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MLW FUSION (#141)
APRIL 14, 2022 (RECORDED)
TAPED IN DALLAS, TEXAS
AIRED ON YOUTUBE
REPORT BY MARCUS ARIAS, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
MLW Commentators: Rich Bocchini and Joe Dombrowski
-Rivera made his way to the ring, accompanied by Julius Smokes. Rivera said that Slice Boogie wasn’t here today due to an altercation with law enforcement at the airport. 5150 made jokes at the expense of the Von Erichs, which is apparently enough to get you taken away. Rivera continued to run down the Von Erichs and began to insult Kerry Von Erich. He was interrupted by Ross and Marshall. The Von Erichs took out Smokes. LAX mainstay Hernandez attacked Marshall from behind with a chair and toss Ross into the ring. Hernandez beat down on Ross as Rivera started to set up a table on the outside. Marshall tried to make a save but Hernandez was too much for Marshall to handle. Julius Smokes got back in the ring and turned the odds even more in favor of 5150/LAX. Hernandez sent Ross crashing to the outside with a Border Toss powerbomb through the table. The trio stomped away at Marshall until MLW personnel intervened.
-Cesar Duran was shown in an office and spoke about his investigation. He said that any investigation needs witnesses but for some reason, all of the witnesses keep disappearing. He proclaimed the “witch hunt” was over and that he was back with big plans. Cesar announced that there would be a four-way match for the National Title because he wants to see what the best fighting style is between lucha, technical, high flying, and brute strength. Duran was interrupted by Mads Krugger. Krugger said that he has beaten everyone put in front of him so far and wants to end Alexander Hammerstone. Duran approved.
-Bocchini and Dombrowski previewed the night’s card.
(1) TJP vs. MATT CROSS
TJP walked to the ring, microphone in hand, and insulted the crowd. He said that the last time he was here, he beat an “indy-darling” so bad, that they went and asked Tony Khan for a job. TJP said that tonight wasn’t about an open-door policy. Tonight was was to show that he is the best wrestler any night of the week
Matt Cross made his entrance as commentary went over Matt’s accomplishments in his career.
A brief video was shown that showed Cross and TJP working in MLW in 2004.
The match started with a nice chain sequence as Cross used his gymnastics background to stay one step ahead of TJP’s submissions. TJP went for a PK kick early on but Cross caught TJP’s leg and rolled him up for a one-count. Cross sent TJP to the outside with a head-scissor takeover. Matt attempted to slide through the second rope, hoping to connect with a slingshot-dropkick. While TJP did manage to duck, Cross hung onto the rope and hit TJP with the rebound. Cross followed up with a cross-body, landing on his feet as the crowd cheered on.
Matt rolled TJP back into the ring and climbed to the top rope. He was cut off by TJP, who took the opportunity to stomp away at Cross. TJP landed with a slingshot-senton after a backbreaker for a two-count. A brief “TJ sucks” chant broke out. TJP played to the crowd for a moment, allowing Cross to fight back. After a quick strike sequence, TJP hooked Cross in a Boston crab. TJP transitioned into a pendulum hold. TJP turned this into another hold, now wrenching on Matt’s arm. TJP went for a cover and got another two-count. TJP put Cross into the corner and connected with a running dropkick, sliding through to the outside. TJP celebrated at ringside but was blindsided by a suicide dive from Cross.
Cross brought TJP into the ring again and connected with a handspring-back elbow and springboard-crossbody. Cross went back to the top rope and was once again cut off by TJP. TJP tried to muscle Cross up for a suplex from the second rope but Matt fought through it and dropped TJP to the mat. As TJP tried to get up, Cross caught him with a double stomp for a very close near-fall. TJP fought through a fireman’s carry and drilled Cross with a superkick. Cross answered back with a pump kick and charged at TJP. TJP leapt over and landed a tornado DDT. Both men exchanged strikes until TJP was able to catch Cross with a capture-suplex. TJP got a 2.99 count after an octopus driver. Cross blocked the detonation kick and connected with the Cross-cutter. Matt followed with a shooting star press for the win
WINNER: Matt Cross in 11:00
(Arias Analysis: I thought this was great. Cross and TJP have tremendous chemistry together and they play their roles incredibly well. It’s easy to forget how long Matt Cross has been in wrestling and how much he’s influenced generations of wrestlers. Commentary did a great job of reminding us that Cross has not had a definitive win in a while, which made the victory feel like a big deal.)
-Alexander Hammerstone spoke about how much Richard Holliday’s betrayal hurt. He said that after MJF left MLW, Holliday and Hammerstone became even closer and Holliday played a big part in Hammerstone renewing his deal with MLW. Hammerstone questioned whether or not their friendship was genuine or if it was a ploy to progress Richard’s career. Hammerstone said that he will fight Holliday in Philadelphia and it will be a war.
-Alex Kane said that he was protesting his title defense due to it being unfair. He said that it didn’t matter though and that he wanted more challengers. He wanted more styles to beat, emphasizing facing a super heavyweight. To him, being the open weight champion made him the best pound-for-pound wrestler on the roster.
-It was announced that Taya Valkyrie will be returning to MLW.
-Due to Alex Kane’s earlier comments, it was announced that the main event will now be a five-way match with a mystery super heavyweight competitor being added to the match.
