** The Big Takeaways**
- "Filthy" Tom Lawlor defeated Davey Boy Smith Jr. in an MLW match of the year contender and then told the world he only has a few short weeks left on his MLW contract.
- Marshall Von Erich beat Ikuro Kwon by disqualification and then accepted Josef Samael's offer to face Jacob Fatu on Thanksgiving night.
- The Dynasty combination of Alexander Hammerstone and Richard Holliday lost via countout to Dominic Garrini and Douglas James.
** Full Review **
We opened backstage with Lawlor and the Von Erich brothers, Marshall and Ross. Lawlor said he might only be here for a few more weeks but he has big business with Davey Boy Smith Jr. tonight. Marshall and Lawlor both asked Ross if he has their back tonight in their matches. with Ross replying “Of course. We are all brothers."
Rich Bocchini and AJ Kirsch then welcomed us to Orlando and hyped up tonight's main event.
Marshall Von Erich (w/Ross Von Erich) defeated Ikuro Kwon of CONTRA Unit (with Josef Samael) by disqualification (03:53)
This was a good quick match that built up the eventual announcement of Marshall vs. Jacob Fatu on MLW's free YouTuber show on Thanksgiving night. They played up the revenge story as it was Ikuro Kwon who “blinded” Marshall by spitting mist into his eyes earlier this summer, causing him to miss seeing the birth of his son.
Kwon jumped Marshall with a suicide senton as he was making his way around the ring high fiving fans. After Samael had instructed Kwon to attack, the newest CONTRA Unit member hit a flurry of strikes to Marshall's chest and abdomen before hitting a nice spin kick to the back of the head. Kwon's kicks continued but Marshall caught him with a discus lariat to stop him in his tracks. A spinebuster followed soon after, but before he could fully lock in the Iron Claw, Josef Samael jumped in the ring and attacked for the disqualification.
Ross quickly came in to even the odds and the new MLW tag team champions quickly cleaned house of CONTRA Unit.
-- Lifestyles of the Rich and Dynastic saw Richard Holliday FaceTiming with MJF about Maxwell's botched Botox injections. Holliday jumped in horror as MJF revealed his barely noticeable abnormalities. Alexander Hammerstone then came in with a gift train for them both. MJF wished for another Burberry scarf, Holliday wanted really big Air Pods, but while Hammerstone couldn't reveal their gifts yet, he said it was the biggest gift MLW has ever seen.
-- Bocchini and Kirsch hyped up the upcoming Opera Cup with two of the four opening round matches announced: Brian Pillman Jr. vs TJP and the Dynasty will explode when MJF takes on Alexander Hammerstone.
Dominic Garrini & Douglas James defeated National Openweight Champion Alexander Hammerstone and Richard Holliday by countout (7:02)
Garrini and James continued their string of impressive performances in MLW in this one. They both looked really good and Garrini's snap armbreaker submissions popped the crowd each time and looks like it is quickly catching on.
Before the bell, Holliday told the crowd they were breathing verified air before his lawyer/father phoned him and he took the call via his AirPods. He called Garrini and James' Krav Maga “Krav Ma-garbage” before calling himself the “AirPod God” and Hammer' “Meatcastle of the Dynasty”.
Holliday piefaced Garrini but also offered a handshake because of "sportsmanship”. Garrini snapped on an armbreaker attempt but Holliday was more worried about his AirPod falling out. Hammerstone came in and had a test of strength with Garrini but again Garrini snapped on another armbreaker attempt. Hammerstone powered out and Garrini tagged in James.
James initially used speed against Hammerstone, but the MLW National Openweight champion plucked him out the air and slammed him down before tagging in Holliday who continued the beatdown on James. Hammer shouted James was “just too small” before eating a dropkick which led to the Garrini hot tag.
Garrini suplexed Holliday and got in another armbreaker attempt but Hammer had to break the hold with a stomp to the chest. The action was nonstop as James came off the top and caught Hammerstone with a Meteora for a close two count. The action spilled to the outside where James hit a tornado DDT on Hammerstone as Holliday and Garrini brawled on the other side. James barely rolled into the ring before the 20 count to pick up the countout win, but Hammerstone was seconds behind him. The Dynasty were furious in the ring at their loss.
