ANNOUNCE TEAM: Joe Dombrowski and Matt Striker
This episode of Fusion comes hot off the heels of Slaughterhouse, which unfortunately saw a couple of key substitutions to the card and not necessarily for the better.
Davey Boy Smith Jnr. was unable to compete in the main event championship match against Alex Kane, and was replaced by Tom Lawlor in the match. Although Lawlor is a fine wrestler; this instantly renders last week’s episode of Fusion as redundant as it featured 3 previous encounters between Kane and Davey Boy, who ended up not being able to compete. Although these things can’t be helped sometimes; this definitely puts a blight on Slaughterhouse and this episode coming out of it has an uphill battle in my view.
Love Doug vs Ichiban
Love Doug comes out to face Ichiban in a match that was taped at Slaughterhouse. It might be just a bad taste in my mouth from last week but showing a match pre-taped from the night of the PPV just feels lazy to me. The match itself ended after 5 minutes, and was passable with the right man winning.
Ichiban def. Love Doug
Love Doug’s ongoing quest for Becca’s attention continued after the match. It looks like Doug is being baited into a trap here. This was inoffensive but this reviewer can take it or leave or it.
Tom Lawlor is backstage complaining about losing at Slaughterhouse- Lawlor’s shoulders were counted to the mat while he had Kane in a rear-naked choke—he believes Kane was out before the ref counted his shoulders down, making him the rightful winner and champion- Immediately Tom is here with an angle and legitimate gripe. Great job by MLW spinning the replacement in the title into a good story. Lawlor goes on to cut a promo about how corrupt MLW must be if Don King of all people is allowed to be promoting fights in the promotion- good point. He has joined World Titan Federation instead. Nice way to tie him into the WTF storyline.
Tony Deppen and TJ Blackwood brag about the beatdowns they’ve been delivering in MLW over the past couple of weeks. They’re enjoying what they’re doing but not happy about the fines levied at them in response. Not bad. Interesting enough to want to see how it plays out.
Then we get back to back segments about the main event tonight between Matt Cardona and 1 Called Manders.
Firstly, Mance Warner is trying to fire up Menders backstage about the match- basically the same thing he did with the other guy last week. Secondly, Mister Saint Lauren brags about how Matt Cardona will be dominant in the match. Both these segments were basic copies of the promos these guys cut last week, not bad but kind of a repeat.
Midas Black and Jay Lyon vs Mr. Thomas and J Boujee
This was a tag match taped the night of Fury Road and was another decent tag match that felt sports like and was technically sound, with the guys all looking to show what they can do throughout the match.
Mr. Thomas and J Boujee def. Midas Black and Jay Lyon
We then get a decent pre-taped promo from Alex Kane who did not appear on this episode in ring. It was okay, but they need to add dimension to Kane if they want to truly make him “the guy”.
After another cut-out promo of Mince Warner looking for weapons which was again, same-same, we go to the main event.
Matt Cardona vs 1 Called Manders
Cardona and Manders have a pretty decent, physical, TV match, with Cardona being positioned as the dominant heel big star and Manders being the plucky babyface. MSL is on commentary putting over Cardona, which was good stuff. After a decent little match, Cardona picks up a win.
After the match, Cardona brags about being undefeated in MLW and acts like a smarmy bully. Mance Warner then runs out and the two of them brawl to the back to end the episode.
Coming out of Episode 187 the stories and angles continue to converge together as Matt Cardona and MSL’s World Titan Federation continue to grow in power within MLW.
FINAL THOUGHTS & RATING:
Better episode than last week, but still feels like MLW is jogging in place somewhat.