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MLW War Chamber 2024: March 29, 2024

by DocAllen

MLW War Chamber>

Live from The Coliseum in St. Petersburg, Florida. The venue is a small mixed use building, but it's packed with a few hundred happy fans. Joe Dombrowski and Christian Cole are on commentary.

MLW Featherweight Championship:
Janai Kai © (with Salina de la Renta and Jesus Rodriguez) vs. Unagi Sayaka

They feel each other out, Sayaka turns it into a slugfest. Kai takes over with rapid kicks to various body parts. Sayaka escapes a cool Dragon Sleeper and blasts a Codebreaker. Sayaka rallies with rapid attacks, Kai kicks out of a back senton. Sayaka works a tight Gory Special and plops her down for a nearfall. Kai desperately hits a nasty pump kick, Sayaka has enough time to get up for another slugfest. Sayaka hits a KO big boot for only 2. Kai survives more near falls and hits a Uranage. Running pump kick by Kai ends it at 7:12. Good nonstop action, just very abbreviated from what I'd expect from a title match in the opener, **½.
Winner and still MLW Featherweight Champion: Janai Kai

Florida's own AJ Francis comes to the ring and the fans hate him anyway. He cuts a promo about typical heel topics, like how stupid the fans are, etc.

AJ Francis (with Mr. Saint Laurent) vs. Alex Kane (with Mr. Thomas)

Kane charges in and dumps AJ for a tope. Kane hits a big splash onto the ring frame! AJ reverses a suplex and uses his size advantage to take over. AJ misses a head of steam and bonks into the ring post. AJ blocks a suplex and powerbombs Kane onto the ring frame. Kane beats the countout, but AJ is ready for him. Kane uses his quickness to hit a spear, followed by an overhead suplex! Belly to back suplex by Kane gets 2. MSL's interference allows AJ to hit a low blow, then a high elevation chokeslam and WINS at 7:06! In the MLW environment, that's a HUGE upset. I know it's Top Dolla and easy to make fun of him, but he played his part very well and held up his end of the bargain. They were having a very good power match until that abrupt finish, **½.
Winner: AJ Francis

Members of the Bomaye Fight Club surround AJ but then raise their fists to salute their apparent new leader. Kane's bad day just got worse. Joe asks Kane about it and his response gets censored.

Earlier today, AKIRA walked right into The Calling's ambush. Rickey Shane Page wraps AKIRA's face in barbed wire for a vicious crossface. This is setting up a second War Chamber match a few weeks from now.

Brian Brock attacks his scheduled jobber opponent and issues an open challenge to real competition. That's a mistake, because CONTRA shows up.

Brian Brock vs. Mads Krugger

Brock's punches have no effect on Krugger, and he gets tossed out. Brock lands some shots at ringside, but Krugger wraps his neck in a chair for a big boot. Krugger misses a running splash through a door. Brock fends off CONTRA's interference and smashes a door over Krugger's skull. Krugger no-sells and nails a chokeslam. Full Nelson slam by Krugger ends it at 3:45. Fun little Crash TV style match, *½.
Winner: Mads Krugger

CONTRA prepare a body bag for Brock, but Krugger demands they carry him out like a trophy instead.

Richard Adonis vs. Bad Dude Tito (with Salina de la Renta)

Adonis attacks from behind, and Tito makes him pay with a barrage of strikes. Overhead suplex by Tito, then a Tequila Screwdriver for the win at 0:48. Excellently efficient squash.
Winner: Bad Dude Tito

Tito takes some time to insult the fans, just generic heel stuff.

NJPW Television Championship:
Matt Riddle © vs. Kosei Fujita

They start with competitive chain wrestling for a quick stalemate. They quickly transition to a striking contest. The fans LOVE Riddle. The match restarts again with Riddle hitting quick suplexes and running attacks. Fisherman suplex by Riddle gets 2. Fujita blocks a back senton, hits a rana, then a penalty kick from the apron. Springboard senton by Fujita gets 2. Riddle blocks a suplex, but Fujita leaps into a Dragon sleeper. Riddle considers tapping before reversing into a Brainbuster! Riddle drops Fujita into a knee lift and suplexes him for a great nearfall! There's a loud “Fujita” chant in the building! Fujita answers with an AVALANCHE GERMAN SUPLEX, Riddle lands on his head but grabs a rope break. Riddle surprises with a jumping knee and Tombstone Piledriver to win at 7:04! This was like the most bad-a$$ seven minute match of all time, ***¼.
Winner and still NJPW Television Champion: Matt Riddle

Joe asks Riddle about the possibility he'll top Pro Wrestling Illustrated's top 10 rankings. Riddle would rather talk about the MLW World Championship, and he can't really be the King of Bros without that belt. The live crowd likes the sound of that.

