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MLW Zero Hour 1/11/2018

Major League Wrestling presents Zero Hour featuring Penta El Zero M battling Rey Fenix in singles action. Also, Jeff Cobb teams with Matt Riddle to take on Seth Petruzelli & Tom Lawlor in a tag team grudge match. Jimmy Havoc goes to war against Shane Strickland in a death match in the main event!

Major League Wrestling presents Zero Hour
Date: 1/11/2018
From: Orlando, FL

A video promoting the death match between Jimmy Havoc and Shane Strickland opens the video. Havoc has an alliance with Darby Allin in MLW and they are all about bringing violence to the company. Strickland challenged Havoc to a death match, which was accepted for this show. Strickland has experienced violence and doesn’t feel like he’s trapped in the match with Havoc.

Earlier in the day, Jeff Cobb and Matt Riddle made their way to the arena. Seth Petruzelli and Tom Lawlor attacked Cobb slamming his right arm into the car door.

Opening Contest: The Dirty Blondes (Leo Brien & Mike Patrick) vs. Jason Cade & Jimmy Yuta: Dirty Blondes are two redneck gimmick wrestlers who are oversized. They remind me a lot of Greg Xcellent from CZW/Xcite just from a physical standpoint. Yuta seems to be dressing similar to Zema Ion was the face mask he’s wearing during his entrance. Cade works over Brien with kicks and chops in the corner. Cade dropkicks Brien into the corner and Patrick tries to get involved but is nearly pinned by Yuta with a rollup. Yuta kicks Patrick against the ropes followed by a springboard arm drag and a dropkick to a kneeling Patrick for a near fall. Yuta and Cade hit axe handles off the top across the left arm of Patrick. Brien pulls the middle rope down and Cade crashes to the floor allowing Patrick to get control of the match. Cade stops Brien with a handspring Codebreaker. Patrick and Yuta get tagged in with Yuta cleaning house. Yuta hits a top rope cross body for a two count on Patrick. Brien enters to hit the Bleach Job but Cade makes the save. Brien is sent to the floor and Cade delivers a kick to the chest of Patrick. Yuta and Cade go to the top rope but Brien shoves Cade off. Brien punches Yuta in midair to cut him off. Patrick accidentally throws his spit cup into Brien and is kicked by Cade. Yuta and Cade go to opposite corners and leap off the top to hit a frog splash and an elbow drop for the win. (*1/2. It wasn’t that great of a match or all that entertaining. I was figuring that the Dirty Blondes would get a few moments to shine against the younger opponents, but their offense was rather boring. I didn’t find this to be a good opener.)

Backstage, Jeff Cobb is getting checked on as he might not be able to compete due to a wrist injury.

Saieve Al Sabah comes out and decides to educate the fans on just who he is exactly. He kind of sounds like he’s using similar lines that Elias in the WWE uses, but not using them in a musical context. He says his revolution has awaken and it’s only televised through violence. He gets cut off by Mike Parrow. Parrow looks like a smaller Braun Strowman. That’s being a little generous, I guess. Parrow tosses Sabah over the top to the floor and Sabah sells his back on the floor.

Second Contest: Mike Parrow vs. Vandal Ortagun: Vandal avoids Parrow and delivers a superkick for a two count within ten-seconds into the match. Parrow plants Vandal with a chokeslam. Parrow connects with a splash in the corner but Sabah gets on the top rope with brass knuckles. Parrow stops Sabah and yanks him off the top rope. Vandal chop blocks Parrow and Sabah decks Parrow with the brass knuckles to cause a disqualification. After the match, Sabah and Ortagun hug as it appears they are teaming now. (NR. This was a complete angle advancement to get over Sabah and his movement. Looks like a new team, too.)

Backstage, we get another update regarding Jeff Cobb. Matt Riddle comes over and says that Tom and Seth are nothing but cowards for having to cheat. Riddle doesn’t want them to get suspended. Riddle doesn’t care if he has to wrestle them by himself, he’ll be wrestling Seth and Tom.

February 8th will be the beginning of the MLW World Championship Tournament.

Maxwell Jacob Friedman cuts a promo to remind people just who he is. Friedman says he’ll have zero losses after his match tonight. Zero Hour also stands for all the zeros sitting in the crowd. He’s also going to be the new MLW World Champion because he’s better than us and we know it.

