Never Say Never (July 8, 2023) started a new chapter for MLW in Philadelphia. Alex Kane stands tall with the MLW World Heavyweight Championship. The Suplex Assassin forced Alexander Hammerstone to tap out and close his reign at 644 days.
News was swirling before the title fight when Don King was revealed as the money man behind Kane and the Bomaye Fight Club.
Philly fans were loudly behind Kane, even though, he was technically the heel in this situation. It wasn’t just a case of cheering Kane, they also booed Hammerstone. The main event rumbled for over 20 minutes. Hammerstone hit the Nightmare Pendulum, but Kane wisely rolled out of the ring to prevent the pinfall. After that, Kane resorted to cheap tricks like kicking the ropes up into Hammer’s groin and timely distractions from Mr. Thomas. The match progressed for the climax when Kane surprised Hammerstone with a drop step to grab his neck for a chokehold. Kane took it down to the mat, and Hammerman tapped right before he passed out.
Kane thanked the fans for their organic support. Bomaye is for the people, and he’s taking all of them on this ride together. Hammerstone sent a message after the show that he might be taking a break.
I gave it everything I had every single time. Maybe some time away— Hammerstone (@alexhammerstone) July 9, 2023
The Calling are new tag champs after beating the Samoan Swat Team for the MLW World Tag Team Championship. This was a hardcore bout with fans bringing weapons, such as trashcans, tables, chairs, barbed wire, a plunger, and a cactus. Jacob Fatu helped take out the Calling scum trying to interfere, but Rickey Shane Page and Akira still managed to dethrone Lance Anoa’i and Juicy Finau. Akira hit a Meteora to Juicy through a table. RSP tussled with Lance and gained the edge in position on the turnbuckles for an avalanche DDT through a table to win. Raven’s crew now holds the tag titles along with the MLW World Middleweight Championship.
Mance Warner had friends in low places to help him overcome the shenanigans from Sam Adonis in the Country Whipping Match. The competitors were issued short straps to whip their opponent at their leisure. The brawl included wooden boards, chairs, and screwdrivers. Warner was a bloody mess. When the Azteca Lucha goons arrived to help Adonis, the Second Gear Crew stormed in to neutralize the threat. Microman was also in the ring with a kendo stick to hit Adonis. Warner chokeslammed Adonis through the wood and finished with a running knee to earn the win. Light beers were the drink of victory.
Tracy Williams defeated Timothy Thatcher in a grapple session. I’m 99.9% sure that Thatcher was legit knocked out on a flying DDT from Williams. Thatcher clearly didn’t kick out of the pin, but the referee stopped at 2 anyway. Williams tried to lift Thatcher, but his body was dead weight. The ref waved off the match. Williams didn’t celebrate the victory. This didn’t feel like a story KO, and Williams isn’t on deck to be pushed like that. On the bright side, Thatcher did exit the ring on his own power.
Delmi Exo defeated Ava Everett to become a double champ. Both the MLW Women’s World Featherweight Championship and the xWx Women’s World Championship from Germany were on the line. When Everett tuned up the band for a superkick, Exo caught her leg for a capture suplex and finished with a package piledriver.
Jacob Fatu retained the MLW National Openweight Championship against Calvin Tankman in the opener. This hoss fight was a doozy. Power was on full display, but the high spots were due to agility. The story was Fatu tweaking his knee on the floor when being clotheslined over the ropes. That injury prevented him from executing the double jump springboard moonsault finisher. Down the stretch, Tankman had the upper hand in fisticuffs. He sent Fatu into the corner, but the Samoan Werewolf shot back with a twisting senton to win. Afterward, Fatu showed respect to Tankman as one of his toughest opponents.
The first pick of the 2023 Open Draft was Kevin Blackwood. The second pick made headlines. Matt Cardona is coming to MLW as the crown jewel of Mister Saint Laurent’s World Titan Federation stable.
B3CCA’s live musical performance was crashed by Love, Doug.
MLW announced their upcoming schedule for Fite+ live specials. Fury Road is on September 3, Slaughterhouse is on October 14, Fightland is on November 18, and One Shot is on December 7.
Never Say Never was a solid show. I don’t think MLW fans will be disappointed at all. The sprinkle of surprises with Don King and Cardona were a treat. It was surreal seeing Hammerstone finally lose and Kane get a huge rub in victory to start his title reign strong.
The Never Say Never replay is available for viewing through the Fite+ package on Fite TV. Let Ole Mancer talk you in the door to watch the show.