MLW Fusion results: Powell’s review of the Thanksgiving edition featuring Alex Shelley vs. Myron Reed vs. Alex Kane vs. Zenshi vs. a wildcard in a ladder match for the vacant MLW National Openweight Championship, TJP vs. Calvin Tankman in an Opera Cup tournament match, Gnarls Garvin debuts

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

Major League Wrestling Fusion (Episode 132)
Taped in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at 2300 Arena
Streamed November 25, 2021 on the MLW’s YouTube Page and FITE TV

The show opened with a Contra video package. Josef Samael said he’s the leader of Contra Unit. They cut to Mads Krugger stating that he is the leader of Contra Unit. Footage aired of Alex Hammerstone’s team defeating Contra in the War Chamber match and the issues between Jacob Fatu and the rest of Contra that occurred afterward…

The broadcast team of Rich Bocchini and Joe Dombrowski checked in from ringside and hyped the show’s lineup. They noted that Cesar Duran selected the wildcard entrant for the ladder match… Entrances for the opening match took place…

Powell’s POV: Yes, this show is called Fusion on Thanksgiving, not Fusion Alpha. What’s the difference? Well, this show is streaming on Thanksgiving. Oh, what’s the difference between Fusion and Fusion Alpha? You got me. On with the show.

1. TJP vs. Calvin Tankman in an Opera Cup tournament semifinal match. Tanksman had his head wrapped to sell a beating that he took from King Mo and Alex Kane. TJP rolled to ringside and took a drink of water heading into a break break. [C]

Dombrowski noted that the winner would face Davey Richards in the finals of the tournament. Tankman sent TJP into the barricade. Alex Kane and another man walked onto the stage and slowly walked to the ring, which distracted Tankman.

TJP hid under the ring. When Tankman pulled him out, TJP threw water in his eye while the ref was watching Mo and Kane. TJP targeted Tankman’s head injury with kicks. Tankman hoisted up TJP on his shoulders, but TJP countered into an octopus. Tankman fell to one knee and then TJP released the hold and kicked Tankman to ringside where his bandage came off.

TJP distracted the referee while Kane and his sidekick attacked Tankman. Bocchini noted that Kane was the tournament alternate and he could replace Tankman if he won the match and ended up being too injured to wrestle in the finals. Tankman rallied and picked up a near fall.

TJP avoided the Tankman Driver and caught him with a kick. Tankman came right back with a popup spinning back fist. TJP avoided another back fist and rolled up Tankman for a near fall. TJP performed a tornado DDT. TJP went up top, but Tankman cut him off with a punch. Tankman joined TJP on the ropes, but TJP headbutted him off.

TJP dove at Tankman, who caught him. TJP held the turnbuckle pad, which he tore off. The referee focused on the turnbuckle pad while Kane and the other man attacked Tankman right behind him. They ran Tankman’s head into the exposed turnbuckle. TJP hit the Mamba Splash and scored the pin…

TJP defeated Calvin Tankman to advance to the finals of the Opera Cup tournament.

Alicia Atout walked out and interviewed TJP on the stage while telling him that he should be ashamed of the way that he won. TJP said a hard working city like Philadelphia should appreciate what he did all by himself…

The updated brackets showed TJP vs. Davey Richards in the finals of the Opera Cup tournament for next week’s show…

Powell’s POV: MLW’s referee is just as clueless as Rick Knox was on AEW Dynamite last night. In both cases, AEW and MLW asked a lot of their audience to suspend disbelief in terms of these referees being so clueless that they wouldn’t know that something is happening just a step behind them. I really liked the rest of the match, but that finish was too much. By the way, the broadcast team never mentioned the name of Kane’s sidekick. And unless I missed something, they also seemed to have stopped mentioning King Mo, who was aligned with Kane previously.

Bocchini spoke about MLW announcing an open door policy for free agents. They touted that Ho Ho Lun would be coming to MLW while footage aired of him delivering a promo while sitting in a car. His debut was listed for January 21 in Dallas, Texas at Gilley’s…

Backstage, Atout interviewed Warhorse, who held a plaque that named him Parts Unknown’s Most Interesting Person of 2021. He claimed his name was spelled wrong on the plaque because it wasn’t spelled in all caps.

