11/2 MLW Fusion Report: New Hart Foundation (Hart & Smith & Pillman) vs. ACH & Marco Stunt & Rich Swann, Tommy Dreamer vs. Brody King, Puma King vs. Rickey Martinez

By Kris Karcher, PWTorch contributor

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NOV. 2, 2018

Announcers: Tony Schiavone, Matt Striker

The MLW intro played.

They showed highlights from the excellent main event from two weeks ago between Tom Lawler and Shane Strickland in which Lawler beat Strickland despite interference from Low Ki. They also showed highlights of Sami Callihan’s attack on Lawler at the Fightland media day. 

The Fusion intro played.

Tony Schiavone and Matt Striker introduced the show and previewed the upcoming matches for tonight including The Hart Foundation (Teddy Hart, Davey Boy Smith Jr., & Brian Pillman Jr.) taking on ACH, Rich Swann, & Marko Stunt, and Tommy Dreamer going one on one with Brody King. 

Konnan came to the ring to address the crowd. He starting in Spanish then switched mid-sentence to English. He said he was happy to be in New York and got the cheap pop, He said Pentagon and Fenix wanted to be there but a certain Witch wouldn’t let that happen. Salina de La Renta came out accompanied by Rickey Martinez. She congratulated Konnan and said she is here to celebrate. She said The Lucha Bros weren’t having such an easy time transitioning to the tutelage of Konnan and alluded to them nor being able to attend the show due to issues with ICE (immigration). I believe this is leftover from an angle that was filmed live but then scrapped involving La Renta calling ICE agents on the Lucha Bros and attempting to have them arrested for I guess illegal immigration. Konnan then misspoke Rickey Martinez’s name, calling him Rickey Vega. Martinez got in Konnan’s face and Konnan ripped into him. Salina asked if Konnan wanted Martinez to wrestle. Konnan said he had someone for him. Puma King appeared, a ref came out and the match started. 

(1) Rickey Martinez vs. Puma King

The two men started the match by running directly into each other and rolling around the center the ring. Martinez then hopped over the top rope to the apron and kicked Puma in the stomach then went to slam Puma into the turnbuckle, but Puma countered and kicked Martinez in the heard. Puma then went to the top rope and dove onto Martinez on the outside of the ring. Back inside the ring, Puma hit a cross body for a two count. When Puma hit the ropes La Renta grabbed his leg. Then Puma straddled the rope to yell at La Renta Martinez kicked the middle rope, effectively low blowing Puma. Martinez stuck Puma’s head between his legs and repeatedly used his legs to slam Puma’s head into the mat. Puma hit a superkick but then pandered to the crowd and Martinez was able to pop up and hit Puma with a lung blower for a two count. Martinez jumped from the middle rope and hit Puma with a huricanrana. Martinez kicked Puma’s legs out from under him as Puma jumped to the top rope. Puma was stuck upside-down in the corner and Martinez climbed on top of him only to be chucked off by Puma’s legs. Puma then climbed the opposite turnbuckle and hit a top rope dropkick for a two count. Martinez rolled out to the apron to catch his breath. When Puma tried to grab him Martinez hung Puma up on the rope. Martinez then climbed the turnbuckle and gave Puma a top rope codebreaker for a two. Both men were on the top rope and Puma hit a huge powerbomb from the top rope. Puma then pinned Martinez with a cradle. 

WINNER: Puma King

(Karcher’s Analysis: Decent match. Some pretty nice spots like the powerbomb and codebreakers from the top rope. I honestly have no feelings about Martinez. He has a decent look and is competent in the ring but I don’t know if I’ve ever heard him speak. His character is non-existent. This is my first time seeing Puma King and he did an acceptable job tonight. I’m not sure if he is going to be a regular on Fusion but I certainly wouldn’t mind seeing some more of him.) 

Tommy Dreamer was backstage. He told Brody King to look at the scars that remind him of being extreme. He said every morning he is reminded of what he’s done. He talked about being covered in blood, and smelling your own burning flesh. He said he’s been wrestling 29 years and hell teach King what it’s like to take violence to the extreme. 

A short video promo aired hyping the return of Stokley Hathaway. 

Next week Low Ki will take on Daga for the MLW World Heavyweight Championship and the MLW Middleweight championship will be on the line in a triple threat featuring champion MJF, taking on former tag team partners Jason Cade and Jimmy Yuta. 

They showed footage from earlier today with Jason Cade outside in the parking lot. He said MLW is biased against him. He pointed out he is on a winning streak and claimed Yuta shouldn’t be involved in the match. He said he is going to stick to management by walking out as the champ. 

They showed footage from earlier today with Jimmy Yuta outside in the parking lot. He said no only does he get another piece of Cade, but he gets his hands on MJF. He said MJF was disrespecting the title and he was going to hold that title with pride. 

