MLW FUSION REPORT: Mance Warner vs. MJF – Loser Leaves MLW

The main event of MLW Fusion saw Mance Warner take on MJF in an Empty Arena match with the loser forced to leave the company, plus Douglas James vs Septimo Dragon & more.

MLW Fusion #104
April 4th, 2020
2300 Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

By: Davie Portman

Commentary Rich Bocchini and AJ Kirsch

Douglas James vs Septimo Dragon

The first match of the evening is a Cruiserweight style bout between Douglas James and Septimo Dragon (which means Seventh Dragon). There is an insert promo from Dragon as he is making his entrance where he puts over James as an awesome wrestler but he is about to face the best high flyer in the world.

The match starts with both men dodging each other’s kicks and Dragon starts showing off with flips and taunts. James hits a knee to the face of Dragon which sends him to the outside and follows up with an awesome looking Low-Pe Suicida. The speed he managed to get on this dive was very impressive. Dragon hits a Moonsault to the outside and a Superkick and follows up with a Suicide Dive of his own. Back in the ring James starts lighting up Dragon with kicks to the chest and gets him in a Crossface submission. Dragon escapes but walks right into a huge clothesline. Both wrestlers start trading chops, forearms and kicks and knock each other down with a roundhouse kick at the same time. We learn from commentary that Douglas James has been training with Timothy Thatcher, which he is demonstrating with the stiffness of his strikes. James goes for the Go To Sleep but it gets caught by Dragon who follows up with a nasty looking Piledriver for a two count. It did not look pretty. Dragon them misses a Double Stomp off the top rope, eats a knee to the face and gets hit with the Death Valley Driver into the corner. James follows up with a Guillotine Choke and taps out Septimo Dragon.

Douglas James defeats Septimo Dragon via Submission in 9 mins 59 secs

Davie’s Thoughts: I am unfamiliar with both these wrestlers but this was a fun opening match. Of the two, James definitely impressed me more and his Low-Pe Suicida looked beautiful however, his GTS not so much! Septimo Dragon was good but he lacked smoothness in his transitions and high flying. Some of the moves from both came across a little sloppy, especially the Piledriver, which looked dangerous (and not in a good way). That being said I still enjoyed the match and can definitely see potential in both men.

The Dynasty Plotting An Attack

We hear from the commentary team that there are rumors flying around MLW that the Dynasty are planning to injure Mance Warner before the “Loser Leaves MLW” Match against MJF later that evening.

Alicia Atout approaches Richard Holliday in the parking lot and questions him about these rumors. Holliday tells her that he hasn’t got time for this and takes a phone call before leaving.

Mance Warner Interview

We are shown a recap of Mance Warner’s MLW debut from February 2019.

Alicia Atout interviews Mance Warner about his upcoming match with MJF. Warner says that all the MLW fans are Mance’s fans however they aren’t going to be there tonight. He knows that MJF is planning on bringing his friends along so he might be bringing some friends of his own. Mance says that he is glad no one will be in the arena because the s**t he is going to do to MJF is stuff that he wouldn’t want his mama to see! Atout says that she is sure the Dynasty are going to infiltrate and interfere and what is his plans for this. “F**k em. That’s my plan.”

Davie’s Thoughts: As always, MLW did a great job in building up their main event for the evening. I’m not always a fan of swearing in a promo as a lot of the time I feel it is just unnecessary, however when used correctly can really help. The use of “f**k em”, I thought was great and really added to Mance’s no-care attitude! I liked it a lot and it got a laugh from me.

Last Week’s Attack on Brian Pillman Jr

We see a recap from last week’s episode of Fusion where Injustice attacked Brian Pillman Jr in the parking lot. We learn that Injustice have been suspended and fined $10,000.

MLW AAA Super Series Segments

There is a vignette for next week’s Inter-Promotional show between MLW and AAA showcasing all the talent we should expect to see. They are as follows:

Davey Boy Smith Jr

Hijo Del Vikingo

MJF or Mance Warner

Psycho Clown

LA Park

LA Park is backstage with his two sons as he calls out AAA’s Psycho Clown. He says that he is the best damn thing in pro wrestling and his sons are hungry for a fight. They challenge Psycho Clown to a three on three fight. One of the sons say “For you to even find someone that can even touch a hair on our masculine and powerful bodies will be difficult.”Look here Psycho Clown I am the best damn thing in pro wrestling and I also have my sons, who are hungry for a fight. They end by telling Psycho Clown to find quality people and not just “some a****les”.

We then learn that Alexander Hammerstone is set to defend his National Openweight Championship against Laredo Kid next week at Super Series.

Davie’s Thoughts: I’m really looking forward to this Inter-Promotional show. AAA is a company I have heard a lot about but have never really checked out much of their stuff. So this will be a good opportunity for me to see some of the talent they have to offer. LA Park’s segments continue to be one of my highlights every week on MLW TV. His overconfidence is charming and hilarious. Honestly, I don’t even mind if I don’t see him wrestle. I just want to see him and his sons cut a five-minute promo every week!

More Build For Tonight’s Main Event

Alicia Atout is outside The Dynasty’s locker room waiting for an interview with MJF, Holliday and Hammerstone come out and tell her that she is ruining their “pre-match ritual”. Holliday tells her that she hasn’t signed the agreement laid out by his father/lawyer and therefore she is not allowed to be there. They then shut the door on her as they are letting out their “rarified air”.

