Powell’s MLW Fusion TV Review: Jake Hager vs. Tom Lawlor, Jason Cade, MJF vs. Joey Janela, Jimmy Yuta, and Rhett Giddins vs. The Stud Stable, Barrington Hughes vs. Jaye Skye

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

Major League Wrestling TV (Episode 13)
Taped in Orlando, Florida at GILT Nightclub
Aired July 13, 2018 on beIN Sports

The MLW opening aired and then the broadcast team of Tony Schiavone and Rich Bocchini checked in. Schiavone said the Tom Lawlor vs. Jake Hager match was “as real as it gets” and UFC against Bellator. They aired footage of Shane Strickland laid out outside the building. They said they didn’t have much information other than that he was attacked as he arrived… The ring announcer was Tim Barr…

1. The Dirty Blondes and Parrow (w/Col. Robert Parker) vs. Jason Cade, Jimmy Yuta, and Rhett Giddins. The Blondes came out first and then Parrow made his entrance as Schiavone noted that Parker had been talking to him in recent weeks. Likewise, Team TBD came out and then Giddins was introduced as a surprise partner.

Schiavone noted that Cade and Yuta had issues in recent weeks. He also pointed out that Yuta means “very courageous” in Japanese. Cade continued to be cocky and disrespectful of his regular tag partner Yuta. There was a sloppy moment when Yuta and Cade threw the Blondes toward one another. After some miscommunication from Cade and Yuta, one the Blondes stole the pin.

The Dirty Blondes and Parrow defeated Jason Cade, Jimmy Yuta, and Rhett Giddins.

After the match, Cade and Yuta bickered. Cade left the ring first. Yuta showed frustration by slamming his hand on the mat before heading to the back…

Schiavone hyped the main event and the Battle Riot event for NYC on Thursday… [C]

Powell’s POV: The Yuta and Cade split continues to be dragged out. That’s not a complaint. I don’t mind the slow burn if it leads to a strong payoff, which I assume this will. The longer they are together then the more the split will mean. I assume that just about the time it seems like they are on the same page again is when the big turn will occur.

The MLW Control Center segment aired. Schiavone hyped surprises and legends for the 40-man battle riot. The new entrants announced were Fulton, Fred Yehi, and Homicide. Plus, Shane Strickland vs. Sami Callihan, Pentagon Jr. and Fenix vs. Drago and Aerostar for the MLW Tag Titles, Jimmy Havoc vs. Brody King, Pierre Carl Ouellett vs. Homicide, ACH and Rich Swann vs. Hart Foundation, Low Ki vs. John Hennigan, Joey Ryan vs. MJF for the Middleweight Title, and Jake Hager vs. Simon Gotch…

Footage aired of Barrington Hughes fighting with Leon Scott and Fulton prior to a past Shane Strickland match…

2. Barrington Hughes vs. Jaye Skye. A Hughes pre-tape aired with him saying he would win the battle royal and he couldn’t wait to get his shot at the MLW Championship. Bocchini noted that Skye had been running his mouth about Hughes beforehand. Hughes put him away in under a minute…

Barrington Hughes beat Jaye Skye.

Schiavone hyped the main event and the Joey Janela vs. MJF match… [C]

Powell’s POV: More of the same with Hughes. Eventually he will need to do more, but watching the big man win squashes is still getting a rise out of the live crowd.

The broadcast team recapped Shane Strickland being laid out by a mystery person outside the building. Bocchini said they knew it was not the work of Low Ki because they had a camera on him at his training facility…

3. Joey Janela (w/Aria Blake) vs. Maxwell J Friedman. Janela went for a dive. MJF stepped a shide and pushed him through the ropes, and Janela took a header into the broadcast team’s platform. Janela was down going into a break.

Powell’s POV: If only Jim Ross had one of those broadcast platforms in San Francisco.

Janela was back on the offensive coming out of the break. He performed a Swanton Bomb for a two count. MJF came back with a superplex for a two count. MJF regrouped first and performed leaping a piledriver with Janela’s legs through the ropes. Cool spot. Aria slid a chair into the ring. The referee turned his focus to Aria and teased throwing her out while MJF picked up the chair jabbed Janela in the gut. Janela stood up and superkicked the chair into the face of MJF. The referee turned and counted the pin…

Joey Janela defeated Maxwell J Friedman.