They showed footage from earlier today with MJF and Aria Blake outside in the parking lot. He said he was the greatest champion to step foot in an MLW ring and scoffed at the disrespectful idea of having to compete in this triple threat match. He told Aria that he was gonna let Cade and Yuta beat the ever loving crap out of each other and then slide back into the ring and pin both of them. He said he was better than both of them and they know it. 

(2) Brody King vs. Tommy Dreamer 

They started off the match with a series of collar and elbow tie ups. How hardcore. Dreamer hit King with a sloppy cross body then went for the dusty elbow but King countered with a backdrop. Dreamer slid to the outside and King tried to suicide dive out onto Dreamer but Dreamer was able to cut King off with an uppercut. Dreamer then slid kicked King’s legs out from underneath him sending him crashing into the apron. They started to brawl on the outside. King lifted Dreamer and straddled him on the guardrail. Back inside the ring, King stomped away on Dreamer in the corner. King dropped Dreamer with a lariat. King placed Dreamer in a headlock. The crowd was quiet but occasionally chanted for Dreamer. King hit a leg drop for a two count and then replied a headlock. King hit Dream with a scoop slam but then missed a backflip off the top rope. The two men traded blows in the middle of the ring.  They went back and forth with hard below off the ropes. Dreamer hit a twisting DDT out of nowhere for a two count. Dreamer attempted to fireman’s carry King but King was able to rake the eyes and escape. King attempted the same fireman’s carry and Dreamer this time escaped using elbows, Dreamer went of the DDT but King countered with a spinning side slam for a two count. King spit? in the refs face. When King went back to deal with Dreamer, he was able to hit a DDT out of nowhere on King. King got his foot on the rope through and only got a two count. Dreamer went under the ring and pulled out a cheese grater. When Dreamer went to use the grater, the ref took that time to wipe the spit out of his eyes and King was able to hit Dreamer with a low blow. King then hit Dreamer with a piledriver for the win. 

WINNER: Brody King

(Karcher’s Analysis: Good win for Brody King. The match itself wasn’t anything to write home about but this was a good booking decision in my opinion. Brody King isn’t really all that hot right now and could use some real heat to get him to that next level. Despite my preferred wrestling style being mostly sport like, I would have liked the more hardcore action in this match. I just think it would have fit the storyline better. King and Dreamer wanted to prove who was the true innovator of violence and then they went and had a pretty straightforward match. the one weapon that was introduced was only teased and never used. Again, I’m not advocating for the hardcore style in every match or untying, but I do think in this particular case it would have added another element and taken the story to a satisfying conclusion. I actually wouldn’t mind seeing a rematch between these two with some sort of stipulation added to the next match.) 

They replayed the footage of Sami Callihan attacking Tom Lawler. 

Tom Lawler was backstage with Tom Lawler. Quick rant here, the backstage interviewers at MLW are the most cookie cutter paint by numbers interviewers I’ve ever seen. I don’t think I have heard any of them ask a single question that didn’t follow the formula of repeat what happened last week and then ask the wrestler how they feel about that. Granted it’s not a position that requires a ton of creativity but please switch it up a little bit. Ask a question we care about not how they are feeling. It’s always very apparent how they are going to be feeling. It’s professional wrestling they are probably feeling like they want to fight someone. It just doesn’t lead to anything interesting when they ask that same bland non-question. Okay, I’m done. Anyway’s Kassey Lennox asked… well, you know. Lawler said he doesn’t feel too hot. He said La Renta and Low Ki had to call in Callihan to do their dirty work He said they shouldn’t worry about the title on Low Ki’s waist and should worry about his hand around Low Ki’s neck. He called Callihan a troll and said he will be a tiny treasure on the way to his goal. Weird promo. Not Lawler’s best. 

They aired footage of Sami Callihan backstage. He said Tom Lawler was stupid. He said Lawler is lucky he left him breathing. He said he’s not afraid of an MMA fighter. He said an MMA fighter cannot defend a baseball bat or a car. He said Fightland will be a lot like Disneyland but way more messed up. He said he is not your typical fighter. He said his sights are on Lawler. he said Chicago is going to be a massacre at his hand. His did his thumbs up thumbs down bit. 

