MLW One-Shot Reignited The Rise Of The Renegades

A look back at the 2017 return of MLW

MLW One-Shot was indeed supposed to be just that, a one-time event showcasing the prestigious letters that are now so synonymous with the sport of professional wrestling.

On October 5, 2017, One-Shot happened to be the first show for Major League Wrestling since 2004, but as we’ve all gotten to know, the world of MLW never stops turning. The event’s popularity and stacked card actually reignited the fire that we now get see every week on Fusion. So many faces popular in wrestling today were a part of the event as MLW displayed to be a proving ground for many of wrestling’s most notable stars and that’s exactly what MLW CEO Court Bauer had intended.

“I am never one to live in the past, so I had no desire to do a reunion as that seemed trite,” said Bauer. “My goal was to showcase the new generation that’s emerging and celebrate their talent and the culture they introduced to our sport. This new era of athletes elevated the game and I was so inspired and hopeful for the future of the sport. “

The show was indeed as hot as the Orlando weather as the action started with Tama Tonga taking an open contract to face a strong-style focused Martin Stone. Tonga came out hard and ready with some strong style of his own. The two continued with that pace and style to get that crowd invested (Tonga does loosen up with a swig of beer). Stone does end up getting a near win with a hard snap powerbomb, but Tonga’s resiliency rams through as he hit his stun gun finisher for the victory, but respect is shown by the crowd for Stone’s efforts.

The next bout involved MLW’s first-ever Middleweight Champion and staple of The Dynasty, MJF.

The then 21-year old took on Philadelphia’s Jimmy Yuta. Tony Schiavone notes shades of Ricky Steamboat in Yuta, but the arrogant MJF took to his signature shortcut taking style and that proved to his benefit as he low-blowed Yuta and grabbed a handful of tights to secure the tainted victory.

One of the MLW Fusion pioneers in Barrington Hughes made real quick work as the 469-pounder crashed his massive frame into his unlucky opponent for his Purple Crush finisher.

Darby Allin “Coffin Dropped” in as he took on Jason Cade next. Allin brooded in the the corner before the bell rung, but once it did Darby showed off slick, yet steady structure in the ring. Schiavone notes of Allin’s “great spring” and his resiliency played a major factor as he defeated Cade with his Last Supper pinning combination for the well-deserved win.

We had our first taste of women’s action as Mia Yim took on The Sunshine State’s Santana Garrett. Garrett showed her in-ring expertise being under the tutledge of Larry Zybysko. The fans are split down the middle between which women to get behind. Yim displayed ruthlessness as she remained relentless against Garrett. It turned out to be one major slugfest between the two competitors, but speed and athleticism prevailed as a handspring press secured the homestate hero Garrett the pinfall.

Matters got real filthy next, as a pre-MLW Heavyweight Champion Tom Lawlor made his MLW debut as he took on the accredited Olympian Jeff Cobb. You best believe this bout was hard hitting as Cobb and Lawlor intended it to be & both utilized their amateur wrestling backgrounds. Lawlor’s primary challenge in the match was adjusting his MMA expertise into the ever-changing pro wrestling style, but the Filthy One took to it like a fish to water. A hard headbutt sent Lawlor down, but bloodied the nose of Cobb and the two traded more hard shots with one another. Lawlor tried to lock in an armbar, but Cobb displayed his power by lifting Tom up. Lawlor, however, showed his true filthiness as his cornerman handed him something foreign to rub in the face of Cobb, allowing himself to escape Jeff’s clutches and sunset flip over to get the 1-2-3.

The cult-like Sami Callihan took on 305’s Most Valuable Athlete in MVP and Sami immediately attempted head-games with the seasoned in-ring vet.

Sami started off with bloodlust on his brain, but MVP showed his savvy in the ways of brawler style. The outside sure saw it’s share of action on the outside as Sami suplexed MVP hard onto some errant chairs, but Porter pummeled him right back. Sami aimed to win with a countout finish, but MVP was ready for any sort of fight, and after some signature shots from the veteran, an old-school fisherman suplex secured the W for MVP.

It was then main event time as Shane Strickland took on wrestling’s top free agent at the time, King Ricochet in a match that had major league stakes for Swerve. Strickland, had a lot of the media’s attention heading into this bout and throughout the evening, MLW 360 covered his and Ricochet’s friendship that has soured since this match was announced. “He’s good, he’s really good, but he’s not ‘Ricochet good.'” Ricochet tried to downplay Strickland’s relevance on social media, but Shane had other ideas, separating “The King” from his friend Trevor Mann.”I am here to dethrone Ricochet. Trevor will always be my best friend, but Ricochet needs to be kicked in the mouth,” Shane stated earlier.

This match majorly lived up to it’s expectations as the two men went nearly a full 40 minutes as strength, endurance and sheer athleticism became a gigantic factor. The momentum shifted swiftly between the two competitors. The match finally determined a victor when Ricochet exhausted all of his energy by lifting Strickland up for one-armed powerbomb and as he went for the better driller two, Strickland enziguried himself into an armbar to get the submission victory.

After the event ended, that’s when Bauer began receiving interest in bringing the brand back on a full-time basis.

“In my mind One-Shot was my personal goodbye letter to pro wrestling. Three weeks after One-Shot, I was having talks with a few networks about producing a weekly series and doing a full relaunch, which we ultimately did with beIN premiering on beIN a few months later. As the saying goes, ‘never say never.'”

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