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MLW FUSION: EPISODE 23
SEPTEMBER 21, 2018
TAPED IN FT. LAUDERDALE, FLA.
AIRED ON BE-IN SPORTS NETWORK
REPORT BY KRIS KARCHER, PWTORCH CORRESPONDENT
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Rich Bocchini
(Quick Plug: I wanted to quickly plug the latest episode of The Pro Wrestling Boom hosted by Jason Powell. His guest this week was MLW creator Court Bauer. Jason and Court talked with an astonishing amount of openness about Bauer’s plans for MLW including great insight on who he’s pushing and why. This is must listen for MLW fans as it adds incredible insight into the inner workings of the company as well as their plans going forward.)
The show opened with The Lucha Bros and Konnan in the ring hyping up the crowd. Konnan said he wants to talk about Salina de La Renta. Konnan said he didn’t like her methods and how she was giving Pentagon Jr. and Fenix contracts with bad terms. He said La Renta is always going to be one step behind Konnan. La Renta came out with Rickey Martinez by her side. Bocchini said La Renta was not going to put up with Konnan calling her out. Martinez was holding a piece of paper that Schiavone said might be a contract. La Renta said Pentagon and Fenix are indeed no longer under contract with her but she said the rumors that they tore up their contracts was false and instead she granted them their early release. She said she would give them one last chance. Martinez handed The pieces of paper to both men. La Renta asked Konnan to stand in the corner and said that it was easy for someone like him to swoop in and call himself a promoter when she did all the work and put the gold around their waists. She said she was younger and better than Konnan. She said their contracts include English classes and a little bit of rebranding. She said she had been talking to Hunter (I guess she was implying Triple H?) She said if they sign those contracts they get to walk out on MLW. Schiavone said there has been a lot of interest in the Lucha Bros coming from Stamford (The home base for WWE). Fenix said he has an answer for La Renta. Pentagon then said something in Spanish and the two ripped up the contracts. Konnan then got in La Renta’s face. He said it doesn’t matter if she is a man, woman, marsupial, or even a Bruja (witch in Spanish), if you stick your nose in his face you will be checked hard. He then said something to the crowd in Spanish.
The Fusion intro played.
They previewed the upcoming matches tonight including MJF & Aria Blake vs. Joey Ryan & Taya Valkyrie and PCO vs. Brody King.
(1) The Dirty Blondes (Micheal Patrick & Leo Brien) & Parrow (w/Colonel Parker) vs. The Hart Foundation (Teddy Hart & Brian Pillman Jr & Davey Boy Smith) – Hurricane Tag Team Battle – All men legal at once
During The Dirty Blondes’ entrance, they replayed footage of the tag match from a few weeks ago where Tom Lawler used a chair and then tossed that chair to Parrow who got blamed for the hit. The crowd was chanting “Teddy” as Hart made his entrance. The Hart Foundation jumped the Stud Stable before the bell. Hart and Smith Irish whipped The Dirty Blondes into each other. The two then teamed up on Parrow in the corner. Then tried to whip Pillman into Parrow but Parrow got the bootup. Parrow then choke slammed Pillman and Hart and Smith resumed their double team as Pillman rolled to the outside. Hart held Smiths’s hand as he stood on the top rope and hit a huge moonsault onto all three opposing members on the outside. back inside the ring, Smith hits Brien with a jackknife for a two count. Hart hit a Canadian destroyer on Patrick followed by Smith hitting a side suplex on Patrick. Pillman then took out both Dirty Blondes with a top rope cross body. Parrow then came back into the ring and picked up Pillman over his shoulders and threw him into the top turnbuckle. For some reason, Smith and Hart had gone back to their corners and stood on the apron as this was happening even though the match was supposedly under hurricane (tornado) rules. Smith came in and hit a standing side hick on Parrow followed by Hart hitting a DDT off the top rope. Hart then hit a moonsault from the middle rope for a two count broken up by Patrick. The Dirty Blondes then teamed up on Hart. Smith and Patrick starting brawling on the apron. Parrow hit a standing splash on Hart for a two count broken up by Pillman. Smith hit Parrow with The Calgary Stampede and Hart assisted with the cover for a two count. After the match, Parker was in the ring and he was berating Parrow. Kasey Lennox then came to the ring to interview The Stud Stable. Parker said Parrow had two left feet and he was a lazy bafoon. He said Parrow was fired and then The Dirty Blondes jumped Parrow. They hit Parrow with a double Alabama Slam.
WINNERS: The Hart Foundation (Teddy Hart & Brian Pillman Jr. & Davey Boy Smith Jr.)
