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MLW’s top five matches of 2021

Major League Wrestling has put out some of the most consistent and quality wrestling in 2021, despite not running weekly television for three months out of the year. This is impressive given the amount of talent that has been in and out of the MLW roster pool and the fact that TV tapings have been few and far between. 

The combat sports centric league has had its fair amount of big matches, but some of those bouts admittedly fell flat when it came time for those to happen. The War Chamber match between Contra Unit and Team Hammerstone immediately comes to mind, which is unfortunate given the amount of hype and build that match had going into it.

Enough of the negatives though, let’s revisit the top five matches in MLW from 2021.

5. Calvin Tankman vs. Lee Moriarty, MLW Fusion: Alpha 10/13/21 

When you put the best big man on the independent scene with one of the best technicians on the independent scene and give them a fairly big platform like MLW, magic is bound to happen. Although this was just an ordinary singles match with no stakes attached to it, two of wrestling’s brightest young stars put on a fantastic match.

4. Davey Richards vs. Tom Lawlor, MLW Fusion: Alpha 10/13/21

Davey Richards has a few spots on this list. Not only is the “American Wolf” one of my favorite wrestlers of all time, he has torn up MLW during his short five month tenure with the promotion.

 Tom Lawlor was on his way out of MLW at this point, but didn’t phone in it and had a fantastic singles opening round bout in the Opera Cup with Richards – on the same episode as Tankman/Moriarty.

3. Alexander Hammerstone vs. Jacob Fatu, Fightland 10/7/21

Hammerstone/Fatu was arguably the biggest match in promotion history given the two year build it had behind it. MLW held off on holding the match until it was able to take place in front of a crowd, and believe me, they made the right choice.

While I don’t consider the best match in the company for the year, it was worth the extended wait. The two “top dogs” of MLW told a fantastic story while showing off their excellent wrestling ability.

2. Lio Rush vs. Myron Reed, MLW Fusion 05/05/21

Rush and Reed had two 15+ minute matches in 2021, but their May match turned out to be my favorite. The two have amazing chemistry together and while I’d love to see a third match, that doesn’t seem to be likely anytime soon.

This was the last match of MLW’s “season” and sent the company into their break that lasted three months, but it was definitely a good way to go out.

Honorable Mentions: 

  • Davey Richards vs. TJP – 12/01/21
  • Lio Rush vs. Myron Reed – 01/06/21
  • Yoshihiro Tajiri vs. Aramis vs. Arez vs. Myron Reed – 10/07/21

1. Davey Richards vs. TJP, MLW Fusion: Alpha 09/22/21

My MLW Match Of The Year is the first encounter between Davey Richards and TJP from the season premiere of Fusion: Alpha. Although the match was taped in July, it still aged very well and showed an excellent display of technical skills from both guys who are decorated veterans at this point in their career.

The rematch between the two, which was an honorable mention, didn’t quite live up to the first one despite being longer and being the Opera Cup final.

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