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MLW One-Shot recap: Matt Cardona taps out in world title fight at WTF sports entertainment extravaganza

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Major League Wrestling embraced the sports entertainment stylings of Mister Saint Laurent’s World Titan Federation. MSL brought in talent from around the world, including Maki Itoh, Miyu Yamashita, Satoshi Kojima, and Mascara Dorada, to compete at the One-Shot event (Dec. 7, 2023). The crowning jewel was Matt Cardona’s quest to win the MLW World Heavyweight Championship from Alex Kane.

Time for the One-Shot main event tale of the tape in the showdown between Bomaye Fight Club and World Titan Federation.

Cardona was backed by Steph De Lander as his heater. Kane had Mr. Thomas watching his back. Cardona was up to his old tricks to start the match. He tried a sneak attack before the opening bell, however, Kane sidestepped to answer with a German suplex. Cardona retreated from the ring to regroup.

Kane showed why he is the Suplex Assassin by tossing Cardona around the ring. As the match progressed, Kane continued unleashing his arsenal of suplexes. The champ had Cardona in deep trouble, but De Lander pulled the referee out of the ring on a pinfall attempt. When Cardona had momentum, Mr. Thomas returned the favor pulling the ref out of the ring to save Kane.

Mr. Thomas flexed his size over De Lander, so Cardona protected his associate with a blindside dropkick. Kane capitalized on the distraction for a vertical suplex, however, SDL hooked Kane’s feet for Cardona to fall on top.

De Lander entered the ring with a chair. As she wound up to deliver a blow, Masked Good Brother #3 (suspicions claim Mance Warner under the mask) planted a sloppy kiss on SDL’s lips. Kane picked up De Lander over his shoulders. Cardona seized the opportunity for a kick to the groin and the Radio Silence leg lariat. 1, 2, new champ? Nope. Kane kicked out to continue the fight.

Cardona grabbed the title belt as a foreign object. Mr. Thomas made the save and suffered the consequences when Cardona walloped him. De Lander had the belt in hand as Cardona held Kane in place. Kane dipped out, and De Lander clobbered Cardona. Kane tackled De Lander. The champ delivered a suplex train then transitioned to a rear naked choke. Cardona faded to black and tapped out in defeat. The Bomaye faithful carried Cardona out of the venue to presumably leave him in the dumpster.

The show didn’t end there.

Kane called out the competition to challenge him at Kings of Coliseum in Philadelphia on January 6, 2024. Rich Holliday made a surprise return to answer the call. Mister Saint Laurent scurried to the ring to pitch Holliday on joining the World Titan Federation. Done deal.

Let’s jam through the rest of the card from top to bottom.

MLW Women’s World Featherweight Championship: Janai Kai retained against Maki Itoh. The Cutest in the World sang her way to the ring.

Kai was introduced by Jesus (Ricardo) Rodriguez and managed by Salina de la Renta. Whenever Itoh was on a roll, Salina and Rodriguez caused distractions. The Kick Demon delivered hard blows from her lethal legs. Itoh rallied for a tornado DDT. As she climbed the corner, Rodriguez meddled in her business again. Ichiban ran in to chase him away. Itoh took flight for a diving headbutt, but she crashed to the mat when Kai moved away. The champ slapped on a chokehold to keep her gold.

MLW National Openweight Championship: Rickey Shane Page retained against Jimmy Lloyd. RSP was flanked by The Calling’s masked goons, then Akira revealed himself in disguise to attack RSP before the match started. Security escorted Akira backstage. The big spots for this match were a flying splash by Lloyd onto a pyramid of chairs and a Death Valley Driver by Lloyd through a makeshift table. In the end, RSP struck with a Raven Effect DDT onto the pile of plunder to win.

Satoshi Kojima defeated Tom Lawlor. Kojima is the original heavyweight champion in MLW, and he made his return to the promotion after 20 years. Lawlor worked a strategy of damaging Kojima’s lariat arm. Lawlor locked in an Anaconda Vice submission, but Kojima was able to rise up and escape with a cutter. Lawlor used a big boot to block Kojima’s lariat. Lawlor regained control with vicious strikes. Kojima powered up for a clubbing lariat. Both men reset in opposing corners then charged forward to collide with double lariats. Kojima stood strong, while Lawlor folded upon impact like an accordion. Game, set, match to Kojima. The fans showered the legend with slices of bread in celebration of his triumphant return.

TJPW Princess of Princess Championship: Miyu Yamashita retained against Delmi Exo. The former MLW women’s featherweight champion gave the Ace of TJPW a heck of a fight. Exo hit a somersault senton off the apron outside and a flying neckbreaker on the inside. Exo also executed a bridging electric chair drop.

