SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
MLW FUSION “WAR CHAMBER”
SEPTEMBER 14, 2019
AIRED ON BEIN SPORTS NETWORK
REPORT BY JASON STOVALL, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Announcers: Rich Bocchini, Tony Schiavone
-The show began with a recap package hyping the War Chamber match between Contra Unit and Team Von Erich. The recap included highlights of Contra Unit’s carnage since their debut, as well the arrival of The Von Erichs, the introduction of Ikuro Kwon and the addition of Low Ki to the War Chamber match two weeks ago.
-A skyline of Dallas, TX was shown as Rich Bocchini hyped the main event of the War Chamber and said that another historical entry to the Von Erich legacy would be added tonight.
(1) LEO BRIEN vs. “ENHANCEMENT TALENT”
Leo Brien came to the ring sporting a black vest and matching black trunks while carrying a bull rope with a big bell attached to it. His “tron” video package promoted him as a cowboy outlaw with a “wanted for reward” sign promoting his character. Rich noted that Brien had spent time away from wrestling to pursue a career as a bounty hunter but he missed the ring too much and decided to make his return. A split screen promo interview aired of Brien who said he was feeling tougher and meaner than ever and pretty soon, someone in MLW would have to deal with him. He then barked at the camera. The bell sounded and Brien hit his opponent with a running kick and began to stomp on him. Rich asked Tony Schiavone what his opponent’s name was and Tony said “Does it matter to Leo? It does not.” They never identified him at all during the match. Brien hit the unnamed man with a splash in the corner. From there, it was a assortment of punches, forearm strikes and headlocks. Brien grabbed the man by his ears and flipped him to the center of the ring. Brien smashed the man with a running clothesline in the turnbuckles and then scooped him up in his arms, rammed him into the top turnbuckle and then hit him with a big powerslam in the center of the ring. Rich referred the combo as an “Oklahoma Stampede.” It was enough for the three count.
WINNERS: Leo Brien
(Stovall’s Thoughts: Simple enough squash match to introduce the debuting Leo Brien. First impressions are just so-so for me. The “cowboy outlaw” gimmick feels very outdated for 2019’s professional wrestling, even if the event is being held in Dallas. Beyond that, his moveset was standard and not very impressive. I will reserve final judgement after I see him compete against an established talent.)
Post-match: Salina de la Renta and LA Park came to the ring and LA Park started stomping on the unnamed man as he laid on the mat. LA Park nailed the referee with a chair shot to the head. LA Park picked up the unnamed man so Salina de la Renta could slap him twice. LA Park cleaned the ring of the unnamed man and then grabbed his chair and set it up in the turnbuckles, sat down in it and rested his feet upon the back of the injured referee. Salina de la Renta grabbed the microphone and said the reason she was in the ring was to introduce the greatest wrestler in the history of Mexican sports, LA Park. She asked for everyone to stand up and applaud LA Park. The fans obliged so LA Park gave the audience a little strut mid ring. Salina continued saying for five months everyone has been asking them when LA Park was going to cash in his Battle Riot golden ticket for a world championship title match. She announced that he has decided to cash it in November 2nd in Chicago at MLW’s first pay per view, Saturday Night Superfight. “Promociones Dorado needs gold, and we’re gonna take it,” she finished.
(Stovall’s Thoughts: Interesting turn of events. This move officially takes Tom Lawlor out of the world title hunt, regardless of the War Chamber outcome tonight. Given the size and brutality of both LA Park and Jacob Fatu, it should be a interesting match to see. Certainly a fresh choice for the main event of their first pay-per-view.) [c]
-We come back from commercial with a “moments ago” recap of LA Park announcing his intention to cash his ticket for a world title match at MLW’s Saturday Night Superfight. The show switched gears after the recap to the MLW World Tag Team title picture. Rich noted that The Dynasty has been trying to avoid giving the Hart Foundation their rematch clause title shot, citing that Teddy Hart had violated the morals clause in his contract. MLW showed a “months ago” recap video of Teddy Hart driving the car of MJF in front of Richard Holiday and Alex Hammerstone while Brian Pillman Jr was mooning them out the backseat window. Teddy Hart made claims that he found some “suspicious items” in Friendman’s glove box so MJF agreed to grant The Hart Foundation their rematch and in exchange, Teddy Hart would not go public with what he found. Rich threw to a video interview of Teddy Hart shot in Calgary earlier in the afternoon.
