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MLW FUSION REPORT
NOVEMBER 18, 2022 (RECORDED)
TAPED IN NEW YORK, NY
AIRED ON YOUTUBE
REPORT BY MARCUS ARIAS, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
MLW Fusion Commentators: Rich Bocchini and Joe Dombrowski
-The show opened with a video package that recapped the rivalry between Davey Richards and Alex Kane.
-Joe and Rich went over the show’s card.
(1) LOS MAXIMOS vs. THE SAMOAN SWAT TEAM
Los Maximos started playing mind games against their opponents early on, refusing to enter the ring. The SST went outside to meet up with Los Maximos but Jose and Joel had more games ready as they finally entered the ring. Jose hit Juicy Finau with a suicide dive but Finau caught him in mid-air. Joel tried for a splash from the apron but Finau was too strong, now holding both members of Los Maximos. Joel and Jose managed to fight Finau off but Lance Anoa’i was ready with tope, taking everyone out.
Lance and Jose entered the ring and the match was officially underway. Anoa’i set up Jose for the big corner splash but Jose ducked at the last second, allowing Joel to sneak in for a quick double team on Lance. Joel tagged in and got a two-count after a running senton. Jose made the tag and shot Lance into the ropes. Juicy made the blind tag as Lance took Jose down with a flying head scissors. Juicy missed with an avalanche, allowing Los Maximos to hit some tandem offense. Juicy caught Jose again in mid-air, slamming Jose into Joel. Lance hit Joel with a buckle bomb, allowing Finau to finally hit the big splash in the corner. Lance followed up with a cannonball into the corner, getting a two count. Jose sent Juicy to the outside with a forearm and tried to double-team Anoa’i. Lance was ready though and hit Jose with a superkick. Lance climbed to the top rope but was cut off by Jose. Los Maximos tried for the double Spanish Fly but Lance fought long enough for Juicy to enter the ring. Finau stacked Jose and Joel and hit a double Samoan drop. Lance was ready with a top rope splash, getting the three count.
WINNERS: The Samoan SWAT Team in 3:14
(Analysis: This may have only been three minutes but this match was nonstop physicality. I appreciated having a team that’s been around since the start of MLW going against a team that is being positioned to have a bright future.)
-Mance Warner shot a promo at the bar, calling out Mads Krugger. Ol’ Mancer said that he has been “drinkin’ and thinkin’’’ but was running out of beer. He went for a refill but the can was grabbed by Microman. Mance began to square up but was able to find another can. Warner said that it took a lot of guts for someone to try and take his beer while he was angry and raised a toast to Microman.
-Sam Laterna was backstage with Myron Reed. Reed said that it didn’t matter where his next opponent came from, he’d send them packing. Calvin Tankman walked by and Reed called him over. Reed tried to get into Calvin’s head, questioning the team dynamic between Tankman and EJ Nduka. Tankman said that there was nothing to worry about but Reed wasn’t one hundred percent convinced.
-A recap of last week’s attack on Taya Valkyrie by Brittany Blake was shown. Cameras followed Taya to the back. Valkyrie said that the attack wasn’t necessary and that all Blake needed to do was ask. It was announced that Taya will defend the Featherweight championship against Blake next week.
– A vignette for Richard Holliday’s title match against Hammerstone aired. Holliday said that New York is his town and since the match is “falls count anywhere”, Holliday is going to beat up Hammerstone all around the city before taking Hammerstone’s title.
(2) MATT CROSS vs. KILLER KROSS
Killer Kross sent Matt Cross straight into the corner and began to beat Matt down. The much larger Killer Kross kept Matt grounded for some time until Matt was able to use his speed to slip under his opponent’s legs. Matt tried to get Killer Kross up for a fireman’s carry but wasn’t able to get him up. Kross answered back with a big clothesline.
