3/31 MLW Fusion Results: Never Say Never themed edition with Jacob Fatu vs. Calvin Tankman for the MLW Heavyweight Championship, Myron Reed vs. Daivari, Jordan Oliver vs. Simon Gotch

By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

Major League Wrestling Fusion (Episode 126)
Taped in Orlando, Florida at GILT Nightclub
Streamed March 31, 2021 on Fubo Sports, Pluto TV, and MLW’s YouTube Page

Jacob Fatu delivered a promo and said Calvin Tankman would be just another body to add to the bodycount. They cut to Tankman, who said this is the moment he’s been waiting for since he signed with MLW. Tankman said Fatu has run roughshod over the rest of the roster, but he better not play games with him or he would wake up and see him holding the MLW Title over his head… A Never Say Never themed opening video aired…

Ray Flores and Saint Laurent welcomed viewers to the show. Laurent said Flores has called some of the biggest championship boxing fights, so it was good to have him present for the big MLW Title fight. They ran through the lineup for the show…

1. Jordan Oliver vs. Simon Gotch. Gotch controlled the bulk of the offense during the first five minutes of the match. Gotch set up for the Gotch Driver, but Oliver blocked it. Gotch went for a slam, but Oliver countered with a DDT.

Both men got to their feet and traded strikes. They also traded running forearms, then Oliver put Gotch down with a running clothesline. Oliver went for a cutter from the ropes, but Gotch caught him in a submission. Oliver countered into a pin for a two count, then connected with a cutter from the middle rope and scored the pin…

Jordan Oliver beat Simon Gotch in 9:14.

Powell’s POV: I’m surprised that Flores replaced Rich Bocchini on this episode, as I assumed he would simply join Bocchini and Laurent in a three-man both. Flores did a nice job and came off well versed when it came to the wrestlers and the names of the moves. He also did a nice job of acting upset whenever Gotch did something heelish. Bocchini was still listed as a member of the broadcast team in MLW’s press release regarding Flores calling this show, so hopefully he will remain the voice of MLW. The actual match was entertaining with Oliver fighting from underneath and doing a nice job of selling while Gotch was dominant early on.

Flores hyped the upcoming matches and a segment involving Alicia Atout interviewing Richard Holliday and Gino Medina… A clip aired of a Calvin Tankman match…

The Injustice theme played for a video package, but it was interrupted by the Contra Unit logo. Josef Samael delivered a promo about Injustice being infidels and arrogant Americans. Samael said the black flag of Contra would be draped over bodybags. “Now that’s justice,” Samael said… [C] The ads included spots for attorney Stephen P New, MLW Radio, and MLW merch…

A video package aired on Japan’s Dragon Gate wrestling talent coming soon to MLW… Flores said the partnership between MLW and Dragon Gate was delayed due to the pandemic, but the partnership is on track with big projects in the works… Flores touted the Never Say Never theme song “Ride On Our Enemies” by Monteasy…

2. Myron Reed vs. Daivari. Reed sent Daivari to ringside during the opening minute and hit him with a suicide dive. They fought on a side of the ring where the lighting was less than ideal. Daivari came back and ran Oliver into what Laurent said was the soundboard area. The wrestlers fought their way to the bottom of the stage. Reed climbed onto a speaker and dove onto Daivari.

Back inside the ring, Reed went for a springboard move, but Daivari moved and he crashed and burned. Reed came up selling his left ankle. Daivari targeted the bad leg. Reed eventually rallied and performed guillotine leg drop followed by a leap over the top into another leg drop, which led to a two count.

Daivari delivered a power slam and got a two count. He removed his shirt, then tore the chest protector off of Reed, and put it on his own chest. Daivari went for a frogsplash, but Reed moved. Reed removed the chest protector and then performed a springboard cutter. Reed put the chest protector on and performed a springboard 360 splash and scored the pin…

Myron Reed defeated Daivari in 8:05.

Powell’s POV: Flores played up the idea that Injustice is 2-0 over Contra Unit on this show.A good back and forth match. I was hoping that Reed’s chest protector would disappear once he became a babyface, but perhaps he or someone in MLW is a big fan of D-Lo Brown’s WWE run.

Alex Hammerstone delivered a promo in front of an MLW backdrop. He spoke about facing Mil Muertes for the MLW National Openweight Championship and took issue with Muertes stealing the belt. Hammerstone told Salina de la Renta to not to bother waking up Muertes this time…

The upcoming fights graphic listed MLW Underground for next week, and the Hammerstone vs. Muertes match for the April 14 edition of Fusion…

Alicia Atout hosted a three-way Zoom interview with Richard Holliday and Gino Medina. Holliday took issue with Atout not introducing him as the Caribbean Champion. Atout said they were live and she wasn’t going to waste time doing it. Medina asked if they were finished yet. Holliday told him not to interrupt him.

