MLW Fusion Recap Episode 53: LA Park open contract match, MJF vs. Pillman

Last week on MLW: It was chaotic. Teddy Hart beat Ace Austin in your typical Teddy Hart match. Myron Reed w/ Rich Swann lost to Minoru Tanaka. Tom Lawlor defended his MLW World Championship against Jimmy Havoc in a hardcore match that upset Jim Cornette. LA Park won Battle Riot II, which wasn’t as good as the first installment.

Cold Open

Last week when Teddy Hart got in the face of The Dynasty and they concussed Hart and sent him to the hospital. Then they show Tom Lawlor and his fake bleeding from the head. Then they do a recap of Battle Riot. The first part of the story was MJF conniving his way through the first half of the match. Contra Unit causing chaos and then the last third of the match made absolutely no sense at all.

MJF w/ The Dynasty vs. Brian Pillman Jr.

  • People talk about how amazing MJF is, how he is a natural and the future of the business, which is all true. What they don’t talk about is how this dude is EVERYWHERE. The running theory is that many modern wrestlers aren’t as good as previous generations. This is because they don’t get as many “reps” in as the dudes in the territory days. These dudes wrestle on weekends or less than that and the territory dudes wrestled “seven days a week and twice on Sunday”. MJF might be a cut above his contemporaries because he is just wrestling more. He is on Beyond, MLW, AEW (when they start running shows), AAW, Alpha-1 and on and on and on. MJF is young as hell but he is working so often, he is really honing his craft and it’s exhilarating to watch him grow over the next couple decades.
  • Brian Pillman Jr. is another one that is much like MJF, lots of potential and so so young.
  • The crowd is firmly behind Pillman Jr.
  • Why is Pillman out alone? I know Teddy is “in the hospital” but where Davey? Why does MJF have The Dynasty at ringside, cheating for him, when Pillman has no one? This is supposed to be a faction feud.
  • The ref threw out The Dynasty less than five minutes into the match because of blatant interference.
  • Pillman gets in control shortly after and is fired up, the crowd is feeling it too. Pillman has MJF sitting in the corner, goes for a running drop kick, stops and slaps MJF in the face.
  • Pillman has his shoulder taped up, MJF naturally goes for that arm and works it over viciously and creatively. MJF is so good at bringing the heat, as well as getting the heat.
  • MJF puts Pillman on the top rope and goes for some sort of arm move but Pillman is able to fight MJF off and hit a diving crossbody.
  • MJF got hit with quite a comeback that ended in a powerslam for two. Pillman is really selling his arm but is fighting his ass off.
  • Pillman goes for a corner dropkick but MJF pulls the ref in front of him. Pillman stops the dropkick attempt and MJF slaps Brian in the face in a call back to earlier in the match. MJF does a Mance Warner eye poke and goes for a roll up but gets two.
  • MJF gets caught up complaining to the referee and Pillman hits a school boy for the win.

And I’m Like… The reaction is that of a surprise upset. The match was really good, lots of story and fantastic wrestling. MJF cuts a post match promo about how that was a fluke. This is what I love about MLW.

Tom Lawlor had a press conference last week about how he will take on all challengers and that he isn’t afraid of LA Park. When asked about Contra Unit, Lawlor barely got a few words out before Contra Unit showed up and Jacob Fatu tried to rip out Lawlor’s eye. Then he was draped in the Contra Unit flag.

Salina De La Renta has her own press conference about how she will be the Executive Producer of MLW for Cinco De Mayo.

Sami Callihan cuts a promo on the camera man before he cuts a promo. Sami said he left MLW for a bit because he got his ass kicked. He had to find himself. Callihan calls out Mance Warner because “we are both psychopaths”. Callihan does a white board routine to explain why he and Mancer need to wrestle. Sami Callihan vs. Mance Warner = Ratings.

The Dynasty are backstage complaining about being thrown out from ringside. The camera man spies on them in the stairway. Hollday is trying to calm Hammerstone down. Holliday brags about parking in handicap spots. Really maximizing his minutes. Camera man gets caught and Hammerstone is heated. Good shit.

