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MLW FUSION – EPISODE 76
SEPTEMBER 21, 2019
AIRED ON BEIN SPORTS NETWORK
REPORT BY JASON STOVALL, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Announcers: Rich Bocchini, Tony Schiavone
-The MLW intro aired first this week.
-The show started after the intro with a highlight package reviewing the standout moments in the ongoing feud between The Hart Foundation and The Dynasty from over the last year.
-A skyline of Dallas was shown as Rich Bocchini plugged the upcoming MLW Saturday Night Superfight pay per view was only five weeks away. He also hyped tonight’s main event of The Dynasty versus The Hart Foundation in a best two out of three falls match for the MLW World Tag Team Championship.
(1) ZENSHI vs. JORDAN OLIVER (w/In Justice)
Jordan Oliver came to the ring with Injustice in tow. Injustice were wearing their usual orange jumpsuits and were carrying their typical picket signs. Rich threw to a package from a few weeks ago that showed Gringo Loco assaulting the ribs of Myron Reed with brass knuckles. (No mention of the pieced together hijinks they tried to use a follow up from two weeks ago, so I guess this is the official follow up to that storyline.) Myron Reed was sporting a black chest protector vest. The masked Zenshi came out wearing a silver cape.
The bell sounded and the action started fast with Zenshi quickly going behind Oliver to throw him to the mat. Zenshi locked Oliver in a wristlock and Oliver maneuvered out of the hold by doing a few cartwheels and snagging Zenshi with a lazy looking arm drag. Fast paced action followed with Zenshi ending upright in a handstand. Zenshi tried to flip up on Oliver and answer with an arm drag of his own but Oliver haphazardly lost his footing and instead jumped into the ropes. Oliver tried to nail Zenshi with a hurricanrana off the top rope but Zenshi landed in a another handstand and shot upright and signaled to Oliver to bring it on.
The two reset as Jordan Oliver attempted a low dropkick but missed. Zenshi quickly followed up with a running shooting star press to Jordan mid-ring for a two count. Zenshi found himself outside on the apron and hit Myron Reed with a mule kick. Zenshi went to the top rope and was met by Oliver who attempted a hurricanrana off the top but Zenshi cartwheeled on the mat to avoid the impact. Reed jumped up on the apron to distract the referee and Kotto Brazil grabbed Zenshi’s leg and tripped him as Oliver hit him with a low dropkick. Oliver covered Zenshi for a two count. Reed jumped back on the ropes again to distract Zenshi which allowed Oliver to get another two count with a roll up. Oliver hit Zenshi with a sloppy looking belly to back suplex that didn’t seem like Oliver had the best grip on Zenshi’s body. Oliver hit an arm drag on Zenshi coming out of the corner and then hit a missle dropkick to the back of Zenshi’s head. Kotto Brazil pounded on the body of Zenshi with the ref distracted. Oliver charged into the turnbuckles but Zenshi leaped over him and took out his leg, knocking him to the ground. Zenshi hit a 619 under the bottom turnbuckle to the lower back of Jordan Oliver.
Zenshi hit a headscissor take down from the ropes onto Oliver but Oliver again did not catch Zenshi correctly and heavily botched the move. Oliver rolled to the outside and Zenshi followed to leap over the ropes on Oliver, but Oliver ran back in the ring before Zenshi could connect. Zenshi caught himself on the apron with his signature handstand and struck a pose on the apron waiting for Oliver to make his move. Oliver ran to meet Zenshi but Zenshi took him down with a leg sweep under the bottom rope. Kotto Brazil and Myron Reed both tried to grab Zenshi but Zenshi launched both into the guardrail using his legs. Zenshi hit a shooting star press on Reed who was standing on the outside. Zenshi launched back in the ring and hit Oliver with a devastating looking DDT off the ropes. Zenshi hit a twisting senton from the ropes and went for the cover. He only got a two count when Brazil pulled the ref out the ring. The referee started to get in a shouting match with Brazil on the outside. Inside the ring, Zenshi attempted offense on Oliver but Oliver countered into a backslide that would of been a three count but the ref wasn’t there to count the pin. Oliver and Zenshi traded high kicks to the head that ended when Zenshi laid Oliver out with a Pele kick. On the outside, the referee had officially ejected Kotto Brazil from ringside and we saw Kotto leave down the aisle. The ref got back in the ring just as Zenshi hit Oliver with a running twisting neckbreaker. He went for the cover and just after the ref counted two, Kotto Brazil returned to pull the ref out of the ring again. The ref again began to argue with Brazil and followed Brazil up the aisle. Oliver took advantage of the distraction and hit Zenshi with an inside out stunner on the apron. Myron Reed then hit a mid ring 450 splash on Zenshi with the added advantage of his chest protector to do more damage. Oliver jumped on Zenshi for the pin and the ref just happened to reenter the ring to make the three count.
