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MLW FUSION – EPISODE 53
APRIL 13, 2019
NEW YORK, N.Y.
AIRED ON 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 up this week with a review of what happened to Teddy Hart at the hands of MJF at Battle Riot, when he was smashed over the head with a champagne bottle. We next cut to several brutal highlights from Tom Lawlor retaining his MLW World Heavyweight title against Jimmy Havoc. Finally we were given a rundown of events that transpired in the Battle Riot, showing us a montage of clips, until LA Park was crowned victorious.
Next rolled the Fusion intro.
Rich welcomed us in to the show this week, telling us things would be crazy this week. Jim let us know Tom Lawlor was looking for revenge after being attacked at a press conference by CONTRA Unit. He also let us know about MJF going one on one with Brian Pillman Jr. this week. Rich told us that Salina de la Renta was confident after LA Park’s Battle Riot victory, and then pitched it to the ring for match number one.
(1) MJF vs. BRIAN PILLMAN JR.
Headed out to the ring first, accompanied by The Dynasty, was MJF. Cornette labeled them the “Trust fund Express”, and made sure to let us know all of MJF’s horrible qualities. Rich reminded us of the Rosie O’donnell footage of MJF. If you haven’t seen it, Youtube it. Brian Pillman Jr. would be out next, absent the Hart Foundation, which seemed like a bad idea. Rich told us that Pillman had a big elimination in Battle Riot, one MJF.
They traded lockups to begin the match, with the Dynasty constantly interfering on MJF’s behalf. The ref finally catches Holliday tripping Pillman, which prompted him to throw both Holliday and Hammerstone out of ringside. With things on a level playing field, Pillman took over the early going. Pillman hit a nice dropkick on MJF, and used his speed to stay a step ahead. Pillman got a rollup for a two count, but MJF pushed him off shoulder first into the turnbuckle. MJF followed that up with a shoulder breaker, taking control of the match. MJF worked on the shoulder and arm, using a combinations of knees, stomps, and a hammerlock to try and re-injure Pillman’s shoulder. He continued to try and break Pillman down, hitting a big overhead toss using the arm as leverage. MJF took Pillman up top, but Pillman fought him off before hitting a crossbody from the top rope. MJF missed a flurry of right hands, just to get chopped for his trouble. Pillman had taken control, though much of it with only one arm as he sold the injury. Pillman landed a huge one armed powerslam for a close two count. MJF rolled into a corner and pulled himself up, as did Pillman. Pillman went for the running dropkick into the corner, but MJF pulled the ref in front of him stopping the move. Pillman was distracted, and MJF poked him in the eyes. MJF quickly went to the second rope, hitting a double stomp to Pillman’s shoulder, and rolled him up for a very close two count of his own. MJF wasted too much time arguing with the ref about the count, and when he went back to grab Pillman, Pillman rolled him up into a small package for the three count!
WINNER: Brian Pillman Jr.
MJF looked stunned in the ring, as Pillman celebrated on his way to the back. MJF was stopped by Kaci Lennox on his way to the back, and he was not happy. He called Kaci a bimbo, and then yelled at the crowd that the loss was a fluke.
(Matt’s Thoughts: The match was good, but not great. Pretty standard stuff from both guys, but it helped to tell a story and continue a feud. MJF is arguably the best heel in wrestling right now on the mic, and his subtleties in the ring help sell his persona. Pillman just has it. He’s bound for superstardom, he just needs to keep working in the ring. He sold the arm injury very well, which I am sure will play in to future matches. The Dynasty had the edge, but the Hart Foundation stole back the momentum tonight.)
He cut to video of what happened to Tom Lawlor after Battle Riot, where he was viciously attacked by CONTRA Unit during a press conference. Lawlor would be addressing the controversy later.
Salina de la Renta would be up next, as she had some big news for everyone earlier in the day. Salina told us she would be executive producer of MLW Fusion the weekend of Cinco de Mayo, as we gringos call it. As for LA Park cashing in his title contract, she told us to stay tuned.
Sami Callihan would be standing by next, as Rich let us know Sami was one person who had a problem with Salina. Sami was aggravated with his camera man. He told us he left before because he wasn’t the Sami of old after being beat by LA Park. He said he had traveled around the world getting himself right. He told us in Battle Riot he saw someone he DID want to get in the ring with, someone who was a lot like himself, Mance Warner. He pulled a page out of the Mance book, and began to write down the plan on a whiteboard. He did a bit of math for us, as he told us Sami Callihan vs. Mance Warner equals ratings, and that would be next week.
A vignette for upcoming tour stops for MLW aired next, letting us know of the big summer events. Fury Road would be June 1st, in Milwaukee. That would be followed by King of Solosseum on July 6th, in Chicago. Finally we would get Never Say Never July 25th, back in New York City.
