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Winfree’s MLW Fusion: Alpha (Ep. 5) Review 10.20.21

October 20, 2021 | Posted by Robert Winfree
MLW Fusion: ALPHA 10-20-21
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Winfree’s MLW Fusion: Alpha (Ep. 5) Review 10.20.21  

Hey there everyone, time for another episode of MLW Fusion Alpha. Tonight the 2021 Opera Cup continues when Calvin Tankman takes on Matt Cross, Tankman had a really good match with Lee Moriarty last week while a couple of weeks ago Cross came up short in a bid for the MLW World Heavyweight title. Tankman seems to have figured out how to wrestle as a big man, so he and Cross could have a good match. We’ll also get the women’s division continuing when Nicole Savoy takes on Holidead, this might be the match from this taping set that saw Savoy get injured but I’m not sure. Also MLW matchmaker Cesar Duran decided to punish Richard Holliday for his totally not girlfriend (It’s not like they like each other, bakka) Alicia Atout’s expose last week by making him defend his Caribbean title against King Muertes. With the preview out of the way let’s get to the action.

We get some start and stop to Holliday’s music to start, then cut to the back where Madds Krugger and Akira Kwon are beating down Holliday. Alexander Hammerstone chases them off with a chair, but Holliday is pain on the ground. Holliday and Muertes were supposed to kick this card off, that’s being postponed for a bit so we’ll start with the ladies as Willow Nightingale joins commentary.

Match #1: Nicole Savoy vs. Holidead w/ Dr. Dax

They tie up and Holidead forces Savoy back with superior strength. Savoy gets sent into the corner again but again Holidead offers a clean break. Savoy hits an arm drag and starts going for the arm on the mat. Holidead is able to counter and goes after the arm as well with a few arm breakers then a hammerlock. Savoy slips free and gets another arm drag but they’re into the ropes and have to break. Drop toe hold from Savoy then a back kick to the body. They hit the ropes and Savoy hits a couple of hurricanrana’s, the second was more of a spike version and Holidead heads out of the ring. That just set up a dive for Savoy who hits a suicide dive. Back in the ring Savoy hits a back drop driver but the cover is in the ropes and Holidead uses them to break the pin. Holidead drops Savoy with a headbutt and starts laying in kicks to the leg. Holidead ties up Savoy with a surfboard stretch but Savoy is able to scoot to the ropes and force a break. Both women trade kicks, then both try headbutts at the same time and they both collapse to the mat after the collision. They fight up with chops back and forth, trading strikes and Savoy gets the better of it then hits a butterfly suplex, then a German suplex and a running elbow for a 2 count. Savoy goes for an armbar but Holidead gets free then eats a roundhouse kick to the head. Backbreaker from Holidead then a swinging Air Raid Crash for just a 2 count. Holidead is mad now, but Savoy fights off of her shoulders and hits a Dragon suplex for a 2 count, but uses the kick out to grab a Fujiwara armbar. Holidead rolls to top position and lays in strikes, but is caught in a triangle choke then powers up but can’t get free. Savoy transitions into a Rings of Saturn and Holidead gives it up.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Nicole Savoy won in 8:06 shown

Rating: 2 stars

A bit sloppy in places, and I think the editing didn’t do this match any favors but both women deserve credit for working around the injury to Savoy. Fortunately the issue wasn’t bad, just a bruised sternum for Savoy, but you can see her in pain for the last bit of the match and post match she can’t even get off the mat as the ringside doctor is in to check on her. Holidead jumps Willow Nightingale as Willow is leaving commentary and DDT’s her on the entrance ramp.

Alicia Atout is in the back talking with Richard Holliday, Holliday says he’s cleared to fight tonight. When you breathe rarified air like he does you defend your title, no matter the circumstances.

Match #2 – 2021 Opera Cup Opening Round: Matt Cross vs. Calvin Tankman

King Mo has joined commentary, he and American Top Team have been making overtures towards Tankman and he’s still doing some scouting on the big man. Cross comes out with a pump kick and strikes but Tankman stays on his feet until Cross hits a head scissors takedown then a double stomp to the leg of Tankman. Tankman out of the ring, takes a kick from Cross then Cross hits a suicide dive. Back in the ring Cross tries to fly but Tankman avoids him then hits a Pounce to send Cross out of the ring and us to a cut.

When Cross heads back into the ring he’s met with strikes from Tankman then a suplex for a 2 count. Tankman looks to slow things down and works the back of Cross. Cross fires up and fights free with body shots but Tankman staggers him with an elbow strike. Scoop slam from Tankman then a running splash for another 2 count. Tankman with a headbutt but Cross fires back with a kick in the corner then hits another pump kick but again Tankman just eats it. Another pump kick, but again Tankman just fires up but Cross avoids a clothesline and hits a springboard cross body to finally take Tankman down. Cross heads up top and hits a double stomp to the staggered Tankman then a pump kick to send Tankman out of the ring. Tankman just catches a jumping Cross then powerbombs him onto the ring apron and denounces flippy moves. Back in the ring Cross kicks out of a pin, but Tankman keeps abusing him with strikes. Cross tries to fire back but he’s out gunned in a striking match by Tankman. A back elbow from Tankman but Cross comes off the ropes and hits a Cutter for a close near fall. Cross climbs up for the Shooting Star Press, but Tankman avoids him then hits a pop up back elbow. Another pump kick from Cross but he comes off the ropes into a wicked clothesline, Tankman follows that up with a back elbow to the back of the head and that puts Cross down for the 3 count.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Calvin Tankman won in 8:16 shown

Rating: 2.5 stars

A slight step back from last week in terms of overall quality from Tankman, but again all the Opera Cup stuff except for the finals were taped on this one show so I wont really hold it against anyone for holding back in places to save themselves. Cross and Tankman did mesh well, Tankman is flirting with a more heelish persona and I think it could fit him nicely once he leans into it.