-Teddy Hart stood outside of a hockey rink and started by saying hockey was the greatest sport on Earth. He said it was a sport where you could drop your gloves and beat somebody up if needed. He said he started his athletic career playing hockey and it’s what taught him discipline. He said he also took wrestling very serious as a sport, not as entertainment. He gave a rundown of his resume in sports that included soccer, hockey, professional badminton, tennis, and a Golden Gloves boxing championship. He said out of all the sports, nothing got his blood going more than flying to Texas to kick the asses of MJF and “Jonathon Holiday Jr.” He admitted he didn’t really know what Holiday’s actual name was because he never seen him do anything in the ring that impressed him. Teddy Hart also told Alex Hammerstone when he got back from Japan, he would have to answer for his crimes against the Hart Foundation. “And the penalty is death,” he stated. (A little extreme I would say.)
-Rich announced that next week the main event would be The Dynasty’s MFJ and Richard Holiday defending their tag team gold against Teddy Hart and Davey Boy Smith Jr from The Hart Foundation in a “Best of 2 out of 3 Falls” match. (That will be awesome!) The camera showed the ring crew setting up the War Chamber structure accompanied with barbwire at the top. He said the War Chamber would be next and sent us to commercials. (c)
-A video segment aired showing Kevin Von Erich and his sons, Marshall and Ross, pulling up in a car to the open lot where the Sportatorium used to stand in Dallas, TX. Marshall and Ross stated it was their first time on the property because they never wanted to come to the lot without their father. Kevin Von Erich took off his shoes and walked through the grass barefooted saying he could feel the static electricity from all the history that had taken place on the grounds over the years. “Picture Elvis Priestly singing his guts out, Willie Nelson singing his guts out, us wrestling our butts off, dad wrestling his butt off, pouring our guts into it, doing our very best and here’s where it all happened.” Kevin said the people would cheer so loud that the building would vibrate. Kevin said when you wrestled in Texas, you sweated so much, that you would sweat in your boots and socks and it would blow you up fast. He said the truth is he decided to wrestle without his boots one night to avoid sweating, and it felt so good, he decided never to wrestle with his boots again. All three Von Erichs picked out a stone from the lot to save in remembrance of their visit. An emotional Kevin Von Erich said it meant a lot to him to be ringside in Dallas watching his sons wrestle like he did. (Very touching segment, nicely done.)
(2) CONTRA UNIT (Jacob Fatu & Josef Samael & Simon Goth & Ikuro Kwon) vs. TEAM VON ERICH (Marshall & Ross Von Erich & “Filthy” Tim Lawlor & Low Ki w/Kevin Von Erich) – WAR CHAMBER MATCH
Tim Barr stood mid ring and ran down the rules of the War Chamber match. He noted 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. He noted there were no disqualifications, the official tine would be kept at ringside and the head official would have final say in the War Chamber. He said the team that won the coin toss would send their man into the War Chamber first.
