Not So Good
The 411
I understand having to edit things down from time restrictions, but that doesn't mean the product doesn't suffer because of it. Kojima vs. Lynn jumped from their opening salvos to basically the finishing sequence and lost a lot in that transition. Funk vs. Candido probably benefited from the cut down, but still had a lot of the same old brawling and blood spots that were a little passe even in 2003. All in all not a bad episode, but one that still shows the technical wrinkles the promotion should be looking to iron out.

article topics :

MLW Underground, Robert Winfree