5/25 MLW Fusion TV Report: Strickland defends MLW Title against Pentagon Jr., Santana Garrett vs. Chelsea Green (a/k/a Laurel Van Ness), Simon Gotch Prizefight Challenge, condoms beer and cigs

By Kris Karcher, PWTorch contributor


SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...

MLW TV REPORT
MAY 25, 2018
ORLANDO, FLA.
AIRED ON BE-IN SPORTS NETWORK

Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Rich Bocchini

-Shane Strickland pulled up in a red convertible with Barrington Hughes. Reporters swarmed the car and asked Strickland if he was ready for Pentagon tonight. He said that he was and that Pentagon was not ready for him. Selina da La Renta showed up and said that his car wasn’t the only thing that was rented, his title was as well. Barrington Hughes yelled Brooh-ha (Not sure how to spell that) which said means witch. Strickland said more like Bit… then they cut. 

-Schiavone and Bocchini introduce the show and remind fans that tonight the World Heavyweight Championship will be defended for the first time on Fusion.

(1) Santana Garrett vs. Chelsea Green (a/k/a Lauren Van Ness from Impact). For those who don’t know, Chelsea Green is better known as Laurel Van Ness in IMPACT wrestling and as Reclusa in Lucha Underground. The two go back and forth chain wrestling to start the match. The announcers played up the friendship between the two. Green hit Garrett with a hard slap to the face and then used the ref as a shield to gain the upper hand. Green then spread lipstick all over her face (something she does as Laurel Van Ness) and turned up the intensity of the match. Green continually pulled on Garrett’s hair to gain an advantage. The two fought on the ring apron and Garrett hit a leg sweep. Back inside the ring, Garrett hit a cross body for a two. Then a Russian leg sweep for another two count. Chelsea hit a sloppy lung blower for a two count. Garret hit a roll through DDT for the win. After the match Green hugs Garrett who half-heartedly returns the hug. 

WINNER: Santana Garrett.

(Comments: This is the first women’s match on Fusion. I like these two women, but this match was just average. Some of the moves were sloppy, but they told an interesting story where the friendship decayed rather quickly and Green held nothing back in her attempt to put away her friend.)

-A promo aired hyping the main event, and then a Simon Gotch Prize Fight Challenge coming up next. 

-They replayed the footage from last week where Tom Lawler beat up Jimmy Havoc and tossed him into a ditch. 

-Tom Lawler cut a backstage promo where he “apologized” to Havoc and MLW and the fans. He said he was sorry that Havoc cant take a beating despite all the death matches he’s competed in. He said that if you step up to Lawler, you will get what you deserve.  

(2) Simon Gotch vs. Davey Santiago (Prizefight challenge. [last 5 mins with Gotch] Gotch cut an in-ring promo where he said that Team Filthy has thrown down the gauntlet and Gotch has extended this challenge to the best athlete in the world. He said if you can last 5 minutes with Gotch you will win $250. Danny Santiago (a small bald man in a karate gi, complete with white belt) walked out and answered the challenge. Santiago started dancing around the ring in an effort to distract Gotch. Gotcha grabbed his leg, supplied him, and then gave him the Gotch Piledriver for the win. 

WINNER: Simon Gotch.

(Comments: Quick squash match. Nothing much to it. Hopefully, this challenge leads to someone like Barrington Hughes or maybe someone with more credibility surprising Gotch and taking his money.)

-Kaci Lennox was backstage outside Maxwell Jay Friedman’s locker room. Out walked Joey Janela and Aria Blake walked out. When Lennox asked what they were doing in MJF’s locker room Janela said nothing. He said definitely not anything bad and then walked off. 

-A commercial aired promoting the June 7 TV tapings where the Tag Team Titles will be defended. 

-Kaci Lennox is backstage again, this time with Maxwell Jacob Friedman. Friedman smelled something from outside his room. When he went inside there was a mess of chairs, clothes, beer cans, cigarettes, and even condoms. MJF freaked out asking who did this. Lennox told her Janela and Blake where in his room earlier. MJF said they will be hearing from his lawyer. 

-A promo aired highlighting the Shane Strickland and Pentagon feud that has been taking place over the last few weeks. 

-Tale of the tape was shown for both wrestlers. 

(3) Shane Strickland (c) vs. Pentagon Jr.  for the MLW World Heavyweight Championship. After Pentagon’s entrance, a Mariachi band and a “beautiful lady” enter the ring and sing the Mexican National Anthem. I’m not sure if this was intended to draw heat. If it was, it did not work as the crowd cheered them and it seemed as though some even sang along. They did a really good job of making this match feel like a big deal. Both Strickland and Pentagon got great pops and each had the crowd chanting for them throughout the match. The two started hot, exchanging blows and kicks before the action quickly spilled outside the ring. Strickland sat Pentagon onto of a fan at ringside and did a weak pump handle slam as Pentagon was still on the fan. Pentagon used a camera cable to choke Strickland at ringside. He used that cable to tie Strickland to the ropes as he slapped his exposed chest. The ref looked very awkward in this segment as he clearly should have been untying Strickland but instead just paced around looking like he had no idea what to do. Low key came out and set up a chair at the top of the entrance ramp. He sat and watched the remainder of the match. Once the action got back inside the ring Strickland sold a leg injury and Pentagon did a good job of targeting that injury. Strickland hit a cutter for a two count. Strickland went for Swerve City but Pentagon blocked it. Pentagon hit two sling blades in a row but Strickland sprang right back up and hit an enziguri. (c) back from break the two were outside the ring with Strickland in control. Pentagon hit a nasty looking Canadian Destroyer on the ring apron. Pentagon gets a two count as he slides Strickland back into the ring. Strickland caught a leg and hit a nice back to the head knee on Pentagon. Pentagon hit the fear factor for a near fall. Pentagon set up a chair in the center of the ring. Schiavone struggled to defend why the ref would the chair to stay. Pentagon attempted to superplex Strickland onto the chair but Strickland revered and Pentagon ended up sitting in the chair. When Strickland jumped from the top rope Pentagon sprang up and caught Strickland for a powerbomb. He then hit the Pentagon Driver for a two count. Selina de La Renta hopped onto the ring apron and tried to distract Strickland but ended up getting sprayed in the face with the red mist by Pentagon. Strickland took advantage of the distraction and hit the Swerve Stomp.  

WINNER: Shane Strickland

(Comments: Decent match between these two. Not as good as either of the Pentagon vs. Fenix matches but not far behind. The crowd was very into the match and MLW did a great job of presenting this like it was a big deal. I hope Pentagon is going to be sticking around as I have enjoyed all of his matches in MLW.) 

FINAL THOUGHTS: Good show tonight with the introduction of the women, and a serviceable main event. Hopefully, we don’t have to suffer from too many Simon Gotch “Prize Fights”. No matches were announced for next week that I saw.)


NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S REPORT: 5/18 MLW Fusion TV Report: Fenix vs. Pentagon, Team TBD vs. The Dirty Blondes, Brazil vs. Miguel, Selina home visit

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