By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Major League Wrestling Fusion (Episode 2)
Aired May 23, 2020 on beIN Sports and MLW’s YouTube Page
Fusion opened with a graphic acknowledging the death of Shad Gaspard… The Contra Unit logo interrupted the MLW video. Josef Samael said MLW has been broken and now the gates to the arenas are now closed. Samael said nobody saw it coming. “Contra has conquered Major League Wrestling,” Samael said before adding that the Contra flag flies over the league office…
The Anthology opening aired and a narrator noted that the show would focus on Mance Warner. A Warner video package aired… Highlights aired of Warner spilling a beer on Salina de la Renta, who was given a chance to produce the show. She booked Warner against Sami Callihan in a falls count anywhere match with the loser leaving the company forever…
Powell’s POV: Warner and Callihan were both babyfaces going into the match, so they were forced to fight for their MLW careers by Salina.
Mance Warner vs. Sami Callihan in a falls count anywhere, loser leaves MLW match. The following his my report on the match from my review of the June 15, 2019 episode of MLW Fusion: Warner brought a trashcan filled with weapons to the ring with him. Callihan walked onto the stage and spat water at Cornette, who was seated along with Bocchini on the side of the stage. Callihan flipped off Cornette, who then said he’d pay Warner $5,000 to cripple Callihan and referred to him as a piece of shit. Cornette vented about Callihan being a freak show who doesn’t care if he or his opponents get hurt.
Warner and Callihan brawled around the ring and then over by a merchandise area in the crowd. They fought to the top of the bleachers and took turns slamming their heads into the fencing at the top of the bleachers. Callihan suplexed Warner onto the bleachers and covered him for a two count. Callihan put a trashcan over the head of Warner, who headbutted him with the trashcan twice before removing it. Warner put it on again and ran toward Callihan, who moved, causing Warner to crash into the side of the bleachers. Callihan threw a chair at Warner and then they continued to brawl all over the building.
The fight continued near a condiments table. “Is this Tupelo?” Cornette asked in reference to a legendary concession stand brawl. Warner apparently used Tabasco sauce as a weapon at one point. Callihan eventually brought Warner to the ring, which was littered with chairs and had a trashcan filled with weapons. Callihan pulled out a staple gun and ended up using it on Warner. Bocchini called him a sick son of a bitch. Cornette said he didn’t know you could say that on beIN Sports. Bocchini said they could bleep it if they want. Callihan put a trashcan over the head of Warner and then hit it with a chair.
Callihan took a dollar bills from a fan at ringside. Warner bled from the forehead. Callihan stapled the bills to Warner’s arms and forehead. Warner pulled them out and slammed Callihan onto a trashcan in the ring and covered him for a two count. Warner pulled a piece of wood out from underneath the ring and brought it into the ring with him. He set up the board on two chairs in the ring. Warner put Callihan’s head over the board and went to the rope. Callihan got up and grabbed Warner by the balls, then performed a piledriver from the middle rope through the board and got a near fall.
Callihan pulled out another board from underneath the ring and tossed it at Warner in the ring. Callihan set up the board in a corner of the ring. Callihan gave the crowd his thumbs up, thumbs down catchphrase and then turned around just in time for Warner to spear him through the board, which led to a near fall. Both men set up chairs and then went face to face. They sat down on the chairs and traded punches. Callihan spat at Warner, who returned the favor. Warner stood up and threw punches and a headbutt at Callihan.
With Callihan woozy on a chair, Warner went to the ropes again. Callihan stood and threw a chair at him, then performed a tombstone piledriver onto a chair for a near fall. The broadcast team pointed out that Callihan’s knee actually moved the chair before Callihan performed the move. The fans chanted “this is awesome.” Callihan stapled the face of Warner to a piece of broken board. Bocchini did a great job of expressing disbelief over the insanity.
Warner pulled the board loose and smashed it over Callihan repeatedly. Warner lowered his kneepad and delivered a running knee to Callihan’s head, which only resulted in a one count. Warner slammed a piece of broken table over Callihan, then set up the table in front of him and performed the running knee into the table before pinning him…
Mance Warner defeated Sami Callihan in a falls count anywhere, loser leaves MLW match.
Powell’s POV: This is my original commentary on the match: A good brawl with some fun commentary. I have no idea how Cornette and Callihan coexisted behind the scenes, but their history made for some good moments on MLW television. Cornette did a tremendous job of expressing his disgust for Callihan to remain true to his public persona while also putting over how dangerous Callihan’s character is. Warner is green, but he held up his end of the brawl well. Callihan will be missed if this really is the end of his MLW run. If this was his last MLW match then I suspect that his Impact deal is the cause, but that’s just a guess.
