MLW Fusion returned from Gilt Nightclub in Orlando for episode 84. It featured the Von Erichs clashing with the Contra Unit, the AirPod God and Meat Castle of the Dynasty being humiliated, and Tom Lawlor clashing with Davey Boy Smith Jr. in the grappling main event. Also, Lawlor teased WWE as his next home when his MLW contract is up.
On to a recap and review of the show...
A backstage convo between Tom Lawlor and the Von Erichs opened. Tom and Marshall were getting pumped for their bouts. Lawlor mentioned it might be only a few more weeks while he is in MLW, but he is ready to send Davey Boy Smith Jr. to the pound. Marshall asked for them to have his back in the case of any Contra Unit interference against Ikuro Kwon. Marshall exited, and Tom and Ross slapped each other on the back. I thought they were going to keep slapping as a goof. Instead, they hugged in a brotherly moment.
Ikuro Kwon vs Marshall Von Erich
Josef Samael and Ross Von Erich were ringside. Ikuro Kwon attacked Marshall Von Erich with a somersault cannonball over the ropes before the opening bell. Later, Samael shouted something that inspired Kwon to unleash an awesome E. Honda strike barrage.
In the end, Marshall was in control after a pop-up spinebuster. He applied the Iron Claw, but Samael broke it up with illegal interference. Ross helped clear the ring. Disqualification victory for Marshall.
Gift train, bro!
On the latest Lifestyles of the Rich and Dynastic, Richard Holliday was chatting with MJF via video call. MJF was covering his face after a botched botox surgery. Holliday recoiled in horror when MJF removed his hand.
Alexander Hammerstone walked up to tell them about a huge opportunity. Chugga chugga chugga, gift train! Hammerstone teased a huge gift. China wishes they had gifts this big. MJF asked if it was a giant Burberry scarf. Holliday asked if it was really big AirPods. Hammerstone wouldn’t tell them, but it might be the biggest gift train yet. Things are going to be moving up for the Dynasty.
Alexander Hammerstone & Richard Holliday vs Dominic Garrini & Douglas James
Richard Holliday cut a promo in the ring. He was interrupted by a phone call from his lawyer/father. Holliday was upset about getting the tag team titles back. Holliday hung up and the promo continued. Krav magarbage won’t work against the AirPod God and the Meat Castle of the Dynasty. They will prove they are the most dynastic force in MLW.
This was a comedy bout with serious grappling. Holliday began wrestling while still wearing his AirPods. The underdogs controlled the action early with submissions from Dominic Garrini and speedy kicks from Douglas James. Hammerstone regained momentum by Gorilla pressing James onto the ropes.
In the end, Garrini and James were victorious via count-out. Garrini and Holliday were brawling on the floor. James hit Hammerstone with a flying DDT off the apron, then James beat the 20 count to win.
Teddy Hart will be out indefinitely due to third degree burns from Josef Samael’s fireball.
Myron Reed talked about bias telling you Reed won’t be the greatest of all time, but everyone will be celebrating his name. RIP Matt Travis. Free ACH.
A delivery man approached the Von Erichs and Tom Lawlor with a package. Inside was a video message from Josef Samael. One of the Von Erichs will get a Heavyweight title shot against Jacob Fatu on Thanksgiving. Samael believes violence is the solution for everything, and man should be just as cruel as nature. The brothers decided Marshall would be the man. Contract signed. That bout will take place on MLW’s Thanksgiving special (Nov. 28) on YouTube at 6 pm ET.
Kaci Lennox interviewed Zeda Zhang. She is excited to launch MLW’s women’s division and show the world why Zhang brings the bang. Zhang plans on squishing the Spider Lady and removing her mask for the world to see her face.
Jimmy Havoc accepted Mance Warner’s request for Falls Count Anywhere. Orlando is Havoc’s town. He knows the swamps, bars, and where to take Warner. Havoc is going to hit Warner with a frying pan then drink his blood.
Hype video for King Mo coming to MLW. He was sitting ringside for the main event.
Davey Boy Smith Jr. vs Tom Lawlor
Highlights for this grapple duel include a trifecta of snap suplexes from Davey Boy Smith Jr., a Saito suplex by Smith, a variety of vicious open-hand strikes, and Smith rolling through for a Sharpshooter.
In the end, both men were winging slaps. Lawlor made contact with Davey’s eye in what looked like a possibly intentional thumb poke. Lawlor hopped on Smith’s back for a choke. Smith countered to set up a powerslam, but Lawlor escaped. Lawlor elbowed Smith’s body to drive him down into a backbreaker. Lawlor picked up the pin to win. Afterward, Smith rolled away clutching his eye.
Kaci Lennox interviewed Lawlor. For the first time ever in Lawlor’s life, he holds his destiny in his hands. His contract is up in mere weeks. Will he stay in MLW? Maybe go back to the cage (MMA)? Will his services be needed elsewhere to get a little Raw or lay a Smack on somebody? Not only is Filthy Tom the hottest commodity in MLW, he is the hottest thing in professional wrestling.
The buzz coming out of episode 84 of MLW Fusion was no doubt designed to be Tom Lawlor’s promo teasing an exit to WWE. This story has me flummoxed. I thought for sure Lawlor’s time with MLW was coming to a close, but that promo makes it seem like a storyline leading to Lawlor re-signing with MLW. Lawlor has been a good soldier during his MLW tenure, so I could see them letting him leave on a high note of victories. However, this is professional wrestling. Tradition dictates that Lawlor puts someone over on his way out. King Mo was ringside, but I didn’t get a feeling that MLW was trying to tease a future altercation with Lawlor. I have no clue what to expect, and that’s the best part.
The match itself was fine. It falls into the recent trend of grapple matches in MLW where you either enjoy that style and liked the match or find that style to be a bit on the boring side and mentally tuned out. Speaking of not knowing what to believe, was Lawlor’s eye poke to Davey Boy Smith Jr. intentional or accidental? Based on just the action, it looked to me like accidental that led to a quick finish. Based on commentary, they were pushing the narrative that it may have been intentional.
The Lifestyles of the Rich and Dynastic was goofy putzes at their finest. A must-see segment for Dynasty fans. Their tag match was comedy done right in wrestling. Yes, Richard Holliday and Alexander Hammerstone were silly, but they put over their opponents’ skills as legit threats. The Dynasty also did work when it was time to be serious.
Highlight of the night for me was Ikuro Kwon. He was impressive when busting out the striking barrages. Normally, that might look hokey in pro wrestling, but it totally worked with his backstory and connection to Contra. That is a perfect example of MLW knowing their own world and working with the details that have been told to us as fans. It is moments like that which earn them the benefit of the doubt as storytellers in the future.
What was your favorite moment from episode 84 of MLW Fusion? What do you think is fact and what do you think is fiction in the Tom Lawlor story? Do you think the finish to the main event was planned that way? What guesses do you have for Alexander Hammerstone’s gift train?
MLW Fusion airs on beIN SPORTS and PlayStation Vue Saturday nights at 9 pm ET / 6 pm PT. New episodes are posted on YouTube Saturdays at 10 pm ET. Fusion is also broadcast in the UK, Ireland, Israel, and Africa.