MLW Fusion came hot with a live special from Fury Road at the Waukesha County Expo Center in the greater Milwaukee area. Feature bouts were Myron Reed vs Gringo Loco, the National Openweight Championship finals for Brian Pillman Jr. and Alexander Hammerstone, and a Middleweight Championship defense by Teddy Hart against Jimmy Havoc. Also, Tom Lawlor was abducted by the Contra Unit.
On to a recap and review of the show...
The show opened with a short highlight package to hype the night’s fights and an introduction from Rich Bocchini and Jim Cornette. They mentioned that hectic weather has affected travel schedules. Tom Lawlor had not yet arrived to the arena. Later, Cornette made a mention of WWE’s Beware of Dog PPV show that lost power due to thunderstorms.
Cornette closed the intro with a joke about being in America’s dairy land. “Smell that dairy air.” There was an awkward silence as the two grinned in what I assume was about the homonym derriere (butt). I grinned too.
Myron Reed vs Gringo Loco
Myron Reed entered with a “Justice” picket sign. Doug Markham was the referee. He has been accused of bias by Reed and Rich Swann. Markham has accused them of making threatening phone calls. The referee declined to check either wrestler’s tights prior to the opening bell.
The bout started hot with a huge tope con hilo by Reed. Highlights include a standing moonsault by Gringo Loco, a slingshot leg drop by Reed, a running sitdown powerbomb by Gringo, “A super Falcon Arrow slam thing,” by Gringo as called by Jim Cornette that got holy shit chants, and a springboard 450 splash by Reed.
The finish involved Reed arguing with referee Markham. Reed made a motion of reaching into his tights, but Markham caught him. Later, Reed grabbed the ropes on a roll-up but was caught on that too. Reed grabbed Markham’s shirt. That led to Reed turning around and getting demolished via spinning tombstone piledriver. 1, 2, 3, Gringo Loco was victorious.
After the match, Reed reached into his tights to pull out brass knuckles. He clocked Gringo cold. Once Gringo came to, he was upset at Markham for not catching it.
Salina de la Renta announcement
Everybody wants more Salina de la Renta, so she will executive produce another episode of MLW Fusion on June 15.
There was supposed to be an interview with Heavyweight Champion Tom Lawlor. Kaci Lennox provided an update that she has been knocking on a door and nobody answered. Lawlor has yet to be seen in the building.
National Openweight Championship: Brian Pillman Jr. vs Alexander Hammerstone
This was the finals of a four man tournament to crown the inaugural winner of the National Openweight Championship. It is a nice looking title belt.
Up next on #FuryRoad on @beINSPORTSUSA ... a NEW champion will be crowned!— Major League Wrestling (@MLW) June 2, 2019
Alex Hammerstone vs Brian Pillman Jr for the National Openweight Championship! pic.twitter.com/3Jafr6fwNh
Brian Pillman Jr. defeated Rich Swann. Alexander Hammerstone defeated Gringo Loco. That’s how we ended up at the finals.
Both competitors went solo without backup. The Dynasty entered with Hammerstone, but he waived them to the back. MJF stopped by on commentary before leaving to say Pillman’s father would be vomiting at the sight of his son. Pillman had new tights, boots, bicep tassels, and bleach blonde hair. If you watched the AEW battle royal at Double or Nothing, then you’ve already seen his look.
Pillman controlled the action early until he ate a bicycle kick in the mush. The two fought hard with such a big prize at stake. Highlights include a springboard crossbody by Pillman to the outside, Hammerstone catching Pillman then swinging him into the barricade, and a powerbomb by Hammerstone onto the apron ledge.
Hammerstone’s power game was wearing Pillman down until Hammer trash-talked about Pillman’s father. Pillman connected on a perfectly placed superkick. Two count on the pin. Flying crossbody by Pillman. Two count on the pin. Pillman went high-risk for a swanton bomb, but Hammerstone moved out of the way. Hammerstone hit the Nightmare Pendulum to win and become the first National Openweight Champion.
NIGHTMARE PENDULUM!@alexhammerstone is your first ever National Openweight Champion!#FuryRoad on @beINSPORTSUSA pic.twitter.com/nTLJpAIgIp— Major League Wrestling (@MLW) June 2, 2019
Kaci Lennox conducted an in-ring interview. Hammerstone criticized Pillman’s party lifestyle while he was putting in the work. “The work you (the fans) can’t relate to and that’s why you don’t love me.” HAHA, great line. The title is now more than destiny. It is Dynasty.
This next video of Hammerstone’s post-match reaction didn’t air on the actual show. It was posted by MLW on Twitter.
Instant Reaction from new National Openweight Champion, @alexhammerstone! #FuryRoad on @beINSPORTSUSA pic.twitter.com/0r73JbRLtf— Major League Wrestling (@MLW) June 2, 2019
Austin Aries is coming soon to MLW.
