The MLW Fusion Report: June 15, 2018

The Midnight Express. The Rock and Roll Express. The Road Warriors. Deuce and Domino. At one time or another, these were tag team champions, and on this week’s episode of MLW Fusion, one duo will join the ranks of championship teams that tag each other in.

One of the teams competing for such a distinction is The Dirty Blondes, who open the show with the rest of Stud Stable. Colonel Rob Parker is having a strategy meeting for the Tag Team Championship match. There’s a picture behind him of a ring with north, south, east, and west marked on each side of it. I love the Stud Stable. Those were five words I never thought I would say back in 1995 watching WCW Saturday Night.

After the title sequence, Rich Bocchini and Tony Schiavone welcome us. They run down the night’s card and announce MLW Battle Riot, which will take place in New York City on July 19 (yours truly will be there).

They play a video from MLW.com of Heavyweight Champion Shane “Swerve” Strickland talking about how he’s not worried about the $20,000 bounty that Salina de la Renta has placed on his head. Out from behind him comes Brody King, who beats Swerve down in his attempt to earn the bounty.

After that, we go to Casey Lennox, who’s backstage with MVP. He says his opponent for the first match, Maxwell J. Friedman, is going to “reform school.” He moves on to Sami Callihan and states that whenever he and Callihan meet, it’s bloody and painful. I know where he’s coming from. It’s always painful when I have to see Sami Callihan on my TV.

MVP vs. Maxwell J. Friedman

Ring announcer Tim Barr informs us that Friedman has a “summer residence” in Southampton, NY, kind of like the Million Dollar Man back in his heyday. Unfortunately, the chyron lists Friedman as being from “South Hamptons.” Seriously, production team, double check that you spell the towns right.

Friedman cuts a promo where he runs down MVP. Apparently, one of MVP’s nicknames is the “Ronin” (which according to Wikipedia is a samurai without lord or master during the feudal period of Japan). Friedman calls MVP a “jabronin’ ronin.” Um…okay.

MVP comes out next. The match isn’t anything special. Towards the end, Friedman mocks the Ballin’ Elbow, but MVP gets his knees up and blocks the move. He throws Friedman with a release overhead belly to belly suplex followed by his own Ballin’ Elbow. He hits the Playmaker before Callihan and his army try to interfere. MVP takes each man out and then planchas to the outside on Callihan and Leon Scott. When he tries to get back in the ring, Friedman kicks the second rope into his balls, stacks him up (with feet on the ropes for leverage) and gets the 1-2-3.

Schiavone hypes Battle Riot and explains the rules. There are 40 men. A new man enters every minute. Eliminations occur by pinfall, submission, or by throwing an opponent over the top rope and to the floor. There are no disqualifications. Some of the men announced are Jake Hager, Barrington Hughes, Jimmy Yuta, and Pentagon, Jr. MLW has announced some other participants on Twitter, including John Morrison and the freakin’ “Taskmaster” Kevin Sullivan! I am very much looking forward to this.

Casey Lennox is backstage with Barrington Hughes. She asks for his thoughts on de la Renta’s bounty and Brody King’s attack on Swerve. Hughes asks Lennox how she’d feel if she saw one of her own friends going through what Swerve’s going through and proclaims that de la Renta is a terrible human.

TBD, another team in the Tag Team Championship match, cut a promo. Jimmy Yuta speaks but is interrupted by Jason Cade, who says he’s the captain of the team. Furthermore, he’s going to lead them to victory because they’re the best duo.

Simon Gotch Prize Fight Challenge

Team Filthy come out in their usual conga line, which I find pretty funny. Gotch lays down the challenge for someone to get his “filthy money.” He says “filthy money” like an evil villain, which makes sense because he was a Vaudevillain.

This week, Mike Parrow of Stud Stable answers Gotch’s $250 challenge. Parrow dominates in the beginning, shoulder tackling Gotch to the outside. After some scuffling on the floor, the match heads back into the ring. Parrow goes for a chokeslam but Gotch reverses it into a leg submission. Parrow makes it to the ropes, but while he tries to pull himself up to his feet, Tom Lawlor hits Parrow with a foreign object (Gotch was distracting the ref). Gotch gets the pin and keeps his $250. The Dirty Blondes come out and chase Team Filthy off.

Brody King cuts a promo where he tells Swerve that he left him laid out in the parking lot and challenges him to a match next week.

