3/16 MLW FUSION TV REPORT: Hart Foundation vs. MJF & Richard Holliday,  Hijo de LA Park vs.Puma King

By Matt Castleberry, PWTorch contributor


MLW FUSION – EPISODE 49
MARCH 16, 2019
CHICAGO, ILL.
AIRED ON BEIN SPORTS NETWORK
REPORT BY MATT CASTLEBERRY, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR

Announcers: Rich Bocchini, Jim Cornette

MLW intro aired.

A CONTRA Unit vignette aired next, showing the havoc they’ve caused in MLW next. It ran down attacks on Tam Lawlor, and last week’s bloody attack on Ace Romero.

We are welcomed to Fusion by Rich Bocchini, who gave us a run down of the night’s card. Mance Warner joined the broadcast team. He told Jim he hadn’t seen him since 1993. Jim rebutted with, “How old were you, seven?” Mance shot back quickly with, “Nope, 35.” Cornette then said, “Well you’ve been preserved greatly.” Mance seemed to fit in on commentary right from the get go.

(1) HIJO DE LA PARK (w/Salina De La Renta) vs. PUMA KING

During Hijo’s entrance, they recapped Mance’s mistake of spilling his beer on Salina last week, and the confrontation by Hijo that ensued afterwards. Puma entered next, as they talked about him being part of a wrestling family in Mexico. The announce team talked about next week’s show, where Ol’ Mancer would be taking on LA Park in a deathmatch. The match got started in typical Lucha style, where there was lots of arm drags, take downs, and reversals. Cornette and Mance went back and forth about his moveset, and had such great banter. Hijo took control early hitting a suicide dive on Puma King, and then taking a move out of his Dad’s book hitting King with a chair. Hijo hit an awful looking chair-to-chair shot, where the chair was stuck in Puma’s crotch in the corner. Hijo then threw Puma out, and whipped him with a cord.

Mance and Cornette continued to go back and forth. Please go watch this, if just for them. Puma King turned the tables, and hit a tilt a whirl slam, and then a tilt a whirl backbreaker. Puma then set up Hijo and hit the same chairshot move on him. Puma hit a pop-up powerbomb for a 2 count, and then went up top. Hijo hit Puma with a chairshot before he could do anything off the top, and left him in the tree of woe. Puma escaped, however, and sent Hijo flying off the ropes. Puma went up top again, but Hijo caught him with a spanish fly instead for a close 2 count. Salina got involved, tripping Puma King, giving Hijo a chance to take back the advantage. Instead of finishing the match, Hijo went outside and spent on Mance. Mance stood up and spit back on Hijo. Hijo pushed him and started to walk away, but Mance hit him with Jim Cornette’s infamous tennis racket. Mance threw Hijo into the ring, where Puma hit a double knee facebreaker off the top, and then rolled Hijo up in a majistral cradle for the win.

WINNER: Puma King

(Matt’s take: This was the rare slow-paced Lucha match, as Hijo works a lot like his father does. There were a few nice spots, but overall this match was used to push the feud between Promiciones Dorado and Mance Warner. If you get a chance, please watch this is just for the interaction on commentary between Cornetter and Mance. It was gold.)

We next cut to the MJF and Richard Holliday. MJF did a really nice Teddy Hart impression, but stopped to tell Holliday he needed to act like he had less personality. Holliday said, “Like Daveyboy Smith?”, obviously insinuating he has no charisma. MJF started up again, but was cut off by H2TV and the real Teddy Hart. Teddy talked a bit of trash, before we see Brian Pillman Jr. being trained in the pool by Smith. Pillman said this training just can’t be done by anyone. Smith said they would hurt them in the ring this time.

Bocchini ran down what CONTRA Unit did so far, and told us we’d see Samael and Fatu in action this week.

We got a commercial for the upcoming Battle Riot next.

Up next was a vignette with Filthy Tom Lawlor. He said he didn’t care what doctor’s said, he was clearing himself. He said his next opponent would be one of CONTRA, and then ran down what all they did to him. He told them he would end their life in MLW before it got started.

(2) CONTRA UNIT (JOSEF SAMAEL & JACOB FATU) vs. ?????

CONTRA Unit stormed the ring attacking the two guys who got a jobber entrance. Samael started off choking one of the guys with a piece of his black tape. Samael tagged in Fatu, who hit a wicked pop-up samoan drop. Fatu tagged Samael back in, and Josef brought out the spike again attacking the one poor guy until the ref called for the DQ. Fatu came in too, and hit back to back springboard moonsaults on the guy. The other guy TRIED to make a save, but Samael hit him with flames as they continued to just beat the first poor guy up. Medical staff came out to get both guys, putting the guy in the ring on a stretcher. Fatu hit ANOTHER springboard moonsault onto the stretcher, and CONTRA cleared the tinf of medical personnel. Samael incited fans by throwing water into the crowd, and things started being thrown back into the ring. The heat was at a nuclear level at this point, and Cornette said they might start a riot. The program got cut off momentarily, before cutting back to the ring being filled with trash.

