Watch Major League Wrestling: FUSION Friday night at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT on beIN SPORTS.
History was made Friday night. For the first time, the World Heavyweight Championship was defended on national television via beIN SPORTS. Shane “Swerve” Strickland defended his title against Pentagon Jr. in an incredible main event on FUSION.
Tonight’s episode also saw the first-ever Gotch Prize Fight Challenge. Team Filthy’s Simon Gotch put up a “large sum of cash” ($250 to be precise) to anyone from who could last five minutes in the ring with him and avoid a pinfall or submission.
Before the show formally kicked off, the World Champ Shane Strickland and Barrington rolled up to the venue only to be confronted by Salina de la Renta. Would Strickland be one and done as World Champ? Let’s find out!
Our first match this week was also a first, as the women’s division was featured for the first time on FUSION. That’s our opening bout, as we “go to the ring…”
Santana Garrett defeated Chelsea Green
It was a battle of best friends as Santana Garrett and Chelsea Green locked up to kick off the show. These two have traveled all over the world together in the sport and they were determined to make a great first impression on FUSION. Well, at least until Green decided to get the lipstick out … more on that in a moment.
While the match opened with smiles and a handshake, it didn’t take long for that to go out the window. Green landed a big open-handed slap to Garrett’s left cheek as the two got back to their feet following a Green cover. Green utilized the official as a distraction, slamming Santana into the turnbuckle. As Garrett reeled from going headfirst into the turnbuckle, Green found some lipstick. Her unpredictable personality started to shine through as she liberally applied the lipstick over a good deal of her face. While the lipstick wasn’t a good look, it seemed to fire Green up, who went on the offensive. Green scored numerous near falls, but couldn’t secure the pinfall.
Finally, Garret saw an opening taking Green down on the ring apron and landing a boot to the side of the head. A high cross-body block off the top put Garrett in control. She followed it up with a handspring back elbow, a side Russian leg sweep and moments later finished it with a huge DDT. After the match, Green wanted to hug her BFF. Garrett begrudgingly accepted and embraced Green before exiting the ring.
After a recap of last week’s beatdown of Jimmy Havoc by “Filthy” Tom Lawlor, the leader of Team Filthy promised an apology. True to his word, Lawlor did use the word apologize. Lawlor said when Havoc steps into the ring with him he’s going to get what he deserves. “I apologize for that,” Lawlor said.
Gotch Successful in Prize Fight Challenge
After Lawlor was finished “apologizing” to Havoc, he seconded his Team Filthy mate Simon Gotch to the ring for the first-ever Simon Gotch Prize Fight Challenge. Gotch extended the offer to take part in the challenge to the “finest athletes in the world,” according to Gotch. All any athlete who wanted to step up had to do was last five minutes in the ring with Gotch and avoid a pinfall or submission.
The first surprise was the “prize” in this event. Gotch put up a whopping $250 of his own cash, eliciting a strong albeit suspect reaction from the crowd. The fact that Team Filthy is apparently cheap was debatable as a surprise. What likely did not come as a surprise to MLW fans was the opponent was definitely not “one of the finest athletes in the world.” Danny Santiago, who came to the ring wearing a Karate white belt, accepted the challenge.
Gotch hit a huge suplex once he was able to get his hands on Santiago and followed up with a Gotch piledriver and the pin. The exhibition took less than 40 seconds. Nor surprisingly, Team Filthy’s self-aggrandizing celebration following the match lasted longer than the match itself.
Bad Boy Being Bad?
New FUSION backstage correspondent Kaci Lennox tried to catch up with Maxwell J. Friedman in his locker room. Meanwhile, “Bad Boy” Joey Janela and Aria Blake came out saying they didn’t do anything bad. But when Lennox finally caught up with Friedman, he entered a dressing room that was littered with cigarette butts, beer cans and various other items. When Lennox informed Friedman who she had seen leaving, he stormed off talking about attorneys and his locker room being “violated”.
World Championship Title Fight
Shane “Swerve” Strickland (C) defeated Pentagon Jr. (presented by Salina de la Renta)
Salina de la Renta spared no expense as her top luchador Pentagon Jr. prepared for a shot at the World Heavyweight Champion Shane “Swerve” Strickland. The impresaria of Promociones Dorado even secured a mariachi band and singer to play and sing the Mexican National Anthem prior to the match.
Following that pomp and circumstance, the champ made his way to ring to the adulation of the MLW fans in attendance at the sold out GILT Nightclub. Swerve stared down de la Renta and was clearly focused as he entered the ring. While de la Renta and Pentagon spent weeks playing mind games and even spraying Swerve in the eyes with red mist, Strickland seemed close to 100% as he entered the ring.
This matchup was high impact from the beginning, as Pentagon landed a superkick and Swerve responded with a high knee. The action quickly ended up outside the ring, with Strickland hitting a double axe-handle as Pentagon ended up in a fan’s lap. When the action returned to the ring, Pentagon Jr. hit another superkick, this time on an airborne Strickland, who was coming off the top rope. As the action spilled back to the outside, Pentagon Jr. used a camera cable to choke Strickland, eventually tying him to the ring ropes. With the champion unable to defend himself, Pentagon took advantage.
With the action once again back in the ring, Pentagon Jr.’s educated feet took over. The challenger hit a vast array of kicks on Strickland, focusing on the legs of the champion. Later in the match, Pentagon’s kicks continued to find their mark, but he began focusing on the head of Strickland. Pentagon Jr. continued the offensive, hitting a Fear Factor that led to a very near fall. The challenger hit a Pentagon driver and once again, Swerve kicked out at the last possible moment.
Perhaps frustrated that two of his most devastating maneuvers couldn’t put the champion away; Pentagon went to use the red mist on Swerve once again. But Strickland saw it coming, ducked out of the way and the mist went all over de la Renta. Strickland took advantage of the distraction. A couple well-placed boots to Pentagon’s knees put the challenger in perfect position for the Swerve Stomp. The champion climbed to the top and delivered his signature maneuver to retain the World Heavyweight Championship.
Watch this week’s episode on YouTube
Missed this week or any episode of FUSION? Don’t worry! MLW posts each week’s episode Saturday night’s at 6:05pm at www.YouTube.com/majorleaguewrestling. Make sure to subscribe (for free!) to ensure you get notified when the show is posted.
Don’t Miss The Action!
Tune in at 8 p.m. ET every Friday, then, watch the replay at 11 p.m. ET. Set a reminder in your phone. Set your DVR. But whatever you do … don’t miss any action-packed episode of Major League Wrestling: FUSION.
As part of beIN SPORTS #FridayNightFury lineup, MLW airs to a nationwide audience every Friday at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT. MLW: FUSION on beIN Sports is available on all major carriers, including DirecTV, Dish Network, Verizon FiOS, Comcast, Sling, Roku, Fubo TV and more. MLW fans can also stream beIN SPORTS using the beIN Connect app for wireless devices.