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Winfree’s MLW Underground Episode 3 Review 7.25.20

July 26, 2020 | Posted by Robert Winfree
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Winfree’s MLW Underground Episode 3 Review 7.25.20  

Hey there everyone and welcome to episode 3 of MLW’s re-air of the old Underground TV show. I’m Robert Winfree, reviewing the action and letting you all know what I feel about it.

We open with a Steve Corino promo, he’s talking about and to Terry Funk yet again. He says the XTREME Horsemen are about class while Funk is about white Trash, then runs down some examples of their differences. Corino says he wont have to stick around for 38 years like Funk. I want a second to fact check that. Corino debuted in ’94 and mostly retired to backstage work in ’16 so that mostly checks out, though we’ll have to revisit that point if/when his current WWE NXT teacher/producer roll ends. Back to the promo, he reiterates that he did everything Funk did just quicker and says he wont pass the torch and says he’ll be on top of the world by the time he’s 40 and Funk will still be wrestling. That checks out too, at least on the Funk end. He promises to replace Funk and make sure Funk is on the receiving end of violence coming up.

Powerman 5000 time so we know we’re onto the show proper. Joey Styles welcomes us to the show then recaps last weeks episode and runs down some of this weeks action. We get a promo from PJ Friedman he says the camera crew can come back next week to see how they’re preparing for the tag tournament. That fades into our first match.

Match #1 – Tag Team Title Tournament Match: Dr. Death Steve Williams & PJ Friedman vs. Jimmy Yang & Mike Sanders

Friedman and Yang get us going. The size difference is quite impressive. Friedman overpowers Yang early, and adds in some strikes for good measure. Yang lands a clothesline that drops Friedman and hits slaps and stomps. Spinning heel kick from Yang in the corner and he’s isolated Friedman. Sanders tagged in and they double team Friedman with kicks. Friedman with kicks of his own but Sanders cuts him off with a neck breaker but Williams is in to break up the pinfall attempt and hits a massive powerbomb to Sanders. Yang has to save the match for his team after that and Friedman drives Sanders to the corner. Friedman tosses Sanders outside where he and Williams toss him into a chair and brawl around the barricade area for a bit. Williams sets up a table and slams Sanders through it. Friedman tosses Sanders back into the ring. We cut ahead to Sanders taking a double suplex and Williams being the legal man for his team. Williams cheap shots Yang on the apron and drives Sanders back to the corner.

Sanders tries to fight out of the corner with strikes but Williams cuts him off and tags in Friedman. Sanders rolls up Friedman and hits a calf kick to take Friedman down. Both men down now. Yang tagged in and hits a springboard drop kick for a near fall. Yang goes nuts with chops then an extra rotation whisper in the wind for a near fall. Yang lifts and slams Friedman but Friedman winds up crotching him on the top rope and tags in Williams. Chops from Williams but he takes both men on with strikes until Williams hits a military press slam. Sanders flies in to break up the pinfall attempt. Double drop kick from Sanders and he starts slugging it out with both men. The numbers eventually catch up to him and Williams drills him with the Doctor Bomb. Yang comes in and takes out both men but walks into a back drop driver from Williams and we’re done.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Dr. Death Steve Williams & PJ Friedman defeated Jimmy Yang & Mike Sanders at about 8 minutes shown

Rating: 2 stars

Perfectly average match, they tried to find believable ways to get Yang and Sanders some offense so it wasn’t a total squash but the outcome was never in doubt and the only story being told was the inevitable grinding down done by Doc and Friedman.

Styles hypes up the debut of CM Punk coming up. Then the Samoan Island Tribe get a promo, they say they’re not dancing bears in thongs or the most electrifying man in sports entertainment but they will go anywhere to kick butt and take names. Styles hypes up a Mexican Massacre match between Sabu and La Parka before cutting to a Satoshi Kojima promo. Kojima is subtitled because he doesn’t really speak English. He says he’s not an entertainer, he’s a professional wrestler and you better be ready for him if you want to take the belt. That leads into our next match, Kojima defending the title in Japan, All Japan Pro Wrestling to be more specific.

Match #2 – MLW World Title Match: (c) Satoshi Kojima vs. Mitsuya Nagai

We’re going highlight style for this I guess, Kojima getting the early offense including a drag screw leg whip and a diving elbow. Nagai battles back with running knees and suplexes. The typical strong style spots of taking a move, firing up and hitting one follow. Nagai kicks out of the lariat to the shock of Kojima. Kojima simply decapitates him with a second one to retain the title.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Satoshi Kojima defeated Mitsuya Nagai via pinfall

Rating: NR

Just a highlight package lasting less than 3 minutes, I wont rate it as it would be a disservice to any match to try and do so under those circumstances.

Back to Joey Styles, to talk about the budding issues between Raven and Vampiro. Raven has been vocal, Vampiro has been keeping more of a low profile. Vampiro has an upcoming title shot against Kojima, they featured that on the Kojima Anthology, but will address Raven face to face after Raven officially debuts on MLW.

That will cut to our next match.

Match #3 – Tag Team Title Tournament Match: EXTREME Horsemen (Simon Diamond & CW Anderson) vs. Los Maximos (Jose & Joel Maximo)

Diamond and one of the Maximos trade arm lock holds and counters. They trade monkey flips while holding the greco-Roman knuckle lock for near pinfalls then trade arm drags into a stand off. We cut forward to Anderson tossing Jose around. Jose tries to get up on the ropes, Anderson cuts him off with a left. Delayed superplex from Anderson to Jose. Cover from Anderson only gets 2. Jose avoids some Anderson offense, hits a tornado DDT and both men are down. Jose tags in Joel as Anderson tags in Diamond. Joel with drop kicks to both men then a German suplex to Anderson. Diamond misses a punch, eats an enziguri then a moonsault from Joel only gets 2. Anderson eats a modified beach break for a 2 count. The ref really needs to pay attention to who’s legal. Diamond with the Simon Series of suplexes for another near fall. Jose comes in with a drop kick to Diamond then gets into it with Anderson.

