Powell’s MLW Fusion TV Review: Low Ki vs. John Hennigan for the MLW Championship, Tom Lawlor vs. Mike Parrow in a dojo challenge, New Hart Foundation vs. ACH and Rich Swann

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

Major League Wrestling TV (Episode 18)
Taped in New York, New York at Melrose Ballroom
Aired August 17, 2018 on beIN Sports (available Saturday evening on the MLW Youtube Page)

The show opened with a graphic acknowledging the death of Jim Neidhart… A video package spotlighted John Hennigan beating Teddy Hart to set up the MLW Title match with Low Ki… The broadcast team of Tony Schiavone and Matt Striker checked in on commentary and hyped matches and the MLW War Games event…

Kaci Lennox interviewed ACH and Rich Swann about facing the new Hart Foundation. Swann spoke about how he grew up watching Bret Hart. The New Hart Foundation Teddy Hart, Davey Boy Smith Jr., and Brian Pillman Jr. showed up. Hart mocked ACH for wearing Bret Hart shades. ACH said they are hater blockers…

1. “The New Hart Foundation” Teddy Hart and Davey Boy Smith Jr. (w/Brian Pillman Jr.) vs. ACH and Rich Swann. Before the match, the ring announcer Stephen DeAngelis announced that the Harts wanted the fans to stand for the Canadian national anthem. The entrance music of ACH and Swann interrupted the anthem. Striker said he doesn’t like ACH and Swann and felt it was disrespectful to interrupt the anthem. Hart shook hands with both opponents before the match.

Pillman limped at ringside as the broadcast team noted that he’d fallen and had a brace on his left knee. Striker was critical of ACH for smiling and playing to the crowd. Late in the match, the ref got caught on the floor with Smith and ACH. Swann went up top for a move. Pillman climbed onto the apron and hit him below the belt with a cane. Hart hit a lung blower on Swann and pinned him…

The New Hart Foundation beat ACH and Rich Swann.

Powell’s POV: It was cool to see the new Hart Foundation. I have no idea how things have gone behind the scenes, but Teddy is doing very well in front of the camera. I like that Striker was critical of ACH and Swann for all their fun and games. I hope the idea is that the Harts bring out a serious side of the duo because this could be a really fun feud.

Striker hosted the War Games control center and ran through the rules of the match. Backstage, Kaci Lennox interviewed John Hennigan, Shane Strickland, Barrington Hughes, and Kotto Brazil. Strickland’s advice to Hennigan going into the title match was “don’t let him kick you in the head.” Lennox announced that Abyss will be on Sami Callihan’s War Games team. Callihan, Death Machine, and Jimmy Havoc attacked the babyface foursome. Tommy Dreamer helped make the save with a kendo stick…

Striker hyped the dojo challenge for after the break… [C] A shot aired outside the Jungle MMA Gym… Footage aired of Hennigan struggling to get to his feet in a stairwell following the attack by Callihan’s crew…

Konnan, Pentagon Jr., and Fenix delivered a backstage promo. Konnan spoke about how the Lucha Brothers tore up their contracts with Salina de la Renta. The Pentagon and Fenix also chimed in…

Powell’s POV: It’s good to see the Lucha Brothers with Konnan. It solidifies them as babyfaces, whereas their association with Salina de la Renta made their status confusion. In fact, it seemed like Pentagon was a heel, while Fenix was a babyface with a heel manager.

Lawlor was shown training with Seth Petruzelli at the MMA gym. They cut to a shot outside the building where Colonel Robert Parker, Jake Hager, Mike Parrow, and the Dirty Blondes were waiting along with a referee and a cameraman. Hager and Lawlor jawed at one another. Parker said Parrow would be the man facing Lawlor. Schiavone noted that Lawlor had likely been training to face Jake Hager…

2. Tom Lawlor vs. Mike Parrow (w/Colonel Robert Parker, Jake Hager, Dirty Blondes) in a cage fight. Striker noted the size advantage that Parrow had. Parrow threw a left that knocked Lawlor to the ground. Parrow followed up with several strikes. Lawlor went for an armbar, but Parrow powered him up and flung him into the cage. Lawlor came back with some punches. reached up and grabbed a pipe or a beam that led to him performing a huracanrana. Lawlor went for a kimura. Lawlor said he would break Parrow’s arm and barked at him to tap. Parrow tapped out.