WINNER: Jordan Oliver
Post-match: Injustice began a three on one beat down to the referee. Zenshi tried to push Injustice off the ref so Injustice jumped Zenshi instead. Gringo Loco ran out wearing street clothes with a chair and Injustice fled the ring as Gringo held them back.
(Stovall’s Thoughts: Although Zenshi has repeatedly been a top performer in the Middleweight Division since his debut, this match didn’t do him any favors largely due to the missed spots by Oliver throughout the match. I’ve seen Oliver perform better in other matches, so perhaps this was just an off night for him or maybe the two just couldn’t find the right chemistry during the match. The finish was a bit stupid, for lack of a better word, given that Oliver should have been disqualified the moment Brazil pulled the ref out the ring for the second time. The finish aside, it was nice to see Gringo Loco make the save with the chair in the post match. It’s pretty rare in any promotion to see a babyface save another babyface when being attacked by a group of heels. This feud is far from over, and I am happy with it because it gives the lower middleweight competitors a solid spot with an ongoing issue on the show. I look forward to single matches pitting Zenshi one on one with Kotto Brazil and/or Myron Reed.)
-A recap ran from last week when Salina de la Renta and LA Park announced LA Park would be cashing in his golden Battle Riot ticket for a title shot against Jacob Fatu at MLW’s Saturday Night Superfight. Rich noted the match has been made official and it would have an added stipulation of no disqualifications.
-A video segment aired announcing that “The Canton Crippler” Dominic Garrini would be debuting in MLW this fall. The segment noted that Garrini was a gold medalist who competed in over 200 Jiu Jitsu matches. [c]
-The show came back from commercial break and Rich informed us he had breaking news that Savio Vega has been cleared to return back to active competition. He explained that Savio had suffered a stinger after taking a Night Terror Pendulum from Alex Hammerstone over a month ago. He also noted that Vega also nearly suffered a compound fracture to his right lower leg. He said MLW league officials were trying to determine the legality of the move and The Dynasty were protesting the move being banned. While recovering from his injuries, Vega found out he was being sued by Salina de la Renta over a contract dispute which has now led to Savio Vega acting as a mentor to Mance Warner in his ongoing feud against Promociones Dorado.
(Stovall’s Thoughts: Eh, I was kinda hoping Savio Vega would be a one time deal. Given his limited moveset he showed in his match with Hammerstone, being teamed up with Mance Warner in brawling style matches may be more his speed.)
-Rich threw to a recorded promo segment with Mance Warner who was standing outside in the parking lot next to some diesel trucks. Mance Warner recapped that he spent a few days in jail until his uncle, “Moon Man”, bailed him out. Mance blamed Jimmy Havoc for his incarceration and challenged him to a Bunkhouse Brawl match. He said that the match would take place anywhere in the building, or even out in the parking lot, or “even out in outer space if that’s possible.”
-Rich hyped that the main event was coming soon and then threw to the latest edition of Lifestyles of the Rich and Dynastic.
-Richard Holiday was shown sitting in a local coffee shop drinking a Spanish origin drink as he said it helped him relax before a big match. He sipped his drink and said the drink was good and tonight would be a good night. (Not much there to report.) [c]
-MLW ran a video package announcing they would be returning to Orlando for a TV taping on Nov. 9. The tapings would have a special bell time of 4pm and would take place in the GILT nightclub. The tapings were being referred to under the moniker Blood & Thunder.