Third Contest: Maxwell Jacob Friedman vs. Brody King: Friedman gets shoved to the corner but pops back up to lockup with King only to be tossed down again. Friedman complains of a hair pull as they locked up but backs King into a corner and delivers a few kicks. King fights back with a few chops and tosses Friedman out of the corner. King splashes Friedman in the corner but misses a cannonball splash attempt. Friedman stomps on King’s left wrist to keep control of the match. Friedman hits a slingshot arm breaker from the apron back into the ring for a two count. King drives Friedman into the corner back first a few times and then drops backwards to the mat to get out of a cobra clutch. King comes out of the corner with a lariat and back elbow. King drops Friedman over the top rope gut first and delivers a running dropkick for a two count. King attempts a chokeslam but Friedman counters but is met with a sit out powerbomb for a near fall. Friedman knees King on the apron and brings King back into the ring with a piledriver through the middle rope for a near fall. King goes to the floor and tosses a few chairs around out of frustration. Friedman misses a springboard moonsault and King plants Friedman on the apron with a powerbomb! King wins the match with the Cradle Shock. (**1/2. Once they got going with the action they delivered a solid match and the finishing sequence was pretty good. I think King is in line for a big 2018.)

Backstage, Stokley Hathaway is interviewed and he says tonight MVP is going to learn about business. MVP’s punishment comes in the form of Low Ki. He promises that MVP will be leaving the arena on a stretcher.

Barrington Hughes shared some resolutions he has. He’s going to be bigger than ever and beat anyone that gets in his way.

Fourth Contest: Chico Adams vs. Barrington Hughes: Adams gets jobber treatment as he doesn’t get an entrance. Barrington Hughes is a very large African American man who is dressed like the Godfather. Adams runs towards Hughes and is met with the Rock Bottom ending the match in three-seconds.

Backstage, Jeff Cobb is getting checked on and it looks like he needs to get an X-Ray. Cobb says the only way he’s not wrestling tonight is if he’s dead. He wants his arm wrapped up and he’ll be wrestling. The doctor simply agrees. That doctor should probably be fired.

Fifth Contest: Sammy Guevara vs. Darby Allin: Guevara goes for a rollup early on but only manages a two count. Sammy does that again and goes to the floor to taunt the fans. Allin arm drags Guevara and hits a springboard corkscrew crossbody for a two count. Guevara goes to the apron to regroup. Allin goes for an arm bar but Sammy reaches the ropes. Allin grabs Guevara on the floor and they trade strikes. Guevara was stalling for quite a long time. Guevara rams Allin face first onto the ring steps and chest first into the apron. Allin brings Guevara through the crowd and they continue to brawl. Allin avoids a dive from Guevara and hits the Coffin Drop off the guard railing. Allin brings Guevara to the apron and delivers a forearm shot. Allin misses a running back splash and hits the ring post. Guevara pummels Allin with right hands in the middle of the ring. Guevara has Allin on his shoulders and does a few squats before hitting a Samoan Drop for a two count. Guevara decides to do a few sit-ups. Allin elbows out of another Samoan Drop attempt and nearly wins with a rollup. Allin splashes Guevara in the corner with a few strikes. Sammy comes out of the corner with a high knee for a two count. Guevara sends Allin hard back first into the corner. Guevara misses a running attack in the corner but is able to connect with a dropkick for a near fall. Allin drops Sammy’s left arm over the top rope as he fell to the apron. Allin goes to the top turnbuckle but Guevara dropkicks Darby. Allin drops Sammy’s arm over the top rope and goes to the top rope but Sammy cuts him off only to be knocked off.

Allin goes for the Coffin Drop but Guevara got his knees up. Sammy lifts Allin up and delivers a kick to the back of Allin. Guevara hits the shooting star press to Darby’s back for a near fall. Allin kicks Guevara legs and gets an arm bar locked in! Guevara doesn’t give up and instead Allin delivers a few strikes before hitting a flip powerbomb. Guevara nails Allin with a kick to the face. They begin to trade forearm strikes. Allin gets a rollup on Guevara and wins the match. (**3/4. They worked a solid enough match and the fans are certainly invested in Darby Allin. Guevara stalling early on was quite annoying as it felt like it took forever for the match to actually even get started. I like Darby and look forward to seeing more of his matches.) After the match, they flip each other off giving the impression they’ll fight again.

