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Winfree’s MLW: Fusion (Ep. 111) Review 11.25.20

November 25, 2020 | Posted by Robert Winfree
MLW: Fusion Tom Lawlor
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Winfree’s MLW: Fusion (Ep. 111) Review 11.25.20  

Hello everyone, Robert Winfree back to keep you updated on all the comings and goings in MLW now that they’re back up and running. Apologies for missing the restart, behind the scenes and real world issues popped up but we should be full steam ahead going forward.

We’ve got some Opera Cup matches coming up tonight, and there’s some decent talent currently lined up. Rich Bocchini and Jared Saint Laurent are on commentary, I don’t think I’ve heard either of them before so this will be a new experience. Commentary does a quick recap of last week and previews what’s coming up. Our entrances for the first match are next. There’s a bit of a vignette when Holliday gave an update on Hammerstone, and mocked the masked man who attacked Hammerstone last week. He then gets into a verbal altercation with former Dynasty member Gino. They argue about whether he was fired or if he quit, that goes on for a bit then Holliday is vaguely threatened.

Match #1 – Opera Cup Bout: Richard Holliday vs. TJP w/ Bu Ku Dao

They start out circling, have a couple of tie ups but Holliday shoves TJP down. TJP gets a side headlock, then an elevated headlock takeover, Holliday with a headscissors to counter, TJP with an Austin Aires headstand to drop kick escape. Holliday hangs out in the corner, regains himself and they square up again. Kicks from Holliday then a side headlock of his own. TJP escapes and goes for an octopus stretch but Holliday gets to the ropes. They trade some arm wringers, Holliday gets a roll up for 2. TJP gets a hammerlock, Holliday picks an ankle and starts trying to attack the leg. Headscissors takeover from TJP and they run into each other but the larger Holliday drops TJP with a shoulder block. Holliday gets TJP on his shoulders, TJP arm drags his way out, they trade escapes and counters but neither gets a real advantage. TJP drop kicks Holliday out of the ring, TJP with a springboard drop kick to the outside. Back into the ring, TJP goes up top but Holliday wiggles the ropes and crotches him. Holliday goes with the old Garvin stomp attack, then some shoulder strikes and a northern lights suplex for a near fall. TJP with a modified sunset attack, he uses to that to get a sharpshooter then switches that into a Muta lock. Holliday counters with a chin lock, TJP switches around to Pentagon’s armbreaker/stump puller. Knee from Holliday, he gets TJP to the apron and they trade some missed blows then Holliday hits a clothesline. TJP gets a near armbar over the ropes. Headbutt from TJP, then he hits a hurricanrana into the ring. Holliday catches a crossbody and hits an air raid crash for 2. Next Holliday decides to work a rear chin lock so they can both rest. Some blows are traded, TJP then counters a double underhook move with an armdrag then hits a tornado DDT. Snap suplexes from TJP, 3 of them in point of fact then he heads up top and misses a swanton bomb. TJP runs into a spinebuster, Holliday hits the Market Crash to end things.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Richard Holliday pinned TJP at 10:25

Rating: 1.5 stars

Might be a touch generous, there were plenty of moves but very little actual story. The MLW guys going over in the opening rounds here is kind of a given when they’re facing guests.

A video message from the Von Erich’s in Hawaii. They wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. Another look back at last week and then a video from Myron Reed calling out Lio Rush who’s just arrived. Over to MLW, he got paid to be here and wants a big debut in a title fight with Reed.

Muhammad “King Mo” Lawal on video now, he’s got issues with Low Ki being in the Opera Cup when he isn’t despite him beating Low Ki. Mo says every commission shouldn’t let Low Ki wrestle anymore for medical reasons. Dan Lambert via video in his car, he is also incensed that Low Ki is there and King Mo isn’t. He updates us that he’s suing to get Low Ki back on the medical suspensions list soon, and promises repercussions for Mo being excluded.

Salina De La Renta shows up on commentary to demand answers, someone apparently is trying to cancel her contract. She says MLW is full of hypocrites and she’s got an episode that she’ll be executive producing coming up, and if that isn’t honored she’s got lawsuits and dirty bombs to drop on MLW. Does MLW even have an on screen authority figure for these people to threaten, or at these just going out into the aether? She addresses Konan in particular, but that gets cut off by a Contra bit of static.

The debuting Calvin Tankman shows up next.

Match #2: Calvin Tankman vs. Robert Martyr

Tankman no sells Martyr’s offense, then drops him with a kick to the face. Chops from Tankman in the corner. Martyr tries to fight back, but runs into a spinning backbreaker, then a clothesline. Tankman Driver ends things.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Calvin Tankman pinned Jobber McGee at 1:14

Rating: Turban. . . SQUASH

Predictable, but did the job I suppose.

Tankman in the back, he’s excited to have debuted in MLW, dedicates the win to his family and supporters. He’s gonna do what he set out to do, beat everyone until he gets to the champ by any means.

