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Winfree’s MLW Burning Crush Review 2.18.24

February 18, 2024 | Posted by Robert Winfree
MLW Burning Crush Image Credit: MLW
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Winfree’s MLW Burning Crush Review 2.18.24  

Well everyone, let’s head back to the land of MLW for Burning Crush. It seems at the moment that MLW is doing these once a month or so two hour shows and use all the taped stuff from whatever their recent event was. In this case this is material drawn from SuperFight and you can find results here. SuperFight changed a few things, Raven showed back up and disowned The Calling, Cesar Duran got back from filming Mayans and confronted Salina de la Renta, and Satoshi Kojima reclaimed the MLW world title from borderline lame duck Alex Kane. Oh, and Contra returned so. . . yeah that’s a thing again I guess. Well anyway let’s get to the action shall we?

First a brief recap of SuperFight mostly going over stuff listed above then the intro for Burning Crush.

Alex Kane comes out in street clothes and this is very hard, he started the Bomaye Fight Club for himself but over time it became for the people and became a movement larger than anything he could have imagined. But in losing the title he let himself down, but what hurts even more is letting the people down. He’s always told the truth and he doesn’t know what’s next for him, and it might be time for Alex Kane to step away from MLW. Mr. Thomas comes out and says Kane is not a quitter, for three years they’ve been on the road together and put Bomaye on the map, Kane beat everyone for three years and now he wants to quit? Bomaye is for these people, and Kane is the captain so do what captain’s do. Kane does want the title back, so Thomas tells him no one’s going anywhere and that they have to start the hard work again. Among the better mic performances from Kane, still not great and he still feels incredibly rehearsed, but this was definitely a step forward from the usual monotonous repetitive tonality. As they’re finishing up a video plays, the former Top Dolla shows up and introduces himself as AJ Francis, the hottest free agent in the world. Kane’s title reign has ended but AJ will give him his flowers, but they’re both trying to be Black Panthers but Kane wants to be T’Challa while AJ is Huey P, but AJ did it first. He concocted the first all black faction that couldn’t be controlled or duplicated, he would make a better face for MLW, and that’s on Bomaye. OK, suddenly I get what Triple H could see in this guy but for whatever reason he didn’t bring this in his WWE run, hopefully this is a sign of things to come because this was actually pretty strong from AJ Francis. AJ will arrive at Intimidation Games. Kane talks again and doesn’t like AJ interrupting him, then says AJ wasn’t the leader of his movement then does the Swerve dance, and says he wont come into MLW and just run shop. Seems like AJ will join the WTF and he promises that AJ wont clear the challenge of Kane just like he couldn’t clear that top rope. Well there’s the regular Kane stuff that we all kind of just tolerate.

Recap of Contra’s return and tonight in our main event we’ll get a Baklei Brawl between Mads Krugger and Jacob Fatu.

Time for our first match.

Match #1 – Trios Match: Dirty Ass Bastards (Tony Deppen, TJ Crawford, and Griffin McCoy) vs. Nolo Kitano and Wasted Youth (Marcus Mathers and Austin Luke)

Everyone squares off to start and the heels cheap shot on handshake offers but this lead to all of them getting low bridged to set up a triple suicide dive from the good guys. Deppen and Mathers start in the ring, they trade kicks while everyone else brawls on the floor, Deppen tries a superplex but Mathers headbutts him down then Griffin jumps up to hit the superplex then TJ follows up with a top rope splash but only a 2 count. Griffin tags in and Mathers gets stomped down in the corner. Mathers tries to fight back but gets hit with a snapmare then a scoop slam and Deppen tags back in. Mathers avoids some offense then tags in Nolo. Nolo with a springboard meteora then a ripcord heel kick to Deppen. TJ takes a Tiger Driver for a 2 count. Luke tags in and hits a DDT on TJ. Griffin takes a superkick from Luke, then a corner Yakuza kick and basement dropkick to Deppen and Griffin. Mathers tags in and he and Luke hit a double stomp variation of the Tower of London but Deppen saves the match. Deppen with a blind tag while TJ avoids Youth Gone Wild, TJ with a Silver Bullet to Luke, Nolo takes TJ with a Trigrip Rotation, Griffin the with a half and half suplex because it’s parade of finishers time, Mathers with a shotgud dropkick to Griffin but Deppen takes him out with a knee in the corner, then a double knee strike to follow up. Deppen up top with Mathers, Mathers fights him off but Griffin jumps up again and this time Mathers counters into a top rope gordbuster. Mathers with a 450 splash but Deppen then follows up with a Shining Wizard to the back of the head of Mathers to get the pin.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Dirty Ass Bastards won in 5:55

