Fresh off winning the NJPW Strong Openweight championship, Tom Lawlor finally got in the ring with Marshall Von Erich on this week's Fusion in a match more than a year in the making.
Ross Von Erich (w/ Marshall Von Erich) defeated Dominic Garrini (w/ Kevin Ku) (5:22)
In a prelude to the main event, RVE picked up a victory over the Team Filthy member. In storyline, RVE has been on an excursion to Japan to train with Keiji Mutoh and it showed as he showed a great ground game with counters to Garrini's mat work and submissions.
RVE fought out of a triangle choke, won a forearm battle, and knocked Garrini down with a punt. Garrini locked in a guillotine choke but RVE fought out again. A frustrated Garrini tried a suplex but it was reversed and RVE hit his own sit-out version (essentially a kneeling falcon arrow) to pick up the win.
After the match, Lawlor rallied his troops and said he would fix the problem before getting his phone out to text a helping hand. We later found out it was disgraced former NBA referee Tim Donaghy. Lawlor had what Donaghy called a "smaller than he is used to” envelope of cash to persuade him to help out.
Bu Ku Dao defeated Hijo de LA Park (w/ Salina de la Renta) (6:20)
Dao continued his winning ways with a victory over de la Renta's charge. After pinning TJP last week with a spinning flatliner from the middle rope, Dao got the win here with the same finish, applying even more weight on Salina's shoulders. She is under immense pressure from Azteca Underground's mysterious proprietor (El Jefe) and was given one last opportunity to prove herself. This loss did nothing to help.
Jared St. Laurent and Ray Flores changed their tune as they said a masked man was hovering near the announce position watching the proceedings as Dao took to the sky and hit Hijo with a dive to the outside.
Hijo showboated whenever he was on offense, wasting precious seconds after a meteora in the corner. Moments later when Dao was on the middle rope, Hijo gyrated again which gave Dao the opening to hit his spinning flatliner for the win.
-- Alicia Atout interviewed Marshall Von Erich ahead of the main event, but Lawlor interrupted. He and ref Donaghy got MVE to take a urine test for drugs. Later, MVE returned the test by throwing the contents back in Lawlor's face.
-- De la Renta was taken away from the arena under a hood as a masked man dragged her into a car. Flores and JSL speculated she was being taken to a meeting with El Jefe.
-- Atout caught up with National Openweight champion Alex Hammerstone after he laid out a challenge to World Champion Jacob Fatu last week. He questioned if Fatu was scared and if he was ready to climb Muscle Mountain barefoot. A CONTRA video played later in the night with Josef Samael saying he changed Fatu's contract when CONTRA took over MLW headquarters last year. He controls who can challenge Fatu and Hammerstone's challenge has been denied.
-- The advertised Lio Rush vs. Myron Reed 2 media event did not take place as Rush no-showed. Reed cut a promo saying he was ready for next week while MLW fined Rush for the no-show.
Tom Lawlor (w/ Team Filthy) defeated Marshall Von Erich (with Ross Von Erich) (11:41)
MVE had just recently been cleared to return to the ring following a knee injury and was champing at the bit to get his hands, and the claw, on Lawlor.
Way back in 2019 when RVE had a World title shot against Fatu, then-Von Erich friend Lawlor turned his back on them by slamming a steel chair into RVE's head. MVE was unable to help as he was taken out earlier in the night by a “masked assailant." That led to Lawlor assembling Team Filthy and a feud that involved Low Ki, King Mo, Killer Kross and Davey Boy Smith Jr. at various points.
The story was MVE's previously injured knee which Lawlor targeted from the get-go. Ku and Garrini distracted the referee as Lawlor used a wrench to attack it further. Lawlor controlled 90% of this match as MVE sold the knee very convincingly. A few hope spots here and there were thwarted by Lawlor always going back to the knee.
MVE fought out of a submission hold by locking in the claw but as he got to his feet, Lawlor slammed him back down to the mat with a uranage slam. Later, MVE valiantly fought up from a guillotine choke with a claw slam.
The closing moments saw a submission battle with Lawlor trying leg holds while MVE was going for the claw. Lawlor locked in a side single crab as MVE heroically held on as long as he could before passing out from the pain. The referee called for the bell and declared Lawlor the winner.
After the match, ACH ran in to save the Von Erichs from a 3-on-1 beatdown which led to a six-man brawl as Fusion went off the air.
This week featured a great main event that keeps the door open for a rematch in front of fans in the summer. The involvement of ACH sets up potential multi-man matches as well. The very intriguing story involving Salina de la Renta and Azteca Underground should be leading towards the return of Lucha Underground, and an unveiling of the mysterious El Jefe could lead to more surprises down the road.
I am looking forward to fans being back in the arena when MLW returns to Philadelphia in July. Hopefully, we get to see the big fights that have been hyped up recently.
- Middleweight Champion Lio Rush vs. Myron Reed for the title
- IWA Caribbean Champion Richard Holliday in action