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MLW Fusion results: Pillman vs. Swann in National title semifinals

Mance Warner & Sami Callihan defeated El Hijo de LA Park & Ricky Martinez (presented by Salina de la Renta) (8:09)

Before they entered, we saw a pre-taped meeting of the minds between Warner and Callihan in the parking lot. They talked strategy before taking off for the liquor store.

We also saw a pre-tape from earlier this evening where the cameras caught up with Salina de la Renta and Martinez. De la Renta was asked about Low Ki's contract status, when LA Park will be cashing in his title shot, and if they will be at next week's World Championship match between “Filthy” Tom Lawlor and Avalanche Robert Dreissker. De la Renta just laughed and walked off.

If you were looking for a traditional two-on-two tag team encounter featuring Mance Warner and Sami Callihan, please think again. This match started as you would expect given that Warner and Callihan were teaming together. From the opening bell, these four went to the outside to brawl, chop, whip each other into the guardrail, chop some more, whip with camera cables, hit each other with umbrellas, and hit a few double-team moves before chopping each other some more.

They eventually made their way into the ring at the five-minute mark, with Hijo getting a two count after catching Warner with a superkick. Hijo was so enraged with the official’s apparent slow count that he began to grind above Warner, who showed his appreciation by punching Hijo in the groin.

Traditional tag rules were then in play as Callihan got on the apron and reached for a tag. Jim Cornette questioned why Callihan would now start following the rules after the wild brawl. Meanwhile, Warner was beat down some more with a double-team low blow into the ring post and a frog splash by Hijo, but after another grind by Hijo, Warner fought back with a headbutt to create a double down.

Callihan and Martinez got the hot tags, but it was Callihan who ran wild, eventually hitting Martinez with a piledriver to pick up the victory.

The brawl continued after the bell. Hijo jumped Callihan, Callihan tried to rip Hijo's mask off, and Martinez tried to tear Callihan's nose off his face. They brawled on the outside and then through the crowd and out of sight.

- The cameras caught up with the four wrestlers backstage, but LA Park joined the fight and a three-on-two beatdown followed. While Callihan was floored, de la Renta joined her henchmen and grabbed him by the face and rubbed salt into the wound. Promociones Dorado walked off with Warner and Callihan laying on the floor.

- Another hype video aired for the returning Austin Aries.

Minoru Tanaka defeated Daga (10:18)

A fantastic technical matchup that turned very stiff towards the end. The commentary team hyped this being Mexican strong style vs. one of the originators of Japanese strong style.

Tanaka took the early advantage after a spinning side kick and a middle rope missile dropkick. After Daga kicked out at two, Tanaka immediately locked in an armbar, but Daga then rolled through and switched to a rear naked choke.

Daga had the advantage and hit a running headscissor takedown, then two dives to the outside: a suicide dive through the ropes and a middle rope springboard corkscrew splash that floored both of them.

Back inside, Daga missed a double foot stomp. Tanaka was able to roll him up in a heel hook, but Daga stretched and just about reached the rope to break the hold. Tanaka kept his attack focused on the lower limbs of Daga with a dropkick to the knee. Daga tried to take a breather on the outside, but Tanaka hit him with an Asai moonsault from the middle rope down to the floor.

Daga had to fight through the pain in his ankle to eventually get Tanaka with a double stomp to the neck and a superkick to the jaw, but he only managed a two count. Daga then got an ankle lock of his own and a dropkick to the knee. But as Cornette called it, “When Daga goes low, Tanaka goes high” when Tanaka caught Daga with a kick to the face.

They traded forearms until Daga flipped Tanaka over in a hurricanrana and got the closest two count of the match so far. He came millimeters close again seconds later with a German suplex, but again Tanaka kicked out at the last possible moment.

Daga was looking to finish Tanaka off but ran straight into an enzuigiri to the back of the head. Tanaka then rolled up Daga in a cross armbreaker and grabbed the leg, which rolled Daga onto his shoulder for the referee to count the three.

- We had MJF on his cell phone cutting a promo on the Von Erich brothers, who are coming to MLW. He said the Von Erich dynasty is a thing of the past and there is only one true Dynasty in MLW -- and that is his.

- A pre-taped video promo from Contra Unit aired next. They called out Barrington Hughes again and brought up Jacob Fatu's quick victory last week. They turned their attention to Tom Lawlor and warned the MLW Heavyweight Champion that Contra Unit are here, and the mighty will fall next week.

- We then had a rebuttal from Lawlor, who said that he has been all around the world in the best countries in the world, and also some war zones and he is ready for his next challenger: Avalanche. He said that, like an Avalanche, when Robert Dreissker reaches the top of the mountain, he will crumble.

- We then saw a quick shot of a poll given to the MLW fans, asking who should be Lawlor's next opponent. Davey Boy Smith Jr. won the poll and Rich Bocchini said officials were discussing potential dates for that match.

Brian Pillman Jr. defeated Rich Swann (w/ Myron Reed) in a National Openweight Championship tournament semifinal match (6:44)

Referee Doug Markham inspected Swann and Reed for foreign objects, only furthering their hatred towards the MLW officials. Markham threatened to raise Pillman's hand if Swann didn't get into the ring and start the match. He did -- but it wasn't long before Reed was interfering, helping Swann to kick out of an early pinfall attempt.

Reed got on the apron and distracted the official, which helped Swann kick out of another pin. Pillman got his revenge when, after dodging a clothesline from Swann, he dropkicked through the ropes right into Reed's face.

Pillman then hit a springboard crossbody for a close two count, but when hitting the 10 punches in the corner, Reed pulled Pillman off the ropes behind the referee's back.

Swann had the advantage again after Reed's continued interference and kept on the Hart Foundation member, wearing him down and distracting the referee whenever he could so Reed could get his cheap shots in.

Swann hit a huge kick to the head and a DDT, then got in the referee's face and told him to count the pinfall correctly. Pillman kicked out at two, so Swann was enraged with the referee, who was having none of Swann's intimidation games and shoved him down to the mat.

Reed got on the apron, but Pillman ran Swann into Reed and O'Connor rolled him up for the win -- with assistance from the quick count from the referee.

- Backstage, Kaci Lennox was with Alexander Hammerstone. She asked him about Pillman being his opponent in the finals of the National Openweight title tournament. Hammerstone talked up being bigger than Pillman and said just because Pillman's dad was a great wrestler, doesn't make Pillman one himself.

Hammerstone said Pillman will have the best seat in the house -- lying on his back looking up -- when Hammerstone is crowned the National Openweight Champion. He said when that happens, Pillman will not be making his dad proud.

Next week --

  • MLW World Heavyweight Champion Tom Lawlor defends against Avalanche Robert Dreissker
  • Ace Romero & Barrington Hughes vs. Contra Unit (Jacob Fatu & Josef Samael)