MLW FUSION – EPISODE 54
APRIL 20, 2019
NEW YORK, NY
AIRED ON BEIN SPORTS NETWORK
REPORT BY MATT CASTLEBERRY, PW TORCH CONTRIBUTOR
NOTE: I continue marching forward through the recent shows to catch up PWTorch.com’s MLW TV Review section. I’ll be caught up soon, and be here for it…
Announcers: Rich Bocchini, Jim Cornette
We kicked off the show heading straight to the ring.
(1) AIR WOLF AND REY HORUS vs. LUCHA BROS
Air Wolf and Rey Horus were out first, as Jim and Rich run down the lineup on the program. Lucha Bros headed to the ring second. They both looked like samurai when they came out, which was interesting. Cornette ran down the Lucha Bros past in MLW, including their MLW World Tag Title run.
Fenix started off with Air Wolf. Fenix started out in control, using his ground skills for reversals and submission attempts. Air Wolf finally reversed sending Fenix out of the ring, prompting your typical traded leaps outside of the ring. Air Wolf and Rey Horus seemed to win the exchange, but tried a tandem tope suicida and got super kicks for their trouble.
On the outside the Lucha Bros gave both men a series of stiff chops and kicks. The crowd was definitely in to this, as both Fenix and Penta really laid in the stiffness. The took the action back in the ring, against Air Wolf. The Bros used a series of superkicks against Air Wolf, with Fenix going high, Penta going low, and then both hitting one when Air Wolf hit his knees. Horus tried to come in and made the save, but ended up being taken down, and given a double team lifted splash from the Bros for a two count.
Air Wolf and Fenix end up in the ring together, as both men traded chops. Air Wolf broke the cycle with a kick to the stomach, and followed it with a failed basement 619 attempt…or a 617 as Jim and Rich have now adopted calling it. He did manage a springing flatliner, but it only got a two. Penta came in and took over for Fenix, quickly taking over the match. A pump handle piledriver almost got a win, but it was broken up by Rey Horus. Horus hit a nice standing Spanish Fly on Penta, but the count was broken up by Fenix.
Fenix then took over, as he focused his attack on Rey Horus. They traded punches, with Horus sending Fenix into the ropes. Fenix did a cool inside out of the ropes, and came back in hitting Horus with a superkick. Fenix then lifted Horus into a fireman’s carry, and dropped him for a tombstone, which garnered a VERY close two count. Penta joined Fenix in the ring, as they set up Horus for some sort of double team. Air Wolf TRIED to break it up, coming off the top rope, but was met with stereo supekicks. They then hit the same thing on Horus, which sent him out of the ring. They grabbed Air Wolf and hit the double stomp, spiked piledriver, which got the three as Fenix leapt out of the ring on Horus.
WINNERS: Lucha Bros.
(Matt’s Thoughts: If you like lucha, there’s not many matches from the Lucah Bros you won’t like. It was a fairly typical lucha tag match, with no tags to be seen. Both teams cut down on the high risk moves, which actually cause the pace to not just skyrocket. The Lucha Bros are obviously one of the best tag teams in the world right now, and it shows as they seem to know what one another are thinking at every turn. Air Wolf is young, but improving. Rey Horus is REALLY good, but when you are in the midst of so many other great lucha talents it can get lost. Overall a solid match to start the show, making the Lucha Bros look strong.)
We get a CONTRA Unit vignette next. Simon Gotch said that at in Chicago it was lesson one, and at Battle Riot it was lesson two. Jacob Fatu asked if MLW was ready for another lesson. Fatu said if MLW stood in their way, the body count would continue to rise.
Salina was being interviewed backstage. A reporter asked her when LA Park would use his title shot, which she seemed to take offense too, saying that he needed to use his brain. She said she would not tell them. The next reporter asked what she wanted from Sami Callihan and Mance Warner. Salina, again nonplussed by the question, began to tell us that Sami was a disgusting Pig but was interrupted by Sami trying to get to her.
