MLW Underground recap: Battle Riot V surprises include Gene Snitsky, “The Dumpster,” and more!

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If you like battling and you like rioting, then MLW has just the thing for you. The latest episode of MLW Underground (Apr. 25, 2023) featured Battle Riot V. 40 entered, 1 left with a world title shot.

Let’s break down the highlights and notable moments from Battle Riot V.

You want rules? Battle Riot doesn’t need no stinking rules. Okay, well maybe a few rules. Wrestlers entered every 60 seconds. Elimination is by pinfall, submission, or over the top rope with two feet touching the floor. No DQ, so weapons are legal. The ultimate prize is a Golden Ticket for a world title shot at any time.

Alex Kane and Willie Mack were the first two entrants. It would be a long night for Kane as he broke the time record lasting until the end. The third participant was the first surprise of the evening. Enter Jesus Rodriguez (aka Alberto Del Rio’s valet Ricardo Rodriguez) with a full vocal intro for himself. The man still his it.

Rodriguez lasted a good chunk of time, and he did it in a tuxedo, no less. Rodriguez was the recipient of a running headbutt to the groin from Microman. Rodriguez was eventually pinned by Mance Warner after being hit with a 2×4 stick of lumber.

The first elimination came with 8 men battling in the ring when Los Azteca 33 was pinned by Microman. Juicy Finau wheeled down a shopping cart full of plunder. The rioting was officially underway with foreign objects. Microman had the mightiest of eliminations on The Beastman. The mini wonder cracked the behemoth’s cojones with a kendo stick. Juicy and Calvin Tankman lifted Beastman over the ropes onto the apron. Microman connected on a dropkick to send him down to the floor.

The Battle Riot turned chaotic when Raven led The Calling into the ring. The full crew ran roughshod on their opponents. Raven sat in the corner enjoying the work of Rickey Shane Page, Akira, Delirious, Doctor Corwallis, Goon #1, and Goon #2. RSP even handed off a pin to Raven after a DDT to Jimmy Lloyd.

The Calling pretty much cleared the ring. They had evil intentions with a gasoline can and Juicy tied to the ropes. That’s when Jacob Fatu’s number rang. He ran in to help his Samoan Swat Team mate. Fatu ran wild with four quick eliminations. Akira sacrificed himself with a running crossbody bouncing off Juicy down to the floor. It worked as intended though by creating momentum to help RSP toss Juicy over the ropes. Fatu and RSP engaged in fisticuffs. Page suplexed Fatu over the ropes. Fatu held on, and both men tumbled over the top down to the floor. The Calling and the Samoan Swat Team brawled to the back. Raven exited while enjoying the melee.

When the smoke cleared from The Calling, Kane was the only wrestler remaining. He went to work putting on a clinic for six straight eliminations under the time limit before the next entrant arrived. Kimchee was up first. He was suplexed into oblivion and choked out.

Taya Valkyrie tested her hand at the Suplex Assassin. La Wera Loca roared with strikes, but Kane put her away on a bridging fisherman’s suplex.

Lio Rush entered to last longer than one minute and break Kane’s streak. The ring started to fill up again, so the next surprise was needed to take out the trash. Enter Duke “The Dumpster” Droese. He smashed a trashcan on the head of O’Shay Edwards, then Kane grabbed an ankle lock on the trashman. Kane twisted hard only to reveal Droese had a prosthetic leg. The Dumpster ended up tapping out anyway.

The final entrants were heavy hitters. John Hennigan (aka John Morrison) galloped in to his Johnny Caballero theme song. Davey Boy Smith Jr wore traditional Bulldog street fighting jeans and boots, similar to his father. wXw world champion Shigehiro Irie was ready to fight. The final man of the match was none other than the baby punting, foot fetishizing, yellow-toothed Gene Snitsky. He dropped the T for his MLW appearance.

Snisky was a monster. He flattened Kane with a clothesline, goozled Rush for a chokeslam, then double goozled Hennigan into the corner for a running clothesline. Hennigan, Kane, Edwards, and Rush teamed up for a group elimination on Snisky.

The final four came down to Hennigan, Kane, Smith, and Irie. They split off into pairs. Kane was able to low-bridge Hennigan over the ropes. The Mayor of Slamtown hang on for dear life, so Kane choked the breath out of him. The referee ruled an official submission elimination when Hennigan went unconscious. Irie low-bridged Smith, but the Bulldog was able to regroup for a massive clothesline and sent Irie packing.

