Taking a look at MPW’s May 11th, 2018 Gauntlet Match featuring Ray Rosas, Danny Divine, Daniel Moon, and more. Click for video, GIFs, and review!
Last year, I took a look at Millennium Pro Wrestling’s Six Man Gauntlet Match that featured several students of the Millennium Wrestling Academy. It was an interesting look at the (then) new performers the school was producing. There were some pretty bad moments (mainly the ones involving Hellkid), but it gave me my first look at Daniel Moon and Danny Divine. Plus it was sorta enjoyable.
On May 11th, 2018, MPW held another Gauntlet Match for the vacant MPW Championship. This time with Ray Rosas, Danny Divine, Daniel Moon, along with newer Millennium Wrestling Academy products Charlie Mercer and Malkor The Destroyer. This will be my first time seeing Mercer and Malkor, so it’ll be interesting to see what they can do.
We start off with Ray Rosas coming to the ring. Ray got on the mic to talk about his use of foul language at the last show. He said he was fined, was almost taken out of the match, and was told to apologize. To no surprise, he apologized for nothing and bashed MPW before bringing out his first opponent.
Fall 1: Ray Rosas vs. Charlie Mercer
Mercer came out wearing a Gi top and with a white belt, signifying that he’s a beginner in some form on martial arts. A fan was quick to point that out to Ray. When I saw this, I assumed his gimmick was tied into that. Mercer would then do no real martial arts techniques in the match. Well, if you count the Fujiwara Armbar to be a martial arts technique, there was that. So yeah, Charlie Mercer wasn’t a dude with a martial arts gimmick. He was just some dude.
With that said, my first impression of Mercer was that he seemed like he’s a pretty solid performer for a guy his level. He’s not spectacular, but he looks like he could be good in the future if he polished his in-ring work. There were moments where it looked as if he wasn’t on the same page as Ray, so Mercer will benefit from getting more experience under his belt.
This portion of the match itself was solid. Ray was able to carry Mercer well and guided him to a solid performance. There was a cool spot where Ray went for a Quebrada but missed, allowing Mercer to hit Ray with a DDT. Ray would eventually put Mercer in a Texas Cloverleaf and made him tap. Ray wouldn’t let go of the hold and pushed the referee off him as he tried to break it up.
Post Fall Shenanigans
After this, MPW authority figure Triple X told the referee to reverse the decision, and Ray was disqualified. Ray would chase the referee around the ring before attacking Triple X. He would slam Triple X onto the ring apron, hit the Twist of H.A.T.E on him, and put him in a Texas Cloverleaf before referees broke it up. Ray would leave the ring and blame the referee for what happened.
Fall 2: Charlie Mercer vs. Malkor The Destroyer
Malkor is billed as being 300 pounds and is one half of the MPW Tag Team Champions with Max X. He wears a face mask, a singlet with his logo on it, and MMA gloves. Presentation is everything in professional wrestling, and I’ll get into this later. All I can say here though is that despite looking very “INDY,” Malkor showed some potential.
The formula here was simple. The smaller competitor, Mercer, tried to use his speed advantage while Malkor used his size advantage. There was also the story of Mercer selling the fatigue and damage from the fall with Ray, along with Mercer being the fresher of the two.
Malkor started out by trying to charge at Mercer but ended up getting tackled by Mercer. It’s a basic spot, but it honestly looked cool here. Malkor did some basic big-man offense, including a nice running senton. Mercer would try to fight back at times, but Malkor would get the better of him when he won the fall with a Chokebomb. This fall was pretty simple, and both guys had solid performances.
Fall 3: Malkor The Destroyer vs. Daniel Moon
The story behind the overall gauntlet match centered around Moon being stripped of the MPW title at the California Classic after his match with Ray Rosas. Now he’s in this match trying to regain the MPW title. The last time I saw Moon in MPW, he was a cocky heel. Now he is a babyface.
Once again, we had a Big Man vs. Little Man formula in this fall. Moon would try to use speed to go after Malkor at the start of the fall, and Malkor used his power to counter. The pacing of this fall was slower, with Malkor clubbing away at Moon. Moon would eventually mount a comeback that included a nice Quebrada.
Malkor would regain control of the fall as it progressed. The pace of the match slowed down more with Malkor using rest holds on Moon. Moon would try to mount a comeback but was caught by Malkor when he went for a cross body splash. Malkor then Powerbombed him into a corner and followed it up with a German Suplex. Moon eventually won the fall after countering a Chokebomb attempt from Malkor with a Victory Roll.
Post Fall Shenanigans
Malkor’s partners from Divinity, Max X and Jimi Mayhem, came out, and Max hit Moon with one of the MPW Tag Team title belts by his side. Max and Malkor would beat up Moon, before finishing him off with a Doomsday Device. Malkor would go back into the ring and hit Moon with a Death Valley Driver into a Powerslam before Divinity left.
Fall 4: Daniel Moon vs. Danny Divine
Divine, who is the current MPW National Champion, came out as Moon was laying in the ring. He had the referee ring the bell and pinned Moon with one foot for the win.
Post Fall Shenanigans
Divine would pick Moon up, and hit him with a running stomp to the back of the head. Danny Divine is now the holder of the MPW Championship and the MPW National Championship. He got on the mic and talked about how Moon paid The Echelon to take him out of the last gauntlet, how he ruined his friendship with Clubbin’ Cody, and how he “stole” his brother from him.
After cutting a promo, Divine and his stablemates left the ring as Moon was left laying in it before being helped to the back.
I touched on this a bit earlier, but presentation is very important in professional wrestling. Charlie Mercer and Malkor both show signs of potential, but their looks aren’t great. I touched on Mercer wearing a Gi top and a white belt. One look at him, and you’d assume he’s a martial arts guy. Instead, when it comes off he’s just some dude in generic gear and no real gimmick. Mercer would really benefit if he developed some type of character for himself, as he seems like he’s got some personality.
When I first saw Malkor, I first thought “why the fuck is this dude wearing MMA gloves?” The use of MMA gloves is cheesy enough as it is, but it also didn’t match his move set or character. His gear also doesn’t fit with his character. A guy like him, who is being presented as a savage beast, would be better off wearing tattered clothing in the style of Mankind or Abyss. It would make him a lot more presentable and add to his character.
As for the match itself, I thought it was really good given the fact that most of the performers are still inexperienced. Unlike the last gauntlet I reviewed, this one didn’t have any down points. There were some sloppy moments, but I can overlook that since the performers (aside from Ray) are all still new to the business. Malkor looks like a guy who could end up being really good and a potential headliner in SoCal. If he improves inside the ring and develops his look, I could see him going far. Charlie Mercer is also a guy who looks like he has the potential to be solid in the future.
The storytelling was very sound. I don’t follow MPW, but it was easy to pick up on who was feuding with who here. Ray Rosas’ angle with Triple X was done well. The closing promo with Danny Divine explaining the history between him and Daniel Moon was also a very good touch. The biggest thing I liked about this match was that it very well structured. It also developed a good story as it progressed. There were some moments where some guys seemed momentarily lost, but not enough to hurt the match quality.
Overall this was a fun watch and a good look at the prospects MPW are building up. It’ll be interesting to see how they develop in the future.