YOUTUBE PREMIERE: February 22, 2020
COMMENTATORS: Rich Bocchini & AJ Kirsch
Revenge is at hand this week on Fusion as Ross Von Erich defends the honor of his family against “Filthy” Tom Lawlor in a Grudge Match deep in the heart of Von Erich Country.
- MLW WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT 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)
- Moonshine Mantell vs. Logan Creed
- Douglas James vs. Erick Stevens
- Dr. Dax vs. King Mo
- Ross Von Erich vs. Tom Lawlor
-VIDEO RECAP: Ross Von Erich challenges Jacob Fatu for the World Heavyweight Championship, Tom Lawlor turns on him (and the family) allowing Fatu to retain. Clip of Ross/Tom brawling around NYC, Lawlor escaping via subway train.
-Bocchini welcomes the home crowd and runs down tonight’s card.
-LAST WEEK: Mance Warner charms his way into the arena, cracks Alexander Hammerstone with a chair to prevent his interference in the Tag Team Title match.
–Moonshine Mantell is already in the ring for the opening contest. Real chef’s kiss of a name that is. His opponent, Logan Creed, makes his way out. Cut to pre-recorded comments from Creed, who says The Dynasty did not appreciate his services and that he’s not Gordon/Grogan, he’s LOGAN CREED. Cool. He was the security guard from last week that Mance Warner charmed, I guess. Looks like he’s had a change of heart and found some facepaint since then.
Moonshine Mantell vs. Logan Creed
Creed dwarfs Mantell, but Mantell ain’t scared as he comes at him with rights. Creed puts a stop to that with a shoulder tackle. Mantell with chops, Creed throws him into the corner and damn-near caves in his chest with an open hand slap. Mantell dodges a corner splash, Creed kicks him and throws him to the mat. Mantell fights out of a full nelson and connects with shoulders in the corner as well as forearms. Creed blocks a lariat and connects with a chokeslam backbreaker. Mantell bails to the apron, Creed boots him off and GODDAMN HE TAKES FLIGHT WITH A PLANCHA. Hell yeah! HELL F*CKING YEAH. Back in the ring Creed connects with a Power Bomb and covers for the 1…2…3.
Logan Creed defeated Moonshine Mantell via pinfall (3:29)
- I’ll admit that I’ve skipped my fair share of Fusion episodes so my memory of “Grogan” or whatever is limited to last week and a previous recap where I was confused about his presence during an MJF promo. Doesn’t matter because that plancha was all I needed to get on the Logan Creed bandwagon. I f*cking love when big dudes have hops, goes back to my obsession with Mike Awesome as a kid. I don’t know I’m sold on the ring gear/face paint of Creed, but he’s got a great asskicker aura to him so I’m sure I’ll get used to it in time. Also another round of applause for Moonshine Mantell and his kickass ring name/ability to make Creed look like a killer.
-LIFESTYLES OF THE RICH AND DYNASTIC: Alexander Hammerstone talks water with Gino Medina outside. Richard Holliday interrupts and chides Hammerstone for giving “Grogan” as a gift to The Dynasty now that “one Natty Light” was all it took to turn him against them. Holliday says Grogan had no dynatic qualities and would have been happier with a giant stump or another plane. Hammerstone says they can’t worry about it and need to focus on Mance Warner; he took their giant, they will take everything from it. This amps Holliday up and they walk off, yelling at Medina to put the soda down.
-VIDEO: Erick Stevens debuts TONIGHT.
-HYPE VIDEO: MLW Intimidation Games 2020 coming April 18th in Chicago. Welllll maybe not.
-HYPE VIDEO: MLW’s big tour dates through July. Wellllllll maybe not. I need to go to one of these Dallas shows eventually man, it’s like 20 minutes down the road from me.
-MLW goes through the Pro Wrestling Illustrated top ten contenders for Jacob Fatu’s MLW World Heavyweight Championship:
- Dominic Garrini
8. Jimmy Havoc
7. Richard Holliday
6. “Filthy” Tom Lawlor
5. Mance Warner
4. Brian Pillman Jr.
3. Myron Reed (World Middleweight Champion)
2. Alexander Hammerstone (National Openweight Champion)
1. Davey Boy Smith Jr. (2019 Opera Cup winner)
-EARLIER TODAY: Cameraman catches up with Erick Stevens, asks him what he’s up to in MLW. Stevens says he’s here to make an impact and to do so needs to challenge the biggest dog in the yard. Stevens identifies that man in MLW as Davey Boy Smith Jr.; says he’s wanted to wrestle him for years and thinks they will have a nice little fight.
