Powell’s MLW Fusion TV Review: Shane Strickland vs. Tom Lawlor, Sammy Guevara vs. Hijo de LA Park, Barrington Hughes and Kotto Brazil vs. Samu and Lance Anoa’i.

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

Major League Wrestling TV (Episode 27)
Taped in October 4 in New York, New York at Melrose Ballroom
Aired October 20, 2018 on beIN Sports

The show opened with a video package on the Shane Strickland vs. Tom Lawlor match to determine the ace of the company… The opening montage aired… Tony Schiavone and Matt Striker were on commentary…

1. Sammy Guevara vs. Hijo de LA Park (w/Salina de la Renta). Guevara had his right shoulder taped. Striker plugged next week’s Halloween themed edition. Park performed a Spanish Fly from the ropes for a two count. Guevara came back with a superkick and a flip dive to ringside. Back in the ring, Guevara took a piledriver and was pinned…

Hijo de LA Park over Sammy Guevara.

Powell’s POV: A nice opener. Park gets a win after losing his Fusion debut.

Kaci Lennox interviewed Lawlor backstage. He spoke about how the match would determine the ace of the company. Lawlor said he ran through 39 men and questioned whether he would get the Strickland who became the MLW Champion or the Strickland who couldn’t even get into the War Games match. Lawlor said he would be at his personal best…

A brief Rush video aired…

Konnan delivered a backstage interview and questioned why Salina would have Pentagon Jr. and Fenix locked up by immigration if she was so confident her men could defeat them. He said he took care of the problem and hyped the match between his men and La Park and Hijo de LA Park for Chicago…

2. “Samoan Island Tribe” Samu and Lance Anoa’i vs. “Smash N Dash Connection” Barrington Hughes and Kotto Brazil. The Samoans, who are father and son, worked over Brazil. Lance spat on Hughes, then took a suplex from Brazil, who tried to tag in the big man only to take a Samoan drop.

Hughes eventually took a tag and worked over both opponents and slammed their heads together. Striker said it was dumb because Samoans have hard heads. Ugh. The Samoans no-sold it and headbutted Hughes. Brazil hit the Samoans with a missile dropkick from the ropes. Brazil hit Sliced Bread on Anoa’i and then Hughes splashed him for the win…

Barrington Hughes and Kotto Brazil defeated Samu and Lance Anoa’i.

Powell’s POV: I like the idea of putting Hughes and Brazil in a team. Hughes struggled when he was asked to do more than usual in the War Games match, so working in a tag team can limit his involvement. Plus, they are a fun duo. I’ll never win an abs contest, yet I can’t help but wish that Hughes would drop some weight both for his conditioning and, more importantly, for the sake of his health.

Sami Callihan delivered a promo from an undisclosed location to promote his Spin The Wheel, Make The Deal match with Jimmy Havoc. He said he normally screams and yells to get his point across. He said he is an intimidating person. Callihan said he was was looking into the camera and being truthful. He said he and Havoc were friends and he thought they were a lot alike. He said he realized that Havoc is a phony who likes to make people think he’s crazy and out of control. He said Havoc says he’s the king of the death matches and the most violent person in the world, but the truth is that Callihan is actually that person. He said only one man will walk out of their match and it will be him…

Powell’s POV: A nice change of pace for Callihan, who typically delivers crazed promos. And those crazed promos are typically really good, but the difference in style drew me in right away because it’s out of the norm for him.

A brief video teased the return of Stokely Hathaway…

Lennox interviewed Strickland backstage. Strickland said he feels like a winner. He said MLW would be hard pressed to find and asset like him. He said he would prove that he is still the franchise player in MLW. He said he’s fought battles and bled for the company unlike Lawlor. Strickland said he would prove that it’s still his house…

Schiavone hyped the MLW Fightland event for Chicago on November 8…

Salina de la Renta delivered a backstage rebuttal to Konnan. She applauded Konnan for being able to resolve the situation with Pentagon and Fenix. She said she sees a very bright future for her men… Lawlor was shown shadow boxing with Simon Gotch… Striker said Low Ki would join them on commentary for the main event.

