COMMENTATORS: Rich Bocchini & AJ Kirsch
Mance Warner and Jimmy Havoc end their longstanding blood feud in a No Rope Barbed Wire match this week on MLW Fusion, dubbed either “Last Tango in Texas” or “Last Tangle in Texas” depending on how you hear it. I heard it as both. Also on the show CONTRA Unit sets their sights on Davey Boy Smith Jr., triple threat tag team action, and MJF is real gross with Alicia Atout.
- MLW WORLD CHAMPION: “The Samoan Werewolf” Jacob Fatu
- MLW NATIONAL OPENWEIGHT CHAMPION: Alexander Hammerstone
- MLW WORLD MIDDLEWEIGHT CHAMPION: Myron Reed
- MLW WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS: The Von Erich Brothers (Ross & Marshall Von Erich)
- Injustice vs. Taurus & Low Rider vs. Drago & Puma King (***1/2)
- Low-Ki vs. Chandler Hopkins (***)
- NO ROPE BARBED WIRE MATCH: Mance Warner vs. Jimmy Havoc (****)
–AJ Kirsch opens the show in the ring, but is quickly interrupted by CONTRA Unit (Jacob Fatu, Josef Samael, & Simon Gotch). We get a “fan photo” of Gotch attacking Davey Boy Smith Jr. at a hockey rink earlier in the week for some context, Samael vows to make wrestling’s Camelot (The Hart Foundation) fall. Davey Boy Smith Jr. interrupts, and a “fan” comes out from the crowd to attack CONTRA. Smith joins in and the fan is revealed to be Brian Pillman Jr.! They clear the ring as Pillman’s music hits, the remaining Foundation standing tall.
-VIDEO: Injustice interrupts Konnan’s interview earlier in the day, asking who they got for Myron Reed. Konnan disrespects them back and says Drago. This match will take place for the Middleweight Title next week.
Drago & Puma King defeated Taurus & Low Rider and Injustice (Jordan Oliver & Kotto Brazil) via pinfall (7:29)
These three teams had themselves quite the scientific clinic, all headlocks and drop toeholds, which was surprising since-
Okay fine I’m f*cking with you, this match cut a quick pace and had all sorts of fun spots from all three teams. For my money Taurus was the MVP here, bodying his smaller foes with all manner of lariats and headbutts (because he’s a bull), but Oliver is up there with his tope into an Ace crusher on the floor. Myron Reed tried to interfere and got splashed for his troubles by Drago, building to next week’s match, then he and Puma King put Low Rider away for the victory. All around fun match that my old brain had trouble following here and there but I loved the energy. (***1/2)
-MLW.COM EXCLUSIVE: Davey Boy Smith Jr. reflects on his Opera Cup win backstage following his match with Brian Pillman Jr., saying he did it for the love of professional wrestling while also setting his sights on CONTRA and the World Championship in particular come 2020.
-CONTRA: Josef Samael cuts in and challenges Smith to meet Simon Gotch, a true scientific wrestler, in a no-rope no holds barred match which the only way to win is submission or knockout. So Bloodsport. They’re doing Bloodsport.
Low-Ki defeated Chandler Hopkins via KO (5:49)
Hopkins is from Texas and gets the home state pop, and also gets to shine in the opening minutes, taking Ki to task early. Ki is not to be f*cked with though and quickly wrestles control from Hopkins, hitting a mule kick that sends Hopkins halfway across the ring. Hopkins rebounds momentarily, hitting a rolling flatliner from the floor, but he misses a follow-up Shooting Star Press and Ki knocks him out cold with a rear-naked choke. Ki, ever the sportsman, shakes Hopkins’ hand after the match.
A more competitive match than I expected given Ki’s track record of knocking people out in seconds and the fact I’d never heard of Hopkins before, and it was all the better for it. Ki dominated but less so than usual, and Hopkins got to look strong in his MLW debut, losing only because he got too pretty with his offense. Hopkins apparently just returned from a stint in AAA and was recommended to MLW by Konnan, I’d be interested to see some of his work from south of the border. Another interesting note: Bocchini and Kirsch brought up the fact that King Mo called Low-Ki out by name in a previous promo, so we might be building to that. I’d like to see King Mo do SOMETHING in a wrestling ring for longer than a few seconds or in a tag team, so bring that on. (***)
-Davey Boy Smith Jr. accepts CONTRA’s challenge, tells Gotch to be ready.