-- New MLW Middleweight champion Myron Reed had a message for everyone. He said for years to come, everyone will be celebrating the name "Hot Fire" Myron Reed. He gave a nice shoutout to Matt Travis after his tragic passing last week and finished by saying “Free ACH”.
-- Lawlor and the Von Erichs were backstage talking about Marshall's win. Ross received a delivery: a phone with a video message. Samael was in the video and he said his offer was that one of them can face Jacob Fatu on Thanksgiving night. The brothers decided between them that it would be Marshall and he signed the contract on Ross' back. However, Ross cannot be sure what name Marshall put on the contract as he folded it and handed it back to Ross who put it straight back into the package.
-- The MLW women's division had a nice hype video before Kaci Lennox interviewed Zeda Zhang about her match next week against The Spider Lady. She threatened to squish her like a bug and demask her to show the world who is under the mask.
-- Jimmy Havoc had a message for Mance Warner. He accepted his challenge to a falls count anywhere match and threatened to take him back to his own house in Florida and hit him with his own frying pan. Of course, Havoc then threatened to bust him open and drink his blood.
“Filthy” Tom Lawlor defeated Davey Boy Smith Jr. (15:47)
This was an excellent match that should be added to any MLW watchlist: a complete clinic in professional wrestling and storytelling. "King" Mo Lawal was ringside for this MLW dream match as a handshake started us off.
They displayed great chain wrestling and good storytelling psychology as they reversed, escaped, and applied different submissions while on the mat with neither getting any attempt fully locked in as they were both fresh and evenly matched with it being so early in the encounter.
Smith teased participating in a forearm exchange before dropping down and taking Lawlor down with an ankle trip. The match soon got filthy with Smith not giving a clean break and tossing the former world champ to the outside. Smith continued with stiff forearms to the face on the outside, but Lawlor soon retaliated with chops and forearms so powerful that a lady in the front row had to recoil and shut her eyes from the action.
Smith locked in a rear naked choke back inside the ring, but Lawlor was just in reach of the bottom rope. Smith's forearms were staggering Lawlor with each blow but the match was visibly taking its toll on both men by the 10 minute mark.
Lawlor fought back with a belly-to-back suplex for the first pinfall attempt of the match. He then unsuccessfully tried some Yes Kicks as Smith powered up and dropped Lawlor on his head with a high angle back suplex. Smith then added a great little detail as he grapevined Lawlor's legs for his first cover attempt of the match.
Lawlor fought back and tried to lock in a rear naked choke of his own, but Smith fought him off. They had a reverse knife edge and open hand chop battle that Smith won with one single mighty blow to the face that caused visible sweat to fly from Lawlor's body.
Once again, Lawlor fought back and barely got Smith over with a suplex. A side Russian leg sweep followed but once they hit the mat, Smith rolled through and got up to his feet. With their legs still intertwined, he locked in the Sharpshooter. Smith smoothly transitioned into the crossface but Lawlor scratched and clawed his way to the ropes just in time.
They both got their feet for another forearm battle that transitioned to open hand chops. In what looked like a deliberate attempt, Lawlor poked Smith in the eye, temporarily blinding him. Lawlor then hit a spinning heel kick while Smith was in the corner recovering. Lawlor locked in his own rear naked choke but Smith broke free and got Lawlor into the running powerslam position, but Lawlor slipped out the back and dropped him shoulder blades first onto his knee which was enough to pick up the pin and the victory.
After the match, Smith already had a black eye from what must have been a legitimate eye poke. Lawlor was interviewed by Kaci Lennox on the stage and said he holds his destiny in his hands and in a few short weeks, his contract in MLW is up. He questioned what to do, maybe he will return to the cage, maybe he will get a little "raw" or maybe he will lay a little smack? He called himself the hottest commodity in MLW and hottest thing in wrestling today.
**Next week **
- Zeda Zhang vs. The Spider Lady
- Mance Warner vs. Jimmy Havoc in a falls count anywhere match