Rating: 2.5 stars
Thoughts: Sprint and a bit of a spot fest, but nothing looked too sloppy and the heel team here definitely could have used the win to gain a little more momentum.

Video from the Calling, Rickey Shane Page and Sami Callihan call Raven a false prophet and no longer the leader of a hardcore revolution. They all like blood so going forward there will be more blood and tonight Jake Crist will bleed, Akira will bleed, and Raven will bleed. Sami brings some decent energy to these that RSP was sorely lacking, but there’s still a lack of gravitas to these as the eerie feeling the group used to evoke is pretty much dead and gone.

Matt Riddle video, he wants to challenge a New Japan opponent and the king of bros will beat anyone at Intimidation Games.

Salina de la Renta has joined commentary for our next match. She and Delmi Exo have words when Exo makes her way to the ring.

Match #2 – Fatal 4-Way Match: Zayda w/ Brett Ryan Gosselin vs. Delmi Exo vs. Notorious Mimi vs. Tiara James

Zayda talks trash to everyone then gets attacked. Things break down with James and Zayda squaring off as do Exo and Mimi. James kicks Zayda and Gosselin on the floor then Exo dives onto all three of them. Mimi decides to follow up with a top rope crossbody onto the pile. Back in the ring Mimi and Exo trade strikes then Mimi hits an X Factor then a kick to Zayda. Exo is made to DDT Zayda as Mimi kicked her in the face but only a 2 count. James in to run wild with a flapjack to Mimi then a clothesline to Exo. Zayda back in to hit corner uppercuts to Mimi and Exo, then corner knees to both women and a tornado DDT to Mimi. Exo superkicks Zayda then hits Mimi with a Northern Lights Suplex for a 2 count. Exo up top but Mimi cuts her off and climbs up with her, then James joins as they want a superplex but here’s Zayda to complete the old Tower of Doom spot. Zayda then tries to cover everyone but she can’t find a pin. James avoids the I’m Prettier and hits a Humble Her, Mimi then kicks down James with the Heaven Sent kick, and Exo with a ripcord clothesline to James. Mimi and Zayda are left alone after Zayda tosses Exo out of the ring, then Zayda hits the I’m Prettier to pick up the win.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Zayda won in 4:58

Rating: 2.5 stars
Thoughts: A little slow in execution at times, but slow and correct is better than fast and sloppy. Zayda is developing into someone pretty notable for MLW.

Post match Salina attacks Exo and the two start brawling.

Zayda gets a mic in the ring and says she just beat the rest of the division and is now the one coming for the title. Salina grabs a mic and wants to talk to Zayda, she says no amount of money will buy Zayda skill or a shot at the title. Gosselin tells Zayda not to listen to her because Zayda is a queen while Salina is a peasant. Salina warns Gosselin that in the Barbie movie Ken never gets laid. Zayda is glad that at least Gosselin doesn’t use his mouth to get what he wants like Salina. Salina warns her to be careful what she wishes for, then calls her a bitch so we know she’s serious. Not a great promo segment.

Contra promo, Mads Krugger brings up being on the shelf for two years, he’s waited and watched Jacob Fatu. Time is a slow death and Fatu’s time is coming to an end. Tonight he lights the spark that will engulf the world, and it starts with Fatu. Krugger still isn’t a great promo.

Commentary runs down what we know of Intimidation Games.

To the ring for our next match.

