MLW Fusion was back from Cicero Stadium in Chicago with episode 66. The Hart Foundation put their tag team gold up for grabs in a ladder match against the Dynasty, Ace Austin used magic tricks against Air Wolf, Low Ki flatlined another fellow, and Mance Warner hunted Promociones Dorado one by one.
On to a recap and review of the show...
Ace Austin vs Air Wolf
Rich Bocchini and Jim Cornette added some character development on commentary. Ace Austin grew up on the streets of Atlantic City, NJ and started pulling scams in the second grade. Air Wolf wears a wolf mask because a wolf is a mutt like him. Without a mask, fans may assume expectations. With the mask, they don’t know what to expect. Speaking of the mask, Air Wolf entered with a new addition of a wolf snout strapped to the front. That will probably sell like hot cakes at the merch table for kids. It was also mentioned that Salina de la Renta is keeping an eye on Air Wolf’s development.
The bout was a rematch requested by Austin. Air Wolf was victorious in the first encounter. This go around was fairly even, but Austin was more physical and rugged in a fancy sort of way. My favorite highlight was a Pele knee by Air Wolf running into the turnbuckles and flipping out to deliver the blow.
That maneuver played into the finish. Air Wolf climbed the turnbuckles for some high-flying, but Austin created a referee distraction. Austin threw a playing card into the ref’s face. While the ref turned around to toss the card out of the ring, Air Wolf took flight and Austin surprised him with a shot to the groin from his magic wand collapsible cane. Austin used a running Blockbuster to win.
Mance Warner has the golden ticket
Salina de la Renta was in a swank office area as Ricky Martinez pleaded for another chance at Low Ki after being knocked out. Salina received a phone call from who she thought was Jimmy Havoc. “Somebody I like. Please, enlighten my evening.”
Jimbo was busy and Ole Mancer was on the call instead. Warner stated that Jimmy was laying down in some blood and he found a golden ticket next to him. That golden ticket gets LA Park a title shot, which he was awarded for winning Battle Riot. Warner is going to take her boys down one by one, take the golden ticket, drink light beers, and do some thinking. Salina sent Ricky Martinez to retrieve the ticket.
Ariel Dominguez vs Low Ki
This bout was a one-hitter quitter. Ariel Dominguez shot low for a takedown, so Low Ki clobbered him with a knee to the mush. Dominguez was out cold. The referee stopped the fight.
Ladder match strategy with the Dynasty
Alexander Hammerstone was in fantastic form doing pushups in his undies soaking up the sun and wearing the National Openweight Championship belt backward as a weightlifting belt. To Holliday, “Take the suit off. Let’s get a tan.” Holliday replied, “Ha! Suits don’t come off, Hammer.”
Hammerstone inquired about the strategy for MJF and Holliday in the ladder match against the Hart Foundation. Holliday said they would climb to the highest of heights. Every time Holliday mentioned heights, MJF had a panicked look on his face. MJF blurted out, “I’m not afraid of heights, man.”
MJF spun it as how Holliday should climb the ladder, because Holliday deserves the glory. MJF exited with Aria Blake for a bite to eat in the motel room and get some meat. Hammerstone realized MJF’s issue with heights may be a problem, but Holliday was oblivious.
More Mancer tormenting Salina
Salina de la Renta was clanking her laptops keys when she received a video call. Ricky Martinez was on the hunt for the golden ticket. He stumbled across a huge box similar to when Mancer popped out at the end of Salina’s first show as executive producer. Martinez went on the attack to whack the box with a crowbar. Mance Warner appeared from behind out of the dark. Martinez got handled by Warner’s fists.
A little while later, Salina ran into Konnan in the hallway. Konnan heard about her problems creating a monster she can’t control with Warner. Konnan also teased about Dr. Wagner Jr. and his son coming to MLW. In Spanish, Salina told the decrepit old man to shut his stinky mouth and to stay home. Konnan broke into song and dance.
During the main event entrances, the camera took us to an outside scene as Mance Warner locked a fence to keep LA Park away. Warner socked Hijo de LA Park with a chain wrapped around his fist. Hijo was out cold. Papa Park shouted vulgarities in Spanish. Warner went after Salina as she ran off screen.
Tag Team Championship Ladder Match: Teddy Hart & Brian Pillman Jr. vs MJF & Richard Holliday
Aria Blake accompanied the challengers. The champion Hart Foundation brought chairs to the ring with them.