Tom Lawlor abducted
The broadcast was interrupted by video from the Contra Unit. Someone forcefully piped it in from the production truck. The video showed Tom Lawlor getting ambushed by Jacob Fatu and Josef Samael in the parking lot. They shoved Lawlor in the back of his SUV and drove off.
Scene change. Lawlor was sitting taped to a chair. A glass of water was thrown in his face to wake him up.
Contra sent a message that they can take anything that they want at any time they want. Samael cut off some of Lawlor’s hair.
During the next match, there was an update on Lawlor’s status. He escaped but was severely beaten and taken to the hospital.
Middleweight Championship: Teddy Hart vs Jimmy Havoc
Jimmy Havoc entered first with a chair. Champion Teddy Hart also brought a chair. Hart began wrestling clean but changed styles once Havoc used foreign objects; such as chairs, a poster to paper-cut Hart’s fingers and mouth, and a barricade.
Highlights include a rope-bouncing twisting elbow drop by Hart, a straitjacket lungblower by Hart, a huge air moonsault by Hart, Hart being busted open by a chairshot, and two suplexes by Havoc onto a barricade leaning against the ring. At one point, Havoc countered Hart to slap on the Sharpshooter. The fans booed vociferously at Havoc trying to defeat Hart with the traditional Hart family maneuver. I love their reaction.
Hart crawled to grab the ropes. Hold broken. Havoc placed a chair atop Hart’s body and climbed the turnbuckles. Hart responded by throwing the chair at Havoc. Havoc jumped off to deliver an English Destroyer. Havoc set up the Acid Rainmaker clothesline, but Hart ducked and ran the ropes for a Canadian Destroyer to Havoc. Hart followed with a hammerlock DDT onto a chair to win and retain his middleweight title.
After the match, the Dynasty stormed the ring to stomp Hart. The Hart Foundation ran down to even the odds. Havoc grabbed a chair to protect himself but backed away as if to say this was not his fight. The remaining six men clobbered each other as Fusion went off the air.
Oh my! What an ending to #FuryRoad #MLW pic.twitter.com/I1ebgJufnc— beIN SPORTS USA (@beINSPORTSUSA) June 2, 2019
The Fury Road live special of MLW Fusion lived up to expectations. The matches were entertaining, and Tom Lawlor being abducted by the Contra Unit was icing on the cake.
Gringo Loco vs Myron Reed was an enjoyable opener. They showed a flashy style to attract new fans and please fans who were already fans. I’m a little confused why Reed grabbed referee Doug Markham’s shirt at that particular moment. He was caught cheating and knew it. It leads me to believe Markham may have muttered something under his breath. Eyes need to be kept on that ref.
It was nice to see Gringo Loco pick up the victory. He has fought hard in defeat against the bigger boys, and wins like that are cementing Gringo Loco as a gatekeeper in MLW.
The National Openweight Championship bout was everything I could have hoped for. There was speed vs power wrestling strategy in the ring, then drama by Hammerstone making comments about Pillman’s father. Hammerstone withstood Pillman’s fiery comeback to become the champ. Both wrestlers came out looking better, in my opinion.
Teddy Hart vs Jimmy Havoc was a damn good match. I’m not really a fan of when Havoc goes over the top, like with the paper cuts. Aside from that, Havoc was able to work his extreme gimmick by bloodying Hart without going overboard. It was predictable going in that Hart would retain, but both men did their jobs so well that I didn’t think about it during the match.
The brawl at the end was dynamite. I love faction warfare. It stoked my desire to see the Dynasty and the Hart Foundation finish it once and for all. Bonus points for the silliness of seeing Pillman in his sexy boy Hugh Hefner smoking jacket throwing jumping kicks.
The episode wasn’t perfect as a live show. The entrance music could barely be heard for each wrestler. The lights for backstage interviews seemed really bright. I wasn’t a fan of the commercial break during the main event match, but I get it. MLW and beIN SPORTS have to pay those bills. On the plus side, I thought the venue had a neat look with the dome roof.
My favorite line of the evening came from Jim Cornette. Rich Bocchini was referencing a previous promo by Alexander Hammerstone in which he stated that he was bringing his uncle and MJF was renting an elephant to celebrate the title win. Bocchini didn’t explain clearly and said, “Bring his uncle and an elephant.” Cornette got confused and said, “His aunt is not that big.” I laughed out loud at that one.
My favorite moment of the night was the Contra Unit kidnapping Tom Lawlor, specifically the scene change to Lawlor taped to a chair. I was not expecting that and burst out laughing. It was a nice continuation after Contra running wild last week.
What did you think of the Fury Road live special? Which was your favorite match? Which was your favorite moment? Would you like to smell the dairy air with Jim Cornette?
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.