SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
MLW FUSION EPISODE 71
AUGUST 17, 2019
NEW YORK CITY, N.Y.
AIRED ON BEIN SPORTS NETWORK
REPORT BY JASON STOVALL, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Announcers: Rich Bocchini, Tony Schiavone
-The episode opened with a backstage video segment of Mance Warner. He said tonight he was going to cut down Ricky Martinez and pulled out the same chainsaw he had from last week. He said Ricky is the number one tree he is about to cut down and Ole Mancer is about to have some fun. “The saw is family, kid,” he finished.
-The MLW intro then aired to officially start to the show.
-Rich welcomed us to the show stating we had a huge night ahead of us coming from New York City. He reminded everyone that the main event would be a long awaited dream match with LA Park battling it out against Jimmy Havoc in a New York City Street Fight. He also said that Marshall Von Erich would join them live via satellite to give an update on his eyesight condition following the attack from Contra Unit two weeks ago. He also stated that Austin Aries’ quest for Teddy Hart and the Middleweight championship continued so he would go one on one with the “top ranked” Ace Austin.
-Cut to the ring and Salina de la Renta stood center ring with a microphone in hand. She personally welcomed Ricky Martinez to the ring for the show’s opening bout. She claimed he was the greatest athlete in the history of Cuban sports, taking a small jab at Konnan.
(1) RICKY MARTINEZ vs. MANCE WARNER
Mance Warner came to the ring and as he attempted to enter, Ricky Martinez kicked the ropes crouching Mance along the second rope. Ricky then launched himself off the second turnbuckle with a stiff kick across Mance’s face. Martinez began a ground and pound approach on Ole Mancer, but Mance fought him off and began chopping him all around the ring. Martinez surprised Mance with a cutter in the center of the ring but was only able to get a one count from it. Martinez started landing slaps to Mance’s face which got Warner fired back up but Ricky cut off any offense with a low blow followed by a double knee face breaker. Two count on that attempt.
Martinez began taunting the crowd as Salina yelled at him to hurry up and finish Mance off. Martinez climbed up the second turnbuckle and leaped off at Mance, but Mance got to his feet and answered with a headbutt while Ricky was in a mid air. Ole Mancer did the knee pad up and knee pad down routine and then smashed Martinez with a running knee to the face. Ricky quickly got to his feet and Mance hit him with the a lariat to obtain the win.
WINNER: Mance Warner.
(Stovall’s Thoughts: Very short match. It was refreshing to see a Mance Warner match that wasn’t heavily influenced by a hardcore style. However the match was so short, it seemed to end when the two were just getting warmed up. With five extra minutes, they could of achieved a much better match.)
Post-match: Mance Warner was tossed a beer can from the outside and he popped the top and took a big drink from it. Salina got in the ring and began berating Mance and then slapped him in the face and spat in his face as well. Mance went to spit the beer in her face, but she side stepped his attempt at the last second and he spat the beer in Martinez’s face instead. Mance took another drink of his beer and then crushed the remainder of the beer can over Martinez’s head. Martinez no sold the blow and just looked at his feet in humiliation and frustration.
-Rich hyped the main event once again and gave us a run down of the feud between Salina de la Renta and Konnan over the possession of her cell phone. He then introduced the newest addition of “Lifestyles of the Rich and Dynastic.”
-Richard Holiday was shown staring out the window of a Las Vegas penthouse wearing nothing but a white robe. A man off camera could be heard telling him that a young lady was there to see him. He told the unknown man that she could wait. He then looked into the camera and stated Las Vegas was the fight capitol of the world. He said all three member of the The Dynasty were considered the greatest fighters in the world now that they all wore championships in MLW. The door was heard opening off screen and Holiday looked towards the door and said “I thought I told you to wait a second.” Apparently, he liked what he saw from the lady and began to take his robe off as the camera cut away.
-A commerical spot aired of the various T-shirts being sold by MLW which can be purchased at mlwshop.com
-A video recap aired from last week’s match pitting Savio Vega against Alex Hammerstone. It was noted Vega’s legs folded up under his body after being hit with Hammerstone’s finisher “The Night Terror Pendulum.” (The move has been renamed since last week’s episode, it was called “The Nightmare Pendulum.”) Rich stated that Vega’s return the ring was uncertain and the MLW officials were looking into ruling about the legality of the maneuver. Rich also noted that Savio was the second wrestler taken to the hospital in the last two weeks. A recap video was then shown of Ikuro Kwon spitting red mist into the eyes of Marshall Von Erich. Rich then threw to Marshall who standing by via satellite from his home in Hawaii.
