Thursday, November 19, 2020

Wrestling Review //
MLW Fusion #110
"The Restart"


This has been one of my most anticipated comebacks in professional wrestling.   I have been faithfully watching MLW Fusion on YouTube for some time now because of wrestlers like Brian Pillman Jr., Tom Lawlor and Mance Warner being involved.  It is also a show which you can watch on YouTube for free so that helps.   This episode opened with a video detailing the history of MLW which seemed not only beneficial to those who might be watching MLW for the first time but it was just a friendly reminder of what some of us may have already seen and it isn't bad to see it all again.

The first match on the show was a squash match by Alex Hammerstone, who is really just one of the top wrestlers in all of professional wrestling right now.   The guy is built like a brickhouse but he can move like he's smaller.   When you have that agility and power, you're going to become dangerous.   After the match, Hammerstone says what we're all thinking: he's been dominating MLW so when is his title shot against Jacob Fatu?  For my money, if you're going to book a promotion around someone, Hammerstone has to be one of your top choices.

I see a lot of names in wrestling get thrown around a lot.  I'm not going to name them, but just go on Twitter or find a place where you can post and talk about wrestling and you'll see a lot of the same names as big names now and ones to watch.  I truly believe that Myron Reed doesn't get the credit he deserves though- he's easily one of the top wrestlers in the world right now but for whatever reason his name just doesn't appear as much as I think it should.   He defends his World Middleweight Championship in the second match against Brian Pillman Jr.

Myron Reed and Brian Pillman Jr have history and a video package shows this.  Myron Reed says that he is looking to the future while Brian Pillman Jr is focused on the past.   This was a good basis for this feud, really, and I enjoyed this match as well.   Brian Pillman Jr held his own but at the end of the day, Myron Reed won with the Cap'n Crunch.   Who doesn't love a finisher named after cereal?  You and the Cap'n make it happen.   Post match Myron Reed calls out Lio Rush and that would be such a huge match you have no idea.

We get a promo about the main event and then a promo for the Opera Cup, which has some really interesting names in it such as TJP (isn't he in Impact?) and the alternates.  The main event is for the title and it has a big fight feel to it.   How do you describe Jacob Fatu to someone who has never seen him before?  The guy is big but just flows so smoothly in the ring he makes it all seem so effortless.   I said Hammerstone is someone to build a promotion around but Jacob Fatu has been running this promotion for long enough that if you're going to take his spot, you better be worthy.    Many promotions out there have champions representing them that I wouldn't put at the top but that's just me.

Speaking of wrestlers to build a company around, Calvin Tankman arrives next week.  Richard Holliday is cutting a promo about being Carlito and how he's going to return eventually and spit apples at people.  I don't know.  Maybe not.  I kind of tuned him out.   The Von Erichs are also part of MLW and if you're looking to have a solid tag team division, this is a team to have as part of it.   MLW shows us the former World Heavyweight Champions and that really makes you feel like the title could change hands here.

I love that MLW has this second generation wrestling feel to it.   You have Davey Boy Smith Jr, son of the British Bulldog.   You have Brian Pillman Jr carrying on his father's legacy.   Jacob Fatu is part of the Anoa'i Family.   You have the Von Erichs.   But then also you have guys like Hammerstone, Myron Reed, Lio Rush, ACH, Violence Is Forever and Calvin Tankman, who all just feel so much like the future happening right now.   I really feel like MLW has something for everyone and even though Davey Boy Smith Jr didn't win the title from Jacob Fatu he is still someone you could build a promotion around.  

There are two things which I really love about MLW that I feel are areas where other companies tend to drop the ball.   For one thing, MLW had two men on commentary who talked about not just the wrestlers within the matches that they were calling but also the match itself.   How often does a commentator trail off and start talking about who knows what when someone else has to pull him back into the match?  Having the commentary team focusing on the matches makes the matches feel more important.  I know it might seem simple but I've heard some really bad commentary in my time that made me wonder if those calling the matches didn't care then why should I.

The second aspect of MLW which I feel makes it a must watch show is that they truly utilize every second of their hour long broadcast.  At some point in time, wrestling decided that it was a good idea to have something happen and then within the same broadcast show it ten more times.  "Here's what happened last hour in case you missed it".   This was not a good idea.  This, much like my commentary point, took away the importance of what you were watching.  And let's be fair here- I'll call it like it is.   You could go for an entire year without watching anything related to WWE and then tune into a random PPV and feel like you hadn't missed anything because of how much footage they'll show you before the match.

To me, a lot of what happens in wrestling is overkill.   How many times do I have to see the same clip?  Yes, there are a time and place for replays and I'm not saying it should never be done.   MLW has replays and has shown clips from their past during their show.   But it's about how much you do it that matters because eventually you lose opportunities to create new content when you're just showing replays.   There is a balance.   MLW has found that balance because I don't feel like the replays ever over stay their welcome. They show enough to keep you informed but not so much as to make you roll your eyes.

It seems scary to think about but we're almost a month away from being in 2021.   Professional wrestling took a hit in 2020 with the pandemic, as did everything, but you have to go into 2021 with hope.   MLW bringing back Fusion makes me hopeful.   Not just hopeful for MLW but for all of wrestling.   There is a lot of wrestling out there, that is a fact, and it's not always easy to decide what to watch and what not to watch.   But you should definitely spend an hour every week watching MLW Fusion.   To me, MLW is that promotion to watch in 2021.   And hopefully maybe they can also work out a deal for action figures (please?)

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