MLW Fusion is back with a live hour from Intimidation Games in Chicago. The feature bouts were Fenix & Pentagon vs Laredo Kid & Taurus and a steel cage championship match between Tom Lawlor and Low Ki. Plus, Jim Cornette debuted on commentary.
On to a recap and review of the show…
The Contra symbol flashed during the introduction. The mysterious symbol would be present at least twice more during the broadcast.
If you haven’t yet heard, Jim Cornette has joined the MLW announcing team. He was flanked by Rich Bocchini. More on Cornette later.
Laredo Kid & Taurus vs Fenix & Pentagon
This superstar tag match was explained as Fenix and Pentagon taking on the world in a showcase challenge. The bout was AAA’s turn with Laredo Kid and Taurus as representatives. Fenix and Pentagon entered with their horned samurai outfits.
Pentagon and Taurus started it off with a Cero Miedo hand gesture in the bull’s face. Taurus grabbed Pentagon’s wrist, so Fenix hopped in to superkick Taurus in the side of the head. The pace was non-stop from there. Top highlights include a floating springboard moonsault by Laredo to the outside, a springboard moonsault by Fenix to the outside, a tandem rolling splash by the Lucha Bros, and a nifty submission train that I will let a picture do the talking.
More highlights include a tightrope walking double foot stomp by Fenix, a slugfest between Fenix and Laredo, a 450 splash by Laredo onto a Lucha Bros body sandwich, and a teamwork monkey flip attack by the Lucha Bros.
The finishing sequence involved a package piledriver by Pentagon to Laredo with Fenix doing a flying double stomp on Laredo’s way down for extra oomph. Fenix immediately sprinted for a suicide dive and bounced off Taurus into the crowd. Pentagon pinned Laredo off the previously mentioned teamwork package piledriver.
After the match, fans tossed money into the ring as a sign of respect in the lucha libre world. Fenix grabbed a mic to speak in English. He thanked Chicago, Laredo, Taurus, MLW, then he said, “This is lucha or wrestling, whatever you want to call, but this is my life!!!”
Teddy Hart and Brian Pillman Jr. discussed the Freebird rules for their tag team championship. Hart mentioned that six man tag titles will be coming soon to MLW. Hell, yeah! I’m excited for that prospect.
Whoa, the steel cage is already up for the main event.
That took about two minutes. Remember that this was a live episode. The match didn’t begin for another four minutes or so. I imagine the cage was still getting secured in place during that time.
MJF & Richard Holliday promo
Backstage, MJF jabbered on about the Hart Foundation and the Freebird rules. He took a real low blow by referencing the Harts, Freebirds, and Von Erichs. “You know what’s so funny about the Hart Foundation (and the Freebirds and the Von Erichs)? You guys pride yourself in family and yet how happy are those happy endings?” MJF continued talking about how MLW fans deserve true role models. Holliday stood silently on the side and made humorous facial reactions to MJF’s words.
Salina de la Renta promo
Kaci Lennox was outside Low Ki’s locker room when Salina de la Renta walked up. Low Ki is still on a media blackout. De la Renta will have her sweet, sweet, revenge on Tom Lawlor tonight.
Before we get to the main event, let’s hear a prediction from Dan “The Beast” Severn. This video was not part of the broadcast.
Severn chose Lawlor. “Go do it there, champ. The Beast has got your back.” Interesting to note, Lawlor and Severn had a match against one another where Lawlor pretended to be Severn.
Heavyweight Championship inside a steel cage: Tom Lawlor vs Low Ki
Um, Tom Lawlor just put his hand inside his trunks to rub/scratch his balls, then he kissed his own hand. I have no idea what that was all about. I know his nickname is, “Filthy,” but I didn’t think it was to be taken literally.
The cage match rules are win by pin, submission, or escape.
As ring announcer Tim Barr and a cameraman were exiting the cage, Low Ki pounced on Lawlor. Low Ki actually looked more like an experienced MMA fighter than Lawlor in the early going. Low Ki had a nice takedown and utilized grappling. Lawlor benefited from his size advantage and toughness. The match was down and dirty with a variety of strikes and holds. Very few flashy moves were attempted.
