MLW Fusion is back from Dallas with episode 78. Los Parks were in action against a pair of debuting luchadores, Dominic Garrini stepped into an MLW ring for the first time, and Brian Pillman Jr. was out to spoil the show for the magician Austin Aries.
On to a recap and review of the evening...
LA Park & Hijo de LA Park vs Magnus & Septimo Dragon
Magnus entered first with a snazzy synthesizer theme song. Magnus and Septimo Dragon were making their MLW debut. Los Parks were joined by Salina de la Renta. Hijo de LA Park wore Carnage (from Spider-Man) inspired gear.
With entrances and exits, this bout took about twenty minutes of the forty-eight minute program. It was typical chaotic lucha libre tag action. Luchadores were flying all over the place. Top highlights include a slingshot corkscrew plancha by Magnus, a springboard corkscrew moonsault by Dragon, a fancy Spanish Fly by Hijo, and super awesome dual flying crossbodies by the Parks into the fan seats.
The battle raged on. Hijo hit a dope running Mexican Destroyer on Dragon. Magnus and Park took center stage. Park ran into a boot in the corner. He responded with a hilarious scream and charged again. Magnus dodged, and Park went through the ropes into the ring post. 1, 2, Salina pulled referee Frank Gastineau out of the ring to break the count.
A short while later after a suicide dive from Hijo to Dragon, Park charged a third time into the corner. He missed again. The referee held Magnus back from punching Park in the corner. Park push kicked Magnus down on top of Gastineau. Park took flight but Magnus moved and Gastineau received the impact. Rich Bocchini on the call, “Frank Gastineau might be dead!”
Salina entered the ring to low blow kick Magnus. Park rolled him up for the victory.
Promo Time, Part 1
The familiar Contra Unit logo flashed on screen during the post-match celebration of Salina de la Renta and Los Parks. The logo began flashing repeatedly at a pace never seen before on MLW Fusion. I guess it was supposed to imply a live feed interruption straight from Contra themselves. Josef Samael started by saying Salina runs her mouth as a businesswoman, but Contra is a cause. This is a war and a crusade. Jacob Fatu chimed in that this isn’t a business transaction. It is going to be the day of the dead for LA Park when they fight at Saturday Night SuperFight on November 2. Hail, Contra.
Rich Bocchini informed us that Teddy Hart was cleared by his own doctor of injuries. Hart flew back from Calgary and is in the building.
The Von Erichs had a message for the Dynasty. They will be teaching those punks a lesson in Mexico by winning the tag team titles.
The Dynasty is protesting that future contest via lawyers. Richard Holliday’s lawyer/his father has reviewed the contract from MLW and it is not up to par. MJF went off about the offer being an insult. They won’t settle for any old match. The Dynasty declared that they won’t be going to Mexico.
A new match was announced for the MLW PPV, Saturday Night SuperFight, on November 2. Alexander Hammerstone will defend his National Openweight Championship against Davey Boy Smith Jr. That bout joins LA Park vs Jacob Fatu for the Heavyweight Championship and Timothy Thatcher vs Tom Lawlor.
Ariel Dominguez vs Dominic Garrini
Time for Dominic Garrini’s MLW debut. His background video on the big screen began with a Street Fighter video game style.
This bout had an old-school UFC feel. Garrini wrestled in a gi as a purple belt jiu-jitsu practitioner. Dominguez represented amateur wrestling. Garrini ended up making short work of Dominguez. They danced around briefly before Garrini applied a key lock. Dominguez was able to grab the ropes for a break. A judo toss was in store for Dominguez the next time he locked up with Garrini. On the third lockup, Garrini slammed Dominguez.
The fourth lockup resulted in an armbar submission victory for Garrini.
After the match, Kaci Lennox interviewed Garrini. He is in MLW to prove what a gold medalist can do. Line up all MLW’s fighters and he will tap them out.
Promo Time, Part 2
MLW’s nosy cameraman caught up with Tom Lawlor in a parking lot. In response to Timothy Thatcher’s challenge, Lawlor is sick of everybody wanting to get their hands on him. Lawlor is going to knock Thatcher’s teeth down his throat.