Sixth Contest: Santana Garrett vs. MJ Jenkins: Jenkins has the early control of the match hitting a fallaway slam for a near fall within the first three-minutes of the match. Garrett avoids a kick and a spinning back fist to deliver the Eat Defeat. Garrett nearly wins following a side Russian leg sweep. Garrett takes Jenkins off the top turnbuckle with a hurricanrana. Garrett hits a handspring back elbow for a two count. Jenkins delivers a jaw breaker and a flip neckbreaker for a two count. Garrett superkicks Jenkins followed by the Shining Star Press to win the match. (**. It was a relatively quick match, but I thought they did enough stuff here to keep me entertained and interested throughout.)

Backstage, Tom Lawlor and Seth Petruzelli cut a promo about what Riddle did at the last show with an illegal choke hold. Lawlor isn’t all that worried about the challenge. Seth is focused on getting another trophy tonight to go along with Cobb’s arm.

Seventh Contest: Rey Fenix vs. Penta El Zero M: It is safe to say that the crowd was highly anticipating this match. Fenix gets kicked several times by Penta before getting a rollup for a two count. They trade rollups until Fenix hits a standing moonsault. Penta superkicks Fenix a couple of times but Fenix comes back with one of his own. They both get knocked down following kicks at the same time. Fenix elbows Penta in the corner and hits a springboard arm drag sending Penta to the floor. Fenix slides to the outside and is chopped by Penta. Fenix takes Penta out with a somersault suicide dive on the floor! Fenix nails Penta with a kick to the face. Fenix attempts a slingshot wheelbarrow back into the ring but Penta stops him. Penta dropkicks Fenix on a springboard attempt with his back facing Penta. Penta kicks Fenix on the left knee and Fenix rolls to the floor. Penta chops Fenix against the post a few times. As expected, Penta misses and hits the post. Fenix misses a chop and also hits the post. Penta stops Fenix with another kick on the floor. Penta rams Fenix face first onto the apron. Fenix runs off the apron to hit a hurricanrana on Penta. Penta superkicks Fenix before returning to the ring to continue the match. Fenix kicks Penta on the chin followed by a leaping spin kick. Fenix connects with a missile dropkick for a two count. Fenix comes off the top but Penta hits a backstabber out of the corner for a near fall. Penta comes off the ropes with two Slingblades for a two count. Penta continues with a superkick to keep Fenix on the mat.

Fenix kicks Penta on the chin but misses a kick only to deliver a Pele kick. Penta superkicks Fenix, but Fenix comes back with a cutter for a two count. Fenix goes to the top but is kicked by Penta yet again. Fenix slips on a top rope Spanish Fly but hits it good enough to still get a near fall. Penta delivers a powerbomb but drops Fenix over his knee for a two count. Penta comes off the middle rope to plant Fenix with a Canadian Destroyer for a near fall. They are both on their knees trading strikes until they get to their feet. Fenix delivers more strikes before coming off the ropes and Penta flips Fenix in the air before hitting a powerbomb. Penta hits the Pentagon Driver for the win. (***1/2. That was a really fun match and easily the best thing the crowd had reacted to all night. The constant kicks were a little redundant, but the overall action was considerably better than anything else thus far on the show. These two need to be on TV.)

A video promoting Tom Lawlor working out a gym where he put a chokehold on people. They are really focusing on the tag match throughout the show to add interest to it. Matt Riddle isn’t going to let Lawlor get away for beating Cobb at a recent MLW show. Riddle recently beat Lawlor in a singles match in MLW.

Seventh Contest: Seth Petruzelli & Tom Lawlor vs. Jeff Cobb & Matt Riddle: Riddle kicks off the match against Petruzelli. Riddle slams Seth down to the mat but backs away. It seems a little weird to start a match with such history with mat wrestling. I know it is their styles of wrestling, but these comes across like a grudge match and should be presented differently. Seth tries to get a triangle choke but Riddle breaks free. Seth kicks Riddle in the ribs to keep control of the match. Seth and Riddle trade body shots and kicks. They continue to trade leg kicks several times. Riddle wants Seth to deliver several kicks but Riddle survives them. Riddle is able to knock Seth down to the mat and thought about tagging in Cobb, but decided against it. Lawlor decides to tag into the match and try his luck against Riddle. Lawlor gets taken down to the mat and Riddle controls the arm looking for a triangle choke but Lawlor breaks free. Riddle tosses Lawlor with a gut wrench a few times. Cobb tags into the match with his right arm taped up. Cobb splashes Lawlor and Riddle delivers a forearm strike. Cobb plants Lawlor with a Samoan Drop followed by a senton by Riddle. Cobb is keeping his right arm close to his body selling the injury angle and isn’t using the arm at all. As soon as I say that, Cobb uses his arm to hit a running uppercut and hurts himself. Lawlor focuses his attack on the right arm delivering an arm breaker.

