Powell’s MLW Fusion TV Review: Mance Warner vs. Jimmy Havoc in a Bunkhouse Match, Timothy Thatcher vs. Douglas James, and Myron Reed and Kotto Brazil vs. Gringo Loco and Air Wolf

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

Major League Wrestling Fusion (Episode 77)
Taped September 7, 2019 in Dallas, Texas at NYTEX Sports Centre
Aired September 28, 2019 on beIN Sports

The show opened with a recap of Austin Aries performing a brainbuster on Teddy Hart during last week’s MLW Tag Title match. Rich Bocchini said Aries could be fined or suspended, and Hart was transported to a local hospital for testing… The Fusion opening video aired… Bocchini was joined on commentary by Tony Schiavone…

1. Myron Reed and Kotto Brazil (w/Jordan Oliver) vs. Gringo Loco and Air Wolf. Injustice came out holding picket signs with tape over their mouths. Bocchini noted that Reed was wearing his “suspicious” chest protector. A pre-tape aired with Reed blaming Gringo Loco for hitting him in the ribs with brass knuckles, which caused him to wear the chest protector.

Gringo performed a nice suplex on Brazil into one of the corners of the ring. Air Wolf tagged in and the broadcast team noted that he’s only 19 years-old. Reed also tagged in and took a chop on the chest protector from Wolf, then smirked in response. Later, Gringo caught Reed and Brazil in the corner and performed a double electric chair fall that resulted in Brazil falling from atop the shoulders of his owner partner. Wild.

Gringo crawled to the corner and tagged in Wolf. They cut to the crowd and then Wolf covered Brazil and pinned him. Schiavone questioned if Brazil was the legal man in the match, and Bocchini said he didn’t believe Brazil tagged in. A small box showed that Reed was the last man from his team to tag into the match. Brazil attacked the referee out of frustration…

Gringo Loco and Air Wolf defeated Myron Reed and Kotto Brazil.

Powell’s POV: A solid show opening tag match that presumably fell apart or had a botched move at the end given the uneventful finish of Wolf just tagging in and making the cover. Injustice is developing into a good pest heel trio, and I like that they have a mid-card feud going with Gringo, Wolf, and Zenshi. The illegal man finish plays into Injustice’s ongoing complaints about the officiating.

Mance Warner was shown standing in front of a fence at an outdoor venue with an older man who was drinking moonshine from a jar. Warner said the man was his uncle and he brought him to the show in Texas from Virginia because he doesn’t have internet service. Warner said he’s going to make Jimmy Havoc bleed all over the arena…

A Dominic Garrini video package touted that he is coming to MLW this fall…

After a break, Bocchini narrated highlights of Injustice attacking more referees. Footage also aired of Aries performing a brainbuster on Hart last week…

Brian Pillman checked in from his home in Cincinnati and said he just got off the phone with Bret Hart and the entire Hart family. Pillman said Teddy was assaulted and permanently injured. Pillman addressed Aries and said he would do what he has to do next week…

Powell’s POV: Am I the only person who wanted Steve Austin to break into Pillman’s home with a gun?

Salina de la Renta was approached by a cameraman earlier in the day and was asked about Jimmy Havoc’s strategy in the main event. Salina said she wouldn’t tell the cameraman and would tell everyone what she wants…

Bocchini hosted the MLW Saturday Night Super Fight control center. The hype focused on Jacob Fatu vs. LA Park for the MLW Championship on the November 2 pay-per-view…

An ad touted MLW returning to Orlando, Florida at GILT Nightclub for a television taping on November 9…

After a break, footage aired of Ross and Marshall Von Erich discussing their intention to challenge for the MLW Tag Titles while their father Kevin stood between them…

Footage aired of the Von Erich trio leaving the Texas Children’s Hospital. A cameraman asked what they were doing there. Kevin said they had some friends there and were saying hi to some kids. MJF and Richard Holliday showed up and pretended to be surprised to see them. MJF shook their hands, while Holliday said he couldn’t because he had a coffee in his hand. The heels said they were considering the idea of buying the hospital and turning the property into a hotel or a casino. Kevin knocked the coffee cup out of Holliday’s hand. MJF threatened a lawsuit…

2. Timothy Thatcher vs. Douglas James. Bocchini noted the height advantage that Thatcher had over James, and he and Schiavone spoke about Thatcher’s old school body type. Thatcher controlled the early part of the match with his mat based style. Both men got to their feet and then James slapped Thatcher across the face. James threw some kicks at Thatcher, who caught the last one and applied an ankle, which he turned into another move. James slipped out and ended up on top of Thatcher for a two count.

