Powell’s MLW Fusion TV Review: Ross Von Erich vs. Tom Lawlor, Erick Stevens vs. Douglas James, Logan Creed vs. Moonshine Mantell, King Mo vs. Dr. Dax

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

Major League Wrestling Fusion (Episode 98)
Taped January 11, 2020 in Dallas, Texas at NYTEX Sports Centre
Aired February 22, 2020 on beIN Sports and MLW’s YouTube Page

A video package recapped the Ross Von Erich and Tom Lawlor feud… The Fusion opening video aired… The broadcast team of Rich Bocchini and AJ Kirsch checked in and ran through the lineup for the show. Footage also aired from last week’s main event that featured The Von Erichs beating MJF and Richard Holliday to retain the MLW Tag Titles…

1. Logan Creed vs. Moonshine Mantell. Before the match, Creed said the entitled pricks in Dynasty didn’t appreciate what they had in him. He said his name is not Gorgan or Grogan, it’s Logan Creed. He thanked Mance Warner for showing him the light. Creed wore black paint over one eye and dominated the match while no-selling Mantell’s early offense. Creed chokeslammed Mantell onto his knee, then threw a big boot that knocked him off the apron. Creed performed a nice dive over the top rope onto Mantell. Back inside the ring, Creed powerbombed and pinned Mantell…

Logan Creed beat Moonshine Mantell.

Powell’s POV: A good debut for the new Creed persona. His new look is solid, his power moves looked good, and the dive over the top rope was very impressive for a guy his size.

The latest Lifestyles of the Rich and Dynastic aired. Alex Hammerstone and Gino Medina were talking outside a hotel when Richard Holliday approached them and complained about Hammerstone giving Grogan to them as a gift. Hammerstone said they had a sale at Giants R Us and he was on clearance. Holliday said Grogan was never Dynastic to begin with.

Holliday said Hammerstone could have given him a stump that he pointed to and he would have been happier than he was with Grogan. A plane flew overhead and Holliday said he would have been happy with it in a fun moment of improvisation. Hammerstone said they should teach Mance Warner a lesson for luring Creed/Grogan away from them. Holliday said he wanted to run through a brick wall for Hammerstone. They both yelled at Medina to put down the bottles of soda that he was holding…

Powell’s POV: Holliday and Hammerstone were good here and continue to have strong chemistry. There’s still no telling whether Medina will contribute to the fun verbal exchanges, as he was silent in this one. While losing MJF due to his contract expiring is a big blow, I am really looking forward to seeing how Holliday and Hammerstone do going forward and whether Medina will fit with the faction.

An Erick Stevens video aired… A video touted MLW Intimidation Games for April 18 in Chicago… A video showcased the upcoming MLW events: March 13 with AAA in Tijuana, April 18 for Intimidation Games, May 2 in Dallas, July 16 in New York for Never Say Never, and July 18 for Battle Riot III in Philadelphia…

Kirsch ran through the Pro Wrestling Illustrated Top 10 contenders for Jacob Fatu’s MLW Heavyweight Championship.
10: Dominic Garrini
9. Low Ki
8. Jimmy Havoc
7. Richard Holliday
6. Tom Lawlor
5. Mance Warner
4. Brian Pillman Jr.
3. Myron Reed
2. Alexander Hammerstone
1. Davey Boy Smith Jr.

Powell’s POV: It’s nice to see the rankings return even if they are done by an outside party. Hopefully MLW is working with PWI on the rankings or I could see things getting a bit awkward with the storylines not meshing with their rankings.

Footage aired from “earlier today” of Erick Stevens telling a cameraman that the best way to make a name for yourself in a new company is to challenge the toughest guy to a match. Stevens said the toughest guy in MLW is Davey Boy Smith Jr. and he’s always wanted to face him…

2. Erick Stevens vs. Douglas James. James went for an early submission hold on a standing Stevens who powered out. James also dive from the ring onto Stevens at ringside, but Stevens caught him and went right back on the offensive. Stevens slapped James and asked him what he was going to do. James returned the favor, then Stevens went right back to working him over. James performed a nice huracanrana, then threw a series of kicks at the legs of Stevens, who came back with a chokeslam for a two count. They took a mid-match break.

James caught Stevens with a knee and followed up with a superkick. James performed a meteora for a near fall. Stevens got to his knees and asked for more. James fired away with several strikes before getting a two count. Stevens came back with a gutbuster and then put James down with a pair of clotheslines. Stevens performed what was called a Sarasota Screwdriver and scored the pin…

Erick Stevens defeated Douglas James.

Powell’s POV: It’s cool to see Stevens again after all these years. He was a regular in ROH for a few years before he retired in 2010. Stevens returned to the ring last year after a nine year absence. A nine-year retirement is crazy in a business where it feels like most retirements don’t last nine weeks. The crowd didn’t seem to be familiar with Stevens, but he was good in the ring and on the mic, so I can see him becoming a player in MLW if he sticks around. I was surprised to see his debut match last as long as it did and be as competitive as it was. It was a well worked match, but I thought this would be more of a showcase for Stevens than it was.

