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MLW Fusion: Contra Unit is the baddest faction in professional wrestling today

MLW Fusion episode 59 was the final installment from the Melrose Ballroom in New York City. Feature bouts were Jacob Fatu and Josef Samael versus Ace Romero and Barrington Hughes and a heavyweight championship duel between Tom Lawlor and Robert Dreissker. The bigger story was Contra Unit running wild on a path of destruction.

This episode was hyped by MLW producer Alex Greenfield as being bonkers and his ideal hour of wrestling. MLW CEO Court Bauer said it was the best 60 minutes they’ve put out since the April 2018 television premiere. The question is if the episode lived up to those lofty words. Spoiler alert: It f-ing did.

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

The opening was a hype video for the main event heavyweight title mach between Tom Lawlor and Robert Dreissker. It worked as intended. I was hyped up.

The Contra Unit logo would flash periodically throughout the show.

Rich Bocchini and Jim Cornette did the rundown. It was mentioned that the Lucha Bros were involved in an altercation and would not be wrestling as scheduled.

Genetic Freak 2.0

Kaci Lennox was joined by Richard Holliday and Alexander Hammerstone. Hammer was channeling his inner Scott Steiner by humorously flexing his muscles during the interview.


Holliday lived up to his nickname “Most Marketable” by explaining MJF was meeting with their financial analyst to decide what to do with all the extra money Hammerstone’s championship win will bring the Dynasty. Hammerstone is a better representative of MLW than Brian Pillman Jr. and the disgusting Hart Foundation.

”Look at it, Kaci. Do you notice how my arm, how it barely fits on our monitor there?” In reference to Hammerstone winning the new National Openweight Championship, there is a reason why Dynasty sounds like destiny. Pillman won’t feel pain, because Pillman won’t remember a thing when Hammerstone is done with him.

Ace Romero & Barrington Hughes vs Jacob Fatu & Josef Samael

This bout was technically an unsanctioned fight, because the Contra Unit doesn’t sign MLW contracts. Contra’s intro graphic listed ??? pounds and parts unknown. Simon Gotch joined his Contra cohorts ringside.

They wasted no time throwing blows. The big beefers were gaining control until Josef Samael clocked Ace Romero in the back of the head with a railroad spike. Barrington Hughes was stomped with boots. Jacob Fatu took flight for a moonsault.

I don’t know if Fatu’s aim was intentional, but I’m going to pretend he landed on Hughes’ lower body on purpose. If you take out the legs of a 400+ pound man, he won’t be getting up.

Fatu covered Hughes for the three count in a quick match. The beating wasn’t over though. Samael used his pointy boot to bludgeon the Caramel Colossus.

Cash-in tonight?

A cameraman interviewer approached Salina de la Renta. She was dressed like a modern cowgirl in the big city. She said LA Park is here for tonight’s title fight and we’ll find out if he cashes in his championship opportunity. Ricky Martinez pie-faced the camera and told him to get lost.


Video was shown of the previously mentioned altercation had by the Lucha Bros. They were ambushed in a hallway by the Contra Unit. Josef Samael flashed a fireball into Fenix’s face.

Von Erich time

A hype video played for Ross and Marshall Von Erich with a song similar to Ted Nugent’s, “Stranglehold.” It showed clips of a match in Japan for Pro Wrestling NOAH on Oct. 1, 2017 for a nice taste of what we can expect when they debut in an MLW ring.

FIREBALL!!!! update

Kaci Lennox provided some details about the aftermath. When medics removed Fenix’s mask, flesh came off with it.

Tom Lawlor “live” response

Tom Lawlor was standing by “live” in the locker room. Despite the Contra Unit running amok, Lawlor is going to stay focused by being disciplined and not letting anything rattle him. The real question is how anyone is going to get the Heavyweight Championship off his waist. It doesn’t matter if you are a fat bag of bones (LA Park), three dudes from an 80s video game (Contra), or an avalanche snowman from Germany (Robert Dreissker). Lawlor is going to maintain a death grip on the title.

Fury Road next week

The live special next week at Fury Road will feature Teddy Hart vs Jimmy Havoc for the Middleweight Championship, Myron Reed vs Gringo Loco, and the National Openweight Championship tournament final between Alexander Hammerstone and Brian Pillman Jr. A hype video played for Hart vs Havoc. It featured clips of Havoc cheese-grating a crotch and stapling a different crotch.

A video played of Mance Warner hitting the pay window. That was already covered in the MLW Roundup.

Austin Aries is still coming soon to MLW. Fury Road to be exact, but we’ll have to wait until an unknown date for his match to air.

Kaci Lennox provided another update about Contra. She said they went up the stairwell, then weird banging noises were heard. Lennox fled the scene to be safe.

Low Ki & Ricky Martinez vs Chris Grimm & Troy Hollywood

Low Ki and Salina de la Renta looked to be low-key arguing on the entrance ramp.It wasn’t clear what was said between the two, but it was clear that they were not pleased with one another.

I couldn’t understand the names of their opponents. One dude’s trunks said Mr. Grimm, but it sounded like the announcers called him by a different name. I’m going to go with the names Chris Grimm and Troy Hollywood for this recap.

Low Ki and Martinez attacked before the bell rang. Low Ki may have legit knocked out Grimm with an elbow to the head, but it might have been part of the show. Given Low Ki’s history, I’m not sure. Martinez flattened Hollywood with a discus clothesline.

Ding, ding. The opening bell rang. Low Ki and Martinez beat up Hollywood a little, then Low Ki hit a huge flying stomp to win.

