MLW Fusion 69
On commentary this week are Rich Bocchini and Tony Schiavone.
Jimmy Yuta vs. Low-Ki
This one was over quick, with Low-Ki scoring a knockout kick to the face very early on. I’ve never really understood the appeal of Low-Ki, but the crowd was behind him here, so he’s absolutely doing something right. Short matches like this are building him up as a real threat to pretty much everyone too, so the booking is fine.
CONTRA Unit In The War Chamber?
We got a short clip of Filthy Tom Lawlor’s promo last week, then CONTRA Unit responded to his challenge. CONTRA Unit are happy to face Lawlor and the Von Erichs in the War Chamber, but it’s going to 4-on-4, so both sides will need to find another partner. This was a great promo. Short and to the point.
War Chamber Rules
We had a hype package for the match, confirming that the match will take place in the very city that the Von Erich family made their name in. The War Chamber match itself is what you’d expect from the name: it’s basically War Games.
The Salina De La Renta Saga Continues
We got a brief video package showing the history of what happened between Salina, Mance Warner, and Konnan. We then cut to the outside of the arena where Konnan was talking to Salina, who was flanked by Jimmy Havoc. Konnan wanted her to book a match between Jimmy and L.A. Park. After some back and forth, she agreed.
Lifestyles Of The Rich And Dynastic
Dynasty were outside a car dealership. They talked about how Teddy hart failed his wellness policy test and won’t be able to cash in a rematch for the tag titles. Dynasty will apparently make sure Alexander Hammerstone passes his. This was mostly just to build the groups’ characters.
The Spirit Squad vs. The Von Erichs
The Spirit Squad hyped this as an open workout and swore that they’d face whoever was willing to step inside the ring with them. They said that they weren’t there because of their last names, and had earned their spot, unlike teams like the Hart Foundation. When they tore into the Von Erichs, the brothers came out to accept the challenge. They crushed The Spirit Squad before their entrance music finished. This was a showcase for the popular tag team, and the crowd loved it.
CONTRA Unit Appear
Josef Samael and Simon Gotch ran in after the match an exacted some revenge on the Von Erichs for last week. They were aided here by a new member of the stable, who sprayed mist into Marshall Von Erich’s face, blinding him. This was well done, with Marshall shown to be bleeding from the eyes. That was important because he was about to head home, as his wife is due to give birth.
Gringo Loco vs. Zenshi
This was taped another day and has Jim Cornette teaming up with Rich on commentary. The reason for it airing was noted as the combination of Low-Ki’s short match and what happened to Marshall Von Erich. This was a decent sprint, featuring plenty of lucha style reversals. Myron Reed and Jordan Oliver also appeared in the crowd, picketing for justice with tape on their mouths. In the end, Gringo Loco scored with a Tombstone Piledriver for the win.
Kaci Lennox Talks To Davey Boy Smith Jr.
Kaci asked Davey if the video showing his sister Georgia and Alexander Hammerstone together would be a distraction to him tonight. Davey said it wouldn’t and put over that he and Timothy Thatcher would have a catch style contest that was strong style at its finest. He was confident of the victory. Kaci pushed the Georgia angle again and Brian Pillman Jr. interrupted to escort Kaci away. Simple build for what should be a good match while still nudging the bigger angle along. Good stuff.
Timothy Thatcher vs. Davey Boy Smith Jr.
This was Timothy Thatcher’s MLW debut, and the commentary team immediately put him over as one of the best technicians in the world. Schiavone was superb on commentary here, not only building up the competitors, but also the style of match. The point he made about simple mat work being able to do a lot of damage is true too; one of the things UK schools make a point of is showing how to make basic holds work. The match itself was by far the longest on the show. Both guys jockeyed for position throughout, though the match was clearly built to make Thatcher look good in his debut. After a highly competitive bout, Davey picked up the win with a Crossface. Really, really great stuff.
Davey Boy Smith Jr. Speaks
After the match, Georgia came out to interview Davey. He thanked the fans for their support, then brought up Alexander Hammerstone. He said he understood her silence but said that Alexander is ducking him. He then told Georgia he would not be light on her boyfriend and walked away.
This was a very different show to last week, with most of the matches coming up short in terms of time. That’s not really a bad thing though, as it allowed the main event to have some good time. This was another great episode that built up the key storylines well. Really good work all round.
Let’s pick some highlights:
MVP: I’m giving this to Tony Schiavone. Everybody in the ring pulled their weight, of course. Tony was really good on commentary though, dropping in little snippets of info that really helped push things along. From feud summaries to straight-up match commentary, he was on fine form. And believe me, a good commentator is as vital to a TV show as the in-ring performers.
Best Match: This has to be Davey Boy Smith Jr. vs. Timothy Thatcher. If you have any love for pure wrestling, seek it out. Both guys pulled out plenty of slick reversals and built up to the bigger moves superbly. Timothy came out of the loss well, making it a successful debut in my eyes. Meanwhile, Davey showed that he could be beaten, but the win didn’t come out of the blue, with him instead building damage as he went. This was a top-notch TV main event.
Best Angle/Promo: The Debut of the new CONTRA Unit member. The Von Erichs have such a great connection with the fans, and their feud with CONTRA Unit feels really personal. Here, CONTRA Unit got the upper hand, debuting who I assume will be their fourth member for the War Chamber. The little touch of mentioning that Marshall is about to become a father, then seeing him taken down in this way builds sympathy well.
So, those were my thoughts. But what about yourselves? Did you watch the show? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below.