This past Friday was May 4th, prompting everyone and their mother to tell me “May the 4th be with you,” a clever little pun in reference to Star Wars. Well, on the May 4th edition of MLW Fusion, there were certainly of lot of STARS having a lot of WARS in the ring.
Yes, that was the best way I could think to start this column. My apologies.
My corny joke aside, there were certainly a lot of feuds being revved up this week. Let’s break it down.
The show starts in the arena. Jimmy Havoc comes down to the ring. We see footage of a brawl between Havoc and Joey Janela from Walemania. Havoc gets on the mic and calls Janela out. Janela comes out. The two men brawl into the crowd and to the back of the arena. That’s the last we see of them.
Low Ki comes out next in an outfit that says “I may be a contract killer, but I like to look professional.” A video package shows a previous incident that he had backstage with MVP. During the melee, Low Ki attacked an MLW matchmaker. Announcers Tony Schiavone and Rich Bocchini tell us Low Ki was suspended by MLW for the attack on the official. Back in the ring, Low Ki gets a mic and complains about the suspension. He says that his stable, Black Friday Management, always collects its debts and will collect its debt from MVP. MVP doesn’t like the sound of that and makes his way down to the ring, but his opponent for the night, Sami Callahan, comes from behind him. Oh God, he’s a got a bat! Oh, thank God, he’s only choking MVP with it, not trying to bash his eye out. The chaos is broken up and we go to the opening video package.
Schiavone and Bocchini welcome us and talk about the main event between MVP and Callihan.
Simon Gotch vs. ACH
“Filthy” Tom Lawlor comes out with Team Filthy, which includes the former Vaudevillain, Simon Gotch, and another man whose name is not acknowledged. Lawlor says that due to his injured left forearm, he cannot compete tonight against ACH, therefore Gotch will fight in his place.
ACH comes out next. The ref helps him spar before the bell rings. That’s something I’ve never seen before.
The two competitors start off with a collar and elbow tie up and some chain wrestling. Gotch gets ACH into a cross armbreaker but ACH escapes. Gotch breaks ACH down with a European uppercut, stomps, and kicks. He eventually traps ACH in a chinlock using his legs. ACH gets a rope break. Gotch locks in another rest hold but ACH elbows his way out of it. He comes back with chops but Gotch kicks him in the face. We go to commercial.
When we come back, Schiavone is talking about rope breaks. A rope break must have occurred during the commercial, but we don’t get that context. I’m not a fan of commercials during wrestling matches, but at least WWE will have its announcers tell you what happened while you were watching the 900th commercial promoting the show about 2Pac and Biggie.
Gotch throws ACH with a gutwrench suplex followed by some corner stomps. With the ref distracted, Lawlor chokes ACH with his left hand. The announcers speculate whether Lawlor’s left forearm injury is real. If history is any indicator, I would say “no” (see Orton, “Cowboy” Bob).
ACH gets control back by kicking Gotch’s leg out from under him and booting him with a basement single leg dropkick. Gotch stops an ACH attack, hits a sunset flip with a roll through, and kicks ACH. Gotch attempts a German suplex, but ACH rolls through, grabs Gotch’s legs, and gets the three count.
The rest of Team Filthy fly into the ring and beat up ACH. Lawlor uses his flip flops as weapons and Schiavone sells it like he’s using a steel chair. Team Filthy make their way to the top of the aisle where they’re interviewed by Andrea Ocampo. Gotch says that ACH is going to the ICU and Lawlor says he’s five million times better than the man his team just left lying in the ring.
Schiavone runs down the MLW Top 10 rankings. The list includes:
- Pentagon Jr.
- Jimmy Havoc
- Low Ki
- Tom Lawlor
- Sami Calligan
- Rey Fenix
- Jeff Cobb (Lucha Underground’s Matanza Cueto)
- Joey Janela
- Barrington Hughes
The champion that these 10 men are all after is, of course, Shane “Swerve” Strickland.
Speaking of Swerve, we get a video package in which the champ says he’s fighting for his kids. Hey, that’s what MVP said last week! They both can’t fight for their kids! One of them is going to have to be selfish and fight for themselves.
A commercial for the June 7 MLW TV taping airs. On that night, the first ever MLW Tag Team Champions will be crowned.
The show comes back with a promo package from Maxwell Jacob Friedman, who does the same 1% gimmick as EC3. In fact, he has a striking resemblance to Dixie’s nephew. MJF tells the home viewers that if the roles were reversed, they’d be like him, but unfortunately, they’re not. Schiavone calls him an “egotistical little jerk.” There’s something charming about Tony Schiavone getting angry. I can’t wait until the day that someone in MLW does something so egregious that Schiavone condemns them “straight to hell.”
Vandal Ortagun vs. “One Man Demolition Machine” Mike Parrow
Ortagun is a Turkish kickboxer while Parrow is just a big s—kicker. Ortagun gets a tiny bit of offense in here and there. However, Parrow just ends it with a barrage of power moves, including a fallaway slam into the corner, a gorilla press, a chokeslam, and finally a sit out powerbomb, which garners him the three count. During the match, Colonel Rob Parker came out to observe the 300-pound Parrow. With the match over, Parrow meets the Colonel in the aisle and they shake hands. It looks like Parker has another big hoss in his Stud Stable.
