5/3 MLW Fusion TV Taping Report: Jake Hager (a/k/a Jack Swagger), Rich Swann, Sami Callihan, Col. Robert Parker, MVP, Strickland, Pentagon Jr.


MAY 3, 2018

This MLW Fusion tapings event was billed as “MLW: Intimidation Games”.

Ring announcer Tim Barr opened by asking the crowd to refrain from cursing or making vulgar gestures, then began tossing out free BeIN Sports shirts.

(1) Santana Garrett pinned Chelsea Green. The wrestlers traded submissions during a feeling out process, targeting one another’s heads. As Garrett was looking pleased to be having even match with her good friend, Green slapped her. Garrett fired up and Green backed off. Green revealed a stick of black lipstick and sloppily painted it across her mouth in a nod to her unhinged Laurel Van Ness character. Green repeatedly slammed Garrett’s head in to a turnbuckle pad, ignoring the referee’s orders to quit grabbing her opponent’s hair. Garrett mounted a comeback, nailing many of her signature spots. Green hit a backstabber for a near fall. Garrett found victory with a swinging DDT.

As Garrett celebrated, Green came to her senses and embraced her friend apologetically.

Shane Strickland was shown arriving earlier in the day with Barrington Hughes. The two took selfies with fans before Salina de la Renta confronted them and signaled “cero miero.” Once de la Renta departed, Hughes suggested a new “brouha” chant for Strickland.

Team Filthy appeared to announce the first ever Simon Gotch prize fight. If anyone can defeat Gotch, they will win $250. A white belt in a gi appeared to no music to accept the challenge.

(2) Simon Gotch pinned a white belt. The white belt displayed exuberant yet questionable footwork before Gotch handily put him away with a sit-out piledriver.

Gotch taunted the floored white belt with the $250 before exiting.

(3) The Stud Stable defeated Team TBD with Rhett Giddins via pinfall. Colonel Robert Parker introduced the Stud Stable before the match. Giddins and Parrow stood toe-to-toe before the bell. Mike Patrick and Jimmy Yuta got things started in a high gear before tagging their respective partners. Leo Brien tagged Parrow, who promptly sent Jason Cade comically fleeing for Giddins. The big men tested one another with forearm strikes before Parrow flattened Giddins with a senton, and Giddins retalited with a massive dropkick. Yuta tagged in and was sent soaring by Parrow for his gumption. The Stud Stable leaned on the numbers game to isolate Yuta. Parrow hauled Yuta around in a torture rack, and flung him in to a turnbuckle. Yuta managed to temporarily ground the Stable and tag Cade, who capitalized on Yuta’s efforts to score a near fall on Brien with a frog splash. Cade soon found himself alone, and fell to a running powerslam from Brien.

Parker and Parrow reaffirmed their new partnership with a handshake as they departed.

MJF entered, and flicked a hat from a fan’s head after feigning the offer of a handshake. He took the mic to list MVP’s various nicknames, including “Ronin,” and suggested “The Jabronin Ronin” as a new one.

(4) MJF pinned MVP. MJF tried opening at his own pace, but MVP took charge by pulling MJF in by trunks. The referee failed to count MVP’s pin attempt until MVP commanded him to. The referee then put himself in the way of a big boot attempt by MVP, giving MJF the advantage. MJF attempted Ballin’ on his prone adversary, and MVP used the opportunity to even the odds with strikes and slams before hitting his own Ballin’. MVP scored a near fall with a fisherman suplex pinning combination. Sami Callihan and Leon Scott interfered, but MVP crushed them by leaping over the top rope to the outside. The distraction afforded MJF a window for a low blow, however, and MJF then leveraged MVP in to a decisive fall with illegal use of the ropes.

On screen, Joey Janela was shown viciously attacking MJF backstage with a kendo stick.

(5) Barrington Hughes pinned Jay Sky. Hughes charged at his cannon fodder, and the referee barely got out of the way in time. One backdrop later and Hughes had collected another dominating MLW win in short order.

Prior to doors PW Torch caught up with Hughes, who spoke glowingly about MLW and the team behind the promotion.

(6) “Filthy” Tom Lawlor defeated Fred Yehi via referee stoppage. Yehi shocked the lethal Lawlor by controlling much of the heated contest’s early phases. Lawlor eventually wore Yehi down, working Yehi’s head with various holds. Yehi collected his energy and snapped in to reversal mode, culminating with a full Nelson suplex for a near fall. He drove his knee in to Lawlor’s skull over and over, and collected another two-count with an enthusiastic powerbomb. Yehi then took his eyes off his opponent for just one moment, but that moment was enough to allow Lawlor to lock in one final chokehold for the win.

On the ramp, an interviewer fumbled with a mic before Lawlor swiped it from her and asked her name. She answered and he replied, “Vanessa? That’s an ugly name for such a pretty girl.” Lawlor went on to ridicule Shane Strickland’s declaration that MLW is “Swerve’s house.” He said, “Everyone knows Orlando is filthy.”

MJF placed himself at a VIP table at ringside.

(7) Rich Swann pinned Kotto Brazil. Swann’s surprise appearance was received warmly by the MLW crowd. Brazil kept pace with the amped Swann, looking particularly strong upon earning a near fall with a stunner. Reacting to a fan, MJF could be heard insisting, “I am not here to entertain you, sir. Watch the match!” After a sequence of evasive flips, Swann prowled, and wore Brazil down with various strikes. Swann leapt from the top turnbuckle, but Brazil kicked him in the gut. High spot after high spot led to Brazil chaining a sunset flip powerbomb in to a relentless crossface that Swann finally broke by getting a toe on the rope. Swann found his second wind, and won with a phoenix splash.

