The SmarK Rant for MLW Fusion – 08.06.19
Everyone has been saying I should give this a shot, so let’s take a look.
Taped from New York City, NY
Jimmy Yuta v. Low Ki
Man, Low Ki still looks the same age he did 20 years ago. Ki immediately hits a straight kick to the jaw and knocks him out at 0:30. OK then. Low Ki cuts a promo on the way to the back, noting that “Left foot to the hospital, right foot to the grave”.
Meanwhile, Jacob Fatu and the Contra Unit are ready to face Tom Lawlor and the Von Erichs in something called the War Chamber that’s probably not healthy. Seems basically like a single ring version of Wargames. I think there was actually a legal skirmish over the name, if I’m remembering correctly.
Meanwhile, Konnan is rapidly turning into a crazy old man, and wants a match booked between LA Park and Jimmy Havoc.
Meanwhile, MJF and his douchebro pals go car shopping and threaten to write BAD YELP REVIEWS. Despite Teddy Hart getting suspended for failing the “Wellness Policy”, MJF promises everyone clean piss for their tests.
The Spirit Squad (Ken Doane & Mike Mondo) are back with an open workout challenge. Tony Schiavone rightly points out that cheerleaders shouldn’t really be insulting the crowd’s sporting franchises. So they insult one too many people and the Von Erichs interrupt.
The Spirit Squad v. Ross & Marshall Von Erich
Indeed, they have messed with Texas and now must pay the price. The Von Erichs clear the ring and we take a break, returning with Marshall beating on both guys with dropkicks and a dropkick on Doane. Moonsault gets two. And then they double-team Doane with a suplex into Marshall’s claw for the pin at 2:00. So their gimmick is that the Ted Nugent ripoff music plays through whole match, I’m assuming? Like white conservative New Jack? This brings out Simon Gotch and Josef Samael of Contra Unit to attack, but a mysterious Japanese member (unidentified by the announcers, but he’s Ikuro Kwan according to the very helpful MLW website) also comes out and blows mist at Marshall, resulting in BLEEDING FROM THE EYES. Now that’s evil. He might not even be able to see his new baby back in Dallas! Now that’s some good heelin’.
Gringo Loco v. Zenshi
So we go back to the Chicago tapings to fill time after the short Low Ki match. Gringo is a rather portly 205 and Zenshi is a black luchador. They trade some flips and Gringo heads to the floor, where Zenshi follows with a handstand on the apron into a rana on the floor. Back in, Zenshi with a twisting springboard senton back in for two, and a 450 gets two. Zenshi tries to flip into a bodypress, but Gringo catches him and hits a tombstone for the pin at 3:00. Good action there. **1/2
Meanwhile, Davey Boy Smith isn’t really concerned about the drama with his sister, and he’ll procure a submission on Timothy Thatcher later. Brian Pillman Jr. stops by and offers to take care of any of the woman troubles.
Timothy Thatcher v. Davey Boy Smith Jr.
They grapple for position to start and Thatcher takes him down for one, and then goes to a headscissors before Davey escapes. Davey with a headlock on the mat and he goes to work with a hammerlock down there, but Thatcher reverses to a kneebar and turns it into a half crab. Davey powers out, so Thatcher works on the knee and Davey has to make the ropes. Thatcher goes back to the knee with the kneebar and they slug it out from there, and Davey takes him down with an armbar off that. But then Thatcher rolls into an anklelock and turns it into a heel hook, but Davey POWERS UP and reverses into the Sharpshooter. Badass. Thatcher makes the ropes quickly and they slug it out again with forearms. Thatcher’s got a cool deranged Moxley look going on. They do some great near-fall reversals and exchange chops, but Thatcher hits him with a german suplex. Davey gets his own rolling ones and turns it into a Tiger suplex for two. Smith throws kicks, but Thatcher rolls him into an armbar and manages to overpower Davey somehow to get the move. Davey rolls out of it and deadlifts him into the slam to break, and then finishes with a crossface at 14:56. They were working HARD here, and indeed he procured the promised submission. ***1/2
Really good show! I actually enjoyed this a lot more than ROH thanks to the mix of styles and better characters. I’m gonna stick with this for a while and see where it goes.