MLW is back!
Get rowdy for the return of Major League Wrestling.
While MLW was on summer vacation from airing fresh TV episodes, they made moves to secure a streaming deal with Pro Wrestling TV. That partnership kicks off Thursday night (Nov. 3) with the debut of Battle Riot at 8 pm ET.
Battle Riot is MLW’s version of the Royal Rumble. 40 entrants with no DQ. The winner earns a shot at the MLW World Heavyweight Championship currently held by Alexander Hammerstone. This will be the fourth Battle Riot match. Past victors include Tom Lawlor, LA Park, and Hammerstone.
The short list of participants mentioned in the official preview include Jacob Fatu, Lance Anoa’i, Juicy Finau, Davey Richards, Killer Kross, Alex Kane, Lince Dorado, Myron Reed, Savio Vega, Calvin Tankman, EJ Nduka, Microman, Gangrel, Matt Cross, and Richard Holliday. Surprises are teased as well.
Let’s break down the favorite to win Battle Riot IV. There’s typically different angles to take when crowning the winner for a match of this magnitude. The focus could be on a top star, pushing a rising star to the next level, an underdog surprise, a free agent needle-mover, or a nostalgia pop.
Jacob Fatu is the main man not carrying a championship in MLW. The Samoan Werewolf is a beast that will be hard to beat. He has a special package of size, strength, and agility to prevent elimination. Fatu is a former MLW world champ. In fact, he was dethroned by Hammerstone. It would make a lot of sense for Fatu to win Battle Riot and run it back against Hammerman.
EJ Nduka is a rising star who could carry the company. The Judge has the powerhouse look and charisma to shine bright. If MLW’s plan is to strap a rocket to a young talent, Nduka would be my choice.
Myron Reed is a strong pick as an underdog angle. Hot Fire is a slender high-flyer who has achieved success in MLW as a three-time middleweight champion. Reed calls himself the Young GOAT, and one way to live up to that moniker would be winning the heavyweight strap.
On the free agent tip, Killer Kross would pop eyes. This Battle Riot show was filmed back in June, and we know now that Kross returned to WWE. Despite that, if we play along with the idea, Kross could win and have cashed in his title shot prior to re-joining WWE. MLW has a few events taped waiting to air, so who knows what happens with Kross in those shows yet to broadcast on television.
Gangrel would fill the role as a nostalgia winner. The Vampire Warrior could work head games with Hammerstone in an effort to pick his spot for a challenge.
Personally, I view this year’s Battle Riot as wide open. Obviously, some names stand out above the rest, but I think there is a sizeable number of believable prospects to win. For example, I haven’t mentioned the Von Erichs yet. Either Marshall or Ross surviving the gauntlet would be received positively as fan favorites. And never count out the craftiness of Richard Holliday or the toughness of Davey Richards.
If you’ve ever been curious to check out MLW, then the Battle Riot is as good a time as any. It is an easy jump-in point to enjoy the Royal Rumble concept and see who earns your fancy to tune in next week for the weekly Fusion episode.
What’s your prediction for Battle Riot IV? Who are you rooting for to win?