Major League Wrestling (MLW) has emerged as an unlikely new alternative on the pro wrestling landscape out of 2018. Founded by Court Bauer in 2002, MLW was one of the original indie promotions to launch the US indie revolution in the early 2000s, alongside the likes of Ring of Honor, Total Nonstop Action (TNA/IMPACT Wrestling), Pro Wrestling Guerrilla (PWG) and CHIKARA. MLW ran for two years before ceasing operations, transforming into a podcast platform that revolutionized wrestling podcasts. In October of 2017, MLW made its triumphant return, but originally it was thought to just be a one-off reunion when MLW One Shot was unveiled. When they returned again in December with MLW Never Say Never, it seemed apparent. MLW was back. A year later and MLW has become one of the strongest promotions in the US, behind only the WWE, ROH and IMPACT, with a major television deal on BeIN Sports USA, and being home to one of the most exciting rosters on television. This Saturday, MLW launches what is sure to become an annual flagship event, MLW SuperFight, live from the legendary 2300 Arena (formerly the ECW Arena) in Philadelphia, with a stacked card. It airs live on BeIN Sports USA on Saturday at 8pm EST.
MLW Superfight Preview
Aero Star vs. Rey Horus
Highflying luchadore Aero Star gained national notoriety via Lucha Underground over the past few years, but he’s been a mainstay in his native Mexico with AAA since 2003. He’s also recently appeared on several episodes of IMPACT Wrestling as well. MLW has been a great showcase of lucha libre over the past year, and on Saturday they continue that practice, as Aero Star faces another Mexican luchadore in Rey Horus. Like Aero Star, Horus gained widespread attention through Lucha Underground as well, as Dragon Azteca Jr., but has been expanding his own brand presence of late in the US, with the likes of PWG, All American Wrestling (AAW), DEFY Wrestling, and even making his MLW debut last summer. Expect nothing less than a thrilling display of true Mexican lucha libre in this high flying affair.
Puma King vs. Gringo Loco
Puma King was a 10-year veteran of Mexico’s biggest promotion, CMLL, when he decided to depart to test the waters of the international indie scene. Since then, the masked marvel’s displays of athleticism have excited audiences from PWG to Japan’s DDT Pro, Game Changer Wrestling (GCW) to IMPACT. Last October, he finally arrived in MLW and on Saturday takes on an American luchador in the madman Gringo Loco. Chicago’s Gringo Loco has been a 13-year veteran of the Chicago indies, mostly with GALLI Lucha, but in 2018 he exploded nationally with GCW, Absolute Intense Wrestling (AIW), Black Label Pro and more, before making his own MLW debut in November. Another match loaded with true lucha potential, this is a sleeper that will leave audiences hungering for more from each competitor.
Ace Romero vs. Simon Gotch
A student of NXT’s Oney Lorcan, Ace Romero has been wrestling since 2013. But it’s only been in the past few years that the Superheavyweight has transcended from the regional locals into a national star with Beyond Wrestling, Combat Zone Wrestling (CZW), Bar Wrestling, AAW and more. At SuperFight, “Acey Baby” will face a man as miserable as his smug smirk, former WWE Superstar Simon Gotch. Since returning to the indies in 2017, Gotch has become a merciless pugilist in the ring, taking out opponents in Ring of Honor, FEST Wrestling, CHIKARA and more before finding his home in MLW last year. Will the man who put the “villain” in Vaudevillains overcome the sheer force of nature that is Ace Romero?
Tommy Dreamer & ??? vs. Brian Pillman Jr. & ???
For months now, Brian Pillman Jr. has been a thorn in Tommy Dreamer‘s side. The son of late WCW and WWE Superstar “Flyin'” Brian Pillman has mastered his father’s ability to get under his opponent’s skin, and with the backing of the new Hart Foundation (Teddy Hart & Davey Boy Smith Jr.), he’s been a reckless youth in MLW the past year. Although Dreamer defeated Pillman in their first encounter at MLW FightLand in Chicago last November, Pillman has got the upper hand since. In December, Pillman and Davey Boy defeated Dreamer and Barrington Hughes in tag action, before Pillam defeated Dreamer in singles competition a few weeks later in a Singapore Cane match. It all comes down to Saturday night now, as each man will come to the former ECW Arena with a mystery tag team partner to fight one more time. Being in Philadelphia, one can assume Dreamer will call on one of his many ECW ex-patriots – he just made peace with his old rival Raven a short while ago in IMPACT, or maybe Shane Douglas or the Sandman? As for Pillman, with the other two Hart Foundation members locked in their own fight that night, will we see a hired gun or a new addition to the Hart Foundation? Could Teddy Hart’s former tag partner Jack Evans be returning to the fold?
