After six years, MLW One Shot returns to the MLW calendar. The inaugural One Shot took place in October 2017 and relaunched MLW after the company closed in 2004. The card featured various young talents who went on to greatness elsewhere: Wheeler Yuta, Darby Allin, Tama Tonga, Swerve Strickland, and MJF.
This second coming feels more like a statement show. It features diverse matches, intriguing inter-promotional matches, and a dramatic “big feel” heavyweight championship bout.
It’s fitting that New York (The Melrose Ballroom) was the chosen venue, given the World Titan Federation’s (WTF) desire to transform MLW into the future of sports entertainment. The only thing standing in their way is the BOMBAYE Fight Club’s leader, Alex Kane.
MLW National Openweight Title Fight: Rickey Shane Page vs. Jimmy Lloyd
Jimmy Lloyd has been fighting against The Calling for several months alongside The Second Gear Crew. Lloyd failed to capture The National Openweight Championship against AKIRA in a street fight back in September. However, Lloyd has not been deterred.
The clear underdog in this match, Lloyd has odds on his side. On Fusion this past week, Lloyd beat The Calling’s 300-pound monster, Cannonball, in a Thumbtack Pit of Deathmatch.
The Calling has been weakened losing the MLW World Tag Team Championships and AKIRA at Fightland. However, the champion, “The Human Slaughterhouse,” Rickey Shane Page, has been undefeated in singles competition since taking the championship from Jacob Fatu. This match will likely be a bowling shoe ugly brawl.
TJPW Princess of Princess Title Fight: Miyu Yamashita vs. Delmi Exo
— MLW (@MLW) December 3, 2023
“Pink Striker” Miyu Yamashita was first advertised with a vignette during Slaughterhouse back in October. This was the same night as Delmi Exo lost her MLW Featherweight Championship to Jania Kai. The self-proclaimed “The God Queen,” Exo, set out the challenge to Miyu Yamashita two weeks ago using social media. Exo has lost one crown and now seeks to become TJPW’s Princess of Princess.
Yamashita has travelled America earlier this year, competing for Impact Wrestling, Ring of Honor. More recently Yamashita has been competing in Japan and England for Pro-Wrestling: EVE. Like the MLW Featherweight Championship match, there is the potential for hard-hitting joshi-style action.
MLW World Middleweight and CMLL World Historical Welterweight Championships: Rocky Romero vs. Máscara Dorada
At Fightland, Máscara Dorada scored the pin over Promociones Dorado. On the subsequent Fusion, Dorada challenged Rocky Romero to defend both championships at One Shot. Rocky has accepted and promises that the golden mask luchadore’s the ultimate doom. Both Rocky and Salina de la Renta are already confident in their victory.
Yet Dorada proved at Fightland he is not to be underestimated, and in CMLL, Dorada is coming in with a string of trios victories, giving him momentum. However, Salina will be in Rocky’s corner, and given how Promociones Dorado beat down Ichiban after Fightland, the odds are against Dorada.
First-ever Bodies by Saint Laurent Bodybuilder Contest
Founder and promoter of WTF, Mister Saint Laurent, has promised the fans, despite negotiations with the Chinese for, a hologram of Athera Franklin singing America the Beauty, a spectacle.
Feeling like a throwback to Vince McMahon’s World Body Builder Federation sports entertainment, expect WTF members, the former MLW World Champion and MLW defector, Alex Hammerstone, and a man who has been given a similar look and nickname to Psycho Sid, Josh Bishop, to display their impressive physiques.
Will the fix be in for the WTF? Or will someone else on the MLW roster be able to challenge the Titans muscular fortitude?
MLW Featherweight Championship: Jania Kai vs. Maki Itoh
— MLW (@MLW) December 1, 2023
Jania Kai has been cutting women down like a chainsaw through a forest in MLW. This second women’s contest of the night offers the champion a real challenge against the “fired idol,” Maki Itoh.
Itoh, having competed for AEW and, more recently, GCW. Itoh has been headbutting her way through the US indie scene this past year, beating both men and female in competition. I
t’s a complete clash of personalities and styles as the “kick demon,” who has torn down opponents in a short time, takes on a bubbling and unpredictable personality in Itoh. At MLW One Shot, given Itoh’s “famously hard head,” will Kai be able to keep the former singer down?
Satoshi Kojima vs. “Filthy” Tom Lawlor: Clash of past great MLW World Heavyweight Champions
Two of MLW’s greatest world champions clash
— MLW (@MLW) December 2, 2023
Built as a clash of eras, a match to decide who was the best MLW World Heavyweight Champion of all time, it is also a clash of pro wrestling vs. sports entertainment. The first-ever champion*, Satoshi Kojima, takes on the former UFC fighter and WTF member, “Filthy” Tom Lawlor.
Kojima’s last US match was against CM Punk at Forbidden Door in the Owen Hart Invitational Tournament. That was a physical encounter. Given Kojima and Lawlor’s reputations for technical and hard-hitting strikers’ offense, this match will be intense. Lawlor, in promos, has repeated how he needs this victory to prove his excellence.
With the WTF in his corner, the odds seem in his favor. Whether the match is a straight combat-orientated fight or plays into sports entertainment shenanigans, this match could leave both men bruised and bloodied at the least.
*- The promotion does not recognize Shane Douglas as the inaugural champion. Douglas won the belt in a tournament, yet mirroring his actions with the NWA World Heavyweight Championship in 1994, he threw down the belt.
MLW World Heavyweight Championship – Alex Kane vs. Matt Cardona w/ Steph De Lander
Since his debut, Cardona has had his eyes firmly set on the MLW World Heavyweight Championship. After sending Mance Warner from MLW with the assistance of Mancer’s fiancé, Steph De Lander, Cardona has an easier road to One Shot. For the champion, has the grind of being the champion gotten to Alex Kane physically?
First, Kane suffered a sneak attack beat down after his victory over Jacob Fatu at Fightland. The WTF dogpiled the champion. Kane was left bloody. Then, at Fusion on Thanksgiving, Kane injured his ribs during a tag bout with Mr Thomas against Cardona and Lawlor. Although the champion returned, he had to fight through the pain and lost.
Cardona is undefeated. Kane appears injured. Although in his final words to Cardona, the Suplex Assassin promised to take the sports entertainer to Suplex Island, the champion will not give up. MLW builds itself around styles make fights. This is the ultimate example of competing wrestling philosophies of combat-sports grappling against viral entertainment.
On paper, the odds would stand in the champion’s favor if not for an injury, the manpower and tactics of WTF, and the veteran experience of Cardona.
Whether the BOMBAYE Fight Club will be able to deal with the outside interference of the WTF or assistance comes from elsewhere (The Second Gear Crew and their newest friend, Masked Good Brother #3, perhaps) may determine if Kane will retain. All that and more on the exciting even known as MLW One Shot!
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