MLW King Of Kings 12/20/2002

Written by: Arnold Furious

We get a quick highlight package that makes this company look a lot like ECW. If that’s what they were aiming for then they did a good job. Your host – JOEY STYLES. He puts MLW over by claiming the company has something for everyone. This show sees tag title qualifiers. Kojima-Vampiro is your main event. Joey also shills Lynn-Awesome and Sabu-La Parka.

Nosawa/Masada v Hot Commodity (EZ Money/Julio Dinero)

ECW style craziness to start. It’s so great to hear Joey calling matches again btw. EZ Money gets double teamed and dropkicked in the face. Masada hits a tilt-a-whirl headscissors for 2. Money hits a jawbreaker and tags in Dinero who hits a belly to belly slam for 2. EZ Money comes in with the Money Clip for 2. Masada is trapped in the Pendulum of Pain and Dinero knees him in the head for 2. Side slam w/elbow gets 2. Corkscrew brainbuster from Dinero gets 2. Jalapeno Popper gets 2. Fireman’s Carry suplex gets 2. EZ Money back in with a dropkick for 2. Masada gets his back kicked a lot and a backflip splash gets 2. Masada screws something up acknowledged first by the fans, then by EZ Money, then by the fans again. This is like watching ECW. Twisting back suplex from Dinero and Money pins for 2. Drop suplex on Masada, no cover, Masada goes low on a move off the ropes and hits a release German suplex. Nosawa gets the hot tag with elbows and a Shining Wizard on Dinero gets 2. Money takes a big lariat and Nosawa splashes off the ropes for 2. Everyone in again and Dinero gets clotheslined and double team powerbombed for 2. Masada gets powerbombed on the floor by EZ Money. Nosawa gives Dinero the Michinoku Driver for 2 while the faecal chant rings out for the powerbomb on the floor. Dinero comes back with an STO and Hot Commodity hit a double Ocean Cyclone for the win at 9.21. ***1/2. Action packed tag match reminiscent of many ECW tag openers over the years.

We check out Dr Death and his grey and blonde mullet training with PJ Friedman.

Christopher Daniels v Super Crazy v Fuego Guerrero

Fuego Guerrero is the masked alter ego of the Amazing Red. Quite why he decided to wear a mask for MLW I don’t know but Joey acknowledges the “Red” chants. Crazy positions Red in the corner while he takes on Daniels. Everyone dropkicks into a stand off. Daniels gets on the mic to tell everyone to shut up. Tilt-a-whirl headscissors from Crazy on him but Red hits him with a double tilt-a-whirl armdrag. Slingshot dropkick from Daniels gets 2. Crazy does his Spanish 10 count a long punches, twice. The ref nearly gets 10 punches as well until Daniels back suplexes Crazy for 2. Red runs up Daniels in the corner before double short kicking for 2. Daniels hits a suplex on Crazy and dumps him outside. Vertical suplex on Red and a slingshot legdrop gets 2. Red does the Rey Mysterio backdrop Alley Oop into a rana. Nice. The others go outside and Red hits a pescado but misses both guys as they move. Crazy dropkicks Daniels outside again while Red caves his head in with a few kicks for 2. Crazy’s selling is a mess here. Daniels hits a clothesline/bulldog combo for a pair of 2 counts. Red hits a super bodyscissors on Daniels. Red and Crazy both get railed on the outside but Daniels gets posted. Crazy hits a quebrada press on both guys and then a Crazy Factor on Red for 2. Daniels takes him out with a Urinage and a double jump moonsault gets 2. Red does an incredible spinning double Hurricane kick. Code Red gets 2. Crazy hits a sit out powerbomb on Red for 2. Crazy throws Daniels outside and gets a run up only to get dropkicked in the knees by Red. That’s probably because he wanted to jump on Daniels himself – slingshot senton to the floor! Crazy dives out with a plancha too. Back inside Red hits an Ensiguri and the Red Star Press on Crazy for the win at 13.30. ***. Patchy in terms of quality and the finish was a bit sudden. Daniels held it together quite well but Crazy was a mess. Crazy disrespectfully goes after the mask of Fuego so the SAT’s run him off.

Dusty Rhodes cuts a promo about Flaridha. “I damn sure didn’t like Mother Funk”. Dusty doesn’t like Terry Funk or Steve Corino for that matter. “I’m so quick I should have been a speed racer” – what? Sabu and Bill Alfonso also cut a promo ragging on how unhardcore La Parka is.

