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MLW Anthology: LA Park shines in classic bouts against Sabu & Shocker

With MLW Fusion sidelined due to the coronavirus drying up events, MLW pivoted to debut a new series. The first episode of MLW Anthology spotlighted LA Park in matches against Shocker and Sabu with Joey Styles on the call. The show closed with a promo package featuring Myron Reed not backing down from the Contra Unit.

On to a recap and review of the show...

The intro talked about LA Park’s history with MLW. He joined in 2002 and has been with the promotion since its inception. Trivia tidbit: Park’s debut bout for MLW was against Jerry Lynn.

LA Park vs Shocker

This match against Shocker took place at the Manhattan Center in New York, NY during September 2002. It was a charismatic contest as both worked up the crowd with taunts and gyrations. The top sequence was Shocker with a half monkey flip to send Park high over the ropes and out of the ring. Shocker followed with a springboard crossbody down to the floor.

LA Park lived up to his Chairman moniker by unloading on Shocker in mid-flight of a suicide dive.

In the end, Shocker had momentum with a series of corner attacks. He went for a Bronco Buster, but Park got his foot up into Shocker’s groin. Park executed a 360 toss then a corkscrew moonsault body block to win.

Next week’s Anthology will feature Mance Warner all night long. Ole Mancer cut a promo about old school ass whoopings.

LA Park vs Sabu

This feud was set up when Sabu attacked LA Park during a backstage promo. Park wanted revenge to be #1. Sabu came in to stab Park in the head with a nail.

The match took place in War Memorial Auditorium in Fort Lauderdale, FL during December 2002. Park brought a chair, while Sabu brought Bill Alfonso.

The early going had mat work as each wrestler tried to wear the other down. The action picked up with a vintage slingshot leg drop from Sabu. The brawl spilled into the crowd as Park launched for a flying plancha.

The fans had been chanting for tables all match long. Sabu and Park tried to give them what they wanted on a flip over the ropes, but Park overshot the table, even though it still broke. Sabu then attacked by jabbing scissors into Park’s head. Park was a bloody mess with his mask torn. The fight raged on with highlights of a slingshot flip from Sabu and a step-up leg drop off the ropes through another table from Sabu.

Sabu kept the pressure high as he connected on an Arabian facebuster and a triple jump moonsault to win.

After the match, Sabu showed respect with a handshake. Later, Park beat up Bill Alfonso outside the arena. Park piled trashcans on top of the loudmouth.

Roll Call

A roll call of talent promos were spliced up and mixed together with the, “Day of Anger,” theme playing in the background.

  • The Von Erichs used a machete to cut bamboo then threatened Tom Lawlor to shut his mouth. Lawlor will change his tune once he feels bones popping from the Iron Claw.
  • Tom Lawlor did not receive a pandemic assistance loan for the Team Filthy Dojo, so they had to regroup and relocate. Lawlor hasn’t forgotten about the Von Erichs. No one is going to stop team Filthy from collecting all the belts.
  • Richard Holliday revealed a new dynastic mustache, to which Alexander Hammerstone burst out in laughter. Holliday had to grow it to be incognito to keep the Caribbean ladies off him.
  • Savio Vega spoke in front of an awesome self-portrait. Holliday is evil for stealing the Caribbean Championship then buying the home of Vega’s mother. Vega will get payback. It will be his way or the highway.
  • Mance Warner needed some light beers to refuel his energy to work on welding the Triple Tower of Doom to beat Dynasty’s ass.
  • Aria Blake was sitting on Colonel Robert Parker’s lap explaining how to use cellphone apps. Parker likes to tap, tap, tap.
  • Myron Reed had words for the Contra Unit after they attacked Kotto Brazil. Injustice won’t let that slide. Contra may have taken over MLW, but they won’t be taking over Injustice. Reed has hitters in the back to fight for the boys. The revolution will be televised.
  • LA Park opened the fridge for a snack only to discover a hidden Contra camera spying on him. Park and his son closed by cussing out the hidden camera.

The debut of MLW Anthology is a winner. The theme song was bopping, and production did a nice job of telling the story. Both matches were entertaining. The Roll Call feature was a smart way to get everyone involved and keep the current feuds fresh on our minds.

Of the two matches, I preferred LA Park versus Shocker. Some luchadores get better with age. Shocker is not one of them. But back in 2002, he was jamming with the best in Mexico. It was neat to see Shocker perform in his prime. He could really move in the ring and work up the crowd nicely as 1000% guapo.

The Sabu match was more hardcore. Sabu’s signature moves still delight. It was interesting that MLW chose a match that Park lost. I like that, since it will keep results unpredictable for future classic Anthology episodes from the 2002 to 2004 era. I’ve never seen those bouts, so it will all be fresh to me.

The most pressing person for Roll Call was Myron Reed. After Kotto Brazil’s career with MLW appears to be over due to an explosive Contra attack, all eyes were on the leader of Injustice to respond. Reed did well by opening the door for new Injustice members and also talking tough. If Reed actually backs up his words in person when Contra appears, it just might make me a fan. Injustice are a bunch of rapscallions, but I love when wrestlers have the intestinal fortitude to stand up against the odds.

What did you think of the debut of MLW Anthology? Which match from LA Park did you prefer? Who stole the segment during Roll Call?

MLW’s weekly program (Fusion and Anthology) airs on beIN SPORTS Saturday nights at 9 pm ET / 6 pm ET, or 10 pm ET on some weeks. New episodes are posted on YouTube Saturdays at 6:05 pm ET. Fusion is broadcast in over 20 countries.