By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Major League Wrestling Fusion (Episode 133)
Taped January 21, 2022 in Dallas, Texas at Gilley’s
Streamed February 17, 2022 on the MLW’s YouTube Page and FITE TV
The broadcast team of Rich Bocchini and Joe Dombrowski checked in from ringside. They spoke with Calvin Tankman, who announced that he would be challenging Alex Kane for the MLW National Openweight Championship in two weeks. Kane and Mr. Thomas showed up at ringside. Referees stood between the champion and his next challenger. Tankman punched Kane… The Fusion opening aired…
Highlights aired from last week of Richard Holliday and Alicia Atout turning on MLW Heavyweight Champion Alexander Hammerstone. Dombrowski said the couple sent in a video that was labeled Valentine’s Day Truth & Tryst…
1. Davey Richards vs. ACH. There was a great spot with ACH running on the ramp, which was level with the ring, and leaping over the top rope into a cutter on Richards. ACH followed up with a top rope splash for a great near fall heading into a break. [C]
Richards cut off ACH on the ropes and then hit him with a series of headbutts before executing a superplex for a near fall. Richards immediately applied an ankle lock. ACH rolled over and kicked Richards off, but he ran the ropes and delivered a knee to ACH’s head. Richards performed a brainbuster for another two count, then immediately reapplied the ankle lock and stomped ACH’s head until he tapped out.
Davey Richards defeated ACH.
After the match, Richards played to the crowd and then pointed to ACH out of respect. Richards went to ringside where he was interviewed by Bocchini, who asked him about the stolen Opera Cup and his upcoming title match. Richards took the mic from Bocchini and entered the ring with it.
Richards told the crowd that only Texas could produce someone as tough and as a good as ACH, who then shook hands with him. Richards said the Opera Cup is something you earn, not steal. He said he hopes that whomever stole it is wearing a cup because he’s going to tear the person in two when he finds him.
Richards turned his focus to his MLW Heavyweight Championship match with Alexander Hammerstone at the MLW SuperFight event in Charlotte. Richards said he’s not concerned with fame or money, he’s only worried about being the best wrestler in the world. Richards said he can’t think of a bigger super fight than him challenging Hammerstone. He told Hammerstone to get ready because the hunt is on…
Powell’s POV: A kick ass match to start the show. This is worth going out of your way to see if you didn’t watch the show. The post match promo was solid and it’s good to see that the stolen Opera Cup storyline hasn’t been forgotten. I was starting to wonder because we hadn’t heard much from Richards about it until now.
An ad aired for MLW SuperFight… [C] A Mads Krugger video aired. His voice was distorted as he spoke about former Contra mate Jacob Fatu…
Powell’s POV: One of the only things I made out from this promo was that Krugger is the monster. I have poor hearing and so if it’s just me then so be it, but if not then I’d like to see MLW use subtitles for Krugger’s promos.
Mister Saint Laurent sat in Cesar Duran’s office and hyped his new man as the best pound for pound fighter. Duran agreed to book the man in a mixed trios match next week. MSL heaped praise on Duran. Myron Reed showed up and asked for a rematch for his MLW Middleweight Championship. Duran booked him against Tajiri and a mystery man for the title for next week’s show…
A Killer Kross video package aired. He was advertised for the SuperFight event… [C] A brief video hyped Lio Rush as returning soon… Dombrowski reluctantly read copy that claimed the show was presented by “Crybaby Calvin” and proceeds from the t-shirt would go to Alex Kane…
The MLW Fight schedule listed Mads Krugger vs. Jacob Fatu for next week’s Fusion, MLW SuperFight in Charlotte for February 26, MLW Intimidation Games for March 31 and MLW Azteca Underground April 1 in Dallas, and MLW Kings of Colosseum for May 13 in Philadelphia…
2. Rei Saito and Jun Saito vs. Gnarls Garvin and Budd Heavy. A pre-tape showed Garvin cutting a promo outside the building and finding Heavy sleeping. Garvin gave him a beer and their tag team was born. The Saito brothers were introduced as representing All Japan Pro Wrestling. Dombrowski said the Saitos are twins who were born in Japan, yet raised in Nebraska.
The PWI singles rankings crawler listed Alex Hammerstone as the champion. The top ten challengers (from 1-10) were listed as Davey Richards, Jacob Fatu, Mads Krugger, Alex Kane, King Muertes, Richard Holliday, Tajiri, TJP, NZO, and EJ Nduka.
Late in the match, the Saito brothers performed a double chokeslam on Heavy. One of them performed a top rope splash on Heavy and then pinned him.
Rei Saito and Jun Saito beat Gnarls Garvin and Budd Heavy.
Afterward, Garvin went after the Saitos, who then made their exit…
Powell’s POV: It’s always fun to see Budd Heavy, but this was a flat debut for the Saito brothers.
