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Winfree’s MLW: Fusion (Ep. 145) Review 5.19.22

May 19, 2022 | Posted by Robert Winfree
MLW Fusion 5-19-22 Image Credit: MLW
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Winfree’s MLW: Fusion (Ep. 145) Review 5.19.22  

Alright people, time for the latest and greatest episode of MLW Fusion. Tonight nZo returns for some action, but all eyes will be on the Bunkhouse Brawl between the Von Erics and 5150 as that’s the issue they’ve devoted a fair amount of air time to building up. We’ll also get a tag team title match when champions Hustle & Power defend against the Bomaye Fight Club. That’s enough preview from me, let’s get to the action.

A video package for 5150 and The Von Erichs starts the show off. I’ve been pretty critical of the build to this, but for all the week to week faults they were able to cobble together a pretty decent video highlight there.

nZo and Budd Heavy will be our first match, but nZo drop kicks Budd on his way into the ring then throws him from the entrance ramp into the ring post. Back in the ring nZo gets a mic and says if he wanted a Budd Heavy he’d be at a bar then demands a better class of opponent. That brings out ACH.

Match #1: nZo vs. ACH

A little bit of misdirection early before they tie up, then trade hip toss attempts before they wind up in the ropes. nZo gives a clean break out of the corner, then he hits a snapmare. ACH counters a side headlock and escapes. ACH grabs a side headlock then hits a shoulder block and a drop kick. We get a minor action cut, and come back to ACH landing a drop kick. nZo heads out of the ring, but ACH just hits him with a suicide dive then a plancha. Back in the ring but nZo rolls out of the ring again. ACH sets for another dive, this time nZo pulls up the skirt on the ring apron and ties up ACH then lays in strikes. They start brawling around the ringside area and nZo crotches ACH on the barricade. nZo sets for the Razor’s Edge into the ring post and hits it. nZo heads back into the ring and looks to take the count out win. MLW has a 20 count rather than the usual 10 and ACH gets back in the ring. Stomps from nZo and a Backstabber from the top rope for a 2 count. nZo lands a kick to the body then heads up top only to be intercepted by ACH. ACH climbs up with nZo and they fight over a superplex so ACH transitions to a top rope gutwrench suplex. Now ACH is fired up, he hits an avalanche then looks for another superplex but nZo headbutts him down, though when nZo goes for the flying nothing ACH catches him with a drop kick for 2. ACH heads up top yet again, but nZo shoves the ref into the ropes and ACH winds up crotching himself on the top rope. nZo then hits DonZo with ACH still on the top rope, and pins to win.

OFFICIAL RESULT: nZo won in 6:20

Rating: 2.5 stars

I like the chemistry between these two, and when someone (theoretically) puts nZo in his place it’ll be well earned.

Post match nZo gets a mic, calls himself the best of all time, and poses. KC Navarro shows up to confront nZo but he’s being restrained by various officials so nothing comes of it.

5150 video, Danny Rivera says he likes pool because you choose sides right away and then puts over Hernandez. Julius Smokes makes noise, then Rivera says this has been building for months and they’re going to beat the Von Erichs right here in Dallas.

Tag Team title match up next. Alex Kane gets a mic before the champions come out, he says they’re going to win the titles tonight. He compares the champs to the Dallas Cowboys, all hype, then yells Bomaye because he hasn’t actually figured out how to close a promo yet.

Match #2 – MLW Tag Team Title Match: (c) Hustle and Power (EJ Nduka and Calvin Tankman) vs. Bomaye Fight Club (Alex Kane and Mr. Thomas)

We get a four man brawl right off the bat with Kane winding up isolated and abused by Tankman and EJ. Scoop slam to Kane then a tandem splash and leg drop from the champs. EJ and Thomas settle things down to start the match. Thomas and EJ start trading strikes, EJ gets the better of things then tries the Oklahoma Stampede but Kane breaks that up. Tankman objects to this, we get a little bit of a breakdown and behind the refs back Thomas sprays EJ in the eyes with something (totally not cold spray) to take over. Thomas takes over with strikes and eye work then tags in Kane. Kane with some truly awful leg kicks, then a knee to the body. EJ misses some strikes then Kane tries a belly to belly suplex but he can’t get EJ up and over. A wild right from EJ connects and floors Kane then he’s able to tag out. Tankman runs wild for a bit while EJ goes to clear his eyes. Kane avoids a corner splash then Thomas catches Tankman with a Black Hole Slam for a 2 count. EJ is still on the floor working his eyes, Tankman fights off Kane and lands strikes. Kane fights back with strikes of his own then Thomas makes a blind tag right before Tankman floors Kane with a back elbow. Thomas lays in chops but that just fires up Tankman and he returns fire. Thomas lands a big boot to cut off Tankman then tags in Kane. Kane lands some stomps but Tankman fights back with strikes. Tankman misses a back elbow, Kane lands a kick but then runs into a clothesline and both men are down. Both men tag out and EJ unloads with a haymakers to Thomas then The Verdict connects. EJ hoists Thomas up for the Oklahoma Stampede, Tankman with his blind tag to follow that with a running splash and then pins to retain the titles.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Power and Hustle retained the titles in 7:27

