If there’s one thing I find lacking in most professional wrestling today, its passion. There are a lot of good matches, a lot of cool moves, a lot of well-produced video segments, and an occasional good promo/interview, but if I can put my finger on what’s really missing in today’s product, it’s passion. That said, it’s difficult for me to explain what I mean by that. What is this passion that I claim is missing? Since finding Major League Wrestling (MLW) I think I’ve found that passion, and the way that I can explain what I mean by passion to the readers of wrestlingdoneright.com.
MLW, like many other modern day wrestling companies has all the aforementioned qualities. They have good matches, cool moves, well-produced video segments, and some good promos. The ingredient that MLW has that others are missing, is the ability to really make me engaged in their shows for something other than those things. MLW takes a mere 60 minutes to invoke an excitement in me. MLW invokes my passion for professional wrestling, because they have that same passion for the entire 60 minutes of an MLW Fusion program.
MLW presents Brian Pillman Jr, and Davey Boy Smith Jr as second generation stars out to do their family name proud, and I believe that is their goal in every match and promo on MLW TV. MLW presents the Von-Erich brothers (Ross and Marshall) as a huge deal because of their incredible heritage, and I want to see them in the ring, taking on all the “bad guys” with the honor, class, and dignity, that Kevin, Kerry, David, and Mike did all those years ago. MLW present LA Park and sons as the pride of Mexico, the standard of all Lucha, and I believe that’s exactly what I am seeing from them. MLW presents Low-Ki exactly how his reputation says that he is, a serious, take no B.S. fighter, that can stand toe to toe with anyone, and does that ever come across just like that every time he steps foot into the ring, or in front of a microphone. MLW presents The Dynasty, Richard Holliday, Gino Medina, and Alexander Hammerstone, as super talented, but terribly spoiled “trust find” kids that you want to root for, until they open their mouths, and you believe that’s exactly what they are, making hard to get behind them, even though in the ring they are so legit. MLW brings in MMA fighters like Tom Lawler, King Mo, and Dominic Garrini that are so desperate to prove that MMA fighters are better, and more “real” than pro wrestlers, that they expose their ass doing so, and it works like magic! Myron Reed, Kotto Brazil, and Jordan Oliver (Injustice) legitimately come across like whiny little crybabies that believe life constantly screws them over, and I’ll be damned if I don’t want to smack them because it feels like that is absolutely how they feel. MLW can take someone like Mance Warner, and present him as an old school deep south brawler, and even though he’s not very big, and looks like he came out of the stands, make him one of the most popular stars in the company. Finally, The Contra Unit of Josef Samael, Simon Gotch, and Jacob Fatu, are presented as out of control wild men, that we should legitimately fear, because they are absolutely out of control wild men that we should legitimately fear!
Nothing and no one in MLW feels like an “act,” or like its being forced on the wrestler, or on the fans watching. Everything feels natural, like what we are watching is true. Nothing feels overly produced, or directed. It feels like there are scheduled fights with a camera crew there to film it all. It feels like the wrestlers are free to do as they please, in all aspects, but the shows are too good for me to really believe that’s how it happens! That can only be accomplished with tons of passion!
While you may think that I’ve simply gone over most of their roster, and explained my feelings about them, and their “gimmicks,” that’s not entirely the case. You see, MLW, and all of their “fighters” (as they are labeled on the MLW home page, which I love!) make me believe. The rule breakers, the bad guys, the “heels,” if you will, are by majority booed and not liked, because they do things that are not likable. The good guys, the “faces,” if you will, aren’t sappy, or silly, they are honorable, tough, and legitimate, making you want to see them succeed.
I thought I would crave longer MLW shows, that 60 minutes per week wouldn’t be enough, but it turns out that if a show is produced, and presented right, with PASSION, and believability, it’s a perfect amount of time. Matches aren’t over booked, 50-50 booking is almost extinct, and we don’t have countless 30-40 minutes matches where wrestlers, or I mean fighters, are left spamming the same moves over, and over, kicking out of them ad nauseam, just to stretch out the length of the show. We don’t get countless multi-man matches, just so everyone is featured every week, instead matches follow a storyline flow that makes sense, and allows everyone on the roster to get their turn in some way, if not every week, spread out for as long as their story is going to take.