Another recap of Hammerstone being attacked last week, and a “medical” update. Hammerstone on the phone now, he feels like he was cheated and even at only 80% he’s better than everyone else at 100%. He doesn’t know who that new Contra guy is, but he’s going to get revenge. That feed is interrupted by Josef Samael of Contra Unit. He says Hammerstone invited this by calling himself the Contra Hunter, and Contra wasn’t going to back down from that. The Black Hand of Contra has dealt Hammerstone the death card.

Main event up next.

Match #3 – Opera Cup Bout: Rocky Romero vs. “Filthy” Tom Lawlor w/ Team Filthy

Lawlor with a low single leg, Romero defends, gets a rear waist lock, Lawlor hits an armdrag bur Romero gets a headscissors counter. Headscissors escape from Lawlor and he lands some elbows then they roll and Romero gets a near fall and they reset. Leg kicks from Romero now, Lawlor with another rear waist lock, Romero counters with a cravate. Lawlor returns the cravate but Romero counters for an armbar and Lawlor escapes to force another break. Another takedown from Lawlor, Romero attacks a leg to force a scramble, near spladdle from Lawlor but Romero spins through and gets a side headlock.

Romero wont give up that headlock, every time Lawlor tries an escape he just gets it back immediately. They clash on a shoulder tackle, neither man going down. Another shoulder tackle, the same result. Romero keeps trying, eventually goes to leg kicks but eventually Lawlor lands a shoulder tackle to drop Romero. They start trading strikes, Lawlor is bleeding on his back, not sure what caused that. Romero hits a drop kick, Lawlor out of the right but Romero follows and hits a diving knee from the apron. Lawlor takes his time getting back into the ring, when he does Romero ambushes him with kicks and stomps. More strikes from Romero, then a snapmare into a rear chin lock sequence. Lawlor fights back with strikes but runs into an octopus stretch. A toe hold to counter from Lawlor, he drives Romero down with it but Romero counters with a headscissors takedown. Lawlor with a drop toe hold into an Indian death lock, then a bow and arrow stretch but Romero gets the ropes to break the hold.

Forearms and knees from Lawlor, then a seated blockbuster and low clothesline for a near fall. Chops from Lawlor, then a Russian leg sweep for another near fall. Lawlor now trying to work a Fujiwara armbar, transitions to working the arms but Romero fights up and rolls through for a Rings of Saturn. Lawlor gets to the ropes and forces a break. They start trading chops, Lawlor gets the better of that and goes back to attacking the leg with a heel hook. Lawlor doesn’t like the angle, switches to more of a straight ankle lock, Romero misses an enziguri but hits a back kick to the face and both men are down. Romero with jabs and chops, then a guillotine choke but Lawlor suplexes him out of it. Lawlor nearly gets a rear naked choke, Romero fights out and lands a kick then hits a tornado DDT so both men are down again. Romero drapes Lawlor over the middle rope and lands kicks, then hits a double stomp to the back but can’t put Lawlor away. Romero onto the top rope, drives his knee into the arm of Lawlor. Knees from Romero, Lawlor catches a kick but Romero uses that for a sweep into a flying armbar. Lawlor fights out of the armbar, gets the back but can’t get the choke. Romero tries sliced bread #2, can’t get it the first time but after a couple of strikes does hit it for a near fall.

Clotheslines from Romero, he constantly avoids Lawlor’s counters but eventually Lawlor does catch him with a modified uranage. Leg kicks from Lawlor now, Romero gives them right back and they trade chops as well now. Romero with a low dropkick, Lawlor gets a backslide for a nearfall. Romero tries an O’Connor roll but gets countered into another pinning hold and Lawlor wins.

OFFICIAL RESULT: “Filthy” Tom Lawlor pinned Rocky Romero at 17:43

Rating: 2 stars

I wish the limb work and overall psychology played out more, but Romero showed enough striking knowledge to keep that interesting while Lawlor’s mat work eventually caught up to Romero when he found himself in a surprise predicament. Not sure this needed almost 18 minutes, but it wasn’t a chore to sit through.

Lawlor gets a mic after that, he says there’s no one to interview him so he’ll do it himself. He says last year he was left out of the Opera Cup and cheated out of his chance to make history. Everyone else in the Cup just saw what’s coming for them, he’ll put his name alongside the past greats.

Commentary runs down the action for next week, headlined by Davey Boy Smith Jr. vs. Low Ki. Also whoever that new Contra guy is, he’ll be in action next week. That will close this weeks show.

The final score: review Not So Good
The 411
Middle of the road episode for a one hour style program. TJP and Holliday was predictably skippable, but Romero and Lawlor both showed up to work. A new guy debuted, and I'm sure we'll hear no end of how he's the coming breed of athletic super heavyweight. About the only thing I'd really recommend is the main event, the other promo work was just there and if you've seen one squash match you've kind of seen them all.

article topics :

MLW: Fusion, Robert Winfree