Major League Wrestling: MLW Anthology #1

"The Mercenary" L.A Park Is This Episode's Focus

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Last week, Major League Wrestling didn’t run an episode of MLW Fusion. Around the time of their Tijuana show with Lucha Libre AAA, it was reported that MLW owner Court Bauer wasn’t keen on empty arena shows after catching WWE SmackDown. That was at a time when empty arena shows were pretty clumsy. Since then they’ve better depending on the product you watch.  

Also, Major League Wrestling runs a show a month, chops it up, and uses the matches to fill in the next month of MLW Fusion. They had the footage to cover most of the spring but were pretty much out of fresh match footage after that.  

MLW Anthology: L.A Park 

The solution: the MLW Anthology series. Basically, it’s a “Best of” show that was supposed to air later in the year or next year. Often when there’s an anthology show of some kind, you picture a presenter in the studio, explaining the next video before tossing to that video. 

In MLW’s case, it was a voice-over from Rich Bocchini. That means no studio segments between videos. Major League Wrestling remedied this the same way they remedy being short on MLW Fusion matches: slip some promos and ads between the videos! 

It works for Fusion and it works here for MLW Anthology. Why complain, I guess? 

The Matches 

We got two matches from Generation 1 MLW—so not so much an anthology. The first was from September 2002 with L.A Park taking on Shocker in an extremely good match. It was very well-paced and exciting throughout! MLW made a good pick in putting this match on there.  

At the time, Shocker and L.A Park were really over in Mexico. It wasn’t a “here are two lucha guys having a great lucha match” bout, these guys were stars in Mexico at that moment and one had a good amount of national exposure in the U.S. They were both in their primes and L.A Park was still doing dives and flying. 

Our second match was to determine the King of Extreme between L.A Park and Sabu. This is their first showdown and the pacing here is very different. It was slower by Sabu match standards but the commentary from Joey Styles really helped. He pointed out that L.A Park was facing an older Sabu who was smarter with his risks and would go to the mat—which Sabu did. 

In reality, Sabu was still extremely adaptable at this time. The U.S indies were still a mix of styles but the indy stars of the early 2000s were mainly smaller guys with a technical or a flashy high-flying approach. Wrestlers like Sabu, Chris Candido, Jerry Lynn, and even Balls Mahoney were able to stay in the mix beyond dream match guys by adapting. 

Anyway, another thing about L.A Park vs. Sabu is that this is probably as clean of a Sabu match you’ll see for a while. He hits his spots and hits them cleanly. There was one blown spot on his end and L.A Park salvaged it to where you’d have to be really nitpicky to notice it. 

The show ended with an MLW roll call around Contra Unit taking over the company.

Great Move By Major League Wrestling 

Just to keep fresh content out there, the MLW Anthology series is a great idea. It’s also a great way to keep from going into your library of shows and just releasing the entire show. Most indies on YouTube have dropped some full shows from previous years already. Several of them have weekly shows and few are doing empty arena shows. 

The smart thing is to just do what many normally do with their show from the previous month. Carve up a few shows and release them as “Best of” or “Wrestling Profile” shows. Hell, they would serve as great introductions to star wrestlers when things get back to normal. 

This week’s MLW Anthology episode will be about Mance Warner. Tune in to that at 5 PM Central on YouTube. 

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