(2) ACE ROMERO vs. JOSEF SAMAEL
Ace was out first, as both Rich and Corny ran down the problems Ace had with CONTRA. Jim talked about how dangerous Samael was, but that Acey wanted his revenge for what had happened previously.
Samael was out next, but never made it to the ring as Ace took the brawl to him on the walkway. Ace laid in the hands, taking Samael and tossing him in the ring. Samael rolled right out, but Ace followed him. Josef and Ace traded punches, chops, and other hard shots on the outside with neither man taking control. Ace rolled Samael in the ring, but as he tried to climb in Josef kicked the middle rope sending it into Ace’s groin. Samael tried a sleeper hold, but Ace did a back drop squishing Samael. Ace TRIED going up top, but crotched Ace on the top and tossed him off to the canvas. Samael then laid in the repeated kicks, chokes, and raking of the eyes. Samael tried an Irish whip on Ace, but he couldn’t. Ace reversed his last attempt, and tried a big splash but missed. Samael hit a big ddt after that. Josef then seemed to “load his boot toe”, and then hit a PK on Ace which gave him the three count.
WINNER: Josef Samael.
Fatu and Gotch were quick to join Samael in the ring after the match. They all began to beat down on Ace, but Barrington Hughes cut them off. He tossed both Gotch and Samael out of the ring, then went toe to toe with Fatu. Fatu and Hughes stood trading right hands, until the rest of CONTRA recovered and took him down too. They proceeded to beat him, despite officials trying to stop them, ending when Fatu hit a huge top rope splash on Hughes.
(Matt’s Thoughts: This was good for what it was, which was telling the next chapter in CONTRA’s book of violence. Ace looked like he was on his way to getting some measure of revenge, but the inference of a loaded boot by Samael gave the heel the tainted win. Adding Barrington Hughes to the mix, gives Ace some help, but I assume they will eventually be joined by Tom Lawlor. CONTRA Unit continued to look strong, as they have been booked as monsters and have been kept looking that way.)
Next up is our weekly reminder of the upcoming schedule, which showed us dates for Fury Road and the other summer specials.
We got a recap of what had just happened to Ace and Barrington, which segues us in to a pretaped interview with Tom Lawlor at his training camp. He said CONTRA has been preying on other for months. He told CONTRA they hadn’t come for the one name that would make them famous, and that’s him. That seems a bit like revisionist history to me, but let’s keep moving. He said what he wants is a face to face match in the ring, whether it’s 1 on 1, 2 on 2, or 3 on 3. He said they’ve forgot how Filthy he can be, but they’d see as soon as his friends got there.
We then went to a recap of the end of Battle Riot, showing LA Parks win. Rich says Promociones got a war on all fronts, which led to a replay of Salina and Sami from earlier. This finally gave us a shot from backstage as Sami Callihan and Ricky Martinez ran into one another. Sami told him to go, that it wasn’t the time. He asked about Salina, but Ricky said he had balls to even ask about her and not to do it again. This lead to a brawl breaking out.
We cut away from that to see what happened to MJF’s car at the end of last week, with the Hart Foundation commandeering it. We then got a new H2TV, 420 edition. Teddy said MJF was stupid for leaving his keys in his pouch. He said he wouldn’t steal the car, but he would borrow it for a little bit to do some smoking in. He said his cat had been pissing in the back, because there was no litter box, and that he might get another cat to do some procreating in the back. Daveyboy Smith Jr. told us that after the stunt the Dynasty had pulled a few weeks back, it would be terrible if the cops found what was in MJF’s glove compartment. Teddy said it wouldn’t be hard, as he got the two cops he’d did a charity event with, to get their license plate. Teddy said maybe a night in jail would teach MJF some lessons. Brian Pillman Jr. told MJF not to drop the soap, and Teddy said that’s how he got into the group with Holliday and Hammerstone to start with.
Back with Rich, and he told us about the main event tonight, which would be Sami Callihan vs. Mance Warner in what they are billing Friend or Foe. Up next, though, he told us would be Gringo Loco vs. Puma King.
