Powell’s MLW Fusion TV Review: Mance Warner vs. MJF in a Loser Leaves MLW Empty Arena match, Douglas James vs. Septimo Dragon

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

Major League Wrestling Fusion (Episode 104)
Taped February 1, 2020 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at 2300 Arena
Aired April 4, 2020 on beIN Sports and MLW’s YouTube Page

The broadcast team of Rich Bocchini and AJ Kirsch checked in as Douglas James made his entrance for the opening match. They hyped the advertised matches and an update on Brian Pillman Jr… The MLW Fusion opening aired…

1. Douglas James vs. Septimo Dragon. A brief Dragon pre-taped promo was shown. James sent Dragon to ringside and then performed a quick suicide dive under the middle rope. Dragon rallied and performed a moonsault from the apron onto James on the floor. Dragon superkicked James and then performed a traditional suicide dive.

Later, Dragon caught James with a nice huracanrana that spiked James onto the mat. James caught Dragon on the ropes and brought him down with a Codebreaker. Meanwhile, Kirsch said the empty arena was being prepared at an undisclosed location for the main event.

There was a nice exchange of kicks that resulted in both men hitting simultaneous kicks and falling to the mat. A short time later, Dragon performed a wild piledriver move that resulted in a near fall. Bocchini wondered if James kicking out was simply a case of muscle memory. James rallied with a superkick and then performed a nice Death Valley Driver into the corner. James put Dragon in a guillotine choke for the win…

Douglas James defeated Septimo Dragon.

Powell’s POV: A really nice showing for both men. I liked this match a lot. My only critique is that they both bounced back too quickly from some big moves, but I could probably write that about 90 percent of the matches today. I hope MLW does more with both of these guys once they are up and running again. Given James’ kickboxing background, perhaps Team Filthy could make a play for him, as I could see him joining the group or even declining and then hooking up with the Von Erichs in their feud against Team Filthy.

Kirsch noted that there were rumors that The Dynasty was out to injure Mance Warner before the main event. A cameraman caught up with Holliday in a parking ramp. Holliday took a phone call and told the camera to get out of his face… The Pagano teaser video aired…

Highlights aired of Mance Warner’s MLW debut match from February 2019…

Backstage, Warner was interviewed by Alicia Atout, who asked how he prepares for a match without fans being present. Warner said she had a good point because he feeds off his fans. Warner said that if MJF wanted to bring his friends, then he had a couple friends that he could bring to. He said it’s good that fans won’t be present for the match because of the shit he planned to do to MJF. Atout noted that there were rumblings of Dynasty trying to take him out before the match. “F— ’em,” Warner responded before reiterating that he also had friends…

Highlights aired of last week’s Injustice attack on Brian Pillman Jr. that concluded with Myron Reed stomping his head on a cinderblock. Bocchini announced that Reed, Jordan Oliver, and Kotto Brazil have been fined $10,000 and suspended by MLW…

Kirsch hyped the airing of the AAA vs. MLW Super Series beginning next week. He mentioned Davey Boy Smith Jr., Hijo del Vikingo, the winner of the Mance Warner vs. MJF match, Psycho Clown, and LA Park as wrestlers who would be involved. It was noted that Park would represent MLW in the series. A Park video aired. Park challenged Psycho Clown and brought his sons into the promo, which was subtitled…

Bocchini hyped Alexander Hammerstone vs. Laredo Kid for the MLW National Openweight Championship for next week’s show…

Atout stood out front of the Dynasty locker room. Holliday and Hammerstone struck their heads out and declined to let her speak with MJF. Hammerstone noted that Gino Medina was giving MJF his pre-match rubdown. Holliday threatened to get his lawyer/father involved if she interrupted MJF’s pre-match rubdown…

Highlights aired of MJF’s MLW debut from October 5, 2017… An MLW merchandise ad aired… Highlights aired of MJF beating Joey Ryan to win the MLW Middleweight Championship from July 2018…

Powell’s POV: I really like the idea showing these brief clips of MJF and Warner’s debut and highlights. It’s helping add to the feel that one of them is leaving at the end of the night.

Savio Vega was interviewed by Atout and asked for his thoughts on the main event. Vega said it’s a dangerous match and it’s their chance to finish it once and for all. Vega said Warner is his boy, whereas MJF is a coward. Vega told MJF that what’s coming will not be easy for him…

The PWI top ten rankings for the MLW heavyweight contenders to the title held by Jacob Fatu were listed (no changes again this week).
10. King Mo
9. Low Ki
8. Mance Warner
7. MJF
6. Richard Holliday
5. Brian Pillman Jr.
4. Tom Lawlor
3. Davey Boy Smith Jr.
2. Myron Reed (MLW Middleweight Champion)
1. Alexander Hammerstone (MLW National Openweight Champion)

