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MLW Fusion Review: April 18th

“The most violent, hard-hitting action mixed with cutting edge storylines.”

Court Bauer, MLW CEO

This week’s edition of MLW Fusion saw the Super Series between MLW and AAA continue with two big matches between the promotions scheduled. Not only that, but good ol’ Mance Warner is apparently still going ballistic backstage after being attacked by Alexander Hammerstone during his match.

Will Warner catch up with Hammerstone, and how much chaos will he cause if he does? What will Davey Boy Smith have to say about the condition of himself and Brian Pillman Jr? Will Team Filthy stamp their authority as a tag team in the main event?

Recorded at the Auditorio Fausto Gutierrez in Tijuana, Mexico, the action promises to be hot and heavy. So, without further adieu, let’s head to the ring!

Douglas James vs. Averno

This is only the second time I’ve ever seen Douglas James and I have to say I’m impressed. Billing himself as the ‘Ultimate Hybrid Fighter, he gave an impassioned promo before the match about how he never says die. More on this in a moment.

Averno is a top rudo performer in Mexico, but the home crowd naturally lapped him up here. Starting on the mat, the action soon spilled to ringside, where Averno threw James against the snapped table from last week’s fire spot. Later, James went for a dive between the middle and bottom ropes but unfortunately caught his feet on the bottom rope and barely caught Averno. Unfortunate, but it does happen. A little more polish and I believe James will really be something to contend with.

In a curious ending, Averno belted James around the head with a stiff forearm, winning the match by knockout. Now, judging by the forearm, I wouldn’t say it was a legit knockout, but if not, is this the best way of booking someone who’s billing themselves as the ‘Ultimate Hybrid Fighter’? I’m not so sure, but I’m looking forward to seeing James again in action.

MLW: 1 / AAA: 2

The Hart Foundation Star In ‘The Suspicious Medical Clearance’

Backstage with birthday girl Alicia Atout (many happy returns!), DBS Jr gave us an update on the physical condition of The Hart Foundation.

A man still rocking a concussion and another man with his jaw wired shut do not sound like a duo ready to hit the ring anytime soon.

However, with the aid of some of Pillman’s more dubious medical contacts in Mexico, clearance is what they’ve got. Their eyes are squarely on Team Filthy and InJustice, but first they will have AAA’s Rey Escorpion Jr and Texano Jr to contend with on next week’s Fusion.

Will we see Pillman Jr in the ring next week with his jaw wired up? No, we won’t. But it did make me laugh to picture it.

Dynasty in Danger

It’s not been a good week for The Dynasty. Especially a certain Mr Hammerstone.

We get a video package that sees Halliday and Hammerstone at the border, apparently being ‘undercover’ and avoiding the locals…ah, I see. Entering the country illegally. Stay classy, you Dynasty boys!

Backstage later, Hammerstone tries to tempt Alicia Atout into a two-person tanning bed as a birthday present. The look on Atout’s face as she said “you disgust me” was priceless.

Luckily, Alicia didn’t have to worry about Hammerstone for long. Mance Warner turned up to beat his ass all over the arena. They even interrupted a birthday celebration being thrown for Alicia Atout by Savio Vega and, curiously enough, Brian Pillman Jr. Savio had been kind enough to get a cake for Alicia, and Mance was kind enough to interrupt proceedings and ram Hammerstone’s head right into it! Savio didn’t seem too upset – he seemed quite glad of the opportunity to grab a bite!

The Warner/Dynasty feud has so far been extremely entertaining, equal parts violence and comedy. I was worried that without MJF, the feud might falter a bit, but Mance and Hammerstone are doing a great job of keeping the fire burning.

Team Filthy (Tom Lawlor and Dominic Garrini) vs. Puma King and Xtreme Tigre

A quick note on the ring music. Lawlor’s theme, changing “we will, we will rock you!” to “I have come to kill you!” is hilarious and evil all at once. Meanwhile, Puma King and Xtreme Tigre’s themes, ‘Living on a Prayer’ and ‘Low Rider’ respectively, were really fun and pumped me up for the match ahead.

Which is more than I can say for the crowd. There was a conspicuous absence of noise from the audience during this match. I’ve tried to put my thing on why, but I really don’t know why. The competitors did nothing wrong – they put on an entertaining bout that took in some lucha and played on the MMA skills of Lawlor and Garrini. The ending in particular, with the ref pulling Lawlor off Tigre as he had the rear naked choke on was great. I’m not trying to rewrite this match as it being a modern classic, but it didn’t deserve the cold reaction it got from the live crowd.

Meanwhile, Team Filthy showed that they have some chemistry. I do believe Garrini needs to work a little more on ring presence, but in the meantime Lawlor has it in spades, while Garrini is more than capable in the ring, so the potential to be a really great team is there.

They cut a promo, although Lawlor did all the speaking, earlier in the show, mocking the Von Erichs for staying at home, lazing at their commune, while they train and work hard, and so they want what they feel they’ve earned – the tag team championships. Lawlor is so underrated on the mic, in fact, he’s pretty underrated all round. When they finally get their hands on the Von Erichs, it’s going to be a mass of wrecked bodies by the end of it.

Definitely the ones to watch in the tag division.

MLW: 2/ AAA: 2

Mance Warner drinking a cold one

Final Thoughts

So, the Super Series proves itself to be a close fought contest, with both MLW and AAA with two victories apiece. I predict it will come down to the last match, but it will be interesting to see what surprises get thrown in the mix, especially with the still-hurt Hart Foundation returning to action next week.

The Mance Warner/Alexander Hammerstone feud is simmering nicely, and I’m looking forward to seeing what will go down when they finally get it on in the ring.

Douglas James continues to impress – will we see him again in Mexico? Time will tell.

And what exactly do InJustice have in store for our favourite pair of Juniors?

Join me next week grapple fans for some more of the best ‘hybrid wrestling’ going, as the Super Series continues – on MLW Fusion!

Written by Chris Flackett

Wrestling obsessed since '91. Lived through the Monday Night Wars and is still here to tell the tale. Major fan of Strong Style, technical and Super Jr. Wrestling, as well as big versatile hosses smacking the hell out of each other. Lives in Manchester, England.

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