In an aptly timed episode, MLW presented WarGames as Steve Corino and the Extreme Horsemen took on Terry Funk's Funkin' Army. This was one of two WarGames matches (2018 was the other) MLW ran before WWE acquired the rights in 2019. After that, it became War Chamber.
The Extreme Horsemen graced the Florida crowd with an insult-laden promo directed at their WarGames opponents, the local crowd and (ironically) WWE.
Similar to their other promos in weeks prior, Corino questioned Funk's team's cohesiveness and pointed out there are four of the Horsemen (including the masked mystery man from the aftermath of the Lawler/Funk match) but only three for Funk's team (Funk, Sandman and "Dr. Death" Steve Williams). He suggested WWE (Vince McMahon and Jim Ross in particular) pulled the originally scheduled Jerry Lawler from the match because they were scared of the competition and scared of Lawler losing.
The mystery masked man was unmasked and unveiled as Justin Credible, the renamed PJ Walker, who was officially added to the Horsemen team. Corino wasn't done as he called out “the original Extreme Horseman” Barry Windham to also join their team and make the numbers 5-on-3 going into the match.
J-Cup USA First Round: Sonjay Dutt defeated Tony Mamaluke to advance
Weighing in at an announced 2,476 liquid ounces, Mamaluke took on Dutt in a first-round match in the J-Cup USA tournament. Dutt was coming off an impressive, but losing, effort to Jimmy Yang two weeks ago in the 2003 timeline.
This was really great and followed up on perfectly from the aforementioned Dutt/Yang match. These matches have a real early X-Division feel to them with some spectacular and impressive moves throughout. For example, Dutt leapt from the apron and landed with a split leg on the top rope, using his legs to scissor Mamaluke over the top rope to the floor. Mamaluke then squashed Dutt on the concrete with a very brave somersault senton from the top rope to the floor.
The fast-paced high flying action continued back in the ring and Dutt had the crowd rocking with a muscle buster neckbreaker where he dropped to his knees, jarring Mamaluke's back. He had them at a fever pitch with a spectacular reverse 450 splash from the top to pick up the win.
The Funkin’ Army (Terry Funk, Sandman, "Dr. Death" Steve Williams, Sabu & Bill Alfonso) defeated The Extreme Horsemen (Steve Corino, Barry Windham, CW Anderson, Simon Diamond, PJ Walker) in a WarGames match
A few times throughout the night, Joey Styles mentioned that this was the match that “the evil empire” tried to stop, pointing the finger at WWE for nearly ruining it by pulling Lawler from being able to appear.
Anderson and Sandman were first out for their respecive teams and we got the full Metallica Sandman entrance which was a delight to see and hear unedited. In a smart piece of booking, we not only got to see that full entrance at his own pace but the entrants were only two minutes apart so the action never lagged and no one was exposed in the ring for too long.
The Horsemen won the pre-match coin toss so the MLW Champion Corino was third out and interestingly announced as “The King of Kings" which sounds awfully familiar. Corino had barbed wire wrapped around his fist and, of course, he took the wire to Sandman's forehead, busting him open more than his Budweiser did during his entrance. They harkened back to ECW with a caning spot as Anderson held Sandman and draped him between the two rings.
Funk was out next to even the sides, throwing a chair into the ring from the elevated entrance stage and immediately going straight for Corino to continue their ongoing war. We were told Funk had an upcoming title shot at Corino and chose a dog collar match for the stipulation. Funk dragged Corino from one ring to the other, dropping him with a piledriver.
The Horsemen got the upper hand when Diamond entered to make it 3-2 in their favor. With both Global Tag Team Champions now in the ring, Diamond took a chair to Funk while Anderson ran Sandman's face against the steel cage.
Williams was next out to even the score as we were told this was the last advertised member of Funk's team. He had also supposedly agreed to take the match even though they were two men short with Windham being recently added to the Horsemen's team.
Walker (Justin Credible) brought a ladder out with him as he gave the Horsemen a 4-3 advantage. He and Anderson whipped Sandman into the ladder as Funk see-sawed between the ropes as Corino fired off right hands. Moments later, the crazy Funk did his signature airplane spin ladder spot, taking out some of the Horsemen in the process.
Windham was supposed to come in next, but Sabu surprisingly returned and ran wild, evening the odds and bringing Funk's team back into the match. Sabu's left arm was heavily taped up from his bicep tear and still did not look fully healed.
Windham was out next and the Horsemen's bounty hunter took out all members of the Funk's team. However, Alfonso, who came out with Sabu, got on the mic and declared the uneven teams were bullsh*t, so he climbed in and became the fifth member of Funk's team.
Sabu came off the top rope and put Walker through a table with a legdrop. Funk brought a flaming branding iron into the ring, branding Corino across the back and then spitting the branding iron fire into Corino's eyes. Funk then locked in his famous spinning toehold to make Corino give up and win the match for his team.
There was a lot of in-ring action and not a lot of promo time -- necessary given the length of the WarGames match. The match itself never lagged and each entrant kept the action fresh and exciting with the weapons they brought in. The Dutt/Mamaluke match was fantastic, if a little short, but is worth watching. The upcoming Funk vs. Corino match should be a bloodbath and I'm hoping we get to see it before we return to current-day programming in July.
Next week's show features Raven vs. NOSAWA as CM Punk's feud with Raven continues.