MLW FUSION REPORT: “The Restart”

John Siino reviews MLW Fusion's first show in 7 months featuring Jacob Fatu defending the MLW World Championship against Davey Boy Smith Jr.

MLW FUSION REPORT: "The Restart"
Photo Courtesy: MLW

MLW Fusion #110 – The Restart
November 18th, 2020

By: John Siino

Commentary: Rich Bocchini & Jared St. Laurent

The Restart

Show starts with a history of MLW video package set to “Lord Knows/Fighting Stronger” by Meek Mill, Jhene Aiko & Ludwig Goransson that opens up with Joey Styles speaking on Major League Wrestling. They show Tom Lawlor defeating Low Ki for the MLW World Heavyweight Title at MLW Superfight (9/2/2019) as well their rematch at Intimidation Games (3/2/2019) in a Steel Cage and Contra Unit disrupting the match. They show highlights from The Von Erichs, Alexander Hammerstone, Davey Boy Smith Jr. and more as well as the Contra Unit wreaking havoc on MLW, culminating in them taking over MLW Headquarters until the rest of the MLW roster return to take it back, resulting in The Restart.

Alexander Hammerstone vs. Jason Dugan

Hammerstone is the MLW National Openweight Champion, but this match is a non-title match. Hammerstone immediately hits a clothesline and the Nightmare Pendulum, puts his foot on Dugan’s chest and poses for the squash win.

Winner: Alexander Hammerstone by pinfall in 20 seconds

Siino Vision: They announced the show as from an undisclosed location that looks a lot like the Melrose Ballroom in Queens, New York as I have been there multiple times. Zero fans and limited outside personnel. There is piped in fan noise but it’s not over the top or distracting. The outside of the ring where the fans would be is closed off by drapes. As far as the match goes, obviously just a way to keep Hammerstone in everybody’s mind as dominant as he tries to go for the World Title from Jacob Fatu.

Hammerstone gets on the microphone and says “How long are we going to do this? How long does he have to be #1 in the rankings until he gets what’s coming my way? All of 2020, top 10, but at the peak of that list is your boy, Hammer. Fatu, it’s time to stop running, it’s time to give the people the fight that they want to see. I’m waiting on you.” St. Laurent mentions he’s been ranked #1 for 16 months.

#Injustice for Pillman

We go to a promo from Myron Reed; “With the Restart being right around the corner, the World Middleweight Champion has goals. Goals that need to be accomplished. Right now, I got a small roadblock right in front of me, and that roadblock is Brian Pillman Jr. You’re a phony, we are building our legacy for the next generation. We are not riding the coattails of our pappy’s generation.” As Jordan Oliver is behind him backing him up. We go to Pillman who says “You want to assault me? You want to jump me and play the numbers game? It’s going down”. As they show Pillman getting attacked by Reed as well as Pillman getting some revenge with chair shots to both Reed & Oliver. They attempt to go to this match and play Pillman’s music twice and Pillman does not come out. Bocchini says he’s been told that Pillman does not want to make his way down to the ring.

Lio Rush is Coming

They air a countdown and show that Lio Rush is coming soon. I am selfishly happy that Rush decided to not retire as I’m sure there is so much for him to show the world, and hopefully in MLW he will keep that love for wrestling he was yearning for.

MLW World Middleweight Championship: Myron Reed (c) w/ Jordan Oliver vs. Brian Pillman Jr.

Pillman finally does come to the ring and as he does, we see his entrance being ‘hacked’ by the Contra Unit. Pillman starts the match hot, taking Reed to the outside where they start clobbering each other until Pillman for whatever reason chops Reed right in his chest protector which Reed laughs off. As Pillman is still outside checking on his hand, Reed hits a suicide dive. They continue to brawl as Bocchini reminds us MLW has a 20-count rule. Inside, Pillman says ‘Bitch’ as he tries to suplex Reed but gets reversed for a small package for barely a 1 count. Reed is being overtaken, as Pillman is able to apply a Surfboard on him and pulls on his chest protector for leverage. Reed has a bit of a comeback and eventually takes off his chest protector which results in them hitting a double cross-body and both being taken down until Reed gets up first. After Pillman hits a cross-body from the top rope, you can see that his lower back has been cut open. Pillman attempts a running knee to Reed in the corner, but Reed is able to place his chest protector in the corner and move out of the way as Pillman goes knee first into it. Reed takes advantage and hits Captain Crunch for the win.

