By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Major League Wrestling Fusion (Episode 156)
Taped June 23, 2022 in New York, New York at Melrose Ballroom
Streamed November 24, 2022 on Pro Wrestling TV
Fusion opened with a video package on Alex Hammerstone and Richard Holliday. Hammerstone said that he and Holliday have been together ever since he arrived in MLW. He said there were times where it felt like it was the two of them against the world.
Hammerstone said Holliday was the first person waiting to congratulate him when he returned backstage after winning the MLW Heavyweight Championship. Hammerstone said Holliday wasn’t happy for him, he was jealous. He spoke about Holliday having a secret girlfriend (Alicia Atout) and how he changed. Hammerstone said all the lies led Holliday to a place he never wanted to be. The Dynasty graphic was shown burning…
The Fusion opening video aired… Rich Bocchini and Joe Dombrowski welcomed viewers to the show while a shot aired of a Christmas tree in New York City. They hyped the show and said the MLW Super Series would return next week. The Holliday vs. Hammerstone match was billed as their final encounter…
Entrances for the opening match took place… Ring announcer Tim Barr delivered in-ring introductions for the title match…
1. Taya Valkyrie vs. Brittany Blake for the MLW Featherweight Championship. Blake attacked Valkyrie during the introductions and was rewarded by having the bell ring to start the match. Valkyrie eventually backed into the corner while Blake was on her back. Valkyrie followed up with a hip attack.
Blake dodged a running knee and then covered Valkyrie twice for two counts. Valkyrie avoided a top rope double stomp. Blake landed on her feet, but Valkyrie speared her heading into a commercial break. [C] Valkyrie performed a Blue Thunder Bomb for a near fall coming out of the break.
Blake came back and applied the Bad Omen leg lock submission, but Valkyrie reached the ropes to break it. Valkyrie put Blake down with a clothesline and covered her for just a one count. Valkyrie tied up the legs of Blake and then stomped her face first into the mat. Valkyrie applied the Loca Lock and got the submission win…
Taya Valkyrie defeated Brittany Blake to retain the MLW Featherweight Championship.
Powell’s POV: A good match. There haven’t been many women’s matches in MLW, but this was certainly among the best to air on Fusion.
Dombrowski played up the mystery of the stolen Opera Cup… Dombrowski ran through the upcoming MLW events calendar, which includes the start of the Super Series next week and the Blood & Thunder on December 7, and MLW SuperFight on February 4…
Dombrowski recapped the story of wrestlers being attacked backstage by a mystery person who has been leaving calling cards…
A video package aired on EJ Nduka. He said he was born in Dallas, but his parents came from Nigeria “with absolutely nothing.” He said he knew how to grind and he cherished any opportunities he had. Nduka’s football teammate spoke about his work ethic. Nduka said he ran track and played football and basketball in high school.
Nduka said he focused on football in college and played in the CFL and Arena Football League. Nduka said he got into bodybuilding. Another friend spoke about Nduka’s confidence. Nduka said he was given an opportunity to go to WWE. He thanked Scotty Too Hotty for discovering him on Instagram. Nduka said he was released by WWE due to budget cuts and COVID.
Nduka said he got calls from everywhere when he was released. He said the last call came from Court Bauer. Nduka said he was on his way to the gym and his wife had just told him not to give up. Nduka said the thing that drew him to MLW is that he wasn’t asked what happened, they spoke about what would come next for him. Nduka spoke about having a similar vision and said he wasn’t looking back…
Powell’s POV: I believe MLW has aired this video package in the past. No complaints. It’s a good feature and they had a long layoff, so it’s wise to air it again.
Sam Leterna interviewed EJ Nduka about the MLW Heavyweight Championship match. Nduka questioned why he wasn’t in the match, then said he was just kidding. He said he would be watching the match. He said The Judge would be watching and his time is coming…
Dombrowski said the main event match was coming up next. Hammerstone was shown walking through the backstage area. The calling card attacker was shown from behind holding one of his cards while watching Hammerstone…
A video package hyped Dragon Gate talent arriving for the Super Series. Dombrowski said Shun Skywalker would be the first person to enter the gate. A video package aired on Skywalker and he was listed as coming soon. A Skywalker promo aired. He said the MLW Championship will be his…
Mance Warner was shown in a parking lot when an MLW camera crew caught up with him. Warner listed a 900 phone line for scoops. He said he would give just a little taste. He brought up Mads Krugger and said he would bust him open at some point. Warner claimed that Krugger and Doc Gallows are the same person…
Dombrowski said AAA was entering the Super Series. He said there would be a four-way eliminator match with Lady Shani vs. Lady Flammer vs. La Hiedra vs. Reina Dorado with the winner earning a shot at the MLW Featherweight Championship…
Powell’s POV: Is this an elimination match or has the silly “eliminator match” lingo spread to MLW?
A tale of the tape was shown for the MLW Heavyweight Championship match… EJ Nduka was shown watching and then entrances for the main event took place with the challenger coming out first with Alicia Atout. They made out on the stage and then Atout headed to the back. Nduka was shown multiple times. Bocchini played up Hammerstone not being 100 percent due to a rib injury caused by Holliday. Hammerstone made his entrance and the broadcast team noted that he was wincing a bit due to the injury… [C]
2. Alex Hammerstone vs. Richard Holliday in a Falls Count Anywhere match for the MLW Heavyweight Championship. Tim Barr delivered in-ring introductions for the title match. Hammerstone had his ribs wrapped. Holliday targeted the injured ribs early on. Hammerstone came back with a back body drop.
