By Michael Melchor, Executive Editor
MLW Fusion Episode 08: “The Bounty”
June 08, 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.
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!”
Tony Schiavone and Rich Bocchini welcome us to tonight’s episode:
“FILTHY” TOM LAWLOR (with Team Filthy – Seth Petruzelli & Simon Gotch) vs. FRED YEHI
As much as Team Filthy can be MMA douchebags, the key word is MMA. Lawlor looks to bring that style to Yehi, who is much a grappler as much as he is…well, pissed off, angry and short. The two find themselves almost looking in a mirror at the outset trying to out-wrestle each other. Lawlor is the first to break the pattern by throwing the first strikes an using his size advantage against Yehi since the grappling brought them to a standstill. Yehi matches him with strikes of his own and goes after the previously injured arm of Lawlor. Lawlor cuts that off, going back to his size, but Yehi is tenacious in his attack and the two are still at a standstill as we go to break.
Back from break, the two are still at a dead heat as Lawlor has Yehi kn a kneebar and Yehi escapes. Yehi now switches gears to an impact game but Lawlor is a match for him there also. There is no way out of the stalemate for Lawlor – unless he gets by with a little help from his friends.
Finish comes when Yehi is distracted long enough for Lawlor to nail Yehi with a (steel-plated, previously injured) forearm and then applies the rear naked choke for the submission victory. More of these two together, pretty please.
Maxwell J Friedman is being his usual dick self in an interview when Aria Blake steps ion scene and gives him hell. After she’s escorted off by security, MJF scoffs off the $5,000 fine for attacking Janela last week.
Jason Cade and Jimmy (“Wheeler”) Yuta are doing a photoshoot wherein Cade is somewhat hogging the spotlight. Yeah, these two will totally be ready for their tag team championship shot.
Recap of confrontation between MLW World Heavyweight Champion Shane Strickland and Salina De La Renta from last week. De La Renta has a via videotaped message in which she reveals that (SPOLIERS!) De La Renta has a bounty on Strickland.
MVP vs. LEON SCOTT
MVP hits the ring throwing shots and Scott is happy to oblige. There isn’t much of a match to be had here as finish comes when Sami Callihan and his other henchman get involved, forcing the referee to disqualify Scott. Callihan and company are laying waste to MVP when Kotto Brazil comes in to help. The two are outnubered (sorry, I refuse to use the phrase “numbers game”) and outgunned as Brazil takes a beating as well.
Strickland is interviewed backstage about the bounty placed on his head by De La Renta. Strickland is a positive role model so he’s ready to face (SPOILERS!) whoever wants to collect. Low Ki approaches Strickland on behalf of Black Friday Management and offers to “take care” of Strickland’s problem for him. Strickland declines the offer and goes on his way.
ACH runs into Rich Swann backstage and the two trade respect – and the idea to possibly tag together soon (!) – before ACH heads to the ring for his main-event match.
ACH vs. REY FENIX (with Salina De La Renta)
This should be an aerial dogfight, much like Rich Swann vs. Kotto Brazil last week. The difference here is that the experience factor is much more evenly matched between Fenix and ACH.
Both men start off looking to out-wrestle each other in a classic feeling-out process. It doesn’t take long before both men are flying but ACH turns left, using his size to get a leg up.
Back from break, though, and it is Fenix who is in control and utilizing his aerial skills to keep it that way. ACH makes another turn and starts using impact moves to pound away at Fenix and keep him grounded. Tony Schiavone says it perfectly: “If you’re a high-flier and your opponent’s a high-flyer, it makes sense that you would want to keep him down.” And that’s what ACH attempts to do, but Fenix’s agility is his saving grace as he turns the tables and keeps ACH grounded with strikes.
ACH has size and strength advantage but also a target on his taped left shoulder that Fenix isn’t afraid to exploit. ACH battles his way back into control and catches Fenix up top with a straight-up Guile Flash Kick that has to be seen! ACH is back as the two are reduced to trading blows for the advantage. ACH has the upper hand but it is overconfidence that costs him.
Finish comes when ACH misses a frog splash, enabling Fenix to hit a muscle buster for the 3-count pinfall victory. More of this as well too, please! The two exchange handshakes in a show of sportsmanship as the show ends.
A good blend of wrestling, (short) brawling and aerial action this week. One match was simply for the sake of a story, which is perfectly fine when the other deliver so well.
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