8/17 MLW TV Report: John Hennigan vs. Low Ki, The Hart Foundation (Teddy Hart & Davey Boy Smith Jr.) vs. ACH & Rich Swann, Tom Lawler vs. Mike Parrow

By Kris Karcher, PWTorch contributor


AUGUST 17, 2018

Announcers: Tony Schiavone, Matt Striker

– A Jim Neidhart tribute opened up the show showing a graphic of Neidhard.

– The MLW into played.

– A video package highlighting last week’s main event of Teddy Hart vs. John Hennigan was showed.

– Schiavone introduces the show. Matt Striker is back this week. They previewed the championship match between Low Ki and John Hennigan, the dojo challenge between team filthy and the Stud Stable, and they showed the current lineup for the War Games match coming up on September 4th.

– Kaci Lennox was backstage with ACH and Rich Swann. She asked them how they felt about their match with the Hart Foundation. They said they weren’t scared. Swann said he grew up watching Brett Hart. Teddy Hart, Davey Boy Smith Jr., and Brain Pillman Jr. walked up and interrupted ACH and Swann. Hart said that ACH and Swann have been making fun of him and laughing in his face. Hart grabbed the sunglasses Swann had on his head and said they look like Brett Hart sunglasses. He called him a little kid and said he remembers giving him his autograph at a show ten years ago. Swann put the sunglasses (which were Kanye style glasses, not Bret Hart glasses) on and said he was going to block out the haters.

– Striker said ACH and Swann have a championship tag match coming up next week.

(1) The Hart Foundation (Teddy Hart & Davey Boy Smith Jr. w/Brian Pillman Jr.) vs. ACH & Rich Swann

The Hart Foundation requested the Canadian National Anthem to be played. Some fans were very disrespectful and chanted USA during the anthem. In the line of the night, Schiavone said that ACH and Swann’s enthusiasm was infectious. Striker said, “you know there’s a cream for that.” Smith and ACH started the match. Smith overpowers ACH early. ACH could not manage to shoulder tackle Smith after a few attempts so instead of going for one more try he faked hitting the ropes and took out Smith’s knee. Smith tug in Hart and ACH tug in Swann who flipped into the ring impressively. Hart took over on offense and controlled Swann with some mat wrestling. Hart did his impressive multiple springboard reversal into an arm drag. They showed a small graphic during the match promoting Low Ki vs. Hennigan. This was much smoother than last week. Good improvement on the format of that in match promotion. Hart hit Swann with a side slam for a two count. Hart hit a sunset flip pinning combination out of the corner for a two broken up by ACH. Smith comes in, picks up Swann, and throws him to the outside on top of ACH. (c) Back from commercial the Hart foundation are still in control. Hart went tot he top rope but ACH jumped up and took him off the rope with a hurricanana, Swann hit a frog splash for a two count. ACH teased putting Hart in a sharpshooter, then he did put on the move but it only lasted a few seconds before Smith broke it up. While the ref was distracted Pillman Jr. hit Swann with a cane and Hart gave Swann an electric chair into a lung blower for the win.

WINNERS: The Hart Foundation (Teddy Hart & Davey Boy Smith Jr.)

(KARCHER’S ANALYSIS: Not a bad match but really never got a chance to get going. Hart showed off some of his unique offense but no one else really got a chance to shine. I guess they are going full heel with Pillman. Interesting choice as I think there was a lot of buzz around him and most fans seem like they want to cheer him. I’ll be interested in following his progress week to week. It really can’t be said how great Matt Striker and Tony Schiavone are together on the announce desk. They have a great chemistry that leads down some very humorous but also informative tangents. Striker is quickly becoming one of my favorite announcers. He knows all the moves and even the intricacies of all the holds. He calls the action perfectly and adds useful background info. Please MLW, make a deal and get him on the team full time. Rich Bocchini isn’t bad, but he’s no Striker by a long shot.)

– Matt Striker was in the War Games control center. He recapped the feud between Strickland and Callihan and how it lead to the War Games match coming up. He gave the Rules of the War Games match which are.

