MLW Fusion Recap Episode 41: LA Park vs. Sami Callihan FALLS COUNT ANYWHERE

Last week on MLW Fusion: Shane Strickland opened the show in front of a dead crowd, Rush came out. They had a match that wasn’t clicking. Rush is now signed to ROH and Swerve sent out a tweet asking fans where he should go with a bunch of companies listed. MLW was not on that list. Ace Romero started a feud with Barrington Hughes. Gringo Loco was the most over performer on the whole show in his match against newly reinstated Ricky Martinez. The Dirty Blondes lost a glorified squash match against The Hart Foundation.

Disclaimer: I have almost been reviewing MLW for a year now. I’ve watched every show they have done this decade. MLW went from a promotion I was very excited to watch, to something that I have to force myself to watch. I don’t know what happened, but I really hope my interest turns back towards Fusion because sometimes this shit is hard to watch.

Cold Open

THE OPENING GRAPHIC IS BACK!! “Funk has a branding iron, fire in the eyes”. Which makes me again wish the MLW Classic episodes were a thing we could watch. What are the Extreme Horsemen all about?

This show is in memory of Dr. Rex Bacchus. A Florida wrestler who passed away from cancer. He had a match or two on MLW. RIP.

We now see how Sami Callihan has been attacking everyone Low Ki needed attacked. Callihan was a maniac for hire, but he wasn’t able to get the job done with Tom Lawlor. So now Salina and Low Ki are sending L.A. Park after Callihan for retribution.

Remember Stokely Hathaway? Most excited I got in a long time for a debuting star, and he was on maybe one episode…. WTF MLW?

Kotto Brazil vs. Vandal Ortagun

  • OH NO!!! They are still in that damn low energy place. This location kills all energy. The fans faces look bored during EVERYTHING! It would almost be better in an empty arena.
  • Kotto has an eye patch on because he is still recovering from Ricky Martinez’ champagne bottle attack.
  • Commentary trying to say that Kotto is hindered by the eye patch. Then Brazil hits three dives to the outside and the commentators retract their statement.
  • The crowd is actually reacting a bit. It’s audible but the fans visually don’t seem to be that into it. Kotto and Vandal are both Floridian talents, so the local fanbase should know them pretty well.
  • Vandal was able to turn the tide of the match and starts breaking down Kotto’s body parts. Working on the back and eye mainly.
  • The crowd has a few people yelling and making constant noise and it really helps the match. Ortagun is talking to the crowd and getting a bigger reaction than “international superstar” Rush did last week.
  • Kotto is able to get in the three german suplexes, made famous by Kurt Angle and Chris Benoit. Ortagun is stronger though and over powers the wily Kotto.
  • Brazil and Ortagun are doing a very, very good job right now.
  • There are a couple near falls that the crowd counts along to. I don’t know if these guys are this over, or if this match happened earlier in the taping. Either way, I am enjoying this match more than any match the past two weeks on MLW Fusion.
  • We even get a “tap, tap, tap” chant from the crowd during a transitional submission!
  • Kotto hits the sliced bread for the win.

And I’m Like… That’s the MLW that I’ve been looking for. Young upcoming talents with a fun crowd and great commentary. Martinez attacks after the match to boo’s from the crowd! This show is so much better when crowds react. Martinez stole Kotto’s eye patch. Which I believe he wore last week? Man whoever edits these shows together needs to learn about continuity.

We take a look at the feud for respect with Brian Pillman Jr. vs. Tommy Dreamer. Brian Pillman issued a challenge to Tommy in Philadelphia. So Tommy picks a mystery partner tag match. My guess is The Sandman or Sabu.

Barrington Hughes vs. Ace Romero

  • This feud started last week and the match is this week. This seems like a match that should be built over more than the course of seven days. Here we are though. Hopefully this leads to mutual respect and a tag team.
  • Both men have video game background lobby music for theme songs.
  • The ring is reinforced for this encounter. Over 800 pounds in the ring right now. The biggest match LITERALLY in MLW history.
  • This is a battle of two bulls. Neither men are falling.
  • Acey hits a shotgun dropkick on Hughes. The disparity in athleticism is obvious.
  • Col. Robert Parker shows up. Calls them fat. Says “I ain’t seen so much pork since my granddaddy’s bar-b-que.
  • Robert was building up to something, but then the Dirty Blondes just rush the ring. The announcer says “Ladies and Gentlemen, the referee now makes this a tag team bout”. WTF MLW!!!!!