Rich Bocchini announced that Jimmy Havoc will be the executive producer of MLW’s Halloween special, Slaughterhouse. It premieres October 19 on beIN SPORTS.
Bocchini also reported that Samu Anoa’i is recovering from a liver transplant. If you are interested in helping with costs, visit HelpSamu.com to donate.
A video played to announce the signing of Gino Medina. It contained the essence of a Scarface music track. The world will be his.
Injustice had a response to last week’s officiating mistake. Kotto Brazil was frustrated about being pinned as the non-legal man. Jordan Oliver claimed MLW doesn’t want talent like Injustice to succeed. No matter what happens, they will get their justice.
Austin Aries vs Brian Pillman Jr.
Brian Pillman Jr. aimed for revenge in honor of Teddy Hart after the attack from Austin Aries. The MARS stat of the week stated that Pillman wins 83% of his matches when he uses 12 or more aerial strikes.
Aries slapped Pillman across the face to start. Pillman demanded another. Aries spit in his hand and loaded up, but Pillman caught Aries arm and stuffed the spit-filled palm back into Aries’ face.
Pillman was in charge until Aries knocked Pillman down to the floor on an attempted springboard maneuver. Aries followed up with a suicide dive and flying dropkick. Aries was in control after that. Pillman had a spurt here and there, but it was mostly Aries picking Pillman apart piece by piece.
For the finish, Aries smashed Pillman to block a suicide dive. A running dropkick in the corner and a brainbuster earned Aries the win.
After the match, Aries got on the mic to call out Teddy Hart. Week after week, Aries destroys his opponent and calls out Hart. The reason is that Hart has the Middleweight Championship. Hart came out to answer Aries. Aries stomped Hart as he entered the ring. The two brawled as Fusion went off the air.
Episode 78 of MLW Fusion was a solid outing. It didn’t quite grab me, but I wasn’t ever bored either. Overall, it was a net positive.
The opening tag match with Los Parks against Magnus and Septimo Dragon gave me mixed feelings. It felt a little off at times. Perhaps the chemistry wasn’t quite there. On the plus side, the big moments were hugely entertaining. That double flying crossbody set from the Parks was outstanding. Not to mention all the corkscrews and flippity moves.
Dominic Garrini’s debut was intriguing. The bout was short and effective to showcase the variety in his arsenal. I’m curious how Garrini will look in a longer match. I’m also curious how he handles bigger men. Ariel Dominguez is sort of made to be ragdolled.
From a kayfabe perspective for Brian Pillman Jr., it may be time to send him down to pick up wins against mid-card competition. Pillman isn’t ready yet for the sharks. He lost important matches to Austin Aries, Alexander Hammerstone, and a tag title bout against the Dynasty. Pillman’s lone win in recent memory was via a shady cheat tactic. Pillman is teetering that line of entertaining performer but lovable loser. He needs a few W’s to remedy that perception in my mind.
Austin Aries did his thing. He won the bout against Brian Pillman Jr. in convincing fashion. Aries also lured Teddy Hart out for the closing scuffle. The eventual title showdown is building, and I can’t wait. In the meantime, I want to see Hart’s cat army attack Aries.
I’d give the flying crossbodies by the Parks as the moment of the show, but the Contra Unit promo is a close second. When Jacob Fatu said it will be LA Park’s day of the dead, I believe him. Fatu is one of the few wrestlers today who can convince me they are badass enough to destroy a skeleton-man.
What was your favorite moment from episode 78 of MLW Fusion? Who impressed the most in their MLW debut: Magnus, Septimo Dragon, or Dominic Garrini? What path would you set for Brian Pillman Jr.?
MLW Fusion airs on beIN SPORTS and PlayStation Vue Saturday nights at 9 pm ET / 6 pm PT. New episodes are posted on YouTube Mondays at 7 pm ET. Fusion is also broadcast in the UK, Ireland, Israel, and Africa.