Welcome to the MLW Fusion review here on the Pro Wrestling Post! This will be the first review post all of the WrestleMania week craziness. MLW was, of course, part of the festivities, with Fusion tapings and their first-ever two-hour special on beINSports. This special was for the second Battle Riot and featured two other title contests.
We start off with an MLW World Middleweight Championship match! Teddy Hart of the Hart Foundation will defend against the up and coming Ace Austin. Also, in an interesting wrinkle, The Dynasty is sitting ringside. The issue between Hart and the members of the Dynasty is well established. After the entrances and introductions are made, Ace won’t shake hands with the champion. He even goes so far to turn his back on Hart. Teddy takes control for the opening moments of this contest, working over the young Austin. That is until he turns his attention from Austin to the Dynasty at ringside. Despite the advantage, Austin is unable to capitalize, and the champion makes a comeback. Following two amazing Canadian Destroyers, Teddy Hart pins Ace Austin to retain his championship.
After the match, Teddy Hart is interviewed by Kaci Lennox. In true Teddy Hart fashion, this interview takes place in front of The Dynasty. However, the fun is ruined when MJF cracks Teddy over the head with a champagne bottle. The Dynasty scatter as Brian Pillman, Jr. and Davey Boy Smith, Jr. hit the ringside area to help Teddy. Time will only tell if this affects Teddy’s ability to enter Battle Riot later in the night. As this special episode of MLW Fusion rolls on, it’s time for our next contest.
Myron Reed is out first, accompanied by his partner and friend Rich Swann. Both men are wearing tape across their mouths with the word justice written on them. Reed’s opponent is Pro Wrestling NOAH’s Minoru Tanaka. Tanaka is of course not just known for his work in Pro Wrestling NOAH, he’s worked across Japan and the world in his career. He is also the current GHC Junior Heavyweight Champion and is the only man to have held all five of the major Japanese Junior Heavyweight titles. The two are fairly evenly matched in the opening moments of the match. Following some outside interference from Swann, Reed gains control.
Tanaka, however, is able to make a comeback. He locks in a cross armbreaker, but the long and lanky Reed makes it to the ropes. Later in the match, Tanaka would appear to attempt the cross armbreaker but turned it into a pinning combination. Taking Reed by complete and total surprise, he is pinned easily. The legendary Minoru Tanaka walks away with the win. Up next we see a video package from CONTRA Unit. It is a combination of their antics over the last several weeks and promo spots. Going to the backstage area, we see Salina de la Renta and the members of Promociones Dorado. Here they select their numbers for Battle Riot. Salina and crew are also confronted by Sami Callihan. They carry their argument off camera and following behind them is Mance Warner. Ol Mancer picks his number for Battle Riot as well.
Next up for this edition of MLW Fusion is the World Heavyweight Championship match. It is also a New York City Street Fight, which was specially requested by Tom Lawlor. We then see a highlight video package for the fight between Lawlor and Jimmy Havoc. The main event for next week’s episode of MLW Fusion is also revealed. It will be Sami Callihan taking on LA Park, presented by Salina de la Renta. Going to the backstage area, Brian Pillman, Jr. is standing by with Kaci Lennox. Kaci attempts to interview him, but this is interrupted by Salina de la Renta. Salina attempts to buy Brian’s Battle Riot number from him, which he rebuffs. Salina leaves in a huff. We then return to the ring area for the main event.
Following the in-ring introductions, Jimmy Havoc wastes no time in attacking Tom Lawlor. Havoc also wastes no time in involving weaponry. Things that come into use in this match include chairs, wooden planks, and a staple gun. Havoc would use this staple gun to bust the champion open. The two men would wage war covered in Lawlor’s blood. Many chairs would be contorted by contact with their bodies, as well as several boards smashed through. Even when Lawlor would have the upper hand, Havoc would throw up the middle finger or spit at the champion. This would incense the MLW World Heavyweight Champion and he would punish Havoc further. Referee Doug Markham would eventually also be a casualty of the action. Eventually, a second official would be present for Lawlor’s pinfall attempt on Havoc. Lawlor finally has evened the score between them and retained his championship.
Now it is time for the second-ever Battle Riot! Ring announcer Tim Barr reminds us of the rules of the Battle Riot. Two competitors will start, and a new competitor will enter every 60 seconds until all 40 men have entered. Eliminations can occur via pinfall, submission or being thrown over the top rope and both feet hitting the floor. Whoever is last standing will receive a shot at the MLW World Heavyweight Champion whenever they would like! The first entrant is MJF who is very confident…until entrant number two is revealed. That man would be Dan “The Beast” Severn! Entrants three through seven would be Hijo de LA Park, Air Wolf, Minoru Tanaka, Jordan Oliver, and Rey Fenix. Fenix would also have the unsavory distinction of being the first man eliminated in the 2019 Battle Riot.
It is also announced by Rich Bocchini during the early moments of the match that Teddy Hart has been taken to a local medical facility. He is sidelined with a possible concussion and is thus ruled out for Battle Riot. Jacob Fatu of CONTRA Unit would enter the Battle Riot at number 22. He would soon be joined by his CONTRA Unit brethren. The fearsome trio would lay waste to all in the ring and even pour GASOLINE on a prone Rey Horus and Jimmy Yuta. At this point, event security and MLW officials would enter the ring and throw CONTRA Unit out. Ever the opportunist, MJF would pick up the scraps and eliminate Horus and Yuta. Surprise entrants would be at spots 25, 26 and 27. Representing IMPACT Wrestling would be Santana and Ortiz, along with Konnan!
Another surprise entrant at spot number 32 with ECW legend The Blue Meanie joining the fray. Low-Ki and Daga’s rivalry would follow them into Battle Riot. The would brawl while in the ring together and after their eliminations. The final two members of Promociones Dorado would enter at spots 29 (LA Park) and 36 (Ricky Martinez) respectively. Richard Holliday would be the final entrant at spot 40. The final five in the ring would be LA Park, Alexander Hammerstone, Mance Warner, Davey Boy Smith, Jr., and Sami Callihan. When the smoke cleared and the dust settled, it was the original Grim Reaper and Chair-man of wrestling who stood alone. LA Park is your 2019 Battle Riot winner! And he gets the opportunity to challenge the MLW World Heavyweight Champion whenever he or his empresaria would like.
Immediately following the conclusion of Battle Riot, we would go to the MLW World Heavyweight Champion. Tom Lawlor was holding a press conference and answering questions about his latest challenge and future ones, like LA Park. He does address CONTRA Unit and like Beetlejuice, they appeared after repeated invoking of their name. Lawlor was steamrolled and attacked, left laying by Fatu, Josef Samael, and Simon Gotch. Again, they draped their victim in the CONTRA Unit flag. That’s it until next week’s episode of MLW Fusion. We’ll have to see what happens next regarding the champion Tom Lawlor, the war with CONTRA Unit and the newly anointed LA Park. Hopefully, there will be an update on the condition of Teddy Hart as well. Until next time!