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MLW FUSION – EPISODE 38
JANUARY 4, 2018
TAPED IN MIAMI FLORIDA
AIRED ON BE-IN SPORTS NETWORK
REPORT BY KRIS KARCHER, PWTORCH CORRESPONDENT
Announcers: Tony Schiavone, Rich Bocchini
They aired the MLW intro.
They aired a video package showing highlights from last week’s main event where Low Ki took on Konnan for the Heavyweight Championship. They showed Low Ki Stabbing Konnan with a shank and Tom Lawler coming out to Konnan’s rescue.
The Fusion intro played.
Tony Schiavone opened the show recapping what happened last week. He said Konnan would not be there tonight due to his injuries.
(1) Gringo Loco vs. LA Park (w/Salina de La Renta)
They aired a picture in picture promo during Park’s entrance, where La Renta said that her new year’s resolution was to have a year of violence courtesy of Promociones Dorado. Both men jumped up onto opposing corners and pandered to the crowd. It seemed like both men got somewhat mixed reactions as the fans seemed to recognize Park was a heel but liked him enough to cheer him regardless. Park shook Loco’s hand, gave him a hug and then raised Loco’s arms to each side of the ring before giving him a cheap shot. They went to the outside of the ring and brawled out into the crowd. Park hit Loco with a fan’s sign. Unfortunately, there was NOT a stop sign hidden underneath. It looked as if they were trying for a special spot in the crowd, but Park couldn’t seem to get the crowd to give him enough room to even set up whatever they had panned so they just brawled back to the ring. Inside the ring, Park was having his way with Loco as the crowd rallied behind Loco. A dueling Gringo Loco LA Park chant erupted.
Park began whipping Loco with his belt right in front of the referee. HOW IS THIS LEGAL? Loco rolled to the outside and Park followed. Schiavone started to defend the ref’s decision to not disqualify Park by saying that wrestling is evolving and changing these days and the refs should let them fight and compete. I’m sorry Mr. Schiavonne but I disagree with you on this sentiment. Just distract the ref somehow. That’s why dirty tactics get heat because they are cheating and breaking the rules in order to gain an advantage. If you take away the rules, then you take away the heat generated from breaking the rules and getting away with it. If everyone could get away with whipping there opponent with a leather belt, then every wrestler who doesn’t bring a leather belt to ring looks dumb. Park placed two chairs together on the floor and then Powerbombed Loco through both chairs. It was a nasty looking bump. The crowd was giving Park major heat at this point and Park starting getting into it with one fan in the front row.
Park picked up two empty beer cans and smashed them on Loco’s head. The crowd chanted “USA” and Park waved the Mexican flag and crotch chopped the crowd. Back in the ring, Park did some more obscene gestures to the crowd and whipped Loco into the corner. When park came charging Loco avoided the Leg Drop in the corner and Park hit the mat with the back of his head and neck. Loco charged at the park who threw him up and over onto the apron. Park then strut around the ring with his infamous hand foot shuffle thing he does. Loco was able to avoid an elbow and counter with a shoulder to the gut of Park. Loco then climbed to the top rope, jumped inside the ring to the middle rope, then hit a springboard cutter on Park. This was really nice looking and totally out of what I thought was Loco’s ability. Really well timed and executed spot. This was good for a two count.
Loco briefly attempted to remove Park’s mask but quickly gave up on that and instead Irish Whipped Park to the rope. Park slid under and to the outside but Loco hit a beautiful diving front flip over the top rope onto Park on the outside. Another spectacular looking spot for Loco. Schiavone said this could be a career-making match for Loco. Loco slide back into the ring and hit a dropkick on Park through the ropes sending Park crashing into the barricade. Loco and Park both seemed to be very winded as both are big boys. Loco started taking it to Park at ringside and up on the entrance ramp. Loco then noticed the scaffolding used for the entrances. He motioned to the crowd that he was going to climb it and the crowd popped hugely. As Loco climbed Park got to his feet and began to slowly make his way into position.
