Welcome back to Azteca and to another round of Lucha violence courtesy of El Jefe Cesar Duran. After his meddling in the affairs of Richard Holliday and Alexander Hammerstone last week, both are now missing. One person to speak out about this is Savio Vega and because of that, Duran has put him in a hardcore match against the Juarez Hellraiser Pagano with an added caveat. Alongside that, Alex Kane puts the National Openweight Title on the line against the extraordinary Aerostar and 5150 defend their MLW Tag Team titles against Duran’s hand-picked team of Destiny and Skalibur. Plus, down in Mexico the intrigue has just been maximised as Duran and his right-hand woman Karlee Perez continue to enact whatever master plan, they have underway. Let’s get into the action.
MLW Tag Team Titles: 5150 (Slice Boogie & Rivera w/Konnan) defeated Destiny & Skalibur via 456 Head Crack on Skalibur
Up first tonight was the first title match of the night. 5150, the outspoken tag team champions were in action and taking on a hand-picked team from Duran’s army of warriors. Stepping up to try and take control of the titles were Skalibur and Black Destiny. They’d prefaced this match with a very scathing promo and now, were going to use this match as a chance to send a message to the Von Erichs as to what they can expect when they get their fight. 5150 jumped the duo and got right to work on breaking down Destiny. Skalibur tried to intervene but Boogie just set his sights on him and gave him the same treatment. The match cut for ads and returned to a duo of amazing dives from Duran’s chosen. Rivera regained control in-ring with fast and stiff shots and brought in Boogie for another mugging on Destiny. This 2-on-1 beating continued as Destiny was trapped in the wrong side of town, bending the rules as often as possible with referee distractions. Destiny chopped back but Rivera just dumped him with a Suplex. 5150 were just having fun with it now as they showed off with their offence and kept mocking their helpless foes. Despite that, Destiny just wouldn’t quit. The problem was, 5150 had kept Skalibur out of action too, attacking him whenever they could. Rivera got distracted shouting at the crowds so Destiny was able to take him out with a Missile Dropkick. Both teams tagged and Skalibur flew into action, springboarding into Boogie with a forearm. Boogie tried to drop him but Skalibur went for the trip and Destiny powerbombed Rivera on top of him. 5150 stopped messing around and took out Destiny with a Wheelbarrow Facebreaker Suplex and hit the 456 Head Crack on Skalibur. Despite the fire of the challengers, this had been a pretty one-sided challenge with 5150 doing exactly what they do best, divide, conquer, destroy.
Konnan made sure to spit some fire at Aerostar and Drago, bringing them out for a bit of a brawl. They’d highlighted that they wanted in on the tag team scene and had punctuated that by attacking the tag champs. They brawled around the venue and took the fight out into the streets of Tijuana, exiting the camera frame. Later in the show, they were given a note by an Azteca goon to fight the duo, 5150 gave them the fight promising to sacrifice them next week.
MLW Openweight Title: Alex Kane (c) defeated Aerostar via Kata Ha Jime
Did someone say BOMAYE? Probably not but Alex Kane would have screamed it at you if you passed him. The new Openweight champion was in action next and had his first title defence against the incredible cosmic Luchador Aerostar. We’ve seen Aerostar take countless MLW Stars to their limits, now he could potentially add the Openweight Title to that honours list. With a tag title shot looming, could he potentially become a double champion in the company? This was the place to start but Kane wouldn’t be a pushover. Kane opened with a display of strength by overpowering Aerostar and throwing him aside. Aerostar made him pay for taking him so lightly by taking him out with a twisting Plancha and making him bail with a head-scissors. Kane caught Aerostar out of springboard and launched him across the ring with a Fallaway Slam. The beatdown continued with Mr Thomas getting involved when the ref wasn’t looking and Kane unleashing his Suplex repertoire. Kane was getting very physical and very nasty as he brutalised the crowd’s favourite. Aerostar escaped another Suplex and rocked him with an Enzuigiri, knocking him into the ropes for double knees. Kane bailed again so Aerostar dived onto him and Thomas. Aerostar was primed to finish things but 5150 got some revenge for earlier and pushed him off the top for a vicious lariat. Kane struck instantly with a Kata Ha Jime and put Aerostar to sleep. 5150 had saved the BOMAYE Fight Club and sent a message to their challenges next week. This was an excellent little fight that could have gone a bit longer but perfectly did its job. Kane is a monster and the hero got screwed, everyone goes home happy.