Oh, shit. Business just picked up. CONTRA UNIT!!! Their music hit as Low Ki and Martinez squared up to fight them. Salina de la Renta yelled something at Martinez. He high-tailed it out of there, leaving Low Ki alone.

Low Ki and Jacob Fatu went toe to toe. Low Ki lost the numbers game once Josef Samael and Simon Gotch arrived. Fatu hit a pop-up Samoan drop. Gotch draped the Contra flag over Low Ki’s body.

Easter egg alert: I saw this tweet from MLW producer Alex Greenfield before watching the show.

Without that tweet, I’m not sure I would have noticed. However, with it in mind, I kept an eye peeled. The upper level camera view shows Mr. Greenfield hilariously trip over the guardrail. Laughing with you, good sir, not at you.


While stroking Mr. Velvet, Davey Boy Smith Jr. was discussing Brian Pillman Jr.’s championship bout with Alexander Hammerstone. Smith and Teddy Hart provided strategy about big guys blowing up and Pillman having better endurance. Smith quoted Miyamoto Musashi, “It may seem difficult at first, but everything is difficult at first.”

Pillman talked about how it is not the size of the dog in the fight, rather the size of the fight in the dog. Pillman isn’t just doing it for himself. He’s doing it for family and legacy. Smith chimed in, “And we’re doing it for the cats, of course.”

World Heavyweight Championship: Tom Lawlor vs Robert Dreissker

The intro graphic on the big screen for Robert Dreissker reminded me of a Coors Light logo. That is no doubt Mancer approved. The crowd popped for Tom Lawlor hitting the stage. He brought a martial arts black belt with him.

This bout was strategy vs power. For example, Dreissker’s stature was too much for Lawlor, so Lawlor changed tactics to leg kicks. Highlights include a German suplex by Lawlor and a fallaway slam by Dreissker. I love fallaway slams.

For the finish, Dreissker missed a Vader bomb. Lawlor capitalized with a knee to the face then sunk in a rear naked choke to win.

Contra Unit strikes again

After the main event, the Contra Unit rushed Tom Lawlor. Simon Gotch hit Lawlor with a piledriver, then Jacob Fatu crushed the champ with a moonsault.

Gotch placed the Contra flag over Lawlor’s body. Lawlor reached out to grab his title, which led to more boot stomping.

Salina de la Renta had been watching the bout from the box seats. She rushed backstage to alert LA Park that it is time to take advantage of his championship opportunity. LA Park was ready to go, then a shoe was tossed at him. Sami Callihan charged at him with his other shoe. Mance Warner was not far behind. The two friends bashed LA Park to prevent a cash-in.

De la Renta yelled, “Puta madre,” at Warner. He replied with, “You got it, baby.”

Episode 59 of MLW Fusion was f-ing awesome. There were a boatload of memorable moments, and it set a fantastic tone and direction for the upcoming Fury Road.

The Contra Unit story of destruction was dynamite. They dismantled Ace Romero and Barrington Hughes in convincing fashion. The FIREBALL!!! to Fenix was a phenomenal touch to enhance their dastardly reputations. I’ll never get tired of fireballs. I assume they are done as safely as possible considering fire is involved. Attacking Low Ki and Tom Lawlor was icing on the Contra cake.

We’ve questioned how Low Ki could convincingly end up turning as a good guy if he separates from Promociones Dorado. Well, his fisticuffs with Fatu was the answer. I love when wrestlers show the spirit of big balls and don’t back down from a big challenge. Add in Ricky Martinez’s slimy move of bailing on his associate and I’m 100% ready to cheer for Low Ki.

I do have to question Contra Unit’s strategy of attacking so many top stars in one evening. They might have bitten off more than they can chew; Romero, Hughes, Pentagon, Fenix, Low Ki, Tom Lawlor, plus the Von Erichs at Fury Road. It could be 8 vs 3 real soon.

The main event title bout was really, really good. It was my favorite Tom Lawlor match that I’ve seen so far. I was fully engrossed in the storytelling of how Lawlor used his skills to outmaneuver Robert Dreissker. One negative I have to ask about is what was up with Lawlor’s whack palm strikes. Jim Cornette explained it as a way to create space, but Lawlor didn’t always use them that way. When Lawlor was exploding a barrage of strikes onto his hefty opponent, the palm strikes looked weak as heck. I don’t get it. Did Lawlor practice Bruce Lee’s one inch punch technique and adapt them for wrestling?

When the four names were announced for the National Openweight Championship tournament, I mentioned that I wasn’t enthused. Now that the finals are here, I’m full steam ahead. Alexander Hammerstone’s character has been developing into an interesting heel. I loved Hammerstone muscling up in the promo. His words for Brian Pillman Jr. were harsh are makes it easy to root against him.

H2tv sold me on the tall task ahead for Pillman. It was probably the most interesting episode of H2tv. The Hart Foundation can be amusing goofballs, but I appreciated the change to a more serious tone when discussing strategy. Smith had a perfect ending about doing it for the cats. It was a joke, but you know it was serious as well.

We’ll close with how this episode had so many little touches to enhance the show. One example in particular was when Lawlor talked about having a death grip on the title. After his Contra beating, he grasped for the belt with his last strength. It showed how serious Lawlor was about his earlier statement.

Which was your favorite moment for episode 59 of MLW Fusion? How does it rank for best episode of Fusion? Where do you rank the Contra Unit as the baddest dudes in professional wrestling today?

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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