Winner: Myron Reed retains by pinfall at 11:17

Siino Vision: Hot match in what I consider the true opener to the Restart, and a creative finish that I’m sure D’Lo Brown is kicking himself for never trying. I have been seeing a bunch from Pillman on AEW Dark with Griff Garrison, but I feel like he feels more at home here on MLW. Reed continues to impress and I’m happy to see him back here after a quick stint over the summer in GCW.

Reed and Oliver are backstage as Reed says “I’ve been telling people for a long time, stop sleeping on the young GOAT. I heard Lio is here in MLW. You already know what I want. I want to prove myself against the best, I want to beat the best. Lio, I want you next. Rush vs. Reed”

Los Parks Live in Monterrey, Mexico

Los Parks are seen in a gym and say, “Now that MLW is about to start its operations, thanks to us aiding in the recovery of the offices of MLW, it’s time to get back to business!” We are going to finish and humiliate all of Contra and their soldiers. Once done, Los Parks start their quest to be MLW Champions. We want our opportunity. Whether it’s the tag team titles or a singles title. Whatever it is we want to fight for the titles! We got your back and helped take back the MLW offices. Now we will go against everyone and everyone. We want the belts!”

Contra Unit Interruption

Right as Rich Bocchini is about to cut to the Opera Cup brackets being revealed, it gets hacked by the Contra Unit. Josef Samael starts with; “Tonight, Major League Wrestling celebrates the Restart. A night full of festivities and joy. And while you infidels rejoice, be aware. Be aware of the silence in the shadows. This is where I am tonight, far far away, in the badlands of Tunisia. Ready for the next stage of this war. You see, while I’m out here preparing soldiers, Jacob Fatu is awaiting his next victim; Davey Boy Smith Jr.” We cut to Fatu; “MLW saying they reloaded, huh? Saying it’s a Restart, thing? Fuck, Contra ain’t never stop! I broke that British Poodle, Davey Boy Smith down, Contra been running the game in MLW for half a year. Davey Boy’s back and wants war? I’ll dog walk his ass again, break his back two times and cripple that Poodle for good! This ain’t the Restart, it’s the Pain Game!” Samael: “Tonight, the Bulldog will be broken. Tonight, Jacob Fatu will raise our flag in victory and tonight the Black Hand of Contra will put you in a death grip. Hail Contra!”

It Was Salina!

It is revealed that Konnan uncovered that the reason Contra Unit keeps breaking into the show is because Contra was paying off Salina de la Renta to gain access to arenas and production feeds. Konnan asks “How is Contra able to get my security with MLW ID’s and take over MLW headquarters in New York? Surely, Josef Samael couldn’t have done this himself. He had to have an inside man to help him with half the shit he got away with. It wasn’t a man, it was you Salina, wasn’t it?” They announce that Salina’s manager and promoter license has been revoked and she’s been fined a significant sum of money. Salina is threatening a lawsuit and will be here next week with a statement.

2020 Opera Cup Brackets Revealed

– Tom Lawlor vs. Rocky Romero

– Laredo Kid vs. ACH

– Low Ki vs. Davey Boy Smith Jr.

– Richard Holliday vs. TJP

Alternates: Gino Medina, Jordan Oliver, Hijo de L.A. Park, King Mo, Dominic Garrini & Daga (AAA)

Meet Mr. Destiny

Alicia Atout is backstage with Davey Boy Smith Jr. and asks how his training has been going for his title match with Fatu. He says training has been great, but it’s been rough and tough. He’s been training with Josh Barnett in Los Angeles, Kazushi Sakuraba and Tiger Mask Satoru Sayama in Japan. He’s 100% physically and mentally and it’s the biggest fight of his career. 16 years ago when he first debuted in MLW and he was doing his doing his chemistry homework on the airplane as a 18-year old high school kid, the only thing that he was focused on was making a huge splash in MLW and making sure him and TJ Wilson (the Stampede Bulldogs) made a huge impact in MLW. Fast forward 16 years later, all the blood, all the sweat, all the tears that he’s endured over the years. It all comes down to one night. The MLW World Title is his destiny, and when you step into the ring with him, meet Mr. Destiny himself.

