Powell’s MLW Fusion TV Review: Intimidation Games live special featuring Tom Lawlor vs. Low Ki in a cage match for the MLW Championship, Pentagon Jr. and Rey Fenix vs. Laredo Kid and Taurus, Contra’s television debut


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

Major League Wrestling Fusion (Episode 47)
Chicago, Illinois at Cicero Stadium
Aired live March 2, 2019 on beIN Sports

The standard opening aired and then a special Intimidation Games opening also played. A shot aired of the Chicago skyline. Rich Bocchini checked in as the play by play voice and introduced new addition Jim Cornette, who was already with him at the broadcast table at ringside… Timothy Barr was the ring announcer and they went right to ring introductions for the opening match. Cornette started right in on Bocchini by saying he heard that third grade was the toughest five years of Bocchini’s life…

1. “The Lucha Brothers” Pentagon Jr. and Rey Fenix vs. Laredo Kid and Taurus. Bocchini plugged Go Daddy as a sponsor, and the Go Daddy logo was also in the middle of the ring. Pentagon made his hand symbol in the face of Taurus, who grabbed his arm. Fenix performed a missile dropkick to the back Taurus. Traditional tag team rules flew out the window. Fenix performed a moonsault onto both teams. Fenix stood up and looked right into the camera and dropped an f-bomb while dubbing himself and Pentagon the best tag team in the business. A short time later, Cornette said he hopes that something Pentagon said means something different in Spanish or they might have to censor him.

Taurus performed a nice spear on Pentagon for a near fall. A short time later, Fenix ran the ropes before performing a double stomp on Taurus. Kid chopped Fenix in the corner. Fenix reversed it and blasted him with rapid fire chops. Kid performed a springboard cutter on Fenix. Kid went to the ropes and was cut off by Pentagon. Taurus snuck under Pentagon and powerbombed him. Taurus stacked the Lucha Brothers on top of one another, then Kid performed a 450 splash onto them for a near fall. The Lucha Brothers came back with a Fenix double stomp into a Penta Driver on Kid. As Pentagon was pinning Kid, Fenix performed suicide flip dive onto Taurus at ringside and actually ended up in the front row…

Pentagon Jr. and Rey Fenix defeated Laredo Kid and Taurus.

After the match, Fenix and Pentagon took turns speaking on the mic and Bocchini hyped the MLW Title match as coming up next…

Powell’s POV: It’s worth noting that I am seeing the Youtube version of the show rather than the live broadcast that aired on beIN Sports on Saturday night, so there may have been some changes made in post production. The match was entertaining. The production crew actually missed the three count while following the insane Fenix dive, and it was hard to blame them since it’s not every day that a guy ends up in the first row like Fenix did. For those who didn’t see it, Fenix actually landed in a very safe manner and the fans he landed on were all smiles. Laredo Kid was very impressive during his Impact Wrestling run and I hope we see more of him in MLW.

A Jimmy Havoc video package aired to promote his return… An H2 video aired. Teddy Hart and Brian Pillman Jr. sat in pool chairs while holding their title belts. Hart said they don’t worry about calling people out because they are the big dogs now… Cornette noted that the Hart Foundation will be using Freebird Rules (any two members of the trio can defend the MLW Tag Titles)…

While the cage was being set up, Matt Striker hosted a Battle Riot control center segment. Striker hyped Pentagon Jr., Davey Boy Smith Jr., and Minoru Tanaka as the first three entrants of the 40-man Royal Rumble style match, which will be held during WrestleMania weekend at New York’s Melrose Ballroom. It will also be MLW’s next live broadcast on beIN Sports…

Maxwell J Friedman and Richard Holliday delivered a promo in front of the MLW logo. MJF grumbled about not being offered a tag title match and did all the talking while Holliday stood by and smirked…

Kaci Lennox conducted a brief interview with Salina de la Renta backstage… The broadcast team delivered another plug for Go Daddy and then discussed the MLW Title match…

Powell’s POV: The cage that MLW is using is similar to a WWE blue cage rather than a fence style cage. The live crowd seemed to be getting restless, presumably after a fairly lengthy wait while the cage was constructed.

