Major League Wrestling is in a celebratory mood and why not? They have had a string of strong special events over the last few months, from Fightland to One Shot. Their recent lawsuit settlement with WWE has reportedly helped secure the company’s finances in the short term (read more about this here).

Changes and the metaphorical “momentum” important to pro wrestling are building. With the return of Sami Callihan, Satoshi Kojima, and Matt Riddle in the new year, this Christmas Eve card feels like a statement. MLW has more to offer.

The headline match is the third (final) match between the two Atlas’ who have carried MLW: Jacob Fatu vs. Alex Hammerstone. While the build has been short, the history of their feud runs deep in MLW history (see my match point overview).

The main event features a battle of MLW’s past whereas the undercard showcases MLW’s present and future.

WTF Pursuing Featherweight Gold

Tiara James vs. Zayda vs. Notorious Mimi

Since joining WTF as its first and only fedette, Zayda has made it clear she is chasing featherweight gold, and that Mister Saint Laurent has her back. Tonight, Zayda has the chance to prove she deserves an opportunity. Will Zayda be able to cash the cheques her mouth and mouthpiece are writing? Or will the other two ladies derail her ego trip?

Scramble Match Action:

Six-man Scramble match: AKIRA vs. Nolo Kitano vs. Alec Price vs. Love, Doug vs. J Boujii vs. Brett Ryan Gosselin.

Six members of MLW’s midcard will look to collect the winner’s purse and one final victory. Other interpersonal issues will likely spill into the chaos.

AKIRA is heading into Kings of Colosseum and the Taipei death match with Rickey Shane Page. Love Doug and Brett Ryan Gosselin will want to prove who is the better man to B3CCA ahead of their Love is Blind match.

Nolo Kitano has been so close to gaining victory in the past few weeks. J Boujii, the Bombaye Fight Clubs member wants respect for his name. Alec Price, who has not been on MLW Fusion for two months, will want to gain relevancy heading into next year.

Triple Threat Tag Action

Winners gain an MLW World Tag Team Championship shot: Mane Event vs. Wasted Youth vs. Griffin McCoy and TJ Crawford.

Several weeks ago, Wasted Youth (Marcus Maths and Dylan McKay) debuted winning a triple threat tag team match. Now the pair return to action and will want to prove their debut win was no fluke.

Wasted Youth beat but did not pin, Mane Event (Midas Black and Jay Lyon) in their debut match. Despite the circus duos’ love of fun and games, they are coming for the win.

The third tandem is the recently formed team of Griffin McCoy and TJ Crawford. Under the tutorage of Tony Deppen, what illegal lengths will they go to secure a win?

Fight to the Finish!

Matthew Justice vs. Josh Bishop with Saint Laurent.

On the season finale of Fusion, newcomer Josh Bishop, a man whom WTF’s Mister Saint Laurent has cast in the mold of Sid Vicious, won the opening battle royal. Bishop last eliminated Matthew Justice.

Decimating Justice with a crucifix powerbomb over the ropes, through a table! Justice was put onto a stretcher, but Bishop continued the assault post-match, flinging Justice to the floor.

Justice gets his chances at revenge. The match is called a “fight to the finish”. The details of the stipulation are unclear but imply weapons and violence are welcome. Expect “the one-man militia” to find ways of using weaponry in unique and painful ways. Yet given the no DQ nature of this fight, will Saint Laurent intervene?

An Intergender Feud Built on Disrespect

Ichiban vs. Salina de la Renta

Since her return to MLW, Salina de la Renta returned to MLW, and Ichiban has gotten himself in the bad books. The “Empresaria” has made it her mission to stomp out Ichiban’s desire for an MLW World Middleweight Championship shot against Rocky Romero.

At Fightland, Ichiban and Máscara Dorada defeated Romero and Bárbaro Cavernario. Afterward, Promociones Dorada put Ichiban on the shelf. Upon his return and confronting Salina, Salina made this match believing she could stamp out the high-flyer’s resilience herself.

If Ichiban wins, he gets an MLW World Middleweight Championship shot. If he loses Ichiban will stay out of hers and Promociones Dorada’s way.   

This will be Salina’s first-ever match in MLW. Given her reliance on underhand tactics to aid her clients, expect Salina to try and steal a victory.

Grudge Match

Tony Deppen vs. Kevin Blackwood  

Frustration and animosity have built up for months in Kevin Blackwood. Viciously assaulted by Deppen and TJ Crawford, Blackwood spent months on the shelf with an ankle injury.

Deppen was suspended for refusing to pay a fine for the attack. Disgustingly, Depen took to social media to mock Blackwood’s injury, the fine, and MLW’s disciplinary actions.

Repeatedly, Deepen defied the ban placed on him to attend MLW events. Under a mask, he returned to interfering in matches for TJ Crawford and his newest recruit, Griffin McCoy.

On the last episode of Fusion, Blackwood returned but was kept away from Deppen by security. Without the protection of security or his minions, Deppen fights one-on-one against the man he’s deemed a coward. Is Deppen prepared for Blackwood’s fury?

Kane Goes for Doubles Gold

MLW World Tag Team Championships: Second Gear Crew (1 Called Manders and Good Brother #3) vs. Bomaye Fight Club (Alex Kane and Mr Thomas).  

Brokered by Bomaye business partner, Don King, the reigning MLW World Heavyweight Champion, Alex Kane wants to be a double world champion for Christmas. The Bombaye pairing of Kane and Thomas has been dangerous and formidable opposition in the past.

In the challengers’ favor is that this is the champion’s first defense. Given the championship is defended under free-bird rules with the new combination of 1 Called Manders has to defend with the new MLW roster but a seasoned veteran of the 1970s, Good Brother #3 (who isn’t Mance Warner), one might wonder if the champions will have chemistry.

The likelihood is the champions are going to visit Suplex Island. However just because Kane is an accomplished singles grappler does not guarantee him the championship against two wily veterans.

The Third in the Trilogy

Jacob Fatu vs. Alex Hammerstone (with Saint Laurent)

Rather than regurgitate my match point overview of this contest and discuss the history of this feud, let’s consider the future of the promotion. MLW looks to enter 2024 with a desire to expand and regrow. This match may be Hammerstone’s last under an MLW contract.

Both fighters share so much in common. MLW’s Hulk Hogan vs. Ultimate Warrior is an “irresistible force meeting the immovable object”. Both are dynamic powerhouse wrestlers. They have great chemistry and utilized weaponry in their past battles. Hammerstone has won twice. Fatu needs the win.

It’s Hammerstone’s first (potentially only) match since he lost the MLW World Heavyweight Championship to Alex Kane. The Samoan Werewolf is coming off a loss to that same man. Regardless of the result, expect the man in the closing chapter of this heated trilogy the best of the three.

More From LWOS Pro Wrestling

Header photo – MLW – Stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world, as well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world. MLW FUSION airs every Thursday on YouTube at 8 PM EST and every Saturday on beIN SPORTS at 10 PM EST. 

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