Heavyweight Hustle

Calvin Tankman arrives next week. A real stand out in GCW for me, so I can not wait to see what he brings to the table.

Stranded in the Caribbean

Richard Holiday is seen by a beach side and says you would he would be enjoying this but he’s not. He’s stuck there in the Caribbean because of Alicia Atout. He said he tried to get her stranded at the Canadian border, and she must have something to do with this. And now he can’t be there for the MLW Restart. He said it’s a shame because he’s the MLW/IWA Caribbean Champion and he should be there. How could they do the restart with him?

The Von Erichs Tell a Story

Kevin Von Erich is shown in Hawaii with his sons Marshall and Ross. Kevin begins to tell a story on how MLW was almost World Class Wrestling. He says he has good ties with MLW because Court Bauer was Gary Hart’s protégé. Marshall says that’s divine, you worked with Gary and now they are working with Court. Ross says that is the past, this is the present, so Kevin tells them to get to work as they go back to their routines.

They announce that MLW Fusion will be on Thanksgiving next week with the first round of the Opera Cup.

MLW World Heavyweight Championship: Jacob Fatu (c) vs. Davey Boy Smith Jr.

Fatu comes out solo for this match looking a bit slimmer than I last remember him. They stare each other down to start the match. They challenge each other to take each other down, until Smith finally does with a power slam. Smith takes down Fatu with headbutts but feels the repercussions of trying to butt heads with a Samoan. Smith is showing his back is still an issue from when Fatu broke it. Fatu knows it as well as he drives thumbs and headbutts to it as well as Irish whips to the turnbuckles. Fatu attemps a Torture Rack to damage Smith’s back, but Smith gets out with a fishhook to the mouth of Fatu. Fatu gets on the top rope, but Smith grabs him and attempts a power slam but his back gives out. Fatu hits a Samoan Drop followed by a Moonsault for the pin.

Winner: Jacob Fatu retains by pinfall at 10:22

Siino Vision: I expected this match to be a bit longer being the main event of their return, but it made sense with Smith’s back injury being played up. They can tell the story well for the eventual rematch down the line. Fatu looks much quicker and agile now, and with his beast force that makes the Champion even scarier.

The Black Hand of Contra

Fatu gets on the mic and says “That’s it, MLW? That’s all you got. Keep ‘em coming. Contra Unit has been running this since we touched down. It’s a concrete jungle. Who the hell is next? Who’s going to take the Black Flag? We run this. Hammerstone, your bitch ass don’t want none of this. You better get right, Hail Contra!” Alexander Hammerstone answers the call but before he can come to the ring he is attacked by Contra Unit henchmen in black masks that Hammerstone easily takes out, but there is a giant masked bald henchman that comes out and takes out Hammerstone twice with a chair before choke slamming him on the apron. They refer to this man as the Black Hand of Contra. We do see very quick graphics for the Contra Unit and the Black Hand with the name ‘Mads Krugger’, possibly revealing his identity.

Overall, this was a solid return for MLW with a lot of different stories being told and a lot of loose ends that still need to be resolved and have kept me hooked and intrigued for these coming weeks. MLW did a great job while being off air by regularly keeping the storylines going with their Pulp Fusion segments on their YouTube, that if you followed would keep up with all the development that was going on, and the whole Contra Unit taken over until the HQ was rescued was a interesting story to keep tabs on. Excited for the debuts of Lio Rush and Calvin Tankman, as well as the return of the Opera Cup, as I was there in attendance for last years and the entire presentation of it was well done. The mystery of the Black Hand is another great hook, as there is a pool of talent out there that I would love to see in MLW. Let the guesses begin.

8 Black Hands out of 10