By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Major League Wrestling Fusion (Episode 140)
Taped February 26, 2022 in Charlotte, North Carolina at Grady Cole Center
Streamed April 7, 2022 on the MLW’s YouTube Page and FITE TV
Fusion opened with Cesar Duran walking to the ring with one of his masked henchmen while the broadcast team of Rich Bocchini and Joe Dombrowski checked in. Duran played to the crowd initially before turning on them. He said the night would be full of consequences and said the fans may not like it because what he has in mind would be the end of the town.
Ricky Steamboat’s entrance music played and he made his entrance to a nice reaction. Steamboat got a mic and said hello to the Charlotte crowd. Duran said it was great to have an all-time great, and added that it was great to have Steamboat there to kiss his ring. Steamboat pointed out that Duran had motioned that he wanted him to kiss his ass.
Steamboat said he was made matchmaker for the evening while MLW put Duran under investigation. Steamboat informed Duran that he was being ejected from the building. The masked henchman took a swing at Steamboat, who blocked it and then chopped the henchmen. Security dragged the henchman away and walked Duran to the back. Steamboat said they could send Duran back to Mexico and then assumed he was from somewhere “south of the border.” Steamboat said he had some great news, but he was interrupted.
Richard Holliday and Alicia Atout joined Steamboat inside the ring. Steamboat said Holliday has a nice swagger, then mocked the way he walked. Holliday told the crowd that Atout is hot and then welcomed Steamboat to MLW. Steamboat said he was in the building before Holliday was born and recalled wrestling Ric Flair. Holliday said he didn’t want to stroll down memory lane. Steamboat said he might team him some things about wrestling. Holliday said he might teach Steamboat about style.
Holliday told Steamboat that Alex Hammerstone wouldn’t pass a wellness test. He suggested that Steamboat put him in line for the MLW Heavyweight Championship. Steamboat asked the crowd what they thought. The fans booed. Holliday said they don’t listen to the fans, they do what makes good business sense. Atout said Holliday wanted a big match. Steamboat said he would make a big match for Holliday and then looked to the crowd before announcing that he would face Matt Cross… [C]
The broadcast team hyped the upcoming matches. They also recapped EJ Nduka and Calvin Tankman beating 5150 to win the MLW Tag Titles…
Backstage, Emilo Sparks interviewed Nduka and Tankman. Nduka thanked his family for supporting him and believing in him. Tankman said he was bringing the belt home for his daughter. Myron Reed showed up and congratulated the new champions. They wished him well in his title defense… TJP made his entrance… [C]
A video package aired with Reed and TJP talking about their matches. TJP spoke about how he’s better than Reed, while Reed mocked TJP’s Twitter timeline. TJP said Reed couldn’t read. TJP said he did more before he was 21 than Reed will do in his career… Reed made his entrance…
1. Myron Reed vs. TJP for the MLW Middleweight Championship. The broadcast team spoke about TJP seems bothered by Reed referring to himself as The Young Goat because people are talking more about him and not about everything TJP did when he was younger. TJP grounded Reed early on by using various submission holds. [C]
Reed performed a dive over the top rope onto TJP at ringside. Reed stood up and sold shoulder pain from TJP’s earlier submission work. Back in the ring, Reed did a Matrix move to avoid a TJP punch, then hit him with an enzuigiri. TJP cut off a cutter attempt on the apron and countered into a neckbreaker. TJP went up top and hit the Mamba Splash on Reed for a good near fall.
Reed came back with a kick and then performed a springboard 450 splash that TJP avoided. TJP applied another submission hold. Reed crawled and reached the ropes to break it. In the end, TJP leapt from the top rope and Reed caught him with a cutter on the way down and scored the pin…
Myron Reed defeated TJP to retain the MLW Middleweight Championship.
Powell’s POV: A good match involving two of MLW’s most consistent in-ring performers. I was surprised to see a clean and decisive finish because I thought they would want to stretch out the program. But TJP is such a good heel that he can get his heat back and generate interest in a rematch if they want to go there. I was also surprised that this match opened the show. I guess we’ll see if there was a reason for this later on in the show.
Footage aired of the Von Erichs donating the World Class Championship Wrestling title belt to a Dallas museum… [C] Shazza McKenzie vs. Holidead was announced for next week’s show…
2. Richard Holliday (w/Alicia Atout) vs. Matt Cross. Holliday put Cross down early with a clothesline and then put the boots to him in the corner. Holiday chopped Cross and then put him down with a neckbraker that led to a two count. Cross eventually rallied and hit a springboard crossbody block for a two count.