-MLW ran a highlight package from last week’s War Chamber match which saw Team Von Erich get a victory over Team Contra Unit.
-Rich threw to a backstage interview with Ross and Marshall Von Erich who were being accompanied by their father Kevin. Rich said he knew the Von Erichs had their eyes on tag team gold and asked who they had picked to win tonight’s main event. Ross said that The Hart Foundation and The Dynasty were two of the hottest tag teams in all of wrestling right now. Kevin chimed in that the Harts were going to be the “name” to beat. He noted that the Harts trained his father Fritz Von Erich to wrestle and that they truly were the best. Marshall said in a perfect world, it would be legacy versus legacy with the Harts versus the Von Erichs. He further said it didn’t matter who won because in the end, the Von Erichs were coming for the tag team titles.
-MLW recapped the Salina de la Renta announcement from last week again and then threw to a recorded promo from Salina de la Renta and Jimmy Havoc.
-Salina de la Renta started the segment by arguing with the cameraman over if he was shooting her at the correct angle. She said that she had a new problem in Jacob Fatu but she was confident that LA Park was going to solve that problem for her. She mentioned the other problem she had which was Mance Warner. Jimmy Havoc interrupted her and said she didn’t have to worry about Mance Warner because he was going to take care of Mance.
(2) THE DYNASTY (w/Aria Blake) vs. THE HART FOUNDATION – Best Two out of Three Falls for the MLW World Tag Team Titles
The Dynasty came to the ring with Aria Blake with their tag team gold wrapped around their waist. The Hart Foundation followed to the ring as Tim Barr stood in the center of the ring ready to begin ring introductions. Tim Barr announced that MJF has requested total silence from the crowd as Barr did their introduction. The audience rained a chorus of boos on The Dynasty and Barr did the introduction anyway. Holiday and MJF played paper, rock, scissors to determine who would start the match for the team. The played three times and each attempt ended with both of them throwing the rock sign. After the third attempt, they hit a fist bump and said together “That’s so Dynasty.” (It’s small things like this that puts this act over in a big way.) Teddy Hart grew frustrated with their shenanigans and attempted to rush at The Dynasty and both members fled to the outside to avoid his attack. Neither man were quick to return to the ring, instead spending their time arguing with members of the audience. Finally, Teddy Hart snuck up on Holiday and started to hit him with forearm smashes outside the ring. MJF didn’t notice Hart’s attack as he was still busy arguing with a fan. Davey Boy Smith Jr crept up and delivered a super kick to MJF. Davey Boy held both members of The Dynasty into place as Teddy nailed them both with a springboard moonsault off the ropes to the outside. Rich threw to a commercial as both members of The Dynasty laid sprawled across the floor. [c]
Back from break and the match was under way with Davey Boy Smith Jr and Richard Holiday at a standoff in the center of the ring. Davey Boy got Holiday on the mat and slowed the pace of the match down when he applied a front chancery to Holiday. Holiday made it to the ropes to break the hold. Davey got Holiday back to the center of the ring and locked Holiday’s left arm in a hammerlock position. Smith hit a hammerlock power slam on Holiday for a two count. Davey hit Holiday with a release belly to back suplex and Holiday rolled out of the ring. MJF grabbed Holiday and yelled out “forget it!” and The Dynasty left the ring and began to walk to the backstage area. The Hart Foundation then got out the ring and began to give chase to the back as we cut to another commercial break. [c]
The action made its way back to the ring as we come back from break with Holiday delivering a big spinebuster to Teddy Hart in the ring for a two count. A split screen showed us The Hart Foundation dragged The Dynasty back to the ring during the break before the referee could administer his twenty count. The Dynasty made quick tags as they continued to stay in control over Teddy Hart. Holiday hit Hart with a neckbreaker for a two count. MJF choked Teddy Hart with the middle rope and the referee made him break the hold. With the ref distracted, Aria Blake reached up and raked the eyes of Teddy Hart. Teddy grabbed her hands and began to bite her fingers. Hart was able to hit MJF with an inverted neckbreaker and it gave him enough time to make the tag to Davey Boy Jr. Davey got in the ring and took control over the Dynasty. Davey gave MJF a back body drop which caused him to crash directly into Richard Holiday. Davey Boy hit Holiday with a two count and then came off the top rope with a diving headbutt that was more diving forearms than headbutt. It got a two count so Davey followed up with a piledriver for another two count. Davey placed Holiday in a headlock but Holiday countered out with a jawbreaker. Smith whipped Holiday in the ropes and when Holiday bounced out, both of them collided head first. Davey Boy went down quick while Holiday leaned across the ropes in a daze. MJF shoved Holiday off the ropes and Holiday fell on top of Davey Boy and the ref counted a three count.