Schiavone and Bocchini talked about how expensive the cameras are they Loco was climbing next to. It’s not a huge deal but I really liked the idea of this spot and the announcer kind of tempered it by not focusing on the craziness of the spot and instead of joking about the cost of the camera equipment. It’s not a huge deal and I don’t want to rant forever about it but they should just be focused on elevating the intensity of the action and not downplaying a potentially big spot for chuckles. I believe one of them said those are worth more than my car. Loco leaped from the scaffolding and hit Park with a cross-body. The crowd chanted “Holy S#!@” and “This is Awesome” Loco was the first to his feet and rolled Park into the ring. Loco turned his attention away from Park and over to La Renta, but not long enough to Park to recover.
Loco then went tot he top rope and attempted a corkscrew twist that Park was able to roll out from underneath. Park crawled overtop of Loco and covered for a two count. Park started in on offense, chopping Loco hard in the corner. Park shoved the ref who was attempting to back off Park. The ref warned Park who turned his attention back to Loco. Park continued his assault and this time the ref grabbed Park full nelson style, under the armpits and over the back of the neck, causing Park to lose his balance and fall on top of the ref. Loco jumped to the top rope and went for a frog splash. Park rolled out of the way and Loco landed directly on the ref. When Loco was checking on the ref, Park recovered and hit a spear on Loco for the win. The ref recovered surprisingly well for receiving such a high impact move.
WINNER: LA Park
(Karcher’s Analysis: Great match. I very much enjoyed this one from start to finish. The crowd was red hot for this match and seemed to get excited at all the right times. Good timing by each wrestler and some really simple yet unique and well-executed spots that told a great story. Loco really shined here. This is my first time seeing Loco wrestle and he is now on my radar for sure. The ref bump at the end was interesting. I thought it was clever the way they set up the bump in a way that seemed different from a lot of the ref bumps we see so often. My only issue is that the move the ref took was a major high impact move that could have finished off many wrestlers. So the fact that the ref was able to count the pin so quickly after receiving the move was a bit unbelievable. Perhaps they should have extended the closing sequence in order to add a few minutes and allow the ref some time to recover. Not only was the recovery time too short, but the ref counted in a very fast, aggressive type manner. This was the perfect time for the classic slow count selling the bump he just took.)
Kotto Brazil was backstage with Kaci Lennox. Brazil was wearing an eye patch that was allegedly due to Ricky Martinez injuring Brazil’s eye at a nightclub. Lennox asked Brazil about the incident which we were told had security footage but is mysteriously missing. Brazil told the story to Lennox. he said he was int he club “doing his thing,” he said Martinez might have been mad because Brazil was going to leave with some of Martinez’s girls. Brazil claimed Martinez hit him with a champagne bottle. Brazil said Martinez was wrong if he thinks that this will slow him down and Brazil said he might only have one eye, but that one eye is on you Martinez and I’m coming for you.
(Karcher’s Analysis: I wish Brazil would have shown some fire here. He has been pretty impressive in the ring, and the crowds seem to enjoy his in-ring work but his character and promos need work. I think this would have been a great opportunity for Brazil to show some real intensity and really sell the fact that this injury has cost him money and affected his career and he’s going to make Martinez pay for what he did to him. Instead, Brazil seemed almost carefree until the very end where he picked up the intensity slightly.)
They showed a really well-done video package highlighting the upcoming Heavyweight Championship match Between Current Champion Low Ki and Challenger Tom Lawler. This match is scheduled to take place on February 2nd, in Philadelphia at the 2300 Arena (AKA ECW Arena), during MLW’s Super Fight.
Schiavone gave an update on MLW’s punitive action in regards to Low Ki and the rest of Promociones Dorado. He said MLW has fined Low Ki $15,000, La Renta $15,000, Rickey Martinez $7,500, and El Hijo De La Park $7,500. La Renta could also possibly have her promoting license suspended. He said MLW considered stripping Low Ki of the belt but instead decided to book the match at Super Fight that Low Ki has been trying to avoid.