Between the matches:
- Cesar Duran opened with a New Year address. He addressed what he did to Alexander Hammerstone and used it as a warning to the rest of the MLW locker room that his power was absolute and they’d all bend the knee to the matchmaker. Even Court Bauer was livid with this development. Even Richard Holliday tried to break his way into where he thought Hammerstone was being held later in the show but Alicia Atout kept him out of it, trying to keep him safe.
- Alicia Atout caught up with Savio Vega ahead of the match with Pagano tonight. He explained how Duran had set out the stipulation that if he won, IWA Puerto Rico is his again.
- Emilio Sparks stopped nZo in the parking lot to quiz him on his attack on KC Navarro. The two were supposedly friends so it had everyone confused. nZo claimed Navarro had turned his back on him so he had beaten some respect into him. Thanks to his inability to apologise, the league had suspended him.
- MLW confirmed that Davey Richards had signed a multi-year MLW contract and he was set to deliver some news on his future but as the show went on this didn’t happen. It was confirmed on commentary that someone had attacked him and stolen the Opera Cup.
- We got more of the inside look into the life story of EJ Nduka. He talked of his incredible athletic records and how that drive brought him to the world of bodybuilding and eventually wrestling. He was able to do things in a year that took most several years. He cannot wait for his MLW homecoming and the Judge is going to show out for it.
- Later in the show, Duran was stopped again by more people curious about Hammerstone’s whereabouts as EJ Nduka and Emilio Sparks both demanded to know his location. Duran stopped to hand a note to a suspiciously casual Azteca guard and refused to answer their questions but did invite Nduka into his office.
- Karlee Perez had other Azteca business to attend to as she had captured the rogue Mads Krügger. He was before her in chains demanding that she give him Jacob Fatu. She was out to prevent CONTRA from trying to take over again, he assured her he had no interest in CONTRA anymore, just Fatu. He would do anything to earn that match. To do that, he’d have to destroy Bestia 666 in a Tijuana Streetfight.
- Sparks had followed the suspicious henchman from earlier and had seen him chat with two other henchmen before following him underground. At the end of the show, Sparks started streaming again from some kind of Azteca prison with references to the sacrificed Salina de la Renta and “Killshot.” The henchman was Richard Holliday and he freed Hammerstone from the cell he’d been put in. The problem was, Hammerstone’s arm was wrecked.
- Big Beef was working out with a dumpster and promised he was going to get his bag in MLW Beef’s way. “You line ’em up; I’ll knock ’em down.”
IWA Puerto Rico Ownership Hardcore Match: Pagano defeated Savio Vega via Tack-eyed Chair-landing Moonsault
Last but not least, it was time for the brutal main event. Savio Vega was about to fight the traitorous Juarez Hellraiser Pagano in a hardcore bout. This wasn’t just about honouring Hammerstone or getting a win though, Vega’s company was on the line too. if Vega won here, Duran would give him back the ownership of IWA Puerto Rico. It was all to play for this one but against Pagano nothing is ever certain. Vega jumped Pagano and stomped him around the ring. It was all Vega as he laid in his fists and chair shots before dropping the clown with a lariat. Pagano ducked a second and wrapped up Vega to deliver his own ripcord lariat. Pagano hammered down on Vega and scored a near-fall with a slingshot elbow. There’s no party without the clown so Pagano unleashed a Violence party on Vega, teaching the children in the crowd to count as he did so. Vega struck back by nailing Pagano in the throat and forced him to bail with a chair choke. They brawled around the venue and Pagano smashed Vega’s head off iron bars. He followed up with a Scissors Kick and bust Vega open with bites. Vega knocked Pagano out of a springboard and tried to choke him into a pin. The fight went to the top and Pagano sent Vega crashing back down with a rope jump dropkick. He covered the ring in tacks and met Vega at the top again but got dropped gut first into the tacks. Instead of crying, Pagano scooped up a handful of tacks and fired them into Vega’s eyes. He fell down and Pagano put him away with a chair landing Moonsault. Pagano had put away Vega and maintained Duran’s control on IWA Puerto Rico in a fun if slightly less hardcore than expected fight of fists, tacks and bludgeoning. It was stiff, messy and everything you’d want in a fight of this nature. Duran’s control tightens but could he be flying too close to the sun? We’ll find out next week.
All images courtesy of MLW, Video courtesy of MLW YouTube