12/1 MLW Fusion results: Powell’s review of Alex Hammerstone vs. Bandido for the MLW Heavyweight Championship, Lady Shani vs. Lady Flammer vs. La Hiedra vs. Reina Dorado in a four-way eliminator for a shot at the MLW Featherweight Championship

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

Major League Wrestling Fusion (Episode 157)
Taped September 18, 2022 in Norcross, Georgia at Space Event Center
Streamed December 1, 2022 on Pro Wrestling TV

Fusion opened with a video package that recapped the drama involving Alex Hammerstone and EJ Nduka… The Fusion opening aired… The broadcast team was Rich Bocchini and Joe Dombrowski, and Tim Barr was the ring announcer…

MLW Featherweight Champion Taya Valkyrie made her entrance, and then entrances for the four-way match took place…

1. Lady Shani vs. Lady Flammer vs. La Hiedra vs. Reina Dorado in a four-way eliminator for a shot at the MLW Featherweight Championship. Taya Valkyrie sat in on commentary for the match. Two of the wrestlers performed simultaneous suicide dives and then they cut to the first commercial break after a few minutes of action. [C]

A graphic listed Killer Kross as being in action later in the show. There was a spot where all four women traded chops while on their knees. There was also a double Muta Lock submission attempt. One of the women appeared to tap out and rolled out of the ring, but then she returned moments later. There was a double superplex spot and then Flammer performed a top rope splash and pinned the wrestler who took the double superplex.

Lady Flammer defeated Lady Shani, La Hiedra, and Reina Dorado in a four-way eliminator to earn a shot at the MLW Featherweight Championship.

After the match, Flammer approached Valkyrie at ringside and jawed at her. Valkyrie patted her smaller opponent on the head. When Valkyrie turned her back, Flammer attacked her and then security stepped in and pulled them apart…

Powell’s POV: I had zero familiarity with any of the wrestlers going into the match, so I sat back and watched as opposed to trying to keep up with a detailed match report. The action was more American style based than I anticipated with more physicality and less of the lucha tumbling style. Valkyrie is a likable personality as a babyface and spent a lot of time working in Mexico, so she added something on commentary. While I had a tough time keeping on who was who, the post match angle was effective in terms of creating tension between Valkyrie and Flammer.

Footage aired a Jacob Fatu, Lance Anoa’i, and Juicy Finau having a poolside chat while drinking beers. Anoa’i played up Fatu as the Battle Riot winner. Fatu encouraged his Samoan Swat Team allies to go after the MLW Tag Team Titles…

EJ Nduka delivered a promo in the parking lot area. He boasted about the number of wrestlers he eliminated from the Battle Riot match. He said Alex Hammerstone would need a stretcher once he’s finished with him. Nduka said the fans would chant “Judge” and he would hold up the MLW Heavyweight Championship along with his MLW Tag Team Title belt…

The broadcast team hyped the main event and said Killer Kross would be in action after the break… [C]

Mance Warner was shown talking on his phone while standing next to a dumpster. He called a man into the shot and told him that Mads Krugger is actually Doc Gallows. Warner acted like he was talking to Gallows on the phone that he could stay with him since his wife is mad at him. Warner said he wouldn’t be buying beer because Gallows drank it all last time…

Footage aired of Shun Skywalker’s brief promo from last week… MLW Middleweight Champion Myron Reed accepted the title challenge of Skywalker… The Reed vs. Skywalker match was listed for next week’s show…

Killer Kross was shown kneeling on the ground in the backstage area. The camera focused on some bruising on his back while the broadcast team played up the possibility that Kross was attacked by the business card attacker…

In the parking area, Alex Kane delivered a promo while Mr. Thomas stood by. Kane revealed that he stole the Opera Cup from Davey Richards and then yelled Bomaye a bunch of times…

Powell’s POV: A weak payoff to the long mystery of who stole the Opera Cup. Richards beat Kane for the MLW National Openweight Championship, so it works on that level, but the actual reveal of Kane just randomly announcing that he stole the cup was unwhelming.

An ambulance was shown while the broadcast team said that a business card was found next to Kross…

A brief video touted Davey Boy Smith Jr. as turning to MLW “soon”… [C]

The business card attacker was discussed briefly and then the MLW Heavyweight Champion roll call video was shown… A tale of the tape aired on the main event and then entrances for the match took place…

2. Alex Hammerstone vs. Bandido for the MLW Heavyweight Championship. Tim Barr delivered in-ring introductions for the title match, and Frank Gastineau was the referee. Bandido was cheered while Hammerstone was booed. Dombrowski said there was a large contingent of lucha fans in attendance. The wrestlers shook hands to start.

