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MLW Roundup: Savio Vega & Timothy Thatcher signed, Von Erich bros debut on Fusion, more!

Let’s catch up on this week’s news in MLW and preview Saturday night’s episode of Fusion. The biggest story is two marquee names added to the MLW roster.

Savio Vega and Timothy Thatcher signed

On the last episode of MLW Fusion, Savio Vega was announced as coming soon. He is booked for the July 25 show in New York. The press release fuzzies up the idea of Vega joining Salina de la Renta and Promociones Dorado.

League officials aren’t confirming whether Salina de la Renta brokered the deal or not but Savio Vega’s emergence in MLW was heralded on her edition of MLW FUSION this past week.

MLW CEO Court Bauer had been courting Vega since last year’s Battle Riot. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if Salina beat him to the punch to close the deal for the coveted star.

I’m excited to see the Puerto Rican legend again. Two memories that pop to mind are his strap feud with Steve Austin and being leader of Los Boricuas. MLW has a bunch of groups drawing battle lines, so a veteran of faction warfare could put his skills to great use. To the highest bidder?

The other big signing is Timothy Thatcher, also for July 25 in New York City. I’m familiar with Thatcher in name only from headlines. The press release sells him well though.

Representing Ringkampf, a German based wrestling fight team, Thatcher is revered for his rugged, technical style. Thatcher, ever versatile, is a savvy hybrid wrestler. Shutting down adversaries on the mat and manipulating their joints with punishing submissions, the 6’3″ Californian is a ring general.

That sounds like a future opponent for Tom Lawlor and his heavyweight championship defense world tour.


Von Erich brothers debut on Fusion

Ever since Ross and Marshall Von Erich signed with MLW, fans across the world have been eager for their debut. The stage couldn’t be any bigger. The Von Erichs were handpicked by Tom Lawlor to compete in a six-man tornado tag match against the Contra Unit.

Expect bedlam and pandemonium. Contra has been running roughshod over the roster. Now, three burly fellows have stepped up to the challenge to kick some Contra ass.

I’ve yet to watch the Von Erichs in action, but their footloose and fancy-free personalities seem like they will quickly become fan favorites. The Von Erichs appear to be the perfect juxtaposition of good to Contra’s evil. When they aren’t standing on shoulders to grab bananas, they are flipping off cliffs into the ocean.

Also on the card will be Teddy Hart versus Richard Holliday in singles action, Low Ki, and Jordan Oliver. The preview mentions Low Ki and Oliver separately, so perhaps this episode will have four bouts total.

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.


Fusion fallout

Not only did Mance Warner hit the pay window with his victory over Sami Callihan, he’s also looking to cash in those bloody bills that were stapled to his head.

As for Sami Callihan, it sounds like the loser leaves MLW stipulation is now legit in real life. CEO Court Bauer said Callihan did damages tallying $2,700 to the building. The plan was to have Callihan return under a mask, but plans have changed.

And...

Despite Ricky Martinez being berated by Salina de la Renta, he is putting a positive spin on his loss to Low Ki.


Inside Major League Wrestling

This week’s Inside Major League Wrestling podcast from hosts Jonathan and Kristina Snowden featured interviews with Mance Warner, referee Frank Gastineau, and the Von Erich brothers. Listen here.

It started with an interesting review of Fusion. Jonathan mentioned how he saw MLW produce a promo with Tom Lawlor. They told him the topic, he ripped it out in one take, and that was that. Court Bauer had an older tweet that backed up that idea.

The Warner interview begins at the 23-minute mark and discusses how he started in the hardcore style and his reaction to being put in main events. The Gastineau chat starts at the 34-minute mark and talks about referee responsibilities and becoming a ref after a car crash. The Von Erich conversation kicks off at the 54-minute mark and touches on why they decided to wrestle and fan reactions to their family name.

I also caught up on last week’s episode (here). Jonathan spoke with MJF at the start, Aria Blake at the 33-minute mark, and Richard Holliday at the 46-minute mark. The Holliday talk is more extensive in topics such as coffee, custom suits, and the ultimate consumer experience in wrestling.

The best thing about the interviews is that I can’t tell if some parts are in character or if their MLW characters are so close to their real life personalities. That must be why MLW pretty much hits success on all the characters I’ve seen in their promotion. You know that wrestling saying about how the best characters are real personalities cranked up to eleven.

If you are short on time, then I’d recommend the MJF and Warner interviews. MJF talks trash the entire time and Mancer is one cool cat, baby.


Quick hits

Tony Schiavone is coming back to commentary for MLW in July. He’ll be joined by Rich Bocchini. I guess that means Jim Cornette will be taking a break. He’s probably still bathing after Sami Callihan spitting water on him last week.

The Von Erichs have their next fight lined up. It will be in unsanctioned tag action against Contra Unit members Simon Gotch and Josef Samael on July 6 in Chicago. The press release has an amusing quote from CEO Court Bauer.

“The league wants nothing to do with CONTRA. But since Ross and Marshall Von Erich want to help with our infestation problem, I feel obliged to honor their request… but legally this is an unsanctioned match.”

New MLW merch is on the horizon with Von Erich foam claw hands and a Kingdom Hearts inspired Hart Foundation shirt.

This next one isn’t really related to MLW, but it is cool nonetheless. MLW producer Alex Greenfield worked on a Pokemon short. You don’t need to know Pokemon to enjoy the gore, violence, and story themes in the anime parody. I’ve never watched or played Pokemon, and I was entertained. The animation certainly is bad ass and reason enough to check it out. Watch it on YouTube here.

We’ll leave you with Mr. Velvet having a great time at the Milwaukee show.


What are your predictions for Tom Lawlor and the Von Erichs against the Contra Unit? Where do the signings of Savio Vega and Timothy Thatcher rank on your excitement meter? What would be your dream commentary team for MLW?

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