-Marshall Von Erich was shown wearing thick black sunglasses that covered his entire eyes. Marshall thanked all the fan for their love and support while he has been sidelined from the ring. He stated his family has been reading him all the messages since at the moment, his eyesight is a little impaired. He said he knew Contra Unit was behind his attack and he knew what he signed up for and it will take a lot more than red mist to take him down. He said he will be at War Chamber to compete and he going to bring the “General” Kevin Von Erich with him. He said he won’t let Contra get away with this and he won’t let Texas down. (A much better promo than his brother Ross comparing the two from last week to this week.)
-Rich brought us into the War Chamber Command Center confirming that Team Lawlor will have Kevin Von Erich in their corner.
-Salinda de la Renta was shown standing backstage waiting to be interviewed by Rich Bocchini. Rich questioned Salina about the employment of Ricky Martinez in Promociones Dorado following his lost to Mance Warner. Salina cut Rich off saying she refused to answer that and asked who was asking him to ask those questions. “Court?” she asked. Konnan then joined her backstage and told Rich to forgive her if she seemed fragile ever since she lost her cell phone to him. He taunted her by waving the cell phone in her face. He reminded her that she wouldn’t get her cell phone back unless all three of his demands were met. He then danced and sang to her annoyance. Rich plugged the remaining matches left for tonight’s show.
-Another Hart Foundation segment began this time starting with Teddy Hart surrounded by his cats in a motel bathroom. Brian Pillman Jr entered the bathroom bragging that he was wearing the stolen red jacket of Alex Hammerstone. Teddy Hart said the jacket looked like a litter box to him. Teddy Hart ran down The Dynasty for wearing expensive suits while taking jabs at him for making his own clothes “like I’m some kind of homeless person,” but Teddy said the last time he checked he made more money and paid less taxes than all of them. Teddy made fun of MJF saying now that he is champion, he felt he had to wear tight pants just because he saw Batista wearing tight pants on TV. The segment ended with Brian Pillman Jr urinating on the Hammerstone’s red leather jacket.
(Stovall’s Thoughts: A much better segment than the segment that aired last week. With this, we seen Teddy Hart combat some of the stereotypes that The Dynasty has been throwing at him, and we saw the storyline furthered with the destruction of Hammerstone’s prized leather jacket. Good stuff.)
(2) ACE AUSTIN vs. AUSTIN ARIES
Tim Bar introduced both competitors to the ring. Tony reminded us that a wrestler can compete in the Middleweight division as long as they weight in under 205 pounds. The bell sounded and both wrestlers took their time playing to the crowd. The crowd was heavily in the favor of Austin Aries. The two went for a lock up but just before it could be met, Aries nailed Ace with a quick kick to the torso. Ace went for his own torso kick but Aries caught his leg and shoved him into the turnbuckles, laughing him off. An official lock up was made and Aries began mat work with a single leg takedown and the application of a side headlock. Rich said you can’t deny the success of Austin Aries as he’s held a championship in every promotion he’s ever competed in. (He never won a title in the WWE, for the record.)
The pace quickened as Ace tried to go for a top rope leg drop on Aries but Aries moved and Ace crashed hard to mat. Aries nailed Ace with a flying elbow from the turnbuckles to the back of the neck. It was only good for a one count. Ace momentarily distracted Aries by handing him an Ace of Spades card, and then followed through with a series of stiff right forearms and chops. A sequence of chain wrestling led Aries to find himself outside the ring on the apron and then Ace nailed Aries with a knee to the face and a snapmare on the rope that made Aries fall to the floor. Ace struck Aries with a running punt kick from the apron that flattened Aries. Ace threw Aries back in the ring for a two count.
