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   Sun, May 11, 2003



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Unknown shocks on Major League show
By CHRIS SCHRAMM -- SLAM! Wrestling


ORLANDO, FLA. -- Surrounded by some of pro wrestling\'s biggest independent stars, Paul London, who was called a \'jobber\' by the crowd, stole the show in Orlando on Friday\'s Major League Wrestling card.

London, who trained at the Texas Wrestling Academy, turned on the crowd with a mix of high-flying and innovative moves. He upset Jerry Lynn, which before the match seemed like an impossibility, in a match that started the show. \'Fallen Angel\' Christopher Daniels, who tried to help Lynn during the match, helped beat down London after the bout.

The crowd was hot, following the first match upset, and they never died down. The Tabu Night Club, in downtown Orlando, was the location for MLW\'s fourth show. The place contained no seating and two giant bars took up part of the floor. The poor location was not suited for wrestling, and MLW may reconsider coming back. The location had a fire code limitation of 600 fans, but only 400 showed up.

A three-way followed the hot opener, with three competitors from the Texas Wrestling Academy: Masada, Don Juan and Fast Eddie. The match contained a lot of errors, with Masada getting the quick win.

Vampiro, who was to take on Christopher Daniels, cancelled his appearance because of personal reasons. Homicide took his place. The match was solid, and Homicide got the win. Jerry Lynn, who was at ringside, helped Daniels beat down Homicide after the match. MLW is most likely building up Daniels and Lynn as tag team contenders for the newly formed GTC Tag Titles.

MLW, who has recently been airing on the Sunshine Network across the U.S., worked television angles into the show. A recent episode featured Los Maximos being beat down but two mystery men. The Samoan Island Tribe were revealed as the culprits. The Samoans, who looked like 3-Minute Warning, were just too big for the Maximos. A Samoan drop from the second rope got the three count and the win for the Samoan Island Tribe.

Norman Smiley, who got one of the biggest pops of the night, was defeated by Michael Shane. Shane was accompanied by former ECW valet Francine, while Smiley brought out Taylor Vaughn, the former B.B. Bush in the WWE. The two ladies added very little the match, and distracted the crowd from the very entertaining bout. Smiley, who started in Japan and Mexico before making it in the WCW five years ago, recently wrestled a dark match with the WWE.

Raven, making his MLW debut, won a very uneventful match over C.M. Punk. The ending was very predictable, and was used to get Raven over as a competitor for the MLW World Championship.

Fuego Guerrero, MLW\'s creation consisting of Amazing Red under a mask, defeated Michinoku Pro\'s Ikuto Hidaka. The two had an amazing match, but did nothing other than what was expected. It led to a very disappointing reaction from the crowd. The match was highly expected to be one of the best of the night, and expectations were just too high.

Steve Williams and P.J. Friedman lost in the finals of the MLW Global Tag Team Title tournament to Simon Diamond and C.W. Anderson. Friedman was laid out early in the match with a chair, when he recovered, he was quickly pinned. Williams then took out his tag team partner for his effort.

FMW and ECW have seen dozens of Mike Awesome and Masato Tanaka matches over the years. This was their first match in over three years. Nothing was lost. The two battled with chair and stiff shots all over the ringside area. Awesome got the win after Tanaka accidentally hit the referee with a chair shot, but the most amazing spot of the night took place after the match when Awesome powerbombed Tanaka from the ring, over the top and through a chair set up at ringside. Tanaka somehow recovered to receive a well deserved applause from the already standing crowd.

La Parka and Sabu, who stole the show at MLW\'s December 2002 show, had a rematch. La Parka came out with a newer-looking outfit, including a giant skull that he took off before the match started. Sabu was accompanied by legendary wrestler out of Puerto Rico, The Cuban Assassin. The two broke tables, jumped into the crowd, and when it was over, La Parka got the win.

The last match of the evening was between Terry Funk and Steve Corino. The two bled and battered each other through tables and chairs. Funk got the roll-up on Corino for the win, and C.W. Anderson and Simon Diamond came down to beat down Funk. Steve Williams made the save for the legendary wrestler.

Corino, blood covered, then challenged Funk to a barbed wire death match for next month\'s show. The show is set for June 20 in Fort Lauderdale. Also announced for the show is Mike Awesome vs. MLW World Champion Satoshi Kojima.

MLW is still trying to separate itself from being a new ECW. Using workers like Paul London and the Samoan Island Tribe will help establish this.

The group plans to run monthly to help film matches for their weekly television show. More information on the group can be found at their web site, www.mlw.com.

Chris Schramm has been writing for SLAM! Wrestling since 1997. He currently works for Highspots Wrestling Merchandise and lives in Charlotte, NC.