Myron Reed and Rich Swann vs. Lance Anoa’I and Jimmy Yuta

  • Jimmy Yuta is back! I wonder what happened to his MLW blood rival Jason Cade?
  • Myron Reed and Rich Swann got the tape over their mouth like usual. We see replays of both men assaulting referees. The tape over their mouth says “Justice” because they feel like the offcials are biased. Myron Reed has IT.
  • Reed and Swann get checked for weapons but Yuta and Lance don’t. I don’t know if I am supposed to cheer or boo these guys. Especially with Cornette explaining it by saying that Reed and Swann are known to hide weapons, WHEN THEY DON’T!!
  • Yuta and Reed start off the match and the ref is being real hard on Reed, who is listening to the ref even if it’s to his detriment.
  • Yuta is able to gain a quick advantage because Myron isn’t just focused on Jimmy, he is focused on the ref too.
  • Rich Swann took the best back body drop I’ve ever seen. Dude flips onto his face. Legit took the back body drop like a 450 to the mat.
  • Corny is trying to say that Rich Swann wants the nickname “Rich Money” and like…. that don’t make no damn sense. Like, it’s a horrible nickname. The Rich Money Experience.
  • Commentary is only talking about Reed and Swann, reiterating the storyline of them thinking the refs are out to get them. Talking about their in ring skill and personalities. Really shining a light on this team while paying little to no attention to Yuta and Anoa’i.
  • Reed and Swann are staying in control of the match while arguing after every near fall. The beatdown of Yuta sure is taking a long time.
  • Lance really shows up on the hot tag, hits a Samoan drop on Swann while simultaneously drop kicking Reed. Lance hits some running hip attacks and then goes off the top rope but misses. Reed does the running down the ramp, leaping over the top rope cutter on Lance for two.
  • Swann hits Yuta in the dick and then Reed and Swann hit a 450 followed by a 450 for the win.

And I’m Like… HELL YEAH! That was the match right there. Everything clicked. Commentary puts over the story arch of Reed and Swann, everyone got to show off a bit. Lance always struck me as the lesser Samoan Dynasty member on MLW. Jacob Fatu is out of control good, but the hot tag comeback by Lance was hot fire. The Yuta beat down was a bit long but the finish made up for it.

Mancer is backstage with some southerner. Mancer talks about how he had King of the Road matches, he drinks light beers. Mancer tells Sami Callihan is that it’s not “Thumbs-up thumbs-down” it’s “knee pad up, knee pad down”. Mancer is the fucking best.

Tom Lawlor cuts a promo about for 22 years he has trying to be a champion. He says he is now a champion, then he goes through all of his injuries. He uses a lot of adjectives to describe his injuries. After listing off a -back of Mick Foley’s book long- list of injuries, Tom says those weren’t as bad as what Jacob Fatu did to him.

LA Park vs. Sami Callihan

  • This match is happening because Jimmy Havoc was injured in the earlier bout so Callihan is filling in. So the story behind this match is Callihan is mad that Park won the Battle Riot.
  • Sami’s music is a crowd killer.
  • This wasn’t announced as a no dq match, but Callihan is using an umbrella on LA Park, and LA Park is using those velvet ropes you see at clubs on Callihan.
  • Cornette “buries” Callihan by saying who he’s injured and how reckless he is, how he doesn’t care about anyone but himself. Rich is way more wrestling progressive than Jim and has some nice retorts about how all the things Jim thinks is negative towards Callihan are what makes Sami great.
  • Park and Callihan slap each other in the face a bunch and have yet to really be in the ring.
  • This has become a fans bring the weapons match. Cornette and Rich talk about how they have PTSD from commentating in WWE.
  • Callihan kicked out of a near fall once they enter the ring and Park flops onto the referee. The ref then takes a boot to the face by Callihan. No idea why that would matter, the ref doesn’t call dq’s anyway.
  • Callihan takes a bat to the head of Park and has a visual three count. Hijo De LA Park and Ricky Martinez come out to beat on Callihan. Mancer makes the save and the ref is still out.
  • The crowd is watching but not reacting. Mancer and Hijo start fighting and things slow down a bunch. Then Low Ki waddles on out and everyone starts fighting hard again.
  • Daga shows up to take out Low Ki and company. Daga superkicks Mancer even, so it isn’t really a save as much as Daga just wants to fuck Low Ki’s day. Everyone ends up outside of the ring other than Callihan and Park.
  • Callihan is about to dive to the outside but Park catches him with a spear and the ref is up to make the count, Earl Hebner style.

And I’m Like… This match was… a lot. There were no rules, so the ref was taken out just for the visual pin. After the match was over Salina’s crew just attacks all the dudes. The show goes off the air mid beat down. I thought for a bit that it was gonna lead to a War Games but then I remembered that MLW sold the rights to that match to WWE. Not really sure where this is headed.

Oh yeah, The Hart Foundation stole MJF’s car. Holliday and Hammerstone were looking for the car and then The Hart Foundation drove by, Teddy at the wheel and Brian mooning in the back seat. Weird how at the start of the show, Teddy was in the hospital concussed. Now he is stealing cars.

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