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Winfree’s MLW Fusion (Ep. 149) Review 6.16.22

June 16, 2022 | Posted by Robert Winfree
MLW: Fusion Image Credit: MLW
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Winfree’s MLW Fusion (Ep. 149) Review 6.16.22  

Hey there people, it’s time to head back to the land of MLW. Tonight the returning Taya Valkyrie battles Holidead for the inaugural MLW women’s featherweight title. The winner here comes down entirely to how committed Taya is to MLW, if she’s going to be here for a bit she’s a shoo-in in terms of name value and work quality, if she’s here on a more short-term basis than Holidead makes the most sense. We’ll also get a triple threat tag team match for the titles when Hustle and Power defend against the Von Erichs and 5150.

Last week we ended on news that Cesar Duran’s office had been broken into, and now we see Jacob Fatu and Juicy Finau with video proving they did it. They much around in the office for a bit, including serenading a portrait of Duran before finding some loose cash hanging around and appropriating it. Eventually, they more or less clean him out and head off with all of his stuff.

Next is some video of Duran going through his office, he vows revenge on the Samoan Swat Team and yells at his masked goons. Duran gets on the phone and tells someone on the other end to take out the Samoan Swat Team. Taya Valkyrie shows up, and mistakenly calls Duran Dario, he corrects her quickly for legal purposes. Taya wants to make sure no one from Strange Sangre is here to help out Holidead, Duran says he’ll do what he can but things get crazy around here.

We’re now at the Philadelphia tapings.

Gangrel heads to the ring for our first match.

Match #1: Gangrel w/ Holidead, Dr. Dax, Mini Abismio Negro, and Arez vs. Budd Heavy

We get brawling right away from both men but Gangrel gets the better of that and hits a Stun Gun then an elbow drop. More chops from Gangrel, Budd fights back with an avalanche but he heads up top in an ill-advised move and Gangrel cuts him off with chops then climbs up to hit a top rope bulldog. Gangrel wants to end things and hits the Impaler DDT to win.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Gangrel won in 1:30

Rating: Shishigatani. . . SQUASH

Total squash, I do wonder if MLW is about to try and get behind this Strange Sangre group in a more meaningful way.

Post-match Strange Sangre drag Budd Heavy to the back.

We get a minor review of the issue between Jacob Fatu and Cesar Duran and how that’s developed over the last few months. The latest iteration of that rivalry will be Jacob Fatu taking on Mads Krugger in a Weapons of Mass Destruction match next week.

Joel and Jose, Los Maximos, are providing Spanish commentary. Next week we’ll also get a triple threat for the Middleweight title when Myron Reed defends against KC Navarro and Arez.

Tag Team title next, Rivera gets the mic in the ring and begins his usual crowd mocking routine. He mocks the basketball team for firing Doc Rivers, the crowd doesn’t seem to care that much. Some insults to the Von Erich boys follow, and he likens Marshall to Psyduck. As he’s getting to mock the champs here come the Von Erich boys.

Match #2 – Three Way Dance Tag Team Title Match: (c) Hustle and Power (EJ Nduka and Calvin Tankman) vs. The Von Erichs (Ross and Marshall) vs. 5150 (Danny Rivera and Hernandez)

We get a brawl right away between 5150 and the Von Erichs before EJ and Tankman even head to the ring. EJ and Tankman isolate Hernandez on the outside, we’re not doing elimination rules tonight which isn’t what a Three-Way Dance is but we’re in Philly so you need a Three-Way Dance in name at least. No real structure here, Hernandez tries to clothesline Tankman out of the ring but Tankman botches that and gets tossed another way. Hernandez with a falling headbutt to the lower abdomen of EJ then he holds EJ for a Rivera kick followed by a senton over the knees. On the outside, EJ fights off a posting attempt, slightly awkward timing there. Tankman chops both Ross and Marshall then lay out Rivera with an elbow. Hernandez gets bounced between EJ and Tankman, then Rivera tosses Tankman into Los Maximos at ringside. Ross with a knee to Rivera then Marshall follows up with a clothesline. Tankman and Marshall wind up in the ring and start trading strikes while Ross back drops Rivera onto the ring apron. A ton of elbows from Tankman and Marshall, Tankman eventually lays out Marshall with a back elbow. EJ heads into the ring, and he catches Marshall with a spinning back suplex while Tankman follows with a neckbreaker, near pin there but Ross breaks up the pin. Tankman takes some offense from Ross and Marshall, and now Rivera has to break up the pin. Rivera tosses both Ross and Marshall out of the ring, and Hernandez hits a slingshot shoulder block to Tankman. Everyone’s out of the ring now and Rivera with a twisting plancha onto EJ and Tankman, then Hernandez follows up with his own dive over the top rope. Ross is sent back into the ring, 5150 set for the 456 Headcrack, and Ross sort of kicks out because Tankman was a touch late pulling Hernandez off of the pin. Tankman catches Rivera with the pop-up back elbow, he wants to end things and heads up top with Rivera. Hernandez is in to catch Tankman, he wants the Border Toss but can’t hold him, and EJ Spears Hernandez out of the ring. Everyone kind of stands around waiting for the set up for the next spot, Ross and Marshall with the Iron Eagle to Hernandez through a table on the outside, that leaves Rivera to take a Spike Tankman Driver from EJ and Tankman to end things.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Hustle and Power retained the titles in 9:12

Rating: 2.5 stars

There’s a good match in here, it’s just dinged by several timing issues and botches. That said they worked hard, the faces teams weren’t afraid to get physical with each other, and ultimately the right team went over. This tag team is a good thing for both EJ and Tankman, both men still require seasoning and this format will benefit them both.

Post-match Los Maximos jump the champs and we get some brawling between those two teams as they fight to the back.

We get our update on the Battle Riot, La Estrella from Dragon Gate will be here, as will Mads Krugger, Myron Reed, Ken Broadway, Warhorse, and Microman. I might have to change my pick to Microman now.

Myron Reed is in the back, he and Davey Richards wind up talking. Richards puts Reed over