MLW Fusion episode 75 was the much anticipated War Chamber. Two teams went to battle inside a steel cage topped with barb wire. On one side, Tom Lawlor and Low Ki were joined by the Von Erich family returning to Dallas.
On the other side stood the Contra Unit, comprised of Jacob Fatu, Josef Samael, Simon Gotch, and Ikuro Kwon. You want a fight? Those eight competitors gave you a fight.
On to a recap and review of the show...
The opening was a wonderful video package to hype the War Chamber match. At the end, there was a cool exploding animation for the War Chamber grenade logo.
Time for what everyone has been waiting for. WAR CHAMBERrrrr... Leo Brien?
Leo Brien vs local bag of bones
I didn’t care much for Leo Brien in the few times I saw him in the Dirty Blondes tag team, but he has my attention now with that sweet ass... let me finish the sentence... Harmonica theme song from Once Upon a Time in the West. Brien became a bounty hunter in his time away from the ring. Mance Warner better not skip bail from his New York arrest. Brien had a picture-in-picture promo talking about how he is tougher, meaner, and more ornery than ever.
I think the last name of Brien’s opponent is Banks, but I’m not sure. It looked like MLW pulled him out of the stands, gave him a pair of pajama bottoms, and sent him to the ring.
The match was a squash. Brien battered the young fellow leading to his Oklahoma Stampede finisher. Brien picked up his foe in a body slam position, rammed him into the turnbuckles, then slammed him in the center of the ring.
La Park cashing in the Golden Ticket
Immediately after the match, Salina de la Renta and LA Park came down to the ring. Park stomped on Banks and held him for a Salina slap. Park also whacked the referee with a chair and used him as an ottoman while he sat down.
Salina insulted the redneck, sweaty trash people of Dallas who were in attendance. She requested that the fans show appreciation for Park. They did, so he strutted.
Salina announced that Park would be cashing in his Golden Ticket to a global audience for MLW’s first PPV, Saturday Night SuperFight, on November 2. They are coming after the gold. Park will challenge Jacob Fatu for the Heavyweight Championship. Salina closed in Spanish by saying not to miss it, bitches.
Teddy Hart loves hockey
Teddy Hart was at a hockey rink in Calgary. That may have been the first time I’ve ever seen Hart in a genuinely joyful state. Hockey is the greatest game on earth, because you can drop gloves and beat up pussies. Hart started his athletic career with hockey. It taught him discipline and gave him perspective about how athletes work. He takes wrestling serious as a sport, not as entertainment. Hart’s blood is pumping at the thought of going to Dallas to beat up MJF and Jonathon Holliday Jr. Hart insulted Hammerstone’s tight pants and threatened that he will have to answer for crimes against the Hart Foundation.
The next episode of Fusion will have the Tag Team Championship bout between the Dynasty (MJF & Richard Holliday) and the Hart Foundation (Teddy Hart & Davey Boy Smith Jr.) in two out of three falls.
The Von Erichs return to Dallas
Kevin, Ross, and Marshall were driving to the site of the old Sportatorium. Marshall was standing there shirtless wearing a cowboy hat. It would be funny if he did all his outside scenes like that in the future. That was the first time Ross actually step foot on the property. The brothers didn’t want to go there without their father. Kevin was wearing toe shoes. I’ve never seen someone where toe shoes with jeans and a nice shirt. He took them off to walk barefoot through the grass.
Kevin told stories of the past. He explained why he started wrestling barefoot. “When you wrestle in Texas, you sweat a lot. And, the socks and leather boots soak up the sweat real fast. And so, that will boil you up real fast. Well, I left my boots off one night and I felt so good I never put them back on. So, that’s really the truth. I didn’t forget them. I just wanted to take them off.” The Von Erichs picked up stones of remembrance to cherish the moment.
This was a fantastic little scene. Old photos and sound clips were edited in during the conversation to make it more emotional. I hope MLW puts that video on their YouTube channel.
Ring announcer Tim Barr did his thing to introduce, “A fight the likes of which has never been seen in the history of Major League Wrestling. ... This is the WAR CHAMBER!!!!!!!”
The structure had panels of chain link fence on the sides and barb wire on the top. The rules were as follows:
- A coin toss determines which team enters first.
- 1-on-1 for 5:00 in stage 1 of the War Chamber.
- The winner of coin toss comes out for 2-on-1.
- Alternating teams have wrestlers enter every 2 minutes.
- Once all combatants are in the War Chamber, victory is won by submission, surrender, or pinfall.
Entrant #1: Simon Gotch
Entrant #2: Marshall Von Erich
Simon Gotch being first must mean that the Contra Unit won the coin toss. Contra will have the advantage.
Ding, ding, ding. The two wrestlers exchanged blows to start it off. Marshall got the upper hand, or foot, with a dropkick. He then did a running bowling ball to Gotch in the corner. Marshall controlled the action for their time together, but Gotch did get some shots in.
Entrant #3: Josef Samael
Gotch held Marshall’s foot, so Josef Samael could attack. Marshall fought hard, but he had trouble overcoming the 2-on-1 numbers game.
