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MLW Fusion: Sami Callihan and Mance Warner bond over spit, beer, and violence to become friends

MLW Fusion emanated once again from the Melrose Ballroom in New York City for episode 54. The feature bouts included the Lucha Bros, Ace Romero trying for payback against a member of the Contra Unit, a royal feline against a crazy white boy, and a main event with the Death Machine and the Southern Psycho.

On to a recap and review of the show...

MLW didn’t waste any time before the first match. They went right into the introductions within the first ten seconds.

Air Wolf & Rey Horus vs Fenix & Pentagon

This felt like a showcase match for the Lucha Bros. Fenix and Pentagon hit all their trademark spots, interacted with the fans, and were never in danger of losing. Highlights include teamwork superkicks by the Lucha Bros, a teamwork rolling splash maneuver by the Lucha Bros, a pumphandle driver by Pentagon, a standing Spanish Fly by Rey Horus, Fenix making the pinfall save with a pinpoint missile dropkick, and a fire driver by Fenix.

For the finish, Fenix did a flying double stomp to start Pentagon’s package piledriver on Air Wolf. Fenix then hit Horus with a suicide dive so he couldn’t break the pin.

Promo time

Simon Gotch of the Contra Unit said Chicago was the first lesson when they took down the filth (Tom Lawlor). Battle Riot was the second lesson when they almost lit three wrestlers on fire. Jacob Fatu showed broken handcuffs on his wrists while yelling about not being held back by the NYPD. The Contra Unit can’t be held back. “If you all keep playing with us, the body count is going to continue to f-ing rise.”

Salina de la Renta was answering questions from the press. On the topic of Sami Callihan, she called him, “A warthog, a smelly disgusting looking pig.” That’s when an angry Callihan interrupted. Security kept the two separated.

Ace Romero vs Josef Samael

Ace Romero was looking for revenge from when Josef Samael stabbed him in the head with a railroad spike. Romero charged Samael on the entrance ramp. The two brawled a little at ringside. When Romero entered the ring between the ropes, Samael kicked the middle rope to cause testicular discomfort for Acey Baby.

Samael clubbed Romero until Romero fell backwards for a slam with Samael on his back. Romero tried to go high-risk by climbing the turnbuckles, but Samael threw the big man down to the mat.

For the finish, Samael hit a DDT then soccer kicked Romero in the head with his pointy-toed boots. Jim Cornette implied that Samael had loaded boots to make the kick heavier.

After the match, Simon Gotch and Jacob Fatu joined Samael to punish Romero some more. Barrington Hughes walked down to make the save, but he lost the numbers game. Fatu finished him off with a flying splash.

More promos

Tom Lawlor challenged Contra Unit one-on-one, two-on-two, or three-on-three. He wants them face to face. “You seem to have forgotten exactly how dirty I can be, exactly how filthy ‘Filthy’ Tom Lawlor can get. You’ll find out soon enough, soon as my friends get here.”

Ricky Martinez was in the stairwell on the phone when he crossed paths with Sami Callihan. Callihan wanted to know where Salina de la Renta was. Martinez responded with a threat and a shove. The two began punching each other.


Teddy Hart, Davey Boy Smith Jr., and Brian Pillman Jr. were in MJF’s ‘borrowed’ vehicle for some 4/20 fun. They smoked up while Hart said his cat took a piss on the backseat and also fornicated with a female cat. Smith revealed that there was something suspicious in the glovebox left behind by MJF. They didn’t trust the cameraman not to rat them out, so I guess we’ll have to wait for a later date when we learn what it is. Hart proceeded to make fun of MJF’s little pecker and Alexander Hammerstone’s tight pants.

A tweet from MLW says the Hart Foundation will return MJF’s car and secret possession in exchange for a six-man tables match. I really hope that is next week. (Spoiler: It is.)

Puma King vs Gringo Loco

Jim Cornette and Rich Bocchini had a silly exchange during Puma King’s feline-like rope straddle. Cornette observed, “The shimmy and the shine. I saw a girl do that in Cleveland one night up on a pole.” Bocchini asked, “Does your wife know that?” Cornette replied, “That was her.” Bocchini commented, “Fair enough. That was where you met her, huh?” Cornette responded, “No, we already knew each other.” Those two were bantering back and forth like that all episode long.

This was a nice little lucha libre bout. Highlights include a springboard cutter by Gringo Loco, a pop-up powerbomb by Puma, a Spanish Fly by Gringo, and a superplex by Puma. For the finish, Puma attempted a flying headscissors but Gringo caught him for a huge powerbomb. Gringo followed up with a double underhook sitdown powerbomb for the win.

