Fusion #18
Date: August 17, 2018
Location: Melrose Ballroom, New York City, New York
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Matt Striker

We’re still in New York and that means we have a big time World Title match as Low Ki defends against John Hennigan (or whatever they’re calling him this week). While I doubt they’ll change the title again so soon, it should be an entertaining match, which is almost always the case when Hennigan is involved. Let’s get to it.

Here are last week’s results if you need a recap.

In Memory Of Jim Neidhart.

We recap Hennigan beating Teddy Hart to earn the title shot.

Before the show, the Hart Foundation got in ACH and Rich Swann’s faces before their match later.

Rich Swann/ACH vs. Hart Foundation

That would be Teddy Hart and Davey Boy Smith Jr. with Pillman in their corner. Before the match, we get the Canadian national anthem. Striker: “Tony why are you taking a knee?” Tony: “Well I did play high school football.” Teddy shakes ACH’s hand but won’t look him in the eye for a show of disrespect. Smith shoves the much smaller ACH down with ease and Smith strikes a quick pose. ACH’s chop just hurts his own hand but a dropkick to the leg makes some more sense.

Smith calmly runs him over and it’s off to Hart vs. Swann. Teddy easily takes him down into the Rings of Saturn, though they don’t last long. Instead Swann nips out of a wristlock, leaving Hart to climb the corner and bounce around into a wristdrag. Back up and Hart snaps off a powerslam for two, drawing a chant for Teddy. Hart jumps over him in the corner, lands on Swann’s back, and snaps off a Code Red.

ACH makes a save so everything breaks down with Smith throwing them both to the floor as we take a break. Back with ACH hitting Hart with a Pele and a frog splash but Smith makes the save. The cocky ACH puts on the Sharpshooter with Smith making another save, albeit an angrier one this time. Swann goes up but Pillman hits him low with a cane shot, allowing Hart to hit an electric chair Backstabber for the pin at 10:14.

Result: Hart Foundation b. Rich Swann/ACH – Electric chair Backstabber to Swann (10:14)

We get a WarGames Control Center with an explanation of the match’s rules, which seem to be the original version. In addition to the show’s namesake match, there will be a World Title match plus PCO vs. Brody King.

Shane Strickland (in an Austin Theory shirt) is ready to announce the newest member of his WarGames team but first he has to give John Hennigan a scouting report on Low Ki. Strickland’s advice: don’t let him kick you in the head. The team isn’t worried about Team Callihan adding Abyss, but here is Team Callihan to jump them from behind. Tommy Dreamer makes the save and is officially part of Team Strickland.

Hennigan is banged up before his title shot tonight.

Konnan is very pleased with Fenix and Pentagon Jr. leaving Salina de la Renta and joining him because they’re like scarecrows: they’re outstanding in their field. Fenix and Pentagon seem very pleased with their decision.

Tom Lawlor is training at his dojo with Seth Petruzelli when the Stud Stable comes in for the Dojo Fight. They’ve got a referee with them and Jake Hager talks trash, but it’s going to be Parrow fighting for the Stable instead. Lawlor throws some rights and lefts to start before driving Parrow against the cage. Parrow gets him on the ground and swings Lawlor into the cage to break up an armbar. Back up and Lawlor uses a pipe in the ceiling to hit a hurricanrana before slapping on a Kimura for the tap.

Post fight, Lawlor refuses to let go of the hold until he sees Petruzelli down and goes over for the save.

Salina intimidates the interviewer and Low Ki isn’t scared about having to defend against Hennigan tonight. Ki is looking forward to Hennigan’s challenge and promises to make him a sacrificial lamb. Hennigan needs to go back underground because the impact of tonight is going to be brutal.

We get a tale of the tape for the title match.

MLW World Title: John Hennigan vs. Low Ki

Hennigan is challenging and has bad ribs from earlier. Thankfully Ki is in regular gear instead of the suit. Feeling out process to start as Tony gives us some history of Black Friday Management. Hennigan drives him into the corner but gets pulled into an armbar over the ropes.

That’s broken up in a hurry so they go to the mat for a grappling session. Hennigan works on the leg as Striker mentions that Hennigan will be in WarGames. Ki steals Hennigan’s bandanna and you know that makes things more serious. They separate again as we’re still waiting for this to really take off. A test of strength takes Hennigan down and Ki actually breaks his bridge a few times.

They grapple some more with Ki grabbing a guillotine choke, sending Hennigan straight to the ropes. We get a rare smile from Ki and it’s a lot more intimidating than I was expecting. Hennigan knees him into the corner but a springboard is broken up and the big crash to the floor has Hennigan in trouble. Ki walks him around the ring while adding in some chops and it’s off to a triangle headscissors back inside.

A gutwrench keeps Hennigan in trouble as Salina continues her evil stare. Hennigan can’t get him up for a suplex so Ki grabs an abdominal stretch to keep things logical. The hold is broken and Hennigan goes with right hands to the head in the corner, which is probably a smart move as grappling hasn’t been his strong suit so far. The sliding German suplex drops Ki, with Tony saying he’s never seen it before, even though Hennigan used it last week.

Hennigan scores with the Flying Chuck for two but Starship Pain is broken up. We get a Tree of Woe dragon sleeper to make Hennigan scream but they’re both caught in the ropes. Ki can’t hit the Ki Crusher so it’s a standing C4 for two on the champ. A running knee to the face knocks Ki silly but Starship Pain misses. The top rope double stomp…doesn’t finish Hennigan but the Switchblade kick is enough to retain the title at 16:06.

Result: Low Ki b. John Hennigan – Switchblade kick (16:06)

Next week: Team Filthy vs. the Dirty Blonds and ACH/Rich Swann vs. Fenix/Pentagon Jr. for the Tag Team Titles.

Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 50,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 5,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his Amazon author page with 28 wrestling books. His latest book is the the Complete 2003 Monday Night Raw Reviews.

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