The match reset and Ace took control working on Aries right leg and lower back. Ace connected with a big leg drop in the center of the ring for a two count. Aries attempted to go to the top rope but got crotched by Ace into the Tree of Woe. Aries sustained a significant amount of damage while being stuck in the turnbuckles. Aries broke out of the Tree of Woe and countered with a stunner to Ace Austin mid-ring. Aries tried to whip Ace into the ropes but Ace reversed it then Aries countered with a devastating discus elbow. Aries caught Ace with a rope assisted neckbreaker that sent Ace outside the ring. Aries smashed Ace with a suicide dive between the bottom and middle rope into the guardrail. Ace distracted Aries once again with pulling out his cane once he got back in the ring. Aries took the cane and discarded it and when the ref turned his back to remove the cane from the ring apron, Ace nailed Aries with a low blow. Ace went for a roll up immediately but only scored a two count. A fired up Ace then charged at Aries from the opposite end of the ring but Aries countered it into a sudden brainbuster in the center of the ring and scored the pinfall.
WINNER: Austin Aries.
(Stovall’s Thoughts: This was probably the best singles match I have seen on MLW in the last few months. When Aries is in his zone, he’s one of the best, pound for pound. Ace Austin is great as well and I look forward to more from him in the upcoming months. It is great to see Austin Aries on national TV again. If he does end up challenging Teddy Hart for the Middleweight championship, that would be an outstanding match up. Go out of your way to see this one.)
Post-match: Austin Aries picked up the microphone after his win to address the crowd. Aries said everyone knows his name and knows his reputation. He said while most of it is true, some of it is BS. He said he is going to call the next chapter of his career, “The Reveal.” He said if anyone is going to listen to him, he is going to need some gold. He said that Teddy Hart had a target around his waist and he is coming for it.
-A video segment cut to what was described as a MLW.com Exclusive of all three members of The Dynasty entering the building for tonight’s show. An unseen cameraman asked Hammerstone about Brian Pillman Jr taking his red leather jacket. Hammerstone said there are only a few things he cares about in his life. His Dynasty bros, his Hogan tan, his National Openweight Championship title, his gold rolex watch and his red leather jacket. MJF noted that was a lot of things. Hammestone said that all Pillman did was prove that The Hart Foundation is the criminals they have been saying they were all along. MJF suddenly asked where Aria Blake was? On cue, Aria walked up to The Dynasty holding Hammerstone’s red leather jacket saying someone left it for them at the front desk. Hammerstone noted that jacket smelled of cat urine and tossed it to the ground in disgust. Rich voiced in to tell us our main event was next!
-A promo video aired of MLW’s upcoming live events which included the War Chamber TV tapings from Dallas, TX on September 7th; the live pay per view Saturday Night Superfight from Chicago on November 2nd, and the 2019 Opera Cup on December 5th from New York City.
-Rich briefly ran down some of the big news items MLW has been involved with in recent weeks including the alliances formed with Pro Wrestling Noah and Crash Lucha Libre, Alex Hammerstone competing in the N-1 Victory tournament, and the newest news to come out which is kickboxer Douglas James had inked a deal with MLW and he will debut on September 7th in Dallas. He also announced that MLW has now came into a new partnership with Martial Arts Research Systems. He said the two companies will come together to launch an innovation lab designed to explore furthering athlete development and injury prevention. He said the laboratory will be housed at the Mars Training Complex in Utah.
-Rich took us back inside the War Chamber Command Center. In breaking news, he said that MLW will be honoring the late great Gary Hart that night in Dallas. He also reconfirmed that Kevin Von Erich will be in the corner of Team Lawlor against Contra Unit and ran down the rules of the War Chamber match once again.
(3) JIMMY HAVOC vs. LA PARK – New York City Street Fight
Timothy Barr introduced both competitors for tonight’s main event. LA Park came out with chair in tow. Salina de la Renta was shown sitting in the crowd looking very dissatisfied at that the match about to take place. LA Park played his traditional air guitar on the chair before the match started. Havoc removed his long black coat and mocked LA Park by playing air guitar across his jacket. When Havoc turned his back to remove his coat from the ring, LA Park struck him with the chair across the back. The bell quickly sounded as the match began.