(Matt’s take: I hope every other wrestling organization in the world takes not, because MLW’s build of CONTRA Unit as a heel stable has been near PERFECT. When I say these guys get heat, I mean they get 1970’s midsouth kind of heat. Samael is so vicious in the ring, and Fatu is so big yet so athletic, combining that with the way they play their disdain for the crowd. Holy cow, they’ve sparked something here. I watch a LOT of wrestling each week and they are arguably the most compelling group in the business at the moment.)

Rich Bocchini had finally had enough and tossed it to Matt Stryker in the control center for a rundown of the upcoming Battle Riot. Matt ran down a list of all the top names in Battle Riot so far.

Next we heard from LA Park and Salina de la Renta. LA Park told everyone he would be winning Battle Riot.

We went back to the ring, as it was being cleaned out still. Rich told us that security basically had to stop a riot, and had to hold fans back from coming over the barricade. He sold this well, putting over CONTRA further.

We got another Jimmy Havoc vignette telling us of his return.

Bocchini again ran down CONTRA Unit’s actions, and told us next week we’d hear them speak for the first time. He continued to talk about next week, reminding us we’d see Mance Warner vs. LA Park. He finished by segueing into the main event by showing us previous encounter between the Hart Foundation and MJF and Holliday.

(3) HART FOUNDATION vs. MJF & RICHARD HOLLIDAY – MLW TAG TITLE MATCH

The Dynasty made their way out first. MJF took the mic from the ring announcer. He told the crowd that he knows they don’t “habla englais”, but it they’d shut up and listen they might understand what he said. He called out Stu Hart, who is dead btw, and inferred he was in hell. He called Teddy an idiot, and that the Hart legacy meant jack squat. Next out was the Hart Foundation to defend their titles. Hart and Smith decided they’d be the two to fight in this match, as they use Freebird rules. Cornette ran down the Legacy as spoiled and entitled. Teddy tried to hit MJF with the middleweight title, but he and Holliday rolled out of the ring. We finally get the match started, but MJF does a nice heel roll out and stall. The kid knows how to work as a heel. MJF finally rolled in, but tagged out. Hart still clocked MJF with a right hand on the apron, and the Hart Foundation quickly took over the match.

Smith held up Holliday, who isn’t a small guy, for 20 seconds in a stalling suplex. Hart tagged back in, hitting a Pillman assisted moonsault on Holliday. MJF made a blind tag that Teddy didn’t see. He took advantage, taking Hart down and delivering stomps to Teddy. MJF and Holliday cut Teddy off from Smith, before the action spilled outside. The teams traded momentum for a few minutes, before Hart was thrown into the barricade giving Dynasty the edge. They moved back into the ring, where Holliday tried a sharpshooter on Hart. Smith broke it up, but the ref forced him out of the ring. While the ref was occupied, MJF came in and hit a wicked draping piledriver on Hart, but Holliday could only get a two count.

The Dynasty used more heel tactics to stay in control, but the ref caught then in an assisted abdominal stretch. This helped Teddy break free, where he hit a Canadian destroyer on MJF. Hart finally tagged out, as Smith began to clean house on the Dynasty. Smith piled both members into the corner, showing off his impressive strength as he threw both men around easily. Smith hit a chickenwing suplex, and bridged it for a close 2 count. He followed up with a sit down powerbomb, also for a 2 on MJF. Smith picked up MJF onto his shoulders, and Hart went up to looking for a Doomsday Canadian Destroyer, but suddenly in came Alexander Hammerstone who hit Smith with a chair causing the DQ.

WINNERS: The Hart Foundation by DQ.

Pillman tried to come in and make the save, but he was hit with the chair as well. The Dynasty all laid boots to the Hart Foundation, clearing them out of the ring. That ended the show.

(Matt’s take: We had a good match going before Hammerstone interfered, but I don’t mind the finish because this feud is far from over. Now that the odds are evened, we’ll get to see where it goes from there. The Hart Foundation are all great. Teddy is a loose cannon in and out of the ring, Smith is a supreme athlete, and Pillman just has “it”. I love their dynamic. The Dynasty, right now, is being carried by MJF. Holliday is overshadowed by MJF’s HUGE personality, as most are, but we’ll see where adding Hammerstone takes them. Alex hasn’t had much time to show how dynamic he is yet, so I look forward to seeing how he fits with the other two.)

FINAL ANALYSIS:Every week I watch MLW, and every week I am impressed. Everyone from the announcers to the talent seem to know their role perfectly, and it makes watching the show easy. Mance Warner is ridiculously entertaining, and his feud with Promociones looks to be headed for big things. CONTRA Unit, in three weeks, have become the most over heel faction in wrestling. I haven’t seen anyone garner this kind of heat in a LONG time. Finally, the Hart Foundation and Dynasty feud seems to be heading to the next level. Both sides have great promo work to build this feud, so I can’t wait until we get and all out war in the ring. Again, another great episode from MLW. I can’t wait for the next one! Until then, Matt out!


NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S REPORT: 3/9 MLW FUSION TV REPORT: Tom Lawlor update,DJZ vs. Ace Austin, Simon Gotch vs. Ace Romero, Alex Hammerstone vs. Isaias Velazquez

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