Powell’s MLW Fusion TV Review: John Hennigan vs. Teddy Hart for an MLW Championship match, Maxwell J Friedman vs. Joey Janela for the MLW Middleweight Championship, Barrington Hughes vs. Leon Scott

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

Major League Wrestling TV (Episode 17)
Taped in Orlando, Florida at GILT Nightclub
Aired August 11, 2018 on beIN Sports

The broadcast team of Tony Schiavone and Rich Bocchini checked in as ring entrances for the opening match were underway. Footage aired of Shane Strickland, Kotto Brazil, and Barrington Hughes challenging Sami Callihan and the Death Machines to a War Games match… Schiavone hyped War Games for the War Memorial Auditorium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida…

1. Barrington Hughes vs. Leon Scott. Hughes had the match over quickly with an elbow drop. Before the referee could finish the three count, Sawyer Fulton hit the ring and attacked Hughes for the DQ finish. Sami Callihan joined him in the ring for a three-on-one beatdown. Kotto Brazil ran out with a chair and chased off the heels.

Barrington Hughes defeated Leon Scott by DQ.

After the match, Brazil took the mic and called for Callihan to face him in a singles match. he said he knows that Callihan doesn’t think he can beat him, but he would prove to him that “Kotto can and Kotto will whoop your ass.” Brazil performed a big flip dive onto the heels…

2. Sami Callihan (w/Leon Scott, Sawyer Fulton) vs. Kotto Brazil. Callihan caught Brazil going for a move and powerbombed him. Callihan forced the referee to ring the bell to start the match. Callihan worked over Brazil in and around the ring. Late in the match, Callihan placed a chair on top of another chair with the legs of the top chair facing upward. Callihan wanted to powerbomb Brazil onto the chairs, but Brazil slipped away and connected with a few kicks. Brazil performed a Canadian Destroyer for a good near fall. Brazil caught Callihan on the ropes and went for a huracanrana, but Callihan turned it into a powerbomb from the ropes. Callihan followed up with a shoulderbreaker onto his knee and scored the pin…

Sami Callihan beat Kotto Brazil.

Powell’s POV: This all made for a strong start to the show and a nice change of pace from the standard opening. Callihan and Brazil had a nice match and this is the type of rivalry they can come back to if they want to have Brazil come closer and closer to beating Callihan in future matches and then it would be a huge deal once he gets the win.

The New Hart Foundation Teddy Hart, Davey Boy Smith Jr., and Brian Pillman Jr. were shown seated a table at an outdoor setting. Teddy was smoking something other than a cigarette. Smith complained about jabroni websites and jabroni journalism. Smith barked at the cameraman, who retreated when he threatened to stick the camera up his ass. Schiavone questioned if Pillman looked out of place with the new Hart Foundation…

Powell’s POV: Intense Davey Jr. is money. I didn’t really get what they were going for in this segment, but it was nice to see that Smith can flip that switch. We never really saw that during his WWE run as David Hart Smith and I haven’t seen him get much promo time in New Japan Pro Wrestling, so this was a pleasant surprise.

Schiavone hyped Low Ki vs. the winner of the main event in an MLW Title match for next week’s show…

Kaci Lennox interviewed Konnan backstage. Low Ki interrupted the interview and told Konnan it might be in his best interest to mind his own business. Konnan didn’t back down and they head an intense staredown…

Backstage, Joey Janela was shown pulling a referee along with him. He knocked on a locker room door. Maxwell J Friedman answered the door. Janela attacked MJF while Schiavone reminded viewers that the match was falls count anywhere…

3. Maxwell Jacob Friedman vs. Joey Janela (w/Aria Blake) in a Falls Count Anywhere match for the MLW Middleweight Championship. The wrestlers fought into the main area amongst the fans. MJF pulled Blake in front of him at one point and then shoved her into Janela. MJF was in offensive control when they finally entered the ring. They fought back outside the ring where Janela backdropped MJF. Aria approached Janela and smiled, then smashed a bottle over his head. MJF took advantage of it by pinning Janela on the stage to win the match. Afterward, Janela and Aria kissed on the stage…

Maxwell J Friedman defeated Joey Janela to retain the MLW Middleweight Championship.