Holliday said Medina is the most un-dynastic person that he’s ever met in his life. Medina said Holliday wouldn’t know dynastic if it kicked him in the head, which he intends to do to him soon enough. Holliday spoke about how dynastic he is. Atout said everyone has to wear N95 masks around Holliday because he wears too much cologne. Holliday said women love the way he smells.

Medina said he wanted to talk business and referred to Atout as a thrift store Barbie and Holliday as Ken. He also claimed that he quit Dynasty, while Holliday once again said that he fired him. Atout announced that Holliday will defend the Caribbean Championship against Medina on April 14. Holliday complained about having to defend the title against Medina, who said he would have the gold very soon…

Flores hyped the main event… Footage aired of Tankman winning a match with the Tankman Driver… [C] Footage aired of Tankman blasting Fatu with a shoulder block on a recent Fusion…

Flores recapped the storyline between TJP and Bu Ku Dao. He said there will be a medical update on Dao on the April 14 edition of Fusion… The MLW Heavyweight Champion roll call video aired… Laurent read through a tale of the tape for the main event. Both men were listed as being the same height, and Tankman had a 55-pound weight advantage…

Ring entrances for the main event took place. Daivari and Sentai Death Squad members walked out with Fatu, but the Sentai members headed backstage before the opening bell. Laurent said there were rumors that Tankman had food poisoning earlier in the week, but he said he’s fine now. He added that this isn’t the first time that Contra opponents have had food poisoning issues. Flores said Fatu has pinned all eight of his challengers since winning the MLW Championship on July 6, 2019…

3. Jacob Fatu (w/Daivari) vs. Calvin Tankman for the MLW Heavyweight Championship. Daivari stood at ringside while holding a Contra flag. Tankman knocked Fatu to ringside with a shoulder block. Fatu fumed and then Daivari pumped him up before he returned to the ring. Tankman ran up the ropes, leapt off, and performed an arm drag. Tankman followed up with a kick that knocked Fatu down.

Fatu came back with a springboard cross body block. Fatu blasted Tankman with a superkick to the face as he started to get up. Fatu followed up a short time later with a Samoan Drop that led to a two count. Fatu pulled off some of his own wrist tape and choked Tankman with it. Flores complained about it while Laurent justified it by saying it was loose so Fatu might as well use it (funny).

Fatu performed a cannonball onto Tankman in the corner, got up, and then superkicked him. Fatu applied a nerve hold, which Laurent said is a Samoan family specialty that Fatu has mastered. Fatu broke out of the hold with some strikes and then ran the ropes, but Fatu followed and knocked him down with an elbow. Daivari waved the Contra flag at ringside.

Tankman called for Fatu to hit him and then started taking the blows before firing back with his own shots. Tankman blocked a punch and went for a spinning back fist, but Fatu ducked it. Tankman knocked Fatu to the floor with another shoulder block. Tankman performed a suicide dive onto Fatu and then rolled him back inside the ring. Tankman performed a standing shooting star press and covered Fatu for a near fall.

Tankman waited for Fatu to get up and then went for a cutter, but Fatu blocked it with his hands and popped himself back onto his feet. Fatu superkicked Tankman and followed up with a handspring into the ropes and a moonsault for a near fall. Fatu showed frustration over not getting the pinfall.

When Tankman got to his feet, he shoved Fatu into the ropes and then performed a popup spinning back elbow. Tankman performed a backbreaker and then turned Fatu inside out with a backbreaker and covered him for a close near fall. Tankman showed frustration.

Daivari slid the flag into the ring and then entered the ring to distract the referee. Tankman dropped Daivari with a headbutt. While the referee was clearing Daivari from the ring, Fatu hit Tankman with the flagpole. Fatu followed up with his moonsault finisher and scored the pin.

Jacob Fatu defeated Calvin Tankman in 10:44 to retain the MLW Heavyweight Championship.

While Fatu celebrated, Laurent pointed out that it took Daivari, the flagpole, and everything Fatu had to beat Tankman. Flores echoed those comments and then questioned if anyone could stop Fatu before closing out the show…

Powell’s POV: An entertaining main event. I was open the possibility of a title change occurring for a big shakeup, but I think they took the right approach by having Fatu win in a way that creates the need for a rematch. They rushed into the title match, but it elevated Tankman from newcomer to main event player, and he came off like a credible challenger and perhaps the man who will eventually take the strap from Fatu.

Theme shows have become so common and some companies do the bare minimum to make the themes matter, but that wasn’t the case with this show. MLW made the Never Say Never theme feel significant with the use of Flores, the special theme song opening, different graphics, etc. The first two matches felt like they could have aired on any Fusion, but they played into the Injustice and Tankman vs. Contra Unit theme, and the main event was built up as a big event despite Tankman being so early in his run with the company. Next week’s show will be a classic edition of MLW Underground, so my reviews will return with the next first-run Fusion on April 14. My audio review of this episode will be available shortly for Dot Net Members.


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