MLW Fusion Recap Episode 40: Hart Foundation vs. Dirty Blondes, Rush vs. Shane Strickland

Last week on MLW Fusion: Dragon Lee and Rich Swann had a super mediocre match that the live crowd seemed to not enjoy. Rich may or may not have turned heel. Sami Callihan terrorized the backstage area threatening people with a hammer looking for Tom Lawlor. Tom tricked Sami, supposedly hit Callihan with said hammer and licked the blood off. Brian Pillman Jr. picked up the win over Tommy Dreamer in a Singapore cane match. Possibly the lowest energy show MLW has ever produced.

Cold Open

Shane Strickland is in the ring in front of that super dead crowd from last week. Shane is doing really good vocally with his heel work. He is condescending and cocky, runs down the locker room and the crowd. He is drawing some boo’s too. Before he can get much of a point across, Rush comes out.

Rush vs. Shane Strickland

  • Rush has an aura and a presence. He has swagger and a bit of badassery. The problem is, he didn’t sign with MLW. He recently signed with ROH after MLW supposedly offered him a six figure contract. So MLW was, at the time of the taping, priming Rush to be a main star going forward. But, like Janela, MJF, PCO and Brody King; Rush is another person featured prominently on MLW television to leave the company.
  • I’m not even going to get into the supposed “politics” MLW has been playing lately, but 2019 is no where near as harmonious as 2018.
  • This match is pretty back and forth with Shane commanding the beginning portions of the match to the ire of the crowd. Very few people are chanting and reacting, which is a shame. Really hurts the match and the show.
  • Shane has a leg hold on Rush for close to a minute. Some in the crowd are trying to cheer and clap, some others in the crowd are legit using their tablets!! This is really rough to watch. Shane and Rush are wrestling a match that has some story and intensity but looking at the crowds faces really sucks the enjoyment out of it. I think it’s because of how the seating is. Everyone is sitting down in theater seats. GILT nightclub was designed for fans to have more energy I feel.
  • Rush took Swerve outside of the ring threw some trash at Shane and got the crowd to wake up a bit. Rush kicked Shane on the bridge of the nose and did a ‘tranquillo’ pose to the delight of the crowd.
  • After a yay/boo strike battle, Rush starting laying in his offense a little stiffer.
  • What is with Mexican wrestlers and threatening the referee? It must be a spot that works South of the border. It happens in almost every match with a Lucha wrestler. Rush does it after a near fall and looks to the crowd for a reaction but they don’t react.
  • Rush has some amazing gear though. The blue and white color mix with the Ingobernable’s logo on the back of his trunks and the white bull skull on the kneepads.
  • I would talk about the match but Rush legit stopped wrestling to try and get fans to start a dueling chant. Everyone was really confused and so was the commentators. Tony and Rich are legit trying to make sense of what Rush is doing in the ring. Bless their souls.
  • The match ends with a sprint of nearfalls that the crowd doesn’t react to, not even the finish. After Rush gets the win the crowd stands up like they are all hyped for it..

And I’m Like… MLW NEEDS TO LEAVE THIS TOWN! I don’t know how long the taping went on but damn…. This crowd is deader than Kelsey’s nuts. A coffin on roller skates. This match was rough to watch and Rush’s inability to understand American crowds really shows.

The theme song now plays. Hell of a cold open. Rich and Tony run down tonight’s show, telling us Ricky Martinez is no longer suspended after breaking a champagne bottle over Kotto Brazil’s head at a nightclub.

Recap of the Callihan/Lawlor cat and mouse game.

Salina De La Renta cuts a promo on how shit Sami Callihan is. So now she is sending L.A. Park after Callihan. De La Renta says she wants Sami dead.

Ace Romero vs. Ariel Dominguez

  • Barrington Hughes is on commentary.
  • Acey Baby comes to the ring with a no nonsense attitude. Barrington Hughes is talking stuff on Ace. Hughes is confident in a victory if he were to ever face Romero.
  • I know this is a Hughes/Romero feud that is building, but I really hopes it ends in a tag team.
  • Ariel is attempting offense but it isn’t working. Dude is 200 pounds lighter than Romero. Acey wins.

