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MLW FUSION EPISODE 69
AUGUST 3, 2019
NEW YORK CITY, N.Y.
AIRED ON BEIN SPORTS NETWORK
REPORT BY JASON STOVALL, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Announcers: Rich Bocchini, Tony Schiavone
-The episode began with a video highlight package recapping the episode from last week. The highlights included the debut of Bestia 666 defeating Mance Warner in a Mexican Death Match which enabled Salina de la Renta to retrieve back the golden ticket for LA Park’s heavyweight title match. Also featured was the continuing feud between Contra Unit and The Von Erichs which saw The Von Erichs get a win over Josef Samael & Simon Gotch in a Texas Tornado tag match after a moonsault.
-The MLW intro then aired to officially start to the show.
-Rich Bocchini opened up the commentary by welcoming us to MLW Fusion as Timothy Barr stood mid-ring to reveal the competitors for the opening match. As Jimmy Yuta made his way to the ring, Rich informed the audience that Tony Schiavone would be making his broadcast return in this episode. Rich then revealed to us that tonight’s episode would be taking place in New York City as video of the skyline showed on the screen. After that, Rich excitedly declared that the show would be jam packed full of action and ran down the card for the episode which included Davey Boy Smith Jr going head to head with Timothy Thatcher in the main event. Also the Spirit Squad would make their return to MLW in the two man form of Kenny Doane and Mike Mondo issuing an Open Workout Challenge to anyone who would accept it. He then plugged a War Chamber Control Center to be airing later in the show.
(1) JIMMY YUTA vs. LOW KI
Low Ki came out to a handful of streamers being thrown in the ring by the crowd. Rich made reference to Low Ki’s new FTW style of fighting. A video package aired from over the last month of Low Ki winning numerous matches in a matter of seconds by knockout. Rich attributed Low Ki’s new found style of fighting to his feud with Promociones Dorado and teased that Low Ki still has unfinished business with Contra Unit. Tony noted that he thought Low Ki was the most dominant MLW World Champion in company history. The bell sounded and Yuta quickly locked up with Low Ki sending him back to the turnbuckles. The referee made both competitors separate with a clean break. Yuta tried to charge back at Low Ki but Low Ki moved quickly to keep distance between them both. Low Ki struck Yuta with a kick to his mid thigh and continued to circle him at a distance. Yuta went in for another lock up but Low Ki dodged his attempt twice and then struck Yuta with quick swift kick to the face sending Yuta crashing down to the mat. The referee stopped the match immediately.
WINNER: Low Ki in about 30 seconds due to referee stoppage.
Post-match: Low Ki is shown walking backstage after his match. He stated Jimmy Yuta was just one more in the books and that he still had a lot of unfinished business and to stay tuned.
(Stovall’s Thoughts: Low Ki contiuning to dominate his matches in a matter of seconds is the best transformation to his character since he lost the World Title. MLW continues to tease a showdown between him and Contra Unit down the road. Let’s hope they follow through on this as a singles match between him and Jacob Fatu for the World Title would be amazing.)
– A video package aired from last week of “Filthy” Tom Lawlor challenging Contra Unit to the War Chamber match in Dallas on Sept. 7. Footage then cut to a special backstage Contra Unit promo where Josef Samael accepted Lawlor’s match but stated the match would be four on four. Jacob Fatu declared he would finish what he started in Chicago when he defeated Lawlor for the MLW World Championship. Samael stated that the Von Erichs were blinded by pride and then Simon Gotch interjected that they would be blinded by something far worse.
-Rich welcomed us inside the War Chamber Command Center where he officially announced that Contra Unit’s Jacob Fatu, Josef Samael and Simon Gotch with a mystery fourth partner would face Tom Lawlor, Marshall and Ross Von Erich and a partner of their choice inside the War Chamber. Rich then detailed the rules of the match and explained that the match would be four on four with a chamber surrounding the ring. A coin toss would determine which team would enter the chamber first and the first two combatants would face off for a total of five minutes. The winner of the coin toss would come out after that for two on one advantage, with both teams alternating a new entrant to the match every two minutes. Once all combatants are in the ring, victory can only be won by submission, surrender or pinfall.