DJZ vs. Myron Reed
MLW’s Middleweight division rivals IMPACT’s X-Division for its explosive innovation and high impact wrestling, and at SuperFight, we’ll see two incredible athletes showcase all of that. Speaking of the X-Division, the first opponent just recently left IMPACT Wrestling, as 2x X-Division Champion DJ Z now calls MLW home. He debuted last December and is finding his spot in the Middleweight division and he’ll have to go through one of the brightest young stars in the sport in Myron Reed. The fourth member of The Rascalz squad that features Dezmond Xavier, Zachary Wentz, and Trey Miguel, Reed has been primarily a tag team specialist in his career – he’s one half of the reigning AAW Tag Team Champions with AR Fox. But this weekend, Reed will get a chance to shine in singles competition against one of the most underrated high flyers of the past decade.
Grudge Match: Ricky Martinez (w/ Salina De La Renta) vs. Kotto Brazil
Managed by Salina De La Renta and Promociones Dorado, Ricky Martinez (also known around the world as Maxx Stardom) has become one of De La Renta’s hitmen the past year since joining the “family”. One of his victims in recent weeks was rising Middleweight star Kotto Brazil, a Florida indie star who previously worked as Snoop Strikes with American Combat Wrestling. During a recent night out at a Miami nightclub, Brazil was attacked by Martinez, injuring his eye, putting him on the shelf for a few weeks. He’s back and looking for revenge in a very personal grudge match.
Rich Swann vs. Ace Austin
Ever since leaving the WWE earlier this year, former WWE Cruiserweight Champion Rich Swann has been on a roll. He joined IMPACT Wrestling and recently captured his first X-Division Championship and now the renowned high flyer has his sights set on MLW gold. But first, he’s going to face an up-and-coming Midwest indie star in Ace Austin, a magician in the ring who made his debut last November at FightLand. Austin has become a young star to watch in 2019, after impressive showings with IMPACT, Rockstar Pro, CZW and Beyond last year. MLW has recently announced that Austin will be seen a lot more in 2019, so this feud may just be starting.
MLW World Tag Team Championship: Lucha Brothers (Pentagon Jr. & Fenix) (c) vs. The Hart Foundation (Teddy Hart & Davey Boy Smith Jr.) w/ Brian Pillman Jr.
One of the co-main events sees two highly skilled – and motivated – tag teams competing for the gold. The Lucha Brothers, Pentagon Jr. and Fenix, have arguably been the best tag team in the world of the past year or so, winning tag team titles in PWG, Crash Lucha and now the reigning Champions in MLW. As singles competitors, they’ve had even greater success, with both men holding the Lucha Underground Championship and Pentagon winning the IMPACT World Heavyweight Championship last year. Fenix is the current reigning AAA Mega Champion. But their opponents seek championships like sharks after chum in the water. Teddy Hart is the reigning MLW Middleweight Champion, but now they have their sights on the MLW Tag Team Championships. Teddy is teaming up with his cousin, Davey Boy Smith Jr., to get the job done, and they’ll have Brian Pillman Jr. in their corner, lurking in the shadows waiting for an opportunity to influence the match. And the Lucha Brothers are still in the bad books with former manager Salina De La Renta, so who knows if Promociones Dorado will interfere to cause more problems for her former clients.
MLW World Heavyweight Championship: Low Ki (c) w/ Salina De La Renta vs. “Filthy” Tom Lawlor
Low Ki has been wrestling for MLW since 2004 and since his return to the company in 2018, he hasn’t lost a match. En route to capturing the MLW World Heavyweight Championship from Shane Strickland, he defeated Kotto Brazil and MVP, but he’s been more impressive as World Champion. He’s turned back challenges from John Morrison, Fenix, Daga, Jonah Rock, Fred Yehi, and Konnan, sitting at 204 days as MLW Champion. But for “Filthy” Tom Lawlor, his ride to this match has been anything but smooth sailing. He won Battle Riot last July to earn an MLW World Championship shot, but along the path, things kept getting his way. Following his announcement in October to cash in his shot at SuperFight, Promociones Dorado has done everything in their power to shut him down before the event. First, they hired Sami Callihan to take him out, and when that didn’t work, they paid off his former tag partner Simon Gotch to sell him out, where he was beaten down by De La Renta’s thug LA Park, his son Hijo De LA Park, Ricky Martinez, and the Champ himself. But through it all, Lawlor has remained vigilante in his focus to persevere and show Low Ki that his avoidance hasn’t been a case of Low Ki ignoring him as a challenger, but as fear in a reluctance to face the former UFC fighter. On Saturday night, the near five-month challenge finally comes to fruition and either Low Ki will prove himself superior, or the World Championship will get a little “Filthy”.