Powell’s MLW Fusion TV Review: LA Park’s open challenge, Brian Pillman Jr. vs. Maxwell J Friedman, Rich Swann and Myron Reed vs. Lance Anoa’i and Jimmy Yuta

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

Major League Wrestling Fusion (Episode 53)
Taped April 5, 2019 in Queens, New York at Melrose Ballroom
Aired April 12, 2019 on beIN Sports

MLW opened with a recap of last week’s Battle Riot special that saw LA Park win the 40-man Battle Riot match to earn an MLW Title shot… The Fusion opening aired… The broadcast team of Rich Bocchini and Jim Cornette checked in and set the table for the show. Timothy Barr was the ring announcer…

1. Brian Pillman Jr. vs. Maxwell J Friedman (w/Alex Hammerstone, Richard Holliday). Bocchini said footage recently surfaced of a five-year-old MJF on the Rose O’Donnell show saying he wanted to be a pro wrestling and singing “You Are My Sunshine”. Holliday interfered during the opening seconds by holding the foot of Pillman. Hammerstone took a cheap shot moments later. Holliday tripped Pillman and this time the referee saw it and ejected both Dynasty members from ringside. Fans sang the “goodbye” song.

Pillman performed a cross body block and sold a bad shoulder, which Cornette had acknowledge on commentary earlier. Pillman sold it again when he went for a whip. MJF charged and Pillman performed a powerslam for a two count, then went back to selling his shoulder. Pillman charged at MJF, who pulled the referee in front of him. Pillman stopped short and MJF took advantage and performed a double stomp and a rollup for a two count. MJF bickered with the referee about the count, then walked into Pillman catching him in an inside cradle for the win…

Brian Pillman Jr. defeated Maxwell J Friedman.

Kaci Lennox tried to interview MJF on the stage, but he yelled at her and took the mc. MJF said Pillman’s win was a fluke, then stormed backstage…

Powell’s POV: A good opening match. You had to figure the Dynasty members were going to be ejected when they interfered so much during the opening minute, but that evened things up and set the stage for Pillman scoring the pin. I enjoy watching Pillman because he was very green when he started in MLW and this match showed his improvement.

Footage aired of Tom Lawlor’s “press conference” from last week that ended with Contra Unit attacking him…

Footage aired of Salina de la Renta holding a press conference. She brought up Cinco de Mayo and announced that she will be the first female executive producer in pro wrestling history on the May 4 edition of Fusion. She told the “media” to stay tuned for details on when LA Park will cash in the title shot he earned by winning Battle Riot…

Sami Callihan delivered a backstage promo. He said he left MLW because he wasn’t himself. He said he got his ass kicked by LA Park and he had to put his tail between his legs and run for a bit. He said he’s been all over trying to figure out who he is. He said he finally figured it out. Callihan said he noticed Mance Warner in the Battle Riot. Callihan used the whiteboard behind him to write Callihan vs. Warner equals ratings. He said the match will take place next week…

After a commercial break, a video package aired for MLW’s upcoming tour dates on June 1 in Milwaukee, July 6 in Chicago, and July 25 in New York…

Richard Holliday was shown trying to calm down Alex Hammerstone in a staircase backstage. They spotted the cameraman and barked at him…

2. Rich Swann and Myron Reed vs. Lance Anoa’i and Jimmy Yuta. Cornette noted that Anoa’i’s grandfather is Afa and his father is Samu of the Samoan dynasty. Swann and Reed wore tape over their mouths again in protest of their issues with MLW referees. Bocchini questioned why Swann and Reed were checked for objects while Anoa’i and Yuta were not. Cornette said Anoa’i and Yuta don’t have the history of using objects that Swann and Reed do.

Bocchini said Yuta was looked at as a rising star in MLW, but he hasn’t reached the heights that people expected. Cornette said Yuta needs to hit the gym and improve his conditioning and cardio. The heels isolated Yuta for a stretch and he eventually made a hot tag to Anoa’i. In an impressive move, Anoa’i hoisted Swann onto his shoulders, then dropkicked Reed, making it a dropkick and Samoan Drop combination. Wow. Cornette said he hasn’t seen that in his 40 years of pro wrestling.

Anoa’i performed a uranage on Swann and then went for a 450 splash, but Swann rolled out of the way. Reed ran from the entrance ramp, leapt over the top rope, and performed a cutter on Anoa’i. Reed had the pin, but Yuta broke it up. Yuta leapt to ringside at Swann, who caught him with a low blow. Reed and Swann double teamed Anoa’i. Swann performed a 450 double knee drop and then Reed immediately followed with a 450 splash for the win…

Rich Swann and Myron Reed defeated Lance Anoa’i and Jimmy Yuta.

