Major League Wrestling is an American Professional Wrestling promotion based out of Orlando, Florida that existed from 2002-2004 and was resurrected as a promotion in 2017 after 6 years of rebranding as a wrestling podcast network. It held its first show, MLW Genesis in Philadelphia and its second, MLW Reload, in New York City, before settling into Florida and doing shows in Orlando, St. Petersburg and Fort Lauderdale. It advertised itself as featuring "hybrid wrestling," combining a variety of different styles. MLW featured a wide-range of talent, from Ring Oldies Terry Funk, Dusty Rhodes, Abdullah the Butcher and Jerry Lawler, to 1990s stars such as Shane Douglas, the Sandman, Sabu, Chris Candido, "Dr. Death" Steve Williams, Mikey Whipwreck, Raven, La Parka, Norman Smiley, Mike Awesome, Devon Storm, Steve Corino, Masato Tanaka, Jerry Lynn, and, at the time, stars on the rise such as Christopher Daniels, Samoa Joe and CM Punk. It aired a weekly television show, MLW Underground TV. Unfortunately, the promotion was not financially successful and shut down in 2004. Time will tell how well their second effort from 2017 goes.
As a note, in re any references to Joey Styles' commentary, do see the Trivia page.
As usual, you can find the basics at The Other Wiki.
"Major League Tropes":
- Big Bad: Steve Corino, as the leader of the Extreme Horsemen.
- Bounty Hunter: The Extreme Horsemen (Corino, C.W. Anderson and Simon Diamond) sent both Abdullah the Butcher and Jerry Lawler to take out Funk.
- The Cameo: Among others, "Dr. Death" Steve Williams brought out D'Lo Brown as a partner against MLW Global Tag Team Crown Champions C.W. Anderson and Simon Diamond at MLW Hybrid Hell.
- Chekhov's Gun: The Funkin' Army (Terry Funk/The Sandman/"Dr. Death" Steve Williams) went into the War Games match against the Extreme Horsemen (Corino/C.W. Anderson/Simon Diamond/Barry Windham/PJ Walker [Justin Credible]) at a disadvantage. Unlike the usual cage for a War Games match, this one did not have a roof on it. The reason for this became apparent when Sabu and manager Bill Alfonso came out, since it allowed Alfonso to throw a table over the top so Sabu could come off the top and put Justin Credible through it.
- David Vs Goliath: Inverted at MLW Revolutions, with the Samoan Island Tribe defeating Los Maximos, played straight in the rematch at MLW Hybrid Hell.
- Death from Above: MLW War Games included what started as a handicap match with "The Polynesian Warrior" Mana against Matt Martel (Striker) and Richard J. Criado. The Samoan Island Tribe (Samu and Ekmo) made their way out brawling with Monsta Mack of Da Hit Squad, and it got turned into a Falls Count Anywhere Weapons Match. The Samoans absolutely destroyed their opponents. It ended with Martel set up on a table in the crowd. Ekmo climbed up so he was on top of the posts of the two rings and dove OVER the guardrail to put Martel through the table. The referee didn't even bother to count the pin.
- Dirty Coward: CM Punk, who at MLW Summer Apocalypse, August 22, 2003, brought out Florida indy wrestler Chasyn Rance as his special "Straight Edge Referee" for his Straight Edge Rules (fans couldn't curse or drink beer during the match) match with Raven. Rance, of course, allowed Punk to cheat nonstop.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Legendary manager "Playboy" Gary Hart sent Homicide and Low Ki to attack Terry Funk at Reloaded Tour 2004, January 10, 2004, out of revenge for Funk having lost the "I Quit" match to Ric Flair at NWA Clash of the Champions IX, on November 15, 1989.
- Garbage Wrestling: Lots, everywhere. With Sabu, the Sandman, Terry Funk, etc. what else would you expect?
- Genre Blindness: Los Maximos tried to ram the Samoan Island Tribe (Samu and Mananote )'s heads together, which they no-sold.JOEY STYLES: "There is a young man who has not watched his wrestling tapes."
- Gimmick Matches: Three-Way Street Fights, Falls Count Anywhere, War Games, No Rope Barbed-Wire
- Hollywood Satanism: The Sinister Minister, of course.
- Masked Luchador: La Parka
- Unmasked Luchador: Juventud Guerrera
- Non-Masked Luchador: Super Crazy
- Ms. Fanservice: Francine. She once did a promo for the MLW T-shirt which started with a closeup of her saying, "If I can't wear my MLW T-shirt," then pulling back to see her sitting nude from the side with her legs folded up against her chest, "then I won't wear anything at all."
- Product Placement: CM Punk once cut a promo on Raven with a case of Pepsi featured prominently on screen, and Punk even invoked the company's 1984 campaign slogan, saying he will show Raven why he is the "Choice of a New Generation."
- Reset Button: The Reload shows in January 2004 were supposed to be this, but it was too little too late.
- Smug Straight Edge: CM Punk, of course.
- Spiritual Successor: To ECW, both good and bad. Good in terms of the action and bad in that promoter Court Bauer, along with inheriting several former ECW roster members, seemed to have Paul Heyman's money management skills as well.
- Surprisingly Good English: CM Punk claimed that the Japanese wrestler Nosawa was Straight Edge like him, with Joey usually talking about seeing Nosawa at the bar. At MLW War Games, September 19, 2003, Raven defeated Nosawa. Punk started criticizing Nosawa for letting him down, and Nosawa responded, "I don't give a [bleep!]," with Joey saying, "He speaks very good English." This was immediately followed by Vampiro returning and Squashing Punk.
- Tag Team:
- The Samoan Island Tribe
- The Far East Connection (Dick Togo and Ikuto Hidaka)
- Da Hit Squad (Monsta Mack and Mafia)
- The Stampede Bulldogs (Harry Smith and TJ Wilson, aka WWE's the Hart Dynasty- DH Smith and Tyson Kidd)
- The Havana Pitbulls (Ricky Reyes and Rocky Romero)
- Tag Team Twins:
- Los Maximos
- The Shane Twins (Mike and Todd)
- What Happened to the Mouse?: There was a storyline where Simply Luscious appeared to be scouting either Raven or CM Punk. She was released before it was resolved.
- Wrestling Family: Samu and Ekmo (Jamal/Umaga) teamed together as the Samoan Island Tribe.
- Your Princess Is in Another Castle: Mike Awesome defeated MLW World Heavyweight Champion Satoshi Kojima for the title at MLW Hybrid Hell, June 20, 2003...and promptly lost it immediately after to Steve Corino, who would hold the title for the rest of the promotion's run.