MLW closes out a set of shows from Chicago’s Cicero Stadium as they embark on their first-ever live broadcast next week. Tonight, two huge (in different ways) debuts highlight MLW Fusion as Ace Romero faces Marko Stunt and Rush battles AAA Cruiserweight Champion Sammy Guevara in the main event.
Before the show can kick off properly, Simon Gotch was found lurking around the arena by MLW cameras. After being asked why he turned his back on his Team Filthy partner Tom Lawlor, Lawlor appeared from the shadows and gave chase.
Gotch ducked behind a door where Ricky Martinez jumped Lawlor with the two fighting into the building. Gotch closed the door and leaned up against it looking very pleased with himself.
Jason Cade vs Teddy Hart
Neither Cade or Hart can afford a loss here with big matches ahead of them both in Miami next week. Cade will main event the first-ever live edition of MLW Fusion in a four-way ladder match alongside Kotto Brazil, Dezmond Xavier, and Andrew Everett to crown a new World Middleweight Champion while Hart locks up with Pentagon Jr.
As Jason Cade made his way to the ring, we cut to a pre-taped segment with Teddy Hart and Brian Pillman Jr hanging around the headquarters of Pro Wrestling Tees. After shilling the Hart Foundation t-shirt (for sale, of course, at Pro Wrestling Tees), the duo pulled a pair of Tommy Dreamer House of Hardcore shirts from the walls.
Pillman stuffed one of the shirts down his pants and threw the other on the floor before once again telling everybody exactly where they could find the new Hart Foundation t-shirt. I won’t tell you where again, but I’ll give you one guess.
Cade refused a handshake from Hart at the start of the match before catching him with a cheap shot to put himself in control early on. Countering a charge in the corner, The Teddy Hart Show began with Hart taking advantage and hitting his favorite moves on Cade while smacking away at his gum.
After countering a Hart springboard moonsault with a pair of knees, Cade was able to lay into not only Hart but Pillman as well. On the arena floor, Cade backhanded Pillman after he pulled Hart to safety in order to avoid a suicide dive before rocking Hart with a hefty forearm and a whip into the barricade.
Hart fought back with a series of moves looking to put Cade away, but Cade was able to escape the pin attempts every time. Stopping Cade’s attempt at a top rope hurricanrana, Hart finally put Cade down for the count with a pair of Canadian Destroyers. Hart walks away with a victory heading into Miami while Cade will need to make up some ground in the four-way ladder match Friday night.
Grade: Okay. A win for Cade would have meant much more in a match that followed the classic Teddy Hart formula of “do a bunch of moves.”
The original plan for Miami was for The Hart Foundation to challenge The Lucha Bros for the World Tag Team Titles but plans changed after the Fightland taping due to Fenix’s injury. In that sense, it makes sense for Hart to pick up the win heading into the match but Cade has long-since been booked in a four-way for the World Middleweight Title so the pairing feels a bit odd to me. Why give either wrestler a loss heading into (what were) planned title matches?
Hart, again, just feels like he’s “just there” most of the time as he chews gum and flips around the ring expressionless. The highlights of the match came when Cade was able to take control and inject some personality into the match with the way he sells and works the crowd. Next week, Cade will have the opportunity to shine in a match with four contemporaries in what is a very wise choice as the main event for the first-ever MLW Fusion Live.
Konnan Rubs It In
Backstage, Salina de la Renta was ranting to somebody on her phone when Konnan approached her from behind. Konnan asked Salina why it was she was so upset – perhaps because the Lucha Bros retained the World Tag Team Titles last week against Promociones Dorado’s Los Parks?
Konnan suggests Salina ask how Ricky Vega… er… Martinez’s ribs and jaw are before promising that after he takes the MLW World Heavyweight Title from Low Ki, he’s going to come for her.
As Konnan walked away, Salina flipped out with a mini-tantrum before walking away.
Grade: Good. Nice and simple storytelling heading into Miami.
Konnan is great at getting under the skin of Salina who, up until this point, has had no reason to feel frustrated by the lucha libre legend. Until last week, Salina had defeated Konnan at every turn. Now, with the Lucha Bros having defeated Los Parks, what does the future hold for Low Ki when he defends the World Heavyweight Title against Konnan? Has Salina’s stranglehold on MLW begun to loosen?