Hammerstone tried to press Holliday over his head, but he released him while selling rib pain. Holliday kicked Hammerstone’s ribs and then the match spilled over to ringside. Hammerstone battled back and suplexed Holliday on the floor while the crowd chanted his name. Hammerstone covered Holliday on the floor for a two count.
Hammerstone continued to work over Holliday and they left the arena area and headed into a stairwell backstage. Holliday struck Hammerstone’s ribs again. Hammerstone ran Holliday’s head into a wall and then covered him in some rooftop area that had a bunch of pillows.
Holliday tried to throw Hammerstone over the side of the building, but Hammerstone fought him off. They fought back into the stairwell. One of the broadcast team members questioned if they were headed back to ringside and then encourage viewers to stay with them. [C]
Powell’s POV: They teased that this match could go all over New York City, so I like that they at least ventured outside the building.
Hammerstone and Holliday returned to the arena. Hammerstone tossed Holliday back inside the ring and the crowd chanted his name. Holliday drove his shoulder into Hammerstone’s ribs and then hit him with a draping DDT for a near fall.
Holliday took control and removed some of the rib wrap and then whipped Hammerstone with it. Hammerstone eventually came back with a single leg dropkick. Both men stayed down and the referee counted, but they both got up to break the count. Hammerstone Hulked up and had an offensive sequence that he capped off with a nice dropkick.
Holliday fled the ring and then Hammerstone followed him to the stage. “It was always you,” Hammerstone said in a taunt of Holliday’s recent catchphrase. Hammerstone followed Holliday into a backstage area and ran him into the wall. Holliday came right back and wrapped a power cable around the neck of Hammerstone and then covered him for a near fall.
Holliday continued to work over Hammerstone as they returned to the arena area. Nduka was shown watching for what felt like the 500th time. Holliday went for a suplex on the stage, but Hammerstone tried to reverse it. Holliday kicked Hammerstone and then put him down with a piledriver on the stage for a near fall. “How?” Holiday asked after Hammerstone kicked out.
Holliday brought Hammerstone back to the ring. A graphic listed the AAA four-way match for next week along with Bandido facing a mystery opponent. In the ring, Hammerstone executed a German suplex and a sit-out powerbomb for a near fall.
A short time later, Hammerstone set up for a superplex, but Holliday countered into The 2008 from the ropes and got a good near fall. Holliday told the crowd to cheer his name. The fans booed. Hammerstone started no-selling Holliday’s strikes and got to his feet.
Hammerstone and Holliday traded punches. Hammerstone got the better of it until Holliday kicked his ribs. Hammerstone came right back with a clothesline and then put Holliday in the Torture Rack and got the submission win.
Alex Hammerstone defeated Richard Holliday in a Falls Count Anywhere match to retain the MLW Heavyweight Championship.
Hammerstone celebrated his win. A graphic listed Alex Hammerstone vs. Bandido for the MLW Heavyweight Championship for next week’s show.
Sam Leterna interviewed Hammerstone on the stage and asked him what’s next. Hammerstone said he’s been dealing with Holliday for so long that he needed to sit down and think about what would be next.
EJ Nduka joined Hammerstone on the stage and told him he had a hell of a match and encouraged the crowd to cheer him. Nduka said Holliday isn’t that guy and he doesn’t deserve another opportunity. Nduka said he does and told Hammerstone to think about the two strongest and two biggest people in MLW. Nduka called it titan vs. titan, Godzilla vs. King Kong, and champion vs. champion.
Hammerstone asked the crowd what they thought about it. The fans cheered. Hammerstone told Nduka that it sounded like a good idea to him. Hammerstone shook Nduka’s hand and then hugged him. Leterna asked Hammerstone if the Dynasty would ever reunite.
Hammerstone was downplaying the idea when Nduka returned and hit him from behind with his MLW Tag Team Title belt. Nduka roughed up Hammerstone on the stage and then tossed him inside the ring where he put the boots to him.
Bocchini pointed out that Hammerstone just agreed to face Nduka and questioned what the point of the attack was. Nduka drove his knee into Hammerstone’s injured ribs. Nduka left the ring and returned with a table. Nduka set up the table and then picked up Hammerstone and gave him a weak spinebuster that failed to break the table. Hammerstone tumbled to ringside.
Nduka teased leaving and then set up the table again. Nduka went to ringside for Hammerstone, who was being dragged away by a referee. Nduka brought Hammerstone back to the ring and put him through the table with a spinebuster. Nduka’s music played and he jawed at the crowd before heading to the stage. Nduka picked up his tag title belt and Hammerstone’s title belt. Nduka tossed the MLW Heavyweight Title belt onto Hammerstone and then posed before heading backstage…
A brief video touted Hammerstone vs. Bandido for the MLW Heavyweight Championship for next week’s show…
Powell’s POV: An entertaining main event and an upgrade over the previous Hammerstone vs. Holliday match. I’m actually disappointed that this feud didn’t result in a title change. MLW spent so much time building to the Holliday turn and made the good move of putting Atout with him, so I really thought we’d get a Holliday title reign, even if it led to Hammerstone eventually regaining the title.
Overall, this was a good episode with two quality title matches. The Nduka attack could be spotted a million miles away, but not everything needs to be a surprise. I will have more to say in my weekly MLW Fusion audio review for Dot Net Members (including our Patreon patrons). Have a great Thanksgiving!