MLW Fusion 39
January 12 2019
We’re in Miami, Florida for MLW Fusion. Hosts are Tony Schiavone and Rich Bocchini. We start out backstage with Tom Lawlor eavesdropping Selina yelling at Sami Callihan.
Low Ki addresses the cameras and says he’ll retire as MLW champion whenever he wants to. His voice is all creamy and like an educated Bond villain.
Dragon Lee vs. Rich Swann
Swann has a slight change in attitude here. He’s telling fans to kiss his ass and refusing handshakes.
Dragon Lee has apparently been away on an island filming a reality TV show and as a result looks like shit. He’s a half a step off his usual pace and struggles with things he was finding easy beforehand. Swann as a result has to be the driving force in the match and it makes sense that he’s out here as a heel. Despite Lee being a little off the pace they do nail down some nice sequences. The one that culminates in Swann hitting a roundhouse to the face is well done. Phoenix Splash misses and Lee finishes Swann off. This was very underwhelming. Lee showing signs of ring rust.
Final Rating: **3/4
Video Control gives us a promo from Brian Pillman Jr.
Considering he’s only been in the business for about a year he’s coming along nicely. He has that same demeanour as his dad when he’s around at ringside but on promos he’s a little more mechanical and rehearsed. He lacks that raw energy.
Singapore Cane Match
Brian Pillman Jr vs. Tommy Dreamer
Pillman comes out here wearing half his wardrobe in an attempt to nullify the Singapore Cane shots. “Pillman has multiple layers, like an onion” – Bocchini. Dreamer plays this smart. He uses plunder and keeps it slow and methodical with everything having meaning and building to something else. A lot of Tommy’s trademark stuff from ECW is still largely relevant to his style. He’s never been a great worker but he’s always been a hard worker. Pillman comes across as ruthless for drilling Tommy with the cane whereas Dreamer barely makes contact and stomps the mat, going easy on the kid. Pillman Jr comes away with the win with the Dire Promise, his cross armed neckbreaker. This was fine. Dreamer isn’t going to have four star bouts in 2019 and Pillman Jr is still finding himself. Solid stuff.
Final Rating: **1/2
MLW World Championship
Low Ki (c) vs. Fred Yehi
Low Ki’s jobberitis occasionally creates useful angles. He’s never lost in MLW, going back to 2004. I’m sure they wanted him to lose at some point but the Ki don’t count lights!
Ki, despite being psychotic and having shanked Konnan, still has his fans. Yehi makes a point of taking this to the mat where he feels he can outwrestle Ki. It’s tactically set for a long, drawn out chess-style battle of the wills. Only there five minutes left on the show so that’s not happening. The pace suddenly accelerates with strikes and Ki ends it with a double stomp on the spine. Wow, that was brisk! It felt like the start of a good match and then the finish hit. I’d love to see this over 15-20 minutes instead of a sprint.
Final Rating: **1/2
Video Control closes the show with Sami Callihan hunting for Tom Lawlor.
Lawlor decks him off screen and emerges carrying a hammer. No messing about from Filthy Tom!
Not the greatest of weeks for in-ring but a good week for story. I like Low Ki’s work as champion. I like Lawlor being built up so strongly as his challenger. I like the various heel elements combining to try and prevent Lawlor’s ascension. A decent show this week but nothing ‘must see’.