Tom Lawlor defeated Mike Parrow in a cage fight.

After the fight, Lawlor told Hager to get in the cage or he would break Parrow’s arm. Parrow cried out in agony. Lawlor released the hold. Schiavone said Lawlor may have broken the arm. Hager and company retreated and walked past Petruzelli, who had been laid out by the Dirty Blondes…

Powell’s POV: A fun segment. It’s always nice when something that feels meaningful happens outside the venue and thus can’t be revealed in spoiler reports. The setting was cool and I assume the angle will lead to Petruzelli getting back in the MLW ring. Either way, Hager ducking Lawlor builds interest in seeing them get in the ring or an MMA cage.

Backstage, a nervous Vanessa Craft interviewed Low Ki and Salina de la Renta. Low Ki said Hennigan lucked into getting a title shot. He said the lottery he thinks he won may not be what he thinks it is. Low Ki said he would punish Hennigan once he finished with him. He said Hennigan was in his city and in his ring… Striker hyped the title match for after the break…

Schiavone said Petruzelli was being taken to a local medical facility… Striker ran through the tale of the tape for the title match. Striker noted that the numbers don’t show that Hennigan was attacked by Callihan and the Death Machine tag team…

3. Low Ki (w/Salina de la Renta) vs. John Hennigan for the MLW Championship. Hennigan came out with his ribs wrapped. The broadcast team noted that it looked like he did the wrap himself rather than allow a medical professional do it for him. They questioned the logic. Early in the match, Hennigan tossed the bandana he was wearing to Low Ki, who put it on his own head briefly before tossing it to the floor. Low Ki threw some kicks to the injured ribs of Hennigan, whose wrap didn’t remain in place. If only he had been smart enough to have a medical professional apply the wrap!

Powell’s POV: I actually liked the discussion regarding Hennigan’s wrap and whether it was a good idea to do it himself. That’s the type of discussion you would hear if this were a shoot and thus it helped create the sports-like feel that I enjoy.

Low Ki dominated the action until Hennigan ducked a kick and connected with one of his own in the same motion. Hennigan went for a top rope move that Low Ki avoided, but Hennigan landed on his feet. Hennigan connected with a springboard kick for a near fall. Hennigan fought off Low Ki and performed a standing Spanish Fly for another two count. Hennigan connected with a running knee, but Low Ki avoided Starship Pain. Low Ki came right back with a double stomp off the top rope for a near fall. Low Ki waited delivered a kick to the back of Hennigan’s head and pinned him…

Low Ki defeated John Hennigan to retain the MLW Championship.

The broadcast team hyped Team Filthy members Simon Gotch and Fred Yehi vs. The Dirty Blondes, and Pentagon Jr. and Fenix vs. ACH and Rich Swann for the MLW Tag Titles for next week…

Powell’s POV: The main event was a tad underwhelming. Admittedly, I had high expectations due to the wrestlers involved. The injury angle brought my interest level down a notch if only because it seemed to strongly foreshadow a loss for Hennigan, though I do understand the idea of protecting him. Hennigan spent a lot of time selling his injuries early on. That part was fine as it told a story, but it didn’t feel like they really found their groove when it was time to kick things into high gear during the closing minutes. I’m not big on Low Ki’s kick to the back of his opponent’s head as a finisher. The kick has looked a little clunky a couple times now and while I’m sure he can establish it with regular viewers, it just doesn’t look like the devastating finisher that it’s made out to be.

Despite those criticisms, I really enjoyed this show. I was genuinely looking forward to each segment for different reasons. I was anxious to see the new Hart Foundation, the cage fight was intriguing, and getting an MLW Title match in the main event is never a bad thing. It is a bit wonky that ACH and Swann are getting a tag title shot next week after losing to the Hart Foundation on this week’s show, but that’s a main event that looks excellent on paper.



The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and guest Colt Cabana on his role in ROH, the state of the independent wrestling scene, the future of his podcast, the ROH Global Wars tour, the new ROH television format, Starrcast III, and much more...


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