Powell’s MLW Fusion TV Review: Salina de la Renta in control, LA Park vs. Pentagon Jr., Low Ki vs. Daga, Hijo de LA Park vs. Gringo Loco

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

Major League Wrestling Fusion (Episode 56)
Taped April 5, 2019 in Queens, New York at Melrose Ballroom
Aired May 4, 2019 on beIN Sports

The show opened with a photo of Salina de la Renta and the Promociones Dorado faction logo. They cut to a shot of Low Ki doing pushups while Salina sat on a couch discussing her executive producer role with someone via telephone. Low Ki interrupted her to talk about his match with Daga, but she blew him off a couple of times and told him to focus on the matches while she focuses on business… A Promociones Dorado version of the MLW opening aired…

The broadcast team of Rich Bocchini and Jim Cornette stood backstage in front of the MLW backdrop while Salina stood in front of them. Bocchini read an over the top introduction of Salina, who welcomed viewers to the new MLW show. She said by the time the show was over, viewers would know that she should have been in cotrol since day one…

Low Ki made his entrance without Salina. Cameras cut to outside the building where Sami Callihan was attempting to break into the building. Bocchini stated on commentary that Salina had banned Callihan from the building and now he hijacked one of the cameramen to document his attempt to break in…

1. Low Ki vs. Daga. Cornette said Low Ki has been living rent free in Daga’s head. Bocchini questioned why Salina wasn’t with Low Ki. Daga was in offensive control early and ended up working over Low Ki at ringside. Low Ki came back by hoisting up Daga in suplex position and then dropping him on the top rope. Low Ki targeted Daga’s left knee by slamming it into the ring post twice and then kicking it. Later, Low Ki put Daga in the tree of woe to set up for a double stomp, but Daga reached up and pulled him from the top rope. Daga performed a missile dropkick. Low Ki caught Daga in the corner, suplexed him, and put his feet on the ropes while getting the pin…

Low Ki defeated Daga.

Powell’s POV: A decent match. It feels like we hear more than we see how hot the Low Ki and Daga feud is. The match was decent, but from a style standpoint it came off like a competitive match rather than a chapter in an ongoing war between two wrestlers. It’s hard to care about Daga in MLW when his only focus is Low Ki and he comes up short. I was surprised by the finish if only because with Salina not being at ringside made this seem like a good time to give Daga a win to keep the feud competitive.

Salina stood backstage and announced the entrants for the MLW National Championship brackets: Gringo Loco vs. Alexander Hammerstone, Brian Pillman Jr. vs. Rich Swann. The winners will meet in the finals on June 1 in Milwaukee…

Powell’s POV: I don’t have a strong feeling about who will win the tournament, but my guess is Hammerstone, as it would give him and The Dynasty faction a boost.

Bocchini spoke about the target that Tom Lawlor has on his back as MLW Champion. Contra Unit, LA Park, and Robert Dreissker were spotlighted as being in the mix for MLW Championship matches…

Tom Lawlor and Ariel Dominguez were shown arriving at a training facility. Lawlor said you take on all comers as MLW Champion. He said it doesn’t matter where challengers are from or what their size is, they will go down. Footage aired of Lawlor dominating Dominguez in a training session. Dominguez applied a choke, but Lawlor simply stood up and walked as Dominguez held on. Lawlor casually put on his footwear and walked toward the door of the facility while Dominguez was still holding on…

Backstage, Ricky Martinez was on the phone when he was attacked by Sami Callihan, who took his phone and stormed away…

2. Hijo de LA Park (w/Salina de la Renta) vs. Gringo Loco. Loco was over with the NYC crowd. Park performed a nice leap from the ring and into a huracanrana on Gringo at ringside. Park followed up with a nice suicide dive. The crowd responded by chanting his name. Grino came back by slamming Park from the middle rope. Gringo followed up with a Michinoku Driver from the middle rope for a near fall. Park came back with a reverse piledriver and scored the clean pin…

Hijo de LA Park defeated Gringo Loco.

