Watch Major League Wrestling: FUSION Friday night at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT on beIN SPORTS
Watch the episode for free online starting Saturday 6:05pm ET on MLW’s YouTube Channel.
This week’s episode of FUSION was so jam-packed, we had two huge main events, along with the debut of two widely-known superstars.
In the second of our two main events, “Worldwide Desperado” Sami Callihan brought his growing army with him to ringside for an important matchup with the “Bad Boy “Joey Janela. Tonight, we also witnessed the debut of the high-flying, ever-charismatic Rich Swann. In addition, FUSION was full of swagger as Jake Hager made his first appearance in a Major League Wrestling ring.
In fact, that’s our first match this week as Hager faces Jeff Cobb. In the immortal words of our own Tony Schiavone, let’s “go to the ring …”
Jake Hager (with Col. Parker) defeated Jeff Cobb
In his MLW debut, Jake Hager brought plenty of swagger with him to the ring. As the newest member of the Stud Stable, he also brought Col. Robert Parker, The Dirty Blondes and a stretcher with him. Mind games were in full effect.
The former All-America grappler from the University of Oklahoma and current Bellator-contracted fighter drew a matchup with Olympian Jeff Cobb. And the action was heavy-hitting and physical from the beginning. Cobb had an early advantage, hitting a huge German suplex. But momentum shifted to Hager when he threw a shoulder block into Cobb’s left knee coming off the ropes.
Cobb managed to block out the potential injury long enough to mount an offensive. A running powerslam resulted in a near fall. Cobb then showed off his athleticism, with an impressive standing moonsault. That move also led to a two-count before Hager barely kicked out. Those two back-to-back maneuvers had Col. Parker sweating outside the ring. But his charge had the foresight to move when Cobb went for a standing shooting star press. Less than a minute later, Hager had Cobb in an extended ankle lock. Cobb’s already damaged left leg couldn’t withstand the pressure and Hager picked up the submission as he twisted Cobb’s ankle out of place.
Hager brought the stretcher into the ring. Medical personnel were called to the ring. Cobb eventually left the arena in an ambulance with what was reported as a fractured ankle, while Hager celebrated his first MLW victory.
Swerve and Salina have words
MLW.com cameras and our own Kaci Lennox caught an exclusive interview with the World Heavyweight Champion Shane “Swerve” Strickland shortly after his victory over Pentagon Jr. last week. The champ said it was “one of the hardest, most painful fights” he’s ever experienced. While reiterating he was proud to still be in possession of the title, Strickland walked outside to find a waiting Salina de la Renta. The impresaria of Promociones Dorado continued to show her lust for gold and titles, telling Swerve “you’ve never seen anything like” what she has in store for him.
Time for the Top 10
The wait is over MLW fans. The June MLW Top 10 has been released. Here’s a look at your new rankings:
World Heavyweight Champion – Shane “Swerve” Strickland
1. “Filthy” Tom Lawlor
2. Pentagon Jr.
3. Rey Fenix
4. Sami Callihan
6. Jimmy Havoc
7. Barrington Hughes
8. Bad Boy Joey Janela
9. Jake Hager
Rich Swann defeated Kotto Brazil
Scrappy underdog Kotto Brazil was still looking for his first victory on FUSION. But it was going to be a fight if he wanted to pick up that signature victory on Friday night’s show. Highly-acclaimed Rich Swann was fired up to make his first appearance in Major League Wrestling. But Brazil was more than prepared.
While Kotto hasn’t picked up a victory on television yet, his never-say-die attitude was on full display against Swann, who received a great reaction from the crowd, while singing and dancing his way to the ring. But was Swann ready for Kotto? On numerous occasions, Kotto Brazil rocked his opponent and scored numerous near falls.
It was a highly competitive back-and-forth bout that was often contested at a frenetic pace. For nearly 15 minutes, Brazil and Swann battled with Brazil showing he was on the level of Swann. Finally, Swann, the veteran, found another gear. After being pushed hard by Brazil, Swann responded with a pair of superkicks to each of Kotto’s legs. Then, a series of strikes and a spinning back kick gave Swann the opening he needed.
He ascended to the middle turnbuckle and landed the Phoenix Splash to pick up the victory. In a display of sportsmanship, Swann and Brazil shared a fist bump and a great deal of mutual respect before departing the ring.
Sami Callihan defeated Bad Boy Joey Janela (with Aria Blake)
Earlier in the evening, Sami Callihan put MLW on notice that he was building an army. He proved it, showing up with a pair of behemoths by his side for tonight’s second big main event. The dangerous Callihan will tell anyone who will listen that he just doesn’t care about anything or anyone. That was clear before he (or Janela) even got the ring. Callihan, who was clearly impatient to start this fight, used his baseball bat to take out Brazil on arguably Brazil’s biggest night ever as Brazil made his way to the back after his matchup with Swann. A truly horrible sign of disrespect by Callihan moments after Swann had showed Brazil immense respect.
Once action finally began in the squared circle, it was everything we’ve come to expect from two of the most unpredictable fighters in MLW.
Less than a minute into the match, Janela booted Callihan into the waiting arms of his henchmen. But Sami wasn’t safe. Joey was already ascending to the top turnbuckle and launched himself into all three men, much to the delight of the Bad Boy Section.
Back in the ring, Janela scored with a sunset flip powerbomb off the top rope, rocking Callihan. Janela followed up with knee strikes in the corner and a running death valley driver, leading to a pinfall. Or was it? As the timekeeper rang the bell, the official noticed Callihan had a foot on the ropes just before his hand came down a third time. The match continued.
That was the opening Callihan needed to take control. The “Worldwide Desperado” clotheslined Janela to the outside, but the Bad Boy pulled him right out into the crowd with him.
That’s where it all began to go wrong for Janela. In the audience, Maxwell J. Friedman had been enjoying an evening as a spectator with his date. As they battled on the floor, Callihan used Janela’s momentum against him and sent him crashing into MJF’s table and his lady friend.
MLW’s trust fund kid apparently took exception to Janela spoiling his date. MJF may have also had some flashbacks to last week’s incident in his dressing room.
After ramming Janela’s head into a steel post three times, Friedman rolled him back into the ring, where Callihan was happy to finish off the “Bad Boy.” One Cranial Contusion later, Callihan had his hand raised in victory. But insult was added to injury for Janela. MJF wasn’t content just to cause Janela the victory. He entered the ring, stomped on Janela, dumped his champagne on the Bad Boy and wiped the soles of his shoes on the Bad Boy’s head.
Janela was left receiving medical attention as we ran out of time on this week’s episode of MLW: FUSION.
Missed the show? Stream it for FREE online!
If you missed tonight’s show, don’t worry! Watch it on MLW’s YouTube Channel Saturday nights at 6:05pm ET each and every week. Subscribe for free so you are notified when FUSION gets 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.