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Major League Wrestling (MLW) is an American Professional Wrestling promotion based out of Orlando, Florida that originally existed from 2002-2004. In 2011, it would be resurrected as a wrestling podcast network for the next 6 years of its existence before announcing its return as a wrestling promotion in 2017.

MLW, in its original incarnation, 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.


Since returning in 2017, MLW was mainly promoting shows in Orlando and, less than a year later, was able to secure a national television deal with beIN Sports for a new weekly series: MLW Fusion. Prior to the show's launch, MLW would introduce contracts that would give them as much control over their roster as a WWE contract, but still allow their talent to perform in other promotions. During the revival, some of their roster were introduced to a national audience for the first time such as Salina De La Renta, Air Wolf, Barrington Hughes, El Hijo De LA Park, Ricky Martinez, Kotto Brazil, and Marko Stunt just to name a few. Not only that, MLW has indirectly provide some sort of career resurgence to some of their wrestlers like Low-Ki, Tom Lawlor, Teddy Hart, and arguably Simon Gotch who would go on to become one of the promotion's Big Bad along with his Contra Unit stable.


As a note, in re any references to Joey Styles' commentary, do see the Trivia page.

Major League Wrestling recognizes four titles that are defended at its shows;

  • MLW World Heavyweight Champion: Jacob Fatu since July 6, 2019
  • MLW World Middleweight Champion: Myron Reed since November 9, 2019
  • MLW World Tag Team Champions: The Von Erichs (Ross & Marshall Von Erich) since November 2, 2019
  • MLW National Openweight Champion: Alexander Hammerstone since June 1, 2019

Other accomplishments:

Battle Riot:

  • Tom Lawlor (2018) Successfully cashed in his title shot opportunity against Low Ki at SuperFight for the World Heavyweight Championship
  • LA Park (2019) Cashed in his title spot against Jacob Fatu but came up unsuccessful.

As usual, you can find the basics at The Other Wiki.

"Major League Tropes":

