The Fall of the House of Swerve

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Low Ki vs Shane Strickland at Fightland

Shane Strickland has been fighting and scraping to get back what he lost to Low Ki months back on MLW Fusion. This week, he challenges the World Heavyweight Champion in Chicago!

This week’s episode of Fusion emanates, once again, from Cicero Stadium in Chicago and features one of the marquee matchups from Fightland: Low Ki defending the MLW World Heavyweight Title against former champion Shane “Swerve” Strickland. Kotto Brazil and Trey Miguel square off in a rematch from a previous episode of Fusion, and Marko Stunt takes on the debuting Gringo Loco.

Simon Gotch’s Prize Fight Promise

Backstage, Salina de la Renta was with a camera person and has unfortunately fallen into the Sami Callihan trap of asking if they’re recording which is probably one of my least favorite things. Maybe it’s just the over-saturation of Callihan doing it in basically every one of his promos, but I’d be happy to never have to hear someone ask the camera operator if they’re doing their job while pointing a camera directly at the subject’s face.

In any event, Salina laid down the world’s tiniest briefcase and kicked it across the floor to find a waiting and smarmy Simon Gotch. Salina thanked Gotch for his efforts last week when he led Tom Lawlor to a Promociones Dorado slaughter after his match with Sami Callihan.

After rifling through the loose cash in the tiny briefcase, Gotch let Salina know that he would be more than happy to work with her again in the future. Salina responded that she didn’t trust Gotch at all, but then immediately followed up with an offer of twice as much money if he could take Lawlor out in Miami.

Gotch told Salina that he wanted something more than her money – he wanted her trust. For no money down (and no money later!), Gotch promised to take Lawlor out to prove his loyalty to Salina. Closing out, Gotch delivered a nice line: “I am the end, and I have come for Tom.”

Grade: Fine. I like the overall message, but certain things just felt off.

The effort here is great but I think this segment was thrown off by a few too many nit-picky things. It started off with the “yell at the camera person” thing which I’m finding more and more annoying every time I hear it. The tiny briefcase made me laugh out loud. Couldn’t a regular-sized briefcase be found, or even just a simple bag like the one Gotch uses for his Prize Fight Challenges?

Salina stumbled a bit toward the end when asking for Gotch to take Lawlor out in Miami before quickly repeating the line with the word she missed the first time around. That kind of thing always feels awkward, but hopefully, she’ll continue to grow into her role and be able to improvise in these situations rather than rushing back over the same line.

Gotch was good here, though I feel like his delivery of asking for Salina’s trust could have played off of her comments not a minute before about how she didn’t trust him at all. It didn’t always feel like a conversation was happening, but rather two people getting their lines in without really communicating.

For all of those tiny gripes, though, it moves along quite a few pieces – it sets up a Gotch/Lawlor match in Miami, it establishes Gotch as someone desperate to earn the trust of Salina, and it continues to build Salina as someone who is willing to do anything to take out Low Ki’s opponents before they’re able to make it to the World Heavyweight Champion.

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