Jimmy Havoc delivered a promo from a stairwell about his match with Callihan. Havoc questioned what type of match it would be and ran through some of the possibilities. He said it doesn’t matter because it would end up in his favor. He said it would be one on one and that Callihan wouldn’t have his “little boys” with him. He said he would make New York run red with Callihan’s blood…

Powell’s POV: I like the idea of leaving Leon Scott and Sawyer Fulton out of the match, but is there a storyline reason that they can’t get involved regardless of which stipulation they go with when most are of the No DQ variety or were they just not booked for the show?

Ring entrances for the main event took place…

3. Shane “Swerve” Strickland vs. Tom Lawlor. Low Ki was on commentary. Lawlor came to the ring without his Team Filthy sidekicks. Striker recalled Strickland say that Lawlor had not made his mark in the pro wrestling business yet. Schiavone noted that Lawlor won the Battle Riot. Low Ki said he saw two marks in the ring and they’d leave big marks in the ring when he’s done with them. Low Ki also took offense to the idea that the winner would be considered the ace of the company.

Strickland and Lawlor fought to ringside where Strickland ducked a clothesline and Lawlor slammed his own arm into the ring post. Strickland went to work on the injured arm once they were back in the ring. Strickland sat on the back of a standing Lawlor and pulled Lawlor’s arms back. Lawlor used his teeth to reach the ropes to break the hold (Daniel Tosh or Joe Rogan would have a field day with that clip).

Later, Lawlor performed a falcon arrow for a near fall. Strickland caught Lawor with a nice kick. Strickland started talking to the crowd and Lawlor suplexed him from behind using only one arm. Striker questioned Lawlor didn’t have full use of his injured arm. Lawlor went for a rear naked choke.

Salina de la Renta came out and stood on the apron, which distracted the referee. Low Ki left the broadcast area and hit Lawlor from behind while the ref was distracted. Strickland dropkicked Lawlor through the ropes and then placed him on the guardrail. Strickland went to the stage and looked at Salina before double stomping Lawlor.

Strickland put Lawlor back inside the ring and then double stomped him from the top rope. Striker noted that it was a Low Ki move. Low Ki and Salina were upset that Strickland didn’t put him away. Striker assumed that Ki saw Lawlor as the biggest threat to his title. Strickland performed a move on Lawlor’s bad arm. Lawlor came back with a one armed choke and then Strickland tapped out…

Tom Lawlor defeated Shane Strickland.

Schiavone hyped next week’s show… Lennox interviewed Lawlor, who said Low Ki is a great champion, but he’s running away from him. Lawlor said he would be challenging for the MLW Championship on the February 2 Superfight event…

Powell’s POV: Lawlor was made to look strong, but it felt like Strickland was sacrificed in the process. After all, he was given help from Low Ki and still couldn’t get the win and he essentially tapped to a one armed man. It’s not the end of the world for Strickland, but hopefully they have a plan in mind for him to bounce back. Strickland is challenging Low Ki in Chicago, so MLW creative must have something in mind.

The real MVP of the main event was Striker. He did a very good job of explaining the nuances of the story they were trying to tell with Lawlor’s injury and the involvement of Low Ki and Salina. It was a bit surprising to have them announce Low Ki vs. Lawlor so far in advance, but I’m curious to see how they take advantage of all the time they have to work with. I assume the idea is that Lawlor is cashing in the title shot he earned by winning Battle Riot.

Overall, this was a good edition of Fusion with a quality main event and strong hype for next week’s Halloween themed edition. I am really looking forward to the Callihan vs. Havoc match next week.

Check below for the latest Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and former NWA Champion Nick Aldis.



Be the first to comment

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.


*


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.