By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Major League Wrestling Fusion (Episode 60)
Waukesha, Wisconsin at Waukesha Expo Center
Aired live June 1, 2019 on beIN Sports
Footage aired from last week’s show of Contra Unit’s attacks on Low Ki and Tom Lawlor… A special introduction aired for the Fury Road live special… The broadcast team of Rich Bocchini and Jim Cornette checked in from their broadcast table. They noted that thunderstorms in the Milwaukee area had caused travel delays for a number of wrestlers, including MLW Champion Tom Lawlor. Tim Barr was the ring announcer…
Powell’s POV: I like the look of the venue, as it’s a little bigger than some of the buildings that MLW runs. The lighting seems a little dimmer than usual, but it’s not poorly lit by any means. My apologies for the delayed report on this episode. I can’t get beIN Sports on DirecTV, so I had to wait for the show to be released via Youtube. My reviews are typically available sometime between Saturday night and Monday morning for the taped shows. With the delay in mind, please note that I am watching the Youtube version rather than the live version, so it’s possible that MLW made some edits.
1. Myron Reed vs. Gringo Loco. Reed made his entrance with tape over his mouth and a sign that read “#justice”. The broadcast team played up Reed’s past issues with referee Doug Markham, who worked this match. Reed shoved Loco, who returned the favor. Loco rolled to ringside and then Reed performed a flip dive onto him before rolling him back inside the ring where he covered him for a two count. Loco came back and performed a standing moonsault.
Later, Loco went up top only to be cut off. Reed also went up and motioned for a Canadian Destroyer. Gringo fought back and ended up performing a super falcon arrow for a near fall. Damn. A “holy shit” chant broke out. Reed came back with a cutter, then performed a springboard 450 splash for a near fall. Reed got up and reached into his pants, which led to an argument with Markham. Reed turned back toward Gringo, who superkicked him.
Reed performed a stunner. Gringo rolled up Reed, who rolled through and held the ropes for leverage, but Markham spotted it and stopped counting. Reed grabbed Markham by the collar. Reed released Markham and turned back to Loco, who performed a tombstone piledriver and scored the pin.
Gringo Loco defeated Myron Reed.
After the match, Reed pulled brass knuckles out of his pants and used them to knock out Loco…
Powell’s POV: The super falcon arrow was insane, but it never should have been kicked out of as far as I’m concerned. It was more impressive than the actual finish of the match. That said, it was a good opening match. The issues between Reed and Markham continue and I can’t really figure out what the end game is. It is worth nothing that Reed and Rich Swann had been working together and both had issues with Markham, but Swann wasn’t mentioned in this segment.
Backstage, Salina de la Renta and said everyone wants more of her. She said MLW COO Court Bauer opted to name her executive producer for the June 15 edition of MLW Fusion… A shot aired of the MLW National Openweight Championship belt on a podium on the stage… [C]
Photos aired of The Crusher. Cornette spoke about Crusher and noted that they will unveil a statue in The Crusher’s honor in Milwaukee next week…
Kaci Lennox checked in from backstage and said she knocked on Tom Lawlor’s locker room door, but he did not answer. She said he’s usually the first wrestler at the building and added that she would keep looking for him…
The broadcast team once again noted that weather issues and cited them as a possible reason for Lawlor not being present…
2. Brian Pillman Jr. vs. Alex Hammerstone to become the first MLW Openweight Championship. Pillman sported his new blonde look for the first time in MLW (he had it in time for AEW Double Or Nothing). Maxwell J Friedman and Richard Holliday walked onto the stage with Hammerstone. MJF took a broadcast team mic and said Brian Pillman would be vomiting if he were still alive.
Pillman got off to a fast start and performed a dropkick and then a nice rollup for a near fall. Hammerstone stood up and blasted Pillman with a big boot to the head. Hammerstone tried to suplex Pillman to the floor, but Pillman fought out of it. Pillman performed a springboard leap from the middle rope and overshot Hammerstone on the floor, but he made enough contact that the fans went along with it.
Pillman took a lap around the ring and dove at Hammerstone, who caught him and flung him into the barricade. Hammerstone powerbombed Pillman onto the ring apron. Hammerstone threw Pillman back inside the ring and covered him for a two count. A short time later, Hammerstone performed a big clothesline on Pillman and covered him for a two count.
Hammerstone continued to overpower Pillman and played to the crowd for heat. Pillman fired back with chops and also connected with a nice superkick for a near fall. Pillman performed a cross body block from the ropes for another near fall. Pillman went to the top rope and performed a swanton, but Hammerstone avoided it and then performed the Nightmare Pendulum and scored the pin.
Alex Hammerstone defeated Brian Pillman Jr. to become the first MLW Openweight Championship.