Douglas James vs. Erick Stevens
Stevens backs James into the corner and facewashes him with his forearm for intimidation (games). James is unimpressed and some chain wrasslin’ breaks out. They reset, Stevens shoves James, James picks the ankle and slaps him around. Stevens backs James into the ropes, connects with a chop. James responds with an armdrag, ducks a clothesline and rolls him to the mat into a lateral press for a one-count. James continues using his speed, Steven dodges a couple of kicks and forces a reset, a look of surprise on his face. James chops Stevens, Stevens smiles and gets sent to the floor. James goes for a tope suicida, Stevens catches him and slams him on the apron. Stevens connects with a back elbow off an Irish whip for a two-count, drives an elbow right to the top of the head. Stevens slaps James, James gets fired up and slaps back. Stevens clubs James to one knee, James connects with a rana followed by hamstring kicks. Stevens catches another kick and drives him to the mat with a chokeslam for the 1…2…James gets a shoulder up. Stevens teases a surfboard but drives his kneecaps into the canvas instead as we go to commercial.
Back live James stuns Stevens and catches him with a high knee when he charges in the corner. Stevens catches one kick but gets dropped on his ass with a superkick, James follows up with a meteora for the 1…2…Stevens kicks out. James makes with a whole lot of kicks to the chest followed by a kick to the head and a hard forearm for the 1…2…Stevens kicks out. James charges, Stevens connects with a gutbuster followed by a corner lariat and a regular lariat. Stevens signals for the end and hits the Sarasota Screwdriver for the 1…2…3.
Erick Stevens defeated Douglas James via pinfall (8:32 shown)
- I’ll admit it, after weeks of hype I figured Stevens was going to roll into this one and completely dominate but instead we got us a competitive match full of some stiff ass shots. I dug it a lot, especially James who reminds me of Davey Richards (IN A GOOD WAY, SETTLE DOWN). The MLW commentary team trying to position James as a plucky underdog and Stevens as a killer brute was weird though; James is a f*cking KICKBOXER and Stevens didn’t seem all that especially tough so the story they wanted to tell did not resonate with me much. Still a good match and debut for Stevens, he and DBS Jr. are gonna have quite the grapplef*ck.
-JUST IN: Mance Warner runs into Alexander Hammerstone and Richard Holliday outside. They act like friends and walk off, Warner finds an old man knocked out and says they need to get help. Not sure who that is, they probably explained it and I zoned out for a second.
-CONTRA UNIT: Josef Samael says the global conquest is on its way, Jacob Fatu says CONTRA is here to f*ck up MLW’s new partnership with AAA.
-HYPE VIDEO: Killer Kross is still coming. Fall and pray?
-EARLIER TODAY: Cameraman catches up with “Filthy” Tom Lawlor as he arrives at the arena. Lawlor is not worried about Davey Boy Smith Jr. aligning himself with The Von Erichs, says Smith is going to lose worse than an eye if he trusts Ross & Marshall.
-TWO WEEKS AGO: Injustice costs Brian Pillman Jr. his World Heavyweight Championship match.
-VIDEO: Injustice (Myron Reed, Kotto Brazil, & Jordan Oliver) brag about costing Pillman the title match. At the end of the day they are going to get THEIR justice.
-VIDEO: Jimmy Havoc and Priscilla Kelly have sent in a message. Havoc is happy his war with Mance Warner is over as if it had continued one of them would have ended up dead. Havoc is okay with being beat, and now he and Kelly are going to regroup and see who is next on their list.
-WEEKS AGO: Low-Ki’s interview with Alicia Atout is interrupted by Dan Lambert and King Mo of American Top Team.
Dr. Dax (?) vs. King Mo [w/ Dan Lambert]
This is an open contract match; apparently a jobber dude from the 80s answered the call.
Dax attacks Mo from behind and connects with a whole lot of double chops. Mo tries to suplex him but Dax is MUCH bigger and fights him off. Mo slips out of Dax’s grasp and locks in a rear-naked choke forcing his opponent to tap.