The match spilled over to ringside. Hammerstone pressed Bandido over his head and dropped him onto the barricade. Back inside the ring, Hammerstone covered Bandido for a two count. Bandido came back with a corkscrew dive from the ropes and got a two count of his own. A “lucha” chant broke out.

Bandido took the fight back to ringside and ran Hammerstone into the barricade. Bandido rolled Hammerstone back inside the ring and covered him for a one count. Hammerstone came back with a couple of overhead suplexes and clutched at his lower back both times. Hammerstone pressed Bandido over his head and then twisted him around and slammed him to the mat.

Hammerstone looked to the crowd as they were chanting for Bandido. Hammerstone approached Bandido, who impressively pressed Hammerstone over his head, held him there for a couple of seconds, and slammed him to the mat before covering him for a near fall.

Bandido went for a move from the top rope, but Hammerstone caught him. Hammerstone put Bandido down with an elbow to the head. Hammerstone picked up Bandido, spun around, and then drove him onto the mat and covered him for a near fall. [C]

Late in the match, Hammerstone hit a Burning Hammer for a near fall. Hammerstone made a throat slash gesture and set up for his Nightmare Pendulum finisher, but Bandido threw knees at his head to escape. Bandido went for a suplex that Hammerstone tried to reverse, but Bandido powered him over and then performed two more suplexes. Bandido went up top and performed a frogsplash for a really good near fall that had the crowd believing.

Bandido hit his 21 Plex finisher, but Hammerstone’s momentum took him out of the ring. The broadcast team questioned whether it was the momentum or Hammerstone being aware enough to roll to the floor to avoid being pinned. Bandido went to ringside and rolled Hammerstone back inside the ring. When Bandido returned, Hammerstone caught him in an inside cradle for a two count. Hammerstone tried two more cradles for two counts. Hammerstone powered up Bandido and slammed him to the mat, then hit his Nightmare Pendulum finisher and scored the pin.

Alex Hammerstone defeated Bandido to retain the MLW Heavyweight Championship.

After the match, Hammerstone helped Bandido to his feet and pointed at him. Bandido got a mic. Hammerstone motioned for his music to be cut. Bandido thanked Hammerstone and told him he deserves it. Bandido said the Mexican fans had something for Hammerstone. Bandido got the fans to sing something in Spanish. Hammerstone held up a Mexican flag and then hugged Bandido before handing him the flag. Hammerstone celebrated his win…

The broadcast team hyped EJ Nduka in action, Lance Anoa’i and Juicy Finau in action against a team from IWA Puerto Rico, and Myron Reed vs. Shun Skywalker for the MLW Middleweight Championship for next week.

Bocchini interviewed Hammerstone at ringside. Hammerstone said Bandido brought it and earned the status of a Mexican and lucha legend. Hammerstone said the fans brought a lot of energy for Bandido, but he likes to think they started to swing in his favor by the end of the night.

EJ Nduka showed up at ringside with a chair and tried to attack Hammerstone, who saw him coming and blocked the initial shot. Hammerstone and Nduka brawled at ringside while security and eventually succeeded in pulling them apart.

Dombrowski said there had been another calling card attack in the back. Cesar Duran and his henchmen discovered a bunch of men laid out in a stairwell. Duran told the henchmen that they had to go. Duran and the henchmen ran down the stairs…

A brief video touted the matches for next week’s show to close out the episode…

Powell’s POV: A strong main event. It wasn’t a Bandido classic and yet it was the best Hammerstone match that I’ve seen to date. MLW could have done more to build this up as a big television main event. Even so, Hammerstone was cemented as the face of the company with the win over his nemesis Richard Holliday last week and former ROH Champion Bandido this week.

It seemed like the idea at the end of last week’s show was to make Hammerstone seem vulnerable going into this match after his wild brawl with Holliday and the post match attack by EJ Nduka. I’m guessing that’s something they came up with on the production side after both matches were taped, because it didn’t really play out that way. Hammerstone merely sold his lower back once in a while and didn’t come out selling anything from “last week.”

Overall, this was a good episode despite my lack of familiarity with the wrestlers in the four-way match. The main event was fun and it was interesting to see Hammerstone work in front of a crowd that was pulling for his challenger. Hammerstone played it straight and never heeled on the crowd, which was the right move given his status as the top babyface. The calling card attacks are a good hook and one can only hope that the payoff will be better than the stolen Opera Cup mystery. My weekly MLW Fusion audio review will be available tonight for Dot Net Members (including our Patreon patrons).

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