Life After Death: Major League Wrestling FINALLY Lives Up To Its Name!

{EDITOR’S NOTE:  This article was written days prior to Maxwell Jacob Friedman’s MLW departure immediately following MLW ZERO HOUR in Dallas, TX on January 11.  According to sources, Friedman’s MLW contract expired and he decided not to extend it.  Friedman now wrestles exclusively for All Elite Wrestling}

MLW_FUSIONOne of the things I look forward to when I work out is cardio. Mine usually starts on the treadmill for 15-20 minutes. Gym WiFi reception is a mixed bag. Signal strength is usually determined by where you are in the gym. Some spots are good, others are bad. One streaming service I never have trouble accessing is YouTube. YouTube is the home of several wrestling shows. AEW Dark and NWA Powerrr come to mind almost immediately. However, I’ve discovered another show to view during my sweaty, stand-still trek: MLW Fusion.

I came across one show and then another. Suddenly, I discovered that this program had nearly all its episodes on YouTube. With streaming service channels looking for content, you never know what you are going to get when a wrestling organization puts its content on the internet. However, I was pleasantly surprised with MLW Fusion. It is a great program with top-notch action and top-of-the-line production. I sought to find older episodes of the show. You know, something around 2010. I couldn’t find anything and wondered why. Then, I did a little research.

Major League Wrestling was one of many new indy feds that popped up a little more than a year of both World Championship Wrestling andExtreme Championship Wrestling closed their doors in 2001. As was the supposed formula for success back then, an organization sought to quickly establish itself in the pro wrestling galaxy by employing one or many former big-league stars. The tournament for the fed’s World championship was just that: littered with stateside former big leaguers and Taiyo Kea – a Hawaiian who’d been tearing it up in All-Japan. I ordered the DVD from Highspots.com. In the end, Shane Douglas won the championship and sought to recreate the events immediately following his NWA World championship victory. Ironically, the entire show took place at the ECW Arena. These precedents would come to define the organization. MLW served as a hub for former big-league stars, international talent, and some indy wrestlers as well. Nonetheless, the fed was quickly written off as a major league wannabe by many and ceased operations after nearly 20 months.

fatuniorMLW began running shows in July 2017. In the last three years, they have really put in some major-league work. This organization looks nothing like its previous incarnation and that’s a good thing. When looking at the new MLW, you must begin at the top with the current World champion Jacob Fatu. Standing 6’2” and weighing nearly 300 lbs., this man is as agile as he is powerful. He is the son of The Tonga Kid and a member of the legendary Anoa’I wrestling family. Since capturing the championship from former UFC fighter “Filthy” Tom Lawlor, Fatu has been nothing short of unstoppable.

Fatu is not the only multi-generation star in MLW. The members of the NEW Era Hart Foundation – Davey Boy Smith, Jr. and Brian Pillman, Jr. (and until recently Teddy Hart) – are both major players when it comes to MLW’s title picture. Both men seek to honor their fathers’ respective legacies while establishing their own. Two men seeking to redefine and re-establish their family name are MLW World Tag Team champions Ross and Marshall Von Erich – the sons of Kevin Von Erich. These athletic youngsters have modernized the Iron Claw while adding a bright new chapter to their family’s legacy.dynasty

One of the best things about independent organizations is that wrestling concepts that some may considered outdated or passé can find new life or be polished. MLW has several factions, but none stand out quite like the upper-crust troika known as The Dynasty. Members Maxwell Jacob Freidman, Alexander Hammerstone, and Richard Hoilday have all found championship success in MLW. Hammerstone won a tournament to become the first (and thus far only) National Openweight champion last June. Friedman became the first-ever Middleweight in MLW history in July 2018. Friedman and Holiday have captured the MLW Tag Team titles as a tandem. With the recent addition of indy wrestling standout Logan Creed, don’t be surprised if one or all the members of the group express an interest in Fatu’s World championship.

The organization is wearing many hats and doing it well. They have established working agreements with several Lucha Libre stars from both AAA and The Crash. They’ve also formed a strategic partnership with Japan’s Pro Wrestling Noah. They have revived the Opera Cup – a championship trophy last won by Stu Hart last century – and are holding a tournament to crown a modern-day kingpin. Veterans like Low-Ki and new blood like Mance Warner provide a little something for everyone. If you aren’t watching MLW Fusion, you should be. Thank me later.

Peace from The Planet!

Published by Planet Velvet

Former profession wrestler turned actor. Love the sport, hate the business.

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