Rich Bocchini had Konnan on the phone for an update on his condition. Konnan said he was beaten up with a concussion, punctured liver, and blood in his urine. He said he doesn’t want and pitty, he knew what he was getting himself into and he said he’s going to finish what he started.
They went backstage with Low Ki standing alone talking to the camera. He said Tom and slowly clapped his hands and said Bravo. He said Lawler made it past battle riot Strickland, Chicago, and Sami Callihan. he said Lawler wasn’t playing with them any longer. Low Ki said Lawler was no conqueror. Low Ki said he was Ghangus Khan. He said he would tear Lawler’s heart out in front of his children. He said he was going to make an example of Lawler that no one will ever forget.
They cut to a video of Fred Yehi at his gym. He said he’s back from his three-month tour in Germany. He said he has been getting stronger and picking up wins for Team Filthy. He said he has been keeping track of everything that has been going on in MLW including Promociones Dorado putting a hit out on Lawler. Lawler challenged Low Ki to a match next week.
They replayed footage from last week’s Simon Gotch Prize Fight Challenge which was answered by Ace Romero who beat Gotch and won 20,000.
They went backstage where Kaci Lennox was interviewing Ace Romero. She asked him what he was going to spend it on. Romero said he was going to spend half on food, and half on something else that he shouldn’t say on TV. Ohh the possibilities. He said he is here for the MLW World Heavyweight Championship.
They showed an advertisement for the MLW Super Fight. Tickets are still available at MLWGO.com. Low Ki vs. Tom Lawler for the MLW World Heavyweight Championship and The Lucha Bros defend the MLW World Tag Team Championships against The Heart Foundation. Also Signed to compete, Ace Romero, Sammy Guevara, Puma King, Many more.
Neek week Brian Pillman Jr. takes on Tommy Dreamer in a Singapore cane match.
They went backstage where Tommy Dreamer was alone talking to the camera. He was holding a Kendo Stick. He explained how the stick works, and that when it hits you the different pieces of wood split apart and cut you open. He said that people use these instead of swords which I feel is a foolish move but who am I. He told the story of how everyone was in outrage in 1993 when a US citizen was canned in Singapore for a crime he committed. He got 10 lashes with the cane. Dreamer then talked about his famous beating and said he took 13 hits. He said he still waked up some nights in a cold sweat thinking about that night. He said some nights he jumps out of bed ducking a cane. He said he has scars and welts and he hates the cane. then he said he also loves the cane. He said he had a relationship with the cane for almost 25 years and Pillman is going to start dating the cane.
(Karcher’s Analysis: Wow this was a fantastic promo. Pure pro wrestling at it’s most effective here. Dreamer was intense, invigorated, and interesting in his delivery. He referenced real history and made an impactful connection to one of wrestling’s most impactful moments. Some aspects of this promo were literally giving me chills. this got me very excited for the match next week. Great job here by Dreamer who has been really excellent in MLW. I’ve enjoyed his stuff here far more than the IMPACT run he had recently. Dreamer is a good solid hand to have around.)
(2) Teddy Hart (w/ Davey Boy Smith Jr. & Brian Pillman Jr.) vs. Pentagon Jr
During Hart’s entrance, Teddy took off his jacket and chains and put then on Jeremy St. Louie who was sitting front row. St. Louie is an announcer for BeIN sports. They showed brief clips from last week where Promociones Dorado attacked Pentagon backstage. Schiavone said that Pentagon might not be 100% tonight. the crowd was into Hart and a couple “Teddy Hart” “Zero Muero” dueling chants broke out. Hart wanted to shake hands but Pentagon responded with his hand gesture. The two exchanged a series of punches and elbows and then Pentagon hit Hart with a superkick. Pentagon attempted to suplex Hart over the top rope but Hart countered and hung Pentagon over the top rope. Hart hit a rope assisted piledriver, then went to the top rope and hit a beautiful Moonsualt onto Pentagon on the outside. Pillman distracted the ref and allowed Davey Boy Smith Jr. to briefly attack Pentagon behind the refs back. The two men brawled around the outside of the ring.