After the match, the referee put the title belt around Hammerstone’s waist. Kaci Lennox entered the ring and congratulated him on becoming the first MLW Openweight Champion. Hammerstone took the mic and said he’d handle it from here. Hammerstone said Pillman was trying to live off his daddy’s name, whereas he put in the work. Hammerstone said the title was more than his destiny, it’s now Dynasty…
Powell’s POV: A solid match. Pillman’s offense wasn’t always pretty, but he is definitely showing in-ring progress. Meanwhile, Hammerstone is a natural heel and continues to impress early in his MLW run.
A graphic hyped Austin Aries as coming soon to MLW (he debuted at these tapings)… [C]
Bocchini and Cornette hyped the main event when the Contra Unit logo appeared on the screen. Cornette started telling about someone being in the production truck and said htey had to play a tape. Footage aired of Jacob Fatu and Josef Samael attacking Tom Lawlor and throwing him in the back of an SUV. The footage cut to Lawlor with tape over his mouth and tied to a chair in front of the Contra Unit flag. Samael said they are proving that they can take anything they want at anytime. Samael cut off a patch of Lawlor’s hair…
Cornette said it was the most grotesque thing he’d ever seen. Cornette apologized to viewers. Bocchini said they need to go to break. Both men asked the production truck questions through their headsets, including asking about how Lawlor was doing… [C]
After the break, Bocchini and Cornette spoke about the angle. Cornette apologized for airing the footage and said viewers would not see it again. Cornette said a couple of people left the truck and said they wouldn’t work for MLW anymore. Cornette apologized on behalf of MLW and beIN Sports if anyone was offended. Bocchini set up a video package on the main event match…
Powell’s POV: The Contra Unit and Lawlor footage looked similar to a hostage video and I’m guessing that was totally by design. It won’t be for everyone, but we’ve seen far worse on broadcast television shows such as “24” over the years. I like the way the broadcast team acted like they were in a panic and apologized for the segment repeatedly to really put it over.
3. Teddy Hart vs. Jimmy Havoc for the MLW Middleweight Title. Tim Barr delivered in-ring introductions for the title match. Cornette said you could tell by looking at the wrestlers which one trains. He said Havoc goes by the gym on his way to a bar. Cornette said Hart trains and Havoc gets in bar fights. He also said he thinks Havoc is so pale because he lost so much blood in his fights.
Hart performed a straight jacket lung blower. Cornette said the network gave them permission to go past the top of the hour if need be. Hart performed another lung blower, then performed a nice moonsault from the middle of the top rope. Cornette said Lawlor had been severely beaten and was being taken to a hospital. Meanwhile, Havoc performed a cutter onto a chair that was lying on the ring apron.
Havoc placed Hart’s head near the apron and slammed a chair on his head (actually the ring post). Hart came up bleeding. Havoc used a piece of paper to give Hart a paper cut between his fingers and on his mouth. Hart came up bleeding from the forehead. Cornette called Havoc an idiot who doesn’t care about pro wrestling as a sport, “he just wants to do this sick stuff.” Havoc set up a piece of the barricade against the ring and suplexed Hart onto it twice. Havoc put Hart back inside the ring and slammed a chair his head (Hart wisely put his hands up).Cornette announced MJF vs. Davey Boy Smith Jr. will air on next week’s show.
Hart came back and performed a huracanrana from the top rope. Havoc rolled through and applied a Sharpshooter, which drew boos from the crowd. Hart fought to reach the bottom rope to break the hold. Cornette asked why they have rope breaks when they slam chairs over one another’s head. “I don’t know anything about these hardcore matches,” Cornette said. Hart ducked the Acid Rainmaker and hit a Canadian Destroyer. Hart played to the crowd and then performed a hammerlock DDT onto a chair and scored the pin.
Teddy Hart defeated Jimmy Havoc for the MLW Middleweight Title.
After the match, The Dynasty trio of Alex Hammerstone, MJF, and Richard Holliday ran out and attacked Hart. Davey Boy Smith Jr. and Brian Pillman Jr. ran out and helped Hart. The Hart Foundation and Dynasty factions brawled with one another to close the show…
Powell’s POV: A good main event even though they never convinced me that Hart was at risk of losing the title. And as much as I enjoy Cornette’s commentary, he came up short when it came to putting over the MLW Middleweight Championship. The overall show was not as strong as the last live special. It was an entertaining hour that felt like a typical episode of Fusion more than a special event for the live broadcast. John Moore will be checking in with his thoughts on this show in his weekly members’ exclusive audio review.
Check below for the latest Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and new MLW National Openweight Champion Alexander Hammerstone, who discusses his background, how the underdog story has been overplayed in pro wrestling, the Dynasty faction, and more.
The Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features Ring of Honor's PJ Black discussing the ROH Pure Title tournament beginning on ROH Wrestling TV this weekend, ROH's COVID-19 safety precautions, his run in WWE as Justin Gabriel with The Nexus, wrestling as The Bunny, and more...