They show the footage of King’s attack again while Schiavone interviews MLW CEO Court Bauer, who is calling from Swerve’s home. He doesn’t want to sanction a match between King and Swerve, but Swerve wants the match, so he’s going to give it to him.

Anything Goes Elimination Match for the MLW Tag Team Championship: The Dirty Blondes (Michael Patrick and Leo Brien) vs. Team TBD (Jimmy Yuta and Jason Cade) vs. Lucha Brothers (Pentagon, Jr. and Rey Fenix)

All three teams enter the ring before the classic ring introductions. I like when wrestling promotions do this. It makes the match feel bigger.

It’s clear by the response that each team gets from the crowd that Lucha Brothers are the favorites, and who could blame them? These guys are awesome.

Everybody is fighting at the same time. THANK YOU. If this were WWE, we might be subject to people having to tag in and out- in an anything goes match. Or we might have two guys in the ring at a time and have the possibility of two partners having to face each other. In a match like this, having all the guys fight at one time makes the most sense and makes for a better match anyway.

The match started with Yuta getting superkicked by Fenix while Yuta was distracted by Pentagon’s “Cero Miedo” taunt. From there, the action never lets up. There’s all sorts of dives in the beginning, even a senton off the apron by Michael Patrick.

The Blondes are the first team eliminated after a flying elbow drop from Yuta and a top rope splash by Cade.

The match kicks in to an even higher gear. At one point, Team TBD are both trapped in the corner (Cade on his butt, Yuta in the tree of woe) and Fenix monkey flips Pentagon into both of them.

TBD comes back and looks like they are on the verge of victory when Yuta German suplexes Fenix. However, Cade is showboating and not paying attention to Pentagon, who breaks up the pin.

Fenix makes a big save late in the match as Yuta hits a Samoan driver on Pentagon and goes for the pin, only two be broken up by a springboard dropkick that earns a “this is awesome” chant.

Cade and Pentagon fight in the center of the ring. Cade goes for a handspring codebreaker but Pentagon dropkicks him mid-spring. What a spot!

A funny verbal botch takes place when Cade has Pentagon in a fireman’s carry and yells “Cero Mero, huh?” Good for Marc Mero. Finally, he’s getting some respect.

Cade finally gets the handspring codebreaker on Pentagon and then sends him to the outside, where he executes a suicide dive.

The Brothers get the upper hand and go for a superkick/Fear Factor combination, which I thought was the end but only garners a two count.

Cade and Yuta come back. They try to finish the match with the flying elbow/splash combination on Fenix, but he kicks out. Then, the seeds of dissension in TBD are sown even further. Yuta holds Fenix in a full nelson. Cade goes to hit Fenix, but Fenix escapes Yuta’s clutches and Cade ends up hitting his partner, calling him “stupid” after the mishap.

The Brothers take advantage and send Cade to the outside. Yuta is impaled on the mat by a double stomp spike Pentagon Driver. Pentagon gets the three count, and Lucha Brothers are the first MLW Tag Team Champions.

The celebration begins as the Brothers’ manager, Salina de la Renta, brings in a bottle of Patrón for each man. They start pouring it into their mouths before Pentagon graciously gives fans in the front row a sip. I love this team and everything about them.

The match between Strickland and King is announced for next week and we’re done.

Final Thoughts:

  • I still can’t believe I thought MVP was going to be a world champion ten years ago. What a shame. I wonder why he fell out of favor with WWE. Regardless, I’m still glad to see him doing his thing.
  • I was shocked by how easily Parrow was beaten by Gotch. I mean, it did take interference to do it, but I just thought Parrow was going to dominate and collect the $250. I wonder where this is all leading to. Havoc and Lawlor are in the middle of a feud right now. Are we also going to start seeing faction warfare between Team Filthy and Stud Stable?
  • For a guy who calls himself the Caramel Colossus, Hughes talks like a normal guy. I thought he would be some kind of character like Mark Henry back in the “Sexual Chocolate” days. Right now, I don’t see him anything more than Swerve’s obese friend.
  • What can I say about the tag match? You just have to watch it. Nothing I write can do it justice. I remember thinking a while back that The Blondes would be the first champs, but once Lucha Brothers were announced, I should have just gone with my gut. Fenix and Pentagon are the two best wrestlers in MLW right now.
  • Rich Bocchini was really good on commentary during the main event. He sounded invested in who would become the first champs and brought even more drama to the match.

That’s it for this week. Follow me on Twitter (@CliffofDoom). I have to go mow my lawn now. Have a good one!