SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
MLW FUSION – EPISODE 51
MARCH 30, 2019
AIRED ON THE BEIN SPORTS NETWORK
REPORT BY MATT CASTLEBERRY, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
NOTE: I continue marching forward through the recent shows to catch up PWTorch.com’s MLW TV Review section…
Announcers: Rich Bocchini, Jim Cornette
We opened the show with Salina de la Renta and El Hijo de LA Park walking down a hallway. She WAS on the phone, but jumped off to tell Hijo to “Go to the place I told you, and give him whatever he wants”. She then followed it up by telling us that, “Just when you thought Promiciones Dorado was over, we’re back bitch!”
Next rolled the MLF Fusion opening.
Rich welcomed us in, and immediately went to telling us about next week’s Battle Riot. He ran down the title match, which would feature Tom Lawlor taking on Jimmy Havoc. He then recapped that Salina would have at least four men in Battle Riot. Finally he told us again about the problems between The Dynasty and The Hart Foundation, which has lead to Teddy Hart issuing an open challenge in tonight’s Main Event.
(1) ARIEL DOMINGUEZ vs. DAGA
Our first watch was up, and out first came Ariel Dominguez. Low Ki would be joining the announcers at ringside for this match. If anyone forgot, Low Ki almost ripped Daga’s ear off several weeks ago, and this would be Daga’s first appearance since. Daga’s music hit, and out come Daga. Cornette called Low Ki “Tyson”, as in Mike, for the ear shenanigans. Low Ki corrected him, saying he was the “most dangerous man in MLW”.
Daga started off by putting the diminutive Dominguez in a headlock, into a wristlock, back to a headlock, keeping the speedy Ariel Dominguez grounded at first. Dominguez finally got loose, but received a nice dropkick, into a snap suplex for his troubles. Jim Cornette had definitely done his homework, as he went into the who’s and when’s of Daga’s training. Daga remained in control, as no matter what Dominguez tried it just wasn’t successful. The conversation at the announce booth turned to the long standing rivalry between Low Ki and Konnan, hinting that it may still have some legs down the road. In the ring Daga hit a nice superkick/lariat combo, that led to a two count. He followed that by tossing Dominguez into the air, and letting him land face first, which led to a basement mafia kick, and then into a running shooting star press. All that led to a very close two. Daga is so crisp in the ring. Dage continued to keep Dominguez grounded, but Ariel finally got in some offense as he countered off the ropes into a back elbow, and then landed a nice tornado DDT for a two count. Daga was sent over the top when he missed a body press, and Dominguez hit a springboard cross body. Ariel tossed Daga back in, but would immediately lose his momentum as Daga countered out of a waistlock with a back flip. Daga then hit a nasty German suplex, followed by a modified brainbuster/DDT for the three count.
(Matt’s Thoughts: Daga is an amazing athlete, and a great wrestler. You could see glimpses of it in this match, but working with the still very green Ariel Dominguez didn’t allow for this match to ever really get going. Daga could be a superstar with the right push, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see he and Low Ki continue their feud sometime after Battle Riot.)
After the match Daga tried to confront a laughing Low Ki, but we got officials out to stop them from interacting with one another. Daga is obviously not finished with the self-proclaimed “most dangerous man in MLW”, so we’ll see where that goes.
Next Rich recapped LA Park’s victory over Mance Warner last week. They also showed us some behind the scenes footage from after the match, where Mance attacked the whole of Promociones Dorado.
Rich then again ran down the upcoming open challenge issued by Teddy Hart, to which we got a video response from Myron Reed. Reed told Teddy he couldn’t have every belt, and he wanted the shot. Reed said that with an unbiased official, he would win.
Next we got another preview for Battle Riot, which was only a week away, before heading back to the beat-down Brian Pillman Jr. got at the hands of Dynasty last week. We had a pretaped interview with the Hart Foundation next. Teddy said they were a real dynasty, and that “The Dynasty” was just a soap opera. He said MJF was a little kid playing wrestling.
(2) RICKY MARTINEZ (w/Salina de la Renta) vs. AIR WOLF
Ricky Martinez entered first, being led to the ring by Salina who looked mad as usual. Air Wolf came out next, as Rich let us know he was only 19 years old. The bell didn’t even sound before Air Wolf hit a headscissor on Martinez. The action spilled outside quickly as Air Wolf hit a crossbody over the top onto Air Wolf. Salina tried to distract Wolf, but Martinez couldn’t take advantage. Ricky did turn things around, tossing Air Wold into the guardrail. Martinez took the fight back to the ring, and grounded Air Wolf with a bit of mat wrestling. Martinez almost lost Air Wolf on a slingshot suplex, but managed to hold on to him. Ricky hit more kicks and strikes, but spent too much time talking in between giving Air Wolf a chance to counter. It would be a short lived comeback, as Martinez took back momentum and hit a swinging neckbreaker for a two count. Air Wolf continued to try and counter, but Martinez seemed to stay one step ahead. Wolf would get some momentum finally as he tripped Martinez into the ropes, and hit a basement 619 which Cornette called a “617” because it wasn’t quite a 619. Air Wolf followed that with a flying DDT for a two count. Wolf would pull Martinez to the corner and go up top, but Ricky Martinez pulled him off the top rope. Ricky then tossed him into the and hit a pop-up knee strike to the chin (a GTS minus the fireman’s carry) for the three count and a win.