Powell’s POV: The comments from the broadcast team about Yuta were interesting in that they were a blunt but fair assessment of where things stand with him. Yuta was given a chance during the early shows of MLW’s return and while he showed potential, he has slipped from a physique standpoint and just hasn’t done enough to justify being featured more prominently as MLW has added talent. He still has potential, but it seems like he needs to step up his game. Meanwhile, I continue to like the Swann and Reed pairing…

Mance Warner was shown talking with some guy he called “Big Dog” until Kaci Lennox approached him about Sami Callihan’s challenge. Warner said he would fight Callihan and then said he had to go get another beer…

After a commercial break, Bocchini set up a Tom Lawlor promo. Lawlor spoke from an outdoor setting about how he has destroyed his knee, broken his jaw, shattered his hand, and destroyed his arm all because he had matches to win. Lawlor said none of those injuries were as bad as when Jacob Fatu splashed him from the top of a cage. Lawlor said Contra Unit will feel pain, but luckily for them he will put them unconscious and their lifeless bodies won’t feel a damn thing…

Salina de la Renta and LA Park came to the ring for the main event. Salina sad the main event was off because Jimmy Havoc suffered a paper cut. She issued an open challenge, which was answered by Sami Callihan…

Powell’s POV: This was all a bit clunky. MLW booked LA Park vs. Havoc for one of their two New York shows and obviously they had to call an audible. But the clunky part is that Park vs. Havoc was never advertised for this television show, so Salina’s line felt like it came out of nowhere if you’re only watching the TV show. Worse yet, I’m nearly positive that they actually advertised this LA Park vs. Callihan on last week’s show. For television purposes, I can’t help but think that they would have been better off simply advertising Park vs. Callihan and removing Salina’s promo.

3. LA Park (w/Salina de la Renta) vs. Sami Callihan. Cornette acknowledged his issues with Callihan over the Eddie Edwards baseball bat incident. Park landed on the referee during a kickout. Park picked up the referee and Callihan ended up accidentally catching him with a big boot. REF BUMP!!! Callihan avoided a charging Park in the corner, then jabbed him with his baseball bat to the head. Callihan got a visual pinfall, but the referee was still down.

Ricky Martinez and Hijo de LA Park ran out to help LA Park. Mance Warner ran out and fought the Promociones Dorado members. Low Ki ran in and helped his men and they put the boots to Warner. Daga ran in and helped Callihan and Warner, and also caught Warner with a kick. Cornette said Callihan, Warner, and Daga aren’t partners and don’t like one another and are not partners. Daga performed a flip dive onto Ki and company. Callihan ran the ropes and was speared by LA Park. The referee woke up and counted the pin…

LA Park defeated Sami Callihan.

Bocchini hyped Callihan vs. Warner, and Ace Romero vs. Josef Samael for next week…

Footage aired of Hammerstone and Holliday leaving the building and heading into the parking lot area to meet up with MJF. The Hart Foundation trio drove by in MJF’s car and one of the members mooned the Dynasty duo to close the show…

Powell’s POV: An underwhelming main event match with all the outside interference and not much actually happening between LA Park and Callihan. I hope they have something different in mind for next week’s main event since Callihan and Warner were actually on the same side of this brawl even if Cornette did emphasize that the they and Daga are not actually aligned. Perhaps Callihan and Warner (and even Daga?) team up instead against members of Promociones Dorado instead? I suppose they can always come up with something to create more issues between Callihan and Warner during next week’s show, but this match didn’t leave me feeling very excited about Callihan’s character in MLW. The main event was the weak point of the show (along with the aforementioned sloppiness in setting up the match as an open challenge), but I did enjoy the first two matches. By the way, didn’t the Dynasty have Teddy Hart arrested in a recent angle? If so, why in the world would the Hart Foundation commit grand theft auto in front of a television camera?


Help support ProWrestling.net when you shop Amazon by starting your online Amazon shopping at ProWrestling.net/amazon. You are not charged extra, but we receive a small and very helpful commission on everything you purchase. Thanks for thinking of us every time you shop at Amazon.


The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features guest Eli Drake talking about signing with the NWA, his departure from Impact Wrestling, rejecting an intergender match with Tessa Blanchard, his WWE developmental run, and much more...


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.