By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Major League Wrestling Fusion: Alpha (Episode 9)
Taped in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at 2300 Arena
Streamed November 17, 2021 on the MLW’s YouTube Page and FITE TV
Fusion opened with a video package that focussed on Contra’s reign of terror and Alexander Hammerstone beating Jacob Fatu to win the MLW Heavyweight Championship. The match was billed as “Hammerheads vs. Contra” in an onscreen graphic… A special War Chamber opening video aired… Rich Bocchini and Joe Dombrowski checked in on commentary…
MLW matchmaker Cesar Duran made his entrance. Duran stood on the stage and told the fans that he would give them the War Chamber. He also announced that he had a meeting with Court Bauer and said they share the same “aggressive expansion” vision to 2022. Duran announced that they would be taking MLW to Mexico. “It’s all for you, my renegades,” Duran said…
A 5150 video aired. Konnan, Slice Boogie, Rivera, and Julius Smokes took turns speaking. Konnan boasted about Homicide being with the group…
The production team was shown assembling the War Chamber, which had barbed wire at the top of the cage…
The upcoming fights graphic listed Fusion Thanksgiving for next week, the Opera Cup Finals in two weeks, MLW heading to Mexico in December, and MLW in Dallas on January 21. Bocchini said the Von Erichs were back.
The broadcast team was interrupted by Contra taking over the feed. Mads Krugger delivered a distorted voice promo. He said Fatu broke Hammerstone’s ankle in their previous meeting, and he would break his spirit in the War Chamber and end MLW forever… [C]
A teaser video aired for Gnarls Garvin debuting on next week’s show… A video aired on the War Chamber match that showed clips of the cage and the teams warming up in the backstage area. It concluded by asking “Are You Ready?” followed by a “Next” graphic…
Bocchini hyped Alex Shelley vs. Myron Reed vs. Zenshi vs. Alex Kane vs. a wildcard entrant in the five-way ladder match to determine the the new MLW National Openweight Champion, and TJP vs. Calvin Tankman in an Opera Cup tournament semifinal match for next week’s show…
Special lighting was used in the venue while Bocchini spoke about Contra’s reign of domination lasting two years. He said MLW was fighting for its turf. In the ring, the ring announcer listed the rules of the match. A coin toss determined which team would have the advantage. The first two entrants would fight for five minutes, and then entrants occur every two minutes. The match could be won by submission, surrender, or pinfall…
Powell’s POV: MLW did a really nice job of making this feel like a special event. The videos, the graphics, the lighting, and the tone Bocchini used all made this feel like a big showdown.
1. Alexander Hammerstone, Richard Holliday, EJ Nduka, Savio Vega, and a mystery man vs. “Contra Unit” Jacob Fatu, Mads Krugger, Ikuro Kwon, and two Sentai Death Squad members in a War Chamber match. Jacob Fatu was the first entrant for Contra. A group of Sentai Death Squad members came out and held Contra flags while he walked between them. Fatu took one of the flags and brought it to the ring with him.
Matanza Duran was the first entrant for Hammerstone’s team. Cesar Duran led Matanza onto the stage where he removed his mask and overalls to reveal himself to be Jeff Cobb. Once in the ring, Cobb went face to face with Fatu, who threw the first punch to start the match.
Fatu and Cobb traded punches and did a series of shoulder blocks. Fatu got the better of it, but Cobb came right back with a dropkick and then ran Fatu into the cage. Fatu knocked Cobb down with a shoulder block and barked a couple of f-bombs at him. Cobb came back by picking up Fatu and running into opposite corners of the ring.
A masked Sentai Death Squad member was the second entrant for Contra. The broadcast team marveled over the size of the SDS member, who put Cobb down with a shoulder block head into a break. [C] A video aired for the MLW event in Dallas at Gilley’s on January 21 that was labeled “Blood and Thunder.” Fatu and the SDS member worked over Cobb for the bulk of the two minutes.
Savio Vega was the second entrant for Hammerstone’s team. He brought a kendo stick to the ring with him and used it as a weapon.
Powell’s POV: Dot Net’s own Colin McGuire attended the event and noted that Vega was a letdown to the live crowd. MLW framed Vega and Cobb as surprises heading into the event even though they advertised Vega to the television audience since then. In MLW’s defense, Vega wasn’t the planned surprise. Rather, Mike Johnson of PWInsider.com reported that the plan was for King Muertes to be one of the surprise entrants, but he missed the show due to travel issues.
Ikuro Kwon was the third entrant for Contra. Bocchini questioned the logic of Kwon making a slow walk to the ring and not taking full advantage of the man advantage that Contra had for two minutes. Contra dominated the time that they had the advantage.
Richard Holliday was the third entrant for Hammerstone’s team. He performed a backbreaker on Kwon and then ran the SDS member into the cage. Fatu cut off Holliday with a punch. Fatu went for a suplex from the middle rope, but Holliday countered into a neckbreaker while in mid-air.
The second Sentai Death Squad member was Contra’s fourth entrant. [C]
EJ Nduka was the fourth entrant for Hammerstone’s team. He dropped Fatu with a big boot.