WINNER: Ricky Martinez
(Matt’s Thoughts: This was an okay match. I like Martinez style in the ring, as it really fits his persona. Air Wolf has some talent as well, but really didn’t get to show it off that much as this was made to boost Promociones Dorado’s standing. I’d like to see both guys get more time in the ring together, as I think they COULD have had a really good match if they had time. Also, Salina de la Renta is absolutely gorgeous, so seeing more Promociones is always good.)
We got a CONTRA Unit vignette next. Jacob Fatu would be the focal point, saying that the might have fallen and that he’d done things God had turned his eyes from. He said in MLW they’d salt the earth with the ashes of their enemies.
The Dynasty was up next, as Alexander Hammerstone told us The Hart Foundation were the biggest lie in MLW. He said they shattered their illusions, and they exposed Teddy Hart. He said next week at Battle Riot they would dominate, and solidify themselves as the top group in MLW.
Rich would run down the rules of Battle Riot next, and tell us the newest entrants into the 40 man battle royal. We then got a vignette with Tom Lawlor hyping his match with Jimmy Havoc, the last man to defeat Filthy in MLW.
Daga spoke to us next, saying he was back in MLW to kill Low Ki, and he would get his opportunity.
We cut to Salina de la Renta on the phone upset and wondering where Hijo de LA Park was. She told LA Park she couldn’t find his son, and he said he would handle it.
(3) TEDDY HART vs. MYRON REED – MIDDLEWEIGHT TITLE OPEN CHALLENGE
Out first came Myron Reed, the tape again over his mouth that states #FreeSwann. Teddy Hart entered next, being accompanied by his Hart Foundation partners. Teddy, of course, carried both titles around his neck being the first double champion in MLW. The crowd broke into a Teddy chant. Teddy tried to shake Myron’s hand, but Reed refused the shake. Teddy posed on the ropes, and got a Teddy chant. Myron tried the same thing, and got a chorus of “boos”. Teddy took control quickly, as he showed some of those famous Hart ground wrestling maneuvers. Reed tried to counter, but got a shoulder block that sent him flying. He jumped back up and yelled at Teddy, just to get a stiff European Uppercut. Teddy missed a right hand, but caught Reed off the ropes for a huge powerslam. Teddy followed that with a NASTY powerbomb lungblower, but favored his perpetually hurt ribs afterward. Teddy tried to whip Reed across the ring, but Reed blocked and Teddy nearly collapsed due to his ribs. Myron took advantage, sending kick after kick into Hart’s midsection. Reed maintained control, countering out of anything Teddy tried because his ribs were obviously stalling his offense. Myron charged at Teddy in the corner, but Teddy ducked it sending Reed outside to the apron. Reed didn’t miss a beat, however, and leapt back in hitting a lungblower of his own on Teddy for a clos two count. Reed tossed Teddy out of the ring, and then followed him out to send Teddy ribs first into the guardrail. The action made its way back in, as Reed rolled Teddy in and then hit a big frog splash off the top for another close three. Reed complained to the ref, and Teddy tried to take advantage, but it ended with neither guy in control. Teddy tried going up top, but couldn’t move quick enough. Reed knocked his feet out, and then hit a springboard hurricanrana on Teddy for another two count. Reed tried to follow that with a springboard 450, but Teddy rolled out of the way. Teddy picked Reed up into a bearhug, and then turned it into a hammerlock, and then he dropped him into a DDT. Hart couldn’t cover quick enough, as it only got a two count. Teddy hit a neckbreaker, but then had his springboard moonsault backfire when Myron Reed got his knees up. Reed got a two count, and then complained to the ref about his count. Reed, being distracted, never saw Hart come from behind and get a backslide for the three count.
WINNER: Teddy Hart
(Matt’s Thoughts: This was easily match of the night, as Teddy Hart is always fun to watch. Pair him with a guy like Myron Reed, who is a great athlete in his own, and it has the makings of a great match. Hart sold his ribs so well, it makes you wonder if they are really injured. Reed plays his character perfectly, as every two count comes off to him as slow, causing his frustration to build. These two told an excellent story, and add to it the innovative offense both men are capable of, and you get a top notch MLW match.)
After the match Rich ran down next week’s Battle Riot card, as the Hart Foundation celebrated in ring. We then cut to the back, where something was going on with Promociones Dorado. Salina said that Promociones was back on track, and she wanted the whole world to see why. Salina and LA Park stood there as Hijo, who had returned, come walking up to them. She said Hijo would tell them the news. As Hijo made his way into the room, he slugged LA Park and pulled off his mask revealing Mance Warner. We faded to black as the fight continued.
FINAL ANALYSIS:One thing I love about MLW is that they don’t seem to do things for no reason. Every match, every segment, every vignette is used to push forward a story, or build a wrestler up. There is no filler, or unnecessary use of time. It makes an hour go by fast, and leaves you wanting more. Tonight was no different. Each match had a reason behind it. Daga was back to help plant the seeds for a continued feud with Low Ki, which gives the former champ a high profile program without forcing him to stay in the title picture. Ricky Martinez gained a win tonight, helping to show everyone that the rumors of Promociones Dorados death were just that, rumors. Obviously the main event helped to sell Teddy’s injury as a huge concern, and something that The Dynasty will be keying on later. Just another fantastic and well written episode, which set us up for the big show next week. Battle Riot is up next for MLW, and they’ve made sure the hype is real! Are you ready for Battle Riot? I know I certainly am, until then Matt out!