MLW Recap Episode 16: Sami Callihan vs. Shane Strickland

We are a week removed from Battle Riot, which seemed like a monumental show. I am gonna guess this episode is an episode were a lot will happen to build to the future. Let’s not waste anytime and get right to it!

Cold Open

We get a video package narrated by Sami Callihan. Callihan put a beating on Shane so bad that Strickland went to the hospital. Sami says he took Swerve from a garbage promotion in Pennsylvania *cough CZW cough*. Sami says he wants to end Swerve because Callihan is in it for the money, not the friendship

Tony Schiavone and Matt Striker welcome us to the show. No mention of what happened to Rich. Put that man on a milk carton cause no one knows what happened to him. Just like MVP, if you have a falling out with MLW no one hears shit about it.

Brody King vs. Jimmy Havoc

Like J.R. would say, “business is about to pick up”. It’s nice to see MLW shilling their merch with a graphic on the screen before the match starts.

Right off the bat Jimmy shows that his athleticism is going to do him well in this match. He hits a tilt-a-whirl headscissors and gets Brody to the outside. Jimmy then hits a tornado DDT onto the concrete. Brody fights back with a stiff punch that makes the crowd ooh and aah.

The story is set early in this match. Havoc will do anything and everything to take Brody out but Brody is too damn tough and too damn strong.

One thing that is nice about MLW is the rules are relaxed. The wrestlers can fight outside of the ring and the ref might not do the 10 count. I mean he DOES do the 10 count but it takes forever, so the wrestlers have freedom to tell their story.

Havoc attacks with multiple strikes and moves, but Brody asserts his dominance by hitting one or two moves and being able to get a nearfall. I say nearfall because if we know one thing about Jimmy Havoc, we know he has a never say die attitude.

Jimmy has some creative offense by chopping at Brody’s thighs. The strikes go bak and forth until King hits a right punch to Jimmy’s face and Havoc goes DOWN. Both men show their toughness, but at the same time this match has taken a lot out of both of them. There is a great sequence for a nearfall that I’ll GIF below.

Brody is quick to hit a short arm clothesline into a piledriver and its right back to a 50/50 match. Brody goes for an Avalanche Powerbomb and Havoc reverses it with a hurricanrana. That is a bit of foreshadowing because Jimmy is able to reverse a chokeslam into a victory roll for the victory! I loved that this match featured Jimmy using his smarts and cunning ring ability to win the match.

Brian Pillman Jr. starts his interview and Kevin freaking Sullivan shows up. Kevin says Brian should be in your top 5. Sullivan says he will be on Brian’s side and gives Pillman high praise. Kevin says he respects Kevin Sullivan and then calls him Booker Man.

A backstage meeting between Sami, Low Ki and Salina De La Renta is shown on camera. Low Ki is paying Sami to take out Shane Strickland.

Recap of Tom Lawlor winning over the MLW crowd in New York by winning the Battle Riot.

Simon Gotch vs. Jake Hager with Col. Robert Parker

Parker says Jake Hager is the man that rules the world.. Thought that was Sid?

Jake starts off the match by attacking Gotch and hitting multiple strikes before the bell even rings. The ref yells “ring that bell” and Jake goes back on attack. The ref gets admonished by Matt Striker by not even asking Gotch if he wants to start the match.

Gotch is able to get the upperhand and is really showing a babyface spirit in this match. Based on the way the match is being wrestled Simon is who we should be cheering for. Simon is fighting from underneath and trying to overcome injury. I know this because the commentary team threads the story so well it’s easy to decipher.

Hager is dominate towards the end and wins the match with ease.

Aria Blake is being interviewed when MJF interrupts her. Why Blake is Janella’s girlfriend in MLW, I can’t help but wonder why Penelope Ford isn’t on this dang show? The interview ends with Blake rejecting MJF’s advances.


10. ACH

9. Fenix

8. Teddy Hart

7. John Hennigan

6. Jake Hager

5. Sami Callihan

4. Pentagon Jr.

3. Jimmy Havoc

2. Shane Strickland

  1. Tom Lawlor

Tom is the Number One Contender because he won Battle Riot

Konnan comes up to Fenix to talk about a contract and money but Selina shows up to stop Konnan from talking to them. Looks like Konnan is trying to poach De La Renta’s talent.

Team TBD get an interview and I legit thought they already broke up. Jimmy Yuta and Jason Cade get in a fight mid interview and Cade ends up hitting Yuta from behind as the camera kinda goes black. 

Teddy Hart has his non expressive ass face walk down the hallway as he asks ACH and Rich Swann if they are laughing at him. Teddy keeps saying he is getting laughed at and it’s just really f’n weird to watch.

Shane Strickland vs. Sami Callihan

Sami is accompanied by Death Machine to the ring and Shane is alone for the bout. As Swerve makes his entrance Sami tries to rile the fans. Matt Striker sings “Ain’t Nobody” and I wish to never hear that pitch from Striker again.

The opening sequence has Swerve bouncing all over and out of the ring but not doing much damage. Sami hits Shane in the face with a boot to the face. After a bit of offense from Shane, Callihan is able to hit a low blow and a shoulderbreaker for two.

Sami is relentless and strikes Shane into oblivion. Sami shows technical process by putting on what Striker calls ” I would say it’s a modified Indian Deathlock, but it’s not.” Shane is caught in a Figure Four and Sami is really showing why he calls himself “The Draw”.

Sami targets the left knee of Strickland to the point where the ref asks Shane if he wants to continue. Of course Strickland says “YES!” and is able to fight back with a cutter and multiple running strikes to Callihan.

The ref is doing a great job in this match. Reacting to every move, not over stepping boundaries and same cadence throughout multiple shows. Just thought I should say that. We get a back and forth strike battle. It use to be called the yay/boo spot by me but I don’t know who the heels and faces are.

Shane is fighting with all his might and really showing his fighting spirit. Shane has multiple parts in this match where he looks hurt and like he can’t continue. Then Swerve goes and hits a DVD on the apron. Strickland hits the Swerve count for two.

The commentators don’t know what will put Callihan away because Strickland is giving his all and it’s not getting the job done. Sami loogied on Shane and a gross ass camera angle showed us where the spit landed. Who would I be if I didn’t show you it!?

Shane loses his shit when he realizes the spit is all over his hair. Strickland loses himself to emotion and gets caught in a power bomb by Callihan. Shane attacks like a shark to blood and has to let go of the hold after fishhooking Shane.

Shane jumps into the ring and catches Sami in a short arm scissors as Shane tries to fight off the Death Machine. We get a ‘Fish Out of Water’ spot that get multiple nearfalls. Then Callihan is able to hit hi finisher for the win.

Nothing as substantial as I thought would be on this show. It was still fun to watch though!!

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