By Jason Powell, Prowrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Major League Wrestling TV (Episode 8)
Taped in Orlando, Florida at GILT Nightclub
Aired June 8, 2018 on beIN Sports
The show opened with a video package on MLW Champion Shane Strickland, who said being world champion means being the best wrestler around the world. He spoke about doing work inside and outside the ring… The MLW opening aired.
The broadcast team of Tony Schiavone and Rich Bocchini checked in and hyped the three matches… The ring announcer was Tim Barr…
1. Tom Lawlor (w/Simon Gotch, other guy) vs. Fred Yehi. Schiavone said Team Filthy’s attack on Jimmy Havoc last week resulted in Havoc suffering a bruised spleen. They cut to a break while Lawlor was in offensive control. [C] The ads included an MLW ad for the NYC event, and one narrated by Jim Ross to promote his upcoming stage shows with Jerry Lawler.
Yehi took offensive control and delivered a series of knees to the head and hit a powerbomb for a two count. Lawlor threw the pad that covers his forearm and it distracted the referee while Lawlor hit Yehi with his forearm and then applied a rear naked choke for the win… [C]
Tom Lawlor defeated Fred Yehi.
Powell’s POV: The idea is that Lawlor has a metal plate in his arm and illegally uses it as a weapon. It’s a fun throwback gimmick and this was a solid opener.
Footage aired of Maxwell J Friedman attacking Joey Janela last week. Schiavone said MJF was fined $5,000. One of the female backstage interviewers asked Friedman what his thought process was when he attacked Janela. He asked her what her thought process was when she “shoved all that botox in your face.” He said it was none of his business, just as what she asked him was none of her business. Aria showed up and got in MJF’s face before two men pulled her away…
Powell’s POV: A good promo by MJF. He comes off a little too similar to EC3 at times, but he’s young and strikes me as being talented enough to have his character evolve in a way that will solve that problem.
Salina de la Renta sat in candlelight and spoke about Shane Strickland. She said he will fear and respect her. She announced that she was putting a $20,000 bounty on his head. She said someone will collect and asked who will answer her call… [C]
Powell’s POV: I have mixed feelings on the bounty gimmick. It’s a hook and it opens the door for some new faces to show up if they want to go in that direction. I’m not sure why they are using it for Strickland, though. He has the MLW Championship and that’s enough of a hook for his matches, whereas a bounty story may have worked better for a wrestler who didn’t have a title. That said, we’ll see where this goes.
The team of Jimmy Yuta and Jason Cade were at a photo shoot. Cade stood in front of Yuta. When the photographer asked Cade to change spots, he said that didn’t work for him and he walked away. Yuta remained in camera shot and showed frustration with his partner…
2. MVP vs. Leon Scott. Another big man entered the ring and attacked MVP for the DQ. Sami Callihan entered the ring with his baseball bat. Kotto Brazil showed up and performed a springboard dropkick and fought Callihan’s crew before losing the numbers advantage…
MVP beat Leon Scott by DQ.
Powell’s POV: More of an angle than a match, but a good one nonetheless as it showed that Callihan’s crew is growing in numbers while also establishing a friendship between MVP and the likable Brazil.
Kaci Lennox interviewed Shane Strickland backstage and noted that de la Renta said it wasn’t personal between them and it was all about the title. Strickland said he’s accepting the challenge to face her bounty hunter because he’s the champion, a leader, and a role model. He said he would take down whoever it was. Low Ki showed up and said he had a solution for his problem. He offered him a Black Friday Management card. Strickland declined…
Powell’s POV: It was a nice surprise to see Low Ki show up. They need to explain what Black Friday Management is all about since this was the first time it’s been mentioned on the Fusion television show.
ACH was shown warming up backstage. Rich Swann showed up and they were friendly. Swann said they could square off or team up. ACH was cool with it and they shook hands… [C]
3. Rey Fenix (w/Salina de la Renta) vs. ACH. ACH performed a dive over the top onto Fenix and rolled him back inside. Fenix dropkicked ACH and sent him to ringside before hitting a dive of his own heading into a break. [C]
With ACH seated on the ring apron, Fenix went to the floor and then leapt up and performed a nice spin kick. Fenix went to the top rope. ACH shot up and caught him with a kick and got a two count. ACH threw a fit when he didn’t get the three count.
Fenix threw a series of kicks and then ran into a superkick. Fenix ran the ropes again and ate another superkick. ACH performed a suplex for another two count. ACH went up top and went for a splash. Fenix moved and then shot up and threw a nice kick. Fenix had ACH seated on the top rope and performed a version of the Muscle Buster for the win…
Rey Fenix defeated ACH.
After the match, there was a choppy preview for next week in that it started with Schiavone saying “plus” out of nowhere and then hyping MVP vs. Maxwell J Friedman for next week. Oops. Fenix sat in the corner while de la Renta stood on the floor smiling. ACH sat in the other corner. They got up and shook hands before leaving the ring to close the show…
Powell’s POV: A highly entertaining main event with good near falls for both men before Fenix picked up the win. The role of Salina de la Renta continues to be a head scratcher. She’s a heel based on her promos, and the broadcast team even spoke about how lovable big man Barrington Hughes called her a witch in Spanish. Yet for some reason she represents babyface Fenix and there are no signs of friction between the two. Perhaps it’s been explained in the past and I just missed it, but it feels like something that should be explained repeatedly since new viewers are likely going to be confused by this as much as I am. That aside, this was a quality hour of television with some good storytelling and a really fun main event.
The Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features Richard Holliday discussing The Dynasty faction in MLW, MJF's departure, the addition of Gino Medina, training under Paul Roma, and much more. Check out MLW Fusion Saturdays on beIN Sports and on the MLW YouTube Page...