clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

MLW Fusion recap & reactions: Savio Vega cheated by disgraced former NBA referee Tim Donaghy

MLW Fusion returned for episode 119 with two title fights and a #1 contender bout. Violence is Forever battled TJP & Bu Ku Dao for a tag title shot, Laredo Kid defended the AAA Cruiserweight Championship against Zenshi, and Richard Holliday survived a strap match versus Savio Vega to win the IWA Caribbean Championship with a little help from disgraced former NBA referee Tim Donaghy.

Let’s break it all down.

Josef Samael opened with a message for Injustice. Only fools would believe they have a chance against the Contra Unit. Contra soldiers are lurking in the shadows. Daivari cut in speaking in a different language. I don’t know what he said. Samael explained that Daivari was reborn and rebuilt by Contra. He is bigger, faster, and stronger than ever. Contra will humble Injustice.

AAA Cruiserweight Championship: Laredo Kid vs Zenshi

Very slick match with popping moves. For the sake of brevity, I’ll focus on the top maneuvers and sequences. Zenshi demonstrated amazing body control to angle a kick off the ropes into Laredo’s mush. Zenshi followed with a shooting star press off the apron.

Laredo came back with a 450 splash off the apron.

Zenshi would not be outdone as he exploded for a somersault senton and a running shooting star press.

The climax saw both men battling for position on the turnbuckles. Laredo came out on top with a Spanish Fly slam at 10:01 to retain the AAA gold.

Laredo Kid cut a promo backstage. He proved he is the best cruiserweight in AAA. He will prove he is the best middleweight in MLW. Laredo has his eye on a title fight with Lio Rush. He wants to be double champ, and nothing can stop him.

Myron Reed spoke about Contra. They kicked and humiliated him while he was down. That pain made Reed stronger. He is a whole new beast. Contra started the war, and they will get justice.

The PWI Top 10 removed LA Park, since he is now focused on the tag team division as champ. 10. ACH, 9. Daivari, 8. Myron Reed, 7. Mil Muertes, 6. Richard Holliday, 5. Mads Krugger, 4. Lio Rush, 3. Low Ki, 2. Tom Lawlor, 1. Alexander Hammerstone, Champion: Jacob Fatu.

Kevin Von Erich dispensed wisdom to his sons. They were screwed out of the tag titles by Tom Lawlor. Papa Von Erich advised them to channel that anger positively.

Los Parks are grateful to the new owner of Promociones Dorado for the tag title opportunity. Good luck to Violence is Forever and the hairless Thai boys, because the winner will be wrestling the best tag team in the world.

Gino Medina showed up at the venue with a desire to watch Richard Holliday get cracked by Savio Vega’s strap.

Mads Krugger will break Alexander Hammerstone in the Baklei Brawl next week. It is the type of fight that will live in Hammer’s nightmares for eternity.

Tom Lawlor maintains his innocence in accusations of attacking ACH. ACH has shown he doesn’t have what it takes to be champ. MLW should have put in a proven winner instead, such as the Opera Cup winner.

Rich Bocchini informed us that Filthy Island is allegedly having financial troubles after sponsors have been pulling out.

TJP & Bu Ku Dao vs Violence Is Forever

Winners earn a title shot against Los Parks. Team Filthy slowed down the pace to grind with slams and mat work. TJP ran wild with a hot tag until Dominic Garrini pushed him off the turnbuckles. Dao locked in a crossface on Kevin Ku, while TJP cinched an octopus stretch on Garrini. Garrini intelligently fell over on top of Dao and Ku to break both holds. The match broke down into strikes all around. TJP shoved Garrini into Ku. Dao flew for a clothesline to knock Ku down. TJP followed with a mamba splash for victory at 10:02.

TJP grabbed a mic to say it is a new year and they will be champs next week against Los Parks.

King Mo had a very dramatic plea from a hospital with sappy music in the background. He is concerned about Low Ki’s brain damage. Past head trauma has caused Low Ki to sign his name backwards on autographs. Mo urged that athletic commissions step in to stop Low Ki from competing. The next time in the ring could be his last time. If Mo knocks out Low Ki again, it could lead to death. Ban Low Ki ASAP.

Richard Holliday shared his thoughts prior to the main event. Savio Vega may think he is pulling a fast one with a strap match, but Holiday will take great joy in causing pain, agony, and suffering. Vega will never outsmart him, never out-Caribbean him, and never out-champion him.

Caribbean Heavyweight Championship: Savio Vega vs Richard Holliday

Strap match with the winner needing to touch all four corners. Vega was technically the champ despite the belt being in Holliday’s possession for so long. The referee was Tim Donaghy. If that name rings a bell, it is because he was convicted in a gambling scandal with allegations of fixing NBA games.

As soon as the bell rang, Holliday immediately touched two corners before Vega pulled him down and strapped him on the back.

Both wrestlers touched three corners several times only to be thwarted on the fourth. Vega choked Holliday with the strap and clotheslined him out of the ring. Holliday came back with a flying clothesline. Vega hog-tied Holliday to touch three corners. Holliday escaped to keep the fight alive.

For the finish, Vega was in control touching three corners, but Holliday was crawling behind also touching corners. When Vega rounded for the fourth corner, the referee purposely blocked the path. As Vega tried to move Donaghy, he accidentally pulled Holliday into the final corner for victory at 8:57. Holliday is officially the new Caribbean Champion.

Alicia Atout caught up with Holliday backstage. He denied that any controversy had taken place. Holliday won it for the Caribbean consumers. Donaghy claimed it was a fair match, just like the Lakers versus the Kings in 2007. Vega hollered about being cheated by that bullshit.

The Caribbean strap match main event was entertaining for what it was. The whole feud is a little on the silly side, so it only makes sense for Holliday to use a crooked referee and win by accident. Having that referee be Tim Donaghy was a hilarious choice. I can’t even be mad at Holliday.

With all the referee shenanigans lately, I’m a little worried for the health of MLW’s head of talent relations. It’s only a matter of time before a wrestler kicks the door down to punch him in the face. All this cheating can go on for only so long before someone snaps.

One thing I didn’t like in the strap match was the lack of urgency after touching the third turnbuckle. Both men were nonchalant after hitting three on the way to a win. In my mind, that would have been the moment to step on the gas peddle for victory.

Laredo Kid versus Zenshi was a banger. I’d recommend that bout as a fun one to watch. Zenshi’s unique style was on full display. Both men made great dance partners for each other. Laredo going after Lio Rush gets me excited. They could easily tear the house down.

The tag team bout was a solid outing. Violence is Forever worked well in their tagging strategy. I don’t buy either team dethroning Los Parks this soon, but it will be good for La Familia Real to pad their resume with quality wins.

The promos were strong in this episode. Josef Samael once again makes you believe his threats for violence. The evolution of Myron Reed should be interesting. It seems like fans want to cheer for Injustice, so this could assist in Reed’s character rehabilitation. King Mo’s promo stole the show. Trying to tug at the heart strings was a touch of gold. How can anyone in good conscience support a rematch between Mo and Low Ki after that passionate plea?

Share you thoughts on MLW Fusion. Which match or moment stole the show?

MLW Fusion streams on Fubo Sports Network Wednesday nights at 7 pm ET and 10 pm ET, posts on YouTube Wednesdays at 7 pm ET, and airs on beIN SPORTS Saturday nights at 10 pm ET. You can also check out MLW streaming on demand with DAZN. In addition, MLW is broadcast in over 20 countries.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Cageside Seats Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your pro wrestling news from Cageside Seats