ECM's Report From Battle Riot III

My best friend and I had purchased tickets to Battle Riot III last February during Fightland. Then the world turned upside down and it ended up not happening. When MLW announced their return to Philadelphia on July 10th, my one ask was that it be what we were originally promised, Battle Riot. Well, it happened, and we couldn't have been happier.

When we got there, we ran into some complications. Namely, the seats my best friend and I had bought had been double-sold. Not a good start to the night. I was afraid this would happen due to the length between when tickets originally went on sale and when the event was announced and tickers went back on sale. But a solution was found: my best friend and I were given front-row seats on the opposite side of where we were originally going to sit, so it all worked out.

After some dark matches, we got to the main show. MLW wanted to make a splash with their return, and by God did they make an impact with this show! We started off with a Bunkhouse Match between VE3 and Kevin Ku/Kit Osborne, which was a hell of a lot of fun.

After that, Cesar Duran made his triumphant return to the world of pro wrestling, and he was very positively received. During this, Injustice came out to ask Duran for a title shot against Los Parks, after which the final Open Draft signees were revealed. My best friend and I had speculated that whoever it was, they wanted a live crowd to pop for the announcement. Mission accomplished. I won't say who it is, but they made the right call saving the reveal for the live show.

Besides the Battle Riot, three matches stood out. First was Lee Moriarty vs. Calvin Tankman. Without giving away too much, it was a very competitive match and Moriarty gave Tankman serious trouble. Second was Ashley Vox vs Willow Nightingale. I have a feeling those two will be centerpieces of MLW's Women's Division after the match they had. Willow really impressed me, first doing a cartwheel into a superkick seamlessly, and then executing a perfect gutwrench sitout powerbomb. I've seen the gutwrench sitout attempted before, but never saw it done as well as Willow did. The match of the night though was Aramis vs. Arez. MY GOD this was an awesome match! The two of them went from zero to sixty the moment the bell rang and did not let up a damn bit. After it was over, I decided to follow the lucha libre tradition of throwing money into the ring to show my appreciation. Others in the crowd agreed with that and we tossed cash in for Aramis and Arez. Both of them really appreciated the gesture and thanked us in the crowd for it. I'd say that both of them are made men in MLW now and will be featured players.

As for the Battle Riot itself, it was glorious, wonderful chaos. The match itself went really well. There were a couple of surprise entrants which got nostalgia pops, a couple that got laughs from the crowd, and one which we all went completely NUTS for. As soon as that guy's entrance video played, I immediately recognized who it was and marked out, as did my best friend. The entire crowd did.

About the only negative for the night was that there was no intermission, and the show went on for more than four hours. It kinda sucked, but that was the only drawback. I eventually was able to get a quick snack after a match and hit the restroom without missing much.

Overall, this was a great return for MLW and did a lot in moving the product forward. There are several killer episodes of Fusion coming out. Watch them! Not a bad match on the entire card. I am going to be back in October for Fightland. Hopefully this time my seat doesn't get double-sold.....unless they want to comp me with front-row seats again, in which case they're free to do so!

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