By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Major League Wrestling Fusion (Episode 90)
Taped at various locations
Aired December 28, 2019 on beIN Sports
The MLW Fusion opening aired… The broadcast team of Rich Bocchini and AJ Kirsch spoke in front of the MLW backdrop and set up a video package on “the most major league moments” of 2019: Tom Lawlor beating Low Ki to win the MLW Championship at MLW SuperFight; LA Park wins Battle Riot II; Dynasty winning the MLW Tag Titles and the MLW National Openweight Championship; Jacob Fatu beating Tom Lawlor to win the MLW Championship, the War Chamber match; the return of the Opera Cup, the Von Erichs winning the MLW Tag Titles…
Bocchini and Kirsch spoke about the fusion of styles in MLW and then set up the first match…
1. Davey Boy Smith Jr. vs. Timothy Thatcher. The following recap is from my review of the August 3, 2019 edition of MLW Fusion: The broadcast team put over Thatcher as a throwback wrestler and said he’s had a lot of success in Germany. Thatcher applied an early half crab. Smith kicked him off to break it. Thatcher went to work on Smith’s left leg. Both men got to their feet and Smith threw some leg kicks. Thatcher took him down with a heel hook and continued to target the left leg and ankle. Smith rallied with a Sharpshooter, but Thatcher immediately grabbed the ropes to break it.
The wrestlers got to their feet and traded forearms and uppercuts. Smith sat down on Thatcher for a two count, then they both went for pins. Thatcher rolled up Thatcher and into a bridge, but Thatcher pushed him up to break it. A short time later, Smith performed a pair of German suplexes. Thatcher reached for the ropes, but Smith stopped him, then performed a tiger suplex into a pin for a good near fall. Later, Thatcher applied a submission hold, but Smith powered him up and slammed him down, then applied a crossface and got the submission win…
Davey Both Smith Jr. defeated Timothy Thatcher.
Powell’s POV: The following notes are from my review of the match from when it first aired on MLW Fusion Episode 69: The live crowd was quiet throughout most of the match because they weren’t given a real rooting interest. Some fans seemed to warm up to the match as it went on and I suspect a rematch would get a better reaction now that they had a good first outing. I wish they had established Thatcher through enhancement matches first, but I’m not sure how much access MLW has to him. The post match angle was a bit clunky, and I think MLW officials would be wise to record a lot of Davey’s promos rather than have him deliver them in front of the live crowd, because it’s just not his strength.
Bocchini and Kirsch recapped Contra Unit targeting Tom Lawlor while footage aired. They also showed Jacob Fatu eventually defeating him to win the MLW Championship, and Lawlor bringing in the Von Erichs to help him only to eventually turn on the brothers… Footage aired of Lawlor turning on Ross Von Erich when Von Erich challenged Jacob Fatu for the MLW Championship in a match that streamed on Thanksgiving night… Additional footage aired of from last week’s show of Lawlor and Ross brawling in the streets of New York…
An ad aired for MLW Zero Hour in Dallas on January 11… An MLW merch ad aired… The Gino Medina teaser aired…
The broadcast team spoke about Dynasty’s year and then a fun video package aired on the trios antics, mostly from the Lifestyles of the Rich and Dynastic series… Another MLW Zero Hour ad aired…
Bocchini and Kirsch set up a video package on the top ten craziest moments of 2019:
