Major League Wrestling Fusion – May 4, 2018: Set Up That Wrestling Board

IMG Credit: Major League Wrestling

Fusion #3
Date: May 4, 2018
Location: Gilt Nightclub, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: Rich Bocchini, Tony Schiavone

This show is doing a good job of making me want to come back. They’re still introducing talent and that makes me curious about who else they have. Now unfortunately tonight has two people that I’ve never gotten the appeal of in MVP and Sami Callihan. MVP has had some moments that were fine but Callihan is just rather annoying most of the time. Hopefully things are a bit better tonight so let’s get to it.

Here are last week’s results if you need a recap.

Here’s Jimmy Havoc, who got in a fight with Joey Janela at this year’s Walemania. Havoc calls out Janela for a fight and Joey, a “bad boy” who seems to be obsessed with the 80s, is here in short order. They fight to the back and here’s Low Ki (ERG, and still in the Hitman gear), who was recently suspended for attacking management and arguing with MVP.

Apparently he’s represented by Black Friday Management and MLW is trying to revoke their promoter’s license. He calls out MVP and gets answered but Callihan sneaks up from behind and chokes MVP with a baseball bat. I’m not wild on most of the people in this but getting in two storyline building segments like this in about five minutes is tight show booking.

Opening sequence.

Tom Lawlor vs. ACH

Lawlor has Team Filthy with him, including Simon Gotch, who you may remember as Simon Gotch. Hang on though as Lawlor has a broken forearm so ACH can face Gotch instead.

Simon Gotch vs. ACH

Feeling out process to start as the announcers question Gotch’s sanity. ACH starts in on the arm with an armbar and a shoulder to put him down with some power. Of course that’s followed by the flips because wrestlers need flips. A cross armbreaker is broken up with ACH getting his foot on the rope so Gotch chops the heck out of him instead.

Gotch slaps on a headscissor choke to keep ACH in trouble before switching to an armbar of his own. Back from a break (nothing changed because MLW is sweet that way) with a chestwrench suplex getting two on ACH. A legsweep and double stomp to the back has Gotch in some trouble but he’s back up with a suplex attempt. That’s quickly reversed as well and a rollup gives ACH the pin at 7:20.

Rating: D+. ACH is hit and miss for me as sometimes he’s fine but other times he leaves me wondering what in the world anyone sees in him. This really wasn’t the most thrilling stuff in the world and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. His match with Austin Aries from two weeks ago was good, but how bad could an Aries match actually be? Not the worst match, but nothing great at all.

Post match Lawlor and his unnamed associate join in a beatdown and looks just fine. Lawlor mocks ACH’s “GO GO ACH” chant and says he’s going to the ICU. Lawlor can talk.

The MLW Top Ten:

10. Barrington Hughes

9. Joey Janela

8. Jeff Cobb

7. Rey Fenix

6. Sami Callihan

5. Tom Lawlor

4. Low Ki

3. MVP

2. Jimmy Havoc

1. Pentagon Jr.

Of course the World Champion is on the top, which is the case with most wrestling top ten lists.

Video on Shane Strickland.

Video on Maxwell J. Friedman, who is very rich and has a punchable face. Don’t hate him because of his family’s history at Dartmouth or his big house.

Mike Parrow vs. Vandal Ortagun

Parrow is a big guy who looks like a monster while Ortagun is a striker from Turkey. Ortagun gets pulled out of the air for trying a crossbody and gets sent into the corner with a fall away slam. There’s a gorilla press but Ortagun slips out of a powerslam and takes out the knee. Cue Colonel Robert Parker to watch as Parrow grabs a chokeslam to plant Ortagun. A pop up sitout powerbomb ends Vandal at 2:11. Total squash and Parrow looked good.

Parrow leaves with Parker.

Salina de la Renta is being asked about Pentagon Jr.’s chances against Shane Strickland when she sees Strickland. She tells him not to get used to the title because this isn’t his house. Again: feels like Zelina Vega minus the fire.

Havoc promises blood when he meets Janela again and wants to lick it off of him. They meet next week.

Lawlor confirms that he is medically cleared and will take out ACH next week. ACH is getting way more ring time than anyone else on this show.

We look at Callihan attacking MVP earlier tonight.

Callihan likes the idea of climbing the ranking system because it would tick people off. He’s using MVP as a stepping stone so MVP’s son will see him as a failure. Callihan is here to be the World Champion and that’s all that matters.

Sami Callihan vs. MVP

MVP is out before his entrance and hammers away, which is how a match like this should start. A clothesline has almost no effect on MVP so they head outside where MVP chops the post by mistake. Callihan hits some hard shots of his own and puts him in a chair, only to take WAY too long on a charge, allowing MVP to send him into the chair instead. With the wrestling (as little of it as there has been) not working, Callihan goes for the eyes and throws him into the crowd.

Back with MVP in the ring (with something having changed this time) and Callihan ripping off the breathing strip from the nose. He takes too long AGAIN though and gets caught in a delayed vertical suplex for a double knockdown. MVP heads outside and this time catches Callihan in a Rock Bottom on the apron. They get back in at an eighteen count and that means a slugout, including kicks to the face (as it should be in a violent match like this).

A Helluva Kick and a t-bone suplex drop Callihan, setting up the Ballin Elbow (to very little reaction). Callihan, who is hard to keep down, hits a Samoan Driver and grabs the bat but the referee gets decked. There’s the Playmaker but a good sized bald guy comes in to Rock Bottom MVP. That’s only good for two so MVP grabs a TKO but has to deal with the big guy. Callihan’s Cradle Killer (double underhook shoulder breaker) is good for the pin at 12:55.

Rating: B-. I’m not big on either guy but this was a completely watchable brawl. Callihan is becoming a bigger deal with his despicable heel act and there’s a good chance he’s going to become a top player outside WWE in the near future. MVP is definitely past his chance to be a major force in the future but at least he can still put on a good match, which was the case here.

Post match Callihan spits at the referee and the big guy carries him out.

Another look at Havoc and Janela fighting at Walemania.

We look at next week’s matches.

Strickland is more confident than ever and the title isn’t going anywhere. He goes into his dressing room and is surprised to see what looks like a Day of the Dead shrine to him. Shane looks into the mirror with a skull on it, with the skull covering his face (cool shot) to end the show.

Overall Rating: C+. While there wasn’t a big blow away match or angle on here, they’ve done a good job of setting up some stories and angles. Strickland comes off as the star and he has a nice rogues gallery waiting to get their shot at the title. It’s far from perfect but I’m liking it well enough to keep watching, which is hard to do in modern wrestling.

Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews and pick up the paperback edition of the NXT The Full Sail Years Volume III (also available as an e-book) from Amazon. Check out the information here:

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