Powell’s MLW Fusion TV Review: MJF vs. Davey Boy Smith Jr., Kotto Brazil vs. Richard Holliday, Air Wolf vs. Ace Austin

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

Major League Wrestling Fusion (Episode 61)
Taped June 1, 2019 in Waukesha, Wisconsin at Waukesha Expo Center
Aired June 8, 2019 on beIN Sports

Fusion opened with a recap of last week’s live special, including Alex Hammerstone defeating Brian Pillman Jr. to become the first MLW National Openweight Champion, and Teddy Hart defeating Jimmy Havoc to retain the MLW Middleweight Championship, and Dynasty attacking the Hart Foundation afterward…

Footage aired from “earlier today” of Rich Bocchini interviewing Hammerstone in a gym while Aria Blake stood behind him holding his newly won title belt. Hammerstone said fans don’t identify with him, they identify with guys like Pillman. Hammerstone said he may not be anyone’s favorite wrestler, but that’s always been design. Hammerstone said he gave Dynasty its first championship, then yelled at Bocchini and had him attempt to pick up the weight he was lifting. When Bocchini struggled, Hammerstone put him on his shoulders while giving the terrified broadcaster instructions…

The opening video aired and then the broadcast team of Bocchini and Jim Cornette checked in. The duo recapped Contra Unit kidnapping Tom Lawlor. Cornette said Contra Unit is not under MLW contract and Lawlor was told to seek legal action, but he declined. Bocchini and Cornette hyped Davey Boy Smith Jr. vs. MJF, and Bocchini hyped details on the next MLW live special from Chicago…

1. Kotto Brazil vs. Richard Holliday (w/Aria Blake). Boccini compared Brazil to Tyree Pride (nice throwback reference). Brazil removed his eye patch prior to the match. Cornette played up that Brazil’s eye was not fully recovered from the bar incident with Ricky Martinez. He claimed that his bad eye was still red where it should be white. Holliday was in offensive control until Brazil caught him with a cutter. Brazil had an offensive flurry, but Holliday came back and won clean after a powerbomb…

Richard Holliday defeated Kotto Brazil.

Powell’s POV: A nice match to open the show. Brazil is the plucky underdog, so he’s able to absorb losses easily. Holliday needed the win more and got it. Hammerstone is a natural heel and MJF is a dynamic heel and a tremendous talker, so Holliday needs as many wins as he can get to avoid feeling like “the other guy” in Dynasty. Holliday has real upside so hopefully that won’t ben issue.

Bocchini noted that Salina de la Renta will be the executive producer of next week’s show. Salina was shown talking on the phone backstage while Bocchini assumed she was “already wheeling and dealing”…

Hammerstone winning the MLW National Openweight Championship was recapped, along with Holliday’s win over Brazil. Bocchini said Dynasty is 2-0 in those matches and have a chance to go 3-0 in the main event…

2. Ace Austin vs. Air Wolf. Bocchini noted that both wrestlers are in the MLW middleweight division. Austin caught Wolf going for a springboard move and shoved him to ringside, then quickly performed a suicide dive. The Contra Unit logo flashed during the match. Austin was in offensive control until Wolf avoided a springboard legdrop. Wolf performed a nice German suplex and followed up with a nice butterfly suplex for a near fall.

Austin came back and showed frustrations after picking up a couple of two counts. Austin turned Wolf inside out with a clothesline. Wolf fired back with some nice kicks. Wolf went up top, but Austin hit the top rope, which led to Wolf being seated on on a top turnbuckle. Wolf came back from that position and leapt from the top rope and slammed Austin’s face into the mat on the way down before pinning him…

Air Wolf defeated Ace Austin.

Powell’s POV: Wolf pinned Rey Fenix clean during his last match on MLW Fusion, so it was logical to have him continue to build momentum with a win in this match. I think highly of both of these young talents. I’m looking forward to seeing Austin develop his heel persona. Would Austin be a good fit in Dynasty if MJF ends up working full-time in AEW?

Coming out of a break, footage aired of Myron Reed walking past fans waiting outside the building with a protest sign…

Salina announced backstage that next week’s show will feature Sami Callihan vs. Mance Warner in a falls count anywhere, loser leaves MLW forever match…

Powell’s POV: That’s a great hook for next week’s show. I wondered why Callihan and Warner were booked against one another when the lineup for these tapings came out. Salina booking them to face one another makes sense. From a storyline standpoint, I’m still not sure why MLW officials would put her in charge of the show occasionally. Hopefully they do a better job of explaining this next week.

Ring announcer Tim Barr hosted a A Kings of Colosseum control center segment for the July 6 event in Chicago. Barr announced Tom Lawlor vs. Jacob Fatu for the MLW Championship…

Lawlor delivered a promo on the MLW interview set. He said he found some “cowboys” to help him clean up MLW of the Contra Unit. Lawlor announced that he was bringing in the Von Erichs to help him… Bocchini hyped the main event heading into a break…

Powell’s POV: Where was the fanfare for the Von Erichs announcement? Lawlor did fine, but it was odd that Bocchini didn’t to react in a big way. Instead, he didn’t even acknowledge the announcement and plugged the main event. I assume Bocchini is reading copy to segue between the segments so I don’t know if he’s to blame. Either way, someone screwed up because that was just begging for an over the top reaction to put over the Von Erichs announcement.

Salina announcing next week’s main event was replayed… Callihan and Warner delivered a promo together from outside the building and did a Megapowers handshake. Warner said he’s not leaving. Callihan said the could shake hands. Warner complied, but said it would be a fight once they were in the ring. Callihan picked up a staple gun. Warner asked if he found it in a trashcan and whether it was sanitized…

Bocchini hyped Rey Horus vs. Flamita, and Low Ki vs. Ricky Martinez for next week’s television show…

A cameraman caught up with Low Ki exiting a hotel. Low Ki said Martinez sealed his fate and is on his list…

Jacob Fatu and Josef Samael checked in from in front of the Contra Unit flag. They spoke about being the global dealers in violence while footage aired of their recent attacks. Fatu said Contra Unit will slice and dice Lawlor and the Von Erichs until they get to the white meat…

3. Davey Boy Smith Jr. vs. Maxell J Friedman (w/Alex Hammerstone, Richard Holliday, Aria Blake). Hammerstone and Holliday attacked Smith’s right knee from ringside while MJF distracted the referee. The Contra Unit logo flashed. Smith battled back and performed a superplex for a near fall.

Late in the match, Smith performed a tombstone piledriver and then played to the crowd. Bocchini said he just received word of something happening in the locker room. Meanwhile, Smith performed a top rope headbutt and came up holding his bad knee. Smith still made the cover and had the pin, but Holliday put MJF’s foot on the bottom rope. Smith knocked Holliday off the apron.

Brian Pillman Jr. ran out and fought with Holliday. In the ring, MJF clipped Smith’s bad knee. Smith kicked away from MJF’s Sharpshooter attempt. Smith punched Hammerstone off the apron. MJF rolled up Smith and had him pinned, but the referee spotted him using the ropes for leverage. Teddy Hart came out to help Pillman. In the ring, Smith performed a powerslam on MJF and pinned him clean.

Davey Boy Smith Jr. defeated Maxwell J Friedman.

The cameras cut backstage where someone was laid out on the ground. They also showed Simon Gotch throwing knees to the head of a wrestler whose head was wrapped in a chair. Ariel Dominguez was shown lying on the ground with blood coming out of his mouth. Jacob Fatu was shown. The cut to Josef Samael, who threw a fireball at the camera to end the show…

Powell’s POV: A good main event. It seemed odd that Smith wasn’t accompanied to ringside by the other members of the Hart Foundation from the start given that the full Dynasty stable was out there. Nevertheless, the full faction came out to help as the match moved forward. The post match scene with Contra Unit was well done. I like the teases for the faction throughout the night with the quick graphics that pop up during the show. MLW continues to do a great job of establishing Contra Unit as a dangerous and out of control faction. Overall, a good show along with strong hype for next week’s show. John Moore will be by in the days ahead with his weekly members’ exclusive audio review of this episode.

Check below for a recent 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.



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