Battle Riot V concluded for a fitting finish with bitter rivals Kane and Smith engaging in heated fisticuffs. They throw blows back and forth. The fresher Smith gained the edge over the fatigued Kane, who entered as #1. Smith executed a German suplex, then Kane fired up to deliver a pair of Germans. On the third suplex attempt, Smith countered off the ropes for a roll-up. Kane popped out to snatch Smith’s neck for a rear naked choke. Kane applied a body scissor to squeeze with all his might. Smith held off on submitting as his face turned blue. Smith could not escape and eventually tapped out in defeat.

Alex Kane was victorious in Battle Riot V. He joins the exclusive club of past winners including Tom Lawlor, LA Park, Alexander Hammerstone, and Jacob Fatu. The Bomaye Fight Club celebrated with their leader.

The unofficial list of participants for Battle Riot V included Alex Kane, Willie Mack, Jesus Rodriguez, Lince Dorado, Calvin Tankman, Lance Anoa’i, Microman, Los Azteca 33, Juicy Finau, The Beastman, Little Guido Maritato, Sam Adonis, Mance Warner, Jimmy Lloyd, Mr. Thomas, TJ Crawford, Ken Broadway, Raven, Rickey Shane Page, Akira, Delirious, Doctor Corwallis, The Calling Goon #1, The Calling Goon #2, Los Azteca 9, Jacob Fatu, Kimchee, Midas Black, Taya Valkyrie, Jay Lyon, Ray Jaz, Lio Rush, Tracy Williams, O’Shay Edwards, Duke “The Dumpster” Droese, 1 Called Manders, John Hennigan, Davey Boy Smith Jr., Shigehiro Irie, and Gene Snisky. I’m not entirely sure who was legal from The Calling.

Between the chaos of The Calling, commercial breaks, and camera angles missing the action on occasion, my official tally for eliminations was missing four wrestlers. Thus, it is not fit for print.

By my count, Kane had 10 solo eliminations plus credit for the group dumping Snisky. Kane officially broke the record for longest duration at close to 50 minutes. Los Azteca 9 set the record for shortest duration when being immediately clotheslined over the ropes by RSP.

Also of note, Warner and Adonis eliminated each other on a double dump, then they started fighting on the floor. Matthew Justice was seen brawling in the parking lot with The Calling, so it is assumed he was unable to enter the match. RSP tried to enter again later in the night, but Fatu ran out to beat him off.

Royal Rumbles are always great fun. Battle Riot V was no different. The surprises put a smile on my face each and every time. It had a good flow telling a few stories throughout. The action wasn’t the slickest at times with some overly telegraphed spots, however, it was entertaining from beginning to end. Alex Kane was showcased as a breakout star, and he put in the work to shine bright. That was the type of performance that can push him into the next level of stardom. Even though Kane has been a brash blowhard with serious ring skills, he lacked that special signature moment. Choking out Davey Boy Smith Jr. clean in the center of the ring was a perfect way to elevate Kane as a main player.

MLW needs to figure out a way to make the Battle Riot match commercial-free and shown in its entirety. I was wondering how they would squeeze 40 entrances into 44 minutes of screen time for the TV show. The answer was having entrances and eliminations during commercial breaks. MLW covered replays, so viewers didn’t miss anything. A replay is not as exciting as watching the moment unfold with our own eyes in ‘real’ time. Given the REELZ format to work with, MLW probably did the best job they could to crunch on time. They do have to work on cleaning up production for a match of this magnitude. Some moves were missed entirely, and that is likely a byproduct of the speedy 60-second intervals between arrivals.

Part of the fun of Royal Rumble style bouts are clashes between competitors to entice future matchups. Two contests in particular I’d like to see are Lio Rush versus Kane and Beastman versus Juicy Finau. Rush and Kane would have an intriguing chess match of styles. Beastman and Juicy are hoss meat to infinity. It might be better served as tag team action. Whatever the case, I’ll take a serving of that hoss fight, please.

With Battle Riot V concluded, let the drama begin for Kane to tease his cash-in on Alexander Hammerstone for the MLW World Heavyweight Championship. Interesting times are ahead for the main event scene.

Share your reactions to the latest episode of MLW Underground.

MLW Underground airs Tuesdays at 10 pm ET on REELZ. International viewers can catch the show on Sundays at 12 pm ET through Premier Streaming Network.


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