Powell’s MLW Fusion TV Review: The Hart Foundation vs. MJF and Richard Holliday for the MLW Tag Titles, Hijo de LA Park vs. Puma King, a wild Contra Unit segment

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

Major League Wrestling Fusion (Episode 49)
Taped March 2, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois at Cicero Stadium
Aired March 16, 2019 on beIN Sports

A recap video spotlighted the recent actions of the Contra faction and included the great shot of Jacob Fatu’s splash from the top of the cage… The MLW opening aired… Rich Bocchini and Jim Cornette were on commentary and Tim Barr was the ring announcer…

Bocchini and Cornette were joined by Mance Warner on commentary. Warner said he hadn’t seen Cornette since ’93. Cornette asked if he was seven years-old back then. “Nope, 35,” Warner said before taking a swig of his beer…

1. Hijo de LA Park (w/Salina de la Renta) vs. Puma King. Bocchini noted that Warner will face LA Park in a death match next week and it’s all because Warner spilled beer on Salina. Puma played to the crowd before the match and was well received. Cornette noted on commentary that the tumbling lucha style was developed because the rings were so hard in Mexico that it was a defensive mechanism.

Salina reached in from ringside and gabbed Puma’s foot to distract him. Park took advantage of the distraction and performed a suicide dive. Park picked up a chair and slammed it over the back of Puma at ringside. The referee scolded Park, who grabbed another chair. Park put a chair between the legs of Puma, who was seated in a corner of the ring, then hit the first chair with a second chair. Puma returned the favor a short time later. “What’s good for the goose is bad for the wiener,” Cornette said.

Park hit Code Red for a near fall. Puma came back with a powerbomb for a near fall of his own. King went to the top rope only to have Park slam a chair over his ass. Park danced and the fans popped. King performed a head-scissors takedown and then danced. King went up top and was cut off by Park, who performed a top rope Spanish Fly for a two count. Salina tripped Puma as he was running the ropes. They bickered, then Park spun Puma around and performed a piledriver style move.

Park left the ring and spat on Warner, who returned the favor. They went nose to nose. Park shoved Warner, who then hit him from behind with Cornette’s tennis racket. Back inside the ring, King hit a Codebreaker style move and rolled Park into a pin. Puma and Warner shared beers together afterward…

Puma King defeated Hijo de LA Park.

Powell’s POV: Warner continues to be a blast and we definitely need to hear more of him and Cornette together. Bocchini wisely sat back and let the two of them work their comedy magic, which included Cornette saying that Mancer is known as Ro-Mancer in Bucksnort, Tennessee, and Mancer also dropping a line about buying Aldi brand because its cheaper. Oh, and there was a match. And it was an entertaining hardcore brawl. I’m just not sure hw it became a hardcore brawl when it was billed as a regular match. Even so, it was fun.

Maxwell J Friedman and Richard Holliday delivered a backstage promo. MJF impersonated Teddy Hart, then stopped and told Holliday that he wasn’t doing it right. He said he had look more dead inside like Davey Boy Smith Jr. The promo was interrupted by the latest H2 footage from the Hart Foundation. Hart and Smith were comically coaching Brian Pillman Jr., who was in a pool. Smith looked into the camera and said that all kidding aside, they would hurt MJF and Holliday…

Bocchini hyped the Contra match going into a break… A Battle Riot ad aired for the April 5 show… Bocchini said that last week’s call from Dr. Nelson Sweglar was a bogus call…

Footage aired from “earlier this week” of Tom Lawlor leaving a medical facility. Lawlor was asked by the cameraman whether he’s cleared to wrestle. Lawlor said he doesn’t care what the medical staff has to say. He said he’s sure they are good at their jobs, but they don’t know what’s inside a fighter’s heart. He said he’s cleared to fight in his mind and he wants to face any of the three Contra members…

2. Jacob Fatu and Josef Samael vs. two unnamed wrestlers. Fatu and Samael went Road Warrior style by hitting the ring and attacking the unnamed duo during the ring introductions. Cornette said Fatu is actually a black sheep of the Samoan family and he trained all over the world. Fatu performed a great Samoan drop. Samael tagged in and used his spike on one of the enhancement wrestlers. The referee called for the DQ.

A pair of enhancement wrestlers defeated Jacob Fatu and Josef Samael by DQ.

After the match, Fatu performed a pair of moonsaults, then he and Samael put the boots to one of the wrestlers. The other wrestler entered the ring and Samael threw a fireball at his face. Cornette called for immediate help for the burn victim. Trainers brought out a stretcher for one of the unnamed wrestlers. As they trainers picked up the stretcher, Fatu performed a top rope moonsault onto the stretcher. Samael stood in the ring and jawed at fans at ringside. He picked up a bottle of water and sprayed fans in the crowd a couple times. The fans responded by throwing plastic bottles and other objects into the ring…

Powell’s POV: The Contra faction continues to shine. I love the way they are being established as a sadistic trio that so far cares more about hurting people than winning matches. I was going to grumble about Samael playing to the crowd before Fatu hit the final moonsault, but then he had the fans throwing things at him just seconds later. This was really fun and I hope the creative team can continue to put heat on the faction and keep them from becoming a heel act that some fans start to cheer.

