MLW Fusion once again comes from Cicero Stadium in Chicago for episode 50. The feature bouts were Myron Reed vs Gringo Loco, Alexander Hammerstone vs Brian Pillman Jr., and a doozy of a death match between LA Park and Mance Warner. Plus, Teddy Hart was arrested, Myron Reed smacked a referee, and the Contra Unit delivered their manifesto.
On to a recap and review of the show…
Teddy Hart arrested
The episode opened with Teddy Hart in the midst of an arrest. I thought he was holding a brick of cocaine. It turns out that it was a regular brick. Hart had been accused of smashing MJF’s car with said brick. He pulled out a fat stack of cash from his fanny pack for Davey Boy Smith Jr. to bail him out and gave Smith his necklaces as a memento of support for Brian Pillman Jr. in his match against Alexander Hammerstone. Pillman arrived on the scene and began screaming as if his dog was being taken to the pound.
MJF and Dick Holliday showed up to rub it in. Pillman yelled, “Snitches get stitches,” even though there was no actual snitching. Despite that poor phrase choice, MJF and Holliday do deserve stitches for their treachery.
Myron Reed vs Gringo Loco
Myron Reed came out with tape over his mouth. A written message of, “Free Swann,” was on the tape. That refers to Rich Swann being suspended for striking an MLW official.
The match had a subplot of Reed being angered by what he perceived as slow counts from the referee. The ref seemed normal to me. The bout was full of flashy maneuvers. Highlights include an inside-outside-inside Code Breaker by Reed, a smooth headscissors takedown by Reed over the ropes on the floor, a sitdown powerbomb followed with a piledriver by Gringo Loco then a cool counter twisting cutter by Reed.
Later, Gringo flattened Reed with a heavy tope con hilo.
Reed is lucky he didn’t crack his head open on the base of the security rail. Sticking on the dangerous tip, Gringo halted Reed’s hurricanrana attempt while on the top turnbuckle, but the move proceeded anyway for Gringo to land awkwardly.
For the finish, Reed pounced with a springboard 450 splash. Gringo kicked out at two, so Reed turned his ire toward the ref. Gringo took advantage with a springboard cutter and a flying corkscrew attack. 1, 2, 3. Gringo Loco was the victor.
After the match, Reed paintbrush slapped the ref with a wide stroke.
Jim Cornette humorously threw Rich Bocchini under the bus by telling Reed that Bocchini called him bad-tempered and unsportsmanlike. The truth is that Cornette said those things on commentary, not Bocchini.
Mance Warner promo
Kaci Lennox was joined by Mance Warner for a backstage interview. Warner told a tale of walking into the MLW corporate office, swinging a chair, and walking out with a scheduled death match against Los Angelees Park. Warner handed a whiteboard to Lennox for her to write his game plan. Light beers, eye pokes, knee pad up, knee pad down. All of that adds up to ding, ding, ding, pay window.
MJF and Richard Holliday promo
MJF giggled at the image of Teddy Hart’s mugshot on his phone. MJF had the bright idea of posting Hart’s mugshot on a billboard in sunny, beautiful Calgary. Holliday was confused by those adjectives to describe Calgary. He said Calgary was a frozen dump. Why would they want to go there? MJF clarified that it was a sarcastic joke. High five to end the scene.
Contra Unit manifesto
Rich Bocchini explained that the Contra Unit demanded MLW play a communique unaltered or suffer the consequences. Contra is a global cabal, the crusaders of nihilistic terror revolutions armada. They are in MLW to infiltrate. They want the gold and the power. Next comes the women? They are the international dealers in violence. And business is good. You can not burn a kingdom made of fire.
Ace Romero response
Ace Romero had words for the Contra Unit after their attack two weeks ago. “You three scumbags are going to have to pay the consequences.”
Alexander Hammerstone vs Brian Pillman Jr.
Alexander Hammerstone was accompanied by MJF and Richard Holliday. Brian Pillman Jr. went solo while wearing Teddy Hart’s necklaces, since Davey Boy Smith Jr. was busy bailing Hart out of the clink. MJF cut a pre-match promo to rile up the crowd, because he is better than they are and they know it.