After the match, Kaci Lennox interviewed MJF on the stage. MJF complained that the referee was blind as a bat. He said it’s not Aria’s fault that she slid the chair inside the ring because she’s influenced by a Jersey dirtbag. Janela returned to the stage and had a brief pull-apart brawl with MJF while referees tried to get between them…

Powell’s POV: The referee looks like a complete dope for focussing on Aria without clearing the chair from the ring. The chair spot was also odd in that it seemed like she was sliding the chair to MJF rather than her own man. Bocchini said something was a little weird, so perhaps that’s what they had in mind and the plan is for her to eventually join MJF. For what it’s worth, she celebrated with Janela and showed no signs being against him afterward. On a side note, the bulk of my exposure to Janela has been during his WrestleMania weekend shows and on MLW television. MLW has not done a good job of establishing who he is on Fusion yet. I always come away feeling like I’m late to the party when it comes to his character, so hopefully they will do a better job of developing his character for viewers who are in the same boat as me.

Bocchini hyped an update on Strickland, then Lawlor was shown shadow boxing with Simon Gotch before the main event… [C] Bocchini said Strickland had been medically cleared and he would defend the title against Low Ki next week in a $60,000 bounty match…

A Jimmy Havoc vignette aired. He spoke about how the attack by Lawlor and Gotch gave him focus for his rage and pain. He sat at a table and said it may look like his last supper, but the truth is that he always likes to set out plates when he has friends for dinner…

Powell’s POV: A very good video that included some clips of the past hot tub interview with Lawlor and Gotch boasting about what they did. Havoc continues to shine on the mic.

4. Jake Hager (w/Col. Robert Parker) vs. Tom Lawlor (w/Simon Gotch, other guy). Schiavone played up the Bellator fighter facing a UFC fighter element. Hager scored a two count off a nice belly to belly style suplex. Hager focused on the ankle of Lawlor. Later, Hager charged at Lawlor, who moved, causing Hager to go through the ropes and into the post.

Lawlor performed a discus lariat. He tried to follow up with a high knee, but Hager caught him in an ankle lock. Lawlor rolled out of it and went for a rear naked choke. Swagger made it to the ropes, but Lawlor applied the hold again. The Dirty Blondes and Parrow ran out to save Hager for the DQ.

Tom Lawlor defeated Jake Hager by DQ.

Col. Rob Parker called off his men while Lawlor and Gotch stood in the ring while their unnamed Team Filthy buddy stood at ringside…

Kaci Lennox interviewed Lawlor and Gotch on the stage. Lawlor said the Stud Stable is a lot like their leader in that if you put them out to stud they wouldn’t be able to get the job done anymore. Lawlor said he hates New York, but he’s going there to win Battle Riot to get his title shot whether they want to give it to him or not. Lawlor said MLW stands for Major Lawlor Wrestling…

Schiavone delivered final hype for the Battle Riot in NYC on Thursday…

Powell’s POV: First off, we are looking for reports from the Battle Riot show as well as future Orlando tapings. If you can help us out, reach out to me at dotnetjason@gmail.com. As for the main event, I’m not sure what reaction they wanted from fans given that both wrestlers are heels. It seemed a bit strange when they set up the feud between Team Filthy and the Stud Stable, and I didn’t come away from this match feeling like the desired reaction was any more clear. For what it’s worth, I’d like to see them get Hager away from the the stable for a babyface run.

Despite my issues with the main event and the lack of character development for Joey Janela, I enjoyed the overall show. MLW is cramming a lot into their hour of television and the storytelling has improved. Is it just me or does it feel like Shane Strickland gets beat up every other week? I guess they want to make him sympathetic, but it happens so frequently that I’m becoming numb to it.

Check below for my interview with Impact Wrestling’s Josh Mathews below. Mathews discusses his start on WWE Tough Enough, his WWE run, whether he enjoyed bickering with Jeremy Borash on Impact Wrestling, Impact Wrestling Slammiversary, and much more.



The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and guest Brian Pillman Jr., who discusses his training, following his father's footsteps, his own career aspirations, being part of the Hart Foundation faction, his big match at the MLW Saturday Night SuperFight pay-per-view, working with Jushin Liger, touring the WWE Performance Center, and much more...


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