MLW Fusion Recap Episode 50: LA Park vs. Mance Warner – DEATH MATCH

Last week on MLW Fusion: I enjoyed the episode so much, that I had my co-workers watch it during work. I am a kitchen manager and we have a few Mexican cooks. They don’t get to watch lucha much on their televisions, and MLW is kind of tilted towards a Mexican fan base. With El Hijo De LA Park wrestling Puma King, and then the craziness that Contra Unit unloaded, plus Teddy Hart puking from pain, that was more than enough to garner reactions from first time watchers. I got a text this weekend asking about the LA Park deathmatch. So at least we know that MLW knows it’s demographic and are really delivering.

Cold Open

Teddy Hart had the cops called on him for vandalism. So before Teddy left the arena, he gave Davey Boy Smith Jr. A kilo of coke, stacks of money and some jewelry. Then he surrendered to police while threatening MJF. It’s a weird arrest though because like, we didn’t see any cops, and they just allowed Teddy to pass all the crap to Davey. Brian Pillman Jr. yelled “Snitches get stitches”.

And I’m Like… The crowd cheers the drug dealers and boos the rich guys who got money legally from their parents. It’s all in the attitude not in the actions. That was cheesy, but Brian Pillman’s over reacting and selling really made it where it was fun.

Myron Reed vs. Gringo Loco

  • Myron comes out with tape over his mouth that says “Free Swann” because Rich Swann was suspended for pushing a referee and an announcer. Even though Low Ki has stabbed fuckers, Konnan has attacked dudes with padlock socks and Hart Dynasty beat an old man to near death. Rich gets suspended for pushing someone and showing a “bad attitude”. I think I’m supposed to boo Myron and Swann but, like, they are totally in the right here. Especially with how lax the referee’s are on weapon use and interference. There is no consistency in the officiating.
  • Gringo Loco going by the nickname “The Base God” is tremendous. It’s both a wrestling term and slang for something else. With Teddy’s arrest and Gringo’s name, I feel like a lot of these MLW wrestlers have multiple streams of income.
  • MLW tends to start their shows off with some lucha shit. That’s what all the good WCW episodes started off with too. It’s a great way to bring up the excitement for the show. Myron and Gringo are both high flyers so this that lucha shit.
  • Which makes me think that MLW books four or more lucha matches per card, so they can air a lucha style match to start off the show every week. Smart stuff.
  • The problem with lucha matches, is the lack of story. So while these two dudes are literally killing themselves, commentary can’t do much, outside of calling the moves. So there is a lot of talk of Battle Riot coming up and “how amazing these two are”. Wrestling can have cool moves, but it means so much more if there is a reason those moves are happening. If the emotion the wrestlers are presenting have motivation. Once someone figures out how to mix Southern style personal angst, with New York style presentation, with North style technical in-ring storytelling, with lucha style moves and energy, with Japanese strong style spirit and British mat wrestling…. then we will have reached the pinnacle of wrestling.
  • Gringo Loco won by the way. Myron Reed got angry and slapped the referee. Then he went for Rich Bocchini, but was pulled away.

And I’m Like… Watch Myron get suspended for the same shit. It’s weird how WWE is doing an angle subtly built around race being the reason someone can’t succeed. Now MLW is doing an “unfair officiating” angle with two black competitors. The match was fun, both dudes wrestled an exciting style, but there wasn’t much in terms of story. Which lead to a tangent on my part.

Ol’ Mancer shows up to share some dirt sheet news. He swung a chair at management until they gave him a match. A death match against LA Park. Mancer is going over what he will do for the week. Then he busts out the white board for gameplan. He is having Kacey Lennox write it so we can understand. 1. Light beers 2. Eye Poke 3. Knee pad up, knee pad down. Then after that, he hits the “pay windah”. Mancer is the greatest you guys.

MJF and Richard Holliday are talking about how they got a text from the police of Teddy Hart’s mugshot. The Dynasty are going to make Teddy’s mugshot a t-shirt, turn it into an 8×10 and will now put it on a billboard in Calgary.

Contra Unit cut a promo about who they are and what they are about. They are crusaders of nihilistic terror. They are here for gold and power because they are international dealers of violence. You can’t burn a kingdom made of fire. Those were all the things they said, while the camera did quick cuts to video’s of guerrilla warfare type shit and clips of Contra Unit’s in ring stuff. Very NWOesque. Very confusing.

Ace Romero cuts a promo with a bandage on his head about how he is coming for Contra Unit.

Simon Gotch is winning Battle Riot to take on Tom Lawlor, who Gotch screwed over, it will be a two year long feud. That is my prediction.

Alexander Hammerstone vs. Brian Pillman Jr.

