MLW Underground recap: Samoan Swat Team win tag titles


MLW Underground

The new era Samoan Swat Team are on a roll. Last week, Jacob Fatu defeated former double champ Lio Rush in preparation for a world title fight. This week, Lance Anoa’i and Juicy Finau won the MLW tag titles during the latest episode of MLW Underground on REELZ (Mar. 14, 2023).

MLW Underground

The Samoan Swat Team entered the contest with an undefeated tag team record in MLW. They squared off against Hustle & Power. Calvin Tankman and EJ Nduka were the reigning champions.

The challengers entered first with Tankman and Nduka taking advantage for an ambush from behind. Both teams brawled on the outside. Juicy and Tankman sat down in chairs and exchanged fisticuffs. Nduka ran over for a cannonball off the apron onto Finau. Anoa’i followed with a leaping dive onto Hustle & Power.

Anoa’i and Nduka entered the ring, so the match was officially underway. Anoa’i went for a spear, however, Nduka countered for a spinebuster through a table in the corner. Hot tag to Juicy running wild with corner splashes. He blasted through a double clothesline to take down Hustle & Power on a running crossbody. Tankman and Nduka bailed from the ring, so Anoa’i held the ropes open for Finau to hit a suicide dive. Back in the ring, Lance landed a flying splash. Tankman kicked out on the cover.

Next was Juicy’s turn to fly, but Nduka shoved him off the turnbuckles. Tankman pounced Lance across the ring. Hustle & Power hit a teamwork neckbreaker side slam. Lance kicked out to continue the fight.

Finau pulled Tankman out of the ring and rammed him into the barricade. Nduka tried to cheat with a handful of white powder. Lance kicked the hand sending powder back into Nduka’s face. Juicy hit a Samoan drop, and Lance finished on a flying splash for victory.

The Anoa’i family came out to celebrate, including Lance’s father Samu. This success continues the legacy of the Samoan Swat Team.

The tag team title bout wasn’t the only championship contest on the broadcast. Lince Dorado defended the MLW World Middleweight Championship against DragonGate’s La Estrella, who was backed by Cesar Duran. The man formerly known as Dario Cueto was confident that more gold would be coming to Lucha Azteca. The contest showcased slick skills with dives, springboards, and slingshots.

Dorado had momentum landing moonsaults from each level of ropes. When Dorado leaped from the top rope for his third consecutive moonsault, Estrella put his feet up to block. The challenger connected on a sliding German suplex on the ropes, a flying dropkick, and a poison rana. Dorado kicked out on the cover and rallied with a super hurricanrana. 1, 2, Duran pulled Estrella out of the ring to prevent the three-count.

Here he comes to save the day, Microman is on his way. The mini wonder of the world came out from under the ring to attack the Azteca henchman on a flying crossbody off the apron. Microman grabbed a kendo stick to keep Duran at bay from interfering.

Dorado hit a powerbomb and finished with a shooting star press for victory to retain the championship.

Later backstage, Duran was kidnapped by his own henchmen. Or where they? It is tough to tell when they are wearing masks. Both turncoats had purple gloves, if that is a hint.

In other action, NZO was rolled on stage to interrupt the opening bout of the evening. Real1 sat in a wheelchair holding a crutch to issue threats of a lawsuit against MLW and Mance Warner. Ole Mancer was guilty of driving his truck into NZO. Real1 flapped his gums claiming to call the cops on everybody who messes with him.

Warner must have heard enough, because he entered the ring ready to fight Rickey Shane Page of Raven’s The Calling faction. NZO stuck around on commentary. The loudmouth was shocked into silence at the brutality of violence in the street fight. Chairs, wooden boards, trashcans, and tables were used to inflict pain. The most painful looking spot was a superplex by Warner onto a stretch of open chairs.

Warner had control with an eye-poke and a DDT off the apron through a table. NZO ran over to hit Warner with the crutch. NZO skipped to the back faking his injury as RSP executed a chokeslam to win.

On the promo side, Taya Valkyrie, John Hennigan, and Sam Adonis mocked Billie Starkz during her photo shoot. Johnny and Sam made barf noises. Billie stepped over to step up to La Wera Loca. She requested a title shot. Taya was feeling generous and agreed for next week. The deal was sealed with Taya booping Starkz on the nose.

Alex Kane and Davey Boy Smith Jr. will get it on in two weeks for a prize fight. Kane’s mission is submission, pillar to post, coast to coast around the world.

Last but not least, Alexander Hammerstone and Jacob Fatu had their contract signing for the world heavyweight title fight airing on March 21. Court Bauer conducted the proceedings. Both gladiators put pen to paper without hesitation, then Hammerstone awkwardly accused Bauer of a conspiracy of favoritism toward the great Samoan wrestling family. Fatu heard enough, and a fight broke out.

This episode of MLW Underground was up to the standard that MLW can deliver. There were a variety of styles in the ring between the street fight, the lucha libre acrobatics, and the hoss fever tag team main event.

The tag title bout was a fun time. The Samoan Swat Team and Hustle & Power brought the ruckus for a physical contest. The match was laid out for an energetic finish. Lance Anoa’i and Juicy Finau should be entertaining as champions. Lince Dorado and La Estrella showcased some sweet sequences in the lucha libre fashion. Dorado is so smooth. The surprise of Microman was an amusing touch to intimidate Cesar Duran. Mance Warner and Rickey Shane Page were creative in pain but not overboard. Get them some cold beers as a reward.

There were a few odd things, such as Alexander Hammerstone’s rant and the way RSP won. Hammer’s frustration came out of left field. Court Bauer is not really an onscreen character, so it didn’t make sense for Hammerstone to get on his case like that. Perhaps it was done to plant seeds of a story. Time will tell. Or maybe it was an inside joke referring to Bauer getting his start in the business under the tutelage of Afa The Wild Samoan.

Having NZO assist with blatant interference didn’t exactly help RSP look strong. Page needed to make a good impression in his first match as part of Raven’s new flock. A win is a win, however, RSP has more work to do to be taken as a serious threat in MLW. He can inflict pain with hardcore brawling, but lots of wrestlers can do that. Putting it together for a winning streak is a tougher task.

Share your reactions to the latest episode of MLW Underground.

MLW Underground airs Tuesdays at 10 pm ET on REELZ.

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