Highlights aired of last week’s King Mo vs. Low Ki main event… Bocchini hyped a press conference involving Team Filthy and American Top Team for two weeks…

A shot aired of Hammerstone and Holliday walking through a hallway with weapons in their hands. They found Warner, who was joined by Savio Vega, which led to a brawl breaking out…

Footage aired of Mance Warner beating Jimmy Havoc in a barbed wire match…

Backstage, Warner and Vega stood over the fallen Holliday and Hammerstone. Kirsch noted that the Dynasty may no longer be a factor in the main event…

A video aired with Kevin Von Erich, Ross Von Erich, and Marshall Von Erich in Hawaiii. Kevin spoke about the hardship of being under quarantine, then Ross and Marshall spoke about their feud with Team Filthy and American Top Team and said they are coming for them…

MJF delivered a promo while sitting at the top of a stairwell. MJF said Warner underestimates him because he sees him as a spoiled rich brat. MJF said Warner isn’t the only person who has dealt with adversity. MJF recalled being in school when a group of kids with their fists filled with quarters, which they threw at him as hard as they could. MJF said he didn’t forget about that or the group’s leader named Joey. MJF said he went to the gym every day and on the last day he knocked Joey “the f— out.” MJF got fired up while saying that he would show Warner that he’s not the only person who can be a psychopath in MLW…

Highlights aired of King Mo slamming a bat over the back of Killer Kross in an angle two weeks ago. Kirsch said Kross was advised against wrestling or training for 180 days. Kross offered to indemnify MLW and get back in the ring, but his “Stamford, Connecticut employers” felt otherwise. Kirsch also noted that Brian Pillman Jr. suffered a broken jaw at the hands of Injustice and it’s unknown whether he will press charges…

2. Mance Warner vs. MJF in a Loser Leaves MLW Empty Arena match. The match footage started with the opening bell. MJF spat his gum in the face of Warner. They brawled to ringside where Warner threw a chair at MJF, who came back quickly and went on the offensive. MJF grabbed a pair of bolt cutters, but Warner kicked him. Warner grabbed the bolt cutters and tried to use them, but Warner avoided it.

MJF tossed a chair at Warner, then threw him into a bunch of the ringside chairs. Kirsch assumed that falls would count anywhere as Warner chased MJF into the bleachers of the empty venue. MJF tried to toss Warner from a balcony, but Warner stopped him and ended up tossing MJF down the bleachers and back to ringside. Warner covered MJF for a two count on the floor.

MJF came back by choking Warner with a broomstick. MJF punched a cameraman, then slammed the broom over the back of Warner. MJF dragged Warner back to ringside. A random guy at ringside handed MJF a cigarette, which he pressed onto the head of Warner. MJF ended up with a phone can called for a taxi. Warner threw a chair at the head of MJF, then picked up the phone and cancelled the taxi request.

Warner pulled MJF’s left hand through one of the lighting stands and wrenched on it. The wrestlers returned to the ring and traded punches while on their knees. Warner got the better of it as they got to their feet. Warner threw repeated punches and then hit a Dusty Rhodes style elbow to the head. MJF returned fire with a thumb to the eye. Warner heabutted MJF and then gave him a lariat, which led to Warner scoring the pin.

Mance Warner defeated MJF in a Loser Leaves MLW Empty Arena match.

Warner was shown lying on the mat while one of the broadcast team members delighted in the “smug elitist” being out of MLW. Warner was shown lying on the mat to close the show…

Powell’s POV: Dammit. You had to know that MJF was going to take the loss given that his MLW deal expired and he’s under contract to AEW, but I was hoping for a surprise working agreement that would have let MJF continue to work for both companies. In other words, I wanted MJF to win the match and have that be followed by the debut of a mystery masked wrestler known as the Midnight Mancer.

Joking aside, I know another empty arena match is probably the last thing people want to see these days, but MLW handled this loser leaves the company match nicely. It’s been months since MJF’s deal expired, but they stretched this out and did a good job throughout the show of making this feel important by showing the old footage of both wrestlers. It will be fun to see how Holliday, Hammerstone, and Gino Medina react to losing MJF. The opening match was entertaining and this was a good edition of Fusion. It was noticeably shorter in length than usual, which might be a sign that MLW is trying to stretch out whatever footage they have left. They still have the show they did with AAA in Mexico that will start airing next week, but it’s unclear how many weeks of television they can get out of those tapings. John Moore will be by with his audio review of this episode for Dot Net Members.



The Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features Jake Barnett co-hosting the Boom and Dot Net Weekly combo show. Jason and Jake discuss Becky Lynch announcing her pregnancy, Alberto Del Rio being accused of sexual assault, WWE's IC Title tournament, Mike Tyson appearing at AEW Double Or Nothing, Undertaker's Last Ride documentary, AEW Dynamite and NXT TV thoughts, and more...


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