MLW planted its flag in the former ECW Arena on Saturday night with a taping for MLW Fusion. In addition, three matches aired live on beIN Sports – Ricky Martinez vs Kotto Brazil in a Grudge Match, The Lucha Bros defending the World Tag Team Titles against The Hart Foundation, and Low Ki defending the World Heavyweight Title against Tom Lawlor.
In the biggest news of the night, Tom Lawlor submitted Low Ki to become the new MLW World Heavyweight Champion. This comes after a seven-month build for Lawlor who first staked his claim to the World Heavyweight Title at New York City’s Battle Riot last summer.
Since then, Lawlor has been hot on the heels of Low Ki who solidified his spot at the top through a partnership with Promociones Dorado’s Salina de la Renta. Together, the pair ran roughshod over the top of the card in MLW with decisive and controversial victories over Rey Fenix, Daga, and Konnan.
Through it all, Ki retained his spot as the top dog in the promotion with de la Renta’s cadre working to serve the champion. Unfortunately for the pair, Lawlor was able to withstand all attempts to take him down and came out with his hand raised in a battle against Promociones Dorado’s hired gun Sami Callihan in Chicago.
At the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia, Lawlor put everything else in the rearview mirror with a heightened focus on Low Ki and the main prize in Major League Wrestling. With a rear naked choke, Lawlor became the first man to defeat Low Ki in the 14 years since he first stepped foot in the promotion. Where will the future take Lawlor, Ki, de la Renta, and the MLW World Heavyweight Title?
Teddy Hart added more gold to his collection as he and Hart Foundation partner Davey Boy Smith Jr defeated The Lucha Bros to capture the World Tag Team Titles. Despite the Hart Foundation being prominent parts of the MLW machine over the past several months, any victory over The Lucha Bros has to be considered an upset.
With Pentagon Jr having been unmasked and put out of commission, Smith and Hart were able to hit a blockbuster Canadian Destroyer on Fenix to pick up the surprising win. These two teams had been set to meet during MLW’s Miami double-shot in December but the match was put off due to a groin injury suffered by Fenix. Would the outcome have been the same had the match happened a couple of months earlier?
This leads to questions about the future of The Lucha Bros in Major League Wrestling. At Friday’s “Come Hell Or High Water” event in Atlanta, Pentagon and Fenix agreed to a handshake deal with The Young Bucks to compete in All Elite Wrestling. While the details of their deal are still coming to light, it seems as though they still aren’t exclusive to just one company.
Nonetheless, MLW took to Twitter to note that the former champions had stormed out of the arena following their loss. Could this be the start of a new storyline for the tandem or a way to write them out of the company going forward? With Rush having recently departed MLW for Ring of Honor, one has to hope that we’re not seeing a further lucha exodus from the company.
The ongoing saga between Kotto Brazil and Ricky Martinez saw another chapter written when the two met in a Grudge Match. Weeks back, Brazil was reported injured in a wild club brawl in which Martinez smashed a champagne glass in his eye. Brazil was put on the shelf for weeks before finally making his return to MLW with a win over Vandal Ortagun.
Brazil’s celebration would be short-lived, however, as Martinez appeared from the crowd to attack his nemesis and abscond with his protective eyepatch. For Martinez and Brazil, this was a chance to showcase their abilities to the world after having been somewhat lost in the shuffle of the stacked MLW cards.
Martinez found victory with the help of Salina de la Renta and a can of mace. With Brazil’s vision compromised, Martinez was able to cradle him for the victory. I don’t think we’ve seen the end of this feud which would be great for both men. Brazil and Martinez deserve a stage on which to shine and the more TV time and focus they get each week on MLW Fusion, the better.
In other news from the taping, it was announced that Jimmy Havoc would soon be returning to the company. Havoc was last seen being defeated by Sami Callihan in a wild Spin The Wheel, Make The Deal match last October.
Alexander Hammerstone and Mance Warner both made their debuts at the taping in victorious fashion. The Sandman made his return to MLW as the mystery partner for Tommy Dreamer but the hardcore legends came up short against Brian Pillman Jr and mystery partner Davey Boy Smith Jr.
We’ll have a full report on the MLW Fusion LIVE episode once it hits YouTube as well as results and highlights from the coming episodes of Fusion as SuperFight plays out each week. MLW will return to the 2300 Arena on June 6 and will return to beIN Sports with another live broadcast on March 2 from Chicago’s Intimidation Games event.