Holliday came back with a backbreaker and then went for his 2008 finisher, but Cross countered into an inside cradle for a two count. Cross followed up with a cutter for a good near fall. Cross went for a shooting star press. Holliday avoided it and Cross rolled through. Holliday punched Cross and then put him away with 2008.
Richard Holliday defeated Matt Cross.
After the match, Bocchini attempted to interview Holliday on the stage, but Atout took the mic and dismissed Bocchini. Atout asked Holliday what was running through his mind. Holliday said Atout is running through his mind, then added that he is the sole proprietor of The Dynasty. Holliday and Atout kissed and then fans in the front row were shown acting like they were gagging…
Powell’s POV: A good match. There was no mystery regarding the outcome given that Holliday is next in line for a title shot. He needs wins and it was good to see him working with Cross, who can really go. The post match promo featured the usual good mic work from Holliday, and the fans gagging was pretty funny.
An EJ Nduka training video aired. He said he was born in Dallas, but his parents were born in Nigeria and came to the United States with nothing. Nduka spoke about hard work. Nduka’s former teammate DA Allen sang his praises. Nduka spoke about playing for the Toronto Argonauts and playing arena football after that.
Nduka said Scotty Too Hotty spotted him on Instagram and opened the door to WWE for him. Nduka said he was with WWE for two years and ended up being released due to budget cuts and COVID. Nduka said he received a lot of calls after he was released.
Nduka said MLW’s Court Bauer was the last person to call him. He said the thing that stood out about MLW is that he wasn’t asked about what happened. Rather, MLW focussed on what would come next. Nduka said he will do what he sets out to do… A graphic listed the main event… [C]
MLW National Openweight Alex Kane and Mr. Thomas were shown walking backstage when Emilio Sparks oddly jumped toward Kane, only to be stopped by Thomas. Sparks wanted to know about new member of the Bomaye Fight Club, but Kane blew him off while adding that he was off to speak with Ricky Steamboat…
3. Ross Von Erich and Marshall Von Erich vs. Ricky Morton and Kerry Morton. The broadcast team noted that Kerry is just 20 years old. The Von Erics worked the match while wearing pants for some reason. Barefoot Marshall threw a nice dropkick at Kerry, who came back by rolling him into a pin for a two count. Marshall got up and hit a seated Kerry with a clothesline.
Ross tagged in and the Von Erichs performed a double dropkick on Kerry, which led to a two count. The broadcast team noted that the double dropkick was the signature move of Rick’s Rock N Roll Express team with Robert Gibson. Ricky checked in and performed a Destroyer on Ross. Marshall put Ricky in the Iron Claw. Kerry awkwardly pushed Marshall a couple of times before Ross took him out. Marshall and Ross performed their claw and suplex combination move. Marshall held the claw and got the pin.
Ross Von Erich and Marshall Von Erich defeated Ricky Morton and Kerry Morton.
Afterward, Marshall kept the claw on Ricky. He eventually released the hold, but Ricky and Kerry were both upset. The teams bickered a bit until they were interrupted by 5150’s entrance music.
Julius Smokes came out and delivered a promo from ringside. He said the Von Erichs should die and added that he hates North Carolina. Slice Boogie and Rivera used the distraction to attack both teams. The Von Erichs and the Mortons quickly cleared the 5150 duo from the ring. Marshall helped Ricky to his feet and then the two teams raised their arms together to close the show…
Powell’s POV: That was all kinds of strange and the match was rough. Marshall holding the claw on Ricky longer than he needed to was an unexpected development. Both teams were back on the same page afterward, but that was still uncharacteristic of the white meat babyface Von Erichs. I was also surprised to see 5150 follow up their tag title loss with a forgettable sneak attack that saw them quickly cleared from the ring.
Overall, I enjoyed the first two matches and it’s always nice to see the legendary Ricky Steamboat. There weren’t as many storyline developments as usual, so if you’re recovering from WrestleMania weekend, this isn’t a must see show. That said, the hour moved by quickly and it was a solid hour of MLW television. I will have more to say in my weekly MLW Fusion audio review, which will be available exclusively for Dot Net Members (including our Patreon patrons).