Powell’s POV: An entertaining match. That said, it feels like both guys are caught up in parity booking and lack real direction at the moment. The most shocking moment of the week came when Bocchini recalled Salina comparing Gringo Loco to Kenny Powers, and Cornette said he had no idea who Powers is. MLW officials should immediately pay for an HBO subscription and require him to watch Eastbound & Down.

A Contra Unit video package aired. Josef Samael and Jacob Fatu spoke separately about Barrington Hughes. Fatu showed good fire on the mic while talking about facing Hughes, and Samael was also good as he said Hughes’s streak will fall… Bocchini hyped Hughes vs. Fatu for next week’s show… A graphic listed upcoming shows for Milwaukee, Chicago, and New York…

A video package recapped Sami Callihan breaking into the building and stealing Ricky Martinez’s phone…

Callihan was shown backstage barking at a cameraman. He ordered the man to film him making a phone call to Salina. She answered the phone and said she had been looking for him for 30 minutes. “This ain’t Ricky, toots.” She knew it was Callihan and snapped at him. Callihan said he didn’t understand a word she said. Salina said he had nothing. Callihan said he had Ricky’s phone and a lot of surprises for her tonight. Callihan deleted her number from Martinez’s phone…

Bocchini hyped Fatu vs. Hughes, and Loco vs. Hammerstone in a tournament match for next week…

3. Pentagon Jr. vs. LA Park (w/Salina de la Renta). Park made his entrance first and then attacked Pentagon on the stage. Cornette said Salina being executive producer was only for Cinco de Mayo and he doesn’t believe in rewarding bad behavior. Park brought Pentagon to the ring and the bell rang to officially start the match. Salina tried to remove Pentagon’s mask at one point, but he spun around and kissed her. Salina slapped him. Park charged at Pentagon, who moved, and Park nearly hit Salina, who then barked at him.

A short time later, Park performed a German suplex and followed up with a running knee to Pentagon’s head. Park sold knee pain. Pentagon came back by slipping underneath Park in the corner and then performing a lung blower for a two count. Park came back and suplexed Pentagon into the corner. Park followed up with a suicide dive onto Pentagon at ringside. Park rolled Pentagon back inside the ring and then performed a spinning kick from the top rope. Park speared and pinned Pentagon Jr. clean to win the match…

LA Park defeated Pentagon Jr.

After the match, Salina took the mic and spoke about going to celebrate somewhere other than in the armpit of the United States. Salina said they were going to open a gift from the sponsor first. Salina went to the stage to open a gift box. Mance Warner emerged from the box and brawled with Park as the show went off the air…

Powell’s POV: It was surprising to see Pentagon Jr. lose clean, but I assume we’ll see more of this in any future MLW matches given that he and Fenix are expected to become AEW exclusive. Those Callihan segments didn’t go anywhere on this episode. Were they a swerve for the final five seconds of the show? Strange. Furthermore, MLW didn’t do a good job of setting the table for the gift box spot. I don’t believe they even mentioned the gift box until Salina brought it up moments before they went to the stage.

I wish MLW would have taken the time to actually explain why Salina had control of this show. Salina and her wrestlers were featured throughout the night, but it came off like a stunt for Cinco de Mayo weekend rather than something that actually made sense from a storyline standpoint. Heck, Cornette basically said as much, but that’s not a great message to send the television audience about management.

That may seem like nitpicking, but I’m a big believer in the idea that the company that does the best job of storytelling will thrive. See WWE Raw’s ratings for an example of what happens when pro wrestling companies ignore the small details. This show featured some good in-ring action and they did a decent job at times with Salina being in storyline control, but it wasn’t explained well and it didn’t lead to anything memorable.

Check below for the latest Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and guest Court Bauer discussing MLW’s future, pay-per-view possibilities, whether MLW talent could appear on the AAA event at MSG, Salina de la Renta serving as the executive producer for the latest MLW Fusion television show, and more.



The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and guest James Storm, who discusses being part of NWA Powerrr, studio wrestling, past issues with Billy Corgan, his brief stay in NXT and why he hasn't returned, his eight-day title reign as the TNA/Impact Wrestling World Champion, and much more...


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