Powell’s MLW Fusion TV Review: MVP vs. Sami Callihan in a Boiler Room Brawl, ACH and Rich Swann vs. Tom Lawlor and Simon Gotch, Low Ki vs. Ricky Martinez

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

Major League Wrestling TV (Episode 12)
Taped in Orlando, Florida at GILT Nightclub
Aired July 6, 2018 on beIN Sports

A video recapped the Sami Callihan and MVP feud to set up the Boiler Room Brawl main event… The MLW opening aired…

The broadcast team of Tony Schiavone and Rich Bocchini checked in and hyped the matches, a Shane Strickland promo, and MLW Battle Riot control center segment… The ring announcer was Tim Barr…

1. ACH and Rich Swann vs. Tom Lawlor and Simon Gotch. During the entrances, they showed footage of Col. Rob Parker reacting to Lawlor and Gotch defecating in his hat. Bocchini noted that ACH and Swann had a recent match and there was a lot of respect shown between the two.

Lawlor intentionally dropped to the ground and dared ACH to come at him. ACH ended up kicking him. A short time later, ACH dove onto Lawlor, who ended up applying an armlock. ACH powered him up and suplexed him. Both men tagged out and Gotch quickly went for an armbar on Swann.

Parker’s Dirty Blondes showed up at ringside and Gotch quickly released the hold and joined Lawlor on the floor to jaw at them. ACH and Swann dove onto both heel duos. Jake Hager showed up and ran Lawlor into the barricade and put the boots to him. Parker’s trio left. In the ring, Swann and ACH worked over Gotch and both men pinned him simultaneously…

ACH and Rich Swann beat Tom Lawlor and Simon Gotch

Powell’s POV: The interference was set up by the silly segment with one of the Team Filthy members dropping a deuce in Parker’s hat. The match was entertaining despite the outside interference, though it was strange to see the referee count while two men were pinning one man. Even so, I hope this means we’ll end up getting Pentagon Jr. and Fenix defending the MLW Tag Titles against ACH and Swann in what would be a hell of a match.

Footage aired from earlier in the day of Vanessa Craft attempting to get Salina de la Renta to address Low Ki going after the bounty she put on the head of Shane Strickland. Salina said she had nothing to say. Craft asked if bounties are legal. Salina said she doesn’t know the law in the United States…

Schiavone hyped Low Ki in action, the Strickland interview, and the boiler room brawl… [C] A shot aired of the boiler room… Footage aired of Hager attacking Lawlor in the previous match…

Backstage, Parker cut a promo on Lawlor while Hager stood by. Parker said he’s never seen a person lower than Lawlor. Parker said he would pay for crapping in his hat…

An MLW Battle Riot control center segment aired. Schiavone explained the rules of the Battle Riot. Aerostar, MJF, the Dirty Blondes, Rey Fenix, Vandal Ortagun, Simon Gotch, and Drago were added to the Battle Riot. He also hyped Shane Strickland vs. Sami Callihan, and Pentagon and Fenix vs. Aerostar and Drago for the MLW Tag Titles, Jimmy Havoc vs. Brody King, Pierre Carl Ouellet vs. Homicide, Hart Foundation vs. ACH and Rich Swann, Low Ki vs. John Hennigan, and Joey Ryan vs. MJF for the MLW Middleweight Championship…

Schiavone recapped Fred Yehi beating Sammy Guevara last week. Footage aired of a Salina de la Renta social media post. She received a call from Sammy and told him that she’s been busy. She said it’s not working out because her company has high standards and he lost his match…

Powell’s POV: I’m not sure if they are writing off Guevara or if this is storyline related.