Entrant #4: Tom Lawlor
Tom Lawlor entered the cage to clean house. The brawling continued with Lawlor and Marshall on top.
Entrant #5: Jacob Fatu
Lawlor and Marshall immediately attacked Jacob Fatu upon entering the cage. They took it to the big man, but the Samoan Werewolf was too strong. Lawlor went for a high-risk flying attack. Fatu caught him on his shoulders for a Samoan drop. Marshall jumped toward Fatu. Fatu caught him for a swinging uranage slam.
Awesome move alert. Fatu did a handspring off the ropes into a standing moonsault. As Fatu hit the ropes, he crushed Lawlor against the fence and also kicked him in the head.
In a vicious moment, Samael bit Lawlor’s ear.
Entrant #6: Low Ki
Samael tried to grab Low Ki as he was entering, so Low Ki slammed the door into Samael’s skull. That brought blood flowing from Samael’s forehead. The brawling was even at that point.
Entrant #7: Ikuro Kwon
This was the first time we’ve seen Ikuro Kwon in a match. His offense was strike heavy with fists and feet.The brawling was a free-for-all.
Entrant #8: Ross Von Erich
The Dallas crowd erupted for Ross Von Erich. They had been chanting his name all match anytime his team was up next on the countdown clock. The Von Erich, “Stranglehold,” theme boomed. I was hoping it would play all night until the end. That tune is badass and very fitting for the War Chamber.
Ross was a ball of fire booting all opponents. Marshall hit Gotch with an Iron Claw suplex. Brawling resumed.
Two moments in particular stuck out to me during this section of the match. First, Marshall slammed Fatu then slammed Kwon on top of Fatu. Second, Ross was on Fatu’s shoulders in a fireman’s carry position, then Marshall gripped Fatu with the Iron Claw. Fatu swung Ross’ feet into to Marshall to break the hold. Fatu then hit Ross with a pop-up Samoan drop.
The action got wild when Samael and Low Ki were up near the top of the cage. A mysterious masked man, who was alleged to be a Contra soldier, came out of nowhere and started climbing up the cage toward Low Ki. Kevin Von Erich yanked the dude down and applied the Iron Claw.
In the ring, Lawlor hooked in a rear naked choke on Samael. Samael broke loose by jabbing Lawlor’s arm with a railroad spike. Kwon came over to spit red mist in Lawlor’s face. A superkick by Fatu followed. Fatu then executed his finishing springboard moonsault on Lawlor. 1, 2... Low Ki broke the count with a jumping double stomp to Fatu.
Lawlor and Samael were down. Low Ki and Fatu fought in the corner. Marshall clubbed Kwon. Gotch had Ross up for a suplex, but Marshall ran over for the Iron Claw. With the head squeeze still intact, Marshall climbed the turnbuckles and Ross got underneath to lift Gotch up. The brothers pulled off an Iron Claw electric chair or a Doomsday Iron Claw. Marshall pinned Gotch for the victory.
The good guys celebrated and soaked in adulation from the fans.
Episode 75 of MLW Fusion lived up to the hype of the War Chamber. The extra bits to round out the show were enjoyable. The huge announcement of a future fight between LA Park and Jacob Fatu was exciting. (I already discussed my thoughts about the hoss fight supreme when the news was first announced.) Teddy Hart at the hockey rink provided promo fire. The scene with the Von Erichs visiting the Sportatorium grounds was my favorite from this show. It set the tone for how the fans reacted to the Von Erichs in the main event.
War Chamber rocked. It was a gritty, grimy war of attrition. I like that the fight didn’t go overboard with blood and violence. It was the right amount of roughness for my tastes. The peak moments were great, such as the nostalgia of papa Kevin applying the Iron Claw and the Iron Claw slam finish by the brothers.
I was a little surprised that the Von Erichs were victorious again versus the Contra Unit. They stormed in for their debut to win a trios bout when Contra had been previously unbeaten. The brothers won round two in tag action when Ross blocked a fireball. Now, Contra falls one more time at the hands of the Von Erich clan. I thought Contra would reign supreme in the War Chamber. It is nice as a fan to be kept on my toes.
Shout out to the booker man for the entrance order of Team Von Erich. They gave the crowd what they wanted with one Von Erich to start and got the super pop of anticipation with the other Von Erich as the final man inside the cage. I’ve never watched much of the Texas wrestling scene, so I didn’t realize how beloved the Von Erichs are. It is one thing to read about it and another to experience the excitement from the fans as they cheered for the new generation of Von Erichs. It put that family’s fame into perspective and makes me want to dive into shows from the older era.
One thing I am curious about is Tom Lawlor’s body language after the match. He came across as a little standoffish and didn’t seem as jubilant as I would expect. Could it be a seed for a future heel turn? Or maybe it was just the unpleasant effects of being misted in the face and the pain in his ribs from taking Jacob Fatu’s springboard moonsault. If that is the case, then I couldn’t blame him.
What was your favorite moment from the War Chamber? Did the main event live up to your expectations? How did the feel of this episode compare to classic Texas wrestling?
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.