By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Major League Wrestling Fusion (Episode 82)
November 2, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois at Cicero Stadium
Aired live on beIN Sports, pay-per-view television, and MLW social media pages
A video package focused on the top MLW Saturday Night SuperFight matches… The broadcast team of Rich Bocchini and AJ Kirsch checked in. The ring announcer was Blake Chadwick…
Powell’s POV: My apologies for being so late with cover of what was the live pre-show for the MLW Saturday Night SuperFight event and also served as an episode of Fusion. We had a family emergency the night of the show and that delayed my coverage of the pay-per-view until late that night. In addition to covering this episode, I will also be watching the latest edition of Fusion and will have that review available later today.
1. Leo Brien vs. Savio Vega. Brien brought a bullrope to the ring during his entrance and placed it over the top turnbuckle in one corner of the ring. Vega brought a pair of kendo sticks to the ring with him. Late in the match, referee Frank Gastineau tried to pull Vega off Brien in the corner. Vega tossed him aside. While the referee was down, Brien hit Vega with the cowbell on his bullrope, dropped an elbow on him, and scored the pin.
Leo Brien defeated Savio Vega.
After the match, Vega ducked another cowbell shot and caught Brien with a kick. Vega grabbed his kendo sticks and hit Brien with them. Brien left the ring and Vega followed and continued to hit him with the kendo sticks…
Powell’s POV: I’m surprised this was the match they opted to open the show with given the usual pro wrestling promotion affinity for opening with a faster paced, high flying style match. There wasn’t much of an issue between the two and this didn’t leave me anxious to see more from them.
A video package focused on the Stairway to Hell match between Jimmy Havoc, Mance Warner, and Bestia 666… A Gino Medina teaser aired… An ad hyped the pay-per-view…
2. Gino Medina vs. Air Wolf. Bocchini noted that Air Wolf is just 19 years-old. Bocchini said Medina is a highly touted prospect who was trained by Booker T. Medina pie-faced Wolf early. Wolf came back with a huracanrana and a dropkick and got a two count. Medina came back quickly with an enzuigiri. Medina played to the crowd for heat and they were receptive.
Wolf came back and tossed Medina into the corner, then hit him with a 619 style move. Wolf performed a nice German suplex. Medina blocked a move and connected with a kick. Wolf came right back with a Pele Kick. Wolf hoisted up Wolf on his shoulders and threw him headfirst into the turnbuckle. Medina threw a high knee in the corner and then hit a Sole Food/Eat Defeat finisher and scored the clean pin…
Gino Medina defeated Air Wolf.
Powell’s POV: A decent match and debut for Medina. There were a few moves that looked a tad off, including Medina’s finisher. I wonder if Medina will slide into the role of Salina de la Renta’s boy toy that Ricky Martinez seemed to play briefly. Either way, I am anxious to see how much both men improve over the next two years.
A Lifestyles of the Rich and Dynastic video aired. Richard Hlliday was on his phone instructing someone to have the private jet ready. MJF showed up and removed Holliday’s shades, then took off his own and put them on Holliday’s head…
The broadcast team ran through the pay-per-view lineup… Injustice showed up in the crowd with protest signs that read “Injustice on PPV”…
3. Zenshi vs. Hijo de LA Park (w/Salina de la Renta). The ring announcer read from a sheet of paper in his hand during the introductions. The action spilled to ringside where Park slammed a chair over the back of Zenshi. The referee didn’t seem to mind. Park crotched Zenshi on the barricade and hit him with a chair again. The Contra Unit logo flashed on the screen while Park worked over Zenshi back inside the ring.
Zenshi rallied with a springboard neckbreaker for a two count. Zenshi tried to follow up with a springboard move, but Salina grabbed his foot. Zenshi shook it off and swept the legs of Park, then performed a slingshot senton that resulted in a two count. Park came right back and dropkicked Zenshi in the corner. Park performed a Code Red for a near fall. Park performed a Flux Capacitor from the ropes. Zenshi was up and fine and back on the offensive with a kick just moments later.
Park ended up seated in a corner of the ring. Zenshi went to the top rope in the opposite corner and tried to do a moonsault style role into a kick, but he came up short, which the broadcast team acknowledged. Park came back and hit a lariat and a backpack piledriver for the win.
Hijo de LA Park defeated Zenshi.
Salina entered the ring and with a mic and delivered a promo while Park stood next to her. She said LA Park would win the MLW Championship later in the night. Salina spoke in Spanish, which drew some cheers. Salina told Contra Unit to kiss her Puerto Rican ring and to bow down to LA Park. The Contra Unit music played. Josef Samael walked out smirking with Simon Gotch and Ikuro Kwon following him to the ring. Security entered the ring. Salina and Park left the ring and headed backstage. Gotch slammed a chair repeatedly and then the remainder of the entrances for the Triple Threat tag match took place…
Powell’s POV: There wasn’t much psychology on display in this match, but it was action packed and the live crowd enjoyed it. I like the way they had Salina and Contra Unit cross paths on the pre-show given that the pay-per-view main event featured Contra’s Jacob Fatu vs. Salina’s man LA Park. It’s worth nothing that with the show airing on beIN Sports in addition of other platforms, Bocchini set up commercial breaks for those watching on beIN Sports, but they stuck with the live feed for those watching elsewhere.
4. “Contra Unit” Simon Gotch and Ikuro Kwon (w/Josef Samael) vs. “Spirit Squad” Ken Doane and Mike Mondo vs. Dominic Garrini and Douglas James in a Triple Threat tag match. Two men were allowed in the ring at once. Mondo grabbed the hair of Kwon from behind and pulled him down. Gotch went after Mondo and roughed him up at ringside. Kwon performed a suicide dive onto some of the wrestlers at ringside. Mondo and Garrini ended up in the ring together. Garrini pressed up Mondo with his feet and rolled him into a cross arm breaker that was broken up by the Contra Unit team.
Late in the match, James had a nice flurry of offense on Kwon and Doane. James went for a top rope move, but Doane moved and then thumbed him in the eye. Garrini took Doane down and applied a submission hold. While the referee was paying attention to them, Kwon sprayed red mist into the eyes of Mondo, then Gotch performed a piledriver on Mondo and pinned him.
Simon Gotch and and Ikuro Kwon beat Spirit Squad and Dominic Garrini and Douglas James in a Triple Threat tag match.
After the match, the Contra Unit members celebrated and Gotch threw Garrini’s purple belt at him. Gotch went to ringside and picked up a spike. For some reason, the camera focused on the broadcast team for a few seconds, but eventually cut to Gotch tormenting the ring announcer, who announced them as the winners…
Bocchini and Kirsch delivered final hype for the pay-per-view and discussed some of the top matches…
Powell’s POV: The final match was fine, but a bit hard to follow due to the rules of two men being legal and then so much happening during the closing minutes. I am not a fan of long pre-shows because they can have an adverse effect on the main show by making everything feel needlessly long, it made sense for MLW to try given that this was better exposure than they typically have on beIN Sports and YouTube. That said, the idea of going with four matches rather than doing an angle or a promo is questionable in retrospect. It felt like the pre-show could have used a little more star power and it was missing that last big nudge to entice viewers who were on the fence about ordering the pay-per-view. By the way, feel free to check out my full review of MLW Saturday Night SuperFight. I will be by later today with my review of the Fusion episode that aired live on beIN Sports on Saturday and premiered today on YouTube. Plus, I’ll do a combo audio review of the two shows exclusively for Dot Net Members if time permits later today.
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