Powell’s MLW Anthology TV Review: LA Park vs. Sabu, LA Park vs. Shocker


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

Major League Wrestling Fusion (Episode 1 or Episode 110 including Fusion)
Aired May 16, 2020 on beIN Sports and MLW’s YouTube Page

A new MLW Anthology opening aired with a mix of current and past MLW wrestlers… AJ Kirsch introduced the show while a montage of LA Park footage was shown. Kirsch said the La Parka name roughly translates to The Reaper. Kirsch said LA Park won three world titles and became one of the most legendary luchadores over the last 25 years. Kirsch recapped LA Park’s match against Jerry Lynn, which was followed by Sabu and Bill Alfonso coming out to confront LA Park. Kirsch set up the opening match and noted that Joey Styles was on the call…

1. La Parka (a/k/a LA Park) vs. Shocker from September 2002 in New York at the Manhattan Center. Former ECW referee Jim Molineaux served as the referee for the match. There was a cringe spot with Shocker performing a suicide dive only to have La Parka blast him with a chair shot from the floor. Shocker had his hands up, but it still looked brutal. In the end, La Parka performed a corkscrew moonsault onto a standing Shocker and then covered him for the win…

La Parka defeated Shocker.

Powell’s POV: The first thing that stood out was how much slimmer and and more agile LA Park was 18 years ago. I can sure as hell relate, so I’m not picking on the guy as much as I’m simply pointing out the obvious. LA Park is a hardcore brawler these days, so it was fun to see him bumping all over the place and performing big moves back in his prime years. It was also nice to hear Styles on commentary. He did a really nice job of calling the action on his own and telling the story of the wrestlers and the match.

A video package aired on the Mance Warner vs. Jimmy Havoc barbed wire match. Warner delivered a promo from what appeared to be his home. He said he knows what you need and you’ll get to see him do what he does. Warner hyped up his match as an old school ass whooping said it was Mancer approved… A graphic hyped the Mance Warner anthology for next week’s episode…

A classic La Parka interview aired. He spoke in Spanish until he was attacked by Sabu and another man… Rich Bocchini hyped Sabu vs. Park in what he called one of the most violent brawls in MLW history as coming up after a break… An MLW merchandise ad aired…

2. La Parka (a/k/a LA Park) vs. Sabu (w/Bill Alfonso) in an extreme rules match from December 2002 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida at War Memorial Auditorium. Former ECW referee John Finnegan was the referee. Styles was on the call and said he’d be lying to you if he said he didn’t have a soft spot in his heart for hardcore wrestling. La Parka blasted Sabu with an unprotected chair shot to the head at one point. Sabu responded by jabbing the head of La Parka’s head with a pair of scissors. La Park’s mask was torn and his face was bloody.

Sabu performed a leap from a chair onto the top rope and then dove onto La Parka on the floor, which led to a “holy shit” chant from the crowd. Styles said La Parka’s face had never been seen before and the only thing protecting his identity was his own blood. Sabu continued to jab the scissors into the head of La Parka. Sabu went for a springboard move and missed, which led to La Parka performing a kick and covering him for a two count.

La Parka tied up Sabu in the tree of woe, placed a chair in front of his head, and then dropkicked the chair, which led to another two count. Later, Sabu performed another leap from a chair to the top rope and then leg dropped La Parka through a table on the floor. Styles noted that the referee was not allowed to stop the match because it was an extreme match, meaning it would continue until one man was pinned or submitted. La Parka stumbled back into the ring and was quickly covered for a near fall.

Sabu went for a dive from the top and went face first into the boots of La Parka, who covered him for a two count. La Parka went to the top rope and was cut off by Sabu. Alfonso slid a chair to Sabu, who executed an Arabian facebuster for a near fall. Sabu followed up with a triple jump moonsault and scored the pin. Styles said Sabu remained the king of extreme, but there was nothing he wouldn’t do to see a rematch between him and La Parka…

Sabu defeated La Parka in an extreme rules match.

Rich Bocchini snuck in a quick plug for next week’s show that will focus on Mance Warner as the post match scene played out with Sabu and La Parka getting to their feet. Sabu offered a handshake, which Styles said was a very rare sign of respect from him. La Parka hesitated, but eventually shook the hand of Sabu…

A Bill Alfonso post match promo from backstage was shown. Alfonso said they would get extreme any time, any place. Alfonso said they would sign for a rematch. La Parka showed up and hit Alfonso with a trashcan. La Parka yelled in Spanish and then threw a bunch of trash buckets onto Alfonso before yelling in Spanish again…

A montage of current MLW wrestlers were shown. The Von Erichs were shown outdoors talking about bamboo. Myron Reed was shown grumbling about Contra Unit roughing up Kotto Brazil. Richard Holliday and Alex Hammerstone were shown talking online. Tom Lawlor complained about moving the Team Filthy dojo rebuilding. Reed said it’s cool that Contra wants to take over everything, but they won’t be taking over Injustice.

Hammerstone asked Holliday to move his hand from covering his face. Holliday finally gave in and revealed a cheesy mustache. Hammerstone laughed and Holliday cracked a smile before Hammerstone said it was the most dynastic mustache he’s ever seen. Reed checked in again. Mance Warner was shown wearing a face mask talking about the triple tower of doom match. Los Parks checked in and spoke in Spanish about Contra. Col. Robert Parker was shown with a woman on his lap giving her phone instructions.

Lawlor and the Von Erichs talked smack about one another. Savio Vega complained about Richard Holliday buying his childhood home. Holliday and Hammerstone spoke more about Holliday’s mustache. Parker wanted the woman to send him “more of those pretty pictures that you sent me.” Vega spoke more. Lawlor said he doesn’t care how much the officials smell like alcohol and cigarettes, no one will stop Team Filthy from taking the MLW Tag Titles. Reed, the Von Erichs, and Los Parks checked in again briefly to close the show…

Powell’s POV: Sabu was roughly 38 at the time of this match and he looked great. Sabu doesn’t get enough credit for the part he played in revolutionizing the industry through his work in ECW. He did things that nobody else was doing on a big stage in American pro wrestling and was a huge part of ECW’s success. It’s really hard to watch unprotected chair shots to the head now that we all have a better understanding of concussions.

The montage at the end was fun and I wish we actually would have had an extended version of the Holliday and Hammerstone chat. I need my Lifestyles of the Rich and Dynastic fix now more than ever. Overall, this was a fun episode with a look back to MLW’s early days when they were heavily inspired by ECW. It will be interesting to see if next week’s show will hold my attention as well as this one did given that the footage will be more current. I enjoy Mance Warner, but I can’t say that I have a strong desire to rewatch modern matches again, so hopefully there will be some good first-run material around those matches.


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