2. Tom Lawlor vs. Low Ki (w/Salina de la Renta) for the MLW Title. Barr delivered in-ring introductions for the championship match. Low Ki attacked Lawlor from behind to start the match. Cornette explained that the match would end by pinfall, submission, or escaping the cage. He said escaping the cage is the hardest way of all to win because you must incapacitate an opponent first. The Contra logo flashed on the screen for a second. Low Ki had Lawlor in a face lock. Lawlor powered up Low Ki and ran him into the cage, then worked him over with punches and an arm lock. Lawlor went for a rear naked choke, but Low Ki ended up running him into the cage before he could fully apply it. Salina handed Low Ki one of her heel shoes, which he hit Lawlor with.

Low Ki ran Lawlor’s head into the cage multiple times and then blasted him with a kick, which led to a two count. Lawlor threw a nice kick from a seated position to the back of Low Ki’s thigh. Low Ki applied an abdominal stretch. Bocchini pointed out that Lawlor had a minor abdominal cut, and assumed it came from the spot with Salina’s shoe. Lawlor came back for a suplex, but Low Ki caught him with a knee to the head on the way down. Low Ki told the ref to open the door, but Lawlor was all over him. Low Ki came right back with a standing double stomp for a two count. Cornette praised beIN Sports for not going to a commercial break during the match like you see on other shows.

Lawlor caught Low Ki in an ankle lock. Low Ki used his hands to climb the ropes while still in the hold and then kicked himself free. Low Ki tried to hit Lawlor , who ducked it and then took a roll of coins away from Low Ki and hit him with them. Lawlor poured the coins over Low Ki. Lawlor wanted to leave through the cage door, but Salina closed it. Lawlor went to the corner across the ring from the door and made a play to leave over the top, but Low Ki followed him up and ended up on top of the cage while Lawlor was in the tree of woe. Low Ki stood on top of the cage and then Lawlor shook it and Low Ki crotched himself on top of the cage.

Both men traded punches on top of the cage and eventually while handing from the side of the cage. Lawlor got his foot caught in the cage and Low Ki worked him over rather than simply, you know, fall and win the match. Lawlor came back with kicks and this time Low Ki got his leg caught in the cage for a moment. They continued to fight. Low Ki slammed Lawlor’s head into the side of the cage. Eventually, Lawlor fell to the ground and Low Ki landed seconds after he did…

Tom Lawlor defeated Low Ki in a cage match to retain the MLW Championship.

Powell’s POV: I enjoyed the body of the match, but they lost me once they were on the side of the cage. The broadcast team tried to make sense of it, but it was silly to see both men fighting rather than simply falling to the ground to win the match. I like that Low Ki was protected as they can obviously go to another rematch, but the new champion looked weak when he had his head slammed into the cage and fell to the ground to win the match. I like Lawlor, but I don’t sense he has fully connected with the audience as the top guy of the promotion yet. It’s not that fans dislike him, it’s just that he doesn’t come off like the face of the company or a draw yet.

After the match, Simon Gotch led two newcomers in attacking Lawlor outside the cage. The trio brought Lawlor inside the cage and took turns working him over with kicks and stomps. Bocchini noted that Low Ki and Salina were no longer at ringside. The Samoan member of the trio (Jacob Fatu) went to the top of the cage and performed a splash on Lawlor, which drew a “holy shit” chant from the crowd (and rightfully so). Gotch, who has ditched his mustache, pulled out a Contra flag and the trio draped it over the fallen Lawlor and then stood tall to close the show…

Powell’s POV: Jacob Fatu and “Almighty Sheik” Josef Salaem were the other two members of Contra. The Fatu cage splash was terrific, and the production team nailed it with a spectacular shot from ringside in the opposite corner. I’m happy to see Gotch back in a meaningful role. I wasn’t a fan of the way that MLW raced into Lawlor beating Gotch after their split, but the addition of Fatu and Salaem provides a new wrinkle that freshens things up. It was a good hour of television and Cornette is a strong addition to the broadcast team. It seemed tough for Bocchini to get a word in at times, but hopefully the give and take will improve as they develop more chemistry.

Check below for the new Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and Davey Boy Smith Jr. discussing what led to the Hart Foundation vs. Lucha Brothers match at MLW SuperFight getting physical, training at a young age, and much more.


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