Powell’s MLW Fusion TV Review: AAA and MLW Super Series continues with Tom Lawlor and Dominic Garrini vs. Puma King and Xtreme Tigre, Douglas James vs. Averno, Mance Warner and Alex Hammerstone continue to have issues

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

Major League Wrestling Fusion (Episode 106)
Taped March 13, 2020 in Tijuana, Mexico at Auditorio Fausto Gutierrez
Aired April 18, 2020 on beIN Sports and MLW’s YouTube Page

Fusion opened with a recap of Alex Hammerstone interfering in last week’s tag team main event by hitting Mance Warner with a bicycle kick… Warner delivered a backstage promo. He said Hammerstone made it person and made himself a dead man. Warner said he’s coming for Hammerstone’s gold (the MLW National Openweight Championship)… The Fusion opening video aired…

The broadcast team was Rich Bocchini and AJ Kirsch. A scoreboard for the MLW-AAA Super Series listed it at 1-1…

Powell’s POV: In fairness, they may have listed the scoreboard graphic last week. I watch the show on a small screen while doing my report and I now have shitty old man vision from spending long hours staring at a laptop (and because I’m an old man), so I may have missed it.

Douglas James made his entrance. Meanwhile, a pre-taped Alicia Atout interview with James aired. James spoke about his various forms of training. He said he had nothing but respect for Averno, but he needs to open his eyes if he think’s he’s just another kickboxer. James said he’s the ultimate hybrid wrestler. Averno made his entrance while the broadcast team wished Atout a happy birthday…

1. Douglas James vs. Averno. The broadcast team mentioned James as a potential contender to the MLW Middleweight Championship. They also noted that James came back from a dislocated hip and was supposed to be on crutches for a month or more, yet was walking on his own in just two weeks (don’t try that at home, kids).

James threw a nice dropkick early on. Averno came back a bit later and powerbombed James into the corner. Both men exchanged chops. James threw a couple of punches and knocked Averno down with a flying clothesline. James went to the ropes and performed a hurcanrana from the middle rope, which sent Averno to the floor. James came up a bit short on a suicide dive. Back inside the ring, James hit a meteora and went for a cover. The referee made a slow count, which the broadcast team pointed out.

Averno came back with a big forearm shot to the head of James, which was replayed a couple times. James stayed down and the referee called for the bell. James was helped from the ring afterward and walked to the back…

Averno defeated Douglas James via ref stoppage. AAA leads the series 2-1.

Powell’s POV: I continue to be impressed by James in the ring and he also did a nice job with his pre-match promo. I don’t understand the gimmick with the referee’s slow count. The broadcast team is framing it as home cooking in support of AAA. Unless MLW has been framed as a heel promotion in Mexico, then it really doesn’t make a lot of sense, as you’d think that fans would want to see the hometown promotion win the right way. Either way, the fans haven’t really reacted when this has happened in the series matches.

Highlights aired of Injustice attacking Brian Pillman Jr. and “breaking his jaw” in an attack from three weeks earlier…

Davey Boy Smith Jr. was interviewed by Atout and wished her a happy birthday. Smith said he has been cleared following an attack by Team Filthy in Philadelphia. Smith said he would compete in the MLW-AAA series. Atout asked for an update on Brian Pillman Jr. Smith said Pillman’s jaw is wired shut and he’s not 100 percent, but it is Tijuana and he happens to know some of the right doctors, so he is cleared. Smith said the Hart Foundation will reunite in Mexico…

The broadcast team hyped Smith and Pillman vs. Rey Escorpion Jr. and Texano Jr. on next week’s show. They also announced Jintes Del Aire vs. Injustice for the AAA Trios Titles…

The Injustice trio of Myron Reed, Jordan Oliver, and Kotto Brazil was interviewed by Atout. The Contra Unit logo flashed on the screen. The trio spoke about challenging for the AAA Trios Titles. Brazil cussed and was censored as he spoke about not being respected. Atout noted that Pillman had been cleared to wrestle. Oliver took the mic and said Pillman has a lot of money because his father was a superstar. Pillman said he can get cleared because he has a lot of money. Oliver said they will get justice…

An El Vikingo video package aired to the tune of someone’s version of “Roadhouse Blues” by The Doors… An MLW merchandise ad aired…

Highlights aired from “earlier today” of Richard Holliday and Alexander Hammerstone “hiding from Mexico.” An anonymous cameraman asked Holliday if it was true that he would defend the Caribbean Championship in Mexico. Holliday confirmed he would. He was informed that he would be facing Chessman. Holliday said he doesn’t play checkers or children’s games. Hammerstone was asked if he went to the pharmacy. Hammerstone asked why he would go and said he didn’t even know what he would be ordering. Hammerstone said they brought their own toilet paper so that they wouldn’t be wiping their butts with tortillas…