(3) The Hart Foundation (Teddy Hart & Davey Boy Smith Jr. & Brian Pillman Jr.) vs. ACH & Rich Swann & Marko Stunt

This is the first time I’m seeing Marko Stunt. Wow, he is really tiny. Pillman and ACH start the match. The two men chain wrestled back and forth to start the match. Pillman hit a nice spinning back-hand. ACH hit a chop to the thigh and Pillman tug in Teddy Hart. ACH tug in Rich Swann. Hart took Swann down and applied a chin lock. Swann did his multiple kip up thing. Hart and Swann both took turn athletically flipping around the ring and avoiding being hit by each other until Swann finally hit a standing drop-kick. Hart hit a monster side slam. Stunt tug himself in and hit Hart with two code breakers in a row. Smith got in the ring and snuck up behind Stunt. Stunt tried to pick up Smith but couldn’t. Smith put Stunt in a torture rack back-breaker and then tossed him onto ACH and Swann who caught him, but were drop kicked by Smith sending all three men to the mat. All three men rolled to the outside and Hart joined Smith in the ring. Smith helped Hart stand on the top rope and Hart sprang off the top and moonsaulted onto the three men on the outside. That looked really scary there wasn’t a lot of room between the ring and the guardrail. Smith started to manhandle Stunt, hitting a standing press and then a body slam on Stunt then getting a two count simply standing on his chest. Smith tug in Hart who hit an assisted Canadian Destroyer, then another top rope moonsault for a two count. Hart hit a huge hull nelson suplex type maneuver that looked really lethal for Stunt. Stunt was being thrown around like a rag doll in this match. Hart tug in Pillman who started to work over Stunt. Pillman hit a sit down powerbomb for a two count. Pillman held Stunt vertically in the air and showed off how easy it was to hold him. Stunt got out of the move however and fell back into ACH who tug himself in. ACH hit Pillman with some elbows and some stomps. Hart broke up a pin attempt at two and ACH shoved Hart back into his corner and did the Suck It gesture. ACH went to german supple Pillman but Pullman reversed. Pillman hit a springboard drop-kick on ACH who was standing on the apron. Pillman tug in Hart and the two double teamed ACH. ACH managed to tag in Swann, and Swann came in like a ball of fire, taking out both Pillman and Hart with a double Lethal Injection handspring cutter. Hart Foundation was on the floor and all three opens inside the ring. ACH and Swann dove onto Pillman and Smith outside, but when Stunt attempted to moonsualt onto Hart, he was caught and thrown into the ring post. Hart immediately ate a super kick from Swann after tossing stunt. Swann tossed Pillman into the ring and hit a frog splash for a two count broken up by Smith. Pillman hit (missed) a knee to Swann’s face. ACH came in and Hart hit an awesome DDT on ACH after jumping from the top rope. Stunt tried to give Smith a hurricanrana but was caught. Smith lifted Stunt up on his shoulders, and Hart flipped overtop of both men, grabbed Stunt on his way down and hit a huge Doomsday Device Destroyer combination. It was a very cool looking move and if you have time I would recommend looking it up. Hart followed up with a corkscrew moonsault for a two count that was broken up by Swann. Smith tried to suplex Swann but Swann fought back with elbows. Swann jumped up to the top rope and hurricana’d Hart off the turnbuckle. Swann hit a 450 splash for a two count that was broken up by Pillman. Pillman hit a knee to Swann’s face and Smith picked up Swann in a similar fashion to how he was holding Stunt earlier.  Hart jumped from the top rope again but this time grabbed Swann’s neck as Smith power bombed Swann to the mat. Great double team work tonight. This was good enough for the win. 

WINNERS: The Hart Foundation 

(Karcher’s Analysis: Great match. Another superb main event on Fusion. Teddy Hart is just so dam impressive in the ring. I love his innovative offense and Hart and Smith work really well together as a team pulling off some incredible double team maneuvers. Stunt played his part well and had bumped impressively. Swann was given a good deal of shine here and came through impressively. I think Pillman is still so green that they are limiting his exposure in the ring. I think that’s smart if he’s not up to the level of his competition yet. I’ll be honest some of his allure has worn off and I’m less high on him then I was a month or so again. Its tough to tow the line between getting a green worker the experience he needs, and overexposing someone who isn’t ready for the spotlight, perhaps stifling that wrestlers full potential. MLW needs to consider this when moving forward with Pillman.)

FINAL THOUGHTS: Good show. From start to finish we got some solid wrestling tonight. The first match, which was the weakest, gave us the debut of a new wrestler. The second match was fine and kept the door open for another more intense matchup between Dreamer and King. The main event was stellar as usual. Fusion really delivers with at least one match every week and that kind of goodwill cant be undervalued. I wish MLW had a way to do something similar to a PPV where we could get an entire card of matches on the level of most main events. They have the talent to accomplish this but the format of the monthly TV tapings necessitates the need to spread those matches out over a few weeks. Maybe even one yearly show that 3 hours and airs live would be super interesting. That’s it for this week folks. Next week we have two title matches as Low Ki takes on a debuting Daga and MJF puts his Middleweight title on the line in a triple threat match with Jimmy Yuta and Jason Cade. Should be another good week for matches. I’m Kris Karcher signing off for this week.

CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S REPORT: 10/26 MLW Fusion TV Report: “It looked like Holliday might fall directly into the steel crotch of Joey Ryan. Wow, I can’t believe I’m typing this” plus PCO vs. LA Park, Callihan vs. Havoc

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