LA Park went for a head shot with the chair but Havoc escaped from the corner in the nick of time. Havoc responded with three deep arm drags into the center of the ring to Tony Schiavone’s surprise that he would use those moves in the midst of a street fight. Havoc followed up with three superkicks to LA Park’s upper torso that knocked Park outside the ring. Havoc launched himself to the outside with a suicide dive on LA Park and then nailed him with a chair in the stomach and across the back. Havoc pulled out a garbage can from under the ring and crashed it on top Park’s head. He found some cookie sheets and a staple gun under the ring. He put the cookie sheets to immediate use, beating them on LA Park. He then pulled out a piece of wood that resembled a door from under the ring. Rich Bocchini advised us that those pieces of wood were kept under the ring in case one of the planks that hold the mat together broke throughout the night. (Nice touch Rich!) Jimmy opted not to use the “wooden plank” yet and instead grabbed another chair and hit LA Park with a head shot. He propped the chair across LA Park’s head and kicked the chair into LA Park’s face. Salina de la Renta was shown watching again in the crowd with a sense of worry about her.
Jimmy Havoc attempted to prop the wooden plank between two chairs but LA Park launched the garbage can directly into his face stopping his momentum. The action moved back into the ring and Havoc took control by hitting a stomp off the ropes into a chair sitting on LA Park’s chest. The wooden plank has found its way into the ring and Havoc hit a face first bulldog on LA Park on the ring board. Havoc scored a nearfall after that with a two count. LA Park used his bulk and size to take control with a headbutt and a huge lariat. Park nailed Havoc with a running knee strike for a two count. LA Park set Havoc up in the Tree of Woe and propped the particle board in front of him and destroyed him and the board with a baseball slide to the turnbuckles. LA Park exited the ring and grabbed another wooden plank and propped it up upon four chairs outside the ring. LA Park laid Jimmy Havoc across the plank and Park went to the apron to perform a stomp on Havoc but Havoc moved out of the way and Park went feet first through the plank and crashed to the cement.
Havoc got back inside the ring and Park followed by climbing to the top turnbuckle. Havoc met LA Park on the turnbuckle and hit him with a few European uppercuts and a chair shot as he stood perched on the top turnbuckle. Havoc then executed a superplex from the top rope for a two count. Havoc finally brought the staple gun into use and stapled LA Park’s forehead. He stapled him across the chest once more for good measure. Havoc set up a gang of chairs in the opposite corner of the ring. Havoc then returned and applied the staple gun to LA Park’s groin. Havoc tried to whip LA Park into the chairs but Park reversed Havoc to the chairs instead. Havoc stopped his momentum just in time and then hit LA Park with a drop toe hold into the chairs. LA Park rebounded quickly and Havoc charged at Park and Park hit a powerslam on Havoc into the chairs. Park went for the cover but only got a two count. Havoc amazingly was able to get back to his feet and Park hit him with a corkscrew moonsault from the top rope. Park then hit Havoc with a running spear into the chairs and that was good enough to get him the three count.
WINNER: LA Park
(Stovall’s Thoughts: I am typically not a big fan of hardcore matches, but admittedly, this was fun. I wasn’t crazy about some of the head shots used, and there was nothing innovative that hasn’t been done before, but the pacing and weapons made it for a enjoyable fifteen minute thrill ride. I have to say it was refreshing to watch a hardcore match on MLW without Jim Cornette ranting that every other move should be banned from the industry of pro wrestling. This was advertised as a hardcore New York City Street Fight, and that’s exactly what you got.)
Post-match: Salina de la Renta got into the ring and suggested that both Havoc and LA Park shake hands. Jimmy Havoc held out his hand but LA Park refused to meet his handshake. Rich Bocchini suddenly announced that next week’s main event would be MJF challenging Teddy Hart for the MLW Middleweight Championship. (Wow!) Salina insisted that Park shake Jimmy’s hand and LA Park finally relented and shook Havoc’s hand and the two raised their hands high together. Salina stated this is how Promociones Dorodo does things and no one will stop them. Konnan won’t stop them, Mance Warner won’t stop them, not even the MLW World Heavyweight Champion….but then she stopped herself just short of finishing the sentence. Then Mance Warner’s music hit and Mance emerged from the crowd with his chainsaw and chased all three to the backstage area as Tony proclaimed we were out of time, giving us that signature sendoff we were in need of last week.
(Final Thoughts: A pretty solid episode start to finish this week. The main event was everything as advertised, the Austin Aries/Ace Austin bout was a fast paced excellent match and though the Mance Warner match was short, it was easily forgivable given the length and quality of the other two matches. Looking forward to next week’s main event as Teddy Hart versus MJF should be pretty entertaining.)
Feel free to contact and follow Jason Stovall on Twitter @JaySnovall