Destiny: we all have one. Some believe it’s set in stone, others believe that we create our own. Whether it is predetermined or in a state of flux, the fact is that, one way or another, destiny finds us all in the end. It was fitting, then, that this recent show at Millennium Pro Wrestling bore the name Destiny Returns, because we saw a great deal of that. While the Rebel Storm marshaled his forces to stand against the Void and reclaim the soul of his friend, J2, the bubbling conflict within the ranks of Full Send came to a head as friend stood against friend in the middle of the ring. In the middle of it all, someone out of MPW’s past came back to claim his own destiny – and the roster paid the price.
There was also, of course, the highly anticipated main event match: Miggy Rose vs. Eric Watts, the present Rose received at Naughty Or Nice. While many saw it as a punishment, a curse…in the end, it may have been the greatest gift that Rose, and all of MPW, ever received as destiny returned to claim one former world champion.
In the end, Friday night was a great reckoning for many. How did it all go down? Settle in, gentle readers – and beware spoilers for Destiny Returns.
Let’s do this.
Before the first match could even begin, familiar music hit, and the fans of the MPW Arena were met with the presence of the man now going by the moniker of TPGM: The Perfect General Manager, Bryan Carter. Emphasizing, not for the first time, his desire to make MPW great through the acquisition of great talent and the booking of greater still matches, Carter announced that he’d signed a new talent to the MPW roster. This was a man known to long standing fans of MPW, but alien to newcomers.
The new acquisition? The American Grizzly, Duke Bennett.
Taking the mic, Bennett talked about his history and his intentions. Once upon a time, he’d been The Man in MPW, but left to start a family. He had a wife, a son, a blue collar job, and reflected. He watched MPW from afar, as he put it, watched “boys and girls pretending.”
He came to the realization that he, too, was pretending: pretending to be a good man. Bennett was anything but, and summarily put the locker room on notice. Handing the microphone back to Carter, Bennett left the ring, and left Carter to initiate the start of the show.
Bennett’s gruff words, however, lingered in the air – and it wasn’t the last we would see of the man.
Rebel Storm, Brendan Divine, and ???? DEFEATS The Void (Auntie Hydie, J2 Mattioli, and Artorius)
The first, and biggest question in this match was answered in short order as fan favorites, the Rebel Storm and Brendan Divine, made their entrances with hardly a pause before…
…the Mac Daddy herself, Mylo, arrived on the scene as the third member of this bright and bubbly trio, much to the chagrin of the dark and sinister members of Auntie’s Void.
With little fanfare, the match began, with Storm insisting on starting when the other side put J2 in the ring first. Still dedicated to the task of reclaiming his friend, Rebel attempted to talk to him again, to reason with the enthralled Playmaker…and got knocked around for his trouble.
Once again, it seemed that there would be no talking.
The match was contentious, but for the first time in a while we saw the trio of Mylo, Divine, and Storm present a genuine challenge for the Void. While they definitely held a distinct advantage for the duration of the match with the cold, vicious Artorius and seemingly immovable J2 aiding an already borderline lunatic Hydie, the other team was impossible to keep down. All three continued to get up after every blow, be it a lethal clothesline from Hydie or a possibly broken hand when Mylo tried to deliver a nasty chop to J2 and didn’t so much as move the other man.
Destiny, however, had designs…on Rebel Storm and his quest. Once again, he found himself in the ring before J2, pleading for his friend to return – and once again we saw a man in conflict. It was fleeting, but pronounced.
Rebel Storm, however, got the message: talking wouldn’t do the job. So he tried something new: the effigy. The little wooden doll, styled with J2’s likeness, which has had so much power to allow Hydie to control him.
Presented with a chance, Rebel grabbed the doll and ran.
This left Hydie and Artorius to subdue their monster, and with Brendan indisposed, allowed Mylo to take advantage of the distraction and garner a pinfall victory for her team. Storm, however, had vanished into the locker room – and did not return.
The question on everyone’s mind remained, even while celebrating a victory for the light – and still remains – where on Earth is the Rebel Storm?
Alejandro Mauricio Fernandez w/Jack Slammer DEFEATS Darwin Finch
Missing from action at MPW since November of 2021, Darwin Finch returned to the MPW Arena to a great deal of fanfare from the fans in the audience. As evidenced from his video message on social media, and relayed directly to the X-Press, Finch was altogether unimpressed with the display of aloofness from Fernandez in another video posted earlier in the day. With a clear parody of that disaffected statement of superiority, and all business when the fun was over, Finch vowed to put AMF out of the fans’ misery with a visit from ol’ George McFly as he shook a fist into the camera.
Finch did not disappoint. As Team Fernandez tried to shake Finch with delay tactics like excessive stretching in the corner, Finch waited them out – and once the match began, wrapped AMF in a submission hold on his leg that did a lot more than stretch him out.
