Powell’s MLW Fusion TV Review: LA Park vs. Mance Warner in a Death Match, Brian Pillman Jr. vs. Alex Hammerstone, Myron Reed vs. Gringo Loco

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

Major League Wrestling Fusion (Episode 50)
Taped March 2, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois at Cicero Stadium
Aired March 23, 2019 on beIN Sports

The show opened with footage of Teddy Hart handing his jewelry, cash, and other items to Davey Boy Smith Jr. in a backstage area. Rich Bocchini noted that Hart was being arrested due to a warrant because Maxwell J Friedman claimed that he vandalized his automobile. Brian Pillman Jr. showed and screamed “Teddy” repeatedly while Smith held him back. MJF and Richard Holliday showed up and mocked the situation before walking off…

The MLW opening aired… Rich Bocchini and Jim Cornette were on commentary and Tim Barr was the ring announcer. Bocchini and Cornette ran through the lineup for the show…

1. Myron Reed vs. Gringo Loco. The referee spent extra time checking Reed for hidden objects prior to the match. Loco performed a sit-out powerbomb for a two count and then followed up with a piledriver. Loco went for another move, but Reed countered into a stunner. Grinco came back with a wild flip dive that appeared to crush Reed.

Back inside the ring, Reed cut off Gringo on the top rope and performed a huracanrana. “That looked dangerous and painful,” Cornette said. Reed followed up with a springboard 450 splash for a two count. Loco fought back with a springboard stunner and followed up with a corkscrew dive from the top rope for the win. After the match, Reed slapped the referee and then walked over to the broadcast table and jawed at the broadcast team…

Gringo Loco defeated Myron Reed.

Powell’s POV: A good opener. Cornette did a really nice job of establishing Reed as a heel throughout the match. Reed has a high flying babyface moveset and we really haven’t heard much from him, so it was wise of the broadcast team to sell the idea that he’s a heel. They also mentioned Rich Swann’s recent antics being similar, so I came away wondering if the idea is for Swann and Reed to end up aligned.

Kaci Lennox interviewed Mance Warner on the interview set. Warner dictated his game plan and had Lennox write it down on a whiteboard. 1. Light Beer. 2. Eye Poke. 3. Knee pad up, knee pad down. He said he was going to buy Lennox a beer, but she said she doesn’t drink beer…

Powell’s POV: I really like the Warner character, but I was hoping the death match was going to bring out a more serious side of him. His fun loving promos are strong. I’m just anxious to see if he can flip the switch and deliver a money promo. In fairness, this situation may not have called for it because the launch point of the feud with Park was lighthearted in that Warner accidentally spilled a beer on Salina de la Renta.

Matt Striker hosted the Battle Riot control center segment. He hyped Tom Lawlor vs. Jimmy Havoc for the MLW Championship and noted that Havoc is the last man to defeat Lawlor in MLW. Striker also announced Warner, Daga, Air Wolf, Barrington Hughes for the Battle Riot match to go along with previously announced wrestlers…

Bocchini recapped Hart’s arrest from the top of the show and then MJF and Holliday were shown laughing on the interview set. MJF spoke about Hart’s mugshot and said he wanted to put it on a billboard in Calgary. Holliday said Calgary is a dump… Bocchini hyped Contra Unit for after the break…

Bocchini noted that Contra Unit sent a video and insisted it be played unaltered or there would be consequences. A video feature showed Simon Gotch, Jacob Fatu, and Josef Samael saying they want the gold and the power. Samael said you can’t burn a kingdom made of fire…

Ace Romero cut a promo on the interview set. His head was bandaged heavily and he said Contra Unit will pay a price for attacking him…

2. Brian Pillman Jr. vs. Alex Hammerstone (w/MJF, Richard Holliday). Before the match, MJF told the crowd that Teddy Hart was in jail because he’s a white trash scumbag just like the fans. Late in the match, MJF distracted Pillman briefly. Hammerstone pressed Pillman and dropped him throat first on the top rope. Hammerstone followed up with a clothesline and then hit his Nightmare Pendulum finisher and scored the clean pin.

Alex Hammerstone defeated Brian Pillman Jr.