And I’m Like… Acey and Barrington have a bit of a staredown. This is gonna probably happen at Superfight. It’s going to a be a damn spectacle.

Brian Pillman Jr. cuts a selfie promo on a rooftop playground. Pillman has a beard back. I don’t really get the point of the promo. Pillman wants to wrestle Tommy again. “Take it to the stars, take it to the moon, take it to your backyard of New York City.” Is a phrase that was said….. lol.

Low Ki gets asked about his 15 year undefeated streak. Low Ki says he is the greatest MLW champion of all time. He back on his anime shit again. It’s weird how MLW doesn’t start their show with that MLW graphic anymore that has Terry Funk and Dusty and all that.

Ricky Martinez w/ Salina De La Renta vs. Gringo Loco

  • Ricky comes out wearing Kotto’s eye patch because Martinez injured Brazil’s eye.
  • Gringo Loco comes out and we are shown a highlight package of all of his crazy moves. Dude has his hair cut up like it’s a Bigelow tattoo. Schiavone and Rich Bochini talk about what exactly a ‘based god’ is.
  • This match has high energy and the crowd is reacting more to this than they have the rest of the night.
  • Ricky swivels his hips with Loco’s head in between Martinez’ legs. Then Ricky humps Gringo’s head into the mat a bunch.
  • Rich and Tony are teasing this “big news” MLW is about to reveal. Spoiler, it is NOT a women’s division. This promotion about to be on their second year and have yet to have a decent women’s division. It’s almost comical at this point.
  • Gringo and Ricky are tearing the house down. Springboard cutters, top rope shit. Bunch of stuff that excites the crowd. The crowd is firmly behind Gringo too.
  • Loco goes for Spiral Tap but Salina pulls Ricky out of the way.
  • Ricky goes for his gut buster finisher but can’t quite get Gringo over his own head and Loco almost lands directly on Martinez’ neck. Crazy how Ricky’s finisher almost broke his own neck.

And I’m Like… This has to be the match of the night based strictly on crowd response. I’m amazed Martinez isn’t dead after hitting his finisher. This was a fun match and damn can Gringo Loco win a crowd over.

COL. ROBERT PARKER IS BACK!! He is hyping up the Dirty Blondes. Roberts says he “Wants to see some winnin'”.

Another Tom Lawlor selfie video. He cuts very good pro wrestling promo’s. It’s like mid-90’s pro wrestling promos. I mean just come up with a basic promo about winning a match and that’s it. He just does it really well.

MLW breaking news is…. MLW next Live special is February 2nd.

Dirty Blondes vs. Hart Foundation

  • Haven’t seen the Dirty Blondes in a while. Haven’t seen their belly buttons even longer.
  • It’s nice to see Davey Boy Smith back in MLW. At least they got him signed to a contract.
  • Leo Brian quickly gets beaten up by DBS. Davey tags Pillman Jr. in and Brian is able to continue the onslaught.
  • Brian gets the tag in pretty quickly and these guys are wrestling at a quick pace. Like they are fitting a 12 minute match in 7 minutes time.
  • The Hart Foundation are being positioned as the babyfaces. Brian is really getting worked over and double teamed.
  • The chinlocks by the Dirty Blondes are really lazy. There is no effort into making it look like they are even trying to add pressure. Need to watch some WCCW or Mid-South.
  • Davey gets tagged in and handles the Dirty Blondes by himself. Which, of course he would. Teddy needs to be the one teaming with Brian because Davey Boy Smith Jr. is the star in my eyes. He has all the tools and commands respect.
  • Davey even hits a superplex on a 300 pound dude for the win.

And I’m Like… That was a glorified squash match. Poor Dirty Blondes. Not much to say about that match. Really excited for this set of tapings to be done because for whatever reason it is not enjoyable.

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