Since MLW War Games concluded in September, Jimmy Havoc has had his sights set on Sami Callihan. After the brutal steel cage match came to a close, Callihan and The Death Machines annihilated Havoc whom they blamed for losing the match. Callihan has been able to avoid Havoc for weeks on end, but The Draw will have nowhere to run when the two former friends Spin The Wheel and Make The Deal in tonight’s main event!
As if Callihan doesn’t already have enough problems, the show kicks off with footage from Chicago earlier this week in which Tom Lawlor readied himself for a confrontation in a hallway with World Heavyweight Champion Low Ki.
As Lawlor approaches, Callihan comes from behind with a baseball bat striking Lawlor in the back before choking him with the weapon. Low Ki trash talks Lawlor a bit here but it’s hard to hear over the grunts and groans of both Callihan and Lawlor. One message rings clear from Ki to Lawlor at the end – “You don’t stand a chance.”
So, what gives? Why does Callihan suddenly have beef with Lawlor? Is this stemming from Lawlor eliminating Callihan from Battle Riot in July? Or is Callihan simply trying to eliminate every other top name in the company to leave himself in line for a shot at the MLW World Heavyweight Title?
We move over to commentary where we have Matt Striker and Tony Schiavone in what can loosely be described as Halloween costumes. Striker is in some kind of lobster hat and proceeds to rattle off about a half-dozen fish-related puns which I enjoy deeply.
Tony is looking his finest in a Last Jedi Luke Skywalker costume. As an added effect, there’s spooky music playing in the background and as a general creep and weirdo, I’m happy to report that I am INTO IT.
Joey Ryan vs Richard Holliday
Tony reluctantly admits that he’s into calling Joey Ryan matches and is assured by Striker that it’s more than okay to enjoy Ryan who brings something fresh and different to professional wrestling. Ryan does the usual song and dance as he passes his slightly used lollipop into the mouth of Queen of the Ring.
Tony continues voicing his confused feelings as he watches Joey apply baby oil to himself while muttering, “Yeah… every time I see him just cover himself in baby oil I just…” Things are getting weird and, again, I am IN. TO. IT.
Holliday, who recently announced that he had signed a contract with MLW, looks much more impressive in this outing than in his last match with Fred Yehi back in September. Being in the ring with someone like Ryan is always going to offer the chance to play a little bit more and showcase more personality and Holliday does that here.
When lining up for a classic Ryan spot of someone falling head-first into his bionic groin, Holliday wobbles but instead rolls through into a jackknife pin outsmarting Ryan and disappointing the crowd.
Holliday also manages to avoid Ryan’s Sweet Tooth Music, countering the attempted assault via lollipop into a backslide. With a quick recovery, though, Ryan crams the treat into Holliday’s mouth before connecting with the superkick for the win.
Grade: Good. A good showcase for Holliday who should be showing up more often.
Holliday is still a bit generic as a heel with Tony and Striker complaining about the amount of time he spends playing to the crowd. I think this could be a nice visual growth storyline if everybody pays attention to it; the more Holliday gets opportunities in MLW, he should develop his persona more and more and shed the habitual pandering to the crowd in lieu of a more aggressive side. No surprises here from Ryan – just a solid opener with the veteran Ryan bringing the best out of Holliday.