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Winfree MLW: Fusion (Ep. 158) Review 12.08.22

December 8, 2022 | Posted by Robert Winfree
MLW: Fusion Image Credit: MLW
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Winfree MLW: Fusion (Ep. 158) Review 12.08.22  

Hello there people, we’re heading back to the land of MLW this week. We’ve got Alex Kane in action, the Samoan Swat Team, and a main event of Myron Reed defending his MLW Middleweight title against Dragon Gate’s Shun Skywalker. We might get some further development of the mysterious attacker who’s been leaving calling cards on his victims, EJ Nduka and Alexander Hammerstone are building their issue so we might get some more stuff in that vein, Mance Warner is convinced that Mads Krugger is really Doc Gallows and he’s scheduled to be involved tonight in some capacity. Lastly, MLW top player Richard Holliday revealed this week that he’s battling Hodgkin’s lymphoma and I’d like to join the chorus of people telling him to kick cancer’s ass. As a reminder we’re dealing with the Super Series tapings from back in September.

Right to the ring for our first match, as Willie Mack joins commentary.

Match #1 – Tag Team Match: Samoan Swat Team (Lance Anao’i and Juicy Finau) w/ Jacob Fatu vs. La Anexion (Mark Davidson and Angel Fashion)

Some confusion at the start then Juicy and Lance attack Davidson and Angel. Angel and Davidson fight back but try to headbutt Lance and Juicy, which goes badly. Some double team moves then Juicy squashes both Angel and Davidson in the corner to set up a double cannonball senton from Lance. Wet get a minor cut and come back to Lance hitting a dive onto both Angel and Davidson. Some brawling on the floor now setting up Juicy to try a cannonball against the barricade, thankfully for Davidson and Angel they get out of the way. Lance is now isolated in the ring taking some double team moves. Juicy re-enters the picture and takes a double pump kick but comes off the ropes to hit a double clothesline. Now Juicy with a double Samoan drop to both men, Lance follows with the Polynesian Plunge (top rope splash) to get the win.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Samoan Swat Team won in 4:35

Rating: 2 stars

The cut in the middle removed 40ish seconds from the original reported run time, overall this was serviceable but not much more.

Our winners get an interview post win, Fatu warns that the unstoppable trio is ready to go while Fatu has unfinished business with Real1. Fatu sees Willie Mack on commentary and calls him over, Mack heads over and says he and Fatu have been tearing things up on the west coast. Fatu says it’s love between them but they’d love to tear it up. Mack is more than agreeable and he’s down to wrestle Fatu, they shake hands to confirm things.

It seems Alex Kane is refusing to give up the Opera Cup. Kane says the Bomaye Fight Club is going international, Mr. Thomas is in Thailand making dudes quit. Myron Reed is going to knock off another Japanese interloper. Davey Richards has a video now, he says Alex Kane has been on his mind lately and he’s been training a new affiliate. While taking Kane’s Openweight title felt good, it’ll feel just as good to get his Opera Cup back. Richards isn’t big on talking, he’s big on doing.

A recap of the calling card massacre last week and it seems MLW management isn’t happy with how Cesar Duran has been handling this.

Lio Rush is apparently coming back to MLW.

We hear Court Bauer and Cesar Duran shouting at each other behind closed doors, then Duran storms out of the office.

Mads Krugger video, he says Mance Warner should never have returned. He’ll put Warner’s “Southern Psychopath” nickname to the test, plans to pick his bones, and advises Warner to run. No voice modulator for Krugger here, but the growl he’s putting into his voice feels a little forced.

Back to the ring, here comes Sultan Del Aire.

Match #2: EJ Nduka vs. Sultan Del Aire

EJ towers over Sultan, then shoves him into a corner before tossing him across the ring. Another toss from EJ, Sultan avoids a third and tries to quicken the pace with strikes but EJ wont go down and crushes Sultan with The Verdict. No cover from EJ though, instead he grabs a stuffed Pikachu that Sultan brought out and he kicks it into the face of the ref. Sultan fights back with some kicks before running into a clothesline. EJ pulls at the mask of Sultan, decides against that and then kills Sultan with an Nduka Bomb (Blue Thunder Bomb) to get the win.

