MLW Fusion Recap Episode 20: Tom Lawlor vs. Jake Hager

Previously on MLW Fusion: Team Filthy was able to beat the Dirty Blondes when Tom Lawlor outwitted Mike Parrow, Ricky Martinez made a debut and won easily and the Lucha Bros. defended their tag titles against ACH and Rich Swann.

Cold Open

We get a recap on the Team Filthy/Studd Stable feud. It has been building for weeks and Team Filthy seemed to get the upper hand at every turn except for when the Stable jumped Seth Petruzelli.

Vandal Ortagun vs. Teddy Hart

Teddy is well recieved from the crowd. He is cracking a bit of a smile and taking in the adulation. We all know how Teddy Hart matches go and how emotionless he is in the ring. This dude is coming out with tons of emotion though.

The story is that Teddy thinks MLW is against him because he is Canadian. Teddy is in complete control and does a crossface type move but pulls on Vandal’s hair instead of crossing the face. Then Teddy put a fishhook on Ortagun, pretty vicious. Teddy blatantly yells at the ref for screwing him over in the last match.

Teddy instantly hits his finisher but doesn’t even go for a pin. Now Teddy is doing is usual crazy moveset and finishes Ortagun off with a powerbomb into a back cracker for a quick win.

Simon Gotch Prize Fight Challenge

Simon Gotch vs. Angel Pierce

Simon says he will win his third match in a row. The rules are if you can last five minutes with Gotch you will be able to win $500.

Angel Pierce is presented as a boxer that is 21-0. It’s a work though because I went on boxrec and his name is no where to be found in the database. Angel has boxing gloves on though.. so this will be interesting.

Angel has a horrible boxing stance and horrible punches. We are told he is clearly a boxer but he is not. Gotch ended the match in under a minute. I’m a tad upset that MLW didn’t even try to get an actual boxer or try and teach this fake boxer how to properly stand or throw a punch. I’ll chalk it up to Team Filthy setting this up and not MLW so my hate can be transferred to Simon Gotch instead of the creative team.

Abyss cuts a promo about how he is excited to beat people to a bloody pulp in War Games. Holy shit though, War Games is next week.

Konnan video package with Low Ki narrating. Low Ki is best served as wrestling’s Morgan Freeman. Basically Low Ki is mad because Konnan took The Lucha Bros. from Salina De La Renta and Salina is frineds with Ki. Fenix vs. Low Ki for the MLW World Heavyweight Championship next week.

We also get a Mexican Death Match with Pentagon Jr. vs. L.A. Park.

Jimmy Yuta vs. Jason Cade

Jimmy/Wheeler Yuta has been making his mark across the nation as of late, even appearing on Dojo Pro. Jason Cade has also been building a bit of a name, mainly in Florida. He is feuding with the Fest Wrestling promotion as enemy number one and growing into his own character. This match is Team TBD explodes. Team TBD was Cade and Yuta and was also the first team to break up in new MLW.

Jason Cade has a strong entrance theme, probably one of the better ones of MLW. Jason Cade said he turned on Jimmy Yuta because he wants to join the Middleweight division. Jimmy Yuta is wrestling as the face but he is angry as hell and starts this match off with fists and dives. You can feel the animosity.

We find out that Yuta is a psychology major and that seems like one of the better degrees to get if you are entering wrestling. Jimmy loses his advantage when he goes for a springboard maneuver but Cade used the ref as a shield.

The crowd is split and pops pretty big for Jason Cade’s sliding bitchslap.

Cade is really putting on a showing out tonight. After putting on a bit of a choke on Yuta, the ref stops him and Cade yells back “why is that illegal?” Questioning the refs interpretation of the rules is a great heel move. Yuta seems to be outshone in this match.

Yuta fires up a bit and has such explosive offense that Cade can really do nothing to stop it.

By the way Rich Bochinni is back and Matt Striker is gone. No explanation. People gripe on WWE a lot but at least they tell us why the commentary team changes.

