The Power of Contra Unit – MLW’s “Saturday SuperFight” Review

After 2 years back on the business, MLW reached a new height yesterday when producing its first-ever PPV, Saturday Superfight. MLW has produced many special events that became some of their best episodes. The weekly MLW Fusion show is aired in 14 countries and is a huge success. So, when you’re already so high, you need to go even higher. Create a women’s division, which will be officially launched next week, and also going live on PPV and show the planet why you’re a show-stealer, why making the choice of a hybrid wrestling style is a right one, and also why your roster is strong to the point of giving your wrestlers the space of 4 hours to prove it to the world. Let’s go deeper into this MLW’s Saturday Superfight, shall we?

 

PRE-SHOW: Leo Brien defeated Savio Vega

The first match saw Brien try to cement himself as the top badass of the brand by fighting like one. The Desperado wrestled a veteran of the game, in Savio Vega, 55 but still rocking. When Vega had the advantage, he baited him outside and kicked him on the way in. Vega overcame and got cow-belled for his troubles. Christopher Walken once proclaimed he needed more cowbell, Vega certainly didn’t. He lost the match due to one whacked off his skull. Simple match but didn’t need to be anything but. The most entertaining moment was Vega going kendo crazy post-match.

PRE-SHOW: Gino “El Intocable” Medina defeated Air Wolf

What did I learn from this match as an introduction to both guys? Medina is an idiot with a dumb haircut and Air Wolf is a really likeable little Luchador. Both guys are top prospects for the company but only one could win, Medina. It was his big debut for the company so it was never in doubt. He had a dominant start and got to show off a little of what he could do. It wasn’t a hard match for him at all as he had a size and height advantage he could rely on. Another simple and short match but it didn’t need to do anything other than welcome Medina to the audience, most of which he pissed off with his attitude. It’ll certainly be interesting to see what else he can do in-ring though as I feel we only got a small taste from this match. He’s a second-generation Luchador so I have no doubt there is more in store for MLW fans from him going forward.

PRE-SHOW: Hijo de LA Park (presented by Salina de la Renta) defeated Zenshi

And the award for the best match on the preshow goes to, this match. Park and Zenshi were amazing. Zenshi was pulling off rotations that would make Ricochet blush. The man is a bonafide star already. He has a very unique style I can’t wait to see more of. Park was no slouch either, making the match hardcore through some vicious chair shots. He was busting out some very powerful offence to close down the flippy and fast moves. It was a delirious mix of fun. Zenshi made most in this match, even if Hijo de LA Park grabbed the win. Very good Lucha Libre style match, with a spectacular Zenshi. Plus, Park looked like a Halloween pumpkin which I’m a sucker for.

TRIANGLE TAG TEAM MATCH: CONTRA Unit (Simon Gotch & Ikuro Kwon) defeated Dominic Garrini & Douglas James and Spirit Squad (Mike Mundo & Ken Doane)

Nothing like a nice dose of chaos to round out a PPV preshow. This was all kinds of fun. We had a team of bad guys, a team of legit fighters and a WWE reject team somehow still getting work and albeit kind of being enjoyable (when not armed with a whistle.) it was a nice balance of fast and furious, MMA mutilation and good old fashioned wrestling all mixed into a concise match where everyone (even the Spirit Squad) got their moment. There was no doubt this was a match for Contra Unit to rack up a win but the other teams at least made it less obvious. James and Garrini are excellent competitors who added a legit element to the action going on. Kwon and Gotch are excellent in-ring and I will always be happy to see Gotch and the use of poison mist in matches. Gotch got the sneaky win, using his partner’s mist to set up the Gotch Style Piledriver on Mondo of the Spirit Squad whilst Garrini was busy with a submission. Rack up one for Contra unit on the night’s count.