The difference in this match was Yamashita’s toughness in striking. She took Exo’s best shots and came back for more. In the closing sequence, Exo hammered her opponent on the turnbuckles. The Ace fired up to pound Exo for an avalanche fireman’s carry driver. Yamashita went for the kill on a spinning head kick to win.

MLW World Middleweight Championship & CMLL World Historic Welterweight Championship: Rocky Romero retained against Mascara Dorada. Jesus (Ricardo) Rodriguez handled the champion’s introduction. The challenger came from CMLL in Mexico. Even though Salina de la Renta was ringside to support the champion, the match was clean from interference. The finish was not so clean. Romero untied the luchador’s mask midway through the bout. Mascara Dorada refused to stay down on Romero’s sliced bread offense. The luchador rallied with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker and a fancy crucifix facebuster. When Mascara Dorada went to finish with the shooting star press, Romero moved out of the way. Mascara Dorada rolled through the landing on the mat. Romero shoved the challenger into the referee, then he pulled off the luchador’s mask to score a roll-up for the 1, 2, 3.

WTF. Sports entertainment was the theme of One-Shot. Mister Saint Laurent brokered a deal for the World Titan Federation to co-promote the event with MLW. He brought flash and sizzle to the broadcast. American Idol contestant Alyssa Wray sang, “America The Beautiful,” to start the show. Wray participated on season 19 of American Idol in 2021 and lasted to the round of ten.

WTF promoted a phone hotline for $99.99 per minute in a comical commercial. One of the options was a Canadian weather report from Davey Boy Smith Jr.

Zayda Steel was awarded a plaque honoring her as the 2023 most downloaded celebrity on America Online.

The indoor attendance number was revealed as a record breaking total of 81,036.5. That is remarkable for a venue with a capacity in the 500 range at the Melrose Ballroom in New York City.

One-Shot was also the debut of the Bodies by Saint Laurent bodybuilding competition. MSL and Steel were the judges. Midas Black entered first, but MSL saw bigger muscles on hamsters. Mr. Thomas arrived second with an impressive physique, however, it was no match compared to the third contestant. Muscle Mountain himself, Alexander Hammerstone, flexed his jacked and juicy peaks. The judges were impressed by Hammer’s vascularity, testosterone, and tan. Hammerstone was the winner.

Hammerstone delivered the line of the night when fans chanted, “Steroids!” He replied, “It looks like everyone in this crowd could use a couple of injections too, you fat assess.”

Jacob Fatu ruined the party to clothesline Hammerstone over the ropes. MLW previously announced Fatu versus Hammerstone to be taped for a future TV episode.

MLW One-Shot was a ton of fun. The main event was madcap in line with Matt Cardona’s style while also allowing Alex Kane to strut his stuff as a Suplex Assassin. Kane earned an impressive win as his stock continues to rise. Cardona did his job bringing entertainment and putting over a new star. Also, the full Bomaye Fight Club entrance continues to be one of my favorites in wrestling. The excitement and energy guarantees a big-fight feel.

The appearance from Richard Holliday was a pleasant surprise. I did not see that coming at all. He should make a good foil opposite Kane. I don’t expect Holliday to win the world title, but it should be an entertaining little feud to build up Kings of Coliseum.

Satoshi Kojima versus Tom Lawlor was the show-stealer. The crowd was hot for Kojima. The bread celebration was so cool to honor the legend. The story of the match was simple, and they worked it well to deliver big drama. Lawlor sold the hell out of the finishing lariat spot.

Both women’s matches were solid entertainment in different ways. Miyu Yamashita and Delmi Exo was more of a wrestling style, while Janai Kai and Maki Itoh was more about the personalities. Yamashita made a strong impression as a stone cold killer on her head kick. Itoh is always a blast as a unique talent. Even though Itoh was protected in defeat, Kai still felt like a true winner with her merciless instinct to choke her opponent.

Rocky Romero and Mascara Dorada started the show off hot with a lucha libre battle. The CMLL luchador shined as expected. I suspect Mascara Dorada will be the next big thing on the radar of larger promotions.

The WTF wackiness was a hoot all night long. MLW has always shown a good sense of humor. It’s like they are in on the joke and not taking themselves too seriously with these bits. Even if there is heat on WWE behind the scenes, the WTF agenda can be enjoyed on screen as good nature ribbing rather than malicious sniping.

The replay for MLW One-Shot is available for viewing through the Fite+ package on Fite TV.

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