From there, it was a mat based game to begin the match. Fernandez may have riches and a lackey to his name, but Finch easily outwrestled him in the early moments with one hold after another with the kind of liquid grace that brings to mind legends like Dean Malenko – had he busted out a Texas Cloverleaf, this reporter would not have been surprised. Putting on full display the brains that compensate for his lack of brawn, and possibly outmatch the physicality of any opponent, Finch was set to make quick work of AMF if not for his “goon,” as Finch put it in his video statement.
Slammer was a definite presence in the match, repeatedly offering distractions that allowed Fernandez to take advantage of the situation with the ruthless efficiency and absolutely brutal displays of violent force that are swiftly becoming his trademark. Finch made a brief comeback, complete with a submission that had Fernandez tapping.
Slammer, of course, was right in position to distract from this fact, and as the match continued, the interference won the day as Fernandez pinned Finch to take the victory. Despite the loss, however, Finch was able to leave the ring with his head held high, the praise of the crowd following after him as they acknowledged his incredible performance against the impossible challenge of two versus one.
Enter General Manager, Act 2.
Rather than the next match, Bryan Carter presented himself to the crowd a second time. Again, singing his own praises as a man that believes in fair play and calling things down the middle, he explained he was there to right a wrong. Someone had been missing in action for far too long, and it was time to fix that…
…because he was owed an apology by the MPW fans for their treatment of him?
The man in question entered momentarily: Jordan Cruz, having apparently been cleared of the suspension handed out for is actions at Seasons Greetings back in December, and allowed to return to action. After some gladhanding — and an emphatic refusal from the crowd to offer Cruz any sort of apology whatsoever — Carter admitted to Cruz that, unfortunately, he had no competition for Cruz that night.
However, one half of the Enterprise, Robin Shaw, was having none of that.
A challenge was made, the general manager was consulted — and so it was that the crowd was treated to the potential destruction of one Jordan Cruz at the hands of Sweet Robin Shaw.
Jordan Cruz DEFEATS Robin Shaw
Before the match could even be properly authorized and announced, Cruz was on the offensive with a brutal assault on Shaw. He went so far as succeeding in getting Shaw on the ropes, but when it came to executing a move to finish him, Cruz couldn’t get Shaw up and off his feet.
Taking control with a package piledriver, Shaw took full advantage of his size superiority to manhandle Cruz until he tried to flee to ringside. Following him to get Cruz back in the ring and continue his assault. Ultimately, Cruz reclaimed the upper hand and took Shaw off his feet once they were back in the ring, unleashing a flurry of submission moves designed to keep Shaw from reaching the ropes.
It was, unfortunately, successful as Shaw succumbed, tapping out to give Cruz the victory. However, rather than leaving things there, Carter returned to ringside and applauded Cruz’s performance. So impressed was the general manager, he gifted Cruz with a golden opportunity, and our first booked show for next week’s Heavy Rain: Cruz would take on none other than Tyler Bateman.
PARTNER VS PARTNER
Dustin Daniels vs Bucio – NO CONTEST
This was a match months in the making. Some were eager to see the tag team partners — former tag team champions, no less — duke it out while others were reluctant to see their favorite pair of wrestlers clash in this culmination of frustration, discontent, and simmering animosity.
The match began with a lot of arguing, verbal back and forth between both Daniels and Bucio. Boasting about his strength complete with some posing, Daniels was ready to prove himself as the better half of Full Send, and did so by turning the early moments into a mat-based game. Bucio, however, took full advantage of his leaner build and speed to evade Daniels whenever possible. It was slow to start as the two friends, who know each other’s moves and strategies intimately, felt each other out and possibly tried to figure out how best to try and surprise the other.
So conflicted was the crowd, torn between wanting this confrontation and uncomfortable watching this wonderful friendship burn to ashes, hardly a sound could be heard over the blows and maneuvers taking place in the ring.
The world fell absolutely silent as Full Send slowly collapsed in on itself.
Daniels got vicious with his moves and his taunting, continuing to pause for a pose and a jibe at Bucio as he lay helpless on the mat. Bucio grew more confident in his own superiority as he foiled every pinfall attempt made by Daniels, the crowd slowly warming up to cheer Bucio on. Too evenly matched, neither man could get the upper hand.
Then the moment came, the one Bucio warned the MPW fans about: springing to his feet with an energy truly worthy of Shawn Michaels, he found himself faced with the moment where he could superkick his way into history.
He took aim. He wound up…but in the end, Bucio couldn’t follow through. He couldn’t pull the trigger, couldn’t destroy his best friend.
Daniels, however, had no such qualms — and took full advantage of Bucio’s hesitation to knock him flat. Full of fury and venom, it’s possible we might have seen him finish off his own partner.
Thanks to the American Grizzly, however, we will never know who would have triumphed.
With a run in from Duke Bennett, the match was immediately thrown out as Bennett verbally berated both men, violently assaulting them with brute force. In one especially horrifying moment, Bennett seized Bucio in a bear hug and began to ragdoll him, shaking the man like a limp toy. He even went so far as to throw Daniels around, taking on both men at once.
That’s right: both men. Daniels may have thought he was capable of pulling the trigger, but when his partner was down? Of course he was there, ready to defend him.