TEXAS TORNADO WORLD TAG TEAM TITLE FIGHT: The Von Erich Boys (Ross & Marshall Von Erich) defeated The Dynasty (MJF & Richard Holliday) (c)

What an excellent way to open up the main card. We got a hilarious Dynasty promo, some hardcore action and new tag champs. They opened with a strong bout that had some excellent in-ring action, crowd interaction and a devastating finisher I have never seen before, a Clawplex. It was 2-on-1 for a lot of the match as Marshall was KO’ed outside with a ring bell shot. The Dynasty are bad guys with money and they love it. The commentators couldn’t stop talking about Holliday’s Lawyer/Father and how the Von Erichs would struggle to get another match if they failed here. What an opening bout.

TRIOS MATCH: Injustice (Kotto Brazil, Myron Reed & Jordan Oliver) defeated Septimo Dragon, Gringo Loco & Puma King

I don’t think I’ve encountered a trio more annoying than Injustice. If that’s their gimmick (who has a Mickey Mouse haircut by our time?), they’re doing it well. The match, however, was another amazing bout. It was fast, furious and featured some amazing feats of Lucha Libre. Septimo Dragon and Puma King are insanely talented, as is Gringo Loco. I begrudgingly must also admit that Injustice are pretty good between the ropes too. We got some amazing triple team moves and chains. MLW kills it with their tag and trios matches, it would seem.

WORLD MIDDLEWEIGHT TITLE FIGHT: Teddy Hart (c) defeated Austin Aries

Something felt wrong for most of this match. I applaud Teddy Hart for fighting despite obvious problems and actually pulling out a truly hard-fought victory, even if I feel he shouldn’t have kept his title. Aries must have been pissed off that a cat was more over than he was but that didn’t stop him pulling out all the stops to put on a top-class bout. There were some sick spots and even sicker landings as the pair seemed set on killing each other. It was great fun but a very odd feeling match. Aries was great, as always. Not everything went smoothly and the end certainly didn’t feel like an end. A lot of people will be disappointed with the outcome here.

BATTLE FOR RESPECT: Low Ki defeated Brian Pillman Jr. via TKO

Low Ki is a terrifying man. I’ve loved him since I’ve first seen him but my god, he terrifies me. The guy is great at what he does. He gives advice and he kills people. He did both in this match. He was trying to teach Brian Pillman Jr a hard lesson through sheer brutality and he succeeded by knocking him out cold. The ref had to stop the match because Low Ki out right KO’ed him with a Rolling Kick. I guess that’s what you get for disrespecting someone as vicious as Low Ki. Pillman gave it one hell of an effort but it was not enough to win.

“Filthy” Tom Lawlor defeated Timothy Thatcher

What happens when a catch as catch god and an MMA fighter clash? This masterpiece of a match right here. This was a glorious, bloodsport bout of stiff strikes, submission and deliciously violent power moves. Both men were not going to take it easy on the other, dropping hammers that would make Low Ki wince. Timothy Thatcher is a terrifying human who was snarling at Lawlor and pulling more scary faces than the products on sale at a Halloween store. It was savage as the pair chopped, hammered, uppercutted and choked the other with brutal efficiency. It was a masterful mix of technique and power as the two went from brawling to striking to near submission with the occasional power move, including a nasty Tombstone and Pumphandle Suplex from Lawlor. In the end, a bloody and bruised Thatcher had to tap out to Lawlor.  Nothing should be taken away from him though as he gave Lawlor the fight of his life, nearly killing him multiple times throughout. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Thatcher isn’t human. The amount of punishment he can withstand would kill lesser men. He is amazing at what he does and he ended up meeting his match in Tom Lawlor, who was more than happy to throw down, successfully putting away a man who had called him out.

STAIRWAY TO HELL MATCH:  Mance Warner defeated Jimmy Havoc and Bestia 666 (presented by Salina de la Renta)

Two deathmatch guys and Bestia 666 who ain’t afraid of getting hardcore in a match, that’s the hardcore variant of a ladder match is great. This had everything you needed, tables, trash cans, ladders and barbed wire. Plus, throw in Jimmy’s staple guns antics, a whole load of punches and a great spot of Mance stapling fan’s money to Havoc. It was a glorious celebration of violence that might have been a tad short. There were chair spots, nutcrackers and more.