Cobb ducks a forearm and tries for a German suplex but his arm hurts too much. Lawlor keeps Cobb on the mat twisting the right wrist trying to get a submission. Seth tags in and knee drops the wrist to keep control of the match. Lawlor comes off the middle rope to axe handle Cobb’s injured wrist. Cobb is taken over with a double suplex and Seth keeps control focusing on the wrist. Cobb forearms Seth and tries to tag in Riddle but Lawlor pulls Riddle off the apron to prevent the tag from being made. Lawlor continues to chop Cobb several times in the corner. Seth gets tagged back in and Cobb is clotheslined from behind. Cobb tosses Lawlor with a German suplex and tries to get to his corner. Cobb tags in Riddle and Riddle chops away on Lawlor. Riddle kicks Lawlor with a Pele. Riddle hits the Bro To Sleep followed by a German suplex but Lawlor kicks out at two. Seth tags in and Riddle didn’t see it. Seth and Lawlor attempt a double team but Cobb makes the save. Riddle puts Lawlor on the top turnbuckle. Cobb lifts Lawlor off the top and Riddle delivers a kick in midair! Riddle and Seth continue to trade shots followed by kicks. Riddle powerbombs Seth to counter a kick and delivers a running knee to win the match. (**1/4. For so much focus on this match, they didn’t deliver an overly entertaining match. It was pretty much a formula match and by the books, considering the angle they went with. It didn’t feel like it really ever got out of first gear. There were a few bright moments, but it was mostly an average match at best.)

A video promoting MVP is aired. He tells a story about living on the rough side of Miami. He decided to be a criminal instead of a working guy. A correctional officer helped trained him. He’s had issues with Black Friday Management in MLW. MVP doesn’t appreciate black SUV’s driving by his home when he’s playing with his son.

Eighth Contest: Low Ki vs. MVP: Ki goes on the attack with knee strikes as MVP went after Stokley. MVP is able to back Ki away and they have a feeling out process. MVP hip tosses Ki and they both attempt kicks before having a standoff. MVP backs Ki into a corner but Ki gets an arm bar locked in over the top rope. MVP breaks free with a few right hands but misses a big boot in the corner. Ki hammers away on MVP with a series of elbow strikes. MVP shoves Ki away and sits down in the corner to regroup. Ki misses a handspring attempt and MVP nails Ki with a running big boot to send Ki to the floor. They trade blows on the floor for a few moments. They brawl into the crowed where MVP attempts to use a weapon but Stokley distracts MVP allowing Ki to attack from behind. Ki sits MVP on a chair and delivers a kick to the chest a few times. MVP gets up and smashes Ki with a chair to the face. They get back in the ring but Ki quickly bails to the floor again. MVP tosses Ki into a pile of chairs that were abandoned by fans. MVP misses a running boot and Ki nails MVP with a running dropkick. Stokley rolls MVP back into the ring as Ki struggled to the top rope. MVP decks Ki with a lariat after avoiding a double stomp. MVP pummels Ki with several forearm strikes on the mat. MVP runs into a boot from Ki in the corner. Ki runs and jumps off of MVP’s shoulders to dropkick MVP into a corner. Ki continues to work over MVP with strikes until the referee pulls Ki away. Ki proceeds to deck the referee with a right hand. Ki delivers a kick to the back of the referees head. MVP tackles Ki and another referee comes out to call for some help from security. That’s the end of the match as they continue to try and brawl in the ring. (*1/2. I’ve said it many times before, but I think MVP is my least favorite guy on the independents and seeing him in a high profile match and feud in MLW just doesn’t catch my interest at all. This likely sets up a stipulation match in the future and I simply don’t care about it.)

MLW reveals the seeding for the MLW World Championship Tournament taking place on February 8th. Here are the first round matches. There will be alternates for the tournament, apparently.
MVP vs. Tom Lawlor
Matt Riddle vs. Jeff Cobb
Shane Strickland vs. Brody King
Maxwell Jacob Friedman vs. Jimmy Havoc

Backstage, Shane Strickland is interviewed but he just grabs the microphone and says he’s not going to promote the match. However, he does exactly that by saying he’s going to go further than he needs to. He is going to paint the MLW ring with Havoc’s blood. Strickland says that Havoc is trapped in the ring with him. He’s going to take Havoc to Swerve City.