Pillman hit the ring to attack Hammerstone with a flurry of chops, arm drags, and drop kicks. Pillman was in control until he borrowed a page from Rush’s playbook with a running fake-out to slap Hammerstone. Hammerstone powered up and hit a huge spinebuster. Pillman had some nice moves of his own with a running crossbody and a power slam.
For the finish, MJF stepped up on the apron to distract Pillman. Hammerstone pressed Pillman onto the ropes then hit his vertical suplex pendulum finisher to win.
After the match, it was a 3-on-1 stomping. They ripped Teddy Hart’s chains to pieces and threw them at Pillman.
Tom Lawlor training montage
We were treated to clips of Tom Lawlor training as he was talking smack about future opponent Jimmy Havoc. Lawlor did mitt work, bag work, and submission rolling. The scene finished with Lawlor putting his training partner to sleep.
Death match: Mance Warner vs LA Park
As Jim Cornette said about death match rules, “Anything goes from your nose to your toes.” Chairs, tables, wood planks, a kendo stick, a belt, and suspenders were used.
The bout began with LA Park’s trademark strut. Mance Warner did a rhythmless version and struck with an eye poke to get the action started. The two brawled through the crowd. Warner scored the first major move by stepping off a chair for a spinning DDT. He emptied his catchphrase arsenal with knee pad up, dramatic pause, knee pad down then two running knees. LA Park kicked out.
The fight was physical but nothing too crazy. Highlights include a Russian leg sweep by Warner, a side suplex by Park onto a chair, a cannonball senton off the apron by Park onto a table, a powerslam by Park into a table, a belt vs suspender whipping fight, a chop-fest, and a flying senton by Park through a wooden plank setup.
More highlights include a suicide dive by Park, a rope-assisted DDT by Warner, and a suicide eye poke by Warner.
For the finish, LA Park threw a chair at Warner, who was sitting on the top turnbuckle. There appeared to be a production snafu as Park and Warner crashed to the mat, but we couldn’t see it since the replay of the chair toss blocked the view. Perhaps it was to hide the wrestlers botching something. Park then connected on a missile dropkick and a spear to win.
Episode 50 of MLW Fusion was full of great moments. There were moves aplenty, Mance Warner pronouncing Los Angelees Park, Kaci Lennox making expressions of bewilderment to Warner’s ravings then softly saying she doesn’t drink beer, and the gangbusters main event. My favorite moment was Salina de la Renta doing LA Park’s strut.
I don’t know what it is that makes me laugh so hard at that. It might be the combination of her facial expressions, the exaggeration with her arms, and her skinny legs compared to the frilly dress making it look like she has a gut to match LA Park’s.
I’m not sure what to make of the opening scene with Teddy Hart being arrested. It felt weird to me. If the Hart Foundation was legitimately trying to act serious, then ugh. That was terrible. If the Hart Foundation was in on the joke to make it overly dramatic, then I’d have to watch it again in a different light.
Gringo Loco vs Myron Reed and Alexander Hammerstone vs Brian Pillman Jr. were both entertaining in different ways. The first bout was highlighted with crazy maneuvers, while the second bout was story driven. I like how Pillman brought the fire but couldn’t overcome the power and numbers advantage. It was a nice chapter for the continuing feud between the Dynasty and the Hart Foundation.
Goodness gracious, that death match main event was a slobberknocker. It wasn’t the greatest in a technical sense, but it is certainly my favorite MLW match to date (since I began watching at episode 31). The fight was so ridiculous in a good way.
Mance Warner is a dynamo of entertainment. He has his routine, but Warner also improvises well. For example, Warner was placed on a table, the table legs broke, and he didn’t miss a beat by having a fisticuffs session against the air. As for LA Park, he didn’t hold back. Park brought the ruckus. I could feel the pain on his two sentons. The fight was so engrossing that it doesn’t even matter that Warner lost. Both men win are winners in my eyes as a fan.
Which was your favorite moment from episode 50? What do you think about Myron Reed progressing the Rich Swann storyline? How about the Contra Unit’s manifesto? What has been your favorite MLW match so far?
MLW Fusion airs on beIN SPORTS Saturday nights at 9 pm ET / 6 pm PT. New episodes are posted on YouTube Sundays at noon ET.