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MLW Underground recap: WAR CHAMBER!

MLW Underground (April 18, 2023) was a one-match show, and that match was WAR CHAMBER! War Chamber is basically MLW’s version of War Games. Alexander Hammerstone led the Second Gear Crew into combat against Raven’s The Calling.

War Chamber rules are two teams of four competing inside a cage adorned with barbed wire at the top, in theory to prevent escape. The match starts one-on-one for five minutes. Alternating team members enter every two minutes. Once all eight men are officially in the ring, then a winner can be determined via pinfall, submission, or surrender.

Let’s get it on!

Rickey Shane Page and 1 Called Manders were first on the scene. Akira, Matthew Justice, Delirious, Alexander Hammerstone, Doctor Cornwallis, and Mance Warner entered in that order when it was their time. Raven sat on stage watching the carnage. One of the mysteries was if Raven would get physical. He did not.

Highlights of the first half were Manders using Justice as a powerslam battering ram to mash opponents in the corner and Hammerstone running wild with suplexes and powerbombs once he entered the fray.

Unfortunately for Hammerstone, he injured his lower leg and was helped to the back. I’m not sure if that was a real injury. I’d lean to a story tool so the MLW world heavyweight champion doesn’t have to take a loss, since The Calling needed the win to establish their power. The fight continued with a 4-on-3 advantage for The Calling.

Warner executed the craziest spot of the match with a superplex to RSP onto a table with two open chairs atop. Ouch!

Mancer went for the cover. Delirious landed a flying splash to break the pin. Justice did the same when Delirious tried to cover Warner.

Akira seized the moment for a running knee to the unprotected skull of Justice as he was covering Delirious. A German suplex by Akira softened Justice for a DDT from Page. That was the finish. Page pinned Justice for victory.

MLW played into the Hammerstone injury with footage of an ambulance racing to the arena. Court Bauer addressed the world in an interview to update Hammer’s status. Details were unclear so soon, but Hammerstone was in a lot of pain. The MLW head honcho ruled out an interim title. He feels that the interim label waters down the lineal integrity of the main belt.

When asked about stripping Hammerstone of the title if he has a serious injury, Alex Kane interrupted to demand he be crowned world champion. Davey Boy Smith Jr. butt in to point out that he choked Kane out last week. Fisticuffs ensued, then the locker room emptied into the hallway for a melee to promote next week’s Battle Riot match.

The Battle Riot is a 40-wrestler Royal Rumble with the winner earning a world title shot.

A match as chaotic as War Chamber has a guaranteed baseline of entertainment. This year’s contest hit that mark but didn’t go much beyond. There were no truly memorable moments. It was a rugged fight with a few crazy pops. The star power was a little on the weak side. Delirious was a surprise member of The Calling. His arrival earned a shrug from me. Delirious can fit in with that group as a solid hand, but he doesn’t excite me as a surprise for this particular match. I have no clue who Doctor Cornwallis is. I’m guessing a repackaged Doctor Dax or Beast Man? The Cornwallis character was never presented to viewers as someone to care about. Raven’s appearance was lackluster. He brought nothing to the table. The entire match would have been the exact same without his presence. Raven’s strength for The Calling will be his promos, and that skill wasn’t needed here. All in all, War Chamber was interesting in the moment, but it will probably lack longevity for repeated replays. Credit to everyone involved for taking their lumps.

Share your reactions to the latest episode of MLW Underground.

MLW Underground airs Tuesdays at 10 pm ET on REELZ.

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