The Von Erichs Get Satisfaction Against Team Filthy

MLW Fusion Review—March 24th

This week on MLW Fusion, we finally get some closure to one of MLW’s most long-standing feuds as the Von Erichs and ACH take on Team Filthy in the chain match. Plus, what will Alexander Hammerstone have to say about Mil Muertes still holding his belt?

We also have Gino Medina, Gringo Loco and Calvin Tankman making appearances. It’s a packed show, so let’s head straight into the ring and get into it!

Gino Medina vs. Zenshi

Gino has been on the warpath against appropriation recently, first taking issue with Gringo Loco and now Zenshi, as he feels these grapplers are taking from Lucha culture without having the right to. It’s certainly an interesting angle if they develop it well.

After an initial period of counters and reversals as each man tried to take the advantage, Zenshi began to frustrate Gino by evading him with his speed and using his aerial offence to put Gino on notice. This worked until Gino put up his knees on a Zenshi dive. After attempting to steal Zenshi’s mask, Gino fell victim to some big Zenshi aerial offence. It wasn’t enough to get the job done though, and a big back heel kick later, Gino was the one having his arm raised.

A fair opener with an interesting story behind it. I did like Gino’s disdain afterwards as he kicked the downed Zenshi out of the ring.

Gringo Loco vs. Mil Muertes

Mil Muertes is still wearing the MLW National Openweight title belt he stole from Hammerstone two weeks ago and is the “self-proclaimed National Openweight champion”.

Gringo Loco took the approach of chopping Mile Muertes to start. Several of those seemed to have no effect. On the flip side, one of Muertes’ chops was more than enough to take Gringo off his feet. Oh dear.

Muertes didn’t give Gringo enough time to adjust his strategy, though, nailing him with a killer spear before raining fists and kicks upon him. What I like about Muertes is that he takes into account he is a big man so that everything he does look legit (apart from burying Savio Vega in a forest). When he throws those fists, you believe in them.

Out at ringside, Muertes threw Gringo into different objects including the ring post. Muertes found himself punching said post as Loco missed, but a big backbreaker on the floor got Muertes back on track.

Back in the ring, Muertes began slamming Gringo’s head back into the mat over and over before smashing him with big short clotheslines in the corner. Gringo came back with a corkscrew and cleverly used a dropkick to the knee to take the big man off his feet. Not for long, though, as Muerto hit a spinning chokeslam which should have been the end, as should a big power slam after that Muertes used as a counter. But Gringo kicked out each time. The match had already gone 5 minutes; wouldn’t it have made more sense to put Muertes over at that point and retain his monstrous air?

Instead, Loco went for a handspring back elbow, but Muertes was able to counter into the Straight to Hell to win.

A good match, as it happens, but I’d question how much offence you want Muertes to take at this point in time.

Calvin Tankman vs. Zad (Sentai Death Squad Soldier)

This is the first time a Sentai Death Squad member has been named on-screen. If Zad was the best they could do, I’d rather have the mystery!

Tankman of course will be fighting MLW World Heavyweight Champion Jacob Fatu for the title next week at Never Say Never. This match is CONTRA’s last opportunity to put a hurting on Tankman before that battle occurs.

Tankman faced no issues here. In fact, he beat Zad in just over a minute! And he looked good doing it too. Chops, a massive shoulder block, a spine buster, and a massive back forearm to the back of the head, execution-style, were enough to put Zad out for the 1-2-3.

Afterwards, Jacob Fatu, Daivari and Simon Gotch came out but Tankman leapt onto them over the top rope with an impressive dive for a guy his size (even if CONTRA were guilty of the ‘standing around waiting to be hit’ crime that’s so common nowadays). InJustice then ran out to help give the heels a battering. As the rest of CONTRA and InJustice fought their way to the back, Tankman drove Daivari into unconsciousness with a Tankman Driver in the middle of the ring.

Tankman’s ready; is Fatu?

Pulp Fusion

In a round-up of this week’s promos:

  • Alicia Atout reports that Tom Lawlor has an injured bicep so has to pull out of this week’s main event. However, ACH has agreed to also drop out and allow the match to continue as a two-on-two bout between the Von Erichs vs. Violence is Forever.
  • Myron Reed used to think of himself as invincible but before he could truly process his first real loss (to Lio Rush), CONTRA jumped him. He promises that next week at Never Say Never, he will make Daivari pay for sticking his nose into his business.
  • Alexander Hammerstone is furious that Mil Muertes is putting pictures of himself on social media with the National Openweight belt but somehow hasn’t been able to answer Hammer’s challenge. Hammer says that Muertes will get his match on April 14th but until then, he’s coming to get his belt back.
  • We get a feature on Calvin Tankman, who promises he will do everything he can and give everything he has to provide for his daughter. That’s Heavyweight Hustle.
  • Bu Ku Dao is going to be out for 2-3 weeks after he was mysteriously attacked before his scheduled match with TJP last week. TJP has been fined $2500 by MLW for the attack.
  • Salina de la Renta confirms that Mil Muertes will face “that juiced up idiot” and in fact has signed the contract. Meanwhile, the mysterious man who watches over Salina tells her El Jefe is not happy and wants to speak to her. Intriguing…
  • The Von Erichs want to pop skulls open with the claw, whilst Filthy Tom hopes this match will finally make the Von Erichs pay for their transgressions against Team Filthy.

Chain Match: The Von Erichs vs. Violence is Forever

Ok, so the deal here was that the ropes and the turnbuckles were taken away, replaced by three strands of chains all around the ring. The interesting point that the chains, although steel, were still slack enough to let people slip out of the ring nastily if they were sent into the chains. More on this in a moment, because it really helped the match.

In fact, this was a great little match that saw The Von Erichs and VIF go at each other with real fire. The first chain spot occurred when the Von Erichs sent Ku and Garrini simultaneously into the chains. Both men hit the chains but were propelled back and down so as to slip down and hit their faces on the apron. Rather than a comedy spot though, it was played for brutality and damn, it did the job. It was the same for Ross Von Erich when he was thrown at the chains and fell right through to the floor.

Tom Lawlor got involved, as you might expect, throttling Marshall with a loose piece of chain by the ring post. This allowed Ku and Garinni to dominate for a period, at one point locking the Von Erich brothers up in a heel lock and a guillotine choke individually at the same time. Ross was able to pick Ku up whilst in said choke and arched back to suplex Ku onto Garinni to break both holds. Nice.

In the end, Tom Lawlor threw in some brass knuckles but Mashall Von Erich intercepted them. While the ref was checking on Ross, Marshall knocked out both Garinni and Ku with the knucks and applied the claw to Garinni. Ross made it up and back suplexed Garinni while the claw was still applied. The shoulders were down. Three slaps of the mat later and the match was over.

A great match. Not only did it have a bit of edge, something MLW has lacked when presenting gimmick matches since the restart, but the Von Erichs got some retribution at last over Team Filthy. Mission accomplished.

Final Thoughts

This was a much better episode of Fusion than the recent run of shows that were put out. The action was generally more on point. The promos made their points well and were spread out well between matches, giving the overall show a much better flow. And we got a little bit of the show’s edge back with a really good main event too.

Keep it up, MLW. I’m looking forward to Never Say Never next week now.

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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