This past weekend’s episode of MLW Fusion was from the tapings in Orlando, Florida last weekend.
Rich Bocchini and AJ Kirsch are on commentary.
The show began with Tom Lawlor with the Von Erichs and noted that he’s leaving soon. They have incorporated Lawlor’s contract legitimately coming due and his pending departure.
IKURO KWON VS MARSHALL VON ERICH
Kwon immediately hit a dive onto Von Erich. Kwon avoided the claw as they entered the ring.
Kwon lit him up with kicks and other strikes. Von Erich fought back and lifted Kwon for a spine buster. He set up for the Iron Claw and applied the hold as Josef Samael attacked Von Erich and the bell was rung.
WINNER: Marshall Von Erich by DQ at 3:50
Ross Von Erich ran in to save his brother and chased off the CONTRA Unit members.
Marshall has a great look and isn’t being placed in positions to be overexposed. The audience in MLW is conditioned to understand the importance of the Von Erichs and the Iron Claw, so it’s a formula that is working, thus far.
Richard Holliday was on Facetime with MJF, who hid his face after taking the claw. He showed Holliday his face and Holliday freaked out. Alex Hammerstone walked in and has a surprise gift for them to be revealed later.
ALEX HAMMERSTONE & RICHARD HOLLIDAY VS DOMINIC GARRINI & DOUGLAS JAMES
Holliday cut a promo referring to the fans as consumers. He received a call from his ‘Lawyer/Father’ and got annoyed at him. He called their opponents’ skills ‘Krav Ma-garbage’, which was a great line.
Holliday mocked Garrini, then offered his hand and led to Garrini using a hip toss and threatening with an armbar. Garrini is super-fun to watch as his offense is all generated from his BJJ and various setups. Then, he received a hot tag later in the match and fired up with suplexes and the crowd loved it.
James hit a Meteora on Hammerstone for a two-count. The two fought on the floor and James attempted a flying DDT from the apron that didn’t quite land.
James snuck into the ring right before the count of twenty and they won by count-out.
WINNERS: Dominic Garrini & Douglas James by count-out at 7:04
Holliday was the strongest personality in this segment. He’s a cross between Kendall and Roman Roy from Succession. He is an underrated personality.
Garrini looked great in the match and his unique blend that sets him apart.
There was a recap of the fireball angle involving Teddy Hart from last week’s episode and stating Hart is out indefinitely. The fireball from Josef Samael led to Myron Reed pinning Hart to win the MLW middleweight title.
Reed cut a taped promo and paid tribute to the late Matt Travis.
The Von Erichs were with Tom Lawlor and received a package containing a phone with a video message from Josef Samael. He said one of the Von Erichs could have an MLW title match against Jacob Fatu on Thanksgiving Night, which is MLW’s next special. Lawlor asked which one would get ‘his belt back’. Both Von Erichs wanted the shot but Ross let Marshall sin the contract. The match will take place on November 28th on MLW’s YouTube channel at 6 pm ET.
There was a video promoting the arrival of MLW’s women’s division in November.
Zeda Zhang was interviewed and will face Spider Lady next week, who is a mystery opponent under a mask.
Jimmy Havoc accepted Mance Warner’s challenger for a Falls Count Anywhere match. Havoc threatened to drink Warner’s blood.
Next, was a video promoting Muhammed Lawal coming to MLW and included highlights from his fights with Bellator. Lawal was shown sitting ringside at the Gilt Nightclub.
DAVEY BOY SMITH JR. VS TOM LAWLOR
Bocchini noted Lawlor’s contract status and Court Bauer’s tweet from the past week indicating he is leaving.
The beginning of the match featured the two grappling and Smith working for Lawlor’s arm and Lawlor making it to the rope. They cut to Lawal watching the match.
Smith exploded from underneath and mounted Lawlor before the break and returned to their feet. Lawlor wanted to strike, and Smith took him down and attacked the ankle.
Smith used a snap mare to take his back and threaten with a rear-naked choke that Lawlor escaped with a rope break.
The striking occurred with Smith dropping Lawlor after a huge chop. Smith rolled into position to apply the sharpshooter, Lawlor climbed toward the rope as Smith transitioned to a crossface but Lawlor was at the rope.
It escalated with a huge exchange of slaps ending with an eye poke to Smith and Lawlor continuing with a spinning heel kick. Lawlor applied a rear-naked choke as the announcers questioned if the eye poke was deliberate.
Smith broke the choke, went for the power slam, and it was countered with a knee to the back of Smith and got the pin.
WINNER: Tom Lawlor at 15:47
Smith was grabbing his eye after the match and the shot of his eye showed that was swollen.
Lawlor did an interview and noted his contract was due next month. He said maybe he’ll stay or maybe he’ll go back to the cage, get a little raw or lay a smack on somebody. Lawlor is the hottest commodity in MLW and the hottest thing in professional wrestling.
*Mance Warner vs. Jimmy Havoc in a Falls Count Anywhere match
*Zeda Zhang vs. Spider Lady
I enjoyed the main event a lot, it’s an acquired taste if you enjoy a grappling heavy match. If you do, these are two of the better guys able to apply and execute that type of match. Lawlor came off well at the end of the show and using his legitimate contract coming due as a story rather than hide from it. Smith was great in this match and it’s this type of match where you focus on all the little things he does, right down to crossing his legs on a cover to tie up the loose arm of Lawlor. The audience wasn’t going crazy for the main event, but they didn’t seem zoned out of it, either.
Muhammed Lawal was promoted as a major signing by the company and will clearly be a featured talent on the roster.
The Von Erichs are still green as personalities when given segments they need to carry by speaking. There is a natural charm to them and inherent charisma that the audience sees them as likable guys and they want to get behind them.
One of the best parts of this show is the wide array of personalities and styles that the name of the show pushes. You can see the confidence level and presence grow among people like Alex Hammerstone, Richard Holliday, and the Von Erichs by having that latitude and pushed as stars.