Yuta hits a move that Tony calls a sit-out powerbomb and Rich meekly corrects Tony that it is a Blue Thunder Bomb. Tony says he has to write it down because 15 years ago they didn’t have that! Love it.

Cade hits a burning hammer to take control and cuts this look to the non responsive crowd.

Yuta and Cade fought on the top rope and Jimmy hit a superplex. It was kind of a gross landing for Cade because not only did Jason land first. His rotation was more than it should have been and Jimmy pushed off the top rope horizontally with his legs that Cade landed directly on his tailbone. Ouch.

After a yay/boo spot Jimmy slaps Jason so hard that Cade gets knocked out. The ref throws the ‘X’ up and won’t let Yuta get close to Cade. Jason is rolled to the apron but no doctors come out. As the ref is checking on Jason, Rhett Giddins runs in the ring and takes Jimmy Yuta’s head off with a clothesline. Cade springs back to life and gets the pin for the win in one of the better matches MLW has had.

The Heart Foundation are trying to cut a promo when Kevin Sullivan shows up and Teddy Hart tries to fight him while Sullivan is complimenting Hart. Sullivan says to Davey, Pillman and Teddy “you’ve been blackballed by the industry because your families problems followed you.” Dave shocks the shit out of me when he says “Why are we talking about dead people here?” Pillman is trying to play peacemaker and Teddy tells him to pick a side because Brian Sr. picked a side a long time ago. Teddy is saying Kevin is a lousy piece of crap that didn’t do anything for the business. It’s hard to capture all this but it ends with Sullivan getting gang beat by the Hart Foundation. Please go seek this out, this is the most intense thing I have seen in so long. Like the best thing MLW has done I think. Brian Pillman Jr. is forced to choose and he breaks his god damn cane over Kevin Sullivan’s bloodied head. THIS WAS BRUTAL.

‘The Man That Rules The World’ Jake Hager vs. Tom Lawlor

This episode is already great. One of the most complete episodes of MLW I’ve ever seen. This is now the main event. This match has big shoes to fill.

This match starts with some wrestling. Jake gets out wrestled for a moment and takes control by reversing a rear naked choke by slamming Tom into the turnbuckle. This match is a pure wrestling match. It’s different from everything else we’ve seen tonight but it’s just as good.

After some exchanges and nearfalls the crowd is invested and clapping along. There hasn’t been a high spot but Hager did counter a 10 punch in the corner by throwing Lawlor over the top rope. I don’t know how long Tom has been wrestling but he does wrestling very well.

It’s hard to do any analyzing on this match because it’s a back and forth match with strikes, holds and basic wrestling moves. It’s done so well that it seems like a real fight. As real as a pro wrestling fight can get. The crowd is chanting “Let’s Go Filthy” which is great because its obivious Tom is a face. Except Team Filthy was a heel team earlier in the night. It helps the faction idea. Team Filthy is a team of fighters, alignment doesn’t matter.

Hager was able to hit his signature Vader Bomb but couldn’t capitalize because Lawlor is like a pitbull the later his matches go. Tom has begun to target the arm of Hager. Lawlor even tangles Hager’s arm in a chair and kick the hell out of Swaggers arm and the chair.

Hager is rolled into the ring and Lawlor is hitting an array of suplexes while trying to finish Hager off with a rear naked choke. Col. Robert Parker is yelling that it is a chokehold and that the ref needs to stop the hold. Lawlor has a slice on his back that presumably came from a chair, looks painful.

Hager reverses the rear naked choke into an ankle lock. Lawlor is able to get to the ropes but now Tom’s nursing his leg. Jake is writing in pain from the work done on his arm and Lawlor can barely stand. These men are giving it their all and are putting their bodies on the line for this win.

Hager starts unloading punches on Lawlor, to the point the ref is trying to pull Jake off. Jake pushes the ref away and Lawlor pokes the eye of Hager and follows that up with a crucifix style pin. Team Filthy swept Studd Stable and the crowd popped huge for that filthy move.

This was a fantastic hour of wrestling and I’m glad we experienced it together.

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