(Karcher’s Analysis: Not a very good match. On top of it being really short, it was also really sloppy. No one seemed to really know what was going on. I was very excited to see Pillman Jr. in the ring for the first time but he really didn’t get much of an opportunity here to show what he can do. I’ll be interested in his first singles match or at least his first regular tag match that way I can see him one on one and judge his selling abilities as well as his ability to work the crowd on his own. He’s got hype, now let’s see if he has talent. The post-match angle with the Stud Stable turning on Parrow fell slightly flat to me. I like Parrow and I think he has some great size and even a small amount of charisma that could take him far combined with his size. Hopefully, this leads to bigger and better things for Parrow because The Stud Stable is like a death sentence right now. That whole faction is just treading on water. Every feud they are involved in just feels very lackluster at this moment. Maybe it would be wise to pull back on featuring them so much. Some time off TV might help freshen them up when and if they return. Also, it was very strange for this match to even exist in the first place seeing as both teams are technically positioned as heels. Unless MLW is trying to ride the fan reactions to Teddy Hart and shift The Hart Foundation into a babyface team this match was never going to get the heat it needed with the crowd.)
They showed a nice highlight package of the War Games match from last week including the post-match beatdown of Jimmy Havoc at the hands of Callihan and his Death Machines. Then they cut to Jimmy Havoc cutting a promo. He said he understands Callihan was mad that they lost but he wasn’t the one who tapped out but rather one of Callihan’s kids. He said what Callihan did to him at the end of the match will not go unpunished. He said they will fight and since Callihan is angry he will make mistakes, but he is calm and he will enjoy it.
They previewed PCO vs. Brody king still to come later and up next MJF & Blake vs. Joey Ryan and Taya Valkyrie
They cut to a backstage segment with MJF and Aria Blake. MJF said he’s not that into the whole “women’s wrestling thing” and on top of that, he’s not so sure he’s that into the whole “women’s voting thing” either. Blake said she would love nothing more than to snatch her (Valkyrie) bald or even claw her eyes out. She said she could also just leave her laying like she did Joey Janela. MJF said he was into that. He then said he was rock hard. He pulled up his shirt to show he was talking about his abs and said his Keto is going great.
(2) Maxwell Jacob Friedman & Aria Blake vs. Joey Ryan & Taya Valkyrie
During MJF’s entrance, they replayed some highlights of MJF’s Middleweight championship match against Joey Ryan. Ryan and Valkyrie had on matching furry boots. Ryan gave his lollipop to a man in the crowd. The crowd chanted “You sick F!@#”. Ryan then rubbed baby oil all over his body. Valkyrie even helped rub it on his back. MJF and Ryan started the match. MJF said he was never gonna touch “it” (Ryan’s member). Ryan said maybe Blake will touch it. Blake tagged in and then felt up Ryan’s chest before stretching his chest. Blake took Ryan down with a neck braker and then hit a running senton before tagging in MJF. As MJF and Ryan fought the crowd chanted “You will touch it” at MJF. MJF went for the reverse atomic drop on Ryan but hurt his own knee in the process. Ryan tagged in Valkyrie who applied a drop toe hold sending MJF straight into Ryan’s crotch. MJF said he was not going to hit a woman so Valkyrie hit him with a huge chop. Valkyrie hit a knee to the face for a two count. Valkyrie tagged Ryan back in. Black kicked Ryan in the back as he hit the ropes allowing MJF to gain the upper hand. MJF tagged in Blake who hit a swinging neck breaker on Ryan for a two count. Blake tagged in MJF who provoked Valkyrie by saying she wants to touch it. The ref stopped Valkyrie from entering but was distracted and missed the double team on Ryan in the other corner. Ryan fought back and hit a pump handle suplex on MJF. Both men were down and crawled to tag in the women. Valkyrie started hot whipping Blake into the corner and hitting some running splashes and running knees to the face as Blake was seated in the corner. Blake hit Valkyrie with a double head kicks and both women were down in the ring. Both women made tags and MJF poked Ryan in the eyes. Ryan hit MJF with a spine buster for a two count. Ryan pulled a lollipop out of his pants and stuffed it in MJF’s mouth. Ryan went for the superkick but MJF threw Valkyrie into the kick instead. Blake tried to low blow Ryan but hurt her hand instead. MJF snuck up behind Ryan and rolled him up for the three count. After the match, Blake’s arm was bent really awkwardly. She must be double jointed. MJF cut a promo from the top of the ramp where he reminded everyone who he is and who Aria Blake is. he said he took the sleaze out of professional wrestling. He called out Joey Janela and said Janela was a Jersey shore wannabe and not a bad boy but rather just a little boy. Janela then came out and attacked MJF. Janela sounded away on MJF but MJF hit Janela in the crotch and then scurried off.