The wrestlers put their fists together in mutual respect after the bell.

As Brazil exited up the ramp, Sami Callihan’s music began to drone and Callihan struck Brazil with a bat. Sawyer Fulton and Leon Scott joined Callihan, and threatened MJF at MJF’s VIP table.

(8) Sami Callihan (w/ Sawyer Fulton, Leon Scott) pinned Joey Janela (w/Aria Blake). Janela was originally advertised to be wrestling a debuting Brian Cage, but the promotional materials replaced Cage with a question mark in the days leading up to the tapings. The fight quickly spilled outside. Callihan gouged Janela’s eyes, and delivered a piledriver to the apron. Callihan comfortably kept the proceedings under control, affording himself plenty of time to taunt the crowd. Callihan spat a thick wad of saliva in his own hand, then let it drip back in to his own mouth. Janela withstood a chop, fed off the crowd, and delivered consecutive knees to Callihan. As he went for a pin, the referee counted three without noticing Callihan’s foot on the rope. The referee called off Callihan’s music and resumed the match. Callihan took advantage of an upset Janela, who no-sold a second piledriver. Janela splatted to the mat when Callihan rolled away from a moonsault. Callihan threw Janela in to MJF’s VIP table, spraying ice and champagne everywhere. Callihan declared “bye bye” as he hit a shoulder breaker and pinned Janela.

As Callihan and his cronies left, MJF took to the ring to stomp and pour champagne on Janela. A doctor was called to ringside to examine Janela, who was helped away by the ring crew.

(9) MVP defeated Leon Scott (with Sami Callihan & Sawyer Fulton) via disqualification. Callihan limped as he led his crew to the ring, using his bat as a cane. MVP took it to Scott straight away, clocking him with rights and a big boot. Callihan ran in swinging his bat, and the referee called for the bell as the match broke down. Fulton and Scott held MVP in place for Callihan, but Kotto Brazil appeared and dropkicked Callihan from the top turnbuckle. The menacing trio quickly regained their upper hand, however, and Brazil took a bat to the ribs for his efforts.

Tim Barr announced a Fusion taping for June 7, with tickets going on sale tomorrow (May 4) at 10 a.m.

(10) Rey Fenix (with Salina de la Renta) pinned ACH. ACH entered first, then danced to Fenix’s music. The competitors flipped and slid from one end of the ring to the other, trying to find an opening for attack. Finally locked on target, ACH springboarded to the outside and planked on to Fenix. Fenix returned fire, sailing in to the crowd and practically surfing on a row of evacuated chairs due to momentum. Fenix torqued in to a dramatic swanton from the top turnbuckle. ACH found a heavy German suplex for a near fall, and stomped on Fenix’ hand. Noting ACH’s taped shoulder, Fenix drove his opponent’s vulnerable body part in to the corner then backflipped himself in to a cutter for a two-count. Fenix shushed the crowd and laid in a chop. He leapt at ACH from the top turnbuckle, appearing to come dangerously close to making contact with the GILT Nightclub’s disco ball. When Fenix summited once more, ACH deftly climbed in to a devastating bicycle kick to fell the flying luchador. After trading kicks, ACH hit a suplex for a near fall. Fenix scored the victory with a Fenix Driver.

The wrestlers shook hands after the bell.

(11) Jake Hager (w/Colonel Robert Parker, The Dirty Blondes) submitted Jeff Cobb. Parker demanded the crowd’s attention to introduce Hager as “the man who rules the world.” The Dirty Blondes preceded Hager, carrying a stretcher to ringside. Hager mounted a firm offense, targeting Cobb’s ankle. The resilient Cobb was no match for the latest Stud Stable acquisition. Cobb tapped to the ankle lock after a relatively brief contest.

From the ramp, Hager blew Cobb a kiss before disappearing through the curtain.

(12) Shane Strickland pinned Pentagon, Jr. (with Salina de la Renta) to retain the MLW Championship. Pentagon entered with a mariachi band, who played the Mexican National Anthem in the ring. The wrestlers soaked in their dueling chants, then Pentagon shut down “Swerve’s house” by simply raising his hand. Pentagon used a camera cord to tie Strickland to the middle rope, and unleashed a score of chops on his prey. He released the champion, then used the cord as a whip. Pentagon kept Strickland on the mat, swiftly kicking him down each time he attempted to stand up. Only when Pentagon averted his attention to senior official Frank Gastineau was Strickland able to fit in some offense. Strickland stomped a mudhole in to the contender, looking exasperated as he relented to the referee’s count. Strickland lowered his knee pad, but Pentagon recovered and kicked the champion back to the mat. The two began going after one another’s arms with submission holds. Pentagon managed to escape before Strickland snapped his arm the way Strickland had snapped Matt Riddle’s arm. Pentagon scored a startlingly close near fall from a Pentagon Driver. He arranged a chair in the middle of the ring, and perched Strickland on the top turnbuckle. Strickland shoved Pentagon on to the chair, but Pentagon countered the resulting attack in to a package piledriver for another incredibly close near fall. Pentagon accidentally sprayed red mist in de la Renta’s face when Strickland dodged. While Pentagon reeled as he realized his own actions, Strickland drilled him with a double stomp from the top and retained his title.

Strickland took the mic, looked at de la Renta, and proclaimed, “Brouha. You now realize whose house this really is.”

As Pentagon started to the back the way he’d come, de la Renta shook her finger at him and beckoned him in a different direction.

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