  • The Dynasty is in full force and Pillman is all alone because Davey is bailing Teddy out of jail. It’s a smart way to stack the odds against The Hart Foundation.
  • MJF tries to cut a promo but he is getting boo’d so loudly that he can’t cut a promo. Eventually MJF is able to fight threw the crowd to cut the promo about how Teddy Hart is white trash like the people of Chicago.
  • MJF already knows how to work around What? chants.. he is a prodigy.
  • Brian Pillman Jr. runs down to the ring and attacks Hammerstone before the bell rings. Pillman is pissed and he is gonna armdrag and dropkick the shit out of Hammerstone.
  • MJF gets on commentary to get his catch phrase over and then walks away.
  • Hammerstone gets control of the match while The Dynasty as a whole is antagonizing the crowd. Pillman looks to be in dire straights. I don’t think I’ve seen someone sell a chin lock better than Pillman in 2019.
  • Pillman is a lot more new to the business than Hammerstone but Brian has come so far. He is working the hard camera like a veteran and seems to have an outstanding sense of timing.
  • Hammerstone stun guns Pillman on the ropes and Cornette correlates how the throat was Brian’s dad’s weakness due to throat cancer. Then Pillman gets clotheslined and Nightmare Pendulumed by Hammerstone. After Alexander’s win, The Dynasty make Pillman watch as they destroy Teddy’s jewelry.

And I’m Like… I can’t believe Cornette made me feel sympathy for Brian’s neck by saying Pillman’s father had throat cancer. Like Brian Jr.’s throat wouldn’t be effected by that, but it still made me react like Brian’s throat was in more danger than it was. This is a pretty good feud building here and I do have sympathy for the drug dealing guys over the trust fund guys.

Tom Lawlor cuts a promo while training at the gym.

Death Match

Mance Warner vs. LA Park

  • Mancer has BDE. Dude changes the atmosphere of an entire arena when he walks to the ring. Very few people in this world have that quality. It’s quite something when you witness it.
  • Salina comes out to the ring looking happier than ever. She even does the LA Park strut and dance, it’s incredible.
  • Park grabs chairs and throws them at Mancer before he even enters the ring.
  • Mancer hangs the American flag on the turnbuckle and Park throws it on th ground and hangs up his Mexican flag. That got me more worked up than it should have.
  • The match starts and Mancer and Park already throwing chairs outside of the ring while the crowd *checks notes* beats a drum and chants LA Park. MLW is wild.
  • Mancer sets up a chair in the corner, dramatically sits down; puts the knee pad up, puts the knee pad down and lands a couple knees on LA Park. Cornette calls it the whole way and I love that Jim is into Mancer’s shit.
  • Cornette says he was in the arena earlier in the day and saw Mancer stashing weapons under the ring before the event started. Shit like that is great, EXPLAIN why things are happening. If I was a first time viewer, I’d definitely ask the question “why is there a kendo stick under the ring?” Cornette explaining that little bit helps the product immensely.
  • Park slams Mancer on a table, one of the legs gives out and Mancer tries to throw punches. That was great because it added to Mancer being “out of it” and made a “botched spot” seem real. Park jumped off the apron on Mancer through the table anyway, so it’s all good. Park then slammed Mancer through another table. The crowd chanted “ECW” instead of “MLW” or in Mancer’s case “WCW”.
  • Now Park takes off his belt and whips Mancer. Mancer smiles and is into it like some BDSM shit. I know Corny is enjoying the show. Mancer takes off his suspenders and we got a whippin battle. They whipping their heads too. Mancer loves this shit.
  • It’s funny that it’s a death match but Park whips dudes in normal matches on the regular. Chop battle happens now and everyone is entertained.
  • Mancer and Park introduce a door to the match and Park sets it up on some chairs for a makeshift table. Senton off the top rope and Park bounces off Mancer. LA Park is over 250 lbs and Mancer is dead.
  • Park goes for the pin, 1…2…KICK OUT! Mancer needs the winners purse for the pay windah and he ain’t gonna lose this match. Salina is having the time of her life outside of the ring.
  • Mancer tries to get out of the ring so he doesn’t get pinned, so LA Park tope suicida’s his skeleton ass onto Mancer.
  • Park is yelling at Mancer, he counts to three out loud and the rowd laughs. Park is blown up and Cornette brings it to everyone’s attention. LA Park is arguing with the ref, which buys Mancer time.
  • Both men can barely move, Park is just laying on Mancer, forcing Mancer to use all of his energy to kick out. Mance might pull out the duke, just by lasting longer than Park. Park might pass out due to lack of oxygen.
  • The ref doesn’t acknowledge that Park is using the ropes to initiate a rope break. So LA Park slaps the ref on the chest. Wonder if he will get suspended?
  • Park throws a chair at Mancer who was on the top rope. The chair went into the crowd and some girl SCREAMED! While we were watching the replay something happened that made everyone react but the television audience missed it.
  • Park finally hits a spear on Mancer and gets the win. LA Park can barely stand up. This was a war.

And I’m Like… The crowd energy and chaos of the match made this for a real fun match. This show had one storyline that had a lot of content and then two matches that were car crashes in their own way. Fans threw money in the ring for LA Park after the bout. Overall just a good episode of televised wrestling.

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