MLW Fusion Episode 73
On commentary tonight are Rich Bocchini and Tony Schiavone.
Injustice [Myron Reed, Jordan Oliver, Kotto Brazil] vs. Zenshi, Air Wolf, Gringo Loco
The crowd more than happy to boo Injustice here, so the group is obviously doing their job well. Meanwhile, the fans clearly love the Lucha contingent in the promotion. This was basically a battle of triple-team face moves and sneaky heel cheating that never truly slowed down. In the end, Kotto hit Air Wolf with a Shiranui for the pin. After the match, when the referee found the brass knuckles that Myron Reed had brought into the ring, the heels beat him up for good measure.
This was a well-executed piece of television. Tony and Rich gave a lot of background during the match, putting over the different workers and Kotto Brazil’s current storyline. Air Wolf, at only 19, is the youngest person to ever sign for MLW, and he did well here, showing a lot of potential. The crowd was hot throughout, the action looked great, and it never dragged. Great stuff.
The Von Erichs / New Signing / Alexander Hammerstone
Ross, Marshall, and Kevin Von Erich got a video promo to hype up the War Chamber match with CONTRA Unit. Kein put over that the Texas fans are different to normal fans, and Marshall put over the attempt to blind him. Short, simple, and to the point.
After that, we got a video package hyping the signing of BJJ competitor and gold medallist, the man known as ‘The Canton Crippler’ and ‘The Bone Collector’, Dominic Garrini. It’ll be interesting to see how he fits in the pro wrestling world.
Meanwhile, Alexander Hammerstone is continuing his run through Pro Wrestling NOAH’s current tour. We got to see a video of him training for the tour and cutting a promo. He talked about how he doesn’t understand why people get upset about MJF saying The Dynasty are better than everyone else and they know it. He said he trains hard every day, then started to tear into Davey Boy Smith Jr, until he got distracted by his girlfriend Georgia Smith. She said that she found it all funny because Harry (Davey’s real name) and her used to list the same weight as him when they were little. Alex got upset got back to work, lifting more weight now. That was really good stuff.
MLW Heavyweight Title Match: ‘The Samoan Werewolf’ Jacob Fatu vs. ‘Filthy’ Tom Lawlor
The match was preceded by some fight stats from the last match between the two, which helped give it a real legitimate fight feel. Josef Samael cut a promo before the match, then introduced his stablemate, Jacob Fatu. Fatu’s opponent, the former UFC star Tom Lawlor, entered alone.
Lawlor came in like a house on fire and took the fight to the champ, right up until he caught him coming off the top and took over. After that, we had an extended section of Fatu bullying Lawlor with strikes and tossing him around. Lawlor tried to mount a comeback with a few strikes of his own, but Fatu kept overpowering him. In the end, Lawlor’s search for a comeback opportunity paid off, and he was able to get a few good shots in and reverse the momentum. It wasn’t enough though. Just as Lawlor looked to have regained the title with an Exploder, Samael nailed him in the back of the head with a metal spike, allowing Fatu to set up a top rope moonsault onto Lawlor’s broken ribs to retain the belt.
This was my first time seeing both Fatu and Lawlor in action, and boy did they both work hard here. By the end of it, they were sweating like crazy. The match felt like a main event and pushed the numbers advantage for CONTRA Unit well. Enjoyable stuff.
After the match, Samael, Gotch, and Fatu set about trying to injure Lawlor, to take him out of the War Chamber match. The Von Erichs ran in to even the odds, but Ikuro Kwon was quick to join the fray and give the heels the advantage again. A group of referees tried to get CONTRA Unit to back off but failed. Just as I predicted, it was Low-Ki who ran in to aid the faces. His appearance rallied the MLW stars, and the show went off the air with the two groups still brawling.
That was a hot angle to end the night on and will go a long way to getting people to pay for the War Chamber show.
That was a lot of fun. Both matches got some good time to shine, and the angles were highly effective. The commentary team was on fine form, and everybody put the effort in to make it an enjoyable watch.
Let’s pick some highlights.
MVP: This is an odd one, but I’m going to give this to…The MLW Fans. Honestly, I love the crowds that MLW are drawing for Fusion. They don’t try to hijack things with chants, they just respond appropriately. They boo the heels and cheer the faces, and do both loudly. The MLW audience is like an old school wrestling crowd and gets into it like fans did in the 1990s. So, well done MLW fans, you’re awesome.
Best Match: I was going to give this to the opener, but I’m going to go with Fatu vs. Lawlor II. It wasn’t as high paced as the trios match, but both guys sold me on their ability in my first time seeing them work. The match felt like a big one and added some build to the War Chamber match.
Best Angle/Promo: The Low-Ki vs. CONTRA Unit brawl. With no confirmation as to who will side with Lawlor and the Von Erichs against CONTRA Unit, this gave the group a bit of hope. Low-Ki has been well protected of late and looks like a real threat to everyone. As such, it’s no wonder him joining the fight gave the faces a call to get back into things. Good stuff.
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.