Rich Bocchini recapped the match and set up the next Warner match for after a break… The MLW merchandise ad aired… AJ Kirsch announced that next week’s show will focus on Low Ki. A brief Low Ki video package aired… Kirsch hyped Warner vs. Jimmy Havoc for after a break…
Warner delivered a promo while highlights of his feud with Havoc aired. He noted that Priscilla Kelly kicked him in the balls and gave Havoc the win in their previous match. Warner hyped the barbed wire match and said he would make Havoc bleed out… A viewer discretion warning appeared prior to ring entrances…
Mance Warner vs. Jimmy Havoc (w/Priscilla Kelly) in a no ropes, barbed wire match. The following his my report on the match from my review of the January 25, 2020 episode of MLW Fusion: Havoc used the staple gun as a weapon early on. Havoc stapled a shirt to the back of Warner, then ripped the shirt off his back. Havoc pulled out wire cutters and snipped a piece of barbed wire and then placed it on the face of Warner and pulled back on it from behind. Warner came up a bloody mess. Warner did his best Ricky Morton by calling out “help me” to fans in the crowd (I love it).
Havoc also used a baseball bat wrapped in barbed wire as a weapon. Havoc stood over a kneeling Warner and gave him the double middle fingers. Warner returned the favor, then picked up the bat and slammed it into Havoc’s balls. Havoc came back by using the stapler on Warner’s junk. Warner performed a spinebuster on pair of chairs that were lying on their sides.
Warner pulled a door board into the ring and leaned it against the corner of the ring. Havoc cut off Warner and and performed a Death Valley Driver through the board. Havoc covered Warner for a near fall. Havoc placed a door board over two chairs in the ring, but Warner ended up chokeslamming Havoc through the board and covered him for a near fall.
Warner grabbed a piece of barbed wire and wrapped it around his arm. Meanwhile, Kelly handed powder to Havoc, who low blowed Warner. Havoc was set to throw the powder, but Warner knocked it into his face and then performed a lariat with barbed wire wrapped around his arm. Havoc performed a piledriver onto a chair that was on top of a broken door board and scored the pin. Warner was named the winner and celebrated…
Mance Warner defeated Jimmy Havoc in a no ropes, barbed wire match.
Powell’s POV: This is my original commentary on the match: The usual hardcore style match from Warner and Havoc. While they incorporated the barbed wire, they also brought in a lot of the weaponry they’ve used in other matches. I’m not sure if this was meant to be the blowoff match or if we’ll be seeing more from these two.
A blood covered Warner delivered a backstage promo about his win over Havoc…
A montage of clips from MLW talent aired. LA Park said he hasn’t forgotten what Contra did to his son. Gino Medina blew off a cameraman. Dan Lambert stood in front of a wall of title belts and spoke about athletic commissions. Warner checked in and spoke about the triple tower of doom. Myron Reed said people keep asking who will be the new member of Injustice. Reed said he doesn’t kiss and tell.
Richard Holliday and Alex Hammerstone were shown having a video conversation. Holliday spoke about buying the island that he was on. A clip was shown of a birthday party for Kevin Von Erich. Tom Lawlor grumbled about learning that he and Kevin Von Erich have the same birthday.
King Mo said Low Ki’s corner threw the towel in the last time they met. Holliday told Hammerstone that he signed a multi-year extension with MLW. Hammerstone said he knew because it has been all over the internet. Col. Robert Parker was shown with a woman on his lap. Reed spoke more about the new addition to Injustice. Los Parks checked in again. Kevin Von Erich was shown talking with Ross and Marshall Von Erich in Hawaii.
King Mo said it would be “night night” the next time he sees Low Ki. Jordan Oliver checked in for just a second. Alex Hammerstone announced that he also re-signed with MLW. Holliday said that’s great and he could not be more excited. Holliday wondered who signed first. Hammerstone said it didn’t mattered who signed first or who had the longer deal or who was being paid more money. Oliver checked in again. Lambert said the athletic commission told him that Low Ki will not be working future MLW events. Los Parks checked in one more time to close the show…
Powell’s POV: The montage was fun and even newsworthy with Hammerstone announcing that he has also re-signed with MLW. The Holliday and Hammerstone signings are big for the company, as they are both among the most entertaining acts in the company and have a ton of upside. I assume we’ll hear some type of rebuttal from Low Ki regarding Lambert’s comments given that next week’s show will focus on his MLW career.
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...