Alicia Atout talks with Cross post match, Cross said Tankman poked him in the eye on the pop up back elbow and calls Tankman too good to have to resort to that kind of a tactic. The crowd boos his sour grapes.

In the back Alicia interviews Bud Heavy. Bud is drinking and puts over the city of Philadelphia. This is interrupted by Duran’s minion summoning Alicia away.

We get a recap of last week when 5150 beat down Myron Reed and Jordan Oliver, Oliver is apparently in the hospital after that. We see Jacob Fatu in the back, he’s pissed he lost to Hammerstone, Josef Samael fires him up and says his chance to get back on top will be in the War Chamber. Fatu is definitely on board with that.

Next we cut to Cesar Duran in his office, he’s telling someone to join MLW when Alicia arrives. Duran is impressed with her work, she requests another interview with Duran since there’s a camera here but Duran seems to have misplaced her on his schedule. He’s impressed with Alicia’s investigation into him, and twists the knife a little bit about her relationship with Holliday. Duran offers her a front row seat to Holliday vs. Muertes and she ultimately accepts.

Duran talks straight to camera, he addresses Mads Kruger and says the past is the past as far as his relationship with MLW. Kruger’s potential hasn’t been realized yet, and offers to meet with Kruger. Assuming Contra is essentially disbanding after War Chamber then Kruger could make a good heavy for Duran.

Duran and Alicia sit ringside together for our main event.

Match #3 – IWA Caribbean Title Match: (c) Richard Holliday vs. King Muertes

Holliday is still getting mostly boos as we get going. They go nose to nose right away then trade shoves before tying up and breaking. Holliday is already favoring his ribs, and Muertes does him no favors by laying in chops. More body blows from Muertes but Holliday fights back with a back elbow then a side headlock. Muertes tosses him off and lands a right hand then a Spear. Full mount by Muertes and he lays in strikes. Muertes punches Holliday down then starts wrenching on the left arm of Holliday. DDT from Muertes then he starts dropping knees into the back of Holliday. Muertes catapults Holliday into the bottom rope. We get picture in picture briefly to see EJ Nduka and Kruger going at it in the back. Holliday starts firing up with strikes but runs into a clothesline that sends us to a cut.

When we come back Muertes is still in control, he’s stretching the ribs of Holliday on the mat. The Sentai Death Squad has come down to the entrance ramp to stand menacingly. Holliday fights back with strikes yet again, he tries the Market Crash but Muertes fights free then headbutts him out of the ring. Holliday winds up in front of Duran, who dumps his glass of champagne over Holliday. Muertes comes out of the ring and starts brawling with Holliday, in the back we see the numbers of Contra have overwhelmed EJ. Back in the ring Holliday tries to beg off but Muertes is out for blood, he drags Holliday up by the throat and lays in clotheslines in the corner punctuated by a right to the jaw. Muertes puts Holliday on the top rope and climbs up with him looking for a superplex but Holliday fights him off with headbutts to drop him then flies in with a clothesline of his own. Muertes gets up before Holliday, Holliday tries clotheslines but just bounces off of Muertes but Muertes runs into a spinebuster for a 2 count. Holliday tries for a Boston Crab but Muertes kicks him off then hits a snap powerslam for a 2 count. Muertes with more rights, again Holliday tries to beg off but Muertes has no pity. Holliday tries to fire back up with strikes, as Hammerstone shows up in the back to continue that brawl. Muertes climbs to the second rope but Holliday cuts him off, gets Muertes into a Torture Rack then spins him into a neckbreaker but that only gets 2. Holliday starts yelling at the Death Squad members, but here comes Akira Kwon and spin kicks Holliday on the floor, that lets Muertes hit the Straight to Hell on the floor. Back in the ring the cover is academic and Muetes pins to win.

OFFICIAL RESULT: King Muertes won the IWA Caribbean Title in 11:13 shown

Rating: 2.5 stars

Holliday trying to play the valiant babyface was an interesting twist, it’s a role I think he can pull off but he was also helped here by the monster that is King Muertes playing that role incredibly well.

Cesar Duran approves of this outcome, but Alicia Atout is disgusted and slaps the champagne out of his hand. Muertes poses with the title, Contra Unit shows up on the entrance ramp to gloat. Holliday has sided with his Dynasty brother Alexander Hammerstone in the War Chamber match so Contra having beef with him tracks. We get one final shot of Muertes with the belt to end the episode.

The final score: review Average
The 411
The action was a little more tame this week, but turning Holliday into a face was an important step and this was the right way to go about it. Tankman and Cross had a good match, though I imagine what comes later in the Opera Cup will be more memorable. All in all more Average this week but still trending positive overall.

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MLW Fusion Alpha, Robert Winfree