(Stovall’s Thoughts: Just a follow up from my earlier analysis but here’s to hoping Low Ki is the fourth man in the War Chamber for Tom Lawlor’s team.)
-A video segment aired from last month highlighting Mance Warner’s ongoing war with Salina de la Renta’s Promociones Dorado faction. The video highlighted Salina losing her cell phone during a brawl involving Warner and Hijo de L.A. Park and noted Konnan found it afterwards. Konnan has been taunting Salina that he found information on her phone that could ruin her and asked to borrow a cameraman to document a conversation between him and Salina that occurred earlier in the night. In the previously recorded segment, Konnan stated that he has three non negotiable demands that Salina must do to get her phone back. He made reference to an earlier episode when Salina pitted Sami Callihan and Mance Warner against each other in a match and said his first demand would be for her to do the same thing with members from her own faction, explicitly stating he wants the match to be LA Park against Jimmy Havoc. At first, Salina refused to make the match but then quickly agreed to Jimmy Havoc’s frustration with her assuring him everything would be fine.
-Rich then cut away and reminded us of the main event of Davey Boy Smith Jr vs. Timothy Thatcher. He noted last month that the Hart Foundation lost the tag titles to The Dynasty in a ladder match and said The Dynasty were celebrating by going to a luxury car dealership. He then introduced us to a new segment entitled “Lifestyles of the Rich and Dynastic.”
-The segment began with MJF chastising Aria Blake for scratching his neck and he told her to clip her nails or be sent back to etiquette school. MJF then apologized to Alex Hammerstone and Richard Holiday for having to wait six full minutes for the dealership to bring out cars for them to view. Holiday stated he has the right mind to call the manager or give them a negative Yelp review. MJF began to joke that Teddy Hart failed the wellness policy and won’t be able to check in his rematch clause for the tag titles. Hammerstone then asked “What’s on the Wellness Policy?” in to which both MJF and Holiday assured him not to worry and they would get him clean urine.
-MLW aired a promotional video touting their new found alliance with Pro Wrestling Noah and announced Alex Hammerstone would be competing in Noah’s 2019 N1-Victory tournament.
-Timothy Barr then introduced the Spirit Squad to the ring to issue their Open Workout Challenge. Mike Mondo was sporting a giant whistle and a green mock-style NWO shirt that read SWO. Tony Schiavone then abruptly asked Rich not to compare him to Mike Mondo which was kind of weird because Rich didn’t in the slightest. Rich noted that the Spirit Squad competed in the Battle Riot of 2018 and then Kenny grabbed the microphone. Kenny declared that the Spirit Squad had arrived and then began to run down all the various New York sports teams stating they all sucked. Kenny said the only thing that sucked worse than New York City was Major League’s tag division. He said they weren’t there because of their last names, they were there because of they earned it unlike The Hart Foundation. He said they were issuing an open challenge and it didn’t make a difference who the tag team was, be it The Harts or The Von Erichs “trying to make a living off their expired bloodline and their hippy father.” Yikes. Cue the Von Erich’s music.
(2) THE VON ERICHS vs. THE SPIRIT SQUAD – Open Workout Challenge
The Von Erich brothers charged to the ring and both teams began brawling in an instance. Both brothers whipped the Spirit Squad off the ropes and nailed a double drop kick in the center of the ring. Both Von Erichs went for a double claw and the Spirit Squad exited to the outside of the ring . Ross went outside the ring to retrieve them as MLW cut to a commercial break.
Back from break, Marshall Von Erich took control of the match by hitting Doane and Mondo with a series of clothesline and dropkicks. Marshall hit Mondo with a leaping dropkick that knocked Mondo off the top turnbuckle and sent him crashing to the floor. Marshall then hit Doane with a power slam in the center of the ring. Marshall executed a top rope moonsault on Doane for a two count. Ross then hit Doane with a back suplex as Marshall administered the claw simultaneously. It was a good for a three count.