Rich would run down the LA Park open challenge for later this evening, and then recapped Brian Pillman getting a win over MJF. He next introduced footage of the Dynasty from backstage after the were kicked out of ringside. Alexander Hammerstone complained about the official, while Richard Holliday tried calming him down. The talked back and forth, before noticing that a camera was following them, which enraged Hammerstone as we were tossed back to the ring.
(2) LANCE ANOA’I & JIMMY YUTA vs. RICH SWANN & MYRON REED
Lance and Jimmy were out first. Cornette let us know Lance was indeed part of the famous Anoa’i wrestling family, his grandfather being Afa and his dad being Samu. Swann and Reed were out next, as both entered with the tape over their mouths as usual. Neither Rich Bocchini for Jim Cornette had any sympathy for Swann and Reed complaining about officiating at any point in time. Rich did argue that they were unfairly checked for weapons, when Yuta and Anoa’i weren’t, but Cornette said their track record made it necessary.
The match started off with Yuta and Reed. Yuta quickly took Reed down using a wristlock. Reed cheapshot Yuta in the corner after a referee break, and Yuta responded with a flurry of strikes eventually sending Reed outside. Swann and Anoa’i were then tagged in. Lot’s of athleticism was shown by both men. Anoa’i caught a headscissor attempt, but couldn’t follow it up. Swann landed a heavy right, but Anoa’i hit a standing one leg dropkick. Lance sent Swann for a HUGE back body drop which rotated all the way into a face first landing, and followed that with a standing moonsault for a close two. Lance landed a couple of chops on Swann in the corner, before tagging Yuta back in.
Swann quickly changed momentum by raking at Yuta’s eyes. Reed was tagged back in, and he and Swan hit a double suplex for a two count. Reed grounded Yuta for a bit, before he tagged Swann back in. Swann sent Yuta into the corner and followed it with several REALLY hard chops to the chest. He tagged Reed again and they hit a double side suplex for a two count. Reed and Swann continued to make quick tags, as Swann was tagged in. They hit a nice double team combo, as Reed snapmared Yuta over, Swann followed it with a stepover back kick, Reed then hit a inside out leg drop, and it was finally finished with Swann hitting a running senton. Great tag team work by Reed and Swann here. Yuta tried to crawl to his corner, but Swann stepped on his ankle and then hit him with a crossface forearm.
Reed was tagged back in. He and Swann tried another tandem side suplex on Yuta, but he flipped through and landed on his feet. He hit a few stiff right hands to Reed, and Swann wrapped him up from behind. Reed rand at them, but Yuta managed to backdrop him despite Swann on his back. He finally made the tag, as he lept over Swann into the corner to tag in Anoa’i. Anoa’i quickly took control, as he hit a kick to the gut of Swann and followed it with an uppercut right hand. He picked Swann up, and hit a samoan drop/drop kick on Reed combo which was really cool. Both of his opponents rolled to corners, and Anoa’i hit running hip attacks on both. Lance tried for a urinagi, but was blocked. Swann missed a superkick, but Lance hit his, and followed it with a successful urinagi. Anoa’i went up top, but missed a 450 splash.
As Lance made his way to his feet, from out of nowhere came Myron Reed hitting what I would call a Fosbury Flop Cutter from outside to inside on Anoa’i, for a two count broken up by Jimmy Yuta. Swann tried tossing Yuta out, but Yuta reversed it. Jimmy then went for a tope of some sort, but Swann caught him with a low blow as he came down. In the ring Myron Reed hit and inside out lung blower on Anoa’i, and held him there as Swann cam back in for a splash on him as well. Swann then went to the second rope and hit a 450 knee drop, followed by Reed hitting a 450 splash and getting the three count.
WINNER: Rich Swann and Myron Reed
(Matt’s Analysis: This was a really good match. Swann and Reed are REALLY clicking as a tag team. Both men can work, and both play the heel very well. Yuta and Anoa’i are individually both talented. Seeing some of the things Lance does at his size is amazing. If you haven’t watched this match, please do if just for the spot where Reed came from the ramp to hit a cutter on Anoa’i. I had to watch it like three time, because it was so smooth. I wasn’t sure about this storyline or gimmick at first,but I will admit I was wrong. I am loving this team, I am loving their work as heels, and I see them being a real player in the tag division very soon.)
Old Mancer would be up next, as we caught up with him backstage. Mance had hung an obviously porcelain head on the wall, and the guy (whoever he was) standing with him asked it if was a billy goat. Mance corrected him, letting him know it was an albino moose. He told us there were only two of them, and this one he eye poked and then hung on the wall. He said he had fought in moving trucks on the interstate before. King of the Road anybody? Before he can finish, Kaci Lennox interrupts to ask about the earlier comment from Sami Callihan. He said, in so many words, that there would be no thumbs up thumbs down that Sami needed to worry about knee pad up knee pad down. He then needed to go drink some light beers.
