Written by: Sean McCaffrey
What’s up everyone and welcome to the FUSION McReview. Fusion had a lot of good and alot of bad publicity going into the show, but like they say, any publicity is good publicity. When people write negative things, it shows that they care somewhat about the subject. Alot of big names were announced for this show, and going into the show, I was interested to see who would make it. I realized earlier I wrote that everyone advertised showed up, in my previous update, but I was erroneous in that statement. Sorry for the misinformation. Maybe I should give an official statement about my well being when I wrote that. (5 AM after a long night.)
After looking into it, there were more no-shows then I thought. Sean O’Haire, Durango Kid, Steve Madison and Miamoto were all advertised but did not appear. To be honest, I was more concerned to see Scott Hall, Ultimo Dragon and X-Pac show up, which they did. Some people wrote in about Misawa, Ogawa and Pyschosis, but it was known that those three wrestlers were not going to be there, from the press releases sent out earlier this week. Someone emailed me that the Fusion site wasn’t updated to reflect the new changes, but I wasn’t aware of that when I wrote my quick results of the show, so I apologize for the confusion.
Anyway, with the corrections out of the way, here is my FUSION review.
From Elizabeth, NJ
Referees: Sean Hanson, Paul Turner, Mike Kehner
Ring Announcer (Making his Rexplex Return): Steve D’Angelis
Approx Attendance: 235+ (It was hard to judge as the crowd was spread all over the building.)
The Solution (Papadon/Havok) d. Silas Young/Dave Hansen
This was an ok opener between two vanilla teams. In the middle of this match, Silas Young hurranacaranaed Havok on the outside, as Papadon hit a huge suicide dive on Hansen. After about 5 minutes or so, The Solution picked up the win with their Problem Solver finisher.
There was nothing special about this match, but nothing bad either. For someone who is promoting themselves as a relative of Stan Hansen, he sure as hell don’t look like it or wrestle like it. Fusion threw Young and Hanson out there as a tag team, and I think that took a bit away from the match. Then again, there aren’t that many true indy tag teams anymore.
In the WRESTLING Match of the Night:
Jay Lethal d. Ryan
The pop that Jay Lethal got was amazing, and it wasn’t because his parents there. Jay Lethal got the biggest non ex-WWE wrestler pop of the night. Maybe it was because of Lethal’s push in ROH, and because fans are finally starting to realize the talent that is Jay Lethal. This match saw alot of submissions early on, as both guys tried getting the other to tap out. This match was a see-saw battle, that Lethal eventually took over, as he hit his huge top rope headbutt. A nasty tiger suplex later, Jay Lethal won the match via pinfall.
This match was very good. Drago looked good and had a good match here. This was my first time seeing him. I wouldn’t mind seeing him again and seeing what kind of character he is. Anyone can have a match with Jay Lethal, as I haven’t seen a bad Jay Lethal match at all this year.
Xavier vs Dan Maff went to a Double Countout
I thought this was going to be a match of the night contender, but instead, due to bad booking, it was a pretender. The last few Dan Maff matches I’ve seen haven’t been as explosive as earlier Dan Maff solo matches. (Let the reuniting of Da Hit Squad rumors start again.) I believe this was Xavier’s first match back, after an injury sustained earlier this year. He didn’t really show that many signs of ring rust, although the match was slower paced than previous Xavier matches. Maff teased the Burning Hammer all match, and wasn’t able to get it off, as Xavier would break out of it every time. Maff would hit his huge cannonball. That is a move that just looks like it kills your insides. The finish of this match saw both guys go outside of the ring and brawl, which led to Ref Sean Hanson counting to 10, therefore making this match a double countout.
This was an ok match with a bad finish. For a show/promotion that is only rumored to have only one show, I don’t understand why do a finish like this. If FUSION does run again, this match should be a rematch, or else this finish makes no sense here. How come no one is booking Dan Maff like a monster anymore? The guy is one of the top talents today, and should be dominating all over. It was good to see Xavier back, as when he’s on his game, he’s one of the best today.