Steve Williams/PJ Friedman v Mike Sanders/Jimmy Yang

Friedman bitchslaps Yang provoking a “you got bitchslapped” chant. Yang hits a clothesline and retorts on the slap. Friedman in the corner and Yang hits a spin kick in there. Sanders in to knee drop Friedman for 2. Neckbreaker gets 2. Doc comes in to powerbomb Sanders. Friedman covers for 2. Outside and Friedman hits a weak chair shot. Table comes into play and Doc slams Sanders through it. Doc comes in and laughs off a few Sanders punches. Friedman back in as Doc tends to get blown up easily. Suplex and Friedman takes Sanders down with a leglock. Yang comes in to break it up. Sanders is isolated here and takes a double suplex for 2. Sanders rolls Friedman up for 2, kicks Friedman in the head and hot tags Yang. Missile dropkick gets 2 for Yang. Corkscrew back kick gets 2. Friedman crotches Yang though and tags in Doc. Yang elbows him but pays for that with a press drop for 2. Sanders breaks it with a double dropkick and then some mean rights. Doc gets pissed off with that and hits the Doctor Bomb. Yang has recovered for some kicks but walks right into the BACKDROP DRIVER. Williams gets the pin at 9.51. **1/4. Doc looked a bit old out there and Friedman a bit green. Otherwise a decent match.

Simon Diamond and CW Anderson talk about tag team wrestling having been dead for the past 3 years. Diamond compares their team to Tully/Arn. CW is horrible on the mic, which explains why he’s not normally allowed to speak.

SAT’s (Joel/Jose Maximo) v Simon Diamond/CW Anderson

Jose and Diamond run some basic stuff before tagging out. CW and Joel run some basics too before CW goes after the arm. Joel hits his terrible rana. Can someone please teach him to do that move properly? Heels bail to stall but get caught coming back with the Human Taffy Machine. CW gets a dropkick in the face. Outside and Jose hits an Asai moonsault. Maximo’s hit a few clotheslines but CW breaks it up and powerbombs one of them on top of the other. Cool. Diamond plants Joel with a back suplex for 2. Joel comes back with a roll up for 2. Tornado DDT is countered into a Northern Lights for 2 by Diamond then a grounded Octopus. CW comes in and hits a release German for 2. Anderson left connects and CW does his delayed superplex for 2. Jose hits a leaping swinging DDT on CW and tags are made. Diamond takes a dropkick. Crappy German suplex on CW gets 2, although he wasn’t legal. Joel hits a moonsault on Diamond for 2. CW tries for a piledriver but it’s countered into the Gory Driver for 2. Diamond does his Simon Series into a Gourdbuster for 2. The referee is counting a lot of illegal pins here. Jose sets Diamond up in the corner and botches whatever he tried for 2. Diamond shows his disgust by catapulting him into a CW superkick for 2. Except he blocked all of it like a pussy. CW gets crotched and the Spanish Fly is blocked. Moonsault press, botched, gets 2. Diamond hits a superkick and Jose is thankfully taken down by the ANDERSON SPINEBUSTER and the SAT’s job at 13.01. *1/2. Long and sloppy. The SAT’s are the sloppiest most over rated tag team in wrestling right now.

Outside and Steve Corino talks about the history of the Ft Lauderdale Auditorium in Florida, which is where we are if I hadn’t mentioned that. Corino talks about getting autographs from the stars back in the day except he was never given the time of day by Funk and Rhodes. Corino harps on about how he’s done everything that Funk and Rhodes have done only in a shorter time. Mike Awesome talks about getting out of Sports Entertainment Detox. I get the feeling that Awesome really hated the WWF.