Mads Krugger was the final entrant for Contra and he was accompanied to ringside by another masked SDS member, who stood with his back to the cage. Krugger entered the ring and went face to face with Nduka. Krugger tried to throw a punch, but Nduka caught it. They hit each other with simultaneous kicks and shoulder blocks with neither man budging. Nduka started to get the better of Krugger with shots in the corner, but Kwon cut him off. Krugger went up top and put Nduka down with a shoulder block.
Alexander Hammerstone was the final entrant for his team. An SDS member approached Hammerstone with a pipe, but Hammerstone threw powder in his eyes. Hammerstone also roughed up the other SDS member who came out with Krugger. Hammerstone entered the cage and then dominated his opponents before doing an Ultimate Warrior rope shake. Hammerstone turned around and was chokeslammed by Krugger. Hammerstone came right back with a Nightmare Pendulum. [C]
A brief ad aired for the five-way ladder match that will determine the new MLW National Openweight Champion on the Thanksgiving edition.
Powell’s POV: You know next week’s show is a special edition because it’s named MLW Fusion rather than MLW Fusion: Alpha. Kidding. I still have no idea what the difference is between the two.
Hammerstone’s team had a man advantage because one of the SDS members was still outside the cage after being attacked by Hammerstone. Fatu and Hammerstone fought. Fatu put Hammerstone’s bad leg in an ankle lock. Hammerstone rolled out of the ankle lock and that sent Fatu crashing into Krugger. After a brief staredown between the two Contra members, Fatu whipped Krugger toward Hammerstone, who hit him with an elbow.
Fatu went up top and leapt off with the goal of hitting Hammerstone, who moved, causing Fatu to take out Krugger with a kick. Hammerstone blasted Kwon with a big boot and then put him in a Torture Rack and forced him to submit.
Alexander Hammerstone, Richard Holliday, EJ Nduka, Savio Vega, and Jeff Cobb defeated “Contra Unit” Jacob Fatu, Mads Krugger, Ikuro Kwon, and two Sentai Death Squad members in a War Chamber match.
After Hammerstone’s team left the ring, Krugger and Fatu barked at one another. Kwon stood between them. Krugger told Fatu that he cost their team the match. Krugger pie-faced Fatu, who then attacked Krugger. Kwon tried to stop him, but Fatu shoved him to the mat. Fatu superkicked Krugger. Kwon caught Fatu with a kick, but Fatu came right back with a popup Samoan Drop.
Krugger shoved Fatu through the cage door. Once he was back on his feet, Fatu slammed the cage door on Krugger’s head. Fatu picked up a chair and hit multiple SDS members with it. The crowd chanted for Fatu, who took out additional SD members. Krugger and Kwon went to ringside and attacked Fatu. Security intervened and tried to keep Fatu away from Krugger and Kwon. Krugger fought them off and went after Fatu until he was pulled away again.
Fatu and Krugger both broke free and fought until security pulled them apart again. Fatu broke free again and dove over security to take another shot at Krugger. Security stepped in again. The broadcast team said security, the ring crew, and office staff were all trying to keep Fatu and Krugger away from one another. Fatu was led to the back. Krugger went to the stage and made a crushing gesture with his hand…
Backstage, Duran poured drinks for himself and a woman. Duran called her a friend. “Is that what we are?” she asked. Duran said they could be. He said he needs her in the new world. She said there had been a lot of blood between them. He said they should leave the past behind. She said she has an artistic flair and asked to see the canvas. Duran pointed her to a ring diagram that was on the wall and said it was more than a temple. “And it’s all ours,” she said. They both took a drink to close the show…
Powell’s POV: The header on the diagram listed “L Barnes, Knockdown Fight Ring, Filed February 15, 1929.” As someone who didn’t follow Lucha Underground after season one, I’m not sure what that was all about. I don’t know if this is something that makes sense to LU fans or if the woman with Duran is just a new mystery character. It’s fine that MLW is doing this homage to LU, but the key is making sure that it’s easy for everyone to follow. It’s not a problem yet even if others didn’t make out the identity of woman with Duran. At this point, it feels like a reward for those who do, and a little mystery that should be paid off next week for those of us who do not.
The War Chamber felt pretty tame for a match that was touted as being the most dangerous match in MLW. There was no blood and the Torture Rack finish felt flat. It’s tough to have so many people in one right, but the match also lacked drama. Contra had the man advantage and yet it never felt like Hammerstone’s team was at risk of losing.
On the bright side, the post match angle involving Fatu and Krugger was strong. The fans love Fatu, so he’ll do really well as a babyface, assuming that’s the plan. I wonder if this is the end of Contra or just a new chapter with Krugger as the in-ring leader. Josef Samael is a great talker and can carry that end of things, and Krugger is a logical replacement for Fatu, but they really need to add some meaningful depth if Contra is moving forward. Kwon has never been established as an in-ring force and the SDS members feel like throwaway henchmen. I will have more to say about this episode in my weekly MLW Fusion: Alpha audio review, which is available exclusively and right now for Dot Net Members.
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