29th Jul2018

‘MLW: Fusion’ Wrestling Review (July 27th 2018)

by Nathan Favel

MLW-fusion-header

Welcome to this week’s Major League Wrestling: Fusion review, right here on Nerdly. I’m Nathan Favel and this week, we have a special two hour event called Battle Riot, which featured the first World Middleweight Championship match and the first Battle Riot match. Let’s just jump right in.

Match #1: Kotto Brazil beat Myron Reed

The following is courtesy of MLW.com:

In our opening bout, Kotto Brazil was looking to pick up another victory after recently seeing a long MLW losing streak come to an end. The two middleweights were looking to impress League officials, knowing their bout was going on right before the highly-anticipated World Middleweight Championship match. Brazil and Reed were very evenly matched. In fact, early on they were often caught utilizing the same maneuvers at the same time, including a nasty collision when both went for a flying cross body block.

It looked like the red-hot rookie Reed had all the momentum and was putting himself in position for the victory. Reed nailed Brazil with a massive cutter as Brazil bounced off the ropes. But the native of Haiti was able to kick out at two. Reed later hit another cutter, this time a counter to a suplex. But Brazil followed that up with his version of a running sliced bread called “By Any Means” and it came virtually out of nowhere to give Brazil another win and some momentum moving forward in MLW.

My Take: This was a nice opener that gave both fighters a few good minutes to fight.

Match #2: Maxwell J. Freidman beat Joey Ryan – Major League Wrestling World Middleweight Championship Match

The following is courtesy of MLW.com:

Major League Wrestling established its first World Middleweight Championship and pitted Maxwell J. Freidman vs. Joey Ryan for the title. MJF ended up taking the victory, but not before getting a real taste of the essence of Joey Ryan. After a superkick and a near fall, Ryan pulled one his signature lollipops from the crotch area of his trunks and shoved it into MJF’s mouth. Ryan seemed to have the momentum, but MJF pulled the referee in front of him, distracting Ryan long enough for a poke to the eyes. MJF had been working over Ryan’s arm and shoulder the entire match. With Ryan blinded, MJF took advantage with a package shoulder breaker to score the pinfall and claim the World Middleweight Championship.

My Take: This was an excellent match between two excellent wrestlers. I have no idea why they chose to call this the Middleweight Title, but as long as the division gets better treatment than the WWE Cruiserweight roster, than this should be a success. Ryan is like a talking ball of slime, even when he’s the hero and he’s the master of being lovably gutless. I really enjoy Ryan’s technical skills though, and the contrast of a loathsome creature, albeit a beloved one, being a great technician is a sight in of itself. MJF is a fabulous talent and truly deserves a strap to enhance his career. This was a fine way to debut the new belt and I hope it brings many great matches to MLW.

Match #3: Main Event – Battle Riot Match: Winner – Tom Lawlor

The following is courtesy of MLW.com:

He’s been the No. 1-ranked fighter in the MLW Top 10 for two straight months. On last week’s episode of MLW: FUSION, he lost a bloody grudge match to Jimmy Havoc and put his status in jeopardy. But “Filthy” Tom Lawlor showed at Battle Riot why he’s in the top spot in the rankings and now he owns a shot at the World Heavyweight Championship any time he wants it. Lawlor entered at No. 5 in the Battle Riot, where 40 men entered in 60-second intervals. Wrestlers were eliminated by pinfall, submission or by being thrown over the top rope to the floor.

In an incredible display of stamina, Lawlor was in the ring for 48 minutes, 41 seconds of what was a nearly 52-minute match. He eliminated 10 of the 40 men who entered. But Lawlor’s most impressive feat in the entire Battle Riot, might have been surviving Jake Hager’s ankle lock for more than two minutes at the end of the match with out submitting. In fact, it was the ankle lock that ultimately led to Hager’s loss. Lawlor tried to relieve the pressure of the ankle lock by pushing himself onto the top turnbuckle. But Hager wouldn’t let go. Just as Hager looked as though he may put Lawlor over the top by the ankle, Lawlor used Hager’s momentum against him and was able to pull him over the top and to the outside.

