Powell’s MLW Fusion TV Review: Marshall Von Erich vs. MJF, Davey Boy Smith Jr. vs. Simon Gotch in a No Holds Barred match, Myron Reed vs. Drago for the MLW Middleweight Championship

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

Major League Wrestling Fusion (Episode 95)
Taped January 11, 2020 in Dallas, Texas at NYTEX Sports Centre
Aired February 1, 2020 on beIN Sports and MLW’s YouTube Page

Fusion opened with a video package that set the stage for the No Holds Barred match… Alicia Atout interviewed Davey Boy Smith Jr. and Brian Pillman Jr. backstage. Smith spoke about facing Simon Gotch in the No Holds Barred match. Smith said Gotch had a big mouth that needed to be fish hooked. He noted there would be no ropes in the ring during their match… The Fusion opening aired…

The broadcast team was Rich Bocchini and AJ Kirsch. Kirsch ran through the lineup for the show and noted that Air Wolf would be in action in addition to the previously advertised matches…

1. Davey Boy Smith Jr. vs. Simon Gotch (w/Josef Samael) in a No Holds Barred match. A graphic noted that the only way to win was via knockout or submission, and there were no ropes and no rules. Smith had an early takedown. Once they got back to their feet, both men traded forearms. Smith knocked Gotch down, but Gotch caught him with a kick from his back and then went on the offensive.

Smith ended up with a hold on Gotch. Samael pulled Gotch closer to the edge of the apron even though it didn’t really do any good since there were no ropes and therefore no rope breaks. Bocchini said it was not a wrestling match, it was a fight. Gotch caught Smith in a leg hold. Smith powered out of it and performed a deadlift belly to back suplex. Smith followed up with another suplex. Both men traded strikes. Smith got the better of it and caught Gotch with a kick, then performed two more suplexes. The referee called for the bell while Gotch acted out of it…

Davey Boy Smith Jr. defeated Simon Gotch in a No Holds Barred match.

Powell’s POV: I got the feeling that I enjoyed this match more than the quiet live crowd. This felt similar to the style used by Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport, which both men have worked for. I enjoy the mat based style, but the matches that are most well received at the Bloodsport events seem to be the faster paced fights with believable striking in addition to the mat work. This was a bit slower paced and the live crowd just wasn’t responsive. The cool thing about Bloodsport is that it’s MMA like and because it’s scripted, they can incorporate the best of MMA fights while eliminating the slower moments. They never really established that either man was capable of knocking out the other man in this match, so the striking spots didn’t register as much as they should have. That said, I’d like to see MLW use more of this style since they have Smith, Gotch, Tom Lawlor, King Mo, etc. There are plenty of strong Bloodsport matches, but one of my favorites was Smith vs. Killer Kross from WrestleMania weekend.

A video package hyped MLW Intimidation Games for April 18 in Chicago…

The latest Lifestyles of the Rich and Dynastic video aired. Hammerstone boasted to Richard Holliday and Gino Medina about his success in Japan. He said he’s been offered sponsorship deals. He showed off a Japanese drink and boasted about how much the sponsorship paid. Holliday informed him that with the conversion to dollars, he was making roughly $91. Holliday said the drinks were marketable. Holliday and Hammerstone coached Medina on how to say Holliday’s lawyer/father…

Powell’s POV: With MJF’s MLW deal expiring at this event, it’s even more understandable why Medina was placed in Dynasty. It remains to be seen whether he can hold up his end of the mic work. He was very quiet in this clip, though it’s understandable from a character standpoint given that he’s just starting with the group. I don’t expect him fill the big shoes left behind by MJF, but hopefully he will come out of shell by talking more as time goes on and, more importantly, develop chemistry with Holliday and Hammerstone.

Footage aired of Mance Warner beating Jimmy Havoc in a barbed wire match. A post match promo aired with a bloody Warner, who spoke about winning the match and said there was no more Havoc. Warner said he’s coming for Alex Hammerstone and the MLW National Openweight Championship…

A Team Filthy video package aired…

A “Filthy Does Dallas” video aired with Tom Lawlor and Dominick Garrini. The old “Dallas” television show theme aired. They went to Wild Bill’s Western Store. Lawlor said they would be real cowboys unlike the fake Von Erichs. They tried on big belt buckles, cowboy hats, and boots, which was comical given that Garrini was dressed in his gi…

Injustice members Myron Reed, Kotto Brazil, and Jordan Oliver made their entrance for the next match. Oliver cut a promo and played to “Houston”. When he was informed that they were in Dallas, he said it didn’t matter. Brazil said they had no love for Dallas. Reed tried to get the crowd to chant “Hot Fire” in support of Reed…

2. Myron Reed (w/Kotto Brazil, Jordan Oliver) vs. Drago for the MLW Middleweight Championship. Reed went on the offensive and flexed repeatedly, which the broadcast team called him on. Reed dove at Drago, who ducked, causing Reed to go over the top rope and into the arms of Brazil and Oliver. Dragon followed up with a flip dive onto the Injustice trio.