OFFICIAL RESULT: EJ Nduka won in 2:55

Rating: Blue Banana Squash

Delicious squash, and EJ adding another finish instead of his spinebuster is probably a good idea.

Post match EJ gets a mic, he trash talks the crowd but here comes Alex Hammerstone down the entrance way to interrupt this and start a brawl. Some timing issues between them at first then they continue the pull apart brawl around the ringside area and they fight all the way to the entrance ramp where EJ lands a boot then Hammerstone counters with a Thesz Press off the stage and through a table to the floor.

Davey Boy Smith Jr. returns to MLW soon. Also, it’s pretty cool he uses the old PRIDE theme music.

Apparently Cesar Duran has been ousted as matchmaker following the calling card incident.

Back to the ring for our main event.

Match #3 – MLW Middleweight Title Match: (c) Myron Reed w/ Alex Kane vs. Shun Skywalker w/ Davey Richards

Alex Kane has joined commentary, God help us. Shun and Reed circle each other then hit the ropes for some fast action but neither man gets an advantage before a stand off. They tie up and Shun with a little pie face as they break out of the ropes. Shun with a back kick then picks the ankle of Reed and goes after the leg of Reed. Reed blocks a pump kick and hits an enziguri. Reed runs into a boot then Shun hits a monkey flip to send him out of the ring, then he hits a lovely looking suicide dive to send us to a break in the action. We come back to Shun hitting a pump kick for a 2 count. Chop from Shun, then another one and he clotheslines Reed to the apron but Reed avoids some offense and hits a leg drop through the ropes. Reed misses a flying nothing then hits a super kick. Modified F5 from Reed gets a near fall. Some stalling from Reed now which allows Shun to recover and send Reed into the corner. Reed avoids a corner attack but he runs into a Sick Kick from Shun and both men are down. Shun goes for a Tiger Driver but Reed avoids it only to take a few strikes and a DDT. No cover from Shun, instead he tries a standing moonsault double knee strike but Reed avoids it. Reed goes for a crucifix driver but Shun dumps him then hits the moonsault double knee strike for a near fall. Shun signals for the end, but Reed stalls that out. Reed counters a suplex into a Stunner, and Kane starts yelling “bomaye” because he can. Shun rolls to the apron, but Reed just hits him with a flying Cutter to the floor. Lovely move from Reed. Back in the ring Reed goes for a springboard but flies into a drop kick to the face. Shun with the SSW (sit out tiger driver which I think might have actually been Shun’s Blaster rather than the SSW from the description of the SSW) for a near fall. Now Shun goes up top for a Skywalker Moonsault but Reed counters him on the way down with a Cutter, sort of, for another near fall. Shun blocks a Cutter and they trade roll ups before Shun finally catches one with enough leverage to get the 3.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Shun Skywalker won the title in 10:58

Rating: 3 stars

We lost a handful of seconds on that cut but not much. Solid match here, Reed’s athleticism has always been up there but his match structure and overall story telling has been a bit lacking but this was a step forward for him. This was my first time watching Shun Skywalker and I was impressed, the man can go. The title change is a bit of a surprise but not a bad one. Kane wasn’t insufferable on commentary but he was hardly a great addition either.

Post match Davey Richards puts the Middleweight belt on Shun, and Shun celebrates his title win as the episode ends.

The final score: review Average
The 411
A bit more on the Average side this week, the main event was a solid match but the other two felt like filler. We did get some angle advancement for Hammerstone and Nduka, and Cesar Duran's story at the moment could have some intrigue if the right players are involved. Ultimately a one match kind of show though.

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MLW: Fusion, Robert Winfree