This week’s edition of MLW Fusion was from the tapings in Texas and featured Jacob Fatu defending the MLW title against Brian Pillman Jr. in the main event.
The show began with Tom Lawlor out in a Von Erich’s shirt referring to Marshall and Ross as ‘discount versions’ of the family members. Lawlor got some vocal criticism from the audience, who wanted him to take the shirt off. Lawlor took it off and wiped his ass with it before tossing it into the crowd and it was thrown back at Lawlor.
Lawlor was very poised in the segment and came off well in a live environment rather than being backstage. He introduced Dominic Garrini for the first match.
DOMINIC GARRINI VS ZENSHI
The idea of the match was too contrasting styles with Garrini’s jiu-jitsu against the high-flying of Zenshi that Team Filthy mocked.
They had some hiccups throughout the match and didn’t gel at certain points. Garrini was able to lock on a triangle when Zenshi went for a standing shooting star to emphasize the risk Zenshi is taking by utilizing his strengths against a submission expert.
Garrini attacked Zenshi’s right shoulder repeatedly before winning with the ‘Mighty Mouse’ with a German suplex into an armbar in mid-air as the referee called for the bell.
The move is called ‘Mighty Mouse’ because this is how Demetrious Johnson submitted Ray Borg several years ago.
WINNER: Dominic Garrini in 6:55
After the match, Alicia Atout was in the ring to interview and Lawlor called her ‘Joe Rogan’. They will not show any mercy moving forward when they were asked if Garrini went too far injuring the shoulder.
Brian Pillman Jr. was arriving and was jumped by several men in masks. Davey Boy Smith Jr. appeared and helped Pillman to fight them off.
The Dynasty were interviewed by Atout. MJF had never had caffeine before and tried some of Richard Holliday’s coffee, so he was speaking a mile a minute. They are the executive producers of next week’s episode and all the members will have matches.
SAVIO VEGA VS RICHARD HOLLIDAY
MJF was on commentary, which meant dumping on Rich Bocchini and AJ Kirsch for the duration. Holliday passed along his AirPods for MJF to hold onto, they are certainly teasing a split between those two with Holliday assuming more of a leadership role in the group.
Vega came out with the IWA Caribbean title. It was a five-minute match where they fought on the floor with simple offense ending with Holliday hitting the ‘2008’ swinging neck breaker and pinned Vega.
WINNER: Richard Holliday in 5:02
Davey Boy Smith Jr. and the Von Erichs told Pillman Jr. they have his back for tonight’s main event, that would play into the story at the end of the match.
There was a promo for Killer Kross coming to MLW, which is going to be an exceptionally short stay for Kross, who did one taping and is now in WWE.
The video announcement of MLW’s working relationship with Dragon Gate played.
A teaser for LA Park’s return aired.
Due to complaints from middleweight champion Myron Reed, all MLW referees will be subject to review and will be graded. Based on their grading, they will be assigned different levels of matches. I really like this idea to add credibility to the refs and make things like ref bumps and bad calls a tangible part of the matchmaking process.
The MLW/AAA super show will take place on Friday, March 13th.
Alicia Atout asked Mance Warner what he thought of The Dynasty. After two sips of beer, he said ‘assholes’.
Zenshi was selling his shoulder and vowed revenge on Dominic Garrini.
JACOB FATU VS BRIAN PILLMAN JR. FOR THE MLW TITLE
There wasn’t much time left for the main event and only went five and a half minutes.
Fatu missed a seated splash allowing Pillman to attack with a PK and several chops.
They cut to the back as the masked men are fighting with Davey Boy Smith Jr. and the Von Erichs, therefore, no one was able to help Pillman.
Injustice showed up ringside and attacked Pillman with Myron Reed hitting him with the loaded chest protector. Fatu connected with a handspring standing moonsault that Pillman kicked out from followed by two double springboard moonsaults off the top to win the match.
WINNER: Jacob Fatu at 5:28 to retain the MLW title
It was too short of a match but was a story-driven one as Pillman’s back up was pre-occupied and led to Pillman losing the match due to Injustice.
-Marshall & Ross Von Erich vs. MJF & Richard Holliday for the MLW tag titles
-Alex Hammerstone vs. Drago for the MLW National Openweight title
-Gino Medina vs. Septimo Dragon
Much like NWA Power, it’s a fast-moving show with no downtime and breezes by.
There was a good mix of in-ring wrestling with promos building to future programs coupled with tons of news announcements of upcoming talent coming, matches for future weeks, promotional agreements with Dragon Gate and AAA, and future shows. There is a lot to digest and they dedicate a good amount of the program to let the viewer know what is coming up in future weeks beyond operating in the vacuum of this week’s show.
Tom Lawlor had a great segment and got a lot of heat for ragging on the Von Erich’s. It tells how ingrained wrestling fans in Texas are for the family even all these years later where the industry is totally different, but you had a throwback audience reaction to Lawlor’s antics.
Jacob Fatu is a great talent and carries himself well as the champion. The main event was more of a story about where things go with Pillman and his friends not being able to come out due to the backstage fight.