  • Acrofatic: Subverted by Barrington Hughes. Hughes is as immobile as he is fat. Played straight by Gringo Loco and Ace Romero, with the former flying from the MLW set in his debut match against L.A. Park with a perfect crossbody, and the latter very agile and capable of suicide dives despite weighing 400 pounds.
  • Batman Gambit: Tom Lawlor overheard Salina De La Renta and Sami Callihan discussing ambushing Lawlor to take him out before Lawlor got his title shot against Low Ki. Lawlor had someone backstage tell Callihan where he could be found. Callihan took the bait, and Lawlor was able to ambush Callihan, using Callihan's claw hammer on him in the process.
  • Big Bad: Steve Corino, as the leader of the Extreme Horsemen in the original. Low Ki, Salina De La Renta and their Promociones Dorado faction and later Contra headed by Simon Gotch with Jacob Fatu & Josef Samael in the revival.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Tom Lawlor virtually saving Konnan's life at MLW Never Say Never after Promociones Dorado jumped Pentagon backstage and then bludgeoned Konnan.
  • Big Good: Ross and Marshall von Erich are treated as this during the ongoing feud with Contra. While their alliance with Tom Lawlor is treated as MLW's ultimate team of good guys, Contra were considered unstoppable.until the Von Erichs arrived. Only after they showed up have Contra actually started losing matches. They also represent tradition and respect in wrestling, i.e. Contra's polar opposite.
  • Blood Knight: Since turning face, Sami Callihan has started picking fights with every member of Promociones Dorado along with a face vs face match out of respect for Mance Warner's brand of violence.
  • Bounty Hunter: The Extreme Horsemen (Corino, C.W. Anderson and Simon Diamond) sent both Abdullah the Butcher and Jerry Lawler to take out Funk. Since the revival, Brody King counts as one.
  • Butt-Monkey: Stokely Hathaway.
  • 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. Also, notable cameos that had happened during the Battle Riot: The Blue Meanie, the Spirit Squad (Kenny & Mikey), Impact's Fallah Bahh, and Konnan (who would later go on to have a prominent role in the promotion in the months ahead) to name a few. In the following year's Battle Riot, Impact's LAX (Santana & Ortiz) made their presence known after fighting off Low Ki and Ricky Martinez at Impact's United We Stand the night before.
  • Camp Straight: Mike Mondo and Kenn Doane of the Spirit Squad. Yes, THAT Spirit Squad.
  • 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.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Some wrestlers will show up and disappear just as quickly with no notice. Special mention goes to the Kotokushi Death Squad, Zeda Zhang and Su Yung who showed up twice, beat up a few low card male wrestlers, were featured on MLW's website, then suddenly stopped being used. Their profile was removed during MLW's last big profile update. Also, Stokely Hathaway had abruptly vanished from MLW as a result of signing with WWE's NXT in early 2019 after his brief return in late 2018.
  • Continuity Nod: While Fred Yehi got Chuck Cunninghamed again and MLW's apparently planned reboot of Team Filthy after Simon Gotch betrayed Tom Lawlor never came to fruition, Ariel Dominguez was shown beaten up and bloodied after trying to save Tom from Contra beating #1000 on Episode 61 of MLW Fusion.
  • Cool Old Guy: Konnan, as opposed to his gimmick as LAX's manager where he's portrayed as a middle-aged gangbanger. In MLW he's a mentor to Pentagon Jr. and Fenix, trying to look out for them while beefing with Salina De La Renta and her stable.
  • Crossover: Unofficially with Impact Wrestling in the revival during which at least a handful of the MLW roster is comprised with its wrestlers also being affiliated with Impact (& vice versa in Impact's case). In Impact's United We Stand event during Wrestle Mania week, this trope would come into play officially with at least one Impact vs MLW match on the card.
    • As of July 26th, 2019, MLW has an "alliance" with Pro Wrestling NOAH. Current GHC Junior Heavyweight Champion Minoru Tanaka will be coming back after appearing at Battle Riot 2019, and Alexander Hammerstone will participate in NOAH's N-1 Victory Tour in August, with further collaboration expected.
    • On August 12th, 2019, MLW announced a "strategic partnership" with The Crash Lucha Libre. Six days later, MLW announced Ricky Martinez would be wrestling on The Crash's September 7th card. And then on August 23rd, MLW announced a co-promoted event with The Crash on October 5th, which will be an MLW Fusion taping.
    • During the Saturday Night Superfight PPV, MLW announced a partnership with AAA Lucha Libre. This has led to various AAA wrestlers such as Laredo Kid and Drago making appearances, and will lead to a joint card held by MLW and AAA in Tijuana on March 13th.
    • On February 2nd, 2020, MLW announced that they have entered into a partnership with Dragongate. Details and potential matches are to be announced.
  • Curse Cut Short: The cold open to the May 25, 2018 episode of Fusion ends with one.
  • Darker and Edgier: Moreso than WWE, less so with Lucha Underground, sits about equal with Impact Wrestling.