Sabu v La Parka

Parka gets pissed that the fans are chanting Sabu and throws his chair at Fonzie. Sabu tries for a chair throw at Parka but misses. Sabu gets the single leg and works a leglock until Parka gets the arm. That’s broken up and I’m surprised it’s started this slow. Sabu schools Parka on the mat and they reverse down there. Sabu gets the camel clutch on but Parka gets out and puts on his own. Sabu double legs out and works a leglock until the ropes break. Springboard sidekick from Sabu and a slingshot legdrop gets 2. Sabu slaps on the camel clutch while the crowd chant for tables. Parka runs into a boot and Sabu hits a sunset flip but Parka rolls with it into a dropkick for 2. They fight on the apron and Parka clotheslines Sabu back in only to get hit with a swinging DDT’d for 2. Camel clutch applied again. He gives up on that so Parka spinning heel kicks him and we go outside. Sabu takes a header into the front row. Parka chairs Sabu while some of the fans complain. Sabu into the rail again. PARKA HITS A PLANCHA INTO THE CROWD. “ECW” chant, which sort of tells you what MLW is all about. Table into play but Sabu takes a chair shot instead. Parka tries for a table sunset flip but Sabu hangs onto the ropes allowing Parka to table himself. Sabu pulls out a pair of scissors!!! He stabs La Parka in the head through the mask. Jesus Christ. Sabu throws Parka in the front row. His mask is destroyed and he’s busted wide open. TRIPLE JUMP PLANCHA!! Sabu dives into the 4th row. Parka now has covered both his arms in blood, half his mask, all his head and a couple of fans. Back inside and Parka is pinned for 2 leaving a bloodstain. Sabu gets the scissors out and STABS HIM IN THE FREAKIN’ EYE. Jesus Christ. Sabu screws up a springboard and gets hit with an improvised Ensiguri for 2. Tree of Woe basement dropkick w/chair gets 2. Slugfest while Sabu sells the back. Parka misses in the corner and posts himself. Sabu follows out with a somersault senton. Table into play again courtesy of Fonzie and Parka is laid out on it. TRIPLE JUMP LEGDROP THROUGH THE TABLE. Parka has now lost the vast majority of his mask and he’s left a pool of blood all around ringside. Parka rolls back in to be pinned for 2. Parka is strapped in the camel clutch but survives that. Sabu comes off the ropes and gets feet in the jaw for 2. The bloody La Parka climbs, loses his balance and gets crotched. Sabu hits a super rana for 2. Arabian Facebuster gets 2. Triple Jump Moonsault gets it done, finally, at 19.36. ****. A bloody and violent example of how good Sabu can be when he wrestles someone who can cover for his mistakes. Some nice improvisation in this match both ways. La Parka’s bloodied face poking out of the mask is something I won’t soon forget. They shake hands post match, which is a nice touch. This should have gone on last.

BACKSTAGE they follow Bill Alfonso and he shouts, a lot. He challenges La Parka who then comes out and lays Fonzie out before cutting a promo in Spanish. Joey Styles talks about Taiyo Kea and how he’s injured his knee and is out for a year. He was the number one contender so Awesome v Lynn will determine a new #1 contender.

Mike Awesome v Jerry Lynn

Awesome looks a little cumbersome. He hits a big splash in the corner and a clothesline for 2. Lynn hits a crossbody for 2 but gets speared coming off the ropes for 2. Awesome falls over the ropes and gets guillotine legdropped coming back in. Awesome outside and Lynn hits a pescado. Awesome gets backdropped into the fans. Awesome levels a fan accidentally and dives over the rail knocking Lynn down. Lynn dropkicks him coming back in but Awesome connects with a great slingshot shoulder block for 2. Awesome applies a camel clutch and grinds away at it. Lynn gets out and hits a rana. Swinging DDT gets 2. Chris Daniels is out here watching on. Awesome hits a big boot and signals for the end. Sit out Awesomebomb gets 2. Another one is countered into a DDT for 2. Awesome hits a belly to belly but doesn’t cover. Top rope splash gets 2. Running Awesomebomb is countered into a roll up for 2. Running Awesomebomb connects the 2nd time and Awesome goes over at 8.21. **1/2. Awesome had a lot of visible ring rust and was largely carried by Lynn. Hopefully he’ll be able to get back to the level he was at before his terrible WWE run. Losing that gut would be a good start although still having “The Zoo” as his entrance music helps.

Daniels gets on the mic and tells Lynn that he’s disappointed in him. Daniels gets right in his face about being a loser and listening to the idiot fans. Daniels asks him to join with him. “New F’n show” chant breaks out. Lynn tells Daniels that he’s absolutely right and they shake hands.

BACKSTAGE the ancient Terry Funk talks about Dusty Rhodes and how they both went to West Texas State and how Funk was the better man. Then Terry moves onto Vietnam and how he was a Platoon leader “we were attacked by a bunch of those nips”. He calls Dusty Rhodes a quitter twice and then moves onto calling him a coward and a fat slob. Funk then moves onto calling Dusty an inept horse rider. Terry’s ramblings here are almost painful to watch. He manages to call Dusty Rhodes an egg sucking dog though.