(2) HOLIDEAD vs. SHAZZA MCKENZIE
Holidead was accompanied to the ring by Gangrel and Dr. Dax. She got an advantage early on, using her strength to her benefit. Holidead forced Shazza into the corner and landed a series of chops. Shazza was able to outmaneuver Holidead, turning a head-scissors takeover into a roll-up. McKenzie only got a one-count as Holidead caught her breath sitting on the ring apron. Shazza hit a running knee, sending Holidead to the outside. Holidead was helped to her feet by Gangrel and Dr. Dax. McKenzie climbed to the top and landed a crossbody onto Dax as Holidead was able to move out of the way.
Both women got back into the ring and McKenzie went for the crossbody again. Holidead caught Shazza and put her up in a fireman’s carry. Holidead went for a Samoan drop after driving Shazza’s head into two turnbuckles. Holidead whipped Shazza into the corner and charged toward her. McKenzie got her foot up and took Holidead down with another head-scissors takeover. Shazza fired up but immediately got kicked in the face by Holidead. Holidead got McKenzie into a tree-of-woe and distracted the ref as Dr. Dax began to choke Shazza. Holidead went for a running boot in the corner but Shazza avoided the attack. McKenzie tied Holidead up in the rope and unloaded with a series of kicks. Shazza went for a stunner but Holidead was able to counter it into a modified flatliner for a near fall. Holidead fought through another cutter attempt and connected with a killswitch for the win.
WINNER: Holidead in 5:00
-After the match, Rich Bocchini interviewed Holidead and asked her about what her intentions were regarding the MLW featherweight division. Holidead said that she had no plans to compete…she plans to run through the division.
(Arias Analysis: MLW spent a lot of time as of late to hype up Shazza’s debut but I’m not sure if there was an opportunity to showcase what she can do. Maybe she’ll get another chance in the future. They are setting up Holidead and her faction to be a second-tier heel group and I’m curious to see how they play into the featherweight title storyline. As for Holidead’s interview, it was disjointed and sporadic but the delivery does match the character so it does give her a bit of leeway.)
-The camera cut to Cesar in his office, playing guitar. He reiterated that he will be coming back more vengeful and bloodthirsty than ever. He was interrupted by Jacob Fatu. Fatu said that he was still looking for his rematch for the MLW Championship. Duran suggested that Fatu be added to the Krugger/Hammerstone match for next week. Fatu said that that wouldn’t work and that it didn’t matter who had the belt, he would be getting it back.
-Commentary confirmed that next week will now be a triple threat between Mads Krugger, Alexander Hammerstone, and Jacob Fatu.
-The third part of MLW’s mini-documentary on Alexander Hammerstone aired. This one showcased his MLW title win. He spoke about what it means to him to be the champ and how important it is to him to push the MLW brand forward. He wants MLW to be a contender when people look at the top promotions in the world.
-Richard Holliday and Alicia Atout were shown being upset that MLW would waste time and resources on a documentary for Hammerstone. Holliday said that nobody should care about Hammerstone’s past and that he was somebody the company should be proud of. Atout said that there was a silver lining to everything and that they should be happy that Cesar Duran was back in power. Holliday asked what that was. Alicia smiled and “shushed” Richard.
(3) ALEX KANE vs. PUMA KING vs. ACH vs. MYRON REED vs. JUICY FINAU – MLW National Openweight Championship
Calvin Tankman joined the commentary team for this one.
Juicy Finau was announced as the mystery opponent.
As the bell rang, everyone tried to gang up on Juicy but the MLW newcomer tossed his opponents away. ACH charged into Juicy but was flattened with a big slam. Puma King was next up but was taken out with a headbutt. Myron Reed made an effort but was gorilla-press slammed to the mat. The three smaller athletes tried working together again. Puma King got caught by Finau. ACH and Reed super kicked Juicy until he finally dropped and rolled out the ring.
With Finau gone, Puma King, ACH, and Reed took turns with hurricanranas until ACH made a pin attempt on Reed for a two-count. Reed had a moment to show off his athleticism until Puma King simply kicked him away. Puma King turned his attention to Kane and connected with a crossbody to the outside, taking out the champ. Reed went for a crossbody of his own onto Finau but Juicy caught him in mid-air. As Finau was about to slam Reed down, ACH hit both men with a suicide dive. ACH got back in the ring and did the same to Puma King.
After a quick break, ACH got Alex Kane up for a German suplex for a near fall. ACH caught Reed with a neck breaker and got another near fall as Juicy broke up the count. ACH tried to get into a strike battle with Juicy but Fatu was un-phased and got ACH up in a fireman’s carry. Reed tried to get involved but Juicy picked him up as well and took them both out with a double Samoan drop. A masked man attacked Reed on the outside and took him out of the match.
Alex Kane quickly took out Puma King with a reverse suplex and got the win after Puma King tapped out the crossface.
WINNER: Alex Kane in 5:00
– After the match, Alex Kane and Calvin Tankman exchanged words. Mr. Thomas and Myron Reed got involved. EJ Nduka came to the aid of his partner but Kane took advantage of the chaos and took out Tankman with a chair. Kane and Thomas quickly ran away from Nduka as the show went off the air.
(Arias Analysis: They were able to jam a lot into a very short amount of time and still find a way to move several stories along in the process. Kane is quickly becoming one of my favorite villains in MLW. He is more than capable of out-wrestling his opponents but isn’t above a shortcut or two. Juicy Finau was a genuine surprise. Juicy has been a fixture in my local northern California scene for some time and I’m glad to see him get more exposure.)