  • 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. This has been Jacob Fatu's mantra as of late especially from when he climbed the top of the steel cage and landed on Tom Lawlor (who was already victorious and exhausted after his title match with Low Ki).
  • Deadpan Snarker: Tony Schiavone on commentary. An example from when LA Park was throwing chairs into the ring during his match against Sami Callihan: "Someone's going to tell their friend 'I was really close to the action!' 'Oh? Where was your seat?' 'In the middle of the ring.'"
  • Dead Guy Junior: Brian Pillman Jr. and Davey Boy Smith Jr. respectively.note 
  • Deep South: "Ol' Mancer" Mance Warner is a rare positive example of this trope. He's a decent if slightly ditzy guy who just happens to enjoy eye pokes and light beer.
  • Defeating the Undefeatable: Low Ki, in spite of his short stature. MLW have pushed him as being untouchable since 2004, with him having never lost once within the company. His 15 year undefeated streak ended at the hands of 'Filthy' Tom Lawlor during MLW SuperFight in which he defeated Low Ki in his world title defense via referee stoppage.
  • 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. Jason Cade has this in spades as well during his feud with Jimmy Yuta.
  • 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. In the revival, Salina De La Renta dispatched L.A. Park to go against Mance Warner. Why you ask? For accidentally spilling beer on Salina's dress in the hallway.
  • The Dragon: Ricky Martinez for Promociones Dorado.
  • Enemy Mine: What does noted Garbage Wrestlers Sami Callihan and Mance Warner have in common? Both of them have beef with Salina De La Renta (& her Promociones Dorado stable). Why you ask? Callihan has his grievances with Salina after failing to take out Tom Lawlor as well as Warner spilling light beer onto Salina's dress.
  • Expy: Alex Hammerstone is one part Triple H, one part Late 00's Chris Jericho.
  • Evil Old Folks: Josef Samael is in his 40s, but loves to torture the victims of Contra Unit's assaults. He even loves throwing fireballs in the faces of any of the hapless victims of these beatdowns. Hell, one of them was how Fenix got written off alongside brother Pentagon Jr.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Kotto Brazil started to wear one as a result of an attack at a Miami nightclub by Ricky Martinez.
  • Garbage Wrestling: Lots, everywhere. With Sabu, the Sandman, Terry Funk, Jimmy Havoc, Sami Callihan etc. what else would you expect?
  • The Giant: Mocked by Andrew Everett in his match against the diminutive Team Filthy member Ariel Dominguez. Everett isn't a big man by any means, but Dominguez is *tiny*.
  • 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
  • Gold Digger: The reason that Aria Blake would end up with MJF from her ex Joey Janela. Later mentioned that MJF had to pay her off as well after they broke up.
  • Hate Sink: Contra Unit has quickly established themselves as this. Their attack on Tom Lawlor after his cage match with Low Ki and their beatdown of Ace Romero after his match with Simon Gotch got thrown out drew massive heat. It went Up to Eleven after Jacob Fatu and Josef Samael's beatdown of a jobber tag team got so heated that fans began throwing garbage into the ring and forced arena security in Chicago to act in order to stop irate fans from rushing the ring. A similar incident occurred in another episode of Fusion when Tom Lawlor (along w/ his Team Filthy teammates) desecrated the Texas state flag in the middle of the ring and disrespected the hometown heroes; Ross and Marshall Von Erich. Yep, Team Filthy isn't Dallas' favorite wrestlers at this point.
    • The Spirit Squad. The reason they were signed is because one half of MLW's audience hates them for being the kind of "Sports Entertainment" MLW isn't, the other half hate them for legitimately being good, obnoxious heels.
  • Hollywood Satanism: The Sinister Minister, of course.
  • Hypocrite: Teddy Hart and the new Hart Foundation. Teddy demands respect from people while at the same time leading Brian Pillman Jr. to bludgeon the shit out of Kevin Sullivan for trying to lead Brian down a better path. Also with the Injustice stable during which they claimed that the referees wronged them even though they cheated in some of their matches with foreign objects and interference.
  • Insistent Terminology: In the revival, MLW's in-ring talent are referred to as "Fighters", in order to emphasize that there are numerous styles of wrestling employed by the members of the roster.
  • Masked Luchador: La Parka/L.A. Park, Fénix, Pentagón Jr., Rey Horus just to name a few.
    • Unmasked Luchador: Juventud Guerrera
    • Non-Masked Luchador: Super Crazy, Daga, Konnan
  • 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."
  • Parts Unknown: Played with. Jordan Oliver is announced as from "The 845", which is a New York State area code that includes his hometown of Newburgh, NY.
  • Power Stable: Promociones Dorado, Contra, Injustice in the revival, the Extreme Horsemen in the original.
  • Precision F-Strike: Salina De La Renta with a couple of choice ones aimed at Ricky Martinez after he lost by KO to Low Ki.
  • 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."