WINNERS: The Von Erichs
(Stovall’s Thoughts: Simple squash match that put the Von Erichs over strong as the real future of MLW’s tag division. The cool thing about this match was the presentation. During the entirety of the match, the Von Erichs theme music played until the very end which was real reminiscent of The Gangsta’s matches in ECW. Combine that with the crazy Texas Tornado-like style the match had, everything just worked together really well. Their last match against Contra Unit was a Texas Tornado match and this one was treated the same way, though not advertised as one, which leaves one to wonder if this will be a continued trend of their tag matches. Given their heritage, it makes sense but I could also see the trend becoming stale really quick. Only time will tell.)
Post-match: Contra Unit’s music began to play as the Von Erich’s were celebrating and Josef Samael and Simon Gotch charged to ring to begin brawling with both brothers. Both teams continued to brawl, exchanging the upper hand back and forth. After about two minutes of brawling, a mysterious masked man emerged from the crowd, removed his mask and spewed mist into the eyes of Marshall Von Erich. The Contra Unit than began a three on two assault over the Von Erichs with EMTs and referees rushing into the ring to assist Marshall. The Contra Unit began attacking both EMTs and officials as well. The Contra Unit finally left the ring and the EMTs began trying to wash out Marshall’s eyes. Tony Schiavone remarked it looked like Marshall Von Erich might he bleeding from his eyes. Marshall continued to sell blindness and was then helped out the ring. Rich then addressed that the sudden attach to Marshall had taken MLW out of their game plan for the show and threw to a match that was filmed during the previous Chicago tapings with him and Jim Cornette on commentary.
(3) GRINGO LOCO vs. ZENSHI
Both challengers already in the ring as the footage began to air and the bell sounded. Cornette said he asked Zenshi if he had any signature moves and Zenshi listed off seventeen of them. Loco started his offense with a low side kick to Zenshi and then Zenshi whipped him into the turnbuckles only for Loco to leap over him entirely and hit a set of front flips to the opposite side of the ring. Gringo Loco showboated for the crowd as the crowd chanted his name. The action began again with a quick exchange of maneuvers that ended with Zenshi taking down Loco with a head scissors. Zenshi tried for the head scissors again with Loco landing on his feet this time and began to play to the crowd again. The action continued as the camera cut away into the crowd to show Myron Reed and Jordan Oliver with picket signs in the crowd calling for justice against biased referees.
When the camera cut back to action, Gringo Loco was on the outside of the ring. Zenshi leaped over the top rope, positioned himself in a handstand on the apron and waited for Gringo to close the distance between them as he leapt and hit Gringo with a hurricanrana on the floor. Rich then noted that MLW has a twenty count when a competitor is outside the ring and also stated that this match had a thirty minute time limit. Zenshi threw Gringo back into the ring and used his weight off the top rope to spring into the air and hit a twisting back elbow drop on Gringo for a two count. Zenshi hit a 450 splash from the bottom rope turnbuckle on Gringo Loco for another two count. Zenshi went for yet another high flying offensive maneuver but was caught by Gringo this time and was hit with a Tombstone piledriver which was enough for a three count.
WINNER: Gringo Loco
(Stovall’s Thoughts: Nice standout match for Zenshi’s unique wrestling ability. Even in defeat, he looked strong and I am looking forward to seeing him compete again.)
-A video recap was shown from just “moments ago” on the attack to Marshall Von Erich’s eyes. Rich stated that Marshall has been taken to the hospital with Ross at his side. Rich then switched gears back to the main event scheduled for tonight and reminded us of the story Kaci Lenox broke last week with video footage of Davey Boy Smith Jr’s sister Georgia Smith seen making out with his rival Alex Hammerstone in an elevator. Rich then threw to a backstage interview with Kaci Lenox and Davey Boy Smith Jr.
-Kaci asked Davey Jr about the video with his sister and Alex in the elevator. Davey declined to speak about the video and instead opted to talk about his match tonight with Timothy Thatcher. He said he knew Timothy very well and knew of all his accolades but that wouldn’t stop him from beating him tonight. He said tonight’s match would be catch wrestling and strong style at its very best. He said when he puts Thatcher in a submission hold, it would only be a matter of time before he tapped out and there would be no escape. Kaci Lenox then asked if he was sure the video wouldn’t be a distraction to him. An annoyed Davey Boy Smith Jr started to reply but was interrupted by Brian Pillman Jr stating that “boys will be boys and girls will be girls.” He then said if Kaci wanted to talk to someone about relationships then Kaci should talk to him as he walked her off camera.
