Written by: Bob Colling
Major League Wrestling presents WAR GAMES
From: Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Opening Contest: Maximo Brothers vs. Juventud Guerrera & Super Dragon: Dragon and Joel kick off the contest. Dragon and Joel keep a mat based approached with neither man getting a clear advantage. Joel kicks Dragon after avoiding clotheslines and Guerrera gets the tag into the bout and is met with a great reception. Guerrera hits a Joel with a wheelbarrow bulldog but Jose enters to hit a hurricanrana on Guerrera. Guerrera takes Jose over with a head scissors and Dragon is kicked off the apron. Guerrera takes care of both Maximo’s between both rings hitting a hurricanrana on Joel. Juventud leaps off the top rope to leg drop Jose while he was across the top rope. Dragon tags back in and works over Jose with chops against the ropes. Jose hits a spinning heel kick and tags in Joel. Dragon is worked over in the corner but tries to fight back with strikes. Joel gets a near fall on Dragon following a suplex.
Maximo’s put a Boston Crab and chin lock on Guerrera and Dragon. Jose dropkicks Dragon while in the chin lock for a two count. Dragon clotheslines Jose and tags in Juventud to stomp away on Jose in the corner. Juventud takes Jose over with a wheelbarrow face first suplex. Guerrea hits the People’s Elbow but can’t get a three count. Jose plants Guerrera with a back suplex. Joel gets the tag and Dragon enters as well. Joel dropkicks Dragon and hits a snap power slam on Juventud. Dragon nearly pins Joel with a dragon suplex. Dragon goes to the top but is stopped by a kick. They completely botch a double team spot in the corner, which looked pretty bad. Juventud hits the Juvi Driver on Jose but the referee doesn’t make the count since he isn’t the legal man.
Guerrera hits the Juvi driver on Joel as well before going to the top only to be crotched. Dragon rolls Jose up for a near fall and they trade a couple of pin attempts. Jose manages to pin Dragon with a rollup to end the match. (**1/4. It was a little bit sloppy, but there was some entertaining aspects to the match.)
Second Contest: Tony Mamaluke vs. Sonjay Dutt in a J-Cup USA First Round Tournament match: Dutt uses his legs from the apron to lift Mamaluke over the top to the floor. Dutt misses a dive but lands on his feet only for Mamaluke to deliver a chop block. Tony leaps off the top and hits Dutt with a somersault dive. Tony hits a knee breaker and locks in Stretch Muffler but Dutt reaches the ropes quickly. Mamaluke dropkicks the knee of Dutt to keep control of the match. Mamaluke delivers a running kick to the knee in the corner. Tony has a choke on Dutt but Sonjay rams Tony into the corner to break the hold. Mamaluke attempts a tornado DDT but Dutt counters and hits a Muscle Buster. Dutt hits the Hindu Press and wins the match. (**. A decent match that was rather quick. There were a few good high spots but nothing more than that. Dutt came across like a star in comparison to Mamaluke.)
Third Contest: Eddie Colon vs. Jerry Lynn in a J-Cup USA First Round Tournament match: Eddie Colon is better known as Carlito from WWE fame. Lynn takes Colon down with an arm drag and plays to the crowd. Colon comes back with an arm drag of his own and taunts Lynn afterward. Colon takes Lynn over with a head scissors and a few arm drags. Lynn stops Colon with shoulder rams against the ropes. Lynn sends Colon to the floor. On the floor, Lynn decks Colon before returning to the ring. They trade strikes with Colon getting the better of the exchange hitting a dropkick in the corner. Lynn puts Colon in the tree of woe and hits a dropkick for a two count. Lynn stomps on Colon to keep Eddie on the canvas. Lynn plants Eddie with a tilt a whirl back breaker for a two count. Colon plants Lynn with a reverse DDT. Colon backdrops Lynn followed by a right hand. Colon ducks a punch and hits a neck breaker for a near fall. Lynn plants Eddie with a power bomb for a two count. Eddie nearly wins with a rollup but Lynn quickly hits a TKO for a two count. Lynn is busted wide open as he attempts the cradle piledriver but Colon sends Lynn into the corner chest first. Eddie comes off the top rope to hit a twisting somersault dive and pins Lynn. (*1/2. This felt very basic and it wasn’t all that great. It’s cool to see a young Carlito, but it wasn’t good.) After the match, Eddie tries to shake hands with Lynn declines. We go backstage and Colon is attacked by Lynn and Whipwreck, which the fans can’t see. Colon is tossed into the wall and Lynn is screaming at Colon that he drew blood.