Drago performed back to back powerbombs and got a two count. Oliver entered the ring and went for a clothesline. Drago ducked it, knocked Brazil off the apron, and then took out Oliver. Bocchini said the official let it slide because there was no offense on Drago.

A short time later, Oliver distracted the referee while Brazil low blowed Drago. Reed kicked Drago and performed a springboard flip into a splash. Reed had the pin, but the referee stopped at two. Reed barked at the referee, who then made the three count.

Myron Reed defeated Dragon to retain the MLW Middleweight Championship.

Afterward, Reed shoved the referee. Both broadcast team members said they hate to agree with Injustice, but they think they have a point about the officials having a bias against the trio…

Powell’s POV: I was looking forward to this match because I enjoy the work of both men, but this was just another cheap finish to an Injustice match. I hope MLW will cut back on how often this happens. I’d like to see Reed win some matches on his own while saving the interference for when it’s really needed rather than making it the norm in his matches.

Backstage, Low Ki was being interviewed by Alicia Atout when King Mo and Dan “F’n” Lambert interrupted and made a crack, then walked away…

The broadcast team hyped Jacob Fatu vs. Brian Pillman Jr. for the MLW Championship next week. They said there was a situation backstage and Air Wolf had been severely beaten…

A Contra Unit video package aired. Samael said he finally found the demise of the Hart Foundation…

The broadcast team announced that Air Wolf’s match had been cancelled because he was severely beaten backstage. Kirsch said the attacker were from Contra’s death squad. He said Contra was growing in numbers…

Powell’s POV: This one would have been easier to believe if Air Wolf had actually appeared in a backstage interview. For that matter, it would have helped if they had told us who he was scheduled to face.

A video package set up the main event… Tom Lawlor was shown sitting in on commentary for the main event. MJF, Alex Hammerstone, and Gino Medina made their entrance. MJF cut a pre-match promo. Marshall Von Erich made his entrance and was very well received. Bocchini and Lawlor argued at ringside while Kirsch tried to talk Bocchini down…

3. Marshall Von Erich vs. Maxwell Jacob Friedman (w/Alex Hammerstone, Gino Medina). The wrestlers fought to ringside. Von Erich went for a chop, but MJF ducked and Ross chopped the ring post. MJF placed Von Erich’s hand in the turnbuckle and pulled back on his fingers while the broadcast team told the story of MJF trying to take away the Iron Claw hand. MJF stomped the same hand, then bit it.

Back inside the ring, MJF continued to work over the right hand while Lawlor vented about the Von Erichs. Kirsch said the backstage area was on lockdown and security was increased due to Contra death squad’s attack on Air Wolf. In the ring, Marshall came back with a suplex. Lawlor took credit for teaching Marshall “the beautiful technique” used on his suplex. Marshall battled back and hit an elevated power slam for a two count.

Marshall set up for the Iron Claw, but MJF pulled the referee in front of him. Marshall moved the referee and then swung at MJF, who moved, causing Marshall to punch the turnbuckle with his bad hand. MJF applied a Fujiwara armbar and wrenched on the fingers and bad right hand. Lawlor was shown smiling. “I’m turned on,” Lawlor said. Bocchini told him that he’s a disgusting human being. “My name is Filthy, moron,” Lawlor responded.

Von Erich rallied and performed a moonsault onto MJF for a good near fall. Hammerstone and Medina climbed onto the apron and were knocked off by Von Erich. MJF rolled up Von Erich and used the ropes for leverage, but the referee spotted it and stopped his count. MJF shoved the referee, then turned into an Iron Claw from Marshall, who got the win via submission.

Marshall Von Erich defeated MJF.

After the match, Marshall released the hold and sold hand pain for a moment. Lawlor was shown looking frustrated at the broadcast table. Lawlor grabbed his chair and teased entering the ring, but Von Erich saw him and stopped him in his tracks. The Dynasty members went after Von Erich, who cleared them from the ring with punches. Bocchini noted that Ross Von Erich wasn’t in the building because he was promoting MLW in Israel. Kirsch closed out he show…

Powell’s POV: I really liked the idea of MJF trying to take out Von Erich’s claw hand. It was simple and logical heel strategy and the broadcast team did a nice job of telling the story. Marshall could have done more to sell the hand, especially once he started his comeback, but the match was easy to follow and was entertaining. Lawlor was fun on commentary and they did a good job of keeping his feud with the Von Erichs in focus. Overall, a solid hour of MLW television. Check back for John Moore’s weekly audio review of MLW Fusion, which are available exclusively for Dot Net Members. Enjoy the Super Bowl!



The Best of The Boom features Eric Bischoff joining Jason Powell in this March 20, 2019 discussion on whether there are similarities between Verne Gagne's booking during the AWA's dying days and Vince McMahon's WWE booking today, AEW, a Turner network shakeup, and more...


Readers Comments (1)

  1. So, Brian Pillman Jr. LOSES the Opera Cup final and gets a world heavyweight title shot. Davey Boy Smith Jr. wins the Opera Cup final and DOESN’T? I thought the point of professional wrestling was to get rewarded for winning matches? How is Pillman in line for a title shot after a high profile loss?

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