Match #3 – MLW National Openweight Title Match: (c) Rickey Shane Page w/ Dr. Cornwallis, Cannonball, and Talon vs. Jake Crist

Crist goes right at RSP and knocks him out of the ring then hits a suicide dive. A suicide dive into a tornado DDT from Crist, nice move. Crist then with a very big asai moonsault. Back in the ring Crist goes up top and tries a crossbody but RSP catches him and hits a spinning powerslam. Some corner work from RSP then a tossing suplex. Weird back body drop from RSP, he might have tried a kick in there but that move wasn’t great. Crist fights back with kicks then a second rope elbow to drop him. Kick from Crist then he goes up top and hits the crossbody for a 2 count. RSP avoids a wheel kick but Crist avoids a DDT then hits a satellite DDT. Cannonball jumps on the ring so Crist can kick him down. Sami shows up and clotheslines down Crist right in front of the ref for the DQ.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Jake Crist won via disqualification in 3:56

Rating: 2 stars
Thoughts: A little too short to go higher, but matches like this also somewhat unintentionally showcase the difference between guys who have been on bigger broadcast pro wrestling programs and those who haven’t. Crist looked smooth and just better than RSP in every way.

Post match Sami looks to attack Crist, Akira runs in for the save then gets hit by RSP. Crist with superkicks to clear out RSP and Sami. Akira gets a chair and uses it to dive onto everyone on the floor. In the ring Cannonball with a Raven Effect to Crist then Cornwallis and and another goon set up a table in the ring. Crist is set on the table, Cannonball climbs the ropes but Akira tosses the chair into his head so now Crist climbs the ropes and uses the chair for an assisted elbow to drive through Cannonball and the table.

A recap of Cesar Duran cornering Mistico at SuperFight and getting one up on Salina.

We see Duran confront Court Bauer in the back, Duran wants to be a matchmaker again for MLW. Court wants to hear him out and Duran promises more of the best luchadores in the world and Bauer is amenable. Mr. Saint Laurent then walks up after Duran leaves, and he wants a tag team title shot for a couple of his guys, and once again Bauer agrees and they shake on it. At Intimidation Games we’ll get Mistico vs. Rocky Romero, which should be pretty darn good.

In the back Satoshi Kojima and Shigeo Okumura walk, and Kojima still has his bread bag which is kind of awesome. They find 1 Called Manders and Matthew Justice, the current tag team champions. All four men get along and the champs offer a title shot but MSL walks up with Davey Boy Smith Jr, Richard Holliday, and Tom Lawlor to say they’ve got the next title shot. Manders offers a fight but MSL is the only legitimate prompter, and Kojima shuts him up by putting a bagel into his mouth. MSL sells this like death and Lawlor with the great “You didn’t even toast it! That was a dry bagel!” The WTF has some comedy to them and I appreciate that.

Battle Riot this year will come from the city of Atlanta.

Tom Lawlor makes his way to the ring but gets jumped by Lawlor on the ramp. They brawl for a bit through the ringside area with Justice getting the better of it. They head into the ring.

Match #4: Tom Lawlor w/ MSL vs. Matthew Justice

Lawlor with a flying kick to Justice while Justice was on the apron and we head back to the floor. Lawlor runs Justice into the barricade then lands a chop. Back into the ring now and Lawlor with some corner strikes. Leg kick from Lawlor then a Dragon Screw leg whip. More leg work from Lawlor then a snapmare and a kick to the head. Justice fights back with strikes but Lawlor cuts him off and hits a back suplex. Again Justice tries to fight back but Lawlor with a drop toe hold to send Justice into the corner. Corner spear from Lawlor then a sit out uranage and an Anaconda Vice from Lawlor but Justice gets to the ropes to break the hold. Bit of the old Fargo Strut from Lawlor but Justice then hits him with a flying shoulder block. They start brawling now but Lawlor lands a striking flurry for a 2 count. Justice lands a back elbow then a kick and follows up with a tornado DDT for a 2 count. MSL grabs the leg of Justice to block something, Justice hits a Spear anyway but MSL distracts the ref long enough for Lawlor to kick at 2. Manders wanders down to the ring and menaces MSL, MSL grabs his hat so Manders floors him with a lariat. In the ring Lawlor with a school boy for 2 then a buzzsaw kick to get the 3 count.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Tom Lawlor won in 6:55

Rating: 2.5 stars
Thoughts: I was tempted to go 3 stars but there was just a little something missing from the equation here to get them there. Still solid work from Justice and Lawlor, Lawlor embracing a slightly goofier side has been a nice refreshing addition to his presentation.