KC Navarro showed up and took a seat. Warhorse barked at him about his haircut and for interrupting his promo time. Navarro stood up and bickered with Warhorse, who told Atout to check this out. Warhorse headbutted Navarro and then they traded punches…

Powell’s POV: I think they want us to like Warhorse, but his Ultimate Warrior intensity schtick made Navarro the babyface of the segment as far as I’m concerned. The guy has built a following, so I may be in the minority on this one.

Emilio Sparks asked an upset Tankman backstage if things would have played out the same way if he had joined Kane’s fight team. Tankman told him it wasn’t the time. Sparks asked him two more times and tried to stop him from leaving. Tankman grabbed him by the throat and pushed him against the wall.

Tankman said he’s proven himself and this was supposed to be the cherry on top while he shows that he’s the best in the locker room. Tankman said Kane messed with his money and took food out of his daughter’s money. Tankman pulled Sparks in and asked him if he knows what happens when people mess with his money.

Myron Reed showed up and told him not to do this on camera. He said this wasn’t the time, but it would be an eye for eye. Tankman mellowed out and left the room with Reed…

Powell’s POV: Is Sparks a heel backstage interviewer? He was so aggressive with his questioning that Tankman’s actions seemed justified when he grabbed him by the throat.

Dombrowski marveled over Reed actually being the voice of reason. Bocchini hyped the debut of Gnarls Garvin… [C] A video package touted NZO debuting in two weeks…

Ross Von Erich and Marshall Von Erich checked in from Hawaii and wished everyone a Thanksgiving. Marshall said he had another son. He said they’ve been away for a bit. Marshall said they want to get back to work. He described Cesar Duran as a gatekeeper and said he needs to get the f— out of the way.

Ross said Konnan is trying to get his boys to the front of the line, but they need to go to the back of the line. Marshall said that Duran wants “to be big time like us Americans.” He said the Von Erichs haven’t had a title match in Dallas in forty years. He encouraged Duran to give them a tag title match on January 21 in Dallas…

Powell’s POV: Since when do Von Erichs cuss?!? Anyway, the line was censored unlike every other time people drop f-bombs on this show, so maybe the production folks felt the same way. All half-joking aside, this was a strange promo and we’ve heard better from the Von Erichs.

The broadcast team spoke about the “breaking news” of Tajiri defending the MLW Middleweight Championship in All Japan Pro Wrestling. They said it was the first time in eighteen years that an MLW championship would be defended in All Japan, then announced that the match with Tajiri vs. Atsuki Aoyagi for the title would air on MLW TV in two weeks…

Budd Heavy was in the ring and winced as he removed his jacket. The broadcast team assumed that he was winded from making his entrance (he was presumably selling something from a previous match for the sake of the live crowd). Gnarls Garvin made his entrance…

2. Gnarls Garvin vs. Budd Heavy. Garvin was all over Heavy once the bell rang. Garvin dominated the match and put Heavy away with a backdrop driver…

Gnarls Garvin defeated Budd Heavy.

Alicia Atout interviewed Garvin on the stage and congratulated him on his MLW debut. He took the mic from Atout and barked at her to leave. Garvin said he was there to chew up guys and spit them out. “Beef is here,” he said. “What you gonna do about it?”…

Powell’s POV: Garvin showed good intensity while destroying everyone’s favorite MLW jobber. His promo was nothing to write home about. He’d be a good candidate for Col. Rob Parker if MLW brings him back as a manager.

Highlights aired from the War Chamber match…

MLW Heavyweight Champion Alexander Hammerstone and Richard Holliday were interviewed by Atout, who asked how it felt knowing that the match may have been the end of Contra. Hammerstone said he believes it’s definitively the end of Contra.

Holliday said he loves when Hammerstone goes on these tangents, but everyone knew the babyfaces would prevail. Hammerstone once again stated that Holliday was a tweener at best. Holliday conceded that Hammerstone might be right.

Holliday said he knows for a fact that Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving in August. Atout, who is Canadian, said it’s celebrated in October. Holliday said it’s super weird. Holliday said his family was holding their holiday at their house/winter residence.

Cesar Duran’s masked henchman popped up and showed off a box with Rolex watches. Holliday was excited, but Hammerstone said it was bait from Cesar Duran. Holliday was still interested in the watches, but Hammerstone told him no… [C]

Powell’s POV: The dynamic between the Dynasty duo continues to be a lot of fun.

Bocchini hyped TJP vs. Richards in the Opera Cup tournament finals for next week, then spoke about Contra’s issues. He said they have been silent all week and pondered whether the faction has collapsed…

The upcoming fight schedule listed next week’s show, MLW in Mexico next month, and it was announced that the Von Erichs will challenge for the MLW Tag Titles on January 21 in Dallas…

Backstage, Sparks asked Kane about his sidekick. The man tried to blow off Sparks, but Kane said something about his Bomaye Fight Club and Mr. Tommy (if I heard that right). Calvin Tankman burst into the picture and tried to get at the duo while security held him back. Kane remained seated and mockingly told Tankman that he was reaching for him…

Footage aired from Cesar Duran’s office where he spoke with MLW interviewers Alicia Atout and Emilio Sparks. Atout spoke about why she enjoys interviewing people. Sparks said he doesn’t care about any of that. He said it was cute, but Duran doesn’t want cute.

Sparks said MLW is a war zone and he’s in the trenches doing wartime reporting. Atout and Sparks bickered. The woman from last week showed up and said they could lock the door on the two of them and see who makes it out alive. Duran spoke of wanting scoops and then the woman dismissed them. The masked henchmen returned with the box of watches…

Dombrowski said Duran couldn’t be happy that Dynasty turned down his watches. He also announced “The Sea Stars” Ashley Vox and Delmi Exo vs. “The Top Dogs” Davienne and Skylar, and Warhorse vs. KC Navarro for next week…

Powell’s POV: Although I don’t believe they mentioned her name again this week (it can be tough to make out some of the things that Duran says), the woman is actually Karlee Perez. She cut her hair, which is why I didn’t recognize her last week. My apologies. Meanwhile, it seems my instincts were right when I wondered earlier whether Sparks is a heel.

Ring entrances for the main event took place. The wildcard selected by Duran was ACH, who received a favorable reaction from the live crowd. Dombrowski said ACH stands for attitude, charisma, and heart. He said this was the best version of ACH in some time because he took time away and rested himself mentally and physically…

3. Alex Shelley vs. Myron Reed vs. Alex Kane (w/unnamed sidekick) vs. Zenshi vs. ACH in a ladder match for the vacant MLW National Openweight Championship. All four opponents went right after Kane to start the match. Kane came back with a double clothesline on two opponents, then performed a double suplex on the other two. His mystery man slid a ladder into the ring for him. Bocchini said King Mo was fighting in The Philippines (hey, they did mention Mo after all). [C]

Late in the match, Reed took out a couple of opponents with a dive from the ring to the floor. Reed returned to the ring and set up a ladder, as did ACH. They were joined on the ladders by Shelley and Zenshi and all four men traded shots. Zenshi got a hand on the belt, but Reed hit him. Reed grabbed the belt, but Zenshi took him out with a head-scissors takedown from the ladder.

Shelley set up a ladder and went after the belt, but Kane returned to the ring and pulled him down. Kane choked Shelley and tossed him aside. Kane climbed the ladder and pulled down the belt to win the match.

Alex Kane defeated Myron Reed, Zenshi, Alex Shelley, and ACH to win the vacant MLW National Openweight Championship.

Kane stood on the ropes and celebrated with the belt while his henchman stood in the ring with him. Calvin Tankman came out with his head bandaged and tried to get to the ring, but security intervened and kept him away while Kane taunted him by holding up the title belt. The big henchman put the belt around the waist of Kane, who jawed into the camera and mentioned something about Hammerstone being next…

Powell’s POV: An entertaining ladder match. The finish was nothing special, but the wrestlers were given a good amount of time and they filled it nicely with some creative spots and some big ladder match bumps along the way. I like the idea of Kane winning with the obvious plan of Tankman chasing him for the championship. Overall, this was a solid edition of Fusion. Happy Thanksgiving (unless you are Canadian and already celebrated the holiday in August, just like Richard Holliday said).


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