The final five minutes took place on the cage. Lawlor initially climbed the turnbuckles to escape, but Low Ki scaled him for a dragon sleeper against the top cage corner. Low Ki was at the top of the cage as Lawlor took a tumble to get stuck in a tree of woe. Low Ki stood atop the cage and contemplated a super flying stomp, but Lawlor shook the steel. Low Ki slipped and smashed his balls straddling the top.
Both men were at the top of the cage exchanging punches and battling for position. They made their way down the outside while still dueling. Lawlor and Low Ki were about level with the middle rope when Low Ki smashed Lawlor’s head various times against the cage. Lawlor lost his grip and fell to the floor to win. Basically, Low Ki unintentionally helped Lawlor win. Oops.
Tom Lawlor remains your MLW Heavyweight Champion.
After the match, a mustacheless Simon Gotch, Josef Salaem, and Jacob Fatu attacked Tom Lawlor. The trio pummeled Lawlor inside the cage to set up a huge flying splash by Jacob Fatu off the top of the steel. Holy shit!
Oh me, oh my. That had to hurt.
Here is a neat photo from Ryan Loco capturing the scene mid-flight.
Simon Gotch pulled out a Contra flag and draped it over Lawlor’s beaten body. That’s how the show went off the air. Rich Bocchini didn’t even get a chance to scream and yell a goodbye. All he said was, “That’s going to do it.”
The atmosphere was blazing hot in Chicago for MLW’s live episode of Intimidation Games. There were some small issues and one major one, but the show was enjoyable overall.
First off, let’s start with the debut of Jim Cornette. He brought great energy and enthusiasm to the broadcast booth.
Cornette was so pleased about his beIN SPORTS tennis racket cover that he gave it a kiss, with a smooch noise to boot. Cornette was funny right off the bat by referring to his partner as Rich Zucchini.
Some of Cornette’s highlights were saying Taurus (Tor-roos) with a Kentucky accent for the Spanish pronunciation, “I understand third grade was the hardest five years of your life,” to Rich Bocchini, and “You couldn’t get another human being in here with vaseline,” in reference to the sold out crowd. He also hit all his product placements by mentioning beIN SPORTS, GoDaddy, and Fusion. To top it off, Cornette dropped some historic knowledge about a Frank Gotch vs George Hackensmith rematch at Wrigley Field in 1911 setting the all-time gate record in wrestling with 30,000 fans.
I was wondering how Cornette would handle commentary for the lucha libre bout. He didn’t try to hide the difficulty. “I think we need to replay this in slow motion. I’m not going to be able to call this.” Cornette ended up doing fine by not trying to overtalk during the contest.
The AAA vs Lucha Bros tag team was a blazing pace. The were rocking and rolling so hard that it was the cause of one of the minor negative issues with the broadcast. I don’t know if it was the camerawork or production people, but they missed the shot a couple of times. One was Taurus doing a corkscrew suicide dive and another was the winning pin after Fenix flew into the crowd. I would cut the team some slack though. Taurus’ move was spur of the moment and caught me by surprise. I fully anticipated him to run the ropes, not jump through them. In the finish, it must have been tough since two major moments happened simultaneously so far apart. Live and learn for next time.
The cage match was exciting as a whole. There was enough drama to keep me interested. However, there was one huge problem. Why didn’t either wrestler jump down off the cage at the end? Tom Lawlor and Low Ki were only at the middle rope level. A hop down would not have been very difficult. Luchadores routinely take more risk with all their high-flying. It reminded of the joke when someone is drowning in shallow water and all they need to do is stand up. The finish looked like a case of trying to be too cute for their own good.
I also wasn’t a fan of how Lawlor won. I like to see wrestlers win on their own accord, not the fluke victory in how it played out. It feels like the Lawlor/Low Ki feud is not over yet. I’m kind of ready to move past it though. I’m cool with revisiting the story later down the line, but I’d prefer a fresh matchup for Lawlor at the next event.
The super splash by Jacob Fatu off the top of the cage certainly made up for any shortcomings in the main event. Daaaamn! I am intrigued where that story is heading. I like how Simon Gotch hasn’t forgotten his beef with Tom Lawlor.
How would you rate the live hour of Intimidation Games? Who would you like to see the Lucha Bros wrestle next in MLW? What do you think about the cage match finish? Did you lose your pants over Jacob Fatu’s super splash?