The broadcast team recapped Richard Holliday and Alicia Atout turning on Alex Hammerstone… [C]
Richard Holliday and Alicia Atout sat on a couch with champagne glasses in hand. Holliday said he feels like he shed himself of “an overweight, juiced up burden.” He said his favorite part about all of this was making everyone think he and Alex Hammerstone were best friends. He said best friends don’t leave each other behind. He asked were Hammerstone was when he lost his Caribbean Championship.
Holliday pointed out the times that he was there for Hammerstone. He said he made Hammerstone believe that he was the leader of the Dynasty. Holliday said that if anyone can beat Hammerstone for the title, it’s him. He explained that he knows all of Hammerstone’s weaknesses and injuries. Atout got Holliday to calm down. They kissed. Atout told the cameraman to get out…
Powell’s POV: Good stuff. I was hoping to see them deliver a promo in front of the live crowd, but this worked out nicely.
The MLW SuperFight control center segment aired. NZO vs. KC Navarrro was added to the lineup…
Cesar Duran hosted the contract signing between Alex Hammerstone and Davey Richards in his office. Duran said Dynasty is done and he wanted to make sure Hammerstone would be on top of his game. Hammerstone said Holliday would get his, but he questioned what was stopping him from put his hands on Duran’s scrawny neck. Duran encouraged him to go for it.
Richards said Duran was just trying to get in Hammerstone’s head. Richards said he’s Hammerstone’s problem, not Duran. Duran brought up the stolen Opera Cup. Richards brought up the possibility of Duran being behind the stolen cup. Hammerstone stopped Richards from going after Duran, and then they both signed the contract. Duran said they have the biggest fight of the year in front of them. Hammerstone offered his hand. Richards hesitated before shaking it. Hammerstone held onto his hand when he tried to walk away, and then they jawed at one another from a moment… [c]
Powell’s POV: It was strange that this was the first time we heard from Hammerstone following the Holliday betrayal. Sure, he addressed it at the top, but it felt like we should have heard more from him to really drive home the turn. It’s tough, though, because they obviously want to focus on Hammerstone vs. Richards and there is the risk that the Holliday turn will overshadow it. I assume there’s a storyline reason why they pulled the trigger on the turn prior to the Hammerstone vs. Richards match, but I guess we’ll find out soon enough.
3. “5150” Slice Boogie and Rivera (w/Julius Smokes) vs. “Los Parks” Hijo de LA Park and LA Park Jr. in a ladder match for the MLW Tag Titles. Two women accompanied 5150 and brought the tag titles out. They also kissed Rivera on his cheeks before he headed to the ring. The teams bawled to ringside. Rivera leapt from a ladder that was draped across the apron and the guardrail. He caught himself on a support beam and then dove onto both opponents. [C]
Boogie made a play for the belts that were hanging above the ring, but Park Jr. cut him off. Rivera leapt from the ropes and hit Jr.’s back to knock him off the ladder. Later, with Jr. and 5150 at ringside, Hijo performed an Asai moonsault onto all three men.
Homicide came out and traded punches with Hijo. LA Park came out and speared Homicide through the ropes and onto the pile at ringside. Park entered the ring and did his strut. Homicide returned to the ring. Park tried to spear him, but Homicide moved, causing Park to spear Hijo. Park low-blowed Homicide, but Boogie took out Park with a chair.
Park. Jr. brought a ladder into the ring and battered Boogie with it before setting it up under the tag title belts. Jr. climbed one side of the ladder and then Rivera ran in and climbed up the other side of it. They traded blows and Jr. knocked Rivera of the ladder. Jr. reached for the belts, but Boogie hit him from behind with a chair.
Rivera jumped from a ladder on the floor and hit the double stomp on Jr., who was on the back of Boogie, who then executed the Death Valley Driver part of their finisher. Rivera and Boogie climbed the ladder and took the belts down to win the match.
“5150” Slice Boogie and Rivera defeated “Los Parks” Hijo de LA Park and LA Park Jr. in a ladder match to retain the MLW Tag Titles.
5150 celebrated afterward… A graphic listed Gino Medina, Mini Abismo Negro, and Arez vs. Aramis, El Dragon, and MSL’s mystery man for next week. A brief video spotlighted next week’s Jacob Fatu vs. Mads Krugger match to close the show…
Powell’s POV: The usual big brawl that one expects from a Los Parks match. 5150 is versatile in that they can work a more traditional match, but they definitely seem right at home working this style too. Overall, the show peaked from an in-ring standpoint with the opening match. Holliday and Atout had a fun follow-up promo, and there was finally some good hype for the Hammerstone vs. Richards title match. I will have more to say about this episode of Fusion in my weekly audio review for Dot Net Members.