-Another video highlight aired of the Contra Unit’s attack on the Von Erichs. Rich then plugged matches for next week’s MLW Fusion including Savio Vega vs. Alex Hammerstone for the National Openweight Championship and Rey Horus going one on one with Bestia 666.
(4) DAVEY BOY SMITH JR. vs. TIMOTHY THATCHER
Timothy Thatcher walked to the ring for his MLW debut as Rich informed that he was widely believed to be one of the best scientific wrestlers in the world. Davey Boy Smith Jr. came out waving the British flag as Tony proclaimed Davey to be one of the hottest wrestlers around the world. The two slapped hands and the bell rang as both grapplers began with a lock up that lead to a variety of mat based wrestling holds. Collar and elbow tie up as Davey maneuvered Thatcher to the mat with a headlock and Thatcher countered with wrapping his legs around Davey’s head and Davey powered out. Thatcher locked in a single leg half Boston crab but again Davey kicked Thatcher free into the turnbuckles. Thatcher began to work over the knee and ankle with submission holds and Davey got to the bottom rope for the break. Davey started to sell injury to his left leg due to Thatcher’s submission work. Thatcher locked Davey with a heel hook and toe hold. Thatcher hit a belly to belly suplex on Davey and continued with leg submission holds. Rich and Tony noted that Davey was off his game and both began to ponder if the video of his sister was distracting him.
Davey finally gained the upper hand for a short time with a cross arm breaker but Thatcher quickly reversed it back into another heel hook. Tony noted that any time Davey tried to mat wrestle with Thatcher, then Timothy gained the advantage. Davey reversed the heel hook into a sharpshooter but Thatcher quickly got to the ropes. The two began to exchange stiff European uppercuts to the face and Davey tried to go for a backslide but only got a two count. Both hit each other with small package attempts and both only got a two count.
After a series of near fall roll ups, the two began to exchange a large number of uppercuts, kicks and strikes. Davey hit Thatcher with a German suplex and Thatcher answers with a German suplex of his own. Davey hit Thatcher with two rolling German suplexes and then nailed Thatcher with a dragon suplex but still only got a two count. Thatcher tried to go for an armbar but Davey overpowered him into a power bomb. Davey then applied the crossface on Thatcher and Thatcher tapped in short fashion after the move was locked in.
WINNER: Davey Boy Smith Jr.
(Stovall’s Thoughts: Great match. Very impressive debut for Timothy Thatcher and a big singles win for Davey Boy Smith Jr. The announce team pushed that Davey should be in line for a title shot and one has to imagine that would be against Alex Hammerstone for the National Openweight Title. Just a stellar mat based main event that I couldn’t recommend watching enough.)
Post-match: Davey Boy Smith Jr’s sister Georgia Smith joined him outside the ring for a post match interview. She asked him how it felt to get a big win over Timothy Thatcher. He said the sound of the fans chanting his name was music to his ears. He said there was another thing that he wanted to talk about and that was Alex Hammerstone. He said he could understand that Georgia wants to maintain her silence about Hammerstone but he also understands that Hammerstone has been hiding from him. He said Hammerstone might want to hook up with his sister but he felt Hammerstone was only playing mind games but said it wouldn’t work on him and eventually Hammerstone would tap to the crossface chicken wing. “And one more thing Georgia,” Davey Boy finished, “no, I’m not gonna be light on your boyfriend.” Davey exited the stage as Rich said he would see us next week.
FINAL THOUGHTS: A jam-packed hour long episode full of vignettes, recaps and four matches but with all the storylines going on in the promotion right now, I would say MLW used their time wisely to get all their major points over to their audience. If nothing else, I would recommend this episode simply for the match quality. Whether it is Low Ki’s continued dominance, the creative offense of Zenshi, the drama of the blinding of Marshall Von Erich or the very scientific match between Davey Boy Smith Jr and Timothy Thatcher, I believe this episode as provided something for any wrestling fan.)
Feel free to contact and follow Jason Stovall on Twitter @JaySnovall