It all came to a head on this week’s episode of MLW: FUSION. After an entire summer of battles, blind-side attacks, full frontal assaults and even more verbal sparring … MLW officials determined the only way the animosity between these two groups could be settled was in two rings, surrounded by a steel cage. WAR GAMES® was the only way to end this. While the war is over, new skirmishes and questions have arisen in the aftermath of the battle.
By the end of the Match Beyond, Tommy Dreamer, John Hennigan, Kotto Brazil and Barrington Hughes stood tall with their hands raised in victory. Below is a look at how we got there and where we go from here.
Prelude to War
Unleashing terror throughout MLW, all summer Sami Callihan and his Death Machines targeted underdog Kotto Brazil and the mighty 469-pound Barrington Hughes. Callihan is also attributed with helping end Shane Strickland ‘s 3-month World Heavyweight Title reign and has been battling the ex-champion all summer long.
John Hennigan and Callihan collided in the final stages of the Battle Riot match and sources indicate there are undisclosed issues between the two. Tommy Dreamer was reportedly recruited by Hennigan due to his penchant for the extreme and if there is one match that is extreme, it’s a WAR GAMES® match.
While Callihan and the Death Machines already made up 3 of their 5 team members, the Worldwide Desperado didn’t rest on his laurels. He brought in a monster and a very dangerous man. The monster Abyss made his MLW debut, aligning with a murderers’ row that also included England’s Most Dangerous Man Jimmy Havoc.
Dreamer, Brazil, Hughes, Hennigan, Strickland defeated Callihan, Scott, Fulton, Havoc, Abyss
Period 1 (5 minutes): Kotto Brazil vs. Fulton – Despite being a match in two rings, surrounded by a steel cage, this one started outside. Brazil flew through the door of the cage, driving Fulton back through the timekeeper’s table. While Brazil had the early advantage, Fulton’s size and strength eventually took over for much of the first period.
Period 2 (2 minutes): John Hennigan entered for his side and was able to give Brazil a bit of time to recover after nearly five minutes of beatdown from Fulton. Hennigan and Brazil were able to gain the advantage through some double-teaming against Fulton before Period 3 started.
Period 3 (2 minutes): Jimmy Havoc entered with a thick piece of paper in his waistband. He wasted no time using one of his favorite weapons, slicing the webbing between Hennigan’s fingers to create a nasty papercut. Will it win the match? No. Will it drive home the point that Havoc likes to inflict pain? Yes. Havoc also found a way to nail Brazil in the head with a stop sign that was in the ring before the next contestant was announced.
Period 4 (2 minutes): This is where things took a turn in this match. Sami Callihan’s team was at a disadvantage after losing the coin toss, meaning his team would never be up a man. It would always be even or the advantage would go to the other side. Callihan eliminated that issue. As Shane “Swerve” Strickland was introduced into the match, the Worldwide Desperado attacked. Callihan threw Strickland into the ring steps on the stage at Fort Lauderdale’s War Memorial Auditorium. He threw Strickland off the stage and through a table. He then powerbombed Strickland through what was left of that table. Strickland was carried out of the auditorium and was not seen again for the rest of the evening.
Period 5 (2 minutes): After his violent attack on Strickland, Callihan entered the match, giving his team a 3-2 advantage inside the cage. Almost immediately, that numbers advantage paid dividends, as Havoc dropped an elbow on Hennigan from the top rope, driving him through a table. With Hennigan temporarily incapacitated, Callihan, Havoc and Fulton started once again tearing apart Brazil.
Period 6 (2 minutes): Enter the Innovator of Violence. Tommy Dreamer, trash can full of weapons in tow, immediately turned the tide back in his team’s favor. Dreamer, who symbolically wore black with yellow polka dots in Dusty Rhodes’ memory, took charge inside the cage throughout this entire period.
Period 7 (2 minutes): Both Death Machines were now in the match, as Leon Scott entered. Once again, Callihan’s side had the numbers advantage. Scott brought Callihna’s ever-present baseball bat with him to the ring. The bat and the numbers left Callihan’s Ravagers to run roughshod.
Period 8 (2 minutes): The final member of his team to enter, Barrington Hughes was out next. Once again, the momentum shifted. Hughes even took three shots to the skull from Havoc with a “wet floor” sign, with no effect whatsoever. But the final man to enter the match would give Callihan’s side the numbers edge one final time with Strickland injured.