WINNERS: MJF & Aria Blake
(Karcher’s Analysis: Decent match. I liked the semi-comedy spots from Ryan and I think Ryan and MJF play off each other so perfectly. Blake is still a little green looking in the ring and doesn’t seem like she has reached her full potential yet. She’s not bad by any means but her stuff could look smoother and her body language is a bit stiff. She looks like she is trying really hard to remember the sequences instead of looking like a fighter in her element. Valkyrie didn’t impress me as much as she has in the past. Perhaps she just didn’t get enough of a spotlight in this match but this girl can really go when given the opportunity. I’m excited to see what MLW can put together in terms of a women division as so far we have only seen one women’s match on fusion. Also what happened to Sue Young and her creepy partner that was interfering in matches a few months ago? Nothing ever came of that.)
In the Fury Road control center, we got a new match announcement. On October 4th at the Melrose Ballroom in New York City, we will see Tom Lawler take on Shane Strickland. The winner of the Low Ki vs. Rey Fenix which will air next week on Fusion will defend the Heavyweight Title, The Hart Foundation will go up against Rich Swann, ACH, and Marko Stunt, and PCO vs. LA Park. Tommy Dreamer, Sami Callihan, MJF, and Jimmy Havoc will also be on the card.
They showed more highlights of the Havoc beatdown post-War Games. They then went to a promo from Sami Callihan. Callihan said he was friends with Havoc. He said they were supposed to be together at War Games. he said Havoc was the reason they lost. He said he expected more out of Havoc. He said everyone was right, and that Havoc was nothing more than a death match garbage wrestler that can’t cut it in the middle of the ring. She said he accepts Havoc’s challenge because Havoc is not as good as him and not even in the same class. He said he will go down at the hands of the draw just like everyone else. He did his thumbs up thumbs down thing.
(3) PCO vs. Brody King
King hit PCO with a dropkick right off the bell sending PCO into the corner and then proceeded to stomp away at him. King hit a running splash and went for the cover but only got a one count. King went to the outside of the ring and PCO hit King with a suicide dive. The two exchanged hard chops outside the ring. Back in the ring PCO hit King with a powerbomb and then a knee to the jaw for a two count. PCO argued with the ref and King used that distraction and hit PCO with a running lariat. The two men hammered away at each other in the ring hitting each other with chops and elbows. PCO went for a choke clam but king slapped his hand away and hit PCO with a brainbuster suplex. King hit PCO with some hard headbutts. PCO hit a running clothesline into the corner and then hit King with a spike DDT. PCO then charged at King who lifted PCO over his head sending PCO into the corner. King went for a cannonball in the corner but PCO rolled out of the way. The two men went back to hammering away at each other. Bother men tried to gouge each other’s eyes out and when the ref tried to stop them they just shoved him down. The ref called for the bell. The two men continued to brawl and King hit PCO with a spike piledriver and continued to reign down strikes as the bell continued to ring. Security and more officials came into the ring to break it up as Bocchini previewed next weeks show with Callihan vs. Havoc and Low Ki vs. Fenix. Just as we thought the show was ending PCO got up and climbed to the top rope. He then hit a moonsualt to the floor onto the security and King. That was awesome.
WINNER: Double DQ
(Karcher’s Analysis: I liked this. It wasn’t a good technical match but no one should have been expecting it to be. It was exactly what it needed to be; two big hard hitting guys slugging away at each other with intensity. PCO can do some really crazy things and that moonsault to close out the show was pretty epic. I don’t like not getting a decisive winner out of the match but It doesn’t seem like either man is really in line for any kind of a serious push so I don’t mind it all that much.)
FINAL THOUGHTS:Pretty good show. I’d go with a 6.5 out of 10 (I might start rating every fusion… might) The opening tag match was not very good, with all six wrestlers seemingly lost at various times. They need to do a better job of protecting Pillman in my eyes and not have him on TV in lackluster matches. Maybe I’m the only one, but I think Pillman is the most intriguing thing going for MLW so I’d like to see him treated like a big deal. The mixed tag and the main event weren’t 4-star matches or anything but they both did exactly what they needed to do and got over with the crowd. Aside from the opening match, this show was all about each guy or girl doing their thing so to speak and getting over with the crowd. I think MLW is doing a good job connecting with crowds lately. They seem to bring a lot of energy to the matches and that always helps. Even the opening match had great crowd engagement. I enjoyed this show and I’m looking forward to a crazy hardcore brawl with Callihan and Havoc next week as well as what should be a great work rate match between Low Ki and Fenix. That’s it for this week folks. Be sure to check back here next Friday night for another recap of MLW Fusion exclusively here on PWTorch.com. I’m Kris Karcher signing off until next week.
NOW CATCH UP ON LAST WEEK’S REPORT: 7/14 MLW Fusion TV Report: War Games edition with Team Strickland (Strickland & Hennigan & Dreamer & Brazil & Hughes) vs. Team Callihan (Sami & Havoc & Abyss & Fulton & Scott)