Fourth Contest: Juventud Guerrera vs. Jimmy Yang in a J-Cup USA First Round Tournament match: Yang shoves Guerrera in the corner and backs away. Guerrera chops Yang in the corner before taunting the fans. Juventud arm drags Yang out of a wheelbarrow but is soon met with a super kick. Guerrera takes Yang out with a cross body on the floor. Yang drops Guerrera across the top rope and chokes Juventud with his legs over the top rope. Yang drops Juventud face first across the top turnbuckle but they are getting really sloppy. Guerrera hits a spinning heel kick for a two count. They trade chops until Guerrera prevails with that exchange. Yang hits a dropkick to gain the upper hand. Juventud hits a tornado DDT but can’t put Yang away on the cover. Guerrera hits a face buster but Yang kicks out again.
They trade a series of pin attempts. They both go down following a double clothesline spot. Guerrera hits the Juvi Driver but can’t follow up. Juventud drags Yang to the corner and signals for the 450. Yang rolls out of the way and Juvi hits an arm trapped Juvi Driver for a near fall. The guy controlling the music plays some music and the fans give them shit for that. Yang is out of it as he can’t run into corner and fell to the canvas. Yang dropkicks Guerrera in midair and hits the Yang Time for the win. (**. A very sloppy match and the botch music playing didn’t help the suspense of the match, really. I expected more from these two, but Yang is a sloppy wrestler, especially at this time in his career.)
Fifth Contest: Christopher Daniels vs. Super Dragon in a J-Cup USA First Round Tournament match: They start with a mat based offense with Dragon controlling Daniels in the opening minute of the match. Dragon arm drags Daniels a few times and hits a head scissors after coming off the middle rope. Dragon kicks Daniels to the floor and hits a somersault suicide dive on the floor. Back in the ring, Daniels tries to beg off but that doesn’t work very well. Daniels hits a leaping neck breaker and taunts the fans. Dragon chops Daniels in the corner but runs into a big boot in the corner. Daniels takes Dragon over with a snap suplex and a slingshot leg drop for a two count. Daniels drops Dragon with a leaping leg lariat and chokes Dragon before yelling at the referee. Daniels leaps off the middle rope to hit a reverse looking bulldog for a near fall.
Dragon arm drags Daniels off the top rope and hits an arm breaker. Dragon locks in an arm bar submission but can’t get a submission. Dragon double stomps the arm of Daniels followed by an arm drag. Dragon has a cross arm bar locked in but Daniels doesn’t give in. Daniels drives Dragon down to the canvas with an STO for a near fall. Daniels low blows Dragon while the referee was out of position and hits the Last Rites for the win. (*. It was a slow and plodding match with nothing of much enjoyment taking place. This match is not what you’d expect Dragon to become in terms of popularity and brutal nature, either.)
Sixth Contest: Mikey Whipwreck vs. Norman Smiley: Whipwreck gets arm dragged a few times but stops Smiley with a kick to the back and delivers a few strikes. Smiley clotheslines Whipweck a few times and hits a swinging scoop slam. Mikey dropkicks a kneeling Smiley before hitting a slingshot leg drop over the bottom rope. Whipwreck super kicks Smiley and nearly gets a victory. They head into the second ring to continue the match. The match suddenly switches to the next match… This happened on the home video release. It must have sucked.
Seventh Contest: Samoan Island Tribe vs. Matt Martel, Monsta Mack & Richard Criado in a falls count anywhere weapons match: Francine comes out to watch the match from ringside. Basically, its the Tribe destroying their opponents. Ekmo leaps off the top and puts Criado through a table in the crowd to get the biggest reaction of the night.
