By Michael Melchor, Executive Editor
MLW Fusion Episode 14
July 20, 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.
Greetings and welcome back to The Gorilla Position for our coverage-slash-presentation of MLW Fusion! If you didn’t catch last week’s report-slash-show, we’re coming out on Saturdays because so does the show (on YouTube). So, after you read it, you can watch it! Or vice-versa! We’re not picky, we’re just glad you’re here!
Speaking of those just joining us…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.
And now, as Tony Schiavone would say, “Let’s go to the ring!”
Show opens with a video package recapping the bounty placed on Strickland, including turning back the attempt to collect from Brody King and then getting attacked by Low Ki, setting up tonight’s match.
Tony Schiavone and Rich Bocchini welcoming us to tonight’s episode:
KIKI ROBERTS vs. KAHUNA KHAN
This was supposed to have been another “Prospects Match,” but there is no match to be had as Su Yung and Zeda Zhang arrive to maul these poor gentlemen and continue to make statement. Su Yung has a kendo stick while Zhang just goes bare-handed on another.
Backstage, The Stud Stable harasses Fred Yehi. Team Filthy enter to run off the Stable and make more friends – no, seriously. Once the Stable departs, Lawlor and Gotch hand Yehi a Team Filthy jacket in exchange for Yehi’s half-mask. That should be an interesting union.
Shane Strickland arrives with his girlfriend and a video package sets up the rivalry about to culminate next…
JIMMY HAVOC vs. “FILTHY” TOM LAWLOR (with Simon Gotch and Fred Yehi)
If you’ve ever wondered what would happen if a trained MMA fighter mixed it up with a complete psychopath, you’re about to get your answer. Lawlor sends Gotch and Yehi to the back as he prefers to go this one alone.
Havoc wastes no time getting in his comfort zone and taking Lawlor out of his as they fight outside. Havoc whooped Lawlor from pillar to post before breaking out the weapons. Lawlor has had time to prepare for this and beats Havoc to using the weapons – partly to survive but partly to beat Havoc at his specialty. Lawlor bloodies Havoc with a cheese grater and gets in on the psycho fun, licking the grater afterward and wearing some of Havoc’s blood. Dude, that’s just gross. Havoc tries to even up the odds with a staple gun, but Lawlor’s able to take and use that against Havoc as well.
Havoc, with a score of 0-2 with weapons in this contest, gains a point by taking the cheese grater back and…going low on Lawlor with it. Havoc’s confidence in using his preferred tools is back as he brings some chairs to the party. Lawlor is down for using more weapons and to mix what brought him to the dance as he suplexes Havoc onto the chairs. Havoc is equally game to mix style with nastiness and take it a step sideways by using a sheet of paper. Between Lawlor’s fingers to give him a paper cut. Then sprinkle some lemon juice on it like he’s Snoop Dogg hanging out with Martha Stewart. Then locks in the armbar to get Lawlor to give up.
Lawlor survives, prompting Havoc to go for a pizza cutter. It becomes a recipe for disaster as Lawlor wrests that away from him as well and take the lead in the weapons score , 3-2. Lawlor hacks away at Havoc’s arm, weakening the limb for a supposed submission sooner than later. Lawlor dumps Havoc back on the chairs and it’s here where his overconfidence bites him back. Whether or not he has his weapons used against him or not, Havoc is in his element as a fighter and losing so much of his own blood only seems to make him more determined.
Finish comes when Havoc drills Lawlor with a discus forearm and then musters all of his strength for the Acid Rainmaker lariat for the 3-count pinfall victory. If you’re not a fan of blood and hardcore battles, this may not be for you. That said, this was one done right as the end of a grudge between two men.
The perpetrator in the attack on MLW World Champion Shane Strickland is revealed to be Sami Callihan! Callihan explains via video that he did it all for the money. The fans have gotten in Shane’s head and Callihan couldn’t stand for that.
In the back, Barrington Hughes and Kotto Brazil freak about Callihan being the attacker when Strickland arrives and tells them he knows how to handle the Death Machines, which calms them both down. This is cool, but what about Low Ki?
MLW WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION SHANE STRICKLAND vs. LOW KI – MLW WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
Low Ki is after a bounty and a title. Strickland is under the gun as a target of Salina De La Renta (who is at ringside with Low Ki). Low Ki has experience, striking ability and ruthlessness while Strickland has resilience and size on his side – and a damaged right knee thanks to Callihan’s attack.
Low Ki knows his reputation proceeds him as he talks down Strickland before the physical game starts. Low Ki slaps Strickland and his plan of getting in Strickland’s head seems to backfire as Strickland puts his strength to use. But, was the plan to take Strickland mentally out of the game not through intimidation but emotion? That seems to be Low Ki’s plan as Strickland leaves an opening in his explosiveness for Ki to aim and unload his striking arsenal.
Strickland’s emotions have control of him – first it was anger, now it’s fight-or-flight. Strickland scores with a headbutt and rallies back with a headscissors to the outside designed to do maximum damage but is no good for Strickland’s knee. Strickland then unloads punches to Low Ki from the second turnbuckle but Ki’s intelligence and calm shows itself when he simply pushes Strickland off of him, forcing more force and weight on that bad wheel while halting the attack. The damage is obvious as Strickland can barely land kicks on Low Ki without feeling the effects. Strickland nails the cutter but keps rolling around on the bad leg in making the attempt. Swerve ups the ante going for his patented Swerve Stomp in an all-or-nothing gambit to survive. Strickland misses the attack and, in the hands of a shark like Low Ki, the last thing Strickland needed was to drop blood in the water.
Finish comes when Low Ki nails Strickland with the Switchblade Kick for the 3-count pinfall victory and the MLW World Championship. Strickland was game and it’s difficult to say the result may have been the same had Callihan not weakened him before the encounter. That said, Low Ki’s precision and perseverance leads to a championship that had always eluded him.
Two big matches are given plenty of attention this week as stories were told in the ring rather than backstage, for the most part. An excellent setup episode to lead to next week’s 2-hour Battle Riot special.
BUT DON’T JUST TAKE OUR WORD FOR IT…
Saturday nights at 6:05pm EST, MLW releases the latest episode of FUSION for free in full with NO commercials on the MLW YouTube channel! Don’t miss a single episode… but if you do it’s posted each week! Binge on every episode of FUSION and watch 60 minutes of high octane wrestling. Watch MLW on the go!
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