After a break, Killer Kross slowed things down with a front face lock. Matt used his technical prowess to fight out of the hold. Killer Kross got Matt up for a back suplex but Matt flipped through. As Matt caught his breath in the corner, Killer Kross charged in. Matt was ready though and got his feet up. Matt got a quick two-count after a flying head scissors. Killer Kross blocked another fireman’s carry attempt but walked right into a Cross-Cutter. Cross signaled for the shooting-star press but Killer rolled away. Matt was able to change direction and roll though, going for a springboard elbow. Killer Kross caught Matt in midair and slammed him down hard with the Saito suplex, getting the win.
WINNER: Killer Kross in 4:21
(Analysis: Much like the Scarlet match last week, MLW’s taping schedule makes it difficult to get behind a Killer Kross match. I will say that Matt Cross did everything he could to elevate Killer Kross. Kross is limited in what he can do however when he’s in the ring with someone the caliber of Matt Cross, those limitations are hidden and he looks like an absolute…killer.)
-A vignette for Shun Skywalker aired.
-Sam Laterna was backstage with Davey Richards. She asked Davey what he thought about some of the things Alex Kane has said as their match approaches. Davey said that Kane does a lot of talking but Davey’s here to fight.
– The mystery of the missing Opera Cup finally picked up from last season. At the moment, there will be no Opera Cup until the trophy is recovered.
-Hammerstone was swarmed by camera crews as he left his dressing room. He was approached by EJ Nduka, who claimed that he hasn’t heard from the champ yet. Hammerstone said that Cesar Duran’s been making the matches and that EJ needed to speak with him. A commotion was heard as a trainer called for help. Hammerstone ran to the scene and found Calvin Tankman knocked out and covered in the same calling card from last week. Duran appeared and asked what was going on. Hammerstone accused Duran of being involved and walked off.
(3) ALEX KANE vs. DAVEY RICHARDS – MLW National Openweight Championship
Things started slowly as Kane and Richards grappled for an advantage. Kane had the power but Davey had the experience edge. After an impressive chain sequence, Davey went right for the ankle lock, after tripping Kane. Alex rolled through, breaking the hold. Davey rushed Kane in the corner but Alex caught Richards with an exploder suplex into the turnbuckle.
After a break, Kane and Richards began to brawl on the outside until Alex positioned Davey on the ring apron and hit a big splash, getting a two count. Kane forced Davey into the corner and unleashed several forearm shots to the back of Davey’s head. Richards collapsed to the center of the ring and Kane was ready with a series of cross faces. Richards crawled to the corner but was met by Kane. Kane whipped Davey into the opposite corner incredibly hard as Alex set up for a suplex. Richards fought through it with some stiff headbutts and sent Kane to the mat with a superplex. Kane and Richards exchanged strikes until Davey caught Kane’s leg with the dragon screw. Richards called for the top rope stomp but Kane rolled away. Richards was ready though and locked in the trailer hitch until Kane scrambled to the ropes.
Kane got an advantage after another striking battle until Richards nailed Alex with a right kick to the head. Richards dropped Kane with a Saito suplex but Kane popped right up. Richards followed up with a clothesline. Kane tossed Richards aside with a front release suplex, getting a close near fall. Kane was ready with another suplex but Richards countered with a sunset flip. Richards went to ankle lock again but Alex fought it off. Richards connected with the top rope stomp, only getting a one-count! Richards dropped Alex with a brainbuster, this time getting a two-count. Davey followed up with a cradle-piledriver, this time getting the win and the title!
WINNER: Davey Richards in 12:20
-Davey Richards celebrated in the ring as Myron Reed came to the ramp and glared at the new champ as the Bomaye Fight Club regrouped and walked off.
(Analysis: This match had so many elements that I love in my wrestling. There was grappling, stiff strikes, chain-wrestling, and creative suplexes. Davey Richards’ return to wrestling has been a joy to watch and you can see how much this title win means to him. Davey not only winning the title but also giving Alex Kane his first loss in MLW is a big deal. As great as this was, the taping schedule has created another issue as MLW spoiled this result months ago and Davey has defended the title in other promotions well before this show aired. I know this is a minor gripe but this was something Ring of Honor did all the time and I’m still not over it.)