Pentagon whipped Hart into the steel post and focused his attention on the rest of The Hart Foundation. He gave Pillman a chop to the chest, Superkicked Smith, and chopped Pillman again before Hart recovered and took over on offense again. Pentagon yelled some profanities in Spanish. The two fought on the apron and Pentagon hit a Canadian Destroyer on the ringside apron. He rolled Hart into the ring and hit a Pentagon Driver for a two count. The announcers really should have sold that one better. That apron move was insane and then Pentagon hit his finisher and the announcers are acting as if Pentagon just hit a suplex and was going for an average pin. I realize it’s early in the match and most people didn’t buy that was the ending but the announcers should have sold it like it was. Pentagon climbed to the middle rope as Hart began to stir. Pentagon jumped off the rope and hit another Canadian Destroyer all in one smooth motion. This also looked very impressive. This got Pentagon another two count.
The fans who have been surprisingly quiet for most of this match started a weak this is awesome chant that did grow gradually louder until Pentagon shushed them so they could hear him slap Hart’s chest. Hart was able to counter a charging Pentagon but seemed to botch his attempted sunset flip after standing on Pentagon’s back. Hart quickly sprang up and covered for it by beating on Pentagon in the corner. Hart climbed to the top rope and hit a Moonsualt for a two count. Hart hit a reverse neck breaker then jumped to the middle of the top rope and moonsualted off just barely landing the elbow on Pentagon. This got another two count. Pentagon superkicked Hart as HArt was upside in the corner attempting an up and over. Pentagon hit another Pentagon Driver for another two count.
Pentagon drop kicked Pillman through the ropes sending Pillman crashing hard into the announce table. Pentagon put Hart on the top rope and tried to superplex Hart but Hart was able to fight off Pentagon and hit a corkscrew moonsault. Hart went back to the top and hit a crazy top rope Canadian destroyer type maneuver that looked great but was maybe one too many destroyers for one match. Hart then climbed to the top rope and hit another Moonsualt for another two count. Also, the announcers were not helping the match. They were very quiet and reserved barely commenting on some of the moves and pins here. Hart went back to the top rope and attempted a swinging DDT but Pentagon countered. Pentagon attempted to apply the armbar to hart but Hart countered. Hart then hit a lungblower followed by a DDT. Hart then hit a powerbomb Lungblower maneuver for the win.
WINNER: Teddy Hart
(Karcher’s Analysis: Good match that had some cool spots but I think the match suffered from a lack of psychology. There really wasn’t any story told here. The wrestlers were both over with the crowd who was both hot and cold at various times during the match. Perhaps that is because these guys really didn’t give them a story they could get into during the match. There were plenty of great looking spots including all of the Canadian Destroyer spots but a match has to be more than just a bunch of cool looking moves. I really like Hart and Pentagon but their matches very often turn out like this one where it’s very exciting and fun to watch for the shock value but aren’t really memorable for anything else. I’ll be interested in the Tag Team Championship match when that happens but I do wish Pillman was wrestling in place of Davey Boy Smith Jr.)
FINAL THOUGHTS: This was a great show. One match with a great story, another with some exciting action, and some good promos and video packages along the way. They are really getting things together in terms of there video packages, and how they pace their show. I’m excited for a lot of the stuff they seem to have planned for Super Fight and might even attend that show live if I can make it back home for that weekend. Next week looks to be a great show as well when we get Dragon Lee vs. Rich Swann, Low Ki vs. Fred Yehi, and Brian Pillman Jr. vs. Tommy Dreamer in a Singapore cane match. That should be some great action and I look forward to recapping everything that happens right here on PWtorch.com. Be sure to check back next week and read all about MLW Fusion.