First fall: The Dynasty
Tim Barr announced both teams got a thirty second rest period before the next fall would begin. During the rest period, Rich announced that next week’s main event had been made official with Mance Warner versus Jimmy Havoc in a Bunkhouse Brawl. The second fall began with MJF knocking Teddy Hart off the apron and going back on the attack to Davey Boy. MJF helped Davey Boy to his feet and began throwing right punches. Davey Boy didn’t sell the strikes and gave a mini Hulk Hogan impersonation which included the shaking of the head and wagging of his finger. Teddy Hart tagged back in the match and immediately hit MJF with a Canadian Destroyer. Holiday ran in and Hart took him out with a lumbar check. Hart and MJF tussled on the top turnbuckle and Hart got the better of MJF when he hit him with another Canadian Destroyer from the top turnbuckle. Hart executed a beautiful springboard moonsault from the top rope on MJF and it was good enough for a three count.
Second fall: The Hart Foundation
Tim Barr announced another thirty second rest period. Rich announced also that next week’s episode would see a returning Timothy Thatcher have a match against the former No Gi jujitsu world champion Douglas James in his debut MLW match. The third fall began as MJF appeared to be out cold on the mat. Teddy Hart got MJF to his feet and went for a hammerlock DDT but the attempt was broke up by a big boot to the face from Richard Holiday. Davey Boy got in the ring and charged after Holiday, distracting the ref as he tried to get both men out of the ring. Suddenly, Austin Aries ran out and hit Teddy Hart with the middleweight championship title. Aries then grabbed Teddy Hart and hit him with a brainbuster on the ring apron. Teddy Hart rolled off the apron and laid on the mat citing a neck injury. Meanwhile, the ref returned to the ring to find MJF still out cold in the center of the ring and Teddy Hart on the outside. He began to administer the twenty count to both men. MJF was able to get his feet at the count of 18. Davey Boy tried to pick Teddy Hart up and roll him back in the ring but he took too long as the ref made the twenty count and counted the Hart Foundation out, awarding the second fall to The Dynasty.
WINNERS: The Dynasty
Post-match: Davey Boy called for paramedics to come ringside as Teddy Hart was unable to stand, holding his injured neck. Paramedics came ringside and helped Davey Boy and referee Doug Markum carry Teddy Hart to the back as the episode ended.
FINAL THOUGHTS:The main event was a slow paced affair as we went to two commercial breaks before the first fall even occurred. Not that I’m complaining as it was a nice change of pace from the WWE 2 out of 3 falls matches that go a total of ten minutes. After the final commercial break, business picked up in a big way and the final fifteen minutes of the match was a nice stretch of solid action. I am not a fan of the final fall being rewarded because of a countout, but I understand the need to protect The Hart Foundation, further the singles issue between Hart and Aries and still have The Dynasty come off as cowardly tag champions who just barely got by. Like last week’s War Chamber, this show seemed to be the closing of the chapter between The Harts and The Dynasty and the opening of newer storylines on the way. The Von Erichs should move into a tag feud over the belts with The Dynasty and Teddy Hart will likely be tied up in a singles feud with Austin Aries over the remainder of the tapings. As far Davey Boy, he still has unfinished business with a fresh from Japan, Alex Hammerstone. I predict all three of these matches will come to a head at the first MLW pay per view, Saturday Superfight. Next week’s show should have a little something for everyone with a likely very technical match between Thatcher and Douglas James and an all out violent war between Mance Warner and Jimmy Havoc in a Bunkhouse Brawl.
Feel free to contact and follow Jason Stovall on Twitter @JaySnovall