(3) GRINGO LOCO vs. PUMA KING
Gringo was out first, and Jim said Gringo Loco was his guilty pleasure. Puma King would come out second, wearing a green suit which is different. Jim said he was surprised Puma wasn’t a friend of Teddy Hart, and that he had a feline outlook on life. Puma climbed down the ropes, like he was a cat, which Jim said was a shimmy and shake he had seen once at a strip club. Rich asked if his wife knew about it, and Jim said that was his wife. Puma is living his best life as a cat.
The match got started in a typical lucha style, with lots of reversals, flips, rolls, and counters. Jim actually gave us a huge piece of knowledge, telling us the reason WHY lucha evolved into lots of flips and rolls. Jim said that when wrestling first made its way into Mexico, because they used boxing rings which were hard as rock they started taking bumps in rolls or in flips as self preservation. That’s such an interesting fact…back to the action!
Afterwards Puma offered Gringo a handshake, but when Gringo finally tried he pulled his hand away. Gringo laid in some punches, and then some chops. He whipped Puma into the ropes, but Puma rolled himself into the ropes crawling like a cat. That led to another lucha exchange, which led to a big hurricanrana from Puma. Gringo rolled outside, and Puma hit a flying body press. They both rolled back into the ring. Puma gave Gringo several stiff kicks. Jim earlier had told us that lucha took elements from capoeira as well as wrestling, and Rich let us know that Gringo had actually studied some capoeira under the great master Jairo. I’m pretty sure his school is right down the road from Wonder Wharf. Puma seemed to be firmly in control, as Gringo was bleeding from the mouth. Gringo reversed an irish whip, though, and hit a springboard cutter on Puma. Gringo went up top, but missed a corkscrew moonsault. Puma hit a big pop up powerbomb on Gringo, and went up top himself, but Gringo crotched him. Gringo then went up with Puma, and hit a spanish fly for the close two count. Gringo tried a monkey flip, but Puma spun him around on to the top rope. Puma hit a superplex, and held on for a second suplex, but failed at the Three Amigos as Gringo flipped over it. That didn’t help Gringo much, as he was walloped by a Puma back elbow out of the corner. Puma climbed up top, as Gringo was stunned, and attempted a flying hurricanrana. Puma did not succeed, as Gringo caught him in a powerbomb, and then lifted him up for a double underhook sit down powerbomb for the three count.
WINNER: Gringo Loco.
(Matt’s Thoughts: A good fast paced match, which notched Gringo Loco another big win. He continues to impress me every time I see him wrestle. He was definitely a “don’t judge a book by its’ cover” case for me. Puma King is fun to watch as well, as his mannerisms make him stand out in the ring. He takes the at gimmick to its fullest.)
Salina de la Renta was up next, as she wanted to talk to Mance Warner. She said she had an offer or a proposition for him. She said she could get ANYTHING for Mance that he wanted. She said all he needed to do was take care of Sami Callihan for her. Mance said that while it was a great offer, his grandaddy told him that if he laid down with ladies like her he’d get fleas…and old Mancer didn’t want no fleas. Salina was not pleased, and told him his genitalia had fleas.
Rich told us our main event would be next, but first would be a message from the Dynasty.
MJF said he didn’t want to be that guy, but they needed to have a discussion. He said they weren’t firing on all cylinders. He said it was a fluke he lost to Pillman, which Hammerstone wasn’t as enthusiastic about. After that, I’ll be honest, they wind from taping outdoors wrecked the promo. You couldn’t hear much of anything, aside from MJF trying to lead a hands in dynasty chant on three, which Holliday loved but Hammerstone obviously wasn’t happy about.
(4) SAMI CALLIHAN vs. MANCE WARNER
Callihan was out first, and Rich tried as he always does to incite Jim Cornette over Sami Callihan. Those two do NOT like one another. They continued to sell that Callihan was lots of trouble and muck followed him everywhere. Mance was out next, and Jim told us how much he liked Mance. Rich told him he needed to be impartial, and Jim asked had Mance bashed in Eddie Edwards face.