The first man out was Simon Gotch for Contra Unit. He was sporting a black hoodie with a white Crow-like mask over his face. The first man out for Team Von Erich was Marshall Von Erich accompanied by his father Kevin. Kevin waved and saluted the Dallas crowd and gave his son a big hug and a handshake. A nice ovation for Marshall and his dad, but not thunderous. The bell sounded and the first five minutes of the match officially started until the next participant would come out. Both men met each other in the center of the ring with a clothesline but neither fell. Both started exchanging strikes with Gotch getting the better of Marshall with a nice European uppercut. Gotch launched off the ropes at Marshall but Marshall nailed him with a great looking standing dropkick. Marshall smashed Gotch with a running clothesline in the turnbuckles which caused Gotch to fall to his rear. Marshall then did a tuck and roll dive into Gotch. Marshall followed on Gotch with a powerslam and standing elbow drop. Marshall took complete control with strikes and chops to Gotch all over the ring. The crowd started chanting, “Let’s Go Marshall!” Gotch fell again to his rear in the center of the ring and Marshall bounced off the ropes and hit him with a low clothesline. Marshall locked on a headlock in the center of the ring as Kevin Von Erich was shown sitting at ringside, watching approvingly. Rich threw to a commercial break. (c)
Back from break, Marshall was still in control with the headlock around Gotch. The on-screen clock immediately begin to count down from ten and out next was Josef Samael for Contra Unit. Josef ran to the ring and started trading blows with Marshall. Gotch and Samael quickly moved into a two on one advantage over Marshall. Gotch hit Marshall with a standing enziguri and Samael followed with an elbow drop. Marshall endured standard two on one tactics as Gotch pinned him down in a reverse style chicken wing while Samael stomped on him. The clock counted down and Tom Lawlor was out next for Team Von Erich. He entered the ring and started throwing strikes at both members of Contra Unit. He executed a standing drop kick to Gotch and crushed Samael with a Stinger Splash in the turnbuckles. A slow striking battle with two separate pairs on opposite sides of the cage. Contra Unit’s third man came out and it was the MLW World Heavyweight Champion Jacob Fatu. Fatu was promptly attacked by Marshall and Lawlor as soon as he entered the cage. Fatu fought them both off and Lawlor launched himself off the top turnbuckle but was caught by Fatu into a Samoan backdrop. Marshall ran for Fatu and Fatu caught him with a swinging powerslam center of the ring. Fatu hammered Lawlor into the cage with a handspring kick and then hit a standing moonsault on Marshall in the center of the ring. (Fatu is rising star to keep an eye on.) The three on two advantage started from there with various double teams on Marshall and Lawlor. Samael was shown biting and tearing at the end of Tom Lawlor. It was time to even the odds and Low Ki came out next as the next entrant for Team Von Erich.
Low Ki menaced his way slowly to the ring. Samael tried to reach out and grab Low Ki through the cage door so Low Ki took the cage door and slammed it in Samael’s face. Low Ki entered the ring and started tangling with Gotch. Low Ki wiped Gotch out with a high kick to the head off the ropes. Lawlor had Samael tied up in the ropes and Samael was busted open from the cage door shot he took to his head. Contra Unit’s final member, Ikuro Kwon, came to the cage and targeted Low Ki. Low Ki absorbed a kick to the ribs and answered with a kick to Kwon’s chest. Kwon attempted a few back elbow attempts but Low Ki blocked them. Kwon briefly got the best of Low Ki with a kick to the top of his head and stood over him triumphantly. A wide camera angle showed bodies just strolled and laying all over the ring. Marshall Von Erich launched a bloody Samael into the steel cage. Rich announced that Ross Von Erich would be the last entrant and he had been suffering from the flu. He said it was 102 degrees in Dallas and worried about how hydrated Ross would be throughout the match. (A nice callback touch in honor of the story of Ross’ uncle Kerry Von Erich defeating Ric Flair in Dallas for the NWA World Heavyweight title while reportedly having the flu.) Fatu sent Low Ki flying into the cage. Samael followed with a dropkick through the ropes smashing Low Ki into the cage wall. The clock counted down for the final time and Ross Von Erich made his way to the ring as the final entrant and now a victory can occur at any time with a pinfall, submission or surrender.
A fired up Ross entered the cage and began pounding on the bloody face of Samael. Ross nailed high kicks to the heads of both Gotch and Kwon. Marshall Von Erich hit a belly to back suplex on Gotch with the Iron Claw attached to Gotch’s head. Ross carried out a powerslam on Kwon in the center of the ring. Samael was shown bleeding profusely. Ross squared off against Fatu and sent Fatu flying with a hurricanrana. Ross hit a running kick to the face of Fatu in the turnbuckles. Ross continued to stay in control for his team as Rich cut to another commerical break. (c)
We returned back from break yet again and everyone was spread out brawling with one another. Kwon was shown dominating Ross Von Erich with a big knee to the face. Samael hit a couple of gut wrench suplexs on Ross and went for a cover but Lawlor broke it up. Kevin Von Erich was shown watching from ringside concerned and encouraged his son to go for the Iron Claw. Kevin got out his seat and yelled into the face of Samael and Ross grated Josef’s face into the cage. Samael climbed up the cage and clenched the barbwire to steady himself and came down with a top rope ax handle on Ross. Lawlor found himself to the be the only many standing and hit Fatu with a drop kick and went for a pin but only got a two count, The crowd began to chant “Von Erich!” Samael unwrapped the white tape from his wrist, which turned crimson red, and began to choke Low Ki with it. Marshall Von Erich bodyslammed Fatu and then bodyslammed Kwon on top of Fatu. A number of bodies laid spread across the ring with everyone trying to catch their breath. Fatu hoisted Ross on his shoulders but Marshall hit Fatu with the Iron Claw to stop him from dropping Ross. Fatu swung the body of Ross widely and flatted Marshall to the mat. Fatu then hit Ross with a pop up Samoan drop. Low Ki and Samael faced off and Low Ki drug Samael up the ropes and to the top of the cage. He began to slam Samael’s head into the barbwire and then pressed the barbwire in Samael’s forehead.