10. Priscilla Kelly unmasking from her Spider Lady gear and attacking Zeda Zhang.
9. The Lawlor and Von Erich brawl in New York.
8. Josef Samael taking out Pentagon Jr. and Fenix with fireballs.
7. Mance Warner chasing Promocienes Dorado with a chainsaw.
6. Jacob Fatu’s splash from the top of the cage onto Lawlor.
5. Lawlor turning on Ross Von Erich.
4. The Mance Warner vs. Jimmy Havoc feud.
3. The War Chamber match.
2. Jacob Fatu defeating Lawlor to win the MLW Championship.
1. Salina de la Renta being speared through a table in the MLW SaturdayNight SuperFight main event.
Another MLW Zero Hour ad aired…
Lawlor was shown working out. He said encouraged viewers to sign up for Team Filthy as a New Year’s Resolution…
Bocchini and Kirsch set up the second match, then Bocchini set up a video package that recapped Contra Unit taking over MLW…
2. Jacob Fatu (w/Josef Samael) vs. LA Park (w/Salina de la Renta) in a No DQ match for the MLW Championship. The following match description is from my review of the MLW Saturday Night SuperFight event: There were dueling “LA Park” and “Fatu” chants. Blake Chadwick delivered in-ring introductions for the title match and billed it as the ultimate super fight. Park took the mic and spoke in Spanish. Whatever he said led to a loud “LA Park” chant. The wrestlers traded strikes to start the match. Fatu performed a German suplex. Park got up and returned the favor. Rinse and repeat with both men hitting another German suplex. Park sent Fatu to ringside with a knee to the head and then performed a suicide dive onto him.
Fatu made a play for Park’s mask. Salina argued with the referee. Samael ran in and hit Park with a spike to the the head, then ducked out to ringside. Park’s mask was ripped open and he was bleeding heavily from the forehead. The wrestlers went to ringside and Fatu ran Park into the barricade and worked him over on the floor. Samael punched Park in front of the ref (it’s a No DQ match). Fatu continued to fire away at Park with punches and headbutts. Both of Park’s hands were covered in blood from his forehead. Fatu threw Park into the crowd (gross) and followed him and continued to work him over.
The wrestlers returned to the ring and Fatu continued to dominate. Park eventually rallied with a powerslam on a charging Fatu and covered him. The referee was slow to get into position and it resulted in a two count. Fatu performed a handspring into the ropes and hit a standing moonsault on Park that led to a near fall. Fatu placed Park on the top rope. Park knocked Fatu down with a headbutt and then leapt to the top rope and hit a twisting senton for a near fall of his own. A wild spot for a 53 year-old man.
Park tossed Fatu to ringside and followed him. Park picked up the small timekeeper’s table and threw it at Fatu. Park grabbed a chair and slammed it over the back of Fatu. Park slammed the ring bell over the head of Fatu, who ducked under the ring and came out bleeding from the forehead. Park headbutted Park several times. Fatu came back with a springboard shoulder tackle and got a two count. Park went to ringside. Fatu ran the the ropes and then leapt over the top rope and crashed onto Park at ringside, which drew well deserved “holy shit” chants.
Fatu pulled a table out from the under the ring and set it up in a corner of the ring while Samael took cheap shots at Park and then rolled him back inside the ring. Fatu performed a uranage style slam and then went for a moonsault (that it was obvious he wouldn’t hit because the table was waiting in the corner) and Park moved. The loud dueling chants continued. Park slowly covered Fatu. Samael entered the ring and threw a fireball at the referee.
Salina entered the ring and slapped Samael, which moved him out of the way just as Park tried to spear him, but Park speared Salina instead and put her through the table in the corner. A second referee ran out. Fatu superkicked Park and then performed an elevated Samoan drop. Fatu performed a moonsault and scored the pin.
Jacob Fatu defeated LA Park in roughly 21:00 to retain the MLW Heavyweight Championship.
After the match, Fatu and Samael celebrated in the aisle while Park picked up Salina in the ring. They replayed the table spot and the fireball. Park hoisted Salina onto his shoulder and carried her to the back while Bocchini closed out the show (this was also the end of this episode of Fusion)…
Powell’s POV: The following is from my MLW Saturday Night SuperFight review: The match looked insane on paper and it actually over delivered in that regard. Park bled a buckets. I could have done without him going into the crowd when he was bleeding so heavily, but this was a wild brawl and the hot dueling crowd chants made for a good atmosphere. I’m happy they kept the title on Fatu, as he is the rising star while LA Park doesn’t need the championship to be as over as he is with his fans.
John Moore’s weekly members’ exclusive audio reviews of MLW Fusion will return once MLW resumes with first-run shows again (presumably this weekend).