Big Takeaways --
MLW took a trip down memory lane as we visited 2002 and the early bouts of LA Park as La Parka as he took on Shocker and Sabu.
Full Recap --
As the global lockdown has prevented MLW from filming their next scheduled round of Fusion tapings, the league debuted their latest show, Anthology, to fill the void. This week's episode focused on the legendary luchador LA Park, showing two matches from the MLW vault as the original voice of MLW Joey Styles called the action.
LA Park was originally known as La Parka and that is what he is known as back in 2002 when these matches took place.
We opened with a great video highlight package showing us LA Park's recent accomplishments in Mexico and from the early years of MLW. We saw highlights of MLW's first-ever event where Park took on Jerry Lynn from the ECW arena and transitioned that into our first match of the night.
La Parka defeated Shocker from the Manhattan Center in New York City in September 2002 (13:47)
Park suckered Shocker in for a slap to the face before they exchanged a lightening quick lucha-style back-and-forth pinfall/reversal sequence until nipping up to their feet simultaneously. Shocker kicked Park out of the ring and feigned a dive to the floor by hand-springing off the ropes and posing in the middle of the ring.
Park baited Shocker out of the ring and caught him with a boot coming in. A few moments later, he ran Shocker over with a hard shoulder block before he strut his famous strut across the ring. Park was dumped on the back of his head twice before being slingshot out of the ring and eating a springboard splash while on the floor.
A few moments and a swing in momentum later saw Park knock Shocker to the outside with a spinning heel kick and land a big corkscrew suicide dive. Inside the ring, he hit a big somersault senton bomb but only got a two count.
Park then brought a chair into the ring but ended up getting the chair dropkicked into his own face before being dumped on the outside. Shocker then went for a suicide dive through the ropes, but Park finally got him with the chair, mid-air, right between the eyes in a perfectly timed chair shot swing.
Shocker got his feet up when Park came off the top rope to give himself a bit of leeway, but Park then hit him with a dropkick when Shocker tried to come off the top as the match started breaking down. Park hit a missile dropkick but was crotched on the top rope moments later. Shocker then hit him with a big superplex from the top rope, a magistral cradle, a spear in the corner, and a Bronco Buster -- but he couldn't put Park away.
Park crotched Shocker with his boot on a second Bronco Buster attempt before heading to the top rope once again and won the match after hitting his signature springboard corkscrew body block.
- We saw some historical footage in the build to the next match between LA Park and Sabu, again from 2002. Park had attacked Sabu's manager, Bill Alfonso, so when Park was talking to the MLW cameras he was jumped by Sabu and was spiked in the head for good measure.
Sabu (w/ Bill Alfonso) defeated La Parka from the War Memorial Auditorium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida in December 2002 (19:39)
Park threw a chair at Sabu's face before the bell even rang, and that would have normally set the tone for the rest of the match, but they actually began with some chain wrestling as they both tried to gain the early upper hand. Park locked in an early Camel Clutch that Sabu escaped from, and rightfully so with it being one of his signature holds, and moments later to rub salt in the wounds he locked in his own version on Park.
They both found themselves on the top rope. Park was shoved off but landed on his feet on the apron and was still able to clothesline Sabu into the ring. Park missed a slingshot but rolled through and then ate a tornado DDT from Sabu. A second DDT was dodged and Park hit a spinning heel kick.
Park then launched Sabu head-first over the guardrail and into the first row. The crowd scattered as Park hit him with a chair to the head, whipped him into the rail, and then flew off the top rope and into the crowd onto Sabu with a huge crossbody.
Park then set up a table at ringside and rocked Sabu with another chair shot to the head. Park then set up Sabu to spear him from the apron through the table, but as he ran Sabu hit him with a dropkick to the knees that sent Park head over heels over the top rope and through the table.
Sabu got a pair of scissors and went to work stabbing Park in the forehead and ripping his mask away before dumping him into the crowd. Alfonso threw a chair to Sabu in the ring and Sabu then hit his chair-assisted top rope crossbody into the crowd on top of LA Park.
Park was bleeding heavily from his forehead as he slowly made his way back into the ring. Sabu pummeled him on arrival in the ring and went back to work on his forehead with the scissors. Sabu misplaced a middle rope slingshot, so Park hit a standing enzuigiri before setting up Sabu in a tree of woe and dropkicking a chair into Sabu's face.
But Park then missed a spear in the corner and fell to the outside, only to be squashed by a somersault plancha over the top rope by Sabu. Alfonso helped set up another table at ringside for Sabu to hit his chair-assisted Arabian facebuster from the top rope and through the ringside table.
Sabu came off the top rope and ate a boot to the face, but Park only got a two count. Park went up top, but Sabu caught him and hit a springboard hurricanrana from the top rope and crushed him with a chair-assisted Arabian facebuster. Park kicked out, but a triple-jump moonsault moments later sealed the deal and won the match for Sabu.
Alfonso cut a backstage promo after the match and challenged Park to another match, but an angry Park jumped him and shoved him down, screamed at the camera, and then stormed off.
From the extreme scenes of blood, guts, chair shots, and broken tables, we cut back to modern-day MLW and Marshall Von Erich was in his backyard chopping up some bamboo. This was the start of quick-cut mini promos from the Von Erichs, Myron Reed, The Dynasty on Zoom, Tom Lawlor, Mance Warner, and other MLW stars talking about their quarantine and lockdown adventures.
Lawlor had relocated the Filthy Dojo to his garage, Holliday has grown a mustache, Warner was out buying light beers, Savio Vega stood in front of a portrait of himself and called out Holliday, Lawlor and the Von Erichs bad-mouthed each other, and the show finished with LA Park telling CONTRA Unit to go f*ck their mothers.
Next Week --
MLW Anthology featuring Mance Warner.