Steve Corino v Dusty Rhodes v Terry Funk

Funk grabs the mic and calls Dusty everything he can think of – “YOU EGG SUCKING DOOOOOOG”. Corino helps Funk beat down Dusty and here comes the bionic elbows. Stalling and Corino wails away on Dusty. Terry throws a trashcan in and Corino uses it. Terry turns on Corino and trashcans him. Corino is selling like a champ here in an attempt to make this look like a match. Terry’s unsightly ass crack is exposed outside and Corino knocks Dusty out with the trashcan. Terry chair shots himself and I realise that he reminds me of Ozzy Osbourne. Dusty is bleeding. We go onto a fresh trashcan for more of the same and Terry falls over the rail. “It reminds of the Lou Thesz-Eduard Carpentier trashcan fight of 1947” – Joey, on good form. In a total shocker – Steve Corino is bleeding. Dusty grabs a shovel and dings Terry with it. Flip, flop and fly for Corino but Terry goes low with the shovel. Corino up and Terry nails him in the throat with the shovel. Funk is bleeding also. Terry falls over the rail again and Corino chuckles as he stomps him. Corino and Terry take the flip, flop and fly. Simon Diamond and CW Anderson run in to pummel Dusty while Corino nails his ankle with a chair. Terry protects him for some reason demanding medical assistance. That’s the end of Dusty as he’s carried out. Terry trashcans everyone and Corino sells a lot but hammers Terry down. DDT for Terry. DDT for the referee. All the heel punks sit on Terry and they pin him at 12.46. So I guess Corino wins. -***. One for each guy who should have retired a decade ago plus a bonus negative star for the non-finish.

Dusty comes back out to save Terry and they clean the ring out. Dusty hits the bionic elbow on Corino and Terry counts a 2nd 3 count. Terry and Dusty sit there flipping each other off and Terry exposes his ass again. Corino names himself CW and Diamond “The Extreme Horsemen”. Terry and Dusty run some more comedy in the ring with Terry going to waffle Dusty with a chair and then pretending he wasn’t. Funny, yes, bloody, yes, good, no.

BACKSTAGE the Extreme Horsemen cut their first heel group promo. “We haven’t come to play, we’ve come to take over”. Corino points out that 5 years ago they were in the basement but now it’s their time.

Out in the arena earlier Vampiro cuts a promo sans make up. He calls the MLW title the only real world title while taking a shot at Kawada. As if he could even lace Kawada’s boots.

MLW title – Satoshi Kojima (c) v Vampiro

Kojima refuses a handshake. Vampiro looks weird without his hair or his make up. Vampiro stalls, a lot. Yanno, Vampiro looks like the Undertaker now. Outside and Kojima gets railed knocking a fan over. Kojima hits a suplex on the floor. Vampiro falls over the rail and they fight out into the fans. Up onto the stage where Kojima is slammed. Vampiro climbs the camera rig and hits a clothesline off it. Back into the ring and the crowd is getting restless. Vampiro hits a gutwrench suplex and a legdrop for 2. Kojima comes back with the chops. Looks like Kojima has a busted nose. Vampiro goes to a cheating Abdominal stretch. Rolling kneebar but Kojima gets the ropes. Out into the ring and Vampiro slaps on a double leglace. Kojima gets the ropes again. More stalling from Vampiro. Kojima comes back with a forearm in the corner and an elbow drop gets 2. Slugfest and Kojima wins with some elbows and avoids a chokeslam into a Fujiwara armbar. Vampiro gets the ropes to break. Vampiro stalls some more and hits a bulldog. DDT gets 2. Back suplex and Vampiro stalls again. Another back suplex gets 2. More stalling from Vampiro into a chokeslam. Twisting splash misses. Vampiro looks for a rana and gets powerbombed for 2. Cutthroat Cutter from Kojima gets 2. Dragon screw and Kojima looks happy as he dropkicks Vampiro’s knee. Another dragon screw but the Figure 4 is reversed into an inside cradle for 2. Ensiguri from Vampiro but he’s caught in an STF shortly afterwards. Vampiro gets the ropes. Ace Crusher from Kojima and he gets up a head of speed – LARIATOOOO finishes at 18.04. What does that have to do with all the working the leg exactly? *. Boring. At least 10 minutes too long.

The fans start to file out but out comes Mike Awesome. Kojima-Awesome brawl resulting in Kojima taking an Awesomebomb. Running Awesomebomb through a table leaves the fans with a high spot to remember and Awesome celebrates with the belt.

Overall tape thoughts – C+

Joey Styles commentating was probably a high point for this tape even if he’s long stopped caring about the business. His ECW level of research simply wasn’t there. MLW are trying very hard to be ECW right down to using the exact same wrestlers. I was impressed that Sabu’s mobility has actually improved since I last saw him in ECW in 2000. I saw him compete in TNA last year and didn’t look too bad there either but they made him work in his old style. This is a more mature Sabu and it came off well. It helped that La Parka did one of the best bladejobs ever bleeding over everything. Some of the tag matches were decent but it all seemed a little unplanned. The old timer match was horrible. There are some positives but not many. I’d give this one a marginal thumbs up for fans of ECW and a marginal thumbs down to people who don’t like Sabu because his match carries the card.

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