Footage aired of Mance Warner crossing paths with Holliday and Hammerstone at the hotel. When Warner went outside, he found his buddy Moon Man laid out…

A Contra Unit video aired. Jacob Fatu said he heard MLW got a new deal with AAA. He said Contra Unit was there to f— that up… A Killer Kross teaser video aired…

Footage aired of a cameraman approaching Tom Lawlor and asking him if he was worried of Davey Boy Smith Jr. and The Von Erichs teaming up. Lawlor blew it off. He said he was once friends with the Von Erichs and now he feels bad for Smith for befriending them…

Footage aired of Jacob Fatu defeating Brian Pillman Jr. to retain the MLW Heavyweight Title two weeks ago with help from Injustice…

A new Injustice video aired with Myron Reed, Jordan Oliver, and Kotto Brazil boasting about costing Pillman the match and stating that they will get their justice…

Jimmy Havoc and Priscilla Kelly were shown backstage. Havoc spoke about being happy that his feud with Mance Warner was over. He said that if it had kept going, one of them probably would have been dead. Havoc said he would have been okay if he had been the person who died, but it probably would have been Warner. Havoc said they were regrouping and determining who is next on their list for ultra violence…

Footage aired from several weeks ago of King Mo and Dan Lambert interrupting a Low Ki promo and pointing out that Low Ki trains with the Gracie family member that Mo knocked out…

3. King Mo vs. Dr. Dak. Dak was a masked big man, who attacked Mo from behind to start the match. Mo came back and quickly put him away with a rear naked choke…

King Mo defeated Dr. Dak.

Powell’s POV: There wasn’t much to the match. It’s still hard to tell if they are keeping Mo’s matches brief to make him look strong or if it’s because he’s not very good in the ring (or both). It’s a good strategy regardless.

Tom Lawlor and Dominic Garrini were shown sparring backstage… An LA Park video touted his return for next week…

The broadcast team hyped Los Parks vs. two members of Contra Unit (appeared to be Simon Gotch and Josef Samael in the graphic) in a lumberjack match, Laredo Kid and Zenshi vs. Kotto Brazil and Jordan Oliver, and a Mance Warner promo for next week. They also ran through a tale of the tape for the main event…

4. Ross Von Erich vs. Tom Lawlor. Lawlor had one of his Team Filthy members at ringside. Von Erich went right after Lawlor and cleared him from the ring to start the match. Von Erich followed him to ringside and ran Lawlor into the ring post and then then guardrail. Back inside the ring, Von Erich performed a nice slingshot senton that led to a two count.

Von Erich continued to dominate the offense until Lawlor sold an eye injury. As the referee was checking on Lawlor, the unnamed Team Filthy member tripped Von Erich, then Lawlor attacked Von Erich and went on the offensive. Lawlor threw a series of kicks to the chest of Von Erich and then knocked him down with a running knee, but Von Erich shot up. Von Erich dropkicked Lawlor into the corner and then performed a running big boot and followed with a dropkick on a seated Lawlor in the corner.

Von Erich performed a scary looking brainbuster. Von Erich performed a suplex into a sit-out slam. The Team Filthy Member climbed onto the apron and was punched down by Von Erich. Ross set up for the Iron Claw, but Dominic Garrini attacked him from behind for the disqualification finish.

Ross Von Erich defeated Tom Lawlor by DQ.

Marshall Von Erich ran out to help his brother. The Von Erichs cleared Garrini from the ring and were waiting for Lawlor to get back to his feet when Erick Stevens attacked them from behind. Lawlor put his cowboy hat on and used a cowbell as a weapon on the Von Erichs and the referees.

Garrini spat on a Texas flag, then Stevens blew a snot rocket onto it. A fan threw a trashcan into the ring. Stevens hit Marshall with the trashcan. Lawlor laid the flag down and simulated humping it, then stood up and rubbed the flag on his crotch. The heels put the Texas flag into a trash can in the middle of the ring to close the show…

Powell’s POV: Don’t mess with Texas, you sons of bitches! Sorry, I got a little carried away there for a moment. This was a fun angle with the obvious intent of getting the Texas fans to rally behind the Von Erichs even more while also putting strong heat on the heels. While some may argue that the angle is only effective in Texas, there is something about the Von Erichs fighting for the love of their home state that still resonates even with this next generation Von Erich duo. Overall, a good episode that peaked at the end. Stevens is the strong addition that Team Filthy needed. Looking back at his match with Douglas James, is it possible that the goal was to make James look good with the idea of adding the former kickboxer to Lawlor’s stable too at some point with the idea being that he earned the respect of Stevens in this match? John Moore will eventually be by with his audio review of this episode for Dot Net Members.



Jason Powell and Jake Barnett co-host the Dot Net Weekly and Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast combo show and discuss Raw Underground and other WWE concepts, The Rock's group buying the XFL, the Marty Jannetty story, AEW Dynamite and NXT TV, and more...


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