MLW Fusion 72
On commentary this week are Rich Bocchini and Tony Schiavone.
We open up with an announcement that Mance Warner was arrested earlier today, and MLW are awaiting updates. After that, we get a brief rundown of the card before heading into…
El Hijo Del LA Park vs. Zenshi
Salina was not out with El Hijo Del LA Park as she was one her way back from the police station, having given a statement about Mance Warner using his chainsaw. The commentary team did a good job of building up El Hijo Del LA Park as the son of LA Park, as well as discussing how much LA Park ahs changed since his WCW days. This one featured plenty of high paced actions, as well as ringside roughhousing, but Zenshi took the brunt of the damage throughout. That’s not to say that he didn’t get a few good hits in though, as he nailed some impressive moves, including a top rope dropkick from one corner of the ring to the opposite corner. Zenshi actually managed to pick up the win with a twisting Sliced Bread. After the match, El Hijo Del LA Park smashed Zenshi with a chair and posed to boos from the crowd.
This was an easy watch. Zenshi may have taken more damage than LA Park, but his win didn’t feel like it came out of nowhere. That gets plus points from me.
More cats and running down The Dynasty from the New Era Hart Foundation. There wasn’t much to this, but I will say that the stable didn’t come across as heelish this week. Given that they’re faces, that’s a good thing.
After a brief video package about Low-Ki’s current unbeaten run, we cut to Kaci Lennox and the man himself. She asked how it was cutting weight to drop to the middleweight division and what his goals are. He said that it was a more comfortable weight and that his goal was to get to Teddy Hart and his MLW Middleweight Title. Kaci brought up CONTRA Unit, and Low-Ki said that they’d made it personal with him. It was a short, serious piece. I don’t buy Low-Ki on the mic, but he’s been booked well enough to look like a credible threat to anyone.
CONTRA Unit hypes the Heavyweight Title and the War Chamber
We got a video from CONTRA Unit, talking about how Fatu defeated Tom Lawlor for the title and will do so again. They also told the Von Erichs that they should stay where they’re safe. Short and to the point. The videos from the group have been consistently great so far.
Salina De La Renta and Jimmy Havoc weigh in on Mance Warner
Salina admitted that she had everything to do with Mance being arrested. Jimmy said he wasn’t sorry at all, and when Mance gets out, they’ll still be there waiting to ruin his life. This was kept short, which was good because it didn’t need to be a long segment.
Who is the last man in the War Chamber?
We cut to the Von Erichs and Tom Lawlor, and they cut a short promo on CONTRA Unit. But didn’t announce the fourth man. That’s a shame. I was looking forward to seeing who it would be. From his comments earlier, I’m beginning to think it may be Low-Ki.
Lifestyles of the Rich and Dynastic
After learning that Alexander Hammerstone defeated Go Shiozaki in his Pro Wrestling NOAH debut, we cut to another episode of Lifestyle of the Rich and Dynastic. They talked about how Richard Holliday hated the scum of the Earth, such as fat, poor, and ugly people, but especially Brian Pillman Jr. He has a match with Pillman next week. MJF talked about how he never lost the MLW Middleweight Title, and he’s going to bring it back from Teddy Hart. Alexander Hammerstone then built up his NOAH trip, and how he intends to bring back all the gold from Japan. This was good. All three come across as annoying rich guys, which is the point. We also learned about a match for next week, so that’s good.
MLW Middleweight Title Match: Teddy Hart [champion – w/Mr. Velvet] vs. MJF [w/Aria Blake]
We’re only a little over halfway through the show and we’re at the main event already, so I expect this one to go long. MJF got on the mic after his entrance and basked in the boos before laying into the crowd. He said that Teddy Hart is a bum, just like Bret Hart too, which got a great response. Teddy brought his cat Mr. Velvet to the ring but had him sent to the back before the match could start.
There was lots of showboating before the bell, but once things started, we got right into it. The story here was one of Teddy Hart’s high impact offense against MJF’s wily heel tactics. The crowd is absolutely into Teddy Hart, but I have to say, MJF is phenomenal at what he does. He seemingly has an innate ability to rile the crowd up without having to do too much. That’s going to help give him a long career. The was essentially a trade-off of periods of dominance that built to Teddy Hart diving off the top rope to hit a match-winning Canadian Destroyer to retain the title.
This was my first time watching MJF, and the hype is absolutely correct. He’s got a wonderful old school way to how he moves and works, and his facial expressions are excellent. The match itself was a fun clash of styles too, and one that didn’t really slow too much. Great way to end the show.
I’m not sure whether this was too talk heavy, or that everything being kept short meant that it had the right balance overall. Either way, I enjoyed the show but would have liked another match thrown in there. The main rivalries are continuing to build at least, so that’s a definite positive.
Let’s pick some highlights:
MVP: I’m giving this to MJF. After hearing all the hype, I was worried he wouldn’t live up to it for me. But he did. From his excellent pre-match promo to his actual work in the main event, he was absolutely phenomenal. If he keeps this up, he really will have a long, successful career.
Best Match: This has to be Teddy Hart vs. MJF. There was nothing wrong with El Hijo Del LA Park vs. Zenshi, but it was clear that the MLW Middleweight Title Match was the one that people came to see. Both guys got to show off their in-ring characters, both looked strong, and the crowd went home happy.
Best Angle/Promo: It’s a clean sweep this week because I’m giving this to MJF’s Promo before the Main Event. The teasing of the crowd, then the pointing out that they boo but he’s the one they want to hear speak was excellent. Once he started speaking, he got under the fans’ skin and didn’t let up. Excellent work.
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.