Fusion #27
Date: October 19, 2018
Location: Melrose Ballroom, New York City, New York
Commentators: Matt Striker, Tony Schiavone

We’re onto a fresh taping cycle and back in New York with a major main event. This time around we have Shane Strickland facing Tom Lawlor in a match that belongs on a big stage. I’m not sure what to expect from the rest of the show but this promotion knows how to build up multiple things at the same time. Let’s get to it.

The opening video looks at Strickland vs. Lawlor, with Shane talking about how people think he’s lost his edge.

Opening sequence.

The announcers preview the main event.

El Hijo de LA Park vs. Sammy Guevara

Park has Salina, who fired Sammy a few months back, in his corner. Sammy gets sent outside for an early suicide dive but he’s right back up with one of his own. Back in and Park scores with a high crossbody for no cover, opting instead to kick Sammy into the corner. Guevara manages to backflip over the rather tall Park and then dropkick him down.

Park’s own high crossbody still gets no cover as the announcers talk about next week’s Halloween special. A running Canadian Destroyer gives Park two more to send Sammy outside with Park moonsaulting after him. Back in and Sammy misses his own moonsault but is right there with a standing shooting star for two. Park gets two of his own off a super Spanish Fly but Guevara hits a low superkick. Guevara misses a charge though and gets caught in an over the shoulder piledriver to give Park the pin at 5:38.

Result: Hijo de LA Park – Over the shoulder piledriver (5:38)

Tom Lawlor says you know what to expect from him. He ran through 39 people in the Battle Riot and is the ace around here. But who are you getting from Strickland? The World Champion or the guy who won’t even show up?

Rush is still coming.

Konnan isn’t impressed by Salina’s actions last week and promises to have the Lucha Bros take out LA Park and Hijo de LA Park.

Samoan Island Tribe vs. Smash N Dash Connection

That would be Samu/Lance Anoa’i vs. Kotto Brazil/Barrington Hughes. The Samoans jump them from behind and Samu slams Kotto to start. Thankfully it’s off to Lance in a hurry for a sunset flip Backstabber but he makes sure to cut off the ring before covering. It’s back to Samu as Striker explains Samoans having hard hands. A clothesline takes Kotto down and Lance comes in to spit at Hughes.

Kotto gets up a boot in the corner but Lance slams him down to break up a hot tag attempt. Lance suckers Hughes in but superkicks him twice before the huge one can even get in. A double Stroke gets no cover as Lance misses a top rope splash instead, allowing the tag to Hughes (already with one foot over the ropes before he comes in). Hughes tries a headbutt for no logical reason as everything breaks down. Lance gets thrown into a spear on Samu and it’s Sliced Bread off Hughes’ chest into a splash to give Hughes the pin at 6:15.

Result: Smash N Dash Connection b. Samoan Island Party – Splash to Anoa’i (6:15)

A quieter than usual Sami Callihan says he’s ready for Jimmy Havoc next week because Havoc falsely believes he’s the most violent wrestler in the world. They used to be friends but next week, only one man walks out.

Stokely Hathaway is coming.

Shane Strickland says this is his house and MLW would be hard pressed to find someone like him.

Fightland card rundown.

Salina laughs off Konnan’s words and sees a bright future for her men.

Jimmy Havoc likes the possibilities of next week. No matter what the wheel lands on, the match will be in his favor. New York will run red with Callihan’s blood.

Tom Lawlor vs. Shane Strickland

Low Ki is on commentary and when asked about the marks the two have made on MLW, he says he just sees two marks in the ring. Feeling out process to start with Lawlor headlocking him to the mat to no effect. Low Ki breaks down what they’re doing and what both of them are probably looking to do in the next few moments.

Lawlor goes to the apron but slips, allowing Shane to snap the arm over the top rope and kick him to the floor. Another kick to the arm lets Shane wrap the arm around the barricade. Lawlor clotheslines the post by mistake, allowing Shane to start in on the arm back inside. Shane can’t get an armbar of various forms so he jumps on Tom’s back and pulls back on both arms leaving Tom to bite the ropes for the break.

Some Low Ki style kicks (Low Ki: “I wonder where he learned that.”) and a discus lariat sets up the rolling cutter for two. Shane takes too much time going up though and Lawlor hits a spinning kick to the head to slow things down. A top rope superplex into a front chancery has Shane in trouble. That’s reversed into a suplex for the double knockdown though as both guys get a breather.

Back up and Lawlor wins a slugout so Shane grabs the bad arm in a smart move. A Falcon Arrow gives Lawlor two but Shane pops up with a jumping knee to the face as Low Ki has gone silent. Lawlor is fine enough for a one armed German suplex and Low Ki gets up as Lawlor slaps on a rear naked choke. Salina comes out for a distraction and Low Ki kicks Lawlor in the head.

Shane doesn’t cover, opting to drape Lawlor over the barricade for a double stomp to the back instead. Back in and a regular double stomp gets two so Low Ki asks Shane why he can’t get a pin. Another snap of the arm sets up a knee to the face but Lawlor manages a one arm choke while biting on the arm tape because he has one arm….for the tap at 16:40.

Result: Tom Lawlor b. Shane Strickland – Rear naked choke (16:40)

After a quick look at next week’s show, Lawlor says he’s cashing in his World Title shot at Super Fight on February 2.

If you like the sound of this show, you can check out the full show for free right here.

MLW Fusion Episode 27: "Filthy" Tom Lawlor vs. Shane "Swerve" Strickland

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 Smackdown Reviews.

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