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MLW Underground recap: NZO gets dirty in street fight, Taya Valkyrie title defense

MLW brought street fight action, a championship defense, and a heavyweight hoss fight to MLW Underground on REELZ.

The feature attraction was NZO versus Mance Warner in a street fight. NZO ran his mouth last week and was knocked out cold with one punch. This week, a rematch was called for to show it was no fluke.

MLW billed this match as Culture Wars between the North and the South. Ole Mancer preached about his fondness for beating the hell out of people. He didn’t view this matchup as North versus South. Mancer represents everybody, and everybody hates NZO’s guts. Warner grabbed some light beers to get ready for whooping that ass. NZO claimed Warner took a cheap shot last week. (It was a clean punch fair and square.) NZO insulted Warner’s body as fueled by gas station food. Real1 will get real in beating that inbred hillbilly bumpkin. He threatened to fill Mance’s Waffle House craving mouth with a haymaker pancaker.

NZO was pretty smart to start by catching Warner off guard for a dropkick. Warner took some punches then fired back to smash NZO into the corners. The action spilled outside with NZO lifting Warner in a crucifix position to ram into the ring post.

NZO teed off with a kendo stick. Mancer rallied for a Dusty Rhodes boogie woogie elbow and a drop toehold into a chair. It was now Warner’s turn to swing the kendo stick. After a lariat and a big boot, Warner had plans to DDT NZO onto a trashcan, but NZO found his second wind to drive Warner into the corner. NZO took flight off the turnbuckles, so Warner threw a trashcan at him midair.

Warner charged toward NZO, however, Real1 pulled the referee in front. NZO used that distraction to swing over the top with brass knuckles. Warner was down for the winning pin. NZO got revenge by fighting dirty.

Taya Valkyrie put the MLW World Women’s Featherweight Championship on the line against Zoey Skye. La Wera Loca pat the head of her diminutive opponent. The height difference was 5’8” compared to 5’. Skye had spunk and exploded for speedy offense to start. Taya regrouped and slowed down the pace playing to her size advantage. Skye rallied for a lungblower through the ropes and a flying crossbody. Taya dodged a second crossbody to counter with a dropkick. That led to the Road to Valhalla finisher. Adding insult to injury, Cesar Duran (alias Dario Cueto) forced Skye to kiss Taya’s furry boots.

Taya knocked one challenger down, and another one emerged. Billie Starkz was granted interview time for her debut in MLW. Taya mocked the young age (18) of Starkz. Duran told her to come back when she’s out of diapers. Taya shooed Starkz off stage.

The opening bout for the evening was a hoss fight between Willie Mack and Calvin Tankman. MLW made sure to reinforce the ring for the two heavyweights. After a power showdown stalemate, Mack got slick with quick moves and a tope con giro to the outside. Back on the inside, chops and nipple twisters were exchanged.

Both men ran the ropes crisscross leading to a hefty shoulder block from Mack. Tankman shot back for a pop-up spinning back elbow to earn a two-count before Mack placed his foot on the ropes for the break. Mack rallied with a spinning hook kick, Samoan drop, and standing moonsault. Tankman kicked out on the cover. Mack wasted valuable time arguing the referee. Hot Chocolate climbed high for a frog splash. Tankman dodged away, and Mack tweaked his knee on the landing. Tankman seized the moment to club Mack in the back of the head and finish with the Tankman driver.

There was supposed to be a fourth match on the program for a three-way between luchadoras Lady Shani, La Hiedra, and Reina Dorada. That bout was canceled after the ladies were found unconscious backstage as the latest victims of the AO mystery attacker.

On the promo tip, Lio Rush is back in MLW. The Man of the Hour plans to remind the entire roster who he is. Davey Boy Smith Jr. was insulted by Alex Kane making a mockery of the Opera Cup trophy. There will be no joking when they step into the ring for a match. Jacob Fatu is coming to regain the MLW World Championship from Alexander Hammerstone. Lance Anoa’i was missing from the Samoan Swat Team interview. It turned out that EJ Nduka smashed a cinder block over Lance’s head in the parking lot. Nduka was angry about Fatu taking his spotlight. Hammerstone had a response for Fatu. He will prove once and for all that there was no luck in beating Fatu the first time. Hammer is just better than Fatu.

Willie Mack versus Calvin Tankman was the primo bout of the broadcast. The hoss fight action was tons of fun. Taya Valkyrie was impressive with a dominant win. Zoey Skye had some underdog moments, but Taya stamped that out. I like how Taya was more methodical with her selection of offense playing to her size advantage. Taya also flashed her mat skills, which she doesn’t utilize that often as a babyface.

The street fight main event was a bit tame by Mance Warner’s standards. We’ve seen Ole Mancer bleed buckets in an MLW ring before. NZO using brass knuckles was an amusing way for him to get his win back. I’m not sure why the secrecy considering it would have been legal anyway in street fight rules. It did play off an exciting moment nonetheless and was in character for NZO to create a cheap shot scenario. Bring on the rubber match.

Share your reactions to the latest episode of MLW Underground on REELZ.

MLW Underground airs Tuesdays at 10 pm ET on REELZ. MLW Fusion streams Thursdays at 8 pm ET on Pro Wrestling TV and hits the cable waves Saturdays at 8 pm ET on beIN SPORTS.

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