#Preview: MLW Presents Rise of the Renegades

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For WrestleMania weekend, Major League Wrestling has two giant-sized events sure to shock and awe everyone in the Melrose Ballroom. This is the first in the double-feature, Rise of the Renegades, going down on April 4th. Since the last event, Intimidation Games, we’ve seen the descent of two new factions ready to stake their claim as major players in the major leagues. Those would be CONTRA Unit and the Dynasty. We also have an old friend making his return to MLW in England’s Most Dangerous Man, Jimmy Havoc. He was the last man to score a victory over Tom Lawlor, so now he hopes to repeat that. This time, with the MLW World Heavyweight Championship on the line. The second incarnation of Battle Riot will take place the following evening.

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Rey Horus vs. Ace Austin

Let’s get started with some exciting middleweight action! Tijuana’s greatest export Rey Horus will be returning to MLW. He’s been gallivanting the globe since we last saw him on MLW Fusion episode number 46. Since then he’s competed on events for Lucha VaVoom, Southside Wrestling Entertainment, Westside Xtreme Wrestling, and more. From Los Angeles to the United Kingdom, Germany, and now New York City. Rey may not have the best win-loss record, but he sure does put on a show. The same can be said for wrestling’s answer to Marvel’s Gambit. Ace Austin has been making waves in MLW, first winning over Rich Swann, then entering Battle Riot via defeating DJ Z. He’s also appeared for IMPACT Wrestling, The Wrestling Revolver, and AAW Pro. These two will light it up and start Rise of the Renegades off right!

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Gringo Loco vs Hijo de LA Park

Continuing with more high caliber lucha libre action, we have Gringo Loco taking on El Hijo de LA Park. He is of course presented by Salina de la Renta. Hijo is going to be looking to get back in his mistress’ good graces. He failed in getting revenge on Mance Warner after the beer incident. He fell into the trap of Warner this past week on MLW Fusion. Hijo was sent on a mission by Salina to meet with her contact, but he didn’t show up and then she couldn’t find Hijo. “Hijo” eventually turned up, but it was revealed to be Mance Warner who again attacked LA Park. Gringo has had his own dealings with Promociones Dorado, losing to both LA Park and Ricky Martinez in the past. He’s been on a roll lately, getting wins over Puma King and Myron Reed.

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Barrington Hughes vs. Jacob Fatu

At Rise of the Renegades, it will be a battle of big men who can do big things. We haven’t seen Barrington Hughes in a while, not since MLW Fusion episode 41 back in December. There he was successful, and he was successful the last time MLW was in the Melrose Ballroom too. Jacob Fatu is the Samoan Destroyer, part of the new CONTRA Unit. This past week on MLW Fusion, Fatu said that they will salt the earth with the ashes of their enemies. Will Hughes dominate as usual, or will Fatu’s prediction come true?

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Rey Fenix vs. Air Wolf

One half of the Lucha Brothers will be in singles action at Rise of the Renegades! Rey Fenix is a gifted luchador with a storied recent career. Air Wolf is just starting out in MLW and finds himself with another huge opponent. With just one match under his belt and it being a loss, the youngest cub will find his back against the wall. There are two options in cases like that, you fight your way out or you fall. Fenix is no stranger to up and coming wrestlers attempting to make a name for themselves. That was him not that long ago. Fenix was able to fight his way out and establish himself as a pillar in wrestling. Perhaps a similar future awaits the young Minnesotan.

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Jordan Oliver vs. Kotto Brazil

Here we have a debut for Jordan Oliver! The 19-year-old New York native is the current Combat Zone Wrestling Wired Champion. He’s been a regular in CZW for about a year and a half. The lanky young gun had youth, speed, and stamina on his side. He’s also well-versed in trash talking his opponent. He’s been goading and shooting on his opponent, the Haitian Sensation Kotto Brazil. Kotto hasn’t had the best run of luck as of late. In December he was attacked by Ricky Martinez of Promociones Dorado. He also failed in his seeking of revenge against Martinez earlier this year. If Kotto can shut this young kid down, he might finally get on track in the crowded and star-studded Middleweight Division. This social media grudge match will go down on April 4th at Rise of the Renegades!

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Ace Romero vs. Josef Samael

Speaking of revenge, that’s also on Ace Romero’s mind. He was attacked by CONTRA Unit as their second victim on episode 48 of MLW Fusion. Josef Samael bloodied the Human Jumbo Jet with a spike. The spike has become Samael’s signature, so Romero will have to look out for that. And usually, when one member of CONTRA Unit is seen, the others are not far away. Josef Samael, also known as The Almighty Shiek, regularly teams with his CONTRA Unit mate Jacob Fatu. Together they are the current reigning PCW Ultra Tag Team Champions as well as the DEFY Tag Team 8XGP Champions. He also doesn’t care about wins and losses, as long as he is able to beat down his opponent. For once, Ace Romero might be the underdog against a sadistic competitor like Samael.