King Mo defeated Dr. Dax via submission (1:10)
- I know it was only a minute and changed, but that sucked sh*t. King Mo has been training to be a pro wrestler for what feels like a decade at this point (I know it’s shorter than that) and still hasn’t had an actual competitive match. Either commit to this sh*t or don’t.
-NEXT WEEK: LA Park returns to team with his son to take on CONTRA Unit in a Lumberjack Match. Laredo Kid & Zenshi will also team up to take on Jordan Oliver & Kotto Brazil, and Mance Warner will have some words.
–”Filthy” Tom Lawlor makes his entrance for the main event, wearing a cowboy hat and swinging around a bullrope. His Mustache Guy corner man has a hobby horse, because Texas.
Ross Von Erich vs. “Filthy” Tom Lawlor [w/ Mustache Guy]
Von Erich immediately attacks Lawlor, peppering him with corner strikes so hard he almost loses his footing. Lawlor bails to the floor, Von Erich immediately hits him with a baseball slide and folds him out to send him into the steel post and guardrail. Von Erich drops Lawlor on the apron, Lawlor attacks and slams him back in the ring. Von Erich dodges an elbow and hits a slingshot senton for a two-count. Lawlor feigns an eye injury, Mustache Guy trips Von Erich behind the ref’s back and the Filthy One goes a stompin’. Von Erich blocks a suplex, Lawlor drives a series of knees into him and finally connects. Full mount right hands, shin choke. Lawlor chops Von Erich down and riles the crowd up, including a guy so vocal behind the commentary team that they bring him up specifically. Lawlor with kicks and right hands, running PK, Von Erich pops right back to his feet and launches into rights. Von Erich catches a kick, connects with a dropkick that sends the Filthy One into the corner. Von Erich follows up with a Yakuza Kick and delayed basement dropkick. Von Erich drags him to the center of the ring and delivers a brainbuster for the 1…2…Lawlor manages to kick out. Falcon Arrow from Von Erich for the 1…2…Lawlor gets his shoulder up. Mustache Guy hops the apron, Von Erich knocks him off and signals for the Claw, but in comes Dominic Garrini to interfere and cause a DQ.
Ross Von Erich defeated Tom Lawlor via DQ (7:04)
- I’ll always pop for two guys engaged in a blood feud immediately attacking each other as the bell rings. Such an easy thing to do to sell the match early that sometimes gets ignored by other companies. Match itself was a hard-hitting affair, Lawlor is an ex-MMA dude who actually bothered to learn how to wrestle, and I enjoyed it up until the DQ finish which I’m not surprised about just a little disappointed.
Marshall Von Erich runs in to defend his brother/tag team partner/lawyer/father. Ross tosses Garrini out, leaving Lawlor alone with the Von Erich Brothers but before they can get their ultimate revenge in comes Erick Stevens to help Team Filthy. Stevens and Garrini beat on The Von Erichs, Lawlor puts the cowboy hat on and beats them with a cowbell. Garrini puts a cowboy hat on as well and they take turns disrespecting the Texas flag. A trash can gets thrown in the ring, Stevens uses it on Marshall. Lawlor humps the Texas flag (FILTHY), Garrini rides the hobby horse. Officials try to break it up but get scared off, Stevens throws the Texas flag into the trash can and that’s the show.
- Now THAT’S how you get nuclear heat in Texas. Great segment to close the show, Stevens apparently aligning himself with Team Filthy. But again I’m not sure if MLW is sweetening the crowd OR their most vocal fans are off-camera because the fans on camera-side once again looked like they were barely reacting while Bocchini and Kirsch were scared a riot was going to break out. It’s that weird disconnect I keep getting from some of these matches. I loved the end segment altogether though, maybe we’ll get a War Chamber or something out of it.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Great ending to a decent episode of Fusion. Logan Creed looked f*cking fantastic and Erick Stevens made a splash in his MLW debut, adding some new-ish faces to the roster. I could’ve down without the King Mo stuff, but maybe Low-Ki will pull a good match out of him when they finally collide so I’m going to try and be optimistic.
- MATCH OF THE NIGHT: Ross Von Erich vs. Tom Lawlor
- MOMENT OF THE NIGHT: Logan Creed’s plancha on Moonshine Mantell, shades of Mike Awesome and felt like it came from outta NOWHERE. Hyped me UP.