Tommy Dreamer came out next to cut a promo. He came out to his “Man In The Box” ECW ring music, which got a loud pop. Dreamer thanked all the fans for supporting the indies. He said without the indies, wrestling is dead. Dreamer talked about always speaking his mind. He said he might work for the WWE, but doesn’t agree with everything done there. Around that time, a FUCK TRIPLE H chant broke out, and Dreamer kind of embraced it. Dreamer thanks the fans for the success of the ECW DVD. After putting the fans over, Dreamer introduces Chris Hamrick. Chris Hamrick comes out to a mediocre reaction. Dreamer makes mention about how Hamrick was involved in Dreamer’s last ECW Arena match. Instead of getting along and having some fun, Hamrick decided to argue with Dreamer. Hamrick then decked Dreamer, as he superkicked Dreamer down, and started beating him up. All of a sudden “Natural Born Killa” hit the speakers, and we had our next match…
New Jack d. Chris Hamrick in a very bloody match for Chris Hamrick
New Jack got a huge pop. People don’t want to see New Jack wrestle nor bump. They just want to see him stab people and beat people up. And that’s what he did here. New Jack fucked up Chris Hamrick early in this match, as Hamricks forehead was just a huge puddle of blood. I thought they’d go do a quick pin here, and leave the crowd wanting more, but instead the match went another 10-15 minutes. Both guys brawled in the crowd and fought all over. Chris Hamrick was laying on a chair, as New Jack hit a huge dive off of the top for the big bloody pin.
This was a typical New Jack match, which saw Hamrick go way beyond the call of duty.
POSTMATCH: New Jack cut a long promo about ECW and thanking the fans. Well that was certainly a different tone from the recent RF Shoot interview he did, where he said he didn’t give a fuck about the fans. Either way, the fans popped for New Jack, as New Jack was one of FUSION’s surprises.
Four Way Elimination Match
Sean Waltman/X-Pac d. Brian XL, Justin Idol and Sonjay Dutt
Order of Elimination:
Justin Idol, after Sonjay Dutt pinned him with a top rope 450 splash.
Sonjay Dutt, after an X-Factor from X-Pac.
Brian XL, after an X-Factor from X-Pac.
X-Pac used his WWE music for this match. This match was ok, but you could tell that X-Pac wasn’t going all out. He didn’t look bad, but when a match is only booked for 7 minutes, what do you expect? With the talent in this match, this could’ve been a really good 20 minute match, but instead we got a sports entertainment 7 minute TV affair type match.
It was good to see Brian XL again. He’s a guy, if he just focuses on wrestling, can make an impact on the cruiserweight scene. Sonjay got a big pop, and he looked good in this match. I never saw Justin Idol wrestle before, and he didn’t really get enough time to show what he could do in this match.
Evan Karagias came out next, as he paraded to the ring like a drunk sorority girl. EK cuts a promo about Fusion. EK didn’t say why he wasn’t actually wrestling on the show. EK lets everyone know that Furio from the Sopranos was signing autographs. I knew that was booked to happen, but why? Fusion did no advertising at all. If Fusion wanted to draw more fans they should’ve advertised that Furio was going to be there on Soprano fan sites, or in local newspapers. Anyway, after letting everyone know that Furio from the Soporanos was signing autographs, we went to intermission.
INTERMISSION- Found out that RF Video will be selling this show. Well this show will definitely be remembered for a while, so that’s a good thing for RF Video, even if people check it out to see if it was a “trainwreck” or not.
Justin Credible d. Frankie Kazarian
PREMATCH: Kazarian cuts a promo bashing the state of NJ. I can’t blame the guy.
This was a better than expected match. Both guys worked very hard. Around the 3 minute mark, both these guys tumbled outside where they fought throughout the entire crowd, just like New Jack/Hamrick from earlier before. Justin Incredible won this match after hitting his “That’s Incredible” tombstone piledriver.
This was an ok match that was more Justin’s style than Frankies.
