13th Aug2018

‘MLW: Fusion’ Wrestling Review (Aug 10th 2018)

by Nathan Favel


Welcome to this week’s Major League Wrestling review, right here on Nerdly. I’m Nathan Favel and we have several big matches on this card that we get to talk about. Let’s see our categories for Double Jeopardy.

Match #1: Barrington Hughes defeated Leon Scott

The following is courtesy of MLW.com:

Just moments after hearing from Barrington Hughes, Kotto Brazil and Shane “Swerve” Strickland about battling Sami Callihan and the Death Machines at War Games, we got a bit of a preview of the upcoming battle in Ft. Lauderdale. Hughes was about to pin Death Machine Leon Scott after hitting a massive side slam/elbow drop combination. But before the official’s arm came down for the 3-count, Death Machine Fulton attacked Hughes, causing a disqualification. When it looked as though Hughes was going to handle Fulton by himself, Callihan took matters into his own hands.

The Worldwide Desperado took down the Caramel Colossus with a baseball bat shot to the back of the head. As Callihan and the Death Machines beat on Barrington, Kotto Brazil stormed the ring with bat of his own, clearing Callihan and his crew. Kotto then challenged Callihan to a one-on-one matchup right then and there, leading to …

My Take: This was a short fight that gave Hughes a lame victory. I don’t like disqualification finishes and while they can be very effective, they need to happen a lot less.

Match #2: Sami Callihan defeated Kotto Brazil

The following is courtesy of MLW.com:

Brazil had the early edge before the match was even made official. He dropkicked Callihan to the outside and hit a massive dive on Callihan, taking out the Death Machines with him. Back in the ring, Brazil went to the top rope looking for a missile dropkick. But Callihan saw it coming and countered into a modified powerbomb. From there, Callihan was in control for much of the match, although Brazil did not go down without a fight. Callihan furthered the damage to Brazil’s back with a powerbomb onto the apron of the ring. Callihan added more punishment with a spinning DDT as Kotto’s legs were draped over the second rope. Callihan continued the onslaught, telling Brazil to “Stay down!”

Kotto showed great heart in a valiant effort, pulling out a desperation satellite DDT to turn momentum back in his favor. Brazil scored a handful of near falls with some innovative offense, including a Code Red. But Callihan finally overpowered Brazil, putting him down for a 3-count with a huge avalanche powerbomb, followed by the Cranial Contusion.

My Take: Brazil did nicely against Sami and gave himself a few nice additions to his high-light reel. Callihan comes across as crazy every time he walks out to the ring and it is paying off for him… or at least a little better than it did for Charles Manson’s music career.

Match #3: Maxwell J. Friedman defeated Joey Janela w/ Aria Blake – Falls Count Any-Where Match For The Major League Wrestling Middleweight Title

Joey Janela was so ready to start his Falls Count Anywhere match for the World Middleweight Championship that he drug an official up the stairs backstage – with his girlfriend Aria Blake in tow – where they found champion Maxwell J. Friedman on the phone. Janela drug him out of the hallway he was in, nailed him with a couple fists and went for a quick pin. MJF kicked out and the match was on. The match was five minutes old before any action even took place inside the ring. Of course, action didn’t stay in the ring long. Janela tossed MJF on the floor into the MLW Crash Zone, grabbed a fan’s seat, laid the steel chair across Friedman and then jumped off the apron onto the chair, scoring a near fall.

Finally, the two combatants – once again with Aria Blake close behind – ended up on the stage/entrance to the arena. There, MJF begged for some mercy from Janela. The Bad Boy continued his assault, scoring a back body drop on the stage. As he faced Blake and asked for a celebratory kiss, the Bad Boy’s girlfriend proved to be a Bad Girl. Blake nailed Janela – who is now apparently her ex-boyfriend — over the head with a bottle, allowing Friedman to roll over and score the pinfall to retain his title. But what happened after the match was decided may have been the most shocking turn of events. For months now, it has seemed that Blake was disgusted by MJF. But that has all gone out the window as the two shared a passionate kiss before heading backstage hand in hand.

My Take: This was an excellent match that went all over the place. These guys have lots of chemistry together and could get the crowd pumped under any conditions. It probably wouldn’t hurt for them to do a little more technical wrestling while they’re young enough to benefit from it, but since this was a hardcore match, more or less, I can see them getting away with just going for broke like they did in this match. I hope that the future Middleweight title matches are this exciting.

Match #4: Main Event – John Hennigan defeated Teddy Hart

The following is courtesy of MLW.com:

A shot at the World Heavyweight Championship was on the line as Teddy Hart and John Hennigan squared off in this week’s main event. The action was back and forth throughout much of the opening minutes of the match. Hart gained the first major advantage. Hennigan attempted to suplex him back into the ring from the apron, but Hart’s twisting counter brought Hennigan’s throat down across the top rope. Hennigan responded moments later with a massive superkick.

The duo ended up in the MLW Crash Zone with Hennigan hitting a modified corkscrew moonsault off the apron. Hennigan nailed a slingshot elbow drop from the outside of the ring to score a near fall. A crucifix driver also led to a Hennigan near fall. But Hart hit a Code Red and followed with a Canadian Destroyer. That scored a two-count for Hart and momentum was back in the Canadian’s corner. Hart and Hennigan continued to battle in the crowd. Eventually, Hart was able to get Hennigan back into the ring with some serious offense, hitting a slingshot piledriver.

Hennigan later scored with a massive Spanish Fly off the top rope, but Hart kicked out at the last possible moment. Hart also kicked out of Starship Pain. When Hennigan went for another of his patented finishers, Hart countered and scored a DDT and followed up with a flurry of high-risk, high-impact maneuvers. But he couldn’t put Hennigan away. Finally, “Johnny Fusion” scored the surprise pinfall as Hart went for a modified sunset flip maneuver in the corner. Hennigan countered, secured both legs and stunned Hart with a three-count while also securing a shot at the gold.

My Take: This was a strong main event that had the appropriate stakes on the line. These two are a great pairing that fit like a glove. Hennigan has a swagger to him that makes him feel like a big deal no matter where he goes, which makes him a great name for the main event. Hart still comes across likes he’s a rogue, renegade whack-job and it appears he has finally figured out how to use that personality without having to dive off of cages onto people to make himself interesting. The wrestling between these two was crisp and precise. I’m really writing up a storm here, aren’t I? The answer is no. I wouldn’t mind seeing more matches between these two at some point, but the match with Hennigan and Low Ki should be a blast.

News Of The Night:

  1. Aria Blake betrayed Joey Janela and became MJF’s girl-friend in a span of five minutes.
  2. Konnan and Low-Ki may be having a feud pretty soon.
  3. Pentagon Jr. and Rey Fenix appear to have joined Konnan and left Salina de la Renta’s Promociones Dorado.
  4. There is a tease that Brian Pillman Jr. may be joining in with the wrong crowd (Teddy Hart and Davey Boy Smith Jr.) called the New Era Hart Foundation. Kevin Sullivan appears to be the voice of reason here, which is playing against type for him, but that be a good thing if done right.

Final Verdict: This was an excellent card that relied on the last two matches to make it so. The stories they have in place now are good but contrived, although the Brian Pillman Jr. angle could be really big. I wish NXT was more like this, even though MLW does have its problems, none of which are of immediate concern. The fact that there are several strong matches a card makes this card fly by, rather than feel slow, which is Vince Russo’s argument on why long matches are typically a bad idea. Wrestling is very easy if you make it easy, which MLW does.


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