MLW Fusion results: Powell’s review of Taya Valkyrie vs. Holidead to become the first MLW Featherweight Champion, EJ Nduka and Calvin Tankman vs. Ross Von Erich and Marshall Von Erich vs. 5150 in a three-way for the MLW Tag Titles, Gangrel vs. Budd Heavy

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

Major League Wrestling Fusion (Episode 149)
Taped May 13 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at 2300 Arena
Streamed June 16, 2022 on the MLW’s YouTube Page and FITE TV

The show opened with footage of Jacob Fatu and Juicy Finau hanging out in Cesar Duran’s office without him being present. They played his guitar, grabbed some cash and coins, and took other random items… The Fusion opening aired…

Cesar Duran entered his office (which had changed) and called someone on his phone and asked them to burn the Samoan Swat Team to the ground. Taya Valkyrie entered the room and referred to Duran as Dario, the name he used in Lucha Underground, but he corrected her. She spoke about wanting the MLW Featherweight Championship and added that she didn’t want Strange Sangre (Holidead’s crew) to get involved. She said she knows Duran, and you can take the boy out of Boyle Heights, but you can’t take the Boyle Heights out of the boy…

Powell’s POV: It’s times like this that I can’t help but feel like MLW officials have an inflated opinion of just how many people watched Lucha Underground and remember it as fondly as they do.

The broadcast team of Rich Bocchini and Joe Dombrowski checked in and hyped the show’s matches. Ring announcer Tim Barr handled the introductions for the opening match…

1. Gangrel (Holidead, Dr. Dax, Arez, Mini Abismo Negro) vs. Budd Heavy. Gangrel was dominant to start. Heavy whipped him into the corner and hit him with a corner splash. Gangrel cut him off and performed a facebuster from the ropes. Gangrel performed his DDT finisher and got the three count…

Gangrel defeated Budd Heavy.

Powell’s POV: There wasn’t much to this match. I assume the purpose was to get the Strange Sangre faction involved in the opening match due to Holidead being in the main event.

The broadcast team hyped Richard Holliday speaking later in the show… A video package recapped the recent history between Jacob Fatu and Cesar Duran… Jacob Fatu vs. Mads Krugger in a Weapons of Mass Destruction match was announced for next week’s show… A Battle Riot ad aired… [C]

The broadcast team hyped the Weapons of Mass Destruction match for next week… Joel and Jose Maximo were shown at the “Spanish Announce Table”… Myron Reed vs. KC Navarro vs. Arez in a three-way for the MLW Middleweight Championship was announced for next week’s Fusion…

5150 was introduced for the tag title match. Footage aired of Alicia Atout interviewing Ross Von Erich and Marshall Von Erich. She was in heel mode and took shots at Alex Hammerstone. They said she had an agenda and wrapped up the interview.

Danny Rivera delivered an in-ring promo. He heeled on the live crowd over moves that the Philadelphia 76’ers team has made, and then badmouthed his opponents. The Von Erichs made their entrance and immediately fought with 5150. The bell rang to start the match and then EJ Nduka and Calvin Tankman made their entrance (weird)…

2. EJ Nduka and Calvin Tankman vs. Ross Von Erich and Marshall Von Erich vs. “5150” Danny Rivera and Hernandez in a three-way for the MLW Tag Titles. The Von Erics cleared 5150 from the ring and then had a staredown with the champions that led to both teams throwing punches. 5150 quickly returned to the ring. [C]

The action spilled to ringside in front of the SAT duo (the Maximos). Rivera tossed Tankman onto the SAT. A short time later, 5150 ended up in the ring while their opponents were on the floor. Rivera dove onto them and then Hernandez took his turn with a dive of his own. 5150 brought Ross into the ring and hit their finisher on him, but Ross kicked out and Tankman pulled Hernandez to the floor.