In the I’ll Remember This For a While MATCH of the NIGHT
Scott Hall d. Marty Jannetty
Marty Jannetty started this match by coming out to Shawn Michaels music. With all the big names on the show, some fans really thought HBK was going to come out. Scott Hall came out to his ECW Music by the Refugees. (Ready Or Not) Once both guys got in the ring, they did some mic work. Scott Hall didn’t look like he was going to grab the mic, but the fans chanted for the survey. (The Survey promos that he did in WCW) While he didn’t do the survey, he cut a promo about partying. He said the only thing preventing him from partying was Marty Jannetty. He said he was going to earn his money quickly and continue his party. Scott then said he heard Marty come out to HBK’s music. He said that Marty was nothing like HBK. Marty then responded by saying that the Scott Hall of today was nothing like the Scott Hall of the 90s. BURN.
Before the match could officially start, the infamous Green Lantern Fan started heckling Scott Hall. I think GLF was the only person in the building booing and heckling Scott, as every other fan, myself included, were marking out for Halls words. After an exchange with the GLF, Hall told the GLF that the GLF “couldn’t even beat my meat.” Nothing like hearing a 45 year old man use the words “beat my meat”, like he’s a teenager.
As far as the match, it was awful. Scott and Marty were laughing throughout the match. Scott took one bump in this match, and that bump was an offensive bump, as Scott hit his patented fallaway slam on Marty. 3 minutes into this match, Scott propped Marty on the top turnbuckle backwards. Scott then positioned himself, and finished Marty off with the Razors/Outsiders/Insiders Edge.
Scott Hall really worked Fusion here, as he got paid alot of money to do a 3 or so minute match.
POSTMATCH: Match of the Year chants broke out. Scott looked at the NY Smart Mark fans in the front row and embraced with them as he held up his hand showing his 5 fingers. Scott asked if it was a 5 star match. If Scott was mocking my money like that, I’d be pissed, but as a fan that was fucking hilarious. There was no way you could not laugh at Scott, unless you were Fusion, who paid Scott a lot of money to dog it and hit 2 moves. I mean with all the money they paid Scott, couldn’t of Scott hit his funny chokeslam. (The one he was doing when he was feuding with The Giant in WCW.) After embracing with the NY Fans (Nick Knowledge and his crew), Hall made his way to the outside, where X-Pac ran out to congratulate him on his hard fought victory. Scott and X-Pac made their way towards the GLF. After an exchange with the GLF, Scott swung lightly at GLF, as he was just toying with GLF. Say what you want about GLF, but if I know Scott Hall was on something, I wouldn’t go out of my way to piss him off and let him swing at me. For GLF, it goes down as another incident where he tried to make himself part of the show.
My overall thoughts on this match was that it was great to see Hall. The guy is naturally funny, and I was cracking up the entire time. I think a “Party With Scott Hall” event, after the show, would’ve raised Fusion some extra cash.
Some girl sang the Star Spangled Banner. Why this wasn’t done at the beginning of the show I don’t know, but I believe it is customary in other countries to have the National Anthem sang before the last match. On this show, it just seemed way out of place.
The SAT (Joel/Jose Maximo) d. Ultimo Dragon/Fuega Guerrera (The Amazing Red/Spriggan)
I have to admit, I was surprised to see Ultimo Dragon here, as he was booked earlier this week and people were questioning if he’d actually show up. Like I said above in this review, the three main names for me were Hall, X-Pac and Ultimo Dragon. It was good to see that all came through.
As far as this match, the SAT were taking a beating in this match, as Red kept countering the Maximo’s offense. Ultimo Dragon got in there and beat up Jose Maximo with some quick strikes and kicks, to a loud crowd. The whole entire time I saw Ultimo in the ring, I kept thinking that if this was ROH, the fans would be going 20 times as nuts and there would be at least 5 times the crowd too. I really wish Fusion advertised this show better than what they did. Anyway, in the later stages of this match, the SAT hit their Spanish Fly on Red, which Red kicked out of at 2. Well I guess he’s taken that move so many times that he’s immune to it. Joel Maximo then hit a fucking sick Maximo Driver on Red, while Jose distracted Ultimo Dragon, for the clean pinfall victory.