  • Psycho for Hire: Unlike in Impact where he's more of a Dark Messiah, Sami Callihan is a bounty hunter in MLW, often paid to do dirty work for Promociones Dorado to soften people up. Later on after Callihan's departure, Jimmy Havoc fulfills the role for the faction.
  • Put on a Bus: As is tradition for most wrestling promotions, MLW often quietly releases wrestlers they have no use for. On screen though, some departures are explained, such as Seth Petruzelli getting beaten up by the Stud Stable and having not been seen since.
  • The Quisling: Simon Gotch betrayed his best friend Tom Lawlor to Promociones Dorado, leading him straight into an ambush.
  • Reset Button: The Reload shows in January 2004 were supposed to be this, but it was too little too late. Happened again 13 years later after the promotion initially folded.
  • Ring Oldies: Kevin Sullivan, PCO, Tommy Dreamer and LA Park. Also, Konnan who came out of retirement to face Low Ki for the MLW Title in December 2018. Dan Severn counts, participating in the second Battle Riot at the ripe old age of 61.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: "Filthy" Tom Lawlor is on one of these when Low Ki and Salina De La Renta decided to make Tom's pursuit of the MLW Title personal. The most personal point is when Salina paid off Simon Gotch to turn on Tom Lawlor and Tom made Simon tap out in a no-holds-barred, no ropes match, with nothing standing between him and Low Ki as a result.
    • It looks like Tom's war against Contra, Simon Gotch's new stable is going to end up being this too. The first time they beat Tom down, he promised to finish off the three-headed snake that is the Contra Unit, in his own words.
  • Slobs vs. Snobs: The theme of the Dynasty vs Hart Foundation feud. Teddy Hart took the Middleweight title formerly belonging to Upper-Class Twit Maxwell J. Friedman, MJF brought his friend Richard Holliday back to assault Hart, one tag team match later and Alex Hammerstone would make the feud 3v3.
  • Smug Straight Edge: CM Punk, of course.
  • Spicy Latina: Salina De La Renta
  • Spiritual Successor: To ECW, both good and bad. Good, in terms of the action. 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. Since the revival in 2017, it also counts as one to WCW, in terms of its talent (namely Tony Schiavone, Konnan, Kevin Sullivan, LA PARK to name a few) and the old school style of wrestling.
  • Straight Gay: Mike Parrow of the Stud Stable is out of the closet in Real Life.
  • 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)
      • Essentially the entire MLW Tag Team division both past and present, obviously. If we listed every team which competed in MLW, we'd be here all day.
  • Tag Team Twins:
    • Los Maximos
    • The Shane Twins (Mike and Todd)
  • Take That!: The Quagmire Ribs (sponsor of the Hart Foundation's webseries H2) website has a menu option of 'Sinclair's Extreme Right Wings' and its made in Baltimore. Its obviously a jab at ROH and by extension its owners Sinclair Broadcasting.
  • Tempting Fate: MJF drew #1 for the 2019 Battle Riot. Prior to the match starting, he cut a promo about how he was better than everyone and called himself "The Ultimate Fighter". Then the second entrant was introduced: Dan "The Beast" Severn! Cue MJF looking ready to shit his tights.
  • Traumatic Haircut: Contra's Josef Samael gave Tom Lawlor one after he and Jacob Fatu jumped Lawlor and kidnapped him during the MLW Fury Road special.
  • Unexpected Character: Nobody could have expected MLW would announce that SAVIO VEGA of all people was appearing at their Never Say Never show to face Alex Hammerstone in 2019.
  • Upper-Class Twit: The theme of Maxwell J. Friedman's Dynasty stable.
  • 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.
  • White Gang-Bangers: Jordan Oliver's gimmick. Fridge Brilliance and Truth in Television applies, because Oliver's hometown of Newburgh, NY is known for having extensive gang activity, so it'd make sense that a white kid who grew up there would be a gang member.
  • Wrestling Family: Samu and Ekmo (Jamal/Umaga) teamed together as the Samoan Island Tribe. Brian Pillman Jr. signed with MLW in 2018. Marshall and Ross Von Erich signed with MLW in 2019, with rumors that their father Kevin may make appearances as well. The current MLW World Champion Jacob Fatu is the son of The Tonga Kid.
  • You Are Fat: Injustice began calling Brian Pillman Jr fat and making fat-shaming comments about him after he announced his intent to move down to the Middleweight division in order to challenge for Myron Reed's championship. It serves to show Injustice's pettiness because Pillman is already in great shape.
  • You Have Failed Me: Salina De La Renta punished Sami Callihan for his failure to take out Tom Lawlor (see Batman Gambit above) by forcing him into a Falls Count Anywhere match against LA Park, which Park won after spearing Callihan through several chairs. Speaking of which, this trope was also the reason that Salina had fired Sammy Guevara for losing his match when he was in her Promociones Dorado faction.
  • 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 original run.

Alternative Title(s): Major League Wrestling


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