Matt Striker hosted a Battle Riot control center segment. Striker said LA Park will be in the Battle Riot match. He also said Sami Callihan is coming back with a vengeance. He also named Hijo de LA Park, Rey Fenix, Brian Pillman Jr., Gringo Loco, Ken Kerbis, Pentagon Jr., Teddy Hart, MJF, Davey Boy Smth Jr., Ace Romero, Alexander Hammerstone, Minoru Tanaka, and Low Ki for the Battle Riot match. Striker noted that Low Ki is out of title opportunities so this could be his way back into the title picture…

LA Park and Salina de la Renta delivered a backstage promo. Park said he is going to win Battle Riot and give fans something to talk about… A Jimmy Havoc video aired to promote his return…

Bocchini recapped Contra Unit starting a riot. He said the trio will speak next week. He also hyped the Mance Warner vs. LA Park in a death match for next week’s show. Bocchini recapped footage of MJF and Holliday attacking Teddy Hart on a previous episode…

Ring entrances for the tag title match took place. The challengers came out first. MJF took the mic and said he knows the fans don’t understand English, but they should nod their heads and keep their mouths shut and things will be okay. He asked for a moment of silence. MJF looked up and started to address Stu Hart. “Oh, who am I kidding?” MJF asked. MJF stomped on the ring and looked down while addressing Stu. MJF said Stu thinks he left his legacy in great hands, but he left it in the hands of an idiot in Teddy Hart…

3. “The Hart Foundation” Teddy Hart and Davey Boy Smith Jr. (w/Brian Pillman Jr.) vs. “The Dynasty” Maxwell J Friedman and Richard Holliday for the MLW Tag Titles. Bocchini noted that the Harts use Freebird rules, which allows any of the three to defend the tag titles. Hart had his ribs taped to sell the previous attack. The heels stalled to start the match. Cornette said MJF is entitled and would look right at home on Fox News. Cornette said he’s not supposed to talk politics. Bocchini asked if MJF is more of a Tucker Carlson or an Alex Jones type. Cornette said that’s like choosing between the gas chamber and the electric chair. Funny.

The heels isolated Hart for a stretch. They drew Smith into the ring to distract the referee, then doubled teamed Hart, who sold his injured ribs. Holliday told the ref he had something in his eye, allowing MJF to work over Hart at ringside. Smith broke it up briefly, but MJF was able to run Hart into the barricade. MJF performed a cool move that Cornette dubbed a super piledriver, which led to Holliday getting a near fall.

Teddy came back with a tornado Canadian Destroyer on MJF. Cornette said Hart threw up, then Hart tagged in Smith, who worked over both heels. Smith tossed Holliday onto MJF in the corner, then played to the crowd and got a favorable reaction. Smith performed a chicken wing suplex into a bridge for a two count on MJF. Smith followed up with a powerbomb and had the pin, but Holliday broke it up. Smith cleared Holliday from the ring, then hoisted up MJF for the Doomsday Destroyer, but Alex Hammerstone ran in and hit Smith from behind with a chair for the DQ.

Teddy Hart and Davey Boy Smith Jr. defeated MJF and Richard Holliday by DQ to retain the MLW Tag Titles.

After the match, The heel trio put the boots the Hart Foundation. MJF set up a chair in the ring, Hammerstone sat down on the chair while MJF and Holliday posed on each side of him to close the show…

Powell’s POV: So last week’s scene with Hammerstone on the phone talking about Dynasty did foreshadow him joining what is now a faction with MJF and Holliday. It’s a good move in that it sets up the Harts with opponents for six-man tag matches, and likely showcases Hammerstone as a faction leader. MLW continues to get the most out of their recent additions.

Overall, a strong hour of television with a good opener, the Contra Unit craziness, and a solid tag title main event. The addition of Cornette to the broadcast team has been a strong improvement. I’m a fan of the traditional play-by-play voice and color commentator approach, and Cornette has been highly entertaining from a comedic standpoint, and he and Bocchini are doing a good job of playing it straight when the situation calls for it and acting outraged by the antics of the heels.

Check below for the new Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and guest Fulvio Cecere discussing the 350 Days documentary that included interviews with over 70 pro wrestling legends including Bret Hart, Ted DiBiase, Wendi Richter, Greg Valentine, and Bill Eadie, why pre-ordering the documentary is so helpful, a nugget regarding Fulvio’s run as Lt. Thorne on Battlestar Galactica, and much more.



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