Eighth Contest: Mike Awesome vs. Samoa Joe: Awesome knocks Joe off his feet with a leaping shoulder block and hits a dive over the top to the floor. Awesome sends Joe back first into the guard railing a couple of times. Awesome sets a table up on the outside but they return to the ring. Joe stops Awesome on the apron but Awesome hits a slingshot shoulder block for a two count. Awesome splashes Joe in the corner but Joe plants Awesome with an STO in the corner. Joe delivers a few kicks to the chest and a snap suplex for a near fall. They trade chops with Joe getting the better of that exchange. Joe drops Awesome with a kick to the head and they go to the outside again. Joe gets a chair from a fan and whacks Awesome over the back, but it was rather weak the fans shit on that. Joe gets another chair and delivers a better shot to the back. Joe hits a running boot strike to send Awesome head first into the railing.
Awesome is very vocal in telling Joe spots, which is just awful. Awesome clotheslines Joe but is quickly met with a big boot. Joe takes Awesome over with a German suplex for a two count. Joe power bombs Awesome for another near fall and locks in the STF. Awesome whacks Joe over the head with an unprotected chair shot and hits a power bomb but Joe kick out at two. Awesome heads to the top while a chair is over Joe and hits a big splash for the win. (1/2*. This was just an awful match. The crowd didn’t care about Joe and he hardly looked like the dominating ROH World Champion that he was being presented as in the Northeast. The fans were heavily into Mike Awesome and probably would have preferred a squash match for Awesome and putting Joe in a match with someone else.)
Ninth Contest: Sonjay Dutt vs. Eddie Colon in a J-Cup USA Semi-Final match: They trade arm drags and both kip up to have a standoff. Colon works over Dutt with a series of chops against the ropes. Dutt takes Colon over with a standing hurricanrana but is stopped by an eye rake. Dutt takes Colon out with a twisting cross body off the top to the floor. Dutt hits a springboard dropkick but gets crotched on the top rope. Colon hits a sit down power bomb for a two count. Eddie hits a rolling neck snap for a near fall. Eddie places Dutt on the top turnbuckle and looks for a superplex, which he hits. Dutt backdrops Colon and delivers a big boot signaling for the leg drop. Dutt instead hits a standing shooting star press for a two count. Colon hits a top rope sunset flip for a near fall. Dutt nails Eddie with a quick dropkick but has to kick out of a backslide. They both attempt rollups but neither man can get a three count. Colon drives Dutt down with a flapjack but Dutt counters Eddie’s springboard with a rollup for the win. (*. I didn’t like the match as it was rather boring and uninteresting. Dutt is the most enjoyable competitor in this tournament by far.)
Tenth Contest: Jimmy Yang vs. Christopher Daniels in a J-Cup USA Semi-Final match: Daniels drops Yang with a clothesline after several strikes. Yang takes Daniels over with a hurricanrana and they go to the floor where Yang sends Daniels into the guard railing and drops Daniels chest first across the railing. Yang comes off the middle rope to hit a spinning heel kick followed by a vertical suplex for a two count. Daniels hits a gut buster to control Yang and continues to control the match by ramming his shoulder into Yang’s midsection in the corner. Mikey Whipwreck cheap shots Yang on the floor and drives Yang back first into the apron. Yang hits a cross body but only gets a two count. Daniels continues to focus his offense on the midsection of Yang. They trade overhand chops until Daniels delivers a clothesline for a two count. Daniels scoop slams Yang and heads to the top but is met with a spinning heel kick in midair from Yang. The fans attempted a half-hearted MLW chant.
Daniels plants Yang with a tornado DDT but Yang comes back with a standing moonsault for a near fall. Daniels slams Yang and misses the Best Moonsault Ever. Yang nearly wins with a spinning heel kick. Whipwreck distracts Yang on the top and Daniels meets Yang on the top only for Yang to hit the Yang Time on a standing Daniels for a two count. Whipweck crotches Yang on the second attempt and Daniels hits the Last Rites for the victory. (**. It was okay but there wasn’t any reason to get invested in the action. Yang was recently signed by WWE prior to this match for a tidbit of information.)