And I’m Like… They start a feud, rush to the match, don’t even finish the match and already are in the next part of the storyline. WHAT IS THIS?!?!?! WWE doesn’t even rush shit this fast. Man this is a far cry from the last match and a tag team was what I wanted out of this. So maybe it’s on me? I get what I wanted but not the way I wanted so I don’t like it.

Dirty Blondes w/ Col. Robert Parker vs. Acey Romero and Barrington Hughes

  • When I watch Barrington do anything on his feet I feel like his legs will buckle.
  • There is over 1,000 pounds of man in the ring. Barrington and Acey hit simultaneous body slams and a double cover for the win.
  • Ace is trying to make a moment out of it. Giving a look at Barrington of mutual respect. Hughes wasn’t picking up on it. Then when they came face to face, we get a replay of the match. Cut back to a handshake between the two men.

And I’m Like… This was fast. Everything about it. Dirty Blondes are jokes at this point and the new team of Barrington and Acey. I don’t even know what to say. It felt like a month long video package in real time.

Mancer is coming to MLW. I am excited but I don’t think he signed a contract so who knows how long Mancer will be here. I don’t want to get too invested in him. I know Hammerstone signed a contract so I’m excited for that. Hopefully Mancer makes memories and doesn’t wind up like Stokely Hathaway.

MLW SAYS MJF IS COMING BACK!!! What the heck?!? So AEW signed talent can show up on MLW?! This just got me so excited.

Sami Callihan cuts a selfie video about how he is “sad” about Salina and Low Ki being mad at him. He really only helped them for money. Now that he messed up once he is on their shit list. He is taking out L.A. Park.

Low Ki is back on his anime bullshit

Falls Count Anywhere

Sami Callihan vs. L.A. Park

  • Sami throws a trashcan in the ring during his entrance. Sami’s theme song is the most different song going. Like a chopped and screwed spiritual.
  • L.A. Park’s entrance video of Day of the Dead people is really cool.
  • L.A. Park is coming out with a restaurant style chair. Those look to hurt.
  • Park gets a Mexican flag and prays to it before the match starts. Sami is slowly walking around the ring. Tries to get the fans to clap along but they don’t.
  • Sami tells the crowd that they are here for him, he is The Draw. L.A. Park just wants to fight.
  • Park tells Sami to open up his vest and take his chop. Sami does it and gives L.A. park a free shot. Park takes it and it brings Callihan to tears. Literally crying.
  • Callihan’s chest is bleeding after two chops. Park starts dancing.
  • We are now at the weapons portion of the match. This brawl won’t be telling much of a story. What’s funny is this Falls Count Anywhere match doesn’t seem much different than L.A. Park’s normal matches.
  • The front row of fans all leave their seats because this match is hot and heavy. The crowd is hot though and that really makes this match stand out.
  • Rich “This is a Falls Count Anywhere, could go anywhere in the building, anywhere in Miami”. Tony says “You mean they can even go on the stage there?” The stage is the entrance ramp! LOL.
  • These guys are all over the place, tearing the set apart. Fans a re scurrying away everywhere. The security team is trying to protect a lighting truss that could come crashing on the ring. Everyone looks terrified or like they are having the time of their life.
  • This match is all outrageous.
  • Big ups to the 10 year old kid on the front lines watching dudes take cookie sheets to the head. This will forever be etched in that young mans brain.
  • Poor fans, the men are fighting backstage and there is no footage for the fans it seems. These men are running around the building and in the street. You can hear random people talking and trying to get a sense of what is going on. Legit heard “GET THE FUCK BACK IN YOUR SEATS!”
  • Te ref gets taken out because he didn’t see Sami get thrown in the ring. This is utter chaos.
  • The ref is selling his leg and there is no ref coming out to help him. Ref can’t even stand. It’s gotta be a work. Ref couldn’t finish the three count because his leg hurt too bad…. got damn it.
  • It sucks how often the refs suck. Park hits the ref with a cookie sheet. Callihan goes for a pin and the ref is fine enough for a two count but then sells again. THIS HAS HAPPENED ALREADY IN THIS DANG VENUE! WTF MLW?
  • The crowd died a bit after that.
  • L.A. Park speared Sami through a bunch of restaurant chairs and that was the finish. The ref was able to count that.

And I’m Like… I thoroughly enjoyed this until that ref bit. No need for the “unable to count the three” that undid a lot of good will. This match was bonkers and memorable. Great work to all involved except that ref.

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