MLW went hard for their Fightland prime time special on Vice TV. The main event featured title versus title with Jacob Fatu and Alexander Hammerstone clashing in a hoss fight supreme, and the undercard welcomed Tajiri to the promotion for a four-way middleweight championship bout.
Let’s break it all down.
Rich Bocchini and St. Laurent welcomed viewers to the broadcast in Philadelphia.
MLW World Middleweight Championship: Myron Reed (c) vs. Tajiri vs. Aramis vs. Arez
Four-way action was fast and furious. It got crazy early with a train of topes to the outside. Aramis added a springboard moonsault to the high flying. The champ would not be outdone. Reed leaped over the ropes for a cutter to Aramis down to the floor.
Back in the ring, Reed pounced for a springboard 450 splash onto Aramis. Tajiri broke up the pin with a wicked kick to Reed’s back. A brainbuster planted Reed on the mat. Arez swooped in to break Tajiri’s pin.
The match progressed with submissions, slams, suplexes, and flying attacks in a non-stop pace. Reed seized the moment for a near pinfall when he hit a cutter as Arez was in the air for a flying splash onto Aramis. Reed dumped Arez on an Air Raid Crash, but Tajiri was there again to break the pin.
In the end, Reed was shoved into the referee. As the official turned his back momentarily, Tajiri spit GREEN MIST! Tajiri unloaded a buzzsaw head kick to the blinded Reed to become new middleweight champ.
Mads Krugger had a message for Hammerstone. Muscle Mountain will not triumph against Fatu. The black hand of Contra will hunt him down and deny his quest for gold. Contra manhandled staff while searching for Hammerman.
MLW announced that Tom Lawlor vs. Davy Richards will open the Opera Cup tournament next week on Wednesday’s episode of Fusion: ALPHA. MLW’s next live event will be November 6 in Philadelphia. Will Ospreay is booked to make his debut on that show. MLW will also have a special Thanksgiving episode on November 25.
A new segment named MLW Embedded acted as the half-time show. Alicia Atout hosted panelists Raj Giri, Andreas Hale, Emilio Sparks, and Dave Meltzer to discuss the world of professional wrestling. Topics included WWE for sale and AEW’s aggressiveness in signing free agents. They flat out name-dropped Kevin Owens, Bray Wyatt, Sami Zayn, and El Generico as potential additions to AEW. As for big names arriving in MLW, Will Ospreay is coming in the fall.
Contra continued their hunt for Hammerstone as they barged into the locker room. A brawl broke out with other MLW wrestlers. The masked henchman of Cesar Duran (alias Dario Cueto) locked the door behind. Duran declared he would not let Contra destroy his world title main event.
Title versus Title: Jacob Fatu vs. Alexander Hammerstone
Fatu put his MLW World Heavyweight Championship on the line, while Hammerstone brought his MLW National Openweight Championship to the bout. Time for the tale of the tape.
No DQ rules were in effect. Josef Samael was ringside to support Fatu. Tension was thick in the air during entrances for the epic encounter. The only thing missing was Duran yelling, “Ring the bell!”
Fatu charged first, but Hammerstone met him with a shoulder block. Hammer put the boots to Fatu in the corner. Hammerstone lost focus and pumped up the crowd, which allowed Fatu to fire back with physicality. Hammer was still able to hit the first heavy moves with two overhead belly-to-belly suplexes and a clothesline sending Fatu out of the ring.
Fatu came back on the attack for a swinging uranage slam. The action spilled out to the floor. Fatu took advantage of his surroundings for an amazing heavyweight moonsault off the guardrail.
Fatu followed up with a piledriver on the apron. Back in the ring, Fatu rammed Hammer’s head into a steel chair then took flight for a Coast to Coast dropkick with the chair.
The hoss fight rumbled on. Fatu connected on a pop-up Samoan drop and a flying senton. Hammer astutely rolled out of the ring to avoid the pinfall. Fatu gave chase for a suicide dive. Hammerstone returned the favor for a slingshot plancha. Hammerstone kept on the pressure for a flying missile dropkick blasting Fatu to tumble across the ring.
Both weary warriors rose to their feet for a reset. Fatu and Hammerstone stood in the center of the ring throwing hoss blows back and forth. Hammer had the upper hand, but Samael grabbed his foot as he ran the ropes. Fatu clotheslined Hammer out of the ring, and Samael jabbed him in the throat with a railroad spike. Fatu set up a table on the ring for a devastating moonsault. 1, 2, Hammerstone kicked out!
Hammerman fired up with intensity to land punches and a clothesline. Fatu kipped up in defiance but ran into a powerslam. Hammerstone lifted Fatu for a fireman’s carry neckbreaker. 1, 2, 3! Hammerstone became double champ.
The crowd chanted Hammerstone’s name as he shed tears of joy holding both titles.
Whew wee, MLW delivered for the Fightland special on Vice TV. The main event hoss fight exceeded my expectations. Hammerstone and Fatu both stepped up expanding their standard movesets for the special moment. They’ve always been exciting before, but they went to a higher level for this show. I was surprised that Hammerstone kicked out of the table moonsault and even more surprised that he won with a different finisher. Earning the pin without the Nightmare Pendulum actually added extra drama. It forced me to do a double take when Hammer won. In the end, it was a satisfying pay-off for MLW fans along for the ride the entire way for this feud.
Special thanks to Duran for ensuring a relatively clean contest. That was a great usage to squeeze him into the broadcast.
The four-way middleweight bout had thrills, chills, and spills with high-octane action. There was no singular standout, because they were all standouts with moments to shine. There are a handful of things in professional wrestling that always pop me. Green mist is one. Tajiri using that mystical tactic was icing on the cake.
The format of the show took a curious turn with MLW Embedded. It was odd seeing a nationally televised promotion openly acknowledge WWE and AEW as well as churn the rumor mill with upcoming WWE free agents. Wrapping it around to introducing Ospreay’s debut was a nice touch.
Share your reaction to the Fightland special. Are you happy with Hammerstone and Tajiri winning gold?