Powell’s MLW Fusion TV Review: Rich Swann vs. Brian Pillman Jr. in an MLW National Openweight Championship tournament match, Minoru Tanaka vs. Daga, Sami Callihan and Mance Warner vs. Hijo de LA Park and Ricky Martinez

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

Major League Wrestling Fusion (Episode 58)
Taped April 5, 2019 in Queens, New York at Melrose Ballroom
Aired May 18, 2019 on beIN Sports

The show opened with a preview of the three matches that would air… The Fusion opening video aired… The broadcast team was Rich Bocchini and Jim Cornette, and Timothy Barr was the ring announcer…

Footage aired from “earlier this week” of Mance Warner trying to calm down Sami Callihan, who was seated in a Bobcat vehicle They opted to drive it to a bar…

Salina de la Renta and Ricky Martinez were backstage when a cameraman asked about LA Park cashing in his MLW Title shot contract that he earned by winning Battle Riot II. She said he would use the contract whenever the opportunity presented itself. She was asked if Park would be in next week’s title match, but she declined to answer…

1. Sami Callihan and Mance Warner vs. Hijo de LA Park and Ricky Martinez (w/Salina de la Renta). The teams brawled at ringside to start. Cornette said he couldn’t warm up to Callihan if they were cremated together. Back inside the ring, Callihan performed a piledriver on Martinez and pinned him clean.

Sami Callihan and Mance Warner defeated Hijo de LA Park and Ricky Martinez.

Hijo attacked Callihan after the match and then worked over Warner. Callihan recovered and tried to take Hijo’s mask, but Martinez stopped him. The teams fought at ringside and then to the back where LA Park joined the heels to help them get the better of Callihan and Warner. Bocchini said the entire match was a setup.

Powell’s POV: The big brawl you’d expect from these teams. I like that the babyface duo went over, yet the feud was extended by the backstage angle.

A graphic touted that Austin Aries is coming soon to MLW… The broadcast team recapped footage of the backstage brawl… Bocchini hyped the Tom Lawlor vs. Robert Dreissker match for the MLW Championship that will air on next week’s show…

2. Minoru Tanaka vs. Daga. Daga went for a double stomp, but Tanaka rolled out of the way and eventually rolled him into a heel hook. Daga reached the ropes to break the hold. They went to ringside and Tanaka performed a moonsault off the post and onto Daga on the floor. Back inside the ring, Daga performed a standing double stomp and followed up with a kick that resulted in him getting a two count. Daga applied an ankle lock. Tanaka kicked him off.

A short time later, Daga picked up a near fall off a nice German suplex into a bridge. Daga ran the ropes for a move and ate a high kick from Tanaka, who then rolled him into a cross arm breaker and a pin for the win…

Minoru Tanaka defeated Daga.

Powell’s POV: A very entertaining, well worked match. With MLW using so much international talent, it would be wise to produce video packages on the wrestlers to help give viewers a real feel for who they are. For instance, Daga has appeared on MLW television several times and it feels like they only thing I know about him is that he’s obsessed with Low Ki.

Footage aired of Ross Von Erich and Marshall Von Erich while Bocchini hyped their debut for Milwaukee…

Maxwell J Friedman cut a promo about the Von Erichs. He said everyone is talking about the Von Erich dynasty. He said that dynasty’s time has passed, whereas The Dynasty is just getting started…

Bocchini hosted a Fury Road control center segment and hyped the following matches: Teddy Hart vs. Jimmy Havoc for the MLW Middleweight Championship, Gringo Loco vs. Myron Reed, Alexander Hammerstone facing the winner of this week’s main event for the MLW National Openweight Championship…

Footage aired of Jacob Fatu defeating Barrington Hughes in last week’s battle of unbeaten super heavyweights… A Contra Unit video aired…

Bocchini hyped the MLW Championship match as next week’s Fusion main event… A Tom Lawlor promo aired. He said he had to do some research about Robert Dreissker. He said he learned that when Dreissker reaches the top of the mountain he begins to fall apart…

Powell’s POV: A well delivered and yet counterproductive promo. Rather than build up Dreissker for those of us who don’t know much about him, Lawlor pointed out a negative. And Dreissker is another example of an international talent who could use a video package, as it would help give fans who are unfamiliar with him a reason to be excited about him getting an MLW Title shot.

A listing of MLW tour dates was shown… Bocchini recapped Air Wolf upsetting Rey Fenix on last week’s show. He said Air Wolf said he’d be honored to give Fenix a rematch, but Fenix declined to comment… Bocchini noted that Davey Boy Smith Jr. won a fan poll that asked who fans want to see challenge Lawlor for the MLW Championship. Bocchini said MLW officials are discussing potential dates for the match…

Powell’s POV: Smith and Killer Kross worked a fantastic match at the Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport event that was held during WrestleMania weekend. I’m hopeful that MLW is booking Lawlor vs. Smith with the intention of the two of them working that style of match.

3. Rich Swann (w/Myron Reed) vs. Brian Pillman Jr. in an MLW National Openweight Championship tournament match. Swann and Reed wore tape over their mouths again. The referee wanted to check Swann for foreign objects. Swann and Reed got pissed and teased leaving, but they ended up returning to the ring. Pillman had Swann pinned during the opening minute, but Reed pulled Pillman off of Swann to break it up.

Swann came back with a nice kick. Pillman dropkicked Reed through the ropes out of nowhere, then clotheslined Swann over the top rope. Pillman performed a cross body block from the top rope for a near fall. Pillman stood on the middle rope and threw punches. Reed reached up and pulled Pillman down. Reed continued to interfere while Swann distracted the referee. Swann performed a DDT on Pillman and barked at the referee to count it right. Pillman kicked out at two.

Swann grabbed the referee by his shirt, but the ref broke free and shoved Swann down. Reed distracted the ref, but Pillman pushed Swann into Reed to knock Reed off the apron, then rolled up Swann and pinned him…

Brian Pillman Jr. defeated Rich Swann to advance to the finals of the MLW National Openweight Championship tournament.

Kaci Lennox interviewed Alexa Hammerstone about facing Pillman in the finals of the MLW National Openweight Championship tournament. Hammerstone said he has a height and weight advantage over Pillman. Hammerstone said that just because Pillman’s father was a great wrestler doesn’t mean Pillman Jr. is. Hammerstone said Pillman will have the best seat in the house as the title is strapped around his waist. Hammerstone said that Pillman will not make his father proud on June 1…

Bocchini hyped Jacob Fatu and Josef Samael vs. Barrington Hughes and Ace Romero, and Tom Lawlor vs. Robert Dreissker match for the MLW Championship for next week’s television show…

Powell’s POV: A decent main event and a good promo from Hammerstone to close the show. It was a nice mix of in-ring action along with some storyline developments. They also set the stage nicely for the next two weeks of television with plenty of hype for the MLW Title match that will headline next week’s show, and the MLW National Openweight Championship tournament finals that will be held on the June 1 live special.

Check below for the latest Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and guest Conrad Thompson discussing Starrcast II, Undertaker pulling out of the event, hosting AEW rallies and his friendship with Tony Khan, thoughts on how WWE podcasts could work, and more.



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