Ding, ding, ding. MJF and Richard Holliday tried to run away, so Teddy Hart and Brian Pillman Jr. grabbed their tights and pulled up to give them wedgies. The foursome brawled on the floor. The first big move was a powerbomb lungblower by Hart.
I love the way Holliday bounced off Hart’s knees.
Other notable moments include a springboard moonsault by Hart to the outside, MJF being hesitant to climb the ladder due to his fear of heights, Blake with a flying crossbody off the ladder to accidentally hit MJF, Holliday suplexing Hart onto a ladder, MJF slapping Holliday when the tall man didn’t listen to instructions to climb the ladder, a DDT/piledriver combo move by Hart to both MJF and Holliday at the same time, a springboard corkscrew elbow drop by Hart, and a twisting moonsault by Hart onto MJF through a makeshift table.
That last move allowed Pillman a moment to climb the ladder. Alexander Hammerstone hit the ring to stop that idea. Hammer set up a table on the floor with the intention of suplexing Pillman off the apron into the wood, but Davey Boy Smith Jr. made the save. Smith turned the tables by powerslamming Hammer onto the object. The table didn’t break until Smith did a knee dropping headbutt.
In the ring, Holliday and Pillman were climbing the ladder. Blake hopped on Pillman’s back, so Pillman elbowed her off. That allowed Holliday an opportunity to grab a chair and smash Pillman in the head.
.@FlyinBrianJr was just inches away from grabbing the MLW Tag team titles but @MostMarketable hits him with a chair knocking him off the ladder and gaining the advantage to make The Dynasty NEW MLW Tag team champions!#MLWFusion on @beINSPORTSUSA pic.twitter.com/GdsftLC4kh— MLW • July 25 • NYC (@MLW) July 14, 2019
Holliday climbed to the highest of heights to retrieve both championship belts. The Dynasty are the new tag team champs.
Episode 66 of MLW Fusion was a barrel of satisfaction. It had humor, drama, surprises, and psychopaths.
I did not see that title victory coming. I thought the MLW champs would all remain the same on the way toward MLW’s first PPV, Saturday Night SuperFight, on November 2. In two weeks, we now have two major championship changes. Credit to MLW for keeping fans on their toes with meaningful moments that make sense and aren’t just hotshots to generate cheap buzz.
The ladder match itself was enjoyable. It had some nifty high spots and some not so nifty ones, like that awkward slingshot underneath the ladder where Teddy Hart used the chair to move the ladder up as MJF supposedly hit it. The finish with Pillman ‘losing’ could bring up tough questions for Pillman’s future. Davey Boy wanted to give Pillman a chance to shine, but Pillman’s losing streak continues. Will Teddy and Davey still have the same strong belief in Pillman’s abilities or will they slow his role in big matches?
My favorite moment of the show was our boy, Hammer, during the promo on the Holliday compound in Matha’s Vineyard. It was so silly to see him exercising in his skimpies while wearing the championship as a weight belt. I love his enthusiasm for tanning. It takes true excellence to achieve that sweet Hogan ‘91 shade of bronze. Alexander Hammerstone has quickly become one of my must-see men in MLW.
Ace Austin’s tactic to win was interesting. I wonder if this will lead to more of a con artist character that uses scams and sleight of hand tricks to his advantage. It could be an original take for an intriguing wrestling persona or be neat in theory but lame in execution, like Phantasio.
Another one bites the dust for Low Ki. I’m curious where all these knockouts are leading. I’d love to see Low Ki versus Jacob Fatu. No way Fatu would suffer the same fate, but I sure would like to see Low Ki try. There’s something riveting about knockout artists entering contests they aren’t favored to win but that Hail Mary chance could change everything in an instant.
Mance Warner’s tour of destruction was a hoot. Salina de la Renta probably ran as far as her feet would take her. I wasn’t a fan of watching some scenes on Salina’s cell phone, but I like that MLW was trying something new in that regard. Those skirmishes are also putting future match announcements in perspective. LA Park is scheduled to wrestle Jimmy Havoc at the next event, Never Say Never. Could this be payback for losing possession of Park’s golden ticket?
Which was your favorite moment from episode 66 of MLW Fusion? Do you like the Dynasty as tag team champs? What do you think is the endgame for Low Ki’s knockout streak?
MLW Fusion airs on beIN SPORTS and PlayStation Vue 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.