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MLW Underground recap: Hammerstone stands tall, NZO knocked out cold on REELZ premiere

Major League Wrestling made its debut on REELZ with MLW Underground as the cradle of combat for warriors past, present, and future. MLW showcased Alexander Hammerstone versus EJ Nduka in Last Man Standing for the MLW World Heavyweight Championship, Real1 NZO eating a one-hitter quitter after running his mouth, and Davey Boy Smith Jr. coming to collect a family heirloom.

The evening’s main event was for the MLW World Heavyweight Championship. Alexander Hammerstone defended the gold against EJ Nduka in Last Man Standing. Tim Barr helped provide the big-fight feel with booming introductions. The rules were described as beating the opponent down until they are unable to make it to their feet for the referee’s 10-count.

Nduka had a trick up his to start the match. The referee held up the title belt to signify game on. Once the opening bell rang, Nduka snatched the belt from the ref’s hands to strike Hammerstone in the head. Hammer down!

Hammerstone rose at the the count of 6 and drove Nduka back into the corner. Hammerman showed his strength early with a pair of stalling fallaway slams. Hammerstone clotheslined Nduka over the ropes tumbling out of the ring.

On the outside, Nduka took control by using weapons. Kendo stick blows and chair shots took a toll on Hammerstone’s back. Nduka body slammed Hammer on stage following through with the focus on damaging the back.

Inside the ring, Nduka set up a wooden board across open chairs. The titans tussled, then Nduka planted Hammerstone with a spinebuster through the pine. Hammerstone was compromised, but he managed to rise at 9.

Nduka handcuffed Hammerstone’s hands around the ring post in an effort to keep the champ down. Hammerman powered out of the cuffs to break free. Hammer time! Blood flowed through the veins to pump Hammerstone’s muscles for a rally of offense. Hammerstone tackled Nduka through a wooden board in the corner. Nduka was in jeopardy of losing until rising at 9.

Hammerstone poured on the pain with a jumping pump kick and Nightmare Pendulum finisher. As the referee enforced his 10-count, Hammerstone piled plunder atop Nduka’s prone body to make it harder to stand. That was enough to do the job. Nduka did not rise, and Hammerstone was declared the winner to retain the MLW world title.

MLW Underground on REELZ

Jacob Fatu kicked off the show to announce intentions of cashing in the Battle Riot prize for a world title shot at SuperFight. (The SuperFight event was taped February 4 to be aired on a later date.) Real1 NZO interrupted to claim he was the rightful winner of Battle Riot. NZO shot his mouth with insults toward the sloppy jalopy Samoan son of a bitch. NZO compared Fatu to a poor man’s Rikishi. Fatu had enough, and security ran out to prevent a fight. NZO continued talking smack from a safe distance.

Fatu exited, so NZO called him a coward. NZO came for a fight. Enter Mance Warner. NZO talked up his own skills with the gift of gab and the gift of jab. He accepted the impromptu challenge shuffling his feet and shadowboxing in the ring. Warner stood his ground in a fighting stance as Real1 floated like a butterfly. When NZO went to sting like a bee, he ran into a one-hitter quitter from Ole Mancer. NZO was knocked out cold, and the referee awarded the victory to Warner.

MLW Underground on REELZ

NZO was irate after the commercial break throwing chairs in the ring and demanding a rematch. MLW announced NZO versus Warner in a street fight for next week on MLW Underground.

Alex Kane brought the Thrilla in Phila prizefight open challenge to REELZ. The Marvelous Jafar answered the call and was promptly destroyed by the Suplex Assassin. Kane’s fifth suplex of the squash sent Jafar crashing into the corner. The referee called for the bell when Jafar was clearly in physical harm from the beating. Kane added two more suplexes after the match. Kane ran his mouth looking for another opponent, so Davey Boy Smith Jr. arrived to reclaim the stolen Opera Cup trophy for his family. A melee broke out between the Bomaye Fight Club and the new era British Bulldogs.

Also on the show, Lio Rush will return soon to MLW. Willie Mack versus Calvin Tankman was announced for next week. Another victim was found with the mysterious calling card storyline. This time it was Mads Krugger knocked out backstage.

MLW embraces a variety of styles in the ring. Some weeks are technical wrestling, some weeks are lucha libre, some weeks are street fights, and so on. The premiere of MLW Underground on REELZ was heavy in the sports entertainment vein. It was basically two squash matches revolving around promos and a Last Man Standing battle. Being that this was a debut on a new network, I think the show should be viewed through the lens of trying to hook new fans. Overall, the program did well showcasing big personalities in Major League Wrestling to set up feuds and touch on current stories.

Alexander Hammerstone and EJ Nduka provided decent action in an entertaining Last Man Standing main event. Hammermania running wild is always a jolt of excitement. His Nightmare Pendulum is a treat to behold on larger men like Nduka. It was easy to see why Hammerstone is the man right now in MLW. The pile of plunder visual for the finish was a little cheesy considering that light weight was supposed to keep down a man with the strength of Nduka.

The opening segment gave face time to Jacob Fatu in an effort to boost anticipation for his showdown with Hammerstone. NZO worked his promo style as only he can. Fans of NZO will have a smile on their face, and his haters will have ammunition to fuel the hate. Real1 was amusing as a heat magnet, even though, some of his lines were repetitive. The knock out from Mance Warner was hilarious. NZO worked hard riling up the crowd, and that’s why it was so satisfying to see Ole Mancer shut his mouth in an embarrassing manner. I’m glad MLW is delivering NZO versus Warner next week. After that scene, the appetite is strong to see that matchup.

Share your reactions to the premiere 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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