Footage aired of Low Ki attacking Strickland last week, and then Schiavone hyped Low Ki in action for after the break… [C] Schiavone hyped Lawlor vs. Hager for next week…

Backstage, Kaci Lennox interviewed Lawlor and Gotch. Lawlor said he’s the number one ranked man in MLW, not Hager. Gotch questioned what Stud’s Stable brings to the table…

2. Low Ki vs. Ricky Martinez. Low Ki dominated the match before hitting Martinez with a kick to the head and then pinning him…

Low Ki defeated Ricky Martinez.

Backstage, Vanessa Craft interviewed Low Ki, who said Salina was making an investment by raising the bounty to $60,000. He noted that she got what she paid for when an amateur (Brody King) tried to collect the $20,000 bounty. Low Ki said the world will witness a public execution when he faces Strickland… [C]

Powell’s POV: A logical showcase match for Low Ki heading into his bounty match with Strickland. I’m still not crazy about Low Ki wrestling in The Hitman video game suit. I’m more of a traditionalist. That said, it works better in MLW because of the bounty hunter storyline than it did in Impact when he just showed up wrestling in a suit for no reason.

Footage aired of Barrington Hughes fighting Sami Callihan’s crew… Hughes delivered a brief promo about facing Leon Scott in a singles match…

Schiavone read through the new MLW Top 10 for the month of July: 10. Barrington Hughes. 9. Teddy Hart. 8. Jimmy Havoc. 7. MJF. 6. ACH. 5. Rey Fenix. 4. Sami Callihan. 3. Low Ki. 2. Pentagon Jr. 1. Tom Lawlor.

Powell’s POV: I like the idea of the top ten. I continue to wish it was something they updated weekly based on the results of meaningful matches. It’s also odd that Lawlor is the number one contender again while Strickland is facing wrestlers in bounty matches rather than defending the title against Strickland…

A video package aired with comments from a sit-down interview with Shane Strickland combined with various footage. He said his match with Low Ki will end with a Swerve Stomp to Low Ki’s chest… Schiavone hyped the Boiler Room Brawl… [C]

3. MVP vs. Sami Callihan in a Boiler Room Brawl. Before the match, Callihan shoved the referee into the boiler room and then entered it apprehensively. MVP was waiting for him and they brawled. Callihan gouged the eyes of MVP, who picked up a can and hit him over the head with it. Callihan came back by swinging a fence door at MVP.

Callihan left the room and went into a hallway. MVP followed only to be attacked by Leon Scott, who was immediately laid out by MVP off camera. Callihan went back to searching for MVP, who ran at him out of a doorway. Fulton, the other member of Callihan’s Death Squad, showed up and held MVP, who fought him off quickly.

MVP and Callihan eventually fought their way into the main area of the nightclub and fought around ringside. In the ring, MVP hit the Playmaker on a chair and only got a two count. MVP ran at Callihan, who threw a chair at his face and covered him for two. Callihan performed a lariat for another two count.

Callihan pulled out a baseball bat from under the ring. MVP cut him off with a spear and ended up with the bat. Scott and Fulton ran out again. MVP hit Fulton, then scared off Scott. When MVP turned back to the match, Callihan kicked him below the belt. Callihan followed up by jabbing the bat at MVP’s head, then performed the Cranial Contusion for a near fall. MVP spat at Callihan, who hit him with the bat again before pinning him…

Sami Callihan defeated MVP in a Boiler Room Brawl.

Powell’s POV: A solid brawl in the main event. The boiler room element didn’t really provide anything all that memorable, but it was a nice idea to bring in some viewers. I’m surprised that MVP announced last week that he’s no longer working with MLW. I guess that explains why he wasn’t listed in the latest top ten.

Overall, a good show. We’ve seen better match quality from MLW, but they seem to be finding a better groove as far as storytelling is concerned. The Fusion series was a bit hard to follow early because it felt like I arrived late to the party even though I started with the premiere. That’s no longer and issue now that we’re seeing everything play out on television rather than watching feuds that started before the show debuted.

Check below for my interview with MLW producer and former WWE Smackdown head writer Alex Greenfield from the latest Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell.



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