Another cut, and Diamond sling shots Jose into an Anderson knee strike but that still only gets a 2 count. Anderson tries to go up top, Joel catches him with kicks though. Los Maximos up top for a Spanish fly, Diamond breaks that up but eats a moonsault for his trouble. Diamond lands a super kick to Joel, Jose tries to attack him from the top but flies into an Anderson spinebuster for the finish.

OFFICIAL RESULT: EXTREME Horsemen (Simon Diamond & CW Anderson) defeated Los Maximos at around 6 minutes shown

Rating: 2 stars

I feel like this would be higher if I’d seen the whole match but I can only go on what is presented. It never felt like they gelled as opponents, Los Maximos doing the early indy athletic spots that have become route now a days against more old school guys in Diamond and Anderson. The cuts didn’t help anything, but the work was safe and easy to read and it seems like the crowd bit on a few of the near falls so I’ll give them credit there.

Ahead of the bonus main event there’s a Dusty Rhodes promo from that prior event. He says he didn’t like Dory Funk, Terry Funk, or Papa or Mama Funk in all of their history in Florida. He mentions all the times Funk tried to take him out, but those days are over. Rhodes says he’s still a formidable bull, the bull of the woods “if you wheel”. Not gonna lie, that put a smile on my face. Rhodes calls Corino a walking contradiction of pro wrestling, then a bit of a little rhythm based saying to close. It’s not fair that anyone be that good at that, but Dusty was the man. He was so good even this, a fairly throwaway promo where he was clearly working out a few sayings almost in real time felt better than most of what’s on contemporary wrestling promo work.

Styles hypes some upcoming matches for next week. We cut to the aftermath of Los Maximos being attacked, one can only guess as to who did that.

Mike Awesome video promo, he wants to make an impact on wrestling but can only do that by being champion. He says he knows he’s got to get through Masato Tanaka one more time to get his title shot at Kojima. He says the era of Awesomness has arrived, the backs out of frame. Styles hypes a title eliminator bout upcoming between Mike Awesome and Jerry Lynn.

Match #4 – Florida Death Match: Steve Corino vs. Terry Funk vs. Dusty Rhodes

This was part of the EXTREME Horsemen Anthology episode, I’m curious to see how this comes across here as opposed to in that video. Funk and Rhodes square off early, Corino happy to sit in the corner while they fight. They tie up then Corino comes in and the double team Rhodes then Rhodes takes Corino down with a bionic elbow, and one for Funk for good measure. Corino and Funk continue trying to get on the same page. Funk exits the ring and Corino locks up with Rhodes. Punches from Corino, now stomps as well before Funk tosses a trash can into the ring. Corino brains Rhodes with the can. Funk trash talks Rhodes then smashes him with the can again. On the second attempt Funk hits Corino instead and lays into him with lefts. Corino tossed out, and Funk tosses the can onto him.

We cut ahead now to Corino running wild with cans on Rhodes, and everyone is bleeding. Funk hits Corino in the throat with a shovel and we’re back to brawling in the ringside area. Punches from Funk before he gets hung up on the barricades. Rhodes tosses Corino back into the ring, avoids a garbage can shot and elbows down Corino. Figure four from Rhodes but he breaks that to attack Funk. Double flip flop and fly to Funk and Corino. Rhodes abuses Corino some more, and now Simon Diamond and CW Anderson show up.

They take Rhodes to the floor and stomp him then Corino slams his ankle with a chair. Funk scares them off with the chair to check on Rhodes. Rhodes is down and out of the match at this point. A bevy of refs and other officials help Rhodes to the back. Funk with a couple of trash cans, he lays into all three other men for a bit but eventually the numbers catch up to him. Funk eats a DDT from Corino and they pile onto him. The ref wont make a count so Corino DDT’s him then they brain Funk again with the trash can. A second ref is out, they pile onto Funk again and this one will count the pin.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Steve Corino pinned Terry Funk at about 10 minutes shown

Rating: 1 star

While I think the editing helped this match, at least it did for me since I saw the original in all it’s unedited “glory”, there are still some fundamental problems here. The match is slow, directionless, boring outside of a nostalgia spot or two, bloody for no good reason, and is the wrong kind of garbage wrestling. I don’t know how much of that last point is down to the physical condition of Funk and Rhodes at this point in time, but it’s still the reality of the match. It’s not good, it exists entirely to set up the forming of the stable and takes way too long to get there with nothing interesting happening along the way. And even that assumes you care about the group that forms, which is far from a given.

To close we get Raven in the back saying he’s still waiting on Vampiro who will talk about him but not actually call him on the phone. He speculates as to what Vampiro is doing or where his head is at, but he warns Vampiro he’s headed down a long, lonely and painful road. He advises Vampiro to change his path, because on this one he’ll end up at a destination of his choosing, a physical and mental Hell, Raven’s Clockwork Orange House of Fun.

That closes this weeks episode, thanks for reading.

The final score: review Poor
The 411
A very ho-hum outing this time. Of the two tag team matches one was an extended squash in some respects and the other never really gelled, or was damaged in the editing process. The highlight package for Kojima's first title defense was a nice touch to show that the champ is keeping busy but didn't really add much in terms of overall broadcast quality. The main event was a rehash of a moment the promotion wants you to care about, but from a very poor match.

article topics :

MLW Underground, Robert Winfree