Welcome back to MLW Underground. The blast into MLW’s past continues with more J-Cup USA matches and the arrival of a very familiar face. In the J-Cup matches, we’d see Juventud Guerrera take on Jimmy Yang and for the episode’s main event, Christopher Daniels battles Super Dragon. In between those matches, we’d see a very young Samoa Joe in action against Mike Awesome and the continuation of the Terry Funk vs Extreme Horsemen shenanigans. Let’s get into this packed episode.

Jimmy Yang defeated Juventud Guerrera via Yang Time Splash

Up first we’d have J-Cup USA action as we got a look at a legend of Lucha, Juventud Guerrera’s stint in MLW. Both he and his J-Cup opponent Jimmy Yang are not afraid to innovate in the ring so we were in for something special here. They opened with some technical trading and Guerrera woke Yang up with a corner slap. Guerrera continued to keep the edge in their fast-paced chain wrestling and booted Yang away with a dropkick to the arse. They went into a test of strength where Guerrera showed off his bridging strength and started throwing each other around with head scissors. Yang was sent to the outside and Guerrera followed him out with a Pescado. Guerrera gave Yang another corner beatdown but Yang dropped him with Snake Eyes into a rope-hang triangle choke. They picked up the pace and went counter wild until Guerrera scored another knockdown with a spinning wheel kick. The two chopped it out and Yang rocked Guerrera with a dropkick before trying to choke him out with a Cobra Clutch. Guerrera scored a near-fall with a Tornado DDT and nearly broke Yang with an inverted slam. They both struggled to their feet and rolled around the ring trying to get roll-ups and other types of pinfall until they took each other out with clotheslines. The pair would not stop trading so Guerrera spiked Yang again with a Michinoku Driver. Yang still wouldn’t stay down so Guerrera spiked him yet again with a spinning Fisherman Driver. Yang couldn’t even make a corner whip so Guerrera tried to bully him but it was all a possum play and Yang blasted Guerrera with a dropkick. The Yang Time splash followed and Yang was declared the winner. He’d taken a beating here but had managed to survive and adapt to pick up the win. This was an incredible match from the pair and an excellent addition to the tournament.

Mike Awesome defeated Samoa Joe via Chair Crushing Awesome Splash

Next, things were going to get hardcore. Samoa Joe was in the building and he was facing none other than ECW legend and former MLW Heavyweight Champion Mike Awesome. These two are incredibly athletic and not afraid to bring the plunder. This was going to get heavy. They locked up and went for a battle of shoulder blocks. Joe was knocked to the outside and Awesome flattened him with a dive. He whipped Joe into the railings and set up a table. Joe woke up inside the ring and attacked an apron-bound Awesome only to run into a slingshot shoulder block. Awesome tried to crush Joe in the corners but Joe turned it into an STO. He lit up Awesome with Kawada Kicks and dumped him with a Snap Suplex. The match cut to an ad break and reappeared on a strike fest. Awesome struck back but Joe downed him again with an enzuigiri. He rolled out and Joe followed to hit him with a chair. Awesome took a seat and Joe hit him with a running face wash into a guardrail. Another chop battle broke out and both went down after clotheslines and kicks. Joe scored another two-count with a bridging German and stacked him up with a Powerbomb into an STF. He came at Awesome with another chair but Awesome slid under, grabbed the chair, and broke it over Joe’s skull. A sit-out Awesome Bomb followed but Joe wouldn’t stay down so Awesome broke the chair on him again and crushed Joe and the chair with an Awesome Splash. This was a dream match I never knew existed and man, did it deliver. Both of these guys put on a clinic and carried it way beyond a squash match. Joe might have lost but even back then, he was still kicking ass and taking names.

Between the matches:

  • Terry Funk opened the show by attacking Steve Corino at a merch stand with a barbed-wire strand and heavy punches. Simon Diamond and C.W. Anderson break the beatdown up but that doesn’t stop Funk throwing chairs and insulting Corino from a distance. Later on, in the show, the Extreme Horsemen cut a promo on their growing numbers and big-name members.
  • Dr. Death Steve Williams challenged PJ Walker to a taped-fist match and was about to tell a story but Walker ambushed him.
  • Vampiro was back in MLW and he had taken umbrage with CM Punk’s preaching methods. He’d come back to be the best in MLW and he was going to do the work to prove it. Punk would later address Vampiro and complain about people attacking from behind.

Christopher Daniels defeated Super Dragon via Last Rites

Last but not least, we’d get a spectacle bout from two of wrestling’s best in their earlier days. The evil angel Christopher Daniels was battling the master of the curb stomp Super Dragon. This had the potential to blow minds and break limbs. The pair opened with hard-hitting, fast-paced chain wrestling as Dragon looked to have the edge on Daniels. He used the ropes to escape and trapped Dragon in a side-headlock. Daniels upped the intensity with a cartwheel kick and slugged Dragon right in the mouth. Dragon took the blows and sent Daniels flying with arm drags into a corner Rana. Daniels bailed after a dropkick so Dragon took flight with a Tope con Giro. Dragon smashed and chopped Daniels around the ringside furniture and ignored his pleas for mercy. Daniels countered more rope running with a mask-drag slam and snapped Dragon to the mat again with a running neckbreaker. Daniels made friends with the fans and beat down Dragon with elbows and knees into a neck snap. He continued to beat Dragon around the ring and quashed a comeback with a boot to the face. The match went to an ad break and returned with Dragon eating more stomps. Daniels continued the punishment with a slingshot leg drop and tried to choke Dragon out. Daniels was losing his temper and hit flashy moves with low-effort pins. Super Dragon took Daniels down a peg with a top rope arm-drag and nearly tapped him out with a Cazadora armbar. Daniels took him out with a punt knee and took a double stomp to the arm from Dragon. He went for another armbreaker but Daniels made the ropes. Daniels brought Dragon crashing down with a Uranage and grabbed the ref to hit a low blow. Last Rites followed and Daniels had won. As always, the Evil Angel had cheated to win. That being said, this was a fun watch from both guys. I’d have loved to see the curb stomp but it just wasn’t in the cards today as Daniels got the win.

All images courtesy of MLW, Video Courtesy of MLW YouTube