Yearly Review: MLW 2002
The first year of existence for Major League Wrestling.
MLW World Heavyweight Championship Scene:
MLW’s first show on June 16th, 2002 focused solely on crowning the first heavyweight champion. The tournament involved eight men and included the following men; La Parka, Jerry Lynn, Vampiro, Christopher Daniels, Taiyo Kea, The Wall, Steve Corino and Shane Douglas. The finals ended up being between three men, Shane Douglas, Vampiro and Taiyo Kea. Douglas prevailed and became the first MLW World Heavyweight Champion in the companies history.
However, Douglas spat on the championship and tossed it down to the crowd similar to what he did to the NWA championship. Douglas proclaimed that an upstart company doesn’t hand him a championship. So, the tournament failed to accomplish what it set out to do. Their next show on September 26th would actually crown the first champion.
At MLW Reload on September 26th is was determined that Jerry Lynn and Satoshi Kojima would wrestle for the championship. Kojima won the championship after a running lariat. Earlier in the show, Taiyo Kea beat Sabu to become the number one contender and after the match told Kojima that the championship would be his.
Kea wouldn’t have that chance to get the championship as his match with Kojima wasn’t booked on the next show. Instead, Vampiro got a title shot on December 20th but lost after the lariat. Kojima holds the championship going into 2003 for MLW.
MLW Global Tag Team Championships Scene:
The tag team championships had not been created at this point.
– The September 26th show gave us a better understanding as to who would be used in the company. The company used Super Crazy, Shocker, Amazing Red, Dick Togo, Ikuto Hidaka, Quiet Storm, Los Maximos, Terry Funk, Chris Candido, Sunny, Sandman, Sabu and Satoshi Kojima all made their debuts.
– Steve Corino was showing some bitterness towards guys who wrestled in WCW and just collected a paycheck while sitting at home. He lost to Douglas at the first show in June, but he shared those same opinions on Vampiro at the September 26th show. Corino would beat Vampiro and the debuting Sandman in a street fight. Corino continued to hate on legends in wrestling as he was able to beat Terry Funk and Dusty Rhodes in December.
– Chris Candido snapped after losing to Terry Funk at MLW Reload and delivered a piledriver on the floor. However, Candido wouldn’t be back to work any kind of angle with Funk.
– Their first two shows where held in Philadelphia and New York. From the third show onward they would run in the Florida market.
– Sabu and La Parka wrestled in a bloody fight that saw Parka bleed buckets and Sabu compete at a high level that he had been lacking the past several years. Sabu and Bill Alfonso didn’t consider Parka to be hardcore prior. This took place on the December 20th show.
– Christopher Daniels formed an alliance with Jerry Lynn on the December show. Lynn had been on a losing streak and agreed with Daniels to form the alliance.
– Simon Diamond and CW Anderson made their debut on December 20th. They claimed that the tag team division had been dead for years and compared themselves to the great tag team of Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard.