2/22 MLW Fusion TV Report: Rich Swann vs. Anoa’i, Aerostar vs. Rey Horus, Yuta vs. Warner, MJF says Hart is a paper champion

By Kris Karcher, PWTorch contributor

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FEBRUARY 23, 2019

Announcers: Rich Bocchini, Matt Striker

The MLW intro aired.

They aired a video package highlighting last week’s match between MJF and Teddy Hart, including the post-match beatdown from Holliday and MJF.

The Fusion intro aired.

Striker and Bocchini ran down the show, including hearing from MJF and Holliday in regards to their attack on Hart. Mance Warner will make his debut, and we will also hear from Tom Lawler on his upcoming cage match againstLow Ki. Finally, in our main event, we have Aerostar vs. Rey Horus

(1) A Lance Anoa’i vs. Rich Swann

After Anoa’i made his entrance they aired footage from last week, showing Rich Swann attacking the ref and MLW staff. They aired a backstage promo where Swann was thanking the fans for sticking by his side. He said he can only keep the party going with the help of the fans and he thanked them again. Swann told the crowd to suck it, and was very animated as he strutted around the ring. At first, I didn’t like Swann’s new attitude but it’s growing on me.

The match started with a test of strength, which the crowd actually chanted for. Swann toyed around with Anoa’i and did a split. After some counters, Swann hit Anoa’i with an enzeguri. Anoa’i lifted Swann into the air for a back body drop. Anoa’i then hit a Samoan drop sending Swann to the outside. Anoa’i front flipped over the top rope and landed on Swann on the outside. Anoa’i rolled Swann back into the ring and started chopping away at Swann in the corner. Swann countered with a drop toe hold and followed that up with a running boot to the face in the corner. Swann raked the eyes of Anoa’i then raked the back finally another boot to the face. Swann fish hooked the mouth of Anoa’i. Swann argued with the ref, and said “you want to see illegal? Here is illegal” and he grabbed Anoa’i’s hair. Anoa’i fought back, hitting Swann with some chops. Swann raked the eyes to regain control and applied an abdominal stretch. Anoa’i flipped Swann and hit some clotheslines, a splash in the corner, and finally a hurricanrana. Anoa’i hit a standing moonsualt and got a two count. Swann hit a series of jabs then a springboard cutter for a one count. Swann went to the top rope and went for a 450 corkscrew but Anoa’i was able to avoid the impact. Swann landed on his feet and hit Anoa’i in the back of the head with a kick. Anoa’i hit a superkick on Swann in the corner and went to the top rope. Anoa’i went for a 450 splash but Swann rolled out of the way. Swann then rolled up Anoa’i and used the ropes for added leverage and got the win.

WINNER: Rich Swann

(Karcher’s Analysis: Not a bad match. Nothing to write home about either. I am starting to get into the heel Rich Swann character. I enjoy his mannerisms being used to make him seem more heelish when at the same time he is still saying the same things he said as a babyface. He’s still talking about how he was to be the party animal and party all night. Except now he is saying the same lines in a much more devious and sinister way. It’s kind of creepy. His body language during his entrance was worth paying attention to because he was just so animated and went around the ring taunting the fans in a very peculiar way. I’m excited to see where this goes. Also, Anoa’i held his own tonight in the ring with Swann. I wouldn’t mind seeing more of him. The problem I think MLW has right now is not many people seem to be going on a journey up or down the card. They seem to have a lot of talent that isn’t there at every taping, and therefore has a hard time building up any momentum. I’d like to see them focus more on the middleweight division and give us a little more investment in guys like Myron Reed or Lance Anoa’i.)

Striker hyped the upcoming cage match between Lawler and Low Ki next week.

They aired a promo from Tom Lawler. Lawler was outside and said it doesn’t matter if Low Ki has been preparing all month for the cage match, he said he’s been training his entire life in a cage. He said he’s going to give Low Ki his own blackout at intimidation games.

They replayed the footage of the MJF and Richard Holliday attack on Teddy Hart.

They cut to backstage where MJF cut a promo. He said Hart is a paper champ. He said he never lost his title. He said Hart has two insane puppies following him around. MJF said he has a family too and what his family lacks in insanity, they make up for in intelligence. Richard Holliday then entered. MJF said Holliday was the most marketable man in professional wrestling. He said he didn’t come from the slums of Calgary. He said Holliday’s parents still love each other and he doesn’t come from a drug-infested disgusting family and niether does MJF. He said Stu Hart is rolling in his grave because he’s aware of the fact that MJF is better than him, and he knows it.

Kasey Lennox was backstage with Mance Warner. Warner said he has a plan. He made Lennox hold a whiteboard and wrote light beers, eye pokes, knee pad up, knee pad down, lariat, then W. He said he’s going to get the dub and that he would step in the ring with anyone, and he would keep getting those Ws and and drinking those light beers.

They aired a video package on Aerostar. This was really great they should do more videos like this. It was cool to see Aerostar working matches in Mexico.

(2) Jimmy Yuta vs. Mance Warner

Striker called Warner the southern LA Park. The two men started out brawling, exchanging slaps in the corner. Yuta hit a big boot on a charging Warner. Yuta hit Mancer with a few elbows but Mancer seems to enjoy the pain and asked for more. Mancer was constantly groaning with each move he did. It was a little distracting. Yuta applied a body stretcher on Warner then rolled up for a two count. Yuta followed up with another roll up for another two. Warner then hit Yuta with a hard headbutt to the face. The two exchanged hard chops and elbows. Yuta drop kicked Warner out to the ring apron. Yuta jumped over the top rope and attempted to hit Warner with a superkick, Waner avoided and still on the apron hit Yuta with a DDT, sending Yuta’s head crashing into the edge of the ring. Warner followed Yuta to the outside and poked him in the eyes. The crowd chanted and said one more time. Warner obliged. Yuta hit a drop toe hold sending Warner into the steel barricades. Yuta went back into the ring and hit Warner with a dive through the ropes. Yuta rolled Warner into the ring and went to the top rope but Warner avoided the move. Yuta hit a modified death valley driver and got a near fall. Warner hit Yuta with another headbutt as Yuta sprang off the ropes. Warner then pushed down his kneepads and hit a running knee on Yuta. Warner followed that up with his last rights lariat.

WINNER: Mance Warner

(Karcher’s Analysis: Interested debut for Warner. I have not seen him wrestle before so this was my first impression. He seems like an okay wrestler who can survive here in MLW where you aren’t really expected to carry long matches. It seems like he might be more of the hardcore brawling style, so I would be interested to see how he pairs up with the likes of Sami Callihan and Jimmy Havoc. There is some potential there for sure, and he’s someone I definitely want to keep an eye out for.)

They aired another H2TV segment.

Davey Boy Smith Jr. was talking about his cats and dogs and Hart was shown smoking cigars. Hart called out Brock Lesnar saying he could choke him out. He mentioned CM Punk and said he had some big balls. He said he hoped his promo wouldn’t get cut because he’s only talking about soccer balls and basketballs. More of Hart smoking a cigar out of a doorway and a shop owner yelling at him. Hart said someone (not sure who) should just go to AEW. He said MLW has a strong enough roster of guys willing to stay, and he said he doesn’t need to sell out because he’s made enough money on the streets to still live in a million dollar home. He said he’s not here for the money he is here for the gold. He talked about some all natural cigars. Not sure that’s a real thing. I can’t tell whether or not I’m enjoying these segments. They’re hit or miss to me.

Striker previewed the upcoming Intimidation games, including Lawler vs. Low Ki in a steel cage match. They also advertised The Hart Foundation, The Lucha Bros, LA Park, Mance Warner, MJF and Richard Holliday, Ace Romero, Daga, Alexander Hammerstone, and Puma King.

They showed a video package highlighting Rey Horus just as they did earlier for Aerostar. Again, this was really cool.

(3) Aerostar vs. Rey Horus

The two men start off with some chain wrestling and some quick pinfall attempts. Horus went for a test of strength but kicked Aerostar in the groin. Horus slid out of the ring but Aerostar quickly dove to the outside and hit Horus facefirst. Aerostar hit a spinning corkscrew crossbody on Horus. Aerostar hit a modified lungblower in the corner. Horus hit Aerostar with a top rope arm drag sending Aerostar to the floor. Horus then sprang over the top rope onto Aerostar on the outside. Striker said that the fans were so respectful of lucha libre, and that’s why they were so quiet; because they were waiting to see what was going to happen next. Yeah, I’m not so sure about that Striker but good try! Horus then hit a spinning discus elbow and a seated dropkick for a two count. Aerostar hit a step up kick on Horus then a springboard codebreaker style face-breaker for a two count. Aerostar hit a trustful style backwards dive onto Horus for another two. Aerostar got the crowd to chant Lucha Lucha. Horus hit an overhead belly to belly suplex on Aerostar for a two count. Horus went to the top rope, but Aerostar sprung up and knocked Horus off the rope to the outside. Aerostar then dove over the top rope onto Horus. The crowd was chanting for Aerostar. Aerostar hit a nice springboard rolling cutter but Horus followed up with a standing C4. Both men were down in the center of the ring as the ref counted. Horus charged into the corner but Aerostar was able to get his boot up. Aerostar went to the top rope, but Horus sprang up and hit some sort of flipping powerbomb for the win. Sorry, I don’t know the name of this move.

WINNER: Rey Horus

(Karcher’s Analysis: Decent lucha style match with some good action and some cool spots. Not much a story to this match, and it’s hard to tell exactly where the Mexican talent fits in on the roster. I like a lot of the talent they have coming in for certain shows, but it never feels like they get any real story told about their journey. We see guys like Gringo Loco come and go and it doesn’t really matter whether or not he wins or loses because he’s not really on a journey anywhere. They just bring these wrestlers in for one show and then have them wrestle and not participate in any active story. Perhaps they fear them not being available when they need them, or they might pull another Rush on them and leave after they invested time and money into them. Regardless if you are going to have these wrestlers on the show, then they need to be featured parts of the show. They can’t just be the flashy moves match that one really has a vested interest in. We need more than that.)

They aired a candid interview with Salina de La Renta. She seemed annoyed the interviewer was bothering her, so she told him she didn’t speak Spanish. The interviewer then switched to English and asked about Low Ki. La Renta said that he would not be hearing from Lo Ki because he is training the hardest he has ever trained in his whole life. She said Lwler is going to find out that she is not one to be messed with. She said Low Ki was training with some MMA fighters that Lawler has worked with. She then pretended she fogot english after the itnervewer asked her about LA Park. When the interveiwer switched back to spannish, La Renta began speaking French. She laughed as she walked away.

Next week:

  • Lucha Bros vs. Tarus & Laredo Kid
  • Tom Lawler (c) vs. Low

FINAL THOUGHTS: Decent show this week. Not really any standout matches so to speak but they did a good job of advancing a few storylines. Rich Swann in coming along nicely in the heel role and I’m wondering what his ceiling is in that position. It seemed like he was destined to be a middleweight as a face but who knows if he can build some momentum and some wins behind his heel character I see no reason why he can’t be elevated into the main event picture soon. I’m really torn on the H2TV segments. I enjoy some, and others seem counterproductive. I’m not a fan of Hart trying to shock everyone every week by saying something “controversial.” I thought they should have followed up the attack on Hart with some intensity from Teddy. Instead, we got more of the same with the jokes and the cats. Was Hart not affected by the assault? Does he want revenge?  Next week should be a fun show with a cage match and a lucha bros tag match to keep everyone invested. I don’t see Lawler losing the belt this quickly, but I do find the mention of MMA fighters Lawler’s has a history with. Perhaps Low Ki has some chicanery planed for the cage match? Should be a good one regardless.

NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S REPORT: 2/15 MLW Fusion TV Report: Teddy Hart vs. MJF for MLW Middleweight Title, Rich Swann vs. Ace Austin, Dominguez vs. Hammerstone

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