The Match Beyond: With the entry of Abyss, the Match Beyond commenced. At this point, the match could now be won or lost and it could only be decided by submission or a member of one team being unable to continue. Abyss came to the ring holding a bag. We quickly learned it was a bag of tacks. While he tried to slam Brazil onto those tacks, the maneuver backfired and Abyss was the one later pulling tacks out of his body.
For more than 8 long minutes – keep in mind the opening bell rang nearly 30 minutes ago – the two teams battled. Neither able to get an advantage. But a key moment came at roughly the 29-minute mark. Havoc went to hit the Acid Rainmaker on Dreamer. But the Innovator of Violence was able to shove Callihan into the line of fire. Callihan ate Havoc’s signature maneuver.
Callihan followed that up with a cutter on Havoc. At the same time, Brazil found the barbed wire that Dreamer brought with him to the ring. That barbed wire would figure heavily in the outcome. Brazil wrapped his own teammate Hughes in the barbed wire. Hughes became what Rich Bocchinni called on the broadcast “a walking weapon of mass destruction.” With the barbed wire wrapped around him, he hit a big splash on Fulton. That was the beginning of the end.
Brazil and Hughes then wrapped some of the barbed wire around Fulton’s head and continued applying pressure with it. Blood running down Fulton’s face, he couldn’t take the pain and eventually tapped out, leaving Dreamer, Hennigan, Brazil and Hughes to celebrate their victory and seemingly end the months-long feud between these two groups.
Following the match, while the victors celebrated, Callihan was livid. Despite his own Death Machine Fulton being the man who tapped out, Callihan clearly blamed Havoc for the loss. Following the Acid Rainmaker that Callihan was inadvertently hit with, Brazil and Hughes were able to focus in on Fulton to get the submission victory.
Following the match, all four members of Callihan’s team stomped out Havoc. One has to be believe Havoc and Callihan’s issues are far from resolved.
What about the status of Strickland? While his team won, he was nowhere to be found in the post-match celebration. What’s next for the former World Champion? Sources tell MLW.com Strickland is recovering from the brutal attack by Callihan and plans to appear at MLW Fury Road Oct. 4 in New York City.
Stay tuned to MLW: FUSION, MLW.com and MLW social media channels to continue following these stories, along with all the other action as the World of MLW Never Stops!
MLW Fury Road Control Center
Swann, ACH Unveil Mystery Partner
Major League Wrestling returns to New York City and the Melrose Ballroom for Fury Road on Oct. 4. On this week’s installment of the Fury Road Control Center, we learned who the mystery partner will be for a major trios match.
The Hart Foundation has had backstage issues and in-ring confrontations with ACH and Rich Swann since they arrived in MLW. League officials signed a trios match for the Hart Foundation (Teddy Hart, Davey Boy Smith Jr. and Brian Pillman Jr.) to face Swann, ACH and a partner of their choice. Friday night on beIN Sports, it was revealed that mystery partner was none other than Marko Stunt.
Stunt has exploded on the national scene recently. He’s not the biggest fighter in the world, but Stunt more than makes up for his size with some of the most innovative offense around. Of course, ACH and Swann are also well known for a wide variety of holds and maneuvers in the ring. Factor in the unpredictability of the Hart Foundation, along with their own penchant for cutting-edge, high-impact wrestling moves and this one is a can’t miss match!
In addition, the “French Canadian Frankenstein” PCO will face the Spirit of Death himself LA Park at Fury Road.
In two weeks on MLW: FUSION, Low Ki will defend his World Heavyweight Championship against Rey Fenix. The winner of that bout will put the title on the line at Fury Road, as well. Also scheduled to appear at the Melrose Ballroom: “Filthy” Tom Lawlor, Sami Callihan, World Middleweight Champion MJF, Jimmy Havoc, Tommy Dreamer and many others.
Fury Road Tickets
Major League Wrestling will be back in New York City for Fury Road on October 4 at the Melrose Ballroom in Queens! Get your tickets now at MLWTickets.com. MLW’s last event at the Melrose Ballroom sold out, so get those tickets early and don’t miss MLW Fury Road!
Don’t Miss The Action!
Tune in at 8 p.m. ET every Friday. 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. Check out www.MLW.com/fusion for more information! beIN SPORTS has a full listing of dish / cable carriers offering beIN SPORTS here. MLW fans can also stream beIN SPORTS using the beIN Connect app for wireless devices.
Of course, if you miss the show on beIN SPORTS, every episode of MLW: FUSION is uploaded to our YouTube channel (youtube.com/majorleaguewrestling) at 6:05 p.m. ET every Saturday night.