After the match, Hammerstone, MJF, and Holliday put the boots to Pillman. MJF and Holliday held Pillman while Hammerstone took the chains that Hart left behind and broke them…

Powell’s POV: So the idea behind the Hart arrest and Smith going to bail him out was to leave Pillman alone against The Dynasty trio. I like the new faction, but the post match angle with Hammerstone breaking Hart’s chains was a little flat since the chains were never portrayed as something meaningful to Hart, at least that I remember. Will the Hart Foundation turn the tables by having Hammerstone arrested for destruction of property?

A Tom Lawlor training video aired. He put a fighter to sleep with a submission hold and then woke him up… Bocchini hyped the main event… Bocchini recapped the Hart arrest and the previous match before the introductions for the main event…

3. LA Park (w/Salina de la Renta) vs. Mance Warner in a Death Match. Warner brought an American flag and displayed it on the ropes before the match. Both wrestlers played to the crowd and then went nose to nose. Park danced and then Warner did his own version, which drew a few boos. They quickly fought to ringside where Warner threw a chair at Park.

Warner pulled a kendo stick out from underneath the ring and brought into the ring where he worked over Park with it. Warner positioned Park on a chair and then did the knee pad up, knee pad down bit. Warner went for a running knee, but Park avoided it and ended up performing a side suplex onto the chair. Park took over offensively and brought Warner to ringside where he positioned in him on a table. The table broke and then Park dove onto Warner from the apron. Park set the broken table against the guardrail and then powerslamed Warner onto it.

Park took off his belt and whipped Warner, who smiled and called for more. Park obliged. Warner took off his suspenders and then both men took turns whipping one another. Warner removed his shirt to let Park hit him with a chop. Warner’s gum fell out of his mouth, and he reached down and picked it up and put it back in his mouth. Park set up a big wooden board over too tables and placed Warner on top of them. Park performed a senton from the ropes that drove Warner through the board. Park picked up a piece of the wood and slammed it over the head of Warner.

Park dove at Warner and got a two count. The crowd became silent as Park simply covered Warner again for another two count. Warner caught Park on the ropes and dropped him with a DDT. Park grabbed the ropes to break the count. Cornette pointed out the silliness of death matches allowing every weapon known to man, but rope breaks are still allowed. In the ring, Warner threw a chair at Park and covered him for two. Warner went to the ropes and Park returned the favor by throwing a chair at him. They showed a replay and we could hear the broadcast team reacting to a big spot, but they didn’t actually show it. Park performed a missile dropkick. Park speared and pinned Warner to end the match…

LA Park defeated Mance Warner in a death match.

Bocchini hyped Teddy Hart defending the MLW Middleweight Championship for next week. He questioned whether Hart would be out of jail in time to defend the title or if his rib injury would be a factor if even if he can work the match. Bocchini closed the show…

Powell’s POV: An entertaining garbage match that overstayed its welcome by a few minutes. The crowd was hot until that awkward moment where Park covered Warner twice and the wrestlers seemed gassed and never quite got the fans back. I assume the replay that aired while a big move as happening was done to cover a botch, but that’s just a guess.

The crowd was interesting. Warner is a babyface while Park seems to be a heel based on his alliance with Salina, but the majority of the fans were behind Park. Park is a legend and Warner is just getting started on MLW television, so it will be interesting to see if the dynamic shifts as Warner is more established. For that matter, MLW draws a lot of Hispanic fans so perhaps that explains some of the love for Park as well. I find more enjoyment in watching Warner than Park at this point, but I can’t blame MLW for going with Park winning if he’s a bigger draw. Plus, they can always build to Warner avenging this loss. Overall, a decent hour of television, yet also missable if you are pressed for time because there were no major storyline developments.

Check below for the new Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and guest Eric Bischoff discussing whether there are similarities in Vince McMahon’s WWE booking and Verne Gagne’s booking of the AWA during its dying days, a network shakeup that could potentially be an issue for All Elite Wrestling, Eric’s upcoming shows with Tony Schiavone and Conrad Thompson in Chicago and New York, and much more.



The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and guest Jim Ross on his role in AEW, Tony Khan as a leader, whether Ross knew Shawn Spears was going to hit Cody with a chair shot to the head, working with Excalibur and Alex Marvez, his new book and speaking engagement deal, and much more... Search "Pro Wrestling Boom" in Apple Podcasts or any podcast app to subscribe.


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