WRITTEN PODCAST REVIEW: MLW Radio #275 on Matt Anoa’i, Braun Strowman’s potential, WWE burning through “money” matches

MLW Radio (flagship) #275 with Court Bauer and MSL – dedicated to Matt Anoa’i

Recap by: @Desman6


Top Stories:

-Thoughts and reflections on Rosey (Matt Anoa’i).

-The entire Samoan family nearly jumped to WCW in 1997.

-How Vince McMahon might try to buyout the “Broken” gimmick.

-Court Bauer pushed for WWE to sign Rosey again in 2007.

-Court shares stories from his time writing Velocity.


00:00 – Matt Anoa’i tribute
14:30 – Hardy Boyz in WWE
21:00 – Dustin Rhodes in TNA
22:35 – Raw talk
25:15 – Reminiscing about Velocity
36:15 – Balor’s return from concussion
46:30 – Transaction report
51:50 – JBL bullying story, Mauro on Impact?


@courtbauer and @msl start off with the news of Matt Anoa’i (Rosey, Superhero in Training, brother of Roman Reigns) passing at the young age of 47. Matt was a “bad ass dude” as per Court, a graphic design major at the University of Hawaii. Great natural athlete who broke into the business in the ’90s working local indies in the Florida panhandle, getting his big break from Paul Heyman forming the Samoan Gangster Party (during the brief WWF/ECW alliance).

The entire Samoan family was going to jump to WCW in 1997 (including Yokozuna and Rikishi) but ended up re-signing with WWE. Matt linked up with his cousin Eki Fatu (i.e. Umaga, younger brother of Rikishi) as the Island Boys in Japan, Puerto Rico, etc. This led to their opportunity with HWA (WWE developmental at the time) followed by their run as 3 Minute Warning under Eric Bischoff. Rosey should have been a monster heel, but he was unfortunately relegated to comedy duty with Hurricane Helms as the Superhero in Training in the mid-to-late 2000s.

Matt lost a ton of weight in 2007 during Fat March, a weight loss reality show and Court pushed WWE to resign him, but it didn’t work out. He felt as though he could have been repackaged much like Umaga. More recently, Matt settled down in Cincinnati and ran Big Boy Island BBQ in the area, which a lot of WWE guys frequented when they passed through town. Matt was in Orlando for WrestleMania weekend, but he was going through some health issues then (congestive heart). Matt leaves behind three children and will be remembered by a lot of MLW Radio listeners as an incredible warm-hearted guy.

14:30 – Hardy Boyz showing up at WrestleMania was “the” story of WrestleMania. MSL is worried about how over they will stay with the crowd wanting elements of the “Broken Hardy” storyline, for which the rights WWE is currently negotiating with Impact. Vince has a track record of not embracing other people’s ideas, and WWE is not going to pay any royalty fees to Anthem/Impact., but more likely this will result in a buyout i.e. lump sum payment to Impact, who could probably use the money right now.

21:00 – Failure of TNA to capitalize on talents like Dustin Rhodes, who excelled in the WWE environment. How important it is for talent to make sure they own the rights to things that they create.

22:35 – Raw is Braun. MSL enjoyed Samoa Joe vs. Chris Jericho. Court thinks it’s a PPV caliber match and reiterates a comment from last week about Samoa Joe, who appears to be in the best shape of his career. Going through so many “money” matches by going “star vs. star” every Monday night. The fans are conditioned to it and expect it. Jericho vs. Owens didn’t steal the show at WrestleMania, which Court expected it to, and this match served its purpose with Jericho on the way out to tour with Fozzy for a few months.

25:15 – Velocity tidbits with Court, who wrote the show for a while. MSL loved Velocity. Court was able to build the show around Chris Benoit and William Regal and the cruiserweights, who weren’t being used much at the time.

29:10 – Massive pop for Braun listing the injuries he caused Roman Reigns. MSL wants Braun to properly be the babyface, and Roman the heel. But Court reminds MSL that Braun is the setup for Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania next year in New Orleans, which both feel is dyslexic (it should be Braun vs. Brock at Mania).

31:15 – Finn Bálor is going to be a big player for WWE in 2017 and a big babyface in terms of merchandise. Strowman is the badass the WWE fan base has been dying for. This character has always worked for WWE (ex: Steve Austin).

32:45 – Ring breaks again, great ref bump. WWE has done this spot a few times over the past 15 years or so, telegraphed it with the LED ring posts not being used. Fans are smarter than they were in 2004.

35:10 – Superstar Shake-Up lacked set-up. Court would have made the after-effect of the “trades” a bigger deal.

36:15 – Balor returns from a mild concussion. MSL wonders if Vince will sour on Finn due to the injuries. Court says it helps with Vince that he’s Irish and thinks they could have done a video package of short interview to protect him for another week rather than filling the segment with a squash match.

38:50 – Satoshi Kojima in MLW, which was supposed to be the American arm of All Japan, a feeder system (NXT/OVW). Court says you can make stars with TV.

45:30 – New Day-themed tag title belts ($483). Both guys agree that it would have been better if they were able to wear them during their reign. Court loves the limited edition-themed replica belt. It’s going to build up demand and WWE has a diehard audience.

46:30 – Transaction Report:

Dash Wilder – broken jaw, out 2 months (ways to keep Dawson relevant for a while).

Kofi Kingston – minor ankle surgery, out a month at most (will New Day get a Smackdown title run at some point).

James Laurinaitis contemplating a pro wrestling career after retiring from the NFL (hopefully not with an LOD gimmick!).

Akebono hospitalized.

Teddy Hart in jail since January.

51:50 – JBL bullying story. Does Mauro Ranallo end up in Impact Wrestling when his no-compete is up?

Rating – 8 out of 10.

About the Author:

@Desman6 has been an avid wrestling fan going back to the very first WrestleMania and has attended four WrestleManias during his tenure as a WWE Shop card-carrying member of the WWE Universe. A financial professional by day, he spends his nights and weekends with his wife, rescue dog, and 2 rescue cats, watching WWE programming and listening to a number of wrestling-related podcasts. His true passions are food, film, and fights and he is forever fascinated by the business of professional wrestling.

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