Hernandez set up Tankman for a Border Ross, but Tankman slipped away and then Nduka speared Hernandez. The Von Erichs performed an Iron Claw slam on Hernandez that sent them all crashing through a table on the floor. Tankman hit an assisted Tankman Driver with help from Nduka and then pinned Rivera…

EJ Nduka & Calvin Tankman defeated Ross Von Erich & Marshall Von Erich and “5150” Danny Rivera & Hernandez in a three-way to retain the MLW Tag Titles.

After the match, Los Maximos fought with Nduka and Tankman. The teams brawled to the back…

Powell’s POV: The usual big brawl MLW tag team match rather than a more traditional tag team match. I enjoyed the way that the two babyface teams went at each other and didn’t just focus on going after 5150. That said, it was a rough match with some ugly moments.

The Battle Riot control center segment aired. Mads Krugger, Myron Reed, Ken Broadway, Warhorse, and Microman were added to the Battle Riot match. The event will be held on June 23 in New York at the Melrose Ballroom…

Davey Richards met with MLW Middleweight Champion Myron Reed. Richards said he’s always looking for people to make him better and offered him a chance to train together. Reed said he was honored and would be there…

The broadcast team hyped Fatu vs. Krugger and ran through the rules of a Weapons of Mass Destruction match (there are no rules and there’s a shit-load of weapons). The feed was interrupted by a distorted voice Krugger promo… The broadcast team hyped the main event… A Killer Kross and Scarlett Bordeaux video aired… [C]

NZO was shown putting his gear in a truck when he was asked about being in a Battle Riot. He said yes. His female companion found a dent on the driver’s side (we couldn’t see it). NZO asked who drives “the black Caddy” a couple of times. He told his companion that he would be right back…

Powell’s POV: You can often see paint if another vehicle hits or scrapes your car, but I have no idea how you could look at the pant and figure out the make and model of the other car. Plus, there’s no way a normal sized car could have actually fit between NZO’s truck and the pillar and fencing that he was parked by. Therefore, the culprit can only be… Microman using his Micro Mobile! Okay, that’s probably not where this is going.

Richard Holliday was shown somewhere outside speaking on his phone to an agency that he rejected. He taunted the person by talking about his greatness and how they missed out on it when he signed elsewhere… A tale of the tape was shown for the main event…

3. Taya Valkyrie vs. Holidead (Gangrel, Dr. Dax) to become the first MLW Featherweight Champion. The new title belt was on a podium on the stage. Valkyrie wore her AAA Reina de Reinas Championship belt to the ring. Tim Barr delivered in-ring introductions for the title match. They cut to break early in the match. [C]

Both women ended up at ringside and Holidead performed Darkness Falls and then rolled Valkyrie back inside the ring. Holidead covered Valkyrie for a near fall. Valkyrie battled back and hit double knees in the corner and got a two count of her own. Holidead rallied with a spinebuster for a two count.

A short time later, Arez ran out and stood on the apron and encouraged Holidead. She went for Darkness Falls, but Valkyrie avoided it and shoved Holidead toward Arez. Holidead stopped short, but Valkyrie hit her from behind, causing Holidead to knock Arez off the apron. Holidead came back briefly, but Valkyrie tied up her legs and then performed a Stomp to the back of her head. Valkyrie applied and STF and got the submission win…

Taya Valkyrie defeated Holidead to become the first MLW Featherweight Champion.

Valkyrie celebrated with her new title. The broadcast team hyped Fatu vs. Krugger as meeting for the last time in next week’s Weapons of Mass Destruction match…

Powell’s POV: So Arez ran out just to stand on the apron so that he could get knocked off? Strange. The match was decent, but there was nothing memorable about it aside from Valkyrie become MLW’s first female champion. At least that finally happened, as MLW has gone through some stops and starts in launching the women’s division. Holidead’s faction is ice cold, and Valkyrie gives instant credibility to the new title. I will have more to say about Fusion in my weekly audio review for Dot Net Members (including our Patreon patrons).

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