Minoru Tanaka vs. Daga

The 25-year veteran Minoru Tanaka is also making his MLW debut. He is currently a regular with the promotion Pro Wrestling NOAH in Japan. Tanaka is also currently the GHC Junior Heavyweight Champion. Throughout his illustrious career has previously worked for promotions like DDT Pro, Big Japan Wrestling, Tokyo Championship Wrestling, All Japan Pro Wrestling, and New Japan Pro Wrestling. Daga is also a world-traveled veteran. He’s got just over ten years under his belt and has competed in the US, Mexico, and Japan. Daga may have returned to MLW to get revenge on Low-Ki but he had better not let that distract him here.

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Sami Callihan vs. Mance Warner

At Rise of the Renegades, we will have a match between a couple of renegades. Both these wrestlers don’t care about their own personal well-being when it comes to a fight. They also both have history and beef with Salina de la Renta of Promociones Dorado. Despite running in a few of the same promotions, they’ve only crossed paths once before. It was in AAW Pro back in December, and Callihan was successful in that encounter. While the unhinged IMPACT star’s game plan is always evolving, Ol Mancer’s always involves a certain signature. That would be 1) Light beers, 2) Eye pokes, 3) Kneepad up, and 4) Kneepad down. Hopefully, his recent issues with LA Park won’t take his eye off the ball here.

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Maxwell Jacob Friedman (MJF) vs. Brian Pillman, Jr.

This match won’t be pretty. MJF has started a war with the Hart Foundation, of which Pillman is, of course, a member. It all started over Teddy Hart winning the MLW World Middleweight Championship that MJF was forced to vacate. So technically, MJF never lost the title and he doesn’t approve of its current holder. By declaring war on Teddy, it morphed into involving the entire Hart Foundation, defending their brother. To combat this, MJF formed his own faction with Richard Holliday and Alex Hammerstone called The Dynasty. As a team, they have laid out both Teddy Hart and Brian Pillman, Jr. on separate occasions. Now the two youngest members of these warring factions will square off in singles action. The rest of their tribes probably won’t be far away though, we’ll find out at Rise of the Renegades.

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LA Park vs. Pentagon, Jr.

We have more lucha libre on tap, but this one is more of a darker variety. Pentagon Jr. and LA Park are characters with a ghoulish appearance. LA Park is, of course, the original Grim Reaper of wrestling, in addition to the Chairman. Pentagon, Jr. has only been around for about ¼ of LA Park’s legendary career of 37 years. Both, however, don’t mind going to extreme measures to put their opponent down. They’ve faced off in MLW before in a Mexican Massacre match, way back on episode 25 of MLW Fusion. LA Park was victorious on that occasion. Over the years, they’ve also faced off in various tag-team and multi-person matches, sometimes on the same side and sometimes on opposite sides. We’ll just have to see which fighter is best at Rise of the Renegades.

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MLW World Tag Team Championship Match
The Hart Foundation vs. The Dynasty

This one, like the MJF and Brian Pillman, Jr. match will not be pretty. It’s not been declared which members of these teams will represent their groups. However, since those two have a match earlier in the night, it could be safe to assume the sides. Teddy Hart and Davey Boy Smith, Jr. will likely be the ones to face off against Alex Hammerstone and Richard Holliday. Now that the Dynasty has come together, they are hell-bent on destroying the Hart Foundation. They also want to assert their dominance as the emerging stars of MLW. The best way to do that, would be of course to surprise everyone and walk away with the titles.

The Hart Foundation won’t just roll over for anyone. Teddy and Davey, grandsons of the legendary Stu Hart, learned many lessons from their family. The defining attribute besides excellent technical ability is, no pun intended, heart. Teddy has faced all sorts of adversity over his career that began as a teenager. He’s persevered and now with his family members around him, staked his claim atop MLW. Davey Boy Smith, Jr., also is a large power player like his father before him, The British Bulldog. Alex Hammerstone is also the power man for his team. The power struggle will boil over at Rise of the Renegades.

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MLW World Heavyweight Championship Match
NYC Street Fight
“Filthy” Tom Lawlor vs. Jimmy Havoc

In the main event, we will have the MLW World Heavyweight Championship defended. Tom Lawlor will put his title on the line against the last man to record a victory over him, Jimmy Havoc. And it’ll be right up Jimmy’s alley in a New York City Street Fight. However, “Filthy” Tom doesn’t care what stipulation it is, he’s got one goal in mind. That’s to put a hurting on Jimmy Havoc, the one blip on his record from 2018. Jimmy Havoc has a reputation that well precedes him as England’s Most Dangerous Man. He’s willing to put his own body through hell in order to do worse to his opponent. Jimmy has been in every hardcore, deathmatch imaginable and has still come back. And since Tom wasn’t able to beat Jimmy, perhaps Havoc has his number? Find out at Rise of the Renegades!

Also scheduled to appear are Low-Ki, Salina de la Renta, Myron Reed, and Ariel Dominguez. If you can’t make it out to the Melrose Ballroom on April 4th, don’t forget that this is also an MLW Fusion taping. Matches will be shown in coming weeks on beIN Sports and on their YouTube channel. Shows air Saturday Nights on beIN Sports at 8:00 PM Eastern. They are posted on the YouTube channel at 12:00 PM Eastern on Sundays.