Eleventh Contest: Raven vs. Nosawa: The fans are heavily behind Raven, as expected. Raven is sporting a bald head as he just got his hair shaved on TNA television two days prior. Raven shoulder blocks Nosawa a few times and Nosawa bails to the floor to stall. Nosawa drags Raven to the corner and yanks Raven’s leg into the ring post. Nosawa comes out of the corner to clothesline Raven followed by a shining wizard. Raven decks Nosawa with a couple of clotheslines. Raven hits a running bulldog out of the corner but a second referee is out distracting the original. Nosawa super kicks Raven and nearly wins the match. CM Punk holds Raven but Nosawa accidentally super kicks him. Raven hits the Evenflow DDT and pins Nosawa. (*. That was not anything to be entertained by at all.)
Twelfth Contest: CM Punk vs. Vampiro: Vampiro enters the ring from behind and hits an overhead belly to belly suplex. Vampiro kicks Punk over the top to the floor and plays to the crowd. They go into the other ring where Punk hammers away on Vampiro before dumping him to the floor. Punk sends Vampiro into the guard railing shoulder first. Vampiro backdrops Punk over the railing to the floor and they begin to brawl amongst the fans. They are in the stands trading blows with Vampiro getting the better of the blows. Punk kicks the middle rope to low blow Vampiro as they return to the ring. Punk hits a side Russian leg sweep for a near fall. Punk hits a vertical suplex but only gets a two count on Vampiro. Punk dropkicks Vampiro for a near fall. Vampiro fights back with a spin kick to drop Punk. Vampiro heads to the top turnbuckle but Punk sends the referee into the ropes to crotch Vampiro. Punk hits a hurricanrana but Vampiro rolls through and pins Punk to win the match. (*. The brawling in the crowd was the most enjoyable part of the match. MLW is reverse of what TNA has going on right now so it is kind of odd to see people cheering Vampiro when he just started a feud with Raven in TNA and Punk is associated with Raven in TNA. That’s just an observation I’ve noticed.)
Thirteenth Contest: Christopher Daniels vs. Sonjay Dutt in the J-Cup USA Finals: Daniels clotheslines Dutt and gets a two count to start the match. Daniels backdrops Dutt and delivers an elbow drop. Daniels sends Dutt to the floor where Mikey Whipwreck sends Sonjay into the railing and apron a few times. Daniels sets Dutt up for a vertical suplex and drives Dutt down to the canvas. Dutt hits a hurricanrana for a near fall but is stomped by Daniels. The fans are chanting that they want Sabu, who competes in the main event. Daniels hits a split legged moonsault but Dutt kicks out at two. Daniels sends Dutt chest first into the corner. Daniels sends Dutt chest first into the corner again but can’t keep Sonjay down on the pin attempt. Daniels hits a tilt a whirl back breaker and plays to the crowd. Dutt locks in an octopus submission but Daniels dumps Sonjay over the top to the floor and distracters the referee so Whipwreck can hit Dutt a few times.
Daniels gets a near fall after a slam and argues with the referee but Dutt rolls Daniels up from behind for a two count. Daniels drops Dutt with a quick clothesline to regain control of the match and hits a side slam. Daniels hits the Best Moonsault Ever for a near fall. Dutt hits a springboard back elbow and both men are down. Dutt hits a neck breaker and a leaping kick to the head of Daniels. Dutt springboards four times to take Daniels out with a somersault dive on the floor. That was fucking insane. Dutt rolls Daniels into the ring and misses a frog splash. Daniels hits a running STO for a near fall and a spinning slam for another two count. Dutt hits a springboard hurricanrana but Whipwreck gets on the apron to distract the referee. Dutt takes Whipwreck out with a dive to the floor. Dutt drops Daniels throat first across the top and heads to the top hitting the Hindu Press to win the match. (***. Sonjay Dutt was incredible during the tournament and his offense brings a freshness that I’ve never seen before and make his matches a breeze to watch, at least in this tournament. This was a defining moment in his career, I’d say.)