  • a cage surrounds two rings
  • two teams made of five
  • a coin flip decides which team enters first
  • one on one for 5:00
  • winner of the coin flip comes out for two on one
  • alternating team fighters enter every 2:00
  • once all combatants are in the cage, victory is won by submission or surrender

– Striker also said that the winner of the title fight tonight will defend the title and PCO will be taking on Brody King

– Kaci Lennox was backstage with Strickland, Hughes, Brazil, and Hennigan. Lennox asked Hennigan about his upcoming title match. He asked Strickland for advice and Strickland said don’t let him kick you in the head. Hennigan said he’s aware that Low Ki has “educated feet” but he said that Low Ki’s feet only went to community college and Hennigan’s feet got a four-year degree at a university. Lennox said that Abyss was going to be on Callihan’s war games team. (He is? When was that announced?) Strickland said that was a big addition but he’s confident in the guys he has on his team. Out of nowhere Callihan’s team barged in and started attacking Strickland’s group. Tommy Dreamer then appeared with a Kendo Stick and backed off Callihan’s team.

– Striker said the Dojo Challenge was coming up next.

– They showed footage from “moments ago” of Hennigan in a stairway suffering the after-effects of an additional attack supposedly from Callihan and his team.

– Konnan and The Lucha Brothers (Pentagon Jr. and Rey Fenix) were backstage. Konnan said Salina de La Renta played herself by trying to hold Pentagon and Fenix down with bad contracts. He said they ripped them up and now they are free. (I don’t think that’s how contracts work.) Pentagon Jr. spoke in Spanish, and then Fenix said bring on anyone they are ready.

– They showed footage of Tom Lawler training at his gym. They then showed Colonel Parker outside who said he had a referee and he was ready to go inside for a fight.

(2) Tom Lawler vs. Mike Parrow 

All of the members of the Stud Stable and a referee entered the cage where Lawler was alone. Hager stepped up like he was going to be the one to fight Lawler but at the last second Mike Parrow stepped up as the fighter. The ref called for the start of the match and Lawler and Parrow squared off. Lawler hit a couple body shots. They were feeling each other out like it was an actual MMA fight. Lawler shot on Parrow but Parrow blocked the takedown. Lawler used his strength to lift Parrow and take him down against the cage. Parrow managed to stand back up and hit Lawler with an elbow. Lawler went down and Parrow started reigning down blows. Lawler transitioned into an armbar but Parrow lifted him and threw Lawler against the cage. Lawler ran at Parrow who lifted him into the air. Lawler grabbed onto a pipe above the cage and wrapped his legs around Parrow’s head. Lawler then dropped down and hit a hurricanrana and then attempted to put a kimura but it took him a while to get it locked on. Eventually, he did. Parrow tapped out but Lawler kept the hold in place. He called for Hager to get into the cage or he was going to break Parrow’s arm. Hager did not get into the cage but a loud crash was heard off in the back of the gym. They showed the Dirty Blondes standing over Seth Petruzelli (Lawler’s trainer). Lawler jumped out of the cage to go help his trainer who was laying in a literal pool of blood.

WINNER: Tom Lawler

(KARCHER’S ANALYSIS: interesting “match” if that’s what you want to call it. some of the stuff looked cool like both men deadlifting out of submission holds but other things like any of the striking or takedowns looked awkward. That spot with the pipe was creative but executed very sloppily as it actually took Parrow two attempts to lift Lawler high enough to grab the pipe. All in all, it was an interesting segment or match or whatever and it furthers the rival between Team Filthy and The Stud Stable in an interesting and unique way. I’d like to see a good match between these two but unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like anyone on The Stud Stable is really capable of much in the ring.) 

– Vanessa Croft was backstage with Low Ki and Salina de La Renta. Croft was very timid asking them a question and La Renta jumped down her throat. Low Ki slowly said John Hennigan to help her out. Low Ki said Hennigan lucked into his title shot. Low Ki said he was going to punish him and make him the first sacrificial lamb to his title reign. He said the Mayor of slam town is about to go broke trying to be something he’s not. La Renta sent Croft off.  [c]

– Back from break, Schiavone gave an update on Seth Petruzelli saying he was on his way to a hospital. (wait I thought all wrestlers went to local medical facilities when they got injured?)

– They showed the tale of the tape for the upcoming championship match. Striker reminded everyone that Hennigan was attacked before the match.