Lawlor gets an interview after the match, Lawlor asks for a moment of silence for the injured MSL. They crowd isn’t interested, and Lawlor isn’t surprised given the quality of people that live in Philadelphia, he tries to leave but Justice then hits a suicide dive to take him out. Officials come out to separate everyone as the rest of the WTF come down to back up their promoter.

We get the announcement of Matt Riddle’s opponent for Intimidation Games, it’s Big Bad Tito.

Cesar Duran heads out to the entrance stage with a mic, he plays with the crowd and knows we’ve all missed him. If we liked the Mistico match then get ready for what’s to come. He’s been recruiting talent from all over the world, he messes with the crowd a little bit then shows highlights of Mistico, Barbaro Cavernieor, and Atlantis. Duran always delivers, unlike Salina. That brings out Salina, well if he’s going to talk shit about her she’s right here. Duran is the one who should be upset after he loaned Salina money to keep her vanity affair going. Oh, and Mascara Dorada is with him as well, and he just beat Rocky Romero for the CMLL title. Salina remembers what Duran did to her, and knows he remembers what she did to him when she dragged him out of his MLW job last summer. Some more bickering ultimately results in a match between Rocky Romero and one of Duran’s fighters. Pretty sure that’s just the Rocky and Mistico match that had already been announced but OK. This felt a bit tedious, I get the creative direction but this should have been accomplished in a smoother way.

Next match time. Love Doug heads out first, then Brett Ryan Gosselin follows and has a mic. Brett with some fairly cliche heel talk then promises that he’s claiming sweet victory tonight.

Match #5 – Lumber Jack and Jill Match: Brett Ryan Gosselin w/ Zayda vs. Love Doug

Doug clotheslines Brett out of the ring and the lumberjacks do their thing and send him back into the ring. Dropkick from Doug then corner work but Brett blocks a bulldog then sends Doug out of the ring. Doug gets stomped down before being sent back into the ring. Corner attacks from Brett then a ripcord clothesline for a 2 count. Some mounted punches from Brett then he sends Doug to the apron and dropkicks him but the lumberjacks stop him from falling. Doug with a crossbody then fires up with punches. Rose petals from Doug then a tornado bulldog for a 2 count. Brett rolls out of the ring and the heels revive him which leads to consternation between the aligned lumber people and they start brawling. Doug climbs up top and dives onto the pile of bodies. Brett and Doug brawl then when heading back into the ring Brett kicks the rope into Doug’s groin. Brett then with the I’m Prettier to get the pin.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Brett Ryan Gosselin won in 4:07

Rating: 1.5 stars
Thoughts: Doug’s schtick has never really resonated with me but it clearly works for others. Ultimately this was both short and very forgettable.

We get another recap of the return of Contra.

Jake Crist and Akira talk in the video, they’re revealing their cards in this game for Carcosa. Raven talks as well, and sets up the Blue Meanie for a quick appearance.

MSL brings out Davey Boy Smith Jr. and Richard Holliday for our next match. He talks about the stupidity of Kojima’s bread club, the WTF has a zero tolerance for carbs. They’re focused on vegetables and protein, bread is just for fat undisciplined losers. That brings out the team of CozyMax.

Match #6 – Tag Team Match: CozyMax (Satoshi Kojima and Shigeo Okumura) vs. WTF (Davey Boy Smith Jr and Richard Holliday) w/ MSL

Holliday and Okumura start us off, they tie up and Holliday goes for arm wringers but Okumura counters into a hip toss. Arm drag from Okumura, then they start trading strikes. Back elbow from Holliday gets a 1 count. Some mat exchanges and we get a stand off. Kojima and Smith both tag in. Tie up, Smith with a go behind and the fight over a double wrist lock then Smith grabs a side headlock and hits a shoulder block. Hip toss from Kojima then they run into each other but neither man drops. Kojima flexes his pecs then he and Smith bounce off of each other before Kojima finally drops Smith with a shoulder block. Okumura tags in now and he and Smith start trading strikes right away. Okumura avoids a chokeslam and hits a Flatliner then a follow up sliding dropkick for a 2 count. Smith with a headbutt to fight back then a scoop slam. Suplex from Smith gets a 2 count. Holliday tags back in and starts stomping away on Okumura. Okumura fights back with kicks then a clothesline and both men are down. Kojima tags in and cheap shots Smith then unloads with Kobashi chops in the corner to Holliday. Smith kicks Kojima then knocks down Okumura, Kojima is isolated now but he shoves Smith into Holliday and drops Smith with a DDT. Okumura and Kojima then double team Holliday but Smith breaks up the pin. Smith takes an exploder suplex from Okumura then Okumura with a cannonball senton to Smith on the floor. Kojima with a Koji cutter but only a near fall. Lariat time for Kojima, but Holliday avoids it, then runs into the lariat and that’ll do it.