Powell’s POV: I like the Aria turn, but it felt rushed. They just didn’t do enough to establish the relationship between Janela and Aria for this to pack as much punch as it could have. Sure, we saw them together and all, but it seems like they spent more time foreshadowing the turn than actually establishing the characters of Janela and Aria going into this.

Callihan approached Jimmy Havoc in a stairwell and asked him if he was in (for the War Games match). Havoc alluded to something in Mexico. Callihan said they agreed to never talk about Mexico. Callihan tried to sell him on being able to do anything to five other men inside a cage. Havoc said he likes hurting people, but he wasn’t sold. Callihan said he would buy him a couple of beers and they could talk about it more. Havoc was down with that…

Schiavone said Havoc had been recruited by Callihan and a graphic showed the initial participants in the War Games match…

Team Filthy was outside the venue when Colonel Robert Parker and the Dirty Blondes showed up. Parker is still pissed that they dropped a deuce in his hat and challenged them to a match. Lawlor said they had bigger fish to fry, but he suggested they look up where they train and come get some. Schiavone said Team Filthy challenged them to a dojo fight…

Pentagon Jr. and Rey Fenix were shown with Konnan. The MLW Tag Champions were shown holding their contract. Konnan asked them what they were going to do. They tore up their contracts (with Salina de la Renta) and celebrated with Konnan…

Footage aired of Kevin Sullivan talking with Brian Pillman Jr. and warning him about hanging with Davey Boy Smith Jr. and Teddy Hart. Pillman said he respects them and they’ve gone through a lot of the same life experiences that he’s had. Sullivan noticed the camera and they both walked away…

4. John Hennigan vs. Teddy Hart for an MLW Championship match. There was a quick handshake between Hennigan and Hart before the match. They fought for position while both men were on the ropes. Hennigan performed a Samoan Drop style move from the middle rope and got a two count. There were a few fans chanting “Johnny sucks.” He responded by saying something about a fat boy. Hart came back with a Code Red for a two count. Hart performed a Canadian Destroyer from the middle rope for another two count.

Later, the wrestlers traded punches from their knees. Hennigan got the better of the exchange and placed Hart on the top rope. Hennigan performed a Spanish Fly from the top rope for a near fall. Hennigan was setting up for Starship Pain when Hart rolled him up and held the tights for a two count. Hennigan came back with an innovative move with Hart on the ropes and Hennigan pulling him from underneath aggressively to the mat. The broadcast team labeled it a sliding German suplex. Hennigan connected with Starship Pain for a two count. Hennigan went back up top and led the crowd in a countdown. Hennigan leapt off the top rope and Hart rolled out of the way. Hart took offensive control and performed a lung blower and a pair of moonsaults from the middle of the top rope for a two count. Moments later, Hart set up for another move from the ropes only for Hennigan to sit on top of him while getting the three count…

John Hennigan defeated Teddy Hart to earn an MLW Championship match.

Schiavone hyped Low Ki vs. Hennigan for the MLW Championship, Tom Lawlor vs. Jake Hager in a dojo challenge, and New Hart Foundation vs. ACH vs. Rich Swann…

Powell’s POV: A fun main event in terms of it being a match I never thought we’d actually see. Plus, they did all sorts of crazy spots and put on a good showing. Teddy can still do some amazing acrobatics in the ring. It’s hard not to imagine what type of career he could have had if his personal issues didn’t derail him. Overall, this was a good edition of Fusion and next week’s show looks really good on paper.



Readers Comments (1)

  1. The storylines and presentation are good for MLW, but the ringwork is just more spotmonkey BS where none of the moves really matter. If these guys ever learn to work, instead of just do a bunch of wrestling moves, they’ll have something worth watching.

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