Main Event: War Games
The Extreme Horsemen (Steve Corino, Barry Windham, CW Anderson, Justin Credible, and Simon Diamond)
Funkin’ Army (Terry Funk, Sabu, Steve Williams and The Sandman)
CW Anderson and Sandman kick off the main event with Anderson stomping away. Anderson punches Sandman a few times but Sandman no sells it and grabs his kendo stick to stalk towards Anderson in the second ring. Sandman misses a few swings and Anderson drops Sandman with a punch. Anderson sends Sandman into the steel cage. Sandman hammers away on CW to drop him to the canvas. Anderson comes back with a super kick. Anderson has the kendo stick and whacks Sandman over the head a few times. Sandman fights back with a side Russian leg sweep. They trade blows while on their knees with CW getting the better of it. Sandman sends CW face first into the steel cage. CW has been busted wide open. Sandman plants Anderson with a vertical suplex and locks in a Crossface but submissions don’t count until every person has entered the match. The next entrant into the match is…
MLW World Champion Steve Corino makes his way out to give the Extreme Horsemen the advantage and he has a fist full of barbed wire that he decks Sandman with. Corino uses the barbed wire on Sandman’s forehead. Anderson holds Sandman over the ropes and Corino uses the kendo stick on the exposed back of Sandman. Corino and Anderson are double teaming Sandman with the kendo stick. The next man into the match is…
Terry Funk tosses a steel chair into the ring and enters the ring to even the odds for two minutes. Funk hammers away on Corino and delivers a chair shot on his rival. Funk tosses the chair at Anderson to knock him off his feet. Funk hits a neck breaker on Corino and goes to the other ring to use barbed wire on the bloodied Anderson. Funk plants Corino with a piledriver while Anderson hit a bulldog on Sandman onto the steel chair.
Simon Diamond is next into the match. Diamond goes right after Sandman while Funk has barbed wire wrapped around Corino’s head. Corino is busted wide open, as usual. Diamond hits Funk with the broken chair. Anderson presses Sandman’s face up against the steel cage. The heels are working over the faces as the next entrant comes out.
Steve Williams makes his way to the ring to even the odds for two minutes. Sandman sends Anderson into the steel cage face first. Corino has Funk on the top rope and rams his face into the cage. Sandman hit a senton splash onto Anderson. Funk crotches himself over the top rope. Williams is jabbing Corino and Diamond but is stopped by a low blow from Diamond.
Justin Credible makes his way down to the ring with a ladder in hand. Williams is sent into the cage face first by Diamond. Sandman is sent into the ladder in the corner and stomped on. Sandman sends Credible back first into the ladder while Corino is hammering away on Funk. Funk twirls around with the ladder around his head to knock down Anderson and Diamond. Credible and Funk trade blows with Funk getting the better of the exchange. Diamond and Anderson double super kick Williams.
Sabu is the next entrant for the match. Sabu enters the match and cleans house with strikes. Sabu hammers away on the bloodied Corino in the corner. Corino is sent into the cage face first and the same goes for Credible. Sabu sets a table up and goes back to punching Credible. Williams press slams Corino from one right into the other. Credible chokes Sabu with his shirt as the final entrant for the match comes out.
Barry Windham enters the match and hammers away on the faces. Windham spikes Funk with a piledriver. Bill Alfonso thinks it is bullshit that the teams are uneven and Alfonso decides to join the match. Alfonso is knocked down by CW Anderson. Sabu puts Credible through the table with a top rope leg drop. Sandman is choking Windham with the kendo stick. Corino has a Boston crab on Sabu. Williams has a Boston crab on Credible until Anderson delivers a super kick. Funk uses a branding iron on Corino and spits a fireball into Corino’s face! Funk locks on a spinning toe hold and Corino submits to end the match. (**1/4. The ending was neat and what you’d expect in a war games match. For the most part it was just your typical brawling type cage match until the better than expected ending.)
I remember buying the DVD for this show back when it first happened but this is the first time in a decade I’ve watched it. The lineup has a loaded roster, but the action doesn’t really bring much to the table. MLW is a watered down ECW, but in some ways it’s still enjoyable. MLW has only two more shows left in their existence.
Thanks for reading.