Powell’s MLW Fusion TV Review: Tom Lawlor vs. Jake Hager, Jason Cade vs. Jimmy Yuta, Teddy Hart vs. Vandal Ortagun, Simon Gotch’s prize fight challenge

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

Major League Wrestling TV (Episode 20)
Taped in Orlando Florida at GILT Nightclub
Aired on August 31, 2018 on beIN Sports

A video package focused on the Tom Lawlor vs. Jake Hager match… Matt Striker checked in and hyped the matches…

1. Teddy Hart vs. Vandal Ortagun. Tony Schiavone and Rich Bocchini were on commentary for the show. Hart dominated the match and hit an electric chair into a lung blower. Hart could have pinned Ortagun at one point, but he picked up Ortagun. In the end, Hart performed a powerbomb style lung blower and then pinned Ortagun…

Teddy Hart beat Vandal Ortagun.

Powell’s POV: A dominant squash with for Hart. Nothing wrong with that.

Schiavone hyped the remainder of the show… [C]

Team Filthy headed to the ring. Simon Gotch announced that his prize fight challenge is no longer for $250, but rather for $500. Gotch called for his opponent…

2. Simon Gotch (w/Tom Lawlor, Fred Yehi) vs. Angel Pierce in a prize fight challenge. Pierce played the part of an unbeaten boxer and entered to a knockoff Rocky theme. Pierce wore boxing gloves and threw a few punches that were no-sold. Gotch worked him over with kicks to the back and then performed a cradle piledriver for the win…

Simon Gotch defeated Angel Pierce in a prize fight challenge.

Powell’s POV: Another squash match. I get a kick out of the prize fight challenges and the old $250 prize. It would have been funnier if Gotch would have boasted about raising the prize by $10 or even an odd amount such as $17.64. It wasn’t all that funny when he simply doubled the prize even though the broadcast team tried to help by saying they thought it would be at east four figures.

An Abyss promo aired. He said Sami Callihan invited him to join his War Games team. He said that he, Callihan, and Jimmy Havoc are a lethal cocktail of destruction. Abyss said he loves war and he loves games. He said he will teach everyone the meaning of pain and suffering. He also said he would settle it once and for all with Tommy Dreamer. Abyss vowed to show everyone what a monster he is…

Low Ki narrated a video package on Konnan taking Pentagon Jr. and Rey Fenix from him and Salina de la Renta… Matt Striker delivered the War Games hype… Jimmy Yuta made his entrance… [C] A brief Yuta interview aired and then Cade made his entrance while a box promo aired…

3. Jason Cade vs. Jimmy Yuta. They fought to ringside early with babyface Yuta getting the better of Cade. Yuta took control and acted cocky while on the offensive. Later, Yuta performed a nice superplex on Cade. In the end, Cade remained down and the referee checked on him before throwing up the X symbol. With the ref distracted, Rhett Giddins hit the ring and clotheslined Yuta. Cade leapt to his feet and rushed over to pin Yuta… [C]

Jason Cade beat Jimmy Yuta.

Powell’s POV: It felt like two different matches depending on who was on the offensive. Yuta did a decent job of showing fire in what should have been a heated match between two former tag partners. Meanwhile, it felt like Cade’s heel antics were run of the mill and it really didn’t feel personal on his end. It doesn’t help the feud that their split was telegraphed from the first episode and we never really saw their friendship prior to the split. The cheap finish was fine in that it extended the feud and put another obstacle in front of Yuta.

Backstage, Kevin Sullivan interrupted a conversation between Brian Pillman Jr., Teddy Hart, and Davey Boy Smith Jr. Sullivan said Hart was blackballed everywhere he went. He brought up his problems and his family’s problems. Hart barked at him and shoved him while calling him booker man and saying he had now power in MLW. Sullivan jawed back at him while Pillman stood between them. Pillman said Sullivan isn’t a threat. Hart told Pillman to pick a side. The camera got shaky when Hart hit Sullivan with punches. Smith joined in on the beating. Pillman asked what the hell they were doing. Pillman eventually laughed at struck Sullivan with a cane…

Matt Striker read through the tale of the tape for the main event. He said Lawlor is an angry fighter and that can lead to a sloppy fighter. Colonel Robert Parker stood in the ring and introduced Hager…

4. Jake Hager (w/Colonel Robert Parker) vs. Tom Lawlor (w/Simon Gotch, Fred Yehi). Schiavone hyped it as UFC vs. Bellator in an MLW ring. Hager was in offensive control heading into a break. [C] Lawlor rallied coming out of the break while Schiavone spoke about how far he’d come in a short period of time. Lawlor took Hager down with a discus lariat.

Later, Lawlor caught Hager in an armbar while hanging over the ropes and had to release the hold at four. Back in the ring, Lawlor worked the arm of Hager, who rolled to the floor. Lawlor once again waited until the four count to break the hold, then followed Hager to the floor and worked him over. Lawlor played to the live crowd a bit. Back in the ring, Lawlor performed a pump-handle suplex and went for a rear naked choke. Parker freaked and yelled that it was a chokehold.

Lawlor countered into an armbar, but Hager countered into an ankle lock. Lawlor reached the bottom rope to break the hold. Hager threw punches at Lawlor. Lawlor came back and rolled Hager into a pin for the 1-2-3…

Tom Lawlor defeated Jake Hager.

Schiavone announced that Kevin Sullivan was being taken to a nearby medical center. He also hyped the War Games events and tickets starting at just $10… A video package promoted the War Games event to close the show…

Powell’s POV: A bit of a plodding match early that got better as it went on. Leaving WWE hasn’t lit a fire under Hager in terms of him stepping up his game. He seems content doing the basics and it’s a shame because he’s capable of being truly elite in the ring. It doesn’t help that it’s so ambiguous when it comes to how they want fans to view these wrestlers. Team Filthy has feuds going with babyfaces and heels and thus it’s hard to say which wrestler creative views as the babyface in this feud, though Lawlor did play to the fans late so perhaps that answered the question. Overall, a missable show compared to some of MLW’s better efforts in recent weeks.



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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