OFFICIAL RESULT: CozyMax won in 6:52

Rating: 3 stars
Thoughts: Well that was kind of fun, Okumura and Kojima both work pretty well despite their advanced ages and Holliday and Smith are a pretty solid duo. Nothing revolutionary here but the possibility of Kojima vs. Smith for the belt in the future is pretty intriguing.

Main event time.

Match #7 – Baklei Brawl: Mads Krule Krugger vs. Jacob Fatu

They start brawling right away on the floor and Krugger tosses Fatu into the barricade. Elbows from Krugger but Fatu fights back and bounces Krugger off of the barricade. Fatu tosses a chair into Krugger’s head then slams him into the barricade again. Some more brawling then Krugger gets a table from under the ring and sets it against the barricade. Fatu fights back with a headbutt then tries to suplex Krugger into the table, they fight over that spot for a bit then Fatu breaks it and just punches Krugger. Fatu goes under the ring and tosses a chair into the ring then gets his own table but Krugger is here to attack him again. That table goes into the ring then Krugger hits Fatu with a chair a few times. Again Fatu fights back and sends Krugger into the ring then gets a chair and whacks him in the head with it. Both men in the ring now and Fatu throws the chair into Krugger’s head then sets it up only get caught by Krugger who slams him into the chair. Krugger ignores a few chops from Fatu, then no sells a headbutt and clubs Fatu down with a clothesline. Some chair work from Krugger then he sets up a table in the corner. Fatu tries to fight back but Krugger cuts him off with a knee strike then tries to Spear Fatu through the table but Fatu avoids it and Krugger smashes through the table. Fatu tosses a chair at Krugger but Krugger just hits him with a chokeslam that causes Fatu to flip and take a face bump instead of the usual one. Krugger heads out of the ring and finds a case of weapons under it. Ultimately Krugger decides on a kendo stick but this all took too long and Fatu lands a couple of superkicks then a pop up Samoan drop. Handspring moonsault from Fatu, Krugger heads out of the ring then Fatu with a suicide dive. Fatu wont let Krugger breathe and hits a Spear back in the ring for a 2 count. Fatu heads up top and hits a Swanton Bomb but again he can’t keep Krugger down for a 3 count. Krugger heads out of the ring to recover, Fatu follows him and runs him through the table that had been set up on the outside.

Fatu tosses more chairs into the ring as Krugger rolls into the ring. Kendo stick for Fatu and he smacks Krugger with it. Fatu tries the double jump moonsault but his knee gives out, he has to settle for a normal moonsault which connects. Krugger still kicks out at 2 as Fatu took a while to make the cover. Fatu wants a hip attack in the corner and hits it but Krugger fights his way up and tosses a fireball into Fatu’s face. Scorched Earth from Krugger, his full nelson face buster, and gets the pin.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Mads Krugger won in 11:16

Rating: 2.5 stars
Thoughts: Not quite the epic that might have been in mind for Fatu’s final match with MLW since he’s now a free agent, but these two work well enough together in general. A bit too slow at times and while I get that weapon use is always part of this kind of match this one might have over relied on them just a bit.

Post match Krugger calls down the Contra goons and Fatu gets the body bag treatment, then he’s draped in the black flag of Contra as the goons carry him to the back. That scene ends the show.

The final score: review Good
The 411
2 hours of Fusion content is always a bit rough, but thankfully this largely rose above the typical weekly TV for MLW. Nothing really stood out but this moved a few things forward and for MLW I'm calling this one Good overall.

article topics :

MLW Burning Crush, Robert Winfree