In another retro episode full of MLW debuts, Low Ki faced Homicide in the main event while the Stampede Bulldogs (later Davey Boy Smith Jr. and Tyson Kidd) debuted in the opener of this week's MLW Underground.
This was the opener of their second season, debuting in January 2004 and one of only five remaining episodes in the series.
The Stampede Bulldogs (Harry Smith and TJ Wilson) defeated Bobby Quance and Puma
The Bulldogs were very impressive here with an array of innovative double team moves. Puma (TJP under a mask) and Quance were great, too, Quance showed some brilliant suplexes while the slimmer Puma was impressive with his high flying. This was a great match to kick off the show.
The Bulldogs' double teaming started with a History in the Making combo powerbomb. Wilson had Puma in the reverse DDT position before slingshotting Puma off the top rope and combining with Smith who hit a sit-out powerbomb. Wilson then transitioned straight to a grapevined ankle lock but Puma got the ropes.
Quance got the hot tag and came in like a house of fire with springboard dropkicks, tornado kicks, chops, and a t-bone suplex. Puma pulled out a tombstone before Quance squashed Smith with a top rope shooting star press.
But the Bulldogs fired up as the action broke down. Quance got thrown from the ring which allowed the Bulldogs to grab Puma and hit a springboard blockbuster/sit-out powerbomb combination to pick up the win.
This match was part of an ongoing tag tournament with the Bulldogs now receiving a Tag Team title shot against Simon Diamond and CW Anderson as part of a three-way tag.
-- Backstage and now under a hood, PJ Friedman cut a promo saying he was back and has his sights set on Vampiro.
MLW Junior Heavyweight Champion Sonjay Dutt defeated Jack Evans (w/ Teddy Hart) to retain
Current AEW wrestler Evans was announced as the best high flyer in the world today (then 2004) by Hart who joined the commentary team. However, Evans didn't really show a lot of his potential here as it was mostly Dutt in control before he eventually put Evans away.
The action started quite slowly given who was involved, but Dutt took early control and hit a nice hurricanrana and fast jumping heel kick. Dutt then hit a huge top rope double jump elbow drop, but Evans kicked out.
Evans moved from a Hindu Press attempt and connected with a superkick. Dutt then tried to roll Evans up, but the referee stopped the count as Evans' shoulder was up. That seemed to anger Dutt as it felt like that was the planned finish. After displaying his frustrations, Dutt finished Evans off with a standing shooting star press seconds later.
After the match, Hart jumped Dutt and he and Evans continued the beatdown, setting up a future Hart vs. Dutt match that would never happen.
After a break, Dutt was backstage pissed off because of the attack, but was confronted by Los Maximos. This set up a future six-man tag with Dutt and two partners vs. Los Maximos and a partner of their choosing.
Homicide defeated Low Ki
This was great and crisp action from start to finish. The memorable ending of Court Bauer being hit in the head with a broomstick by Homicide was such that the commentary has made its way to the current day Fusion TV opening titles. The hot crowd in Orlando also helped this match as they ate up the action and were loud throughout.
Ki hit a crossbody and took control. He hit a nice butterfly suplex and a handspring overhead kick to the back of the head. Homicide fought back after taking one stiff chop too many and flew out the ring with a tope, ending up over the barrier and into the crowd.
Homicide then took over with suplexes of his own and a surfboard submission. He dropped Ki on the top of his head with a hurricanrana off the top rope, but Ki still kicked out at two. Homicide then missed a diving headbutt which gave Ki the chance to fire up. He hit a barrage of chops, a clothesline, and kicks to the chest followed by soccer kicks to the head. He slipped out of the Cop Killer and hit a rolling kick to the back of Homicide's head. He then deadlifted Homicide up and planted him on his head with a German suplex, but Homicide got his foot on the rope to break the count.
Homicide caught Ki springboarding off the ropes and hit a dragon screw followed by another one off the top rope. He locked on an STF but let go when he thought Ki tapped out. Ki then slipped out the back and locked in a dragon sleeper, but Homicide again got to the ropes.
Ki's leg gave out on a suplex attempt, but he was able to come back with a kick to the head. Homicide fought back with a big clothesline, but Ki again slipped out of the Cop Killer, but struggled to lock in the dragon sleeper once again. Homicide fought and fought and in the scramble and rolled Ki onto his shoulders just long enough for the ref to count to three and get the win.
Jerry Lynn jumped Homicide after the match, but Ki saved his teacher from a beatdown which brought out the debuting Gary Hart, the legendary manager.
He instructed both Homicide and Low Ki to make an example of Lynn. They pummelled him and put the boots to him before a fan started badmouthing Hart at ringside, so he instructed Low Ki to confront him. Hart had a mystery man with him and he was (maybe strategically) blocking the camera's view of Low Ki and the fan, but we did see a drink get smashed and then Low Ki trying to drag the fan over the guardrail.
Chaos ensued as Homicide also got involved. The fan tried to run, but Low Ki chased him and clobbered him with a right hand. A security guard tried to shield the fan but it took road agents and staff (including Court Bauer) to separate them. Hart was still on the mic and got in Bauer's face, but the MLW founder was blindsided by Homicide and shoved to the ground.
Hart sarcastically thanked Bauer for bringing him to MLW and promised to end Terry Funk's career the next night. The situation looked to be calmed, but as Bauer was getting to his knees, he was hit over the head with a broomstick by Homicide.
This was another great night of in-ring action, although a bit disappointing we did not see more from Jack Evans. It was brilliant to see so many young faces who are still in action or around the business today: Smith, Wilson, TJP, Evans, Dutt, Homicide, Low Ki, and, of course, Bauer.
The main event went over 15 minutes which gave them enough time to put on a great match. Both the opening tag and the main event really bookended this episode well as they were the first and final matches of the first night of TV tapings.
The aftermath of the main event was chaotic and a great way to get people talking and intrigued for the second night of tapings that would follow the next day.