(3) John Hennigan vs. Low Ki (c) (w/Salina de La Renta) – MLW World Heavyweight Championship match

Hennigan had his ribs bandaged up. La Renta came to the ring with a cane for some reason I wonder if that will factor into the match at all. Both wrestlers were tentative, testing each other out in the beginning. Low Ki attempted to apply an armor through the ropes but Hennigan blocked by locking his fingers. The two grapple around on the matt for a bit applying hold and reversing each other. Low Ki picked up Hennigan’s headband and put it on teasing Hennigan. The bandage on Hennigan’s ribs quickly slipped off as it looked like he had applied that bandages himself. Lot’s of leverage based grappling from each wrestler. Low Ki hit Hennigan with a few hard chops to the chest and a hard headbutt. Hennigan fought back and hit some knees to the chest. Low Ki whipped Hennigan into the corner. Hennigan jumped to the apron, then slid into the ring, then back out onto the apron and kicked low ki in the head from the outside. When Hennigan tried to follow up by going to the top rope Low Ki knocked him out of the ring to the outside. Low Ki pursued Hennigan outside the ring and bounced Hennigan’s head off the apron before rolling him back into the ring. Hennigan tried to toss Low Ki into the corner but Low Ki jumped up onto the ropes instead and hit a hard double stomp onto Hennigan’s chest. Low Ki continued to stomp away on Hennigan. Low Ki tossed Hennigan over the top rope and Hennigan’s stomach hit the rope as he bounced back into the ring. Low Ki hit a lick double kick as Hennigan charged him in the corner. Hennigan hit a spinning heel kick to the back of Low Ki’s head. As Low Ki was sitting on the middle rope facing away from the ring Hennigan hit the ropes and slid underneath Low Ki and hit a sliding German Suplex. I love that move. Hennigan goes to the top rope and went for a corkscrew splash but Low Ki got out of the way. Hennigan landed on his feet and then hit an enziguri for a two count. Hennigan went for his leg drop springboard of the corner but Low Ki sprang up and grabbed him before he came down. Low Ki then applies a drag sleeper from the top turnbuckle. Hennigan hit a Spanish fly for a two count. Whining hit a running Knee to the face and then went for Starship Pain but Low Ki rolled out of the way. Low Ki then hit his double stomp for a two count. Low Ki then hit the switchblade kick to the back (was supposed to be the head but he clearly hit the back) for the win.

(KARCHER’S ANALYSIS: Pretty boring match to be honest. It never really got out of second gear. Hell, it barely got out of first gear. I’m not sure why these two decided to have such a slow-paced match that was largely a grappling game with few high impact moves sprinkled in. The match didn’t really try and tell any semblance of a story and just overall struggled to find a proper pace. The crowd was dead too. I don’t usually look at the crowd during matches but I managed to spot two different people literally yawing during this match. I expected Low Ki to win, however, I did think they might try to protect him by have La Renta interfere to help Low ki. I’m sort of glad they didn’t do that as they are doing a decent job of setting up Low Ki as a dominant champion. I’m not sure who is going to be his next challenger. Perhaps Tom Lawler after his feud with Hager is merciful over.) 

– Schiavone announced next week would be The Dirty Blondes vs. Team Filthy. Striker reminded us that The Lucha Bros will defend the tag titles against ACH and Rich Swann next week as well.

FINAL THOUGHTS: A decent night for some storyline progression but light on good wrestling. The tag match was too short, the Dojo challenge wasn’t a real match and the championship match at the end struggled to build any momentum at all. I do like the storyline of The Stud Stable attacking Lawler’s trainer as I think that adds some fuel to that feud that desperately needs some. I liked the segment with the two War Games teams brawling backstage although I thought some of the surprises were handled sloppily in that segment. Abyss being announced as the last mystery partner came out of nowhere and was handled like it was already previously known. Tommy Dream coming in for the save was cool in theory but it was all so rushed and dreamer didn’t even talk at all. He should have turned to his new teammates and at least said something to them like “hey let’s kick some ass” or something along those lines. Dreamer has some great intensity with his promos and it’s a waste to have him on screen for 30 seconds swinging a kendo stick and that’s all. I’m really looking forward to the championship tag match next week. With the amount of talent between the four participants, I think we are guaranteed a great match. That’s all for this week. Be sure to check back here next week for Kris Karcher’s (That’s me) in depth TV recap of MLW Fusion right here on PWTORCH.com.

NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S REPORT: 8/10 MLW TV Report: Teddy Hart vs. John Hennigan, Sami Callihan vs. Kotto Brazil, Friedman vs. Joey Janela

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