Andrea Ocampo is in the back with Salina de la Renta. De la Renta is distracted by something off camera, which turns out to be Shane Strickland. She tells Strickland not to get too comfortable with the World Heavyweight Title around his waist and then flashes the “Cero Miedo” hand sing.
Next up is a promo from Havoc. He tells Janela that whenever they fight, they bring out the best and worse in each other and Havoc learns something new about himself every time. Havoc proclaims himself the King and says that Janela will experience havoc the next time they step into the ring together. He threatens that Janela will bleed, so he better “bring a towel” because he’s going to lick all of the blood off of him. He licks his lips and I am officially uncomfortable.
Ocampo knocks on Team Filthy’s dressing room door and notifies Lawlor that MLW officials have proclaimed him healthy enough to compete next week against ACH. Lawlor gets indignant. Gotch tricks Ocampo into thinking he’ll talk to her outside but then slams the door on her.
We are shown a recap of Sami Callihan’s attack on MVP from the start of the show. Callihan cuts a promo in the back where he makes fun of MLW’s production (see, it’s not just me). He says he gets off on pissing people off and running their day. If that’s the case, then he must have been rock hard when he busted Eddie Edwards’ eye with the baseball bat. He makes fun of MVP’s redemption story and tells MVP that he’ll have to tell his son that he’s a failure. Man, this guy is a d—. He ends by saying he’ll be the MLW Champion.
Sami Callihan vs. MVP
While Callihan makes his way down to the ring, Schiavone and Bocchini wonder what kind of bat Callihan is using. With his baseball background, I trust Schiavone’s analysis when it comes to bats. If he ever goes into a soliloquy about lattes, my ears will be perked.
MVP doesn’t wait for his entrance as he storms the ring and goes right for Callihan. They brawl to the outside. MVP tries to chop Callihan but misses and chops the ring post instead. Callihan rams his head into the post and MVP collapses into a fan’s chair. Callihan orders the fans out of his way. He runs to the seated MVP and connects with a discus elbow. I really thought something more devastating was going to happen there. He runs at MVP again, but the former WWE US Champ, trips Callihan and sends him face first into the chair.
MVP throws Callihan back into the ring, but man from Anonymous, Ohio rolls to the outside. MVP follows and is met with Steven Seagal-like eye gouging from his opponent. Bocchini says they’re tied in the Top 10 rankings. Wait a sec…
Nope, not tied, Rich.
Callihan gets back in the ring and the ref starts a 20 count on MVP, who’s in pain on the outside.
After a commercial break, Callihan rips off MVP’s Breathe Right strip. That’s just too far. You can tell a man he’ll be a failure to his children, but you DON’T pull off his Breathe Right strip!
MVP gets the advantage with a delayed vertical suplex. Callihan sends MVP to the outside. He jumps off the apron for an attack but MVP catches him and slams him with an apron uranage. Both men are on the floor now and get back in right before the ref’s 20 count is over. They get to their feet and trade punches. MVP goes for a kick but Callihan punches him in the leg. He comes off the rope but is thrown with a release belly to belly suplex. MVP chops him in the throat, drives his knee into his face, and drops the Ballin’ Elbow. He covers with a fisherman suplex for two. He sits Callihan on the top rope and climbs to the second rope. Callihan slips down to the mat and tries to pull MVP down with a powerbomb but MVP holds on. Callihan goes between MVP’s legs and kicks his left ankle out from under him. He gets MVP on his shoulders and brings him down with a Samoan driver.
Callihan finds his bat in the corner and picks it up. The ref tries to take it away without success. MVP grabs the bat and the two men fight over it, which ends when MVP pushes Callihan into the ref. The mishap allows MVP to execute the Playmaker. However, with the ref incapacitated, a huge mystery man runs down to the ring and strikes MVP with a falling side slam. The ref comes to and Callihan covers, but only gets two. MVP makes one last stand with a fireman’s carry cutter and right hand to the mystery man. When he turns around, Callihan gives him a low blow, allowing him to execute the Cranial Contusion and grab the victory. He celebrates the win with the mystery man, who carries him out of the arena.
The announcers hype next week’s fights between Havoc and Janela and Lawlor and ACH.
In the back, Ocampo interviews Shane Strickland, who says he feels confident. He steps into his dressing room but finds something that stops him in his tracks. The camera enters the room and we see a shrine on the wall containing candles, skulls, and pictures of Strickland. The image of a skull is on the mirror, and the last image we see is of Strickland looking into the mirror. From the angle of the shot, Strickland’s face lines right up with the skull, as if Pentagon is sending the message that Strickland’s fate will be sure death. I’m sure he won’t kill him. I’m sure he just wants the title, right? Right???
Like I said at the start of this column, this week’s show built up a lot of feuds, including Havoc vs. Janela, Team Filthy vs. ACH, and MVP vs. Callihan. The chaotic atmosphere was established at the beginning of the show, and except for the squash match in the middle, it kept up until the end of the main event.
Mike Parrow was impressive in his big man role. If he becomes the new addition to Stud Stable, who knows how much power Colonel Parker can amass. Perhaps he can bring the big guy to the World Title; or maybe the big guy will have a hand in the Dirty Blondes becoming the first Tag Team Champions.
The build to the upcoming title match between Strickland and Pentagon is coming along nicely, with Pentagon now playing mind games with the champ. I’m excited to see what happens in the next few weeks.
Those are my thought for this week’s show.
Next week’s show will be on May the 11th.
I don’t have any jokes about that date.
Okay, see you then.