Powell’s MLW Anthology TV Review: Low Ki spotlight with matches against Shane Strickland for the MLW Championship and Homicide, MLW Roll Call

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

Major League Wrestling Fusion (Episode 3)
Aired May 30, 2020 on beIN Sports and MLW’s YouTube Page

Powell’s POV: My apologies for falling behind on this episode of MLW Anthology. I was focused on world events more than pro wrestling over the weekend.

The Anthology opening aired… Black and white footage of Low Ki was shown along with audio clips from his past promos… AJ Kirsch set the stage for the opening match and noted that it took place at MLW Reloaded. The story was that student Low Ki was facing his mentor Homicide…

Low Ki vs. Homicide. The event was held in January 2004 in Orlando, Florida. The broadcast team was Eric Gargulio and Julius Smokes. Several minutes into the match, Homicide applied an STF in the middle of the ring and eventually released the hold. Smokes had no idea why. Low Ki came right back with a Dragon Sleeper. Smokes asked viewers not to try the move at home. Homicide put his foot on the ropes to break the hold. A short time later, Low Ki avoided the Cop Killer finisher, but Homicide cradled him into a pin for the win.

Homicide defeated Low Ki.

After the match, Jerry Lynn attacked Homicide. Low Ki saved Homicide from Lynn. The duo double teamed Lynn and then Gary Hart came out with a man in a suit and barked orders over the house mic. Gargulio said the last time he saw Hart was 15 years earlier when he put a bag over Ric Flair’s head. Homicide and Low Ki joined Hart at ringside and ended up pulling a “fan” over the barricade and roughing him up. A young Court Bauer came out and was barked at by Hart and eventually knocked down by one of the wrestlers. Homicide and Low Ki both spat on Bauer. Eventually, Bauer said something over the mic, then Low Ki hit him over the head with a broom…

Powell’s POV: A well worked match in front of a big, yet surprisingly quiet crowd. This was a big angle at the time. The first thing that stood out is just how far MLW has come from a production standpoint. Gargulio sounded like he was calling the match from inside a tin can, and it was hard to make out much of what was said over the house mic. All of that said, it was still fun to see the old footage.

Kirsch spoke about the Hart angle and then hyped the second Low Ki match for later in the show… Some advertising aired for MLW’s Radio Network… A video hyped next week’s MLW Anthology, which will spotlight Satoshi Kojima… Another video package spotlighted Low Ki while a promo played in the background… An MLW merchandise ad aired…

Shane Strickland vs. Low Ki for the MLW Championship. The broadcast team was Tony Schiavone and Rich Bocchini. The following is my recap of the match from when it aired on the July 20, 2018: Schiavone noted that the Callihan promo revealed that he was Strickland’s attacker last week. Barr delivered in-ring introductions for the title match. Salina was seated at ringside. The woman who was with Strickland earlier was also shown seated in the top row by the stage and he stopped and acknowledged her. Schiavone noted that the woman is Strickland’s girlfriend. Low Ki dominated the early portion of the match. Schiavone said Low Ki seemed frustrated because Strickland would not stay down. Strickland flung Low Ki to ringside and then performed a handspring over the top rope into a slow huracanrana on the floor.

Back inside the ring, Strickland tore Low Ki’s dress shirt and threw his tie aside. Strickland suplexed Low Ki for a two count. A short time later, Strickland catapulted Low Ki to the ropes. Low Ki landed on the second rope and double stomped Strickland for a two count. Strickland, who was selling a right knee injury, came back with some kicks and then clutched at the knee. With Low Ki down, Strickland went up top and went for a double stomp, but Low Ki moved. Strickland sold the knee again. Low Ki hit him from behind. Low Ki threw a kick to the back of Strickland’s head and pinned him…

Low Ki defeated Shane Strickland to win the MLW Championship.

Afterward, Salina de la Renta entered the ring and celebrated with Low Ki, who had the MLW Championship over his shoulder. Strickland’s girlfriend was at ringside to check on him. Salina presented Low Ki with the briefcase of cash to pay off the $60,000 bounty…

Powell’s POV: Here are my thoughts from when the match aired: A decent match but it fell below expectations considering the talent of the men involved. Low Ki dominated the majority of the match and it seemed like they were building to a Strickland comeback that never really came. The kick to the back of the head from Low Ki didn’t seem like the finish and surprised the live crowd. I’m not sure of the reasons behind the title change, but I like it. Fusion viewers were dropped into the MLW Universe in episode one and Strickland had already risen to the top. They didn’t get to take that ride with him. So while he’s a talented guy, his reign as champion always left me feeling like I was late to the party. Assuming Strickland is sticking around, it should be fun to see him attempt to work his way back into title contention. Furthermore, Low Ki is a recognizable name and a talented performer, so he’s a good fit as champion. Update: Strickland stuck around a bit longer before moving on to NXT, where he now works as Isaiah “Swerve” Scott…

Kirsch hyped next week’s show featuring Satoshi Kojima… A classic backstage promo aired with Gary Hart firing up Homicide and Low Ki…

It was montage time. Blue Meanie standing outside the 2300 Arena. He said he was having deja vu, then wondered if he should call it deja blue. Jordan Oliver wondered who would step up and join Injustice. Gino Medina spoke briefly to a cameraman. LA Park delivered a promo in Spanish while subtitles broke down that he wants to kick the ass of Contra. He’s not alone, as Mance Warner delivered a promo from home about Contra.

Richard Holliday told Alex Hammerstone that he wants to buy MLW and eventually sell it for a profit, and then rebuy the company because wrestlers need to understand he’s in charge. Savio Vega chimed in about how stupid Holliday looks sporting a mustache. Tom Lawlor was shown Skyping with Dominic Garrini about the Von Erichs.

Konnan spoke about the MLW and AAA Super Series and how Contra attacked the company. Myron Reed said it bothers him that people still don’t know what Injustice is. He said it’s about the truth and rising up. The Von Erichs checked in from Hawaii briefly. The Meanie danced in front of 2300 Arena. Hammerstone told Holliday that he wants to go after the MLW Heavyweight Championship.

Reed said Injustice knows what they are fighting for and there are a lot of people behind them. Konnan spoke about getting some man power to fight off Contra. The Von Erichs checked in again. Oliver called the camera in and said he had a spoiler, then shoved the camera away. LA Park was talking when he was kicked. The Contra logo flashed. Josef Samael said that the infidels were trying to rise up and should consider this a warning…

Powell’s POV: A good episode overall. I suspect that I’m going to enjoy the shows that focus on the wrestlers who were around for the early days and are still around today, as it provides a nice mix of classic and current footage. I can’t say that I’m fired up about next week’s Kojima edition simply because he’s not involved in the current product, but there should still be some cool footage and it’s a good learning experience since I didn’t see all of that period. The final montage continues to be entertaining, though I also continue to wish that the company would spread out the new footage a bit more rather than lumping it all together at the end of the episode. It will be interesting to see if Injustice become babyfaces given their characters and the state of the world.



The Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features Ring of Honor's PJ Black discussing the ROH Pure Title tournament beginning on ROH Wrestling TV this weekend, ROH's COVID-19 safety precautions, his run in WWE as Justin Gabriel with The Nexus, wrestling as The Bunny, and more...


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