The second the ref counted three, making the SAT’s victorious over Ultimo Dragon’s team, the crowd booed and shit all over it. And the crowd had every right to. The SAT are a great tag team and have done alot for indy tag team wrestling, but every fan in that building wanted to see Ultimo Dragon win this match with his finisher. Whenever Ultimo went for one of his finishers in this match (The Osaka Street Cutter sticks out as one) he was denied. This was a bad finish to a pretty decent match. You have to give the crowd what they want, and the crowd wanted Ultimo Dragon getting the win in the main event.
POSTMATCH: All four men embraced and showed respect for each other.
After this match, we were “treated” to Ron Killings rapping his theme music. To quote Ren and Stimpy, “Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy.” Seriously, with someone as talented as Killings, why not have him wrestle, instead of rapping on a show? Couldn’t he just rap his theme song and wrestle his match? This had to be the easiest pay day in Killings career.
I have mixed feelings on this show. I wouldn’t say it was bad or terrible as others are trying to make it out to be. The first half was extremely well paced and delivered some good moments. The second half was a bit messy, but I think that was due to a long intermission.
The biggest problem Fusion had was lack of advertising. I can’t see how drawing 230+ could even be considered a good crowd. It’s a pathetic number with all the talent that was booked. If your budget is $25 Grand (just estimating), what’s another 2 thousand dollars on advertising? They could’ve had Jesus vs Satan and no one would’ve come because it wasn’t advertised. Fusion should’ve really bought some spot ads on WWE Raw or Smackdown. Maybe even buying an ad on Impact would’ve gained some new fans. There was also no internet advertisements on sites like these, which attract soley wrestling fans. Also considering that there was no flyering done for the show, outside of handing out a few flyers at an ROH show, then Fusion has no one to blame for the low attendance but themselves. I guess this all comes down to Frank Goodmans theory of not everyone can be a promoter.
The show did have a different vibe to it then most indy shows. I don’t know if it was all the big names there, the spacious crowd or what, but it didn’t feel like a normal indy show.
Fusion has alot of work to do if they want to run another show. Advertising must be considered or else they will lose alot of money again. I thought the show did run smoothly for the most part, as there were some good moments on the show with no dead spots. For the people saying it was bad, I think they are saying that because the crowd was way lower than it should be. You did have some of the big name guys dog it, but it was still an enjoyable show. Watching Scott Hall be Scott Hall was fucking great and maybe I’m overrating it because I’m a huge fan of Hall, but I didn’t see one disinterested person while Hall was in the ring.
I question the SAT’s putting themselves over in the main event. To me, that is very Jarrett of them to do. Everyone knows the SAT were running this show, and I think the SAT should’ve gave the crowd what they wanted, and do the right thing by letting Ultimo Dragon go over.
Like I mentioned earlier, the locker room was very close knit and there was really no politicking or complaining. Everyone got along good and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. Maybe the biggest factor for all the good will and comraderie was because everyone got paid very good and in cash.
Like reported here first, FUSION used the IWA PA ring. I should also mention that every wrestler on the show was fan friendly. Anyone looking to get an autograph did. As Scott Hall exited the ring, he took a bunch of pictures and signed a bunch of things. This show was very fan friendly and I have to give Fusion props for that.
RF Video has the tape of this show available for sale all ready. To pick it up, go to http://www.rfvideo.com
As far as rewatching the show, I probably will, just for Hall’s promo alone. The rest of this show is hit or miss, depending on your tastes. I’m a real easy fan to please, because as long as I know what I’m in for, I can get myself hyped up for whatever show. I can enjoy a family show (although not every week) and I can enjoy a show like this, where the big name guys are used only for big name spots.
Overall- a fun night out, but by no means was this show on the level of a JAPW or ROH. With the money Fusion has, they do have potential, if they choose to run again, but as of right now, I see this show being remembered in a “Heroes of Wrestling” or “MECW” type of way.
34-year-old currently living in Syracuse, New York. Long-time fan of the New York Mets, Chicago Bulls, and Minnesota Vikings. An avid fan of professional wrestling and write reviews/articles on the product. Usually focusing on old-school wrestling.