Cesar Duran talks to the camera and dangles around a mysterious key.

Mads Krugger video promo. He's been waiting two whole years to burn MLW to the ground.

The broadcast cuts over to a CMLL show in Arena Mexico.

MLW Middleweight Championship:
Mistico © vs. Angel Del Oro

As previously mentioned, this bout is from a CMLL event at Arena Mexico. I assume this spliced in match gives the MLW crew time to set up the War Chamber structure over in Florida. Mistico scores first with a pair of armdrags. Hip toss by Angle, but Mistico answers with a flurry of quick attacks. Slick rana by Mistico, followed by a lawn dart tope to outside! Mistico tries a second dive, Angel is ready with an enziguri. Del Oro takes over with flippy, yet calculated attacks. Mistico makes a quick comeback and nails a flying rana to ringside. Del Oro answers with a spinning rana and springboard moonsault to outside! They trade nearfalls, Mistico hits a flipping armdrag and a high crossbody to ringside! Del Oro answers with a double springboard moonsault for 2. Mistico responds with a double springboard rana, Del Oro kicks out. Sitout powerbomb by Del Oro is hampered by a sloppy cover attempt, so Mistico makes him pay with a Spanish Fly! Del Oro hits an avalanche suplex, then a Michinoku Driver, but Mistico continually kicks out at 2. Misitco spins Del Oro down and locks on an armbar for the immediate submission at 14:15! This was a seemingly effortless lucha war. Not much “storytelling” here but lots of cool moves and a highly invested arena crowd, ***½.
Winner and still MLW Middleweight Champion: Mistico

War Chamber: World Titan Federation vs. CozyMAX

(Davey Boy Smith Jr., Josh Bishop, Tom Lawlor, and Richard Holliday, with Mr. Saint Laurent) vs. MLW World Champion Satoshi Kojima and Shigeo Okumura and The Second Gear Crew (Matt Justice and 1 Called Manders, with Bill Alfonso) In case you don't know, this is basically War Games, complete with a cage surrounding two rings. MSL is cosplaying as a soldier and brings a battle plan for his crew. Josh Bishop brings plunder into the cage, and meets Matt Justice at ringside. Bishop delivers an Irish whip into the steps,but Alfonso throws a chair at Bishop's skull. They enter the cage with Justice in charge. Bishop fights back with chair shots. Bishop steals Justice's kendo stick and knocks him into the cage wall. Justice blocks a powerbomb and nails a spear. Justice suplexes a door onto Bishop. Tom Lawlor is out next for the WTF, but Justice is ready with weapon shots. Bishop ambushes Justice with a chair, and the WTF takes over. 1 Called Manders is out next and evens the odds. WTF's Davey Boy Smith Jr. enters to give his team a 3 on 2 advantage. Shigeo Okumura is out next and runs wild like on a hot tag. Richard Holliday is the final entrant for the WTF and gives his team the 4 on 3 advantage, unfazed by Alfonso's whistling. It's a punchy/kicky beatdown until Satoshi Kojima arrives for the third act. Kojima runs wild with his machine gun chops. Justice helps with a high crossbody from the top of the cage! Battle lines are drawn and the match restarts with a 4 on 4 brawl. Bishop sends Justice through a door with a DVD! Smith suplexes Manders through another door! Justice gives Kojima a cutter, then serves him to Smith for a sitout powerbomb for 2. Okumura blocks a double suplex, but Bishop tackles him through a door. The SGC hit stereo spears and set up some tables. Lawlor gets caught in an Electric Chair DDT through a table! Fans chant “holy $hit!” MSL knocks Alfonso down and gives powder to Holliday, but Kojima hits a mean elbow to win at 24:33! It's pretty satisfying to see WTF's cheating backfire. These matches are hard to screw up if you put 8 talented guys into the cage, and this was no exception, ****.
Winners: CozyMAX and The Second Gear Crew

CONTRA interrupts the post-match celebration and surround the cage. CozyMAX and the SGC arm themselves, but CONTRA rip down a cage wall and attack. Mads Krugger throws a fireball into Manders' eyes. CONTRA lay waste to the heroes and drape flags over their carcasses.

Final Thoughts: This felt more like "A Very Special Episode of MLW" than a premium live event/pay-per-view, but that's okay, it was a very compact 2 hour show with plenty of variety and fun. MLW is one of the only major indies that makes a deliberate attempt to be "sports entertainment" and it sets it apart from the competition. I almost always get a kick out of MLW's combination of high workrate and campy goofiness, and I think you might too, War Chamber gets a recommendation.

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