Powell’s MLW Fusion TV Review: Episode One featuring Pentagon Jr. vs. Rey Fenix, ACH vs. Austin Aries, Barrington Hughes vs. Chico Adams

By Jason Powell, Prowrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

Major League Wrestling TV
Taped in Orlando, Florida at GILT Nightclub
Aired April 20, 2018 on beIN Sports

After the opening video aired, Tony Schiavone and Rich Bocchini (formerly Rich Brennan in WWE) checked in and set the table for the show… ACH made his entrance and a brief promo aired. Schiavone said ACH would face Austin Aries…

Powell’s POV: I’m finally getting a chance to see the MLW Fusion show for the first time. I will be catching up up on the first three episodes over the next few days and then we hope to have more timely reviews of the show going forward. For those who haven’t seen the show, the host venue is small, but they make it look good on television with good lighting and quality production.

1. ACH vs. Austin Aries. Bocchini said ACH is a down to earth and humble guy, while Aries has a reputation for having a chip on his shoulders. ACH had tape on his right side and also had his right hamstring wrapped. Late in the match, Aries hit a Death Valley Driver on the apron. A short time later, ACH battled back and went for a 450 splash, but Aries put his knees up. Aries applied the Last Chancery, but ACH reached the ropes. Aries hit a sequence of moves that ended with a brainbuster for the pin. Afterward, Aries reached between the ropes and shook hands with ACH, who was standing on the floor…

Austin Aries defeated ACH.

Schiavone hyped Barrington Hughes for after the break… [C]

Powell’s POV: A good, competitive match to open the series. You can’t go wrong by diving in with a quality match, but I hope they intend to tell viewers more about the company and the talent involved at some point during his premiere episode.

A Jimmy Havoc video aired with him talking about how the fans of Florida love bloodbaths in pro wrestling. He said they haven’t been given that in recent years, but he will give them exactly what they want…

Powell’s POV: If memory serves, this well produced Havoc video aired at the end of the company’s return show. It was a strong primer for Havoc then and now.

2. Barrington Hughes vs. Chico Adams. A Hughes promo aired as he was making his entrance. He spoke about being the best thing going in MLW today. Schiavone said Hughes weighs 469 pounds and said he is a deceptively quick powerlifter. Bocchini noted that Hughes is the biggest wrestler to ever compete in the company. Hughes won in short order with a uranage. Hughes looked into the camera and demanded stronger competition…

Barrington Huges defeated Chico Adams.

Powell’s POV: Hughes is a fun, flamboyant big man. The fans definitely react to the super heavyweight.

Shane Strickland vs. Jimmy Havoc for the MLW Championship was announced for the next show…

3. Pentagon Jr. (w/Salina de la Renta ) vs. Rey Fenix to become No. 1 contender to the MLW Championship. The wrestlers fought to ringside early. Petagon got a near fall heading into a break. [C] Fenix performed a nice cutter for a near fall of his own coming out of the commercials. Fenix performed a variation of a Spanish Fly for a near fall. Pentagon came right back by powerbombing Fenix on his knee for a two count. Pentagon leapt off the second rope and into a Canadian Destroyer. Later, Pentagon performed a popup into a flip powerbomb and then wrenched the arm of Fenix before putting him away after his Fear Factor finisher…

Pentagon Jr. defeated Rey Fenix.

After the match, Salina celebrated with a bottle of whisky. Schiavone said Fusion is all about fusing all the different styles in pro wrestling. Pentagon helped Fenix to his feet. The fans chanted “Please come back” as Pentagon took his bows…

Schiavone hyped Strickland vs. Havoc for next week and then a video package aired to set up their match…

Powell’s POV: The crowd was hot from the start for this match and for good reason. The fans reacted more to the moves of both men rather than choosing sides. It was the usual strong match from the brothers and the crowd provided a great atmosphere. The promotion selected good matches to start the series with. The bookend matches were good, quality matches, and showcasing Hughes in between gave them time for the two big matches while importantly showcasing that the promotion isn’t just about work rate. The only negative of the show is that I didn’t come away feeling like I learned much about the promotion itself. That said, an entertaining first episode.

Check out my interview below with MLW promoter Court Bauer on the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast that was recorded days before the series premiere of the MLW Fusion television show.




The Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features Ring of Honor's PJ Black discussing the ROH Pure Title tournament beginning on ROH Wrestling TV this weekend, ROH's COVID-19 safety precautions, his run in WWE as Justin Gabriel with The Nexus, wrestling as The Bunny, and more...


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