Eventually, Bennett left the ring, both members of Full Send all but wiped out. However, with the question still in the air, Daniels and Bucio answered it in silence by helping each other out of the ring and into the locker room.
Who is the better member of Full Send? Answer: Full Send will always be greater than its parts.
Eric Watts DEFEATS Miggy Rose
Along with being an award Rose garnered at Naughty Or Nice back in December, this contest was also a rematch from the Anniversary show, where Rose goaded Watts into showing up for a fight he didn’t really want.
This was not, however, the same Miggy Rose one might expect to show up. After last week’s moment of public reflection, and his willingness to enter the fray against nearly impossible odds, given that Watts defeated him soundly last time, the Miggy Rose that burst through the curtain was arrogant, filled with open disdain…but he was also ready to fight. Not to brawl, not to win or lose, but to fight for his sense of self and to turn that arrogance into a sense of pride.
It’s important, in the world of journalism, to remain unbiased and objective: to report the facts. The fact remains, however, that this reporter has been one of Rose’s many detractors over the last couple of years. However, over the course of a few months, even I have been unable to deny the world class performances Rose has been delivering, whether or not he’s resorted to underhanded tactics to win. The fact remains that Miggy Rose may have been off-putting, but he’s writing checks his ass can cash.
With his entrance to the ring, even I, so often ready to jeer the former world champion, was finally won over — and to my immense joy, when I extended to Rose a fistbump of peace, it was eventually accepted.
My support of Rose was not isolated: while individual cheers could sometimes be heard for Rose in recent months, tonight the crowd was mixed, some still calling for the public destruction of Miggy Rose while more than usual were rooting for him. He wasn’t playing to the audience, wasn’t looking to be liked…but for the first time in a long while, he was the one the fans were hoping to see with their hand raised in victory.
The match started much as one might expect: Rose attempted to wrestle a man twice his size, and failed. Simply, immeasurably stronger and bigger than Rose, Watts ended up tossing him around for the majority of the match. It was, essentially, a repeat performance of the Anniversary Show contest.
Only this time, Rose wasn’t running. He wasn’t hiding — he was making a serious bid for victory and self respect in refusing to stay down. Even when Watts was clearly playing with him, a big cat with a mouse trapped by the tail, Rose did his best to mount offense. He did at one point rally with a tornado DDT on the outside, leaving Watts vulnerable. As one might expect, Rose went the extra mile and peeled back the protective mats at ringside to smash Watts into the exposed floor.
This was not, however, a move executed out of malice. To be blunt, Rose didn’t have a prayer. It was a move borne out of desperation as Rose rolled back into the ring, screaming for the referee to begin the required count.
No luck. Watts got up, got back in the ring, and when Rose tried to put him down for a pin, broke the count by reaching the ropes with one impossibly long limb.
Rose was at his wit’s end, and as one might expect, sought out and found a weapon. Locating a trash can lid from underneath the ring, he brought it between the ropes, ready to strike.
The cry came from the crowd: don’t do it. Believing in Rose, seeing something new in this performance, the audience begged him to win or lose by his own merit — and to be clear, they did believe he could still win.
This was the moment that turned the tide, that changed the course of history — not because Miggy Rose won the match, but because Miggy Rose hesitated.
Miggy Rose was conflicted — and while it seemed for all the world like he was listening to the crowd, it was abundantly clear from the agony in his features that, for the first time, Miggy Rose was listening to his conscience.
Rose flung the trash can lid out of the ring. He went after Watts…and he failed.
Decimated by the bigger man and all but left for dead, Watts secured a victory by pinfall, but followed his victory by doing the unthinkable as Bryan Carter appeared for a third and final time to offer his hand to Eric Watts.
A hand Watts shook with a smile.
Miggy Rose was defeated, it’s true, and needed help back to the locker room, but make no mistake: this remains a signal to every man, woman, and individual on the MPW roster.
Rose will never win a popularity contest. He will never be the smiling, jovial, affable hero — but on this night, he proved that he’s not only talented beyond all comprehension, but that he has integrity. He has self respect.
And a Miggy Rose with a solid foundation, ungodly amounts of talent, and zero regard for the status quo just might be the most dangerous thing that the athletes of MPW have ever had the misfortune of crossing paths with.
Because this is a Miggy Rose destined for greatness.
For Your Consideration
We have Jordan Cruz set to take on Tyler Bateman at MPW: Heavy Rain next week, but a slew of other matches have already been announced.
Duke Bennett will take on Bucio.
Brendan Divine will put the National Championship on the line against Hoss Hog.
Rebel Storm & Mylo will take on Artorius & J2 of the Void, hoping to reclaim the totem that gives Hydie her power over the Playmaker.
And, finally, we will see the World Title defended as Danny Divine goes up against number one contender, Ray Rosas.
Whatever you expect you’ll see next week…you’re gonna be surprised. That’s the status quo of MPW at this moment in time, folks: nothing is for sure, and everything is possible.
Until next week: stay safe, stay sane, and stay informed. Later, Marks.