Rating: 2.5 stars

This bordered on 3 star territory but there just a few too many issues for me to put it up there. Kane’s striking needs a ton of work, as does his control segment. Tankman’s strikes are pretty inconsistent, sometimes they look absolutely great and other times they’re barely even there. I was pleasantly surprised by Thomas, I know he’s been around for a while under different gimmicks but this is the first time I’ve seen him work in years. It’s a bit odd to consider that Thomas has been in wrestling the longest of all of these guys, he debuted in 2012, but all four men have potential and in the cases of EJ and Kane just need more reps to fully find their footing.

In the back the Von Erich boys get an interview, they’re excited about the Bunkhouse Brawl and plan to end things tonight. Marshall brought a bull rope along with the cure for Christopher Walken’s fever, and plans to use it tonight.

Commentary runs down some of the entrants into this years Battle Riot, probably the most notable inclusion being Killer Kross.

Cesar Duran ices his face in his office, and says he could fire Hammerstone but he’s not going to do so. A real man takes care of his own business, and he’s challenging Hammerstone to a fight, allegedly for the title next week. Well that’s clearly bait.

Back to the ring for our main event. 5150 come out first and Rivera has a mic. Rivera just sees a bunch of bozos around the ring including a very ugly kid. He doubts the Von Erichs even show up, then immediately dates this by threatening to slap a fan like he’s Chris Rock. A little more playing with the crowd then the Von Erichs show up.

Match #3 – Bunkhouse Braw: The Von Erichs (Ross and Marshall Von Erich) vs. 5150 (Danny Rivera and Hernandez) w/ Julius Smokes

We get a brawl right away as they meet to fight on the entrance ramp. Hernandez and Rivera get sent into the ring then head out to regroup. Ross boots Hernandez down then they isolate Rivera with strikes and a double drop kick. Corner offense to Rivera then Ross lands a punt kick and Marshall follows up with a standing moonsault. Hernandez then pulls Marshall out of the ring and tosses him into a post. Ross and Rivera fight while Smokes chokes out Marshall on the outside. Hernandez runs into a couple of boots from Ross but catches him trying a cross body and hits a sit out powerbomb. Rivera and Marshall brawl on the outside. Marshall finds a door and sets it up against the barricade but when he goes for a splash Rivera moves and Marshall wipes out as Rivera calls him stupid. Hernandez gets a rake and low blows Ross with it. Rivera and Hernandez double team Ross for a bit including a catapult into a superkick then senton across the knees. On the outside Rivera sets up a hay ale and tries to suplex Marshall onto it but Marshall counters into a gordbuster across the bale. Despite that Rivera recovers first and knees Marshall down. Hernandez gets Ross into an Electric Chair but Marshall catches Rivera with a door shot to lay him out then Ross catches Hernandez with an enziguri. Marshall superplexes Rivera and starts laying in punches. Corner clotheslines from Marshall to River and Hernandez then a powerslam to Rivera but Hernandez breaks up the pin. Ross charges Hernandez and lays in strikes including a jumping knee strike. On the outside Ross lays out Smokes then gets a table from under the ring and puts it up in a corner. Rivera tosses Marshall into the barricade as Ross looks to put Hernandez through the table but Hernandez avoids a charge and Ross eats the table. On the outside Rivera finds another door from under the ring. Rivera tosses chairs into the ring and Hernandez starts setting up the plunder. Marshall eats some rake shots from Smokes but fights back then tosses Rivera into the barricade again. Hernandez grabs at Ross but Marshall comes back into the ring and floors him with a clothesline. Marshall then hits Rivera with a Death Valley Driver through the broken door in the corner, but Hernandez cuts him off looking for a border toss only for Ross to crack Hernandez with a shovel. Marshall grabs the Iron Claw, Ross comes from behind to hit the back suplex portion of the Iron Eagle and Marshall pins Hernandez to win.

OFFICIAL RESULT: The Von Erichs won in 9:42

Rating: 3 stars

Slightly generous 3 stars but they had a wild enough fight here to warrant it. The lack of structure really hurt, as did the total lack of drama because the Von Erichs almost never actually lose matches in MLW. Thankfully this didn’t overstay it’s welcome, and hopefully everyone can move on from this.

The Von Erichs celebrate to end the episode.

The final score: review Average
The 411
MLW continues to have solid booking, just issues of roster depth and execution. The main event was a decent enough brawl that should end the feud between the Von Erichs and 5150, we got a solid tag team title match that was able to show off some rising talent for the promotion, and nZo and ACH meshed rather well. Toss in some Battle Riot news and the obvious trap set up for Alex Hammerstone next week and you've got a solid episode.

article topics :

MLW: Fusion, Robert Winfree