Welcome back to MLW Fusion. This week would see the debut of Erick Stevens, Logan Creed shake off the shadow of the Dynasty and Filthy Tom Lawlor clash with Ross Von Erich in a grudge match. We’d also have the return of King Mo to in-ting action against a mystery opponent. Zero Hour may be coming to a close but that didn’t mean the action had to stop. Let’s get into it and find out who stood tall when Team Filthy and the von Erichs finally clashed.

Logan Creed defeated Moonshine Mantell via Powerbomb

Finally, free of the Dynasty by Mance Warner, the former Grogan was now ready to show MLW what he was capable of. Logan Creed was a new man and he was going to destroy Moonshine Mantell to prove that point. The match started with a lockup but Creed found himself backed into a corner by a series of heavy strikes. He burst out of the corner with a shoulder tackle and went to work dismantling Mantell. When Moonshine tried to come back with some chops, Creed put him back in place with some chest stingers of his own. Mantell fought out of a Full Nelson attempt and slammed Creed in the corner with more strikes. He went for a lariat but Creed throat thrust him and followed with a Chokebreaker. As if he couldn’t break physics anymore, Creed followed up with a suicide dive to the outside. He finished the match with a vicious Powerbomb. It was fast, brutal and an effective message for Creed to send to MLW and the Dynasty. The heathen has been unleashed and he’s out for blood.

Keeping up with the Dynasty (aka the Lives of the Rich and Dynastic) followed this match. It started with Hammerstone and Gino Medina talking about Ramune sodas when a pissed off Holliday comes into frame to complain about Grogan. He was annoyed that it only took one Nattie Ice light beer to take him away from the Dynasty and that he was an awful gift for the faction. However, Hammerstone made him see reason and told Holliday they were going to focus on dealing with Mance Warner instead. It turns out they’d attacked Mance’s personal friend, Uncle Moon Man and left him for Mance to find.

Erick Stevens defeated Douglas James via Sarasota Screwdriver

So, this match was prefaced by a backstage video of Stevens calling out Davey Boy Smith Jr. It’s clear he wanted to waste no time establishing himself as a heavy hitter in the company and looked to paint this message loud and clear using Douglas James as the canvas. James wouldn’t be a pushover though. Stevens got the first blow by backing Douglas into the corner and raking his forearm across his face. Once broken up the pair went for technical exchange on the mat and traded signs of disrespect. Stevens backed James against the ropes and gave him a chop instead of a clean break. James answered back with a series of rope running doges, rope-a-dopes and near falls. Stevens tried to go for another chop break but missed and James answered back with one of his own. Stevens just smiled at the attempt. He was knocked out of the ring but caught James out of a Suicide Dive and dumped him on the ring apron. He threw him back into the ring and started pummelling him around the corners. Stevens fired James up with a slap but quickly extinguished it with a forearm to the head. James rebounded with a series of stiff kicks to the leg but Stevens caught the last one and turned it into a Chokeslam. He locked in a surfboard, fish hooked the face and broke James’ knees into the canvas. An ad break broke up the action, returning with James in control, punishing Stevens with more strikes. Stevens was put down by a jumping knee and Superkick. He followed with a Meteora for two. He followed up with a series of yes kicks, a head kick and a smash to the face. That still wasn’t enough. Stevens shook it off, caught James into a double knee gutbuster, followed with a series of Lariats and ended James with the Sarasota Screwdriver. Erick Stevens did what he threatened to do, annihilated Douglas James. Though to his credit, Douglas James gave as good as he got. The pair had great chemistry that led to an entertaining and hard-hitting bout. I’d only seen Stevens through Twitter clips until this show, now I want more of him.

King Mo defeated Dr. Dax via Rear Naked Choke

King Mo made his return to the ring after clips from Jimmy Havoc, CONTRA Unit, and Injustice. The big bad MMA signing hadn’t been seen since he teamed with ACH weeks ago. He’d been trying to make some moves on Low Ki but thus far had gotten no response. Instead, he was going to fight someone much heavier in Dr. Dax. Mo turned his back on Dax, not taking him seriously so Dax lit up Mo’s chest with a double hand chop. He took him to another corner and hit him with a second double hand chop. Mo avoided a corner splash but made the mistake of trying to Suplex Dax. The big man slugged Mo across the back but left himself open to a series of jabs from Mo. Dax blocked another Suplex attempt and tried to slam Mo but was caught into a Rear Naked Choke and forced to tap. It was an easy enough victory for Mo that doesn’t really need dwelling on.

Ross von Erich defeated “Filthy” Tom Lawlor via DQ

Ever since Lawlor betrayed Ross at MLW Thanksgiving, the von Erichs have had one thing on their minds, get back at Tom Lawlor. Lawlor has managed to avoid most confrontations with the Von Erichs whilst simultaneously messing with them at every turn. Now there would be nowhere left to run and the leader of Team Filthy would have to put his money where his mouth is. Lawlor did himself no favour by coming to the ring in full-on cowboy piss-take gear. He had the hat; the bull rope and his cornerman had a hobby horse. Ross attacked before the bell with punches and slammed Lawlor into the turnbuckle. Ross continued the assault by kicking Lawlor out of the ring and throwing him into a ring post. He put a knee in Lawlor’s gut and slammed him back first into the ring apron. Lawlor struck Ross as he got back into the ring and started laying in shots of his own, interlaced with more Von Erich mocking. Ross was having none of it and answered back with a slingshot senton. Ross laid in more punches to the head prompting Lawlor to claim he had been hit in the eye. The ref was distracted so Lawlor’s cornerman pulled Ross down. Lawlor took full advantage and quickly started stomping away. He threw some strikes and dropped Ross with a Suplex. Lawlor went ground and pound then used his leg to choke out Ross. Lawlor went for more chokes in the corner and chopped Ross down again. He kept punching and kicking away until Ross fired up and launched a comeback flurry of offence. Ross face washed Lawlor in the corner and followed with a Hesitation dropkick. That was followed by a vicious brainbuster but it only got a two count. Ross knocked down Lawlor’s cornerman and signalled for the Von Erich Claw. Instead, Dominic Garrini interfered to cause a DQ. Marshall came out and we got a proper von Erich vs Team Filthy war. Garrini was sent packing and the von Erichs looked set to finish Lawlor but Erick Stevens intervened and attacked from behind. The trio attacked the von Erichs whilst riling the Texan crowd up by disrespecting the Texas flag. Someone threw a trash can into the ring so Steven dropped it on Ross. This wasn’t the best match but Stevens’ interference adds a whole new dynamic to an already hot as hell feud. I’m hoping since he’s part of a stable we get to see more of him in the company.

So, there you have it, MLW Fusion Episode 98 reviewed for your reading pleasure. It was a packed episode that went by in a breeze. Logan Creed and Erick Stevens were the newer guys that got to prove their worth, Filthy Tom Lawlor nearly caused a riot and King Mo looks untouchable. The next episode is going to be manic as we have Injustice in action against Laredo Kid and Zenshi, LA Park and El Hijo de LA Park returning to fight CONTRA Unit in a lumberjack match and Mance Warner will be addressing the Dynasty’s attack on his friend. Plus you know there’ll be more fallout from Filthy Tom Lawlor’s actions.

All images courtesy of Basil Mahmud, MLW Twitter – Video courtesy of MLW YouTube