A masked man dressed in all black emerged from the back and tried to climb up the cage. Rich described him as a Contra Unit street soldier. Kevin Von Erich drug him back to the floor and hit him with Iron Claw. The fans cheered wildly and Kevin saluted the crowd with a huge smile on his face. For what it’s worth, Kevin did not unmask the mystery man after he subdued him. The camera returned back to the action in the ring and Tom Lawlor locked in a rear naked choke on Samael. Rich noted that Lawlor has won seventy percent of all his matches via submission. Samael pulled out his railroad spike and stabbed it into the hand of Tom Lawlor to make him break the hold. Ikuro Kwon then spit red mist into the face of Tom Lawlor. Fatu flattened Lawlor with a superkick and climbed to the top of the turnbuckles and hit a moonsault on Lawlor. (Super awesome sequence of moves!) Fatu went for the pin but Low Ki broke up with the pin with a double stomp to Fatu’s back. Gotch got Ross Von Erich in the center of the ring and tried to nail him with a Gotch Piledriver. Marshall broke up the attempt by putting the Iron Claw on Gotch. Marshall drug Gotch with the claw attached to the turnbuckles and Ross came behind Gotch lifting him up on his shoulders in an electric chair. Ross fell backwards sending Gotch to the mat as Marshall dove off with Gotch still in the Iron Claw as he drove Gotch’s head into the mat. Marshall used the Iron Claw to get the pin on Gotch for the three count.
WINNER: Team Von Erich
Post-match: Kevin Von Erich entered the ring and hugged both of his sons and raised their hands in a victory stance for the Dallas crowd. The Von Erichs helped Low Ki to his feet and the four of them gave another victory salute. Lawlor was still on the mat recovering from the red mist attack from earlier. Lawlor finally made it to his feet, covered in mist, He looked perturbed by the antics of Contra Unit but proud of the Von Erichs for scoring the victory. Ross, Marshall and Low Ki climbed the turnbuckles and began to celebrate with the crowd. Tom Lawlor opted to let Kevin Von Erich climb the turnbuckles in his place and let Kevin place to the audience. The show ended with Team Von Erich standing victorious together in the center of the ring.
FINAL THOUGHTS:This certainly felt like the closing of a chapter for all parties included in the War Chamber match. Low Ki and Ikuro Kwon could continue to feud from here as they were shown squaring off numerous times and it seemed like both could get a great match out of each other. It also would fall within the scope of the middleweight division Low Ki now competes for. I would assume the Von Erichs would move into a hunt for the tag team titles, potentially at MLW’s Saturday Night Superfight. Tom Lawlor’s next move is a big question mark as LA Park is now moving him out of his own World Title hunt. On the flip side of the coin, Contra Unit looks to be primed for an all out war with Promociones Dorado which should be crazy violent but fun. As for the War Chamber match itself, it was about what you would expect. There was nice spots during the match that moved the story being told along but there was plenty of down moments with guys just laying around or brawling in the corners. Ross Von Erich came off like a star with his strong final stand for Team Von Erich when he entered the match and Jacob Fatu continues to look like a stand out for not only MLW, but wrestling in general. It was also a nice bit of nostalgia hearing Tony Schiavone calling a War Games-like match. The smile on Kevin Von Erich’s face when the Dallas crowd cheered for him was worth the watch all by itself. In closing, War Chamber proved to be a great closing chapter that opened up a new set of interesting storylines going forward. Next week’s match between The Dynasty and the Hart Foundation should be top notch.
Feel free to contact and follow Jason Stovall on Twitter @JaySnovall