The Battle Riot included all the usual Major League Wrestling names you’d come to expect. But CEO Court Bauer promised surprises. He promised MLW originals. He promised Hall of Famers. And he delivered. In the first surprise of the night, Tony Schiavone was joined at the broadcast position by Matt Striker, who made his return to MLW. The match included many athletes who generated huge reactions from the fans, including Kevin Sullivan, the Spirit Squad (Kenny Doane and Mikey Mondo), Swoggle, Davey Boy Smith Jr., Konnan and the Blue Meanie.

Battle Riot Elimination Order:

1. Brody King eliminated by Tom Lawlor (submission)
2. Kevin Sullivan eliminated by Tom Lawlor (submission)
3. Samu eliminated by Lance Anoa’I (over the top rope)
4. Swoggle eliminated by Tom Lawlor (submission)
5 & 6. Kenny Doane and Lance Anoa’I eliminated by Barrington Hughes (pinfall)
7. ACH eliminated by Rey Fenix (pinfall)
8. Konnan eliminated by Barrington Hughes (pinfall)
9. Fallah Bahh eliminated by Pentagon Jr. & Rey Fenix (over the top rope)
10 & 11. Rey Fenix and Pentagon Jr. eliminated by Fallah Bahh (over the top rope, momentum)
12. Kotto Brazil eliminated by Tom Lawlor (pinfall)
13. Rey Horus eliminated by Barrrington Hughes (over top rope)
14-18. Jason Cade, Jimmy Yuta, Fred Yehi, Richard Holliday, Barrington Hughes eliminated (Cade, Yuta, Yehi, Holliday threw Hughes over the top rope, but Hughes’ momentum carried them over the top rope as well)
19. Teddy Hart eliminated himself (over top rope when he landed a moonsault onto Yuta, Yehi, Cade, Holliday and Hughes)
20. Vandal Ortagun eliminated by Tom Lawlor (submission)
21. Mikey Mondo eliminated by Tom Lawlor (submission)
22. Lloyd Anoa’I eliminated by PCO (over top rope)
23. Blue Meanie eliminated by Homicide (over top rope)
24. PCO eliminated by Tom Lawlor & Simon Gotch (over top rope)
25. Homicide eliminated by Sami Callhan/Michael Patrick (over top rope)
26. Davey Boy Smith Jr. eliminated by Sawyer Fulton & Leon Scott (over top rope)
27. MJF eliminated by Tom Lawlor (over top rope)
28. Joey Ryan eliminated by Simon Gotch (over top rope)
29. Leon Scott eliminated by Jake Hager (over top rope)
30. Michael Patrick eliminated by John Hennigan (over top rope)
31. Simon Gotch eliminated by Jake Hager (over top rope)
32. Drago eliminated by Jimmy Havoc (over top rope)
33. Leo Bryan eliminated by Shane Strickland (over top rope)
34. Sawyer Fulton eliminated by John Hennigan (pinfall)
35. Jimmy Havoc eliminated by Shane Strickland (over top rope)
36. Shane Strickland eliminated by Sami Callihan (over top rope)
37. Sami Callihan eliminated by Tom Lawlor (over top rope)
38. John Hennigan eliminated by Jake Hager (over top rope)
39. Jake Hager eliminated by Tom Lawlor (over top rope)

Winner – “Filthy” Tom Lawlor

My Take: This could have been a mess, but it was quite good and action-packed. The sheer amount of big names in here was staggering, as well as notable names that still have more than a little life left in them. From Hager to Callihan to Hennigan the winner Lawlor, you’ve got some of the best wrestlers around kicking ass all the way through this thing (hell… Pentagon is in here). This did, indeed, work like a Royal Rumble, but having the pins and submissions involved put some more suspense in here and actually made more of the moves matter. I thought that all of the usual tropes of these kinds of matches worked very well here and moved fluidly from one moment to the next. Over-all, I would call this match a success and the fact it was for a World Title shot may make it a bit too similar to the Royal Rumble, but the immediate effect is that the match feels important, so it is worth the risk.
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Final Verdict: This was an excellent card that felt like a big event and is quite promising for the potential prospect of MLW having a two hour weekly broadcast.

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