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MLW Fusion review: Tom Lawlor could have killed Simon Gotch

MLW Fusion continued with their Miami shows in episode 36. Featured bouts were the Hart Foundation in action, Hijo de LA Park vs DJZ, Andrew Everett vs Dezmond Xavier, and no ropes, no holds barred between Tom Lawlor and Simon Gotch.

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


I like that dude’s jacket.

Promociones Dorado & Konnan in-ring promo

Salina de la Renta was joined by Ricky Martinez in the ring. She began with some good old-fashioned heeling. “Now that I am here in Miami, I understand why they call this place Hell. It’s not because of the weather, relax. It’s because it is surrounded by demons. It is surrounded by fat, old men, broke-ass marks, and gente chusma (riffraff).”

Salina mentioned Konnan, so out he came. Konnan called Ricky by the last name Vega. He does that often. I’m not sure why, other than to get under Ricky’s skin. Konnan defended the Miami fans and called Salina a bruja (witch).

Konnan talked about his championship bout with Low Ki by referring to him as a mental midget. “I’m already in his head. I’m performing a long-distance lobotomy, and he doesn’t even know it.” Konnan is going to take the belt in front of his hometown people. To show he’s not a bad guy, Konnan won’t send Salina to the unemployment line. He’s going to put her to work walking down 8th Street. Mic drop.

Hart Foundation vs. Tommy Dreamer & Barrington Hughes

The latest edition of H2tv was shown with Teddy Hart and Brian Pillman Jr. It featured insults about their opponents and cats doing moonsaults.

Davey Smith Jr. and Pillman represented the Hart Foundation in this bout. The beginning was Pillman avoiding Dreamer and Barrington Hughes being too big for Smith’s strength. The bout was classic style with quick tags, teamwork, and the heels cheating behind the referee’s back.

For the finish, Hughes was in control, so Pillman tried to whack him with his cane. Hughes caught the cane, clobbered Pillman, then tagged in an excited Dreamer. Flashy punches and an elbow by Dreamer. Dreamer was setting up a piledriver onto the cane, except Pillman was too aware. Pillman grabbed the cane for a low blow then a roll-up to win.

Rush promo

Rush was backstage for a promo about his rivalry with LA Park. He more or less repeated the same stuff he’s already said. Rush came to MLW for the rivalry worth gold, LA Park vs. Rush. Pentagon is on Rush’s radar as well. He is going to show why he is the most cabron.

Insert catchphrase to finish.

Hijo de LA Park vs DJZ

Apparently, Tony Schiavone is a big fan of DJZ’s EDM (electronic dance music) skills. I was waiting for an old man punchline about Tony thinking EDM stood for something else, but it never came. I guess he really does like EDM. All we need now is video of Tony dancing to the beats.

The match began with the lucha libre style hold-for-hold intro. These two were evenly adept at their craft. Highlights include a roll-up rolling over into a German suplex by Hijo de LA Park, a tope con hilo by DJZ, a suicide dive by Park, and a super hurricanrana by DJZ.

For the finish, DJZ rolled toward Park, who blocked the attempted maneuver. DJZ tried a body whirl, but Park grabbed him for a piledriver to win.

Konnan outdoor promo

Konnan was on the streets of his hometown, Miami. Scenes of domino games, restaurants, and umbrellas were spliced in. Konnan has the home court advantage and the mental advantage over Low Ki. “To come home, win the World Championship, do it for MLW, that’s something that would really make this whole dream of coming back to Miami even more special than beating Low Ki.”

Dezmond Xavier vs Andrew Everett

Two flippy guys doing flippy stuff. Highlights include a springboard moonsault by Andrew Everett, Dezmond Xavier with a 619 by wrapping around the ring post, and a spike-rana by Everett.

For the finish, it looked like Everett was climbing the corner for a flying double stomp. Xavier kicked it into gear with a backflip kick. Everett fell down off the top turnbuckle. Xavier went high-risk for the best move of the episode, a corkscrew twisting senton splash.

1, 2, 3. Ding, ding, ding for Xavier’s victory.

No Ropes, No Holds Barred: Tom Lawlor vs Simon Gotch

Tom Lawlor had a pre-taped promo in which he called Simon Gotch a weasel, punk, chump. Lawlor summed up the feud concisely for new viewers. Nice threat to finish, “The only thing that is going to be there is a referee to make sure you don’t DIE when I get my hands around your throat.” Next, a recap video package played with more harsh words for Gotch; liar, swindler, bamboozler, fake, fraud.

Low Ki was on commentary. They put over how he has an MLW win streak dating back to 2004. Tony Schiavone was quite impressed, however, he failed to mention that MLW was not operating for much of that time span.

Time for the main event. I’m pumped. Let’s do this!

Low shoot by Lawlor for the takedown with ground and pound. Gotch escaped but Lawlor kept neck control. Gotch on top after an over-the-back toss. Gotch worked for an armbar until Lawlor’s positioning went out of the ring. Gotch used his legs to push Lawlor into the safety rail. The two brawled on the outside for awhile.

Gotch suplexed Lawlor from the floor back into the ring. Gotch maintained control with knee strikes. Flurried exchanges followed by each competitor. Whoa! Big release German suplex by Lawlor.

For the finish, Gotch attempted a slam maneuver, but Lawlor reversed into a back body drop. Some mat rolling led to Lawlor’s arms around Gotch’s neck. Gotch passed out. The referee had to sternly instruct Lawlor to break the hold after the bell.

Afterward, Lawlor grabbed Gotch’s head off the mat and appeared to have words for him. It was tough to tell, since Lawlor’s hair covered his face. In a post-match promo, Lawlor pumped up the SuperFight championship bout against Low Ki.

MLW Fusion provided yet another solid show for episode 36. All four matches had their moments of excitement. The promos were quick and direct. One thing I find refreshing in today’s wrestling landscape is MLW’s ability to keep it simple. Everything is straightforward.

The main event was an interesting change of pace from the standard wrestling matches in MLW. The fight style was more plodding yet physical. No ropes provided an interesting look.

Tom Lawlor did what he said he was going to do. He choked Gotch out. I like how Lawlor kept the chokehold on after the bell for a little bit but not so long that he crossed that line into becoming a dickhead. If this were real, he could have killed Gotch by not letting go. With suspension of disbelief, I felt it was the proper amount of time to make his point. Lawlor looked like a badass who is ready for Low Ki.

One thing I would say as a negative for the episode was the crowd not being in full attendance yet during matches. Fans entering through the tunnel were a little distracting from the action. One guy was dressed like Hulk Hogan. Seats were empty for the main event. I guess that is just a side effect of long tapings. I didn’t notice it last week, so perhaps this is only an issue for the first few bouts of the evening.

Which was your favorite match of this week’s MLW Fusion? Which wrestler stuck out most to you? What did you think of the no ropes, no holds barred main event?

MLW Fusion airs on beIN SPORTS Friday nights 8 pm ET / 5 pm PT with replays at 11 pm ET. New episodes are posted on YouTube Saturday nights at 6:05pm ET.

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