22nd Oct2018

‘MLW: Fusion’ Wrestling Review (Oct 19th 2018)

by Nathan Favel


Welcome to this week’s Major League Wrestling: Fusion review, right here on Nerdly. I’m Nathan Favel and we’re having swine livers and Capri Sun for dinner. Ooooohhhh yeah!

Match #1: El Hijo de LA Park defeated Sammy Guevara

The following is courtesy of MLW.com:

It wasn’t long ago that Salina de la Renta and Promociones Dorado represented Sammy Guevara, but when Guevara didn’t bring home the winner’s purse enough for de la Renta’s liking, she unceremoniously fired him over the phone. Adding insult to injury, de la Renta delivered Guevara’s pink slip while in her Jacuzzi, filmed it and released it via social media. Guevara returned to MLW looking for a little payback, while both grapplers were looking to impress League officials in an effort to move up the rankings in the Middleweight division. In the end, de la Renta felt she was vindicated for her treatment of Guevara, as her new, young protégé was able to secure the pinfall. Guevara started off hot, but made a mistake. As he charged Hijo de LA Park, he was scooped up and set up for an inverted tombstone piledriver. Hijo dropped Guevara on top of his head with enough force to secure the pinfall victory for Promociones Dorado.

My Take: 3 out of 5 – This was an intense match that had a lot of thrills. These two guys were pretty evenly matched in ability, so it all just comes down to Guevara being more polished and complete as an athlete. You can look for a lot big moves to dominate the wrestling, with a couple of brutal Pile-Drivers being the big stand-out, even amongst a great Frankensteiner that happened earlier on. Over-all, this was pretty damn good.

Match #2: Smash n Dash Connection defeated Samoan Island Tribe

The following is courtesy of MLW.com:

In singles action, Barrington Hughes has constantly asked MLW officials for more competition. But on tonight’s episode, Hughes and teammate Kotto Brazil debuted their new tag team, dubbed the Smash n Dash Connection. Hughes is still looking for competition, as he and Brazil picked up a victory over a very game Lance Anoa’I and his father Samu – the Samoan Island Tribe. Samu and Anoa’I attacked before the bell and attempted to isolate the smaller Brazil. While Kotto utilized his quickness to grab a brief advantage. But the size and power of Anoa’I and Samu were too much for Brazil in the early-going. But when Anoa’I missed a splash off the top rope in an effort to put Brazil away, Kotto was able to make a tag to Hughes. The Caramel Colossus and Kotto utilized some solid tag team maneuvers to take out Samu and weaken Anoa’i. With Lance alone in the ring, the Smash n Dash Connection hit a sliced bread, big splash combination to pick up the pinfall victory in their debut as a tag team.

My Take: 2.5 out of 5 – This was baseball bat legs. Do you get that reference? I don’t either, but it’s about the best way to describe watching four people bigger than a city block beat the piss out of each other for a few minutes. Maybe I should have said, “Nuclear bomb with tax audit”? What about Dodge Ram with a shotgun? Okay, screw the metaphor. There wasn’t anything fancy about this match, but it was wrestled well enough to get the job done.

Match #3: (Main Event) – “Filthy” Tom Lawlor defeated Shane “Swerve” Strickland

The following is courtesy of MLW.com:

After weeks of build-up and both men claiming to be the the future, the franchise player – the Ace – of Major League Wrestling, Lawlor and Strickland finally battled it out, with World Heavyweight Champion Low Ki watching intently and adding commentary, along with our own announcers Tony Schiavone and Matt Striker. Lawlor’s injuries to his left arm are well-documented. Early in the match, Strickland attempted to reinjure and take advantage of that left arm. The strategy was successful for most of the match for “Swerve.” Throughout the match, Lawlor was favoring the left arm, eventually the arm became virtually useless. Lawlor even hit a superplex and rolled through into a front chancery, nearly choking out the former champ.

Fighting with only one arm, Lawlor left himself open to numerous blows from Strickland. But “Filthy” Tom continued to show his fight and determination, rising to his feet after a vicious kick to the head to score a one-armed German suplex. Moments after a Lawlor Death Valley Driver, Low Ki left the broadcast position. With de la Renta distracting the official, the World Champion hit Lawlor with a rolling kick from behind, leading to a Swerve Stomp. It looked like Low Ki’s interference was going to pay off for Strickland, but Lawlor kicked out at the very last moment following the Swerve Stomp.

Lawlor’s toughness and grit have been on display in Major League Wrestling before. He outlasted 39 other men to win the first-ever Battle Riot, fighting for nearly 49 minutes. But this match may have been even more impressive. With Strickland looking to end it, Lawlor was able to reverse a fireman’s carry and climb on to Strickland’s back. He locked in a rear naked choke but couldn’t utilize the left arm. So he secured the hold by grabbing the tape around his right wrist with his teeth. After nearly 20 grueling minutes, that maneuver forced Strickland to tap out before his lights went out.

My Take: 4 out of 5 – This may not be the popular way to wrestle a big match right now, but it is the right way. I loved this and while it may not be the best match of the year, it is amongst the best and deserves that honor. Lawlor always gets the most actual wrestling he can out of his peers and is a real breathe of fresh air in an era of stunts and spots. Shane is not to be forgotten here, because he worked very hard to come across as legitimate as Lawlor appears to be. This was a bout of little details that were intricately carved into the crevices of this marble sculpture. Ooooh… look at who’s practicing stroking their ego? Marble sculpture… it’s pretentious enough to embarrass myself with. That being said, there’s nothing in this match to embarrass either competitor. Normally, I’d remark about a great move, but with this match I found a moment near the end where Shane injured Lawlor’s arm to be the great stroke of this contest. I like the idea of Lawlor being without an arm for several minutes, as it is more suspenseful than many of the dangerous moves that are abused by so many, so often. I was a bit put off by Low Ki being booked to interfere at the end and felt that it ruined the quality of the match’s finale. However, this was still a terrific match and a fine main event, so if the ending was a bit tainted, then at least it can be remembered as being good to, almost, the last drop.

News Of The Night:

  1. Tom Lawlor will fight for the MLW World Heavyweight Title at MLW Superfight on February 2nd 2019.
  2. Shane Strickland will fight for the MLW World Heavyweight Title in Chicago on November 8th.
  3. Sami Callihan will fight Jimmy Havoc in a Spin The Wheel Challenge, where the wheel picks the match stipulation, in next week’s main event of MLW Fright Night.
  4. LA Park fights PCO, next week, at MLW Fright Night.
  5. PCO fights Brody King in Chicago on November 8th.
  6. The Lucha Brothers defend the MLW World Tag Titles against Los Parkas in Chicago on November 8th.
  7. Stokely Hathaway is still returning to MLW.
  8. Sami Callihan cut a good promo on Jimmy Havoc being a fake.

Final Verdict: 3.5/5

Once again, the main event made the card and the show, but the sheer amount of promotion of big matches for future cards was an issue. Some may argue that wrestling leagues promoting so many events in advance is too confusing, but I think it just comes down to tact. MLW, and the WWE as well, have both done a fine job in promoting multiple events at the same time, but MLW has done a better job of executing the cards they have booked. If there’s anything to mention about what promoting multiple events can do to your current cards, then this show is a good example, because it felt a bit more like a transitional event, even though the main event was incredibly important. It’s vital to mention what’s going on in the future, but you gotta prove that you can make the present feel like the gift that it should be, instead of just being a box that you shake to find out what’s inside. I almost felt like I wanted to skip this show and get right to the later cards, which is not what you want people to feel when watching an episode of MLW: Fusion, especially when it ended up being as good as this one did, warts and all.


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