Kirsch noted that Mance Warner had left the building to cool off. He hyped the main event and then set up a recap of King Mo breaking a baseball bat over the back of Killer Kross. Audio aired of Dan Lambert delivering an in character promo while Low Ki laughed while both were appearing on the Busted Open radio show…

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

Pagano delivered a backstage promo in Spanish that was subtitled. He said he wouldn’t take anything away from Jacob Fatu because he’s a badass, but he hasn’t met the craziest in Mexico. He said that without the clown there is no party…

Kirsch hyped the main event and then recapped Hammerstone bicycle kicking Warner during last week’s main event…

Backstage, Atout told Hammerstone that she was extremely disappointed in what he did to Warner. Hammerstone said that if all the things that happen in Tijuana, that one can slide by. Hammerstone told her to look to the future and said her birthday is coming up. Atout said it was her birthday. Hammerstone said he got her a gift to a tanning booth for two. Atout called him disgusting. Mance Warner crashed the set and brawled with Warner going into a break…

The brawl continued briefly coming out of the break and then a graphic made it seem like they lost the feed…

The broadcast team announced Octagon Jr., Brian Pillman Jr., and Nino Hamberguesa were all announced for the MLW-AAA Super Series. They also said Hammerstone and Warner were still fighting backstage…

Atout interviewed Tom Lawlor and Dominic Garrini in the backstage area. Lawlor said the Von Erichs were hanging out in their commune not paying attention to the real world because they can’t cut it every day like they do. Lawlor said he and Garrini want what they’ve earned – a shot at the MLW Tag Titles…

Richard Holliday vs. Chessman was announced for next week’s show…

They made a quick cut to Atout, who was in another part of the backstage area hoping to get a word from Hammerstone or Warner. They brawled into the picture and the feed cut out again…

2. Tom Lawlor and Dominic Garrini vs. Puma King and Xtreme Tigre. Puma and Tigre were really over during the entrances. Late in the match, Puma performed a dive from the ropes onto Garrini. Back inside the ring, Puma rolled Garrini into a pin for a two count. Team Filthy came back with a dropkick into a brainbuster from Lawlor. The Contra Unit logo flashed as Tigre jumped off Lawlor’s back (covering up a botched spot?). Lawlor put Tigre in a rear naked choke and got the submission win…

Tom Lawlor and Dominic Garrini defeated Puma King and Xtreme Tigre. MLW and AAA are tied 2-2 in the series

The broadcast team hyped Holiday vs. Chesssman for the Caribbean Championship, and Davey Boy Smith Jr. and Brian Pillman Jr. vs. Rey Escorpion Jr. and Texano Jr…

Backstage, Savio Vega was hosting a birthday party for Alicia Atout. Warner and Hammerstone brawled into the room. In a shocking development, Warner slammed Hammerstone’s face into a birthday cake. Brian Pillman Jr. popped his head into the picture, opened his mouth, and ate some frosting. “Good cake,” Pillman said…

Powell’s POV: Smith told viewers that Pillman’s jaw was wired shut earlier in the show, but then we saw Pillman opening his mouth with ease in the final shot. Perhaps it will be explained away. Either way, they apparently had all of that birthday talk about Atout just for that birthday cake shot. According to Wikipedia, her birthday isn’t until June 1, so apparently someone in MLW was hellbent on coming up with a reason to have Hammerstone’s face shoved into a cake. Strange.

The main event was nothing special. It makes sense for Lawlor and Garrini to form a tag team since they are feuding with Ross and Marshall Von Erich, but their first outing wasn’t very memorable. There wasn’t a lot of time spent in the ring this week with only two matches on the show. I’m not sure if that’s the plan or if the company is trying to stretch out their first run material as long as possible, which is perfectly logical if that’s the approach. The backstage segments didn’t feel like obvious filler, so the overall show format was fine even if this was a forgettable episode. John Moore will have his audio review of this episode available for Dot Net Members.



The Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features Kenny Herzog discussing his journalism career, his new Outside Interference podcast, doing a feature story on CM Punk, pro wrestling in the pandemic, WWE talk on Retribution, The Hurt Business, Roman Reigns as a heel, and much more...


Readers Comments (2)

  1. That brawling and “cutting the feed” over and over was pretty low budget and came off as ridiculously over planned. Thumbs down

    • They make the “Dynasty has cake on their face this week” comment, before the cake spot even airs. Then they said Brian Pillmans’ jaw is wired shut, but at the end we see he’s fine. Who quality controls this stuff? Bush league!! Does anyone at MLW even watch the episode first before they air it? That was so minor league, besides the fact that the MLW wrestlers got zero reaction from the audience, I am embarrassed to call myself an MLW fan after a show like this. I hope this is a one-off of bad production and they’ll put a bettet effort forward in coming weeks

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