I wish I could do a better job explaining why YOU should be watching and supporting MLW, but this is the best I’ve got. MLW pours passion into everything they do, and it translates so well that it makes the viewer more passionate for wrestling, for MLW, for Wrestling Done Right!
Richard Holliday is every bit as good as MJF. If you’ve spent any time watching MLW (Major League Wrestling) this is obvious, unless you’re simply not trying to see it. While I am a fan of MJF, it’s my opinion that his work has gotten more silly, and juvenile since he left MLW for AEW. Holliday should benefit from remaining in MLW, where he takes over one of the best stables in all of wrestling, in “The Dynasty,” and can form it into whatever he wants it to be. Holliday looks as good as MJF, wrestles as good, and cuts promos that are just as good. Holliday plays off of fellow Dynasty members, Alexander Hammerstone, and Gino Medina perfectly, making their roles even larger, rather than overshadowing them, making them seem beneath him. Holliday looks the part he plays, and to me, that’s one of the most important things in all of professional wrestling…believability. Holliday makes me believe, even more so than MJF did, or does currently. While MJF is good, too often he comes across as if he’s playing a role, a part. I guess my argument is that sometimes, it feels to me like MJF is trying too hard. Holliday comes across like “this is just who I am.” Holliday makes me feel like he’s a trust fund guy, with a father who is a lawyer, his lawyer, that’s always been there to get him anything he wants, and bail him out of any potential trouble. Holliday does this without MLW making the father a “character” on the show, which nearly every other company in America would do, if they were pushing Holliday in this same way (note: Tim Storm’s momma). I am enjoying Holliday carrying the Caribbean title, he’s made me care about a stolen (from Savio Vega) defunct championship, from a company I’ve never watched in my life. That’s pretty impressive. Holliday carries himself like a champion, and wears the title belt as if it means something, and that makes me feel like it does. His barraging of MLW CEO Court Bauer on social media, to recognize the title is hilarious, but also makes you root for that to happen! I hope to see Richard Holliday on top in MLW, leading “The Dynasty” for a long time to come.
Dear Mr. Bauer,
Thank you. Thank you for giving us an American professional wrestling organization that makes sense. A wrestling organization where there are heels and faces, and the fans accept and appreciate this. Thank you for giving us factions of these wrestlers that realize that teaming up is good for everyone. Even in the old school days I often wondered why the “good guys” didn’t form factions of their own. Oh sure, the good guys teamed up, but they seldom formed legitimate factions that had a name, and stuck together at all times. No one really did this to take on the Four Horsemen, The Freebirds, or the nWo. It’s nice seeing The Hart Foundation, and others like The Von Erich’s stand in unity against the bad guys. Thanks so much for having rules that matter. Thank you for referees who enforce those rules, and having matches flow around those rules. Of course “rule breakers” will do all they can to break said rules, but they do so behind the referee’s back, or get disqualified when they do it in view of the referee. While your company is the modern day style of professional wrestling, thank you for not having matches that are about nothing but the “spots.” Thank you for having matches that are put together in such a way that selling matters. Thank you for having a lot of clean finishes, unless a “heel” wrestler cheats to win. Thank you for giving us good, exciting, matches that don’t have to be 30 plus minutes long. Thank you for making your championship title belts not only look amazing, but mean something. Thank you so much for legitimate story lines that don’t insult we fans intelligence, or mock what wrestling has always been, by winking at the audience, not really caring if it’s silly, because we are all in on the secrete. Thank you for making your wrestling matches look like fights, and for those facing off against one another, treating them as legit fights. Thank you for good promos, excellent video segments, and bringing managers back! I call myself “The Wrestling Snob,” and I had abandoned American Professional Wrestling, believing it to be a lost cause. I want to apologize for failing to find your company before now, but as I said, I had lost all faith in American wrestling. Thank you Mr. Bauer for restoring my faith. Thank you for “Major League Wrestling,” a name that everything I described above actually reflects in style, and presentation. Thank you Mr. Bauer for Wrestling Done Right!