We then get a recap of MJF’s MLW debut from October 5th 2017 followed by a recap of him winning the World Middleweight Championship in July 2018.

Atout is then backstage with Savio Vega. Vega hypes up the Empty Arena match saying it is going to be dangerous. He calls MJF a coward and warns him because tonight Mance will take him down.

Pro Wrestling Insider’s MLW Top 10 Rankings

10. Low Ki

9. King MO

8. Mance Warner

7. MJF

6. Richard Holliday

5. Brian Pillman Jr

4. Tom Lawlor

3. Davey Boy Smith Jr

2. Myron Reed

1. Alexander Hammerstone

MLW World Heavyweight Champion: Jacob Fatu

Team Filthy and American Top Team

We get a recap of last week’s match between Low Ki and King Mo where Tom Lawlor attacked Low Ki and Dan Lambert threw in Low Ki’s towel for the win.

We learn that in two weeks a press conference will be held by Team FIlthy and American Top Team

The Dynasty Approach Mance Warner

Backstage Alexander Hammerstone and Richard Holliday approach Mance Warner with weapons. Savio Vega jumps them from behind to allow Mance Warner to take both men out.

This is followed by a recap of Mance Warner vs Jimmy Havoc in a Barbed Wire Match

The Von Erichs

The Von Erichs cut a promo from their homes. They say that they know this quarantine has got people down but hardships are an opportunity to show strength in your community. Their hardships are that Team Filthy are growing in numbers. They used to respect King Mo and Dan Lambert, however, since they joined Team Filthy they have lost that respect. They say that Team Filthy and the American Top Team lack tenacity, heart, viciousness, and aggression and that they are coming for them!

MJF Promo

MJF is backstage and cuts a fantastic promo. He says that he thinks Warner underestimates him as he thinks that he is just a spoiled brat that had everything handed to him. He tells a story of when he was at school he was attacked by a group of kids who threw quarters at him and called him “Jew-Boy”. MJF never forgot about the leader of that group and trained hard so that on the very last day of school he “knocked him the f**k out!” MJF then starts to scream that he is nuts and that he will prove that Mance Warner isn’t the only psychopath in MLW.

Davie’s thoughts: I thought that this was a fantastic promo. MJF found a lot of layers and color to it and his monologue of being bullied as a kid almost made me empathize with him. I really wish his wrestling could match up to his promo ability because I really think he is one of the best on the mic right now.

Killer Kross and Brian Pillman Jr Updates

We see a recap of the baseball bat shot to the back of Kross and learn that Kross has a fractured scapula and displacement of the acromioclavicular joint. Doctors recommend that he can have no contact for 180 days unless a waiver is signed. Kross offered to sign the waiver however his “Stamford, CT based employer” (WWE) will not allow the waiver to be signed.

We learn that Brian Pillman Jr has a fractured mandible and dislocated temporomandibular joint (broken jaw). The Philadelphia police are currently reviewing the video of the incident and it is unclear if Pillman will be pressing charges.

Mance Warner vs MJF (Empty Arena Match)

Loser Leaves MLW

This empty arena match isn’t like the ones we have been seeing on WWE and AEW. All the house lights are on and there seems to be crew setting up the arena as the match is going on. This gave the match a much more raw and gritty feel to it.

MJF spits his gum in Warner’s face and the two start brawling on the outside of the ring right away. This match has all the kind of plunder you would expect in a Falls Count Anywhere match. Warner launches a chair into the face of MJF. MJF tries to choke Warner with a rope. At one point Warner grabs some bolt cutters and tries to use them on MJF’s “manhood” but he manages to escape. MJF throws Warner into a load of set up folding chairs and goes for a pin and the referee has to pretty much swim through all these chairs to try and make the count. They then start brawling up into the bleachers. MJF attempts to throw Mance off the balcony but he escapes and tosses MJF down the bleachers. This spot caused the referee to say “Oh s**t Max, are you ok?!”. MJF punches a cameraman for no reason and commentary states that “He’s going to be fined for sure”. As this match is going on a member of the ring crew is casually smoking a cigarette and MJF grabs it from him and puts it out on Warner’s forehead. After this MJF attempts to order a taxi on his phone but Mance throws another chair at his head and cancels the order. Mance starts to focus on the wrist of MJF and bends it inside the scaffolding of a lighting tower. Back in the ring, MJF tries to get the advantage with a thumb to the eye but Mance comes back with a Pop-Up Headset followed by a huge lariat for the pinfall.

Mance Warner defeats MJF via Pinfall in 7 mins 48 secs

MJF must leave MLW

Davie’s Thoughts: Considering that this show only had two matches, I thought it was a great episode of Fusion and absolutely breezed by. MLW does such a fantastic job in building up their main events by using compelling interviews and interactions backstage. The use of the highlights of both Mance Warner and MJF’s career was a great idea as it made the stakes of the main event sink in more. I thought the updates on the status of both Killer Kross and Pillman Jr were effective and using the technical terms gave it more of a sports-like feel. Similarly with the talks of talents being fined and suspended gives you the feeling that there is some kind of athletic board behind MLW. I always enjoy it when Pro Wrestling tries to feel as sports-like as possible. A very fun episode of MLW and made extra special by another LA Park promo!