We finally got to here from Filthy Tom Lawlor next, about his attack at the hands of CONTRA Unit. He said for 22 years he had been putting everything on the line to be a champion, and finally he did it in MLW. He said he’s had his knee blown out, his jaw wired shut, and his hand fractured, all because he had to win. He said none of that was as bad as what Jacob Fatu did to him coming off the cage. He told Jacob Fatu that he and his cronies would feel pain, but not for a long time, because he was going to put them to sleep first where their lifeless bodies wouldn’t feel a thing.
(3) LA PARK OPEN CHALLENGE w/Salina de la Renta
LA Park and Salina were out first to the ring. Salina needed to address the crown before we would find out who LA Park’s opponent would be. She said the main event can’t happen. She told us that the opponent was supposed to be Jimmy Havoc, but he had a papercut and couldn’t make it. She issued a new open challenge.
The person who answered the challenge would be Sami Callihan, looking for a measure of revenge. He made his way to the ring with a bat, and tossed it aside and quickly attacked LA Park. It had barely got started when the action went to ringside. Callihan used beer cans, umbrellas, and even the floor mats to hit Park. Park used the guardrail and even line cue poles to attack Callihan. This was not going to be a scientific match. Conette let us know he was no fan of Callihan, for many reasons, but assured us that both men were up for the violence. LA Park found a chair to use on Sami, but not a folding chair.
The men traded punches, and Sami dug his fingers in to Park’s eyes. Park took back over with a few stiff punches, and running Callihan head first into the ring post. Callihan fought back, but eventually got picked up and sent crotch first into the ring post. LA Park took a replica MLW title from the crowd and hit Sami with it, before the action went back into the ring.
LA Park hit a huge lariat for a two count, but the kickout sent Park onto the ref. Park helped him up, but in came Callihan with a huge kick that missed LA and hit the ref instead. LA Park missed a spear into the corner, breaking the turnbuckle on impact. Callihan landed a bat shot to the head, and covered LA Park but there was no ref to count the three. From out of the back came Ricky Martinez and Hijo de LA Park to beat down Callihan. Mance Warner came out next, making the save thanks to his problems with Promociones.
A Mance headbutt sent Martinez down, as Warner and Park began to trade blows in the corner. Low Ki finally showed up to make sure that advantage stayed with Promciones Dorado, as he went right after Mance Warner. That prompted Daga to come out and try to even up the odds a bit, as things had broken down into an all out brawl. Daga cleared most of Promociones out of the ring, and hit a superkick on Mance during the process too. Daga then hit a tope onto Low Ki, Hijo, and Martinez. Callihan had made his way back up, and was about to do a tope as well, but was intercepted by a huge LA Park spear getting a one, two three.
(Matts Thoughts: Typical Callihan or Park match, without much time to develop into anything. The ensuing brawl between Promociones and Callihan, Daga, and Mance looks to be setting up an odd couple kind of pairing between the three to band and take on Salina’s crew. While this match wasn’t anything to write home about, the story in which it helped progress is definitely intriguing. )
Promociones continued to beat up on everyone after the match, as Rich ran down what we would see on next week’s Fusion.
We cut to Hammerstone and Holliday headed to the parking lot to get their car, which has vanished. Their car came rolling by with Hart driving, Daveyboy in the passenger seat, and Pillman Jr. in the back with his bare ass hanged out the window. The Hart Foundation sped off, as both Hammerstone and Holliday were left with no clue what to do as the show ended.
FINAL ANALYSIS: Another great week of MLW action, as they seem to always come through with a good show. It’s amazing what happens when you have cohesive writing, interesting stories, and character development. Coming out of Battle Riot, and heading towards Fury Road, we set up the next step in our storylines. The Hart Foundation feud with the Dynasty is far from over, as each group continues to try and one up the other week in and week out. This feud is not getting rushed along, and I for one am glad, because it has been so entertaining. Tom Lawlor finally has his sights set on CONTRA Unit. At some point he’s going to need some backup, because those guys are deadly, but Lawlor definitely isn’t backing down from their challenge. Promciones Dorado, even without the Heavyweight Title, has put themselves in position to be the top of the MLW mountain. It was good to transition them away from the title picture for now, but they’ve kept them strong, leaving an ace in their pocket with LA Park’s cash in available at any time. The MVP of the show tonight, even with all the other stuff going on, was Myron Reed. When he and Swann first started this anti authority gimmick, I was not a fan. I was wrong. Rich Swann plays a good heel, and Myron Reed looks like he was born for the role. They were really good tonight, as we got to see them in action together for the first time since Swann was reinstated. Myron Reed continues to improve and impress every week, and his Fosbury Flop Cutter (as I call it) was REALLY awesome. Next week we get Sami Callihan vs. Mance Warner, and I expect a ton of shenanigans to take place in that one. It should be fun. Until then, though… Matt out!