The match started quickly as a brawl, both men love that style. They quickly rolled out of the ring and brawled on the floor. Jim called Sami an attention whore, to which Rich said Jim had no room to talk. Mance bit Sami, which led to Jim saying he may need a rabies shot after. Sami hit Mance with a beer can, but Mance returned the favor. Sami and Mance traded can shots again, but Sami won the exchange. Sami grabbed a chair, and dropped Mance throat first on it. Sami tried to suplex Warner on the concrete, but it was blocked the first time. After several attempts, Sami finally hit the suplex, but Mance seemed to enjoy the pain. Sami set up a chair and ended up hitting another suplex on Mance onto the opened chair.
Jim said Sami was basically a cult leader, and he didn’t understand why anyone would follow. Mance tried to rip off Sami’s flack jacket, but Sami stopped him and took it off saying give me your best shot. Mance gave him a tough chop across his now bare chest, which put Sami on his knees. Mance went for a second, but Sami hit one instead. Sami rolled Mance into the ring, and followed him in with a chair. Sami gave Mance a big chair shot across the back, and suddenly the bell rang. Sami was mad, and pulled the ref over to the timekeeper to see what had happened. There’s no real explanation for what happened, other than possibly an inadvertent bell, but Mance used this distraction to recover.
Mance floored Sami with a chair to the back, but couldn’t follow up because of the referee. Sami recovered enough to hit Mance in the throat. Sami then set up a chair in the middle of the ring, and put Mance’s head in it. He then tied Mance hands up in his suspenders, and gave him a big chop across the back. Sami gave him another, but Mance powered to his feet. Mance kicked Sami in the face, broke his hands free, and then hit a series of right hands. He still had the chair around his head, which caused Sami to drop toehold him chair first into the mat. Sami set up the chair in the ring again, and tried for a flatliner but Mance blocked. He sat Sami in the chair, and then hit multiple headbutts on Callihan. Mance came off the ropes, but Sami caught him and twisted him up into the tombstone position. Sami turned and dropped Mance head first through the chair, but Mance somehow kicked out at two!
Sami rolled out of the ring and grabbed a piece of wood, and brought it in the ring and set it in the corner. When he turned around, though, Mance speared him through the wood. It only got a one count, as Sami kicked out mad. Both stood up, and Sami spit right in his face. Mance hit a kick to the gut, and then a huge Lariat for a two count. Mance set up in the corner and was about to hit a knee pad up, knee pad down, but in came Ricky Martinez and Hijo de LA Park. The two member of Promociones beat down Mance, but Sami broke it up. Both Sami and Mance got the upper hand, and backed in to one another. They spun around in a bit of a standoff, but decided to not hit each other and clear the ring.
Rich told us that next week we would see a tables match between the Hart Foundation and the Dynasty. Mance stood in the ring with Callihan, who offered him his hand, and Mace accepted as they went out to brawl with Promociones at ringside while we fade out.
FIANL THOUGHTS:This week’s episode was much more filler than previous weeks, as they had to get in some of the top guys who AREN’T involved in major feuds. It was STILL a great show. He got to see the Lucha Bros in action, which is always a treat. We got Gringo Loco, who is one of the most fun guys to watch in MLW. We also got progression in all three MAJOR storylines of some sort. CONTRA Unit continued to dominate, as they took out both Ace Romero and Barrington Hughes this week. Tom Lawlor said he was about to bring some help against them though. The Hart Foundation continued to get under the skin of the Dynasty, and while MJF and Richard Holliday seem to be taking it in stride…Alex Hammerstone is NOT pleased. Finally Promociones Dorado see’s the first steps in an alliance to stop them, as Mance Warner and Sami Callihan have now joined forces. There’s not a week that goes by that MLW doesn’t put on a quality show, and this was no different. As we march toward Fury Road, where will we go next? I’m not sure, but until then…Matt out!