By Michael Melchor, Executive Editor
MLW Fusion Episode 06: “Infinite Swagger”
June 01, 2018 – Gilt Nightclub – Orlando, FL
The views and opinions expressed herein are those solely of the author and may not necessarily reflect those of the rest of the human race.
Just in case you don’t know how this works, if you’re here for play-by-play, star ratings, or discussions about booking or finishes, you’re in the wrong house. Our tagline here at The Gorilla Position is, “Telling the stories of pro wrestling’s storytellers.” That is how the matches will be recapped – not move-for-move, but the story being told in the ring. Also, this is a live event, not Game of Thrones. There are spoilers here insofar as results.
With that out of the way, as Tony Schiavone would say, “Let’s go to the ring!”
Show opens with Col. Robert Parker promising Jeff Cobb his worst nightmare (by way of a backstage interviewer).
Tony Schiavone and Rich Bocchini welcome us to tonight’s episode:
JAKE HAGER (with Col. Robert Parker) vs. JEFF COBB
Col. Parker has the Dirty Blonds bring a stretcher for Jeff Cobb. That’s not foreboding at all.
Two big bulls butt heads, evenly matched in size and mat skill. Hager’s MMA training is what he opts to go with early on to gain an advantage and dominates Cobb in the corner. Cobb is able to escape and use his agility (!) and strength to put them on an even playing field. Hager’s response is to cut Cobb’s legs out from under him and keep Cobb grounded. Hager may not be ready for how resilient Cobb is though and is caught unaware when Cobb is able to gut through the punishment and mount his comeback. Hager uses all of his size as his weapon but Cobb is strong enough to catch him. Hager, playing a longer game, is able to wear Cobb down and catch him off-guard.
Finish comes when Hager counters a slam with an Ankle Lock, forcing the submission victory for Hager when Cobb taps out. After the match, Col. Parker lays out the stretcher for Cobb as we go to break.
Back from commercial and Schiavone informs us Cobb has fractured his ankle.
Recap of the successful title defense by MLW World Champion Shane Strickland last week. Exclusive post-match video from last week shows Strickland praising Pentagon and the fight he gave him. Strickland goes outside and Salina De La Renta is waiting for him. She’s pissed, by the way. Strickland says as far he’s concerned they’re done but De La Renta says Strickland has no idea what – or who – is coming for him. (SPOILERS!) Strickland tells her to bring what she’s got because the measuring stick just changed around her–wait, not quite that line. But he’s ready nonetheless.
Next week, it’ll be “Filthy” Tom Lawlor vs. Fred Yehi. Lawlor makes fun of Yehi and his height because, you know, those MMA guys are dicks.
Sami Callihan says what he and his guys did to MVP they’re gonna do to the entire roster.
Tony Schiavone review the MLW Top 10 rakings:
9. Jake Hager
8. Joey Janela
7. Barrington Hughes
6. Jimmy Havoc
4. Sami Callihan
3. Rey Fenix
2. Pentagon Jr.
1. “Filthy” Tom Lawlor
KOTTO BRAZIL vs. RICH SWANN
This promises to be a dogfight. Brazil’s issue that Swann has more experience in the air and in the ring (which is becoming a theme, really).
The agility from both is a dead heat at the opening. Brazil feels as though he has to hit Swann with moves he hasn’t seen before and does to keep up. Brazil is also a match at chain-wrestling and gains an upper-hand after going to the air. Swann switches his attack and maneuvers into position to catch Brazil with a dropkick nd take over from there.
Swann has a definite experience edge, but also seems rather overconfident. He’s able to get away with it as he has his way with the rookie Brazil. Swann is taking his sweet time showing Brazil all of his advantages – strength, technical acumen, you name it. He’s having fun with Brazil, who keeps trying to fight back and keeps getting cut off. Brazil has what Swann (possibly) no longer does – the hunger. He survives Swann’s barrage and refuses to give up even as he keeps getting tied up.
Brazil’s big break comes when Swann takes to the air and Brazil catches him on the way down. Brazil is on Swann like the Red Baron, coming from all sides out of the skies. Brazil makes a rookie mistake but Swann still can’t seem to finish the job because Brazil wants out of his slump so bad and Swann would be a hell of a feather in his cap. As much as Brazil hits him with, though, Swann is just too tough and too much.
Finish comes when Swann flattens Brazil with a striking combo and hits – I’mma give this my best shot – a reverse Phoenix Splash (?) for the 3-count pinfall victory. Both guys show each other all the respect after a star-making turn for Brazil. Sami Callihan cares about none of this, though, as he clocks Brazil with his (now-)trademark baseball bat on the way to the ring for the main event.
SAMI CALLIHAN vs. JOEY JANELA (with Aria Blake)
Former friends collide as Mawell J Friedman watches from ringside with a date as they did the last match.
Callihan and Janela waste no time going to their natural habitat as the fight spills outside the ring. Callihand not only gains the upper-hand but looks to end it with a piledriver to Janela on the apron as we go to break.
Back from commercial and both men are on top of the corner with Janela back in control. However, the action gets out of control once again as both men head outside. Janela gets Callihan back inside and goes with a high-impact game to guide him to victory. AT one point, the match looks to be over until the referee informs Janela Callihan’s foot was on the rope as he was being counted down. A strike exchange follows as both men look to score a knockout.
This one, theoretically, comes down to who has the bigger heart and who can take the most punishment. Until Callihan throws Janela into where MJF and his date are sitting. If the dressing room desecration from last week wasn’t enough, spilling champagne on himself was. While Callihan and his minions keep the referee busy, MJF keeps throwing Janela back and forth literally from (the support) pillar (of the building) to (the ring)post. The rest is pretty well academic once MJF throws Janela back in the ring.
Finish comes when Sami Callihan hits the Cranial Contusion in the ring for the 3-count pinfall. After the match, MJF is on the attack and pours champagne over an already-fallen Janela.
In terms of match quality, the middle match – the only one not advertised as a Main Event – should have been the main event. The two that were, however, were solid matches with both providing some storyline advancement. Overall this episode flowed pretty well.
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MLW Fusion TV Taping – Tag Team Titles to be decided this Thursday June 7, 2018 in Orlando, FL! Buy your tickets here!
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