Salina de la Renta propositioning Mance Warner

Salina de la Renta had a cameraman with her as she found Mance Warner to make an offer. Ole Mancer was drinking a giant can of light beer. She can get him anything, women, money, a nice belt, in exchange for taking care of Sami Callihan in their match. Warner turned his hat around and explained a lesson he learned from Granddaddy Mad Dog. When you lay down with women like her, you get fleas. “That’s a no, baby.” A frustrated De la Renta blurted out, “Your genitalia has fleas.”

Dynasty on 3

MJF had a powwow with his Dynasty cohorts. MJF called himself team captain but was looking down and missed the pffft reaction by Alexander Hammerstone to that declaration. They aren’t firing on all cylinders. MJF’s loss to Brian Pillman Jr. was a fluke. Hammerstone reluctantly acknowledged it as a fluke. If they use their brain and Hammerstone’s brawn, they will take the Hart Foundation down. MJF stuck his hand out for a motivational team gesture. “Dynasty on three, bring it in.” Hammerstone wasn’t a fan. MJF coerced, “Come on, big man. Looking big.” Hammerstone put his hand out while rolling his eyes. MJF rah-rahed, “1, 2, 3, Dynasty.”

Sami Callihan vs Mance Warner

Jim Cornette started right away with his dislike for Sami Callihan by calling him unflattering terms, like a freak. Callihan began yelling at Cornette during Mance Warner’s entrance.


The brawling bout began with beers and chairs. Callihan hit a suplex on the concrete floor and a suplex on an open chair. In the ring, Callihan used Warner’s suspenders to tie him up with his head in a chair. Warner fought back, but Callihan got him with a drop toehold. Warner still had the chair on his neck, so the impact was painful. Later, Callihan nailed Warner with a tombstone piledriver on the open chair.


I thought for sure the match was over, but Ole Mancer kicked out. Callihan got a wooden door/plank to set up in the corner, however, Warner charged to spear him through the wood. Callihan kicked out at one.

The two continued fighting. Warner was setting up his knee pad up, knee pad down running knee. That’s when Ricky Martinez and Hijo de LA Park ran in to put the boots to both men. Callihan and Warner dished out punches to their foes then had the wrestling moment when they back up into each other. They jawed before hitting clotheslines on Martinez and Park.

The show closed with a spit handshake between Callihan and Warner followed by more fisticuffs with the intruders. Rich Bocchini announced that the Hart Foundation vs Dynasty 6-man tables match is next week. Sweeeet.

Episode 54 of MLW Fusion was a rollicking good time. The Lucha Bros always put on a show, the Contra Unit struck again, Gringo Loco versus Puma King was enjoyable, Salina de la Renta was scheming unsuccessfully, Alexander Hammerstone was surly to an oblivious MJF, Tom Lawlor has friends, and the main event was a hard-hitting hoot. Well, except for the spit. Sami Callihan’s loogies are disgusting.

The Lucha Bros seemed extra feisty for some reason. They acted like dickheads. Rey Horus’ pre-match handshake offer was slapped away. Pentagon started the bout by yelling in Spanish about his opponents’ f’ing mothers. Fenix grabbed one of Air Wolf’s dog ears on his mask to make sure he heard the crowd chants. Those antics were entertaining but not behavior I want to root for when it appears unprovoked. I wonder if this will be a sign of things to come as tweeners or perhaps future villains.

That was a good victory by Josef Samael over Ace Romero. I thought Romero would be on top when the Contra Unit would interfere. Nope. Samael did what he needed to do for a victory all by himself. I was impressed. That win showed Samael is no weak link.

Speaking of the Contra Unit, Tom Lawlor’s remark about his friends showing up got me super excited. I love a good tease for surprise arrivals. I can’t wait.

Jim Cornette and Rich Bocchini were highly amusing this week. There was a lot more rambling than usual. It must have been a long day of filming. My favorite line was their teamwork input on, “Fig Newton of their imagination,” instead of figment.

Mance Warner and Sami Callihan battered each other’s bodies. The brawl was a little slow to start then picked up in a major way with the tombstone piledriver and the spear. I was frustrated we didn’t get a finish. Darn those buttheads Ricky Martinez and Hijo de LA Park. Once all this business against Promociones Dorado is settled, I hope we see another bout between Warner and Callihan. One for the good times. Meanwhile, I really want to see a best friends musical montage with the Southern Psycho and the Death Machine.

Which was your favorite match of episode 54? What are you guesses for Tom Lawlor’s friends? How long will the friendship last between Mance Warner and Sami Callihan?

MLW Fusion airs on beIN SPORTS Saturday nights at 9 pm ET / 6 pm PT. New episodes are posted on YouTube Mondays at 7 pm ET. Fusion is also broadcast in the UK, Ireland, and Israel.

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