MLW visited Philadelphia to put on the Fightland event (Nov. 18, 2023). The show featured a world heavyweight battle, new tag team champions, and a handful of surprises.
The marquee attraction was Alex Kane versus Jacob Fatu for the MLW World Heavyweight Championship.
The big fight feel was in the air as the Bomaye Fight Club brought energy to the atmosphere. Kane’s entrance is one of the cooler ones in wrestling right now. All his supporters surround the ring to hype up the crowd.
Kane and Fatu rumbled in the concrete jungle for over 45 minutes. It was a physical affair with tables, ladder, and chairs. Fatu made use of his surroundings for a sprinting hip attack crushing Kane into the barricade.
Fatu poured on the pain with a handspring moonsault to Kane, who was sandwiched inside a ladder. Kane retaliated with a T-bone suplex onto a ladder in the corner.
Intensity increased as the match progressed. Kane played mind games hitting a Samoan drop and a spear, but Fatu kicked out on the pin. Fatu rallied for a flying splash through a table on the outside. The weary warriors were on wobbly legs exchanging fisticuffs. Kane gained the upper hand for a pair of suplexes. Fatu was able to come back for a Samoan drop and a double springboard moonsault. The champ was ripe for defeat, however, Mr. Thomas pulled the referee out of the ring to prevent the three-count.
In the climax, Fatu climbed the corner for another moonsault. Kane sprang up for an avalanche release suplex to send Fatu crashing down onto chairs. Kane pounced for a rear naked choke. Fatu had fight left in him, but he struggled to escape. Kane was able to lock the submission down on the mat with body scissors. Fatu passed out, and Kane was awarded the victory. Bomaye! Bomaye! Bomaye!
Kane’s championship celebration was short-lived. The World Titan Federation stormed the scene with Matt Cardona sending a message before his world title fight at One-Shot on December 7. Tom Lawlor, Joshua Bishop, Steph De Lander, and Mister Saint Laurent brawled with the Bomaye Fight Club. Lights out, lights on. Alexander Hammerstone was in the ring supporting WTF. Hammerman cleaned house, and Cardona’s crew stood tall to close the show.
Hammerstone’s appearance was explained as being released by MLW and signing with WTF in their vision to deliver sports entertainment. (Full details.)
Let’s cruise through the rest of the Fightland results.
Loser Leaves MLW: Matt Cardona defeated Mance Warner with help from Step De Lander. (Full details.) Warner had the victory in hand, but he was victim to a ref bump. Warner accidentally hit the referee with a chair. On a knee strike finisher to Cardona, the ref was still out. Cardona recovered to hit a low blow. The Indy God was aiming to hit Warner with a chair, but De Lander ran out to stop the act of violence. Even though she works with Cardona on the indies, she is dating Warner in real life. SDL puckered a kiss for her man.
In the end, De Lander chose to stick with Cardona. She swerved and tackled Warner through a wooden board to help Cardona win. Backstage, SDL made it clear that she values the money train over love.
MLW World Tag Team Championship: Matthew Justice & Manders defeated Rickey Shane Page & Akira to win the titles. Cue the voice of Cesar Duran, “Ladder match!” The big spot was Justice hanging high above from the championship harness to drop down below for a splash onto The Calling.
The finish was set up with all four men scaling a pair of ladders. Akira swung a chair, Justice ducked, and RSP ate the steel from friendly fire. The ladder holding Akira and Justice was tipped over to send them crashing through tables. Manders was all alone to grab the titles for victory.
Fireworks erupted between The Calling after the match. RSP was angry about Akira’s screw-up. The teammates began fighting each other. The Calling’s goon squad entered the ring and sided with RSP for a beatdown on Akira. They made it clear that Akira is out of The Calling.
Ichiban & Mascara Dorada defeated Rocky Romero & Barbaro Cavernario. Lucha rules for the CMLL stars. Salina de la Renta was ringside to support Romero. This match had its fair share of cool moves, such as a step-up Code Red from Ichiban and a teamwork avalanche Sliced Bread powerbomb from Romero and Cavernario.
Ichiban cleared out Romero with a Destroyer and a tope to the outside. Mascara Dorada handled Cavernario with a pop-up powerbomb and a shooting star press to win.
Fightland was a pretty entertaining show. Alex Kane and Jacob Fatu put on a slugfest in the main event. They did a good job of keeping the big fight atmosphere throughout for a match of that length. The surprise from Alexander Hammerstone came out of nowhere, and that adds intrigue moving forward. The Steph De Lander swerve was a nice touch. I think it worked well, because they openly acknowledged her relationship with Warner. Blurring of the lines and all that to create wonder if they were starting a fresh angle with SDL and Ole Mancer. The ladder match had a feel-good result for the Second Gear Crew, and it set Akira free from The Calling as story progression. The lucha libre showcase brought style and flash.
The replay for MLW Fightland is available for viewing through the Fite+ package on Fite TV.
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