–Alicia Atout is standing by with “Filthy” Tom Lawlor and Dominic Garrini. Garrini reminds Atout that he was hyped up before his debut and that he ended up getting overshadowed but now he’s part of Team Filthy Dojo and they’re going to collect limbs and checks. Lawlor announces that they have a new sponsor: Condom Depot. Cool?
-VIGNETTE: Erick Stevens is coming soon.
-FIGHTLAND CONTROL CENTER: Alexander Hammerstone vs. T-Hawk is announced, other matches hyped include Tom Lawlor vs. Killer Kross, Davey Boy Smith Jr. vs. Erick Stevens, and Jacob Fatu vs. CIMA. LA Park will also make his first appearance since Saturday Night SuperFight.
-SATURDAY NIGHT SUPERFIGHT CLIP: The Von Erich Brothers defeat The Dynasty to win the MLW World Tag Team Championship.
-Alicia Atout is standing by with MJF and Grogan (who?!?), a big ol’ boy who casts a shadow on the other two. MJF makes a lot of gross comments Atout’s way then vows to prove that Marshall Von Erich is “less than” in their match next week. He also says that he’s sick of Mance Warner and his bullsh*t and wants Ole Mancer to watch next week’s match closely.
-CLIP: Terry Funk vs. Steve Corino, MLW’s last no-rope barbed wire match held back in 2003. MLW needs to release all this old stuff on YouTube already, I missed out the first time.
-Alicia Atout is with Jimmy Havoc and Priscilla Kelly. They aren’t scared about tonight because they live for violence. Havoc wants to drink Mancer’s blood. Yummy.
-After a shot of the barbed wire being set up we go back to Alicia Atout who’s with The Von Erich Brothers. They both crush fruit to show what Marshall is going to do MJF’s head next week.
NO ROPE BARBED WIRE MATCH
Mance Warner defeated Jimmy Havoc [w/ Priscilla Kelly] via pinfall (10:35)
Havoc brings a barbed wire baseball bat while Warner brings a regular old chair. WAY TO STICK TO THE THEME, MANCER. As a precaution Bocchini and Kirsch have been given gloves in case they need to remove barbed wire from their commentary table.
Both weapon shots miss at the start, Havoc eats the wire first but gets the upper hand with a chain-covered right hand and a suplex into the barbs. Havoc gets a staple gun from Kelly, rips off Warner’s long-sleeve shirt, STAPLES IT TO HIS BACK, then RIPS IT OFF. Love it. Kelly then gives Havoc wire cutters, which he uses to break off a string of barbed wire, wrapping it around his head AND MOUTH. Naturally Ole Mancer starts pouring blood, Havoc curb stomps his skull into the mat but only gets a two-count. Mancer low-blows Havoc with the barbed wire baseball bat, Havoc responds by STAPLING LIL’ MANCER (AKA THE D*CK). Warner bends Havoc with a spinebuster on a pair of open chairs, Havoc kicks out of the pinfall attempt. Two ring boards get introduced, Havoc puts Warner through one with a Death Valley Driver in the corner, Warner puts Havoc through the other with a chokeslam. Kelly gives Havoc some powder, Warner knocks into Havoc’s own eyes, throws a chair at his skull, then hits a Piledriver on the other chair for the 1…2…3.
These two have been kicking the sh*t out of each other for awhile in MLW and this very much felt like the final match in their feud. If so this was a great way to go out; god help me but I loved the brutality of this one. They tore each other up, put each other through fake tables, and I’m surprised a kitchen sink didn’t get introduced. SO GOOD. PUT IT IN MY VEINS. Probably my favorite MLW match since I started watching. (****)
FINAL THOUGHTS: Great episode of MLW Fusion. All three matches slapped for various reasons and the side segments were pretty good as well, despite MJF being gross to Alicia Atout. I get that it’s heel heat but it’s also 2020 and stop it. Warner/Havoc is a bloody (HA HA HA LOL LOL LOL) good time, y’all. I always forget how much I missed sh*t like this until it happens.
- MATCH OF THE NIGHT: Mance Warner vs. Jimmy Havoc
- MOMENT OF THE NIGHT: Warner low-blows Havoc with a barbed wire bat, Havoc staples Warner’s dick in retaliation