Bestia took a devastating backbreaker onto some upturned chairs that had me wincing. There was even a minor alliance from Havoc and Bestia to saw into Mance’s head with the barbed wire he had grabbed from above the ring. It was nice and bloody just like you want from a good old deathmatch. I would have loved to see some glass involved but I get that there may have been limitations for the match. Either way, I loved it and want more from Mance and Havoc. Based on that post-match attack, I might just get it. Also, Havoc is a really bad loser. Every time he loses a match or even wins a match, he lashes out at people.

NATIONAL OPENWEIGHT TITLE FIGHT: Alex Hammerstone (c) defeated Davey Boy Smith Jr.

This was a proper big boy bout. A nice throwback match where two big guys mixed it up and threw each other around. There wasn’t much frilly or fancy, just some good old-fashioned fighting. Both men are exceptionally agile for their height and could trade strikes like machines. This was the sort of match to give Cornette a hard-on. There were some heelish shenanigans, an exposed turnbuckle and a whole lot of throwing down. A fun reminder of the 80s and 90s wrestling with some modern twists thrown in. Hammerstone was not used to being thrown around and picked up the way Davey Boy Smith Jr was doing to him and it showed.

The Powerhouse of the Dynasty had clearly met his match in the powerhouse of the new Hart Foundation. The pair had some great exchanges but MJF and Holiday had to come and ruin the fun, ensuring Smith was thrown into the exposed turnbuckle. He would kick out of a Valkyrie Missile and get rolled up with a Dirty pin that the ref didn’t see. Hammerstone lives to hold his title another day but I can see Davey Boy coming for retribution very soon. Though I feel the heel run in was unnecessary I loved this match as much as the deathmatch that preceded it. The whole PPV has offered a slice of everything and it is appreciated.

NO DQ WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE FIGHT: Jacob Fatu (c) defeated LA Park (presented by Salina de la Renta)

Holy shit was this one hell of a main event. I could empty a thesaurus finding the words to praise this match. It was bloody, it was brutal and featured feats that men this size and age should not be doing but somehow do and most of all it was fun. A no-DQ match is always full of violent delight. LA Park and Fatu were willing to kill each other for that title and faction pride. LA Park had his mask ripped as Samael stabbed him repeatedly in the head with a spike causing him to bleed worse than Ol’ Mancer. He was treated like a crash test dummy as Fatu saw how many items he could smash him off.

It was a merciless assault. Samael watched on with glee whilst Salina De La Renta could only watch on in frustration as her killer was tossed around like garbage. The match ended up levelling out when Fatu was introduced to the ring bell, busting him open too. From there, we saw a table introduced that Salina went through and Samael popping the ref in the face with a fireball. It was carnage. LA Park ended up accidentally attacking Salina and throwing her through a table, so Fatu took advantage, killing the Luchador legend with a Moonsault. I loved this. I really did. I loved the manic nature of it, the Kaiju fight feels of it all, the deliberate pace it had and the sheer effort to break the Muta Scale. Hail Contra!

Overall, this was an excellent first PPV outing for MLW. It had a variety of matches for all types of wrestling fans and enough violence to satisfy my ever-present deathmatch bloodlust. It wasn’t perfect as there were some lesser quality matches, a rather unsafe match featuring a talent I won’t mention and the complete lack of ring mats was a bit of an oversight to wrestler safety. Every time someone took a dive to the outside, I couldn’t help but think “oh their poor knees.” It felt like a good opening showcase for the company. A “hey, look what we can do” to new viewers and a satisfying pay off to multiple faction wars for seasoned viewers. Well done to all!

Very Deathman thanks to Steph Franchomme. All pics courtesy of MLW and Fite TV

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