Main Event: Shane Strickland vs. Jimmy Havoc in a death match: Strickland attacks Havoc on the aisle way before the bell wasting no time. Strickland hits Havoc with several chairs and piles them on top of Havoc in the crowd. Strickland continues to work over Havoc with a chop and headbutt. Strickland smashes Havoc with a steel chair. They announce these two are in the title tournament and act surprised when they just talked about it. Strickland continues to beat on Havoc with punches before tossing a barbed wire chair into the ring. Havoc tries to use a staple gun but Strickland avoids it. Strickland sends Havoc face first into a chair held by a fan at ringside. Havoc sends Strickland face first into a chair as well to get control of the match. Strickland tries to break Havoc’s hand over the apron but isn’t successful. They brawl into the crowd again with Strickland working over Havoc. They are over by the announcers where Strickland drops Havoc onto the bar in the arena. Strickland gets on the bar and there just so happens to be a table next to the bar. They trade right hands on the bar until Strickland picks Havoc up but Jimmy fights out. Havoc plants Strickland with a DDT on the bar. Havoc brings the table to the ringside area. Havoc is sent face first into the table. Havoc sends Strickland flipping through the table. Havoc rolls Strickland into the ring and gets a two count.

Havoc sets the barbed wire chair up in the corner and grabs the staple gun. Havoc uses the staple gun on Strickland. Shane doesn’t seem to care and doesn’t really sell the staples. Strickland blocks getting stapled on the forehead and staples Havoc’s forehead! Strickland grabs some money and staples the five dollar bill on Jimmy’s forehead. Strickland staples money to his own chest. Havoc gets stuck in the corner and Strickland staples Jimmy’s groin! Strickland sends Havoc head first into a chair set up in the corner. Strickland kicks Havoc on the apron and Havoc is busted wide open. Strickland continues to kick Havoc several times until Havoc delivers a strike. Havoc climbs up a PA stand and Strickland joins him. Havoc low blows Strickland and slams Strickland to the floor. Havoc brings a few chairs into the ring to continue the match. Havoc gives Shane paper cuts with the money from earlier. Havoc grabs a bag of thumbtacks and dumps them onto Strickland. Havoc puts some on a chair and Strickland punches Havoc causing him to sit on the tacks. They are sitting in chairs trading right hands. Havoc puts tacks in Shane’s mouth. Shane puts tacks in Jimmy’s mouth too. They trade more strikes and connect with stereo kicks. Havoc tries to ram Shane face first onto the chair but Havoc is put groin first onto the chair instead.

Strickland comes off the top rope to double stomp Havoc off the chair and onto the tacks for a two count. Havoc flips off Strickland and gets stomped several times. Strickland attempts a cross arm bar and wraps barbed wire around Jimmy’s neck. Havoc fights out of the hold and gets up to use the staple gun on Strickland. Havoc has the barbed wire chair and puts it on Shane to deliver a double stomp off the middle rope for a near fall. Havoc goes under the ring to grab two barbed wire boards. Havoc slams one onto Shane on the mat but Shane gets up and tosses the board at Havoc on the top rope. Shane puts Havoc through the other board in the corner with a Death Valley Driver for a two count. Havoc is able to finish Strickland with the Go Home Driver onto the barbed wire board. (***. These matches are almost always easy to watch and fly by because the action is brutal and entertaining. Everyone has different opinions on this style, but I tend to enjoy them for what they are. Some of the stuff makes little sense to me. For instance, having a paper cut but something they sold more so than a staple gun to the body just left me confused. This was enjoyable for what it was.) After the match, Havoc raises Strickland’s arm to show respect.

Backstage, Santana Garrett is interviewed about Priscilla Kelly not being here for her match. Santana goes into a room and sees a bunch of her pictures on the wall. It is like a shrine for her. There is a film on a screen of someone entering Santana’s house. Someone was recording Garrett while she slept. Santana is in complete shock that this has happened and she’s seeing it. It ends up being Priscilla Kelly. Santana is speechless to end the show.

Final Thoughts:
MLW’s first show in 2018 is a mostly average wrestling show with Penta/Fenix being the most enjoyable match. The death match was fun if you like that style of wrestling. The undercard wasn’t too bad but nothing really stands out much. I appreciated the effort to make the tag match more interesting with the angle presented through the show, even if it didn’t really deliver a quality match or more drama. I’m intrigued to see how the MLW World Title tournament plays out and the angle ending the show with Santana puts a focus on the women and a story I could find myself enjoying.

Thanks for reading.

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