MLW has already made a big change to its programming schedule in 2024 by announcing monthly PLEs on Triller TV+ and a free signature event for free on Youtube. This weekend’s MLW Reload is the second signature event (after Holiday Rush) after the success of Kings of Colosseum.
Holiday Rush ended the year on a high. Kings of Colosseum started the year with a mission statement. Reload will perhaps looks to set the table for February’s Superfight and beyond.
Seven matches will take place, including more Joshi action courtesy of Tokyo Joshi Pro Wrestling. The World Heavyweight no 1 contender, Satoshi Kojima, takes on the returning Sami Callihan. In another chapter of their waring saga, Bomaye Fight Club’s leader and MLW World Heavyweight champion Alex Kane, takes on the World Titan Federation (WTF). Joining the champion is the returning Matt Riddle as his partner.
First, if some of you need a recap of Kings of Colosseum and the big stories heading into Reload, I have you covered:
Previously, at Kings of Colosseum
- In the midcard, Sami Callihan aided Ricky Shane Page in retaining the MLW Openweight Championship against former The Calling ally, AKIRA. Does this mean Callihan is ally with The Calling?
- Second Gear Crew retained their MLW World Tag Team Championships against WTF’s ‘Filthy’ Tom Lawlor and Josh Bishop in a brutal brawling weapons match.
- Alex Kane overcame WTF interference to retain his MLW World Championship against Richard Holliday (who we profiled and spoke to in December). Kane made Holliday pass out in a sleeper.
- Post-match, Satoshi Kojima was announced as the number one contender for Kane’s world championship. Callihan interrupted and attacked Kojima who gets a title opportunity before Callihan.
- In the main event, Matt Riddle defeated Jacob Fatu by submission.
— MLW (@MLW) January 17, 2024
Double Featherweight Action
Not, one, or two but three women’s matches are taking place on Saturday night. The first two will see competitors of MLW’s Featherweight division each vying for a shot at MLW’s World Featherweight Champion, Janai Kai.
Zayda vs. Notorious Mimi
Zayda, WTF’s first Fedette, has wanted the Featherweight Championship around her waist since she joined the sports entertainers. Since being voted AOL’s Most Downloaded Celebrity of 2023, Zayda has begged Mr Saint Laurent to get her a title opportunity. Since joining the Federation, Zayda has stacked up victories with the aid of Laurent.
Her opponent, Notorious Mimi last competed in a three-way match, which Zayda won through cheating and pinning Mimi. Mimi will want to even the score. Like Zayda, Mimi is a a two-year veteran and competing regularly beyond MLW. Mimi was recently on AEW Rampage against Kris Statlander and Willow Nightingale. In their early twenties, in their formative years, both women are brimming with promise. Expect this match to showcase two future stars of women’s wrestling.
Delmi Exo vs. Tiara James
Both Exo and James failed to capture the MLW Featherweight Championship in a three-way on Fusion #194 that aired in December. Exo was blinded by Salina de la Renta and the champion was able to put away Tiara James for the win. Tension continues to build between the “God Queen” and Kai. Exo is determined to regain her crown.
To get back in title contention, Exo needs to overcome James who has had mixed success so far in MLW. James has beat Zayda and Mimi in singles competition, but she has yet to face someone with the experience of the former Shimmer tag team champion. Will James be able to upset the former Featherweight Champion?
Nao Kukta vs. Moka Miyamoto
Making their MLW debuts, both TJPW regulars are in MLW for “Joshi January”. The feud between these women now comes stateside. Nao Kukta is one half of the TJPW Princess Tag Team Champions as part of team Free WiFi. Moka Miyamoto, only 24, has been chasing Kukta’s tag team championship with various partners but so far has failed to claim the gold.
Kukta, “The Rat Chaser”, is a veteran, is a dirty competitor willing to go low to secure the win. Will Miyamoto’s karate background aid her in a one-on-one situation? Against a woman whose is partnerless and had to resort to cheating to win before?
Styles Make Fights
Ichiban vs. Jimmy Lloyd
A strange and unique contest between two fan favourites of MLW. The high-flying middleweight Ichiban collides against the hardcore, deathmatch specialist Jimmy Lloyd. This is MLW’s speciality: styles make fights. Both men have plenty of reasons to want the W.
Ichiban is still chasing his title shot from MLW Middleweight Champion, Rocky Romero. Riding a tide of victories, the “Number One”, despite multiple roadblocks and beatdowns from Promociones Dorada, will have a different challenger with Lloyd on Saturday.
As for “The Different Boy”, Jimmy Lloyd returns to MLW after losing a Openweight Championship match to RSP. If Lloyd is looking to get back into title contention, he needs to start the year with the W.
Two Decades of MLW, One Match
Satoshi Kojima vs. Sami Callihan
At MLW’s original Reload event in 2002, Kojima defeated Jerry Lynn to become the inaugural MLW World Heavyweight Champion. In the late 2010s, Callihan was one of the major players in MLW, but he never won the World Heavyweight Championship. Returning to the company, Sami clearly feels he is entitled to more.
Picking a fight with the number 1 contender as a shortcut to the gold might normally seem like a smart decision. If he wasn’t waiting into a fight with a man traded by Stan Hansen. The leader of Bread Club, Kojima is coming off a win over Tom Lawlor. Although he is in his fifties, he is not slowing down and as seen in matches last year against CM Punk and Eddie Kingston, brutality will follow.
The former AAA and Impact World Champion, Callihan is no stranger to violence. The Death Match Machine is going to have a point to prove. In blood if needed.
Intergender Grunge Match
Good Brother #3 vs. Steph De Lander
Back at Fightland, Steph De Lander involved herself in a loser leaves MLW match between Mance Warner and Matt Cardona. Costing Warner, De Lander’s fiancé with a kiss of death and a low blow, De Lander chose money over love. Luckily for Second Gear Crew, the masked and mysterious Good Brother #3 arrived to replace Old Mancer.
At One Shot, Good Brother #3 stopped De Lander from interfering in Cardona’s World Heavyweight Championship match. Kissing De Lander in the same when De Lander had to Warner and taking the chair from her, WTF found one thorn in their side had been replaced by another one. And this one wears a hood.
In this intergender match, the masked man takes on De Lander in her MLW debut. Having sat under the learning tree of the King of the Indies and competed against women and men since her WWE release, De Lander isn’t going easy. How Good Brother #3 will respond to fighting a woman will be seen Saturday.
Main Event Tag Team Battle
Alex Kane and Matt Riddle vs. Josh Bishop and Tom Lawlor
Alex Kane has overcome every challenger the WTF has thrown at him. The gauntlet’s been run: Lawlor, Cardona, and Holliday. The only blemish is one lost on his record since becoming the world champion. A tag match lost to WTF members Tom Lawlor and Matt Cardona. On Saturday will Kane put a final nail in the sports entertainment coffin?
Yet Kane finds himself teaming with an anomaly and possible future contender for his championship.
Matt Riddle comes off a decisive win over Jacob Fatu. Although Kane and Riddle share similar in ring styles, it’s a clash of personalities. Can they work together?
Lawlor and Bishop cannot be overlooked. Proving to be a formidable tag team against Second Gear Crew and happy to turn to violence, the sports entertainers aren’t going to lay down easily. Bishop in particular, a hulking monster of a man could overpower the champion. A win for the WTF could mean another title opportunity. A chance to finally get the belt from Kane.
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