Later, James applied a cross arm breaker, which Thatcher escaped and then dead lifted James into a suplex. James came back with a kick that led to a near fall. James threw some strikes at Thatcher, who knocked him down with a open hand to the face. James applied a guillotine choke, but Thatcher powered out of it. James blasted Thatcher with a knee to the head and followed up with a dive from the top rope, but Thatcher put his knees up. Thatcher applied a Fujiwara armbar and got the submission win…

Timothy Thatcher defeated Douglas James via submission.

Afterward, Kaci Lennox interviewed Thatcher, who told James that he did a good job and earned his respect. Thatcher told the crowd to keep an eye on James, who took the mic and said he had nothing but respect for Thatcher and would fight him any day of the week. Thatcher said they are both from California and if James ever wanted to train then he could give him a call. Thatcher said that when he came to MLW, the one man he wanted to face is Tom Lawlor. “That sounds like a super fight, doesn’t it,” Thatcher said before leaving the ring…

Powell’s POV: I enjoyed the physical throwback style. The live crowd didn’t seem to have a rooting interest and seemed attentive yet quiet throughout the bulk of the match. As a television viewer, it would have been nice to hear from both wrestlers before the match so that we had some sense of what their personalities are like. That said, the post match angle established that neither guy was a heel or a babyface and teased that we could see the two of them aligned at some point. While it’s not official, the promo points to Thatcher vs. Lawlor for the pay-per-view.

Backstage, Jimmy Havoc led a cameraman to a Halloween-like set up with hanging scarecrow-like figures. Havoc said Mance Warner probably assumed it would upset him, but he actually loved it. Havoc licked a pitchfork that had been stuck in one of the figures and said Warner is screwed…

After a break, Lennox interviewed Warner backstage. Warner had Lennox draw what he told her on a whiteboard. He had her draw a bail of hay, a pitchfork, a pumpkin, a chair, and a door. Warner handed her a spittoon and then used it while she gagged…

Bocchini hyped Brian Pillman Jr. vs. Austin Aries for next week’s Fusion…

3. Mance Warner vs. Jimmy Havoc in a Bunkhouse Match. Weapons were set up inside the ring that included hay bales, a bull rope with a cowbell, and a shovel. There was also a whiskey barrel (not a Cracker Barrel barrel, different company) and a wheelbarrow with a pumpkin in it at ringside. Warner came out during introductions waving an American flag. Havoc attacked Warner from behidn to start the match and then choked him with the flat at ringside.

Havoc threw a pumpkin toward Havoc, who moved, and it looked like it ended up in the first row. Warner look at the fan in the area, who was smiling and having fun with it. Havoc grabbed another pumpking and stapled it to Warner’s tongue. Warner came back with a DDT onto the pumpkin, which Havoc’s head ended up inside of. Warner hit a running knee on Havoc and covered him for a near fall.

Warner set up a door board over a couple of chairs in the ring. Havoc suplexed him onto hay bales, then performed a German suplex through another board that was set up in the corner, which led to a near fall. Havoc stapled Warner’s tongue to the ring board. Havoc placed a pumpkin over Warner’s head and then went to the ropes. Warner threw the pumpkin at Havoc and then superplexed him through the board that was over two chairs. Warner followed up with a lariat clothesline and scored the pin…

Mance Warner defeated Jimmy Havoc in a Bunkhouse Match.

After the match, Havoc attacked Warner and cut him open with razor wire. Security and referees intervened while Havoc put the wire in the mouth of Warner and pulled on it from behind. Havoc fought off security and went after Warner again and bit his bleeding forehead.

Powell’s POV: Warner logically goes over in his style of match, but Havoc gets his heat back by attacking him and leaving him lying. The live crowd had fun with it. I could do without staplers (and paper cuts for that matter), but it was fun for what it was. The contrast between the three match styles on this episode was fun and played into the Fusion series name nicely. A good episode despite not featuring many top names in the ring.



The Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features ODB discussing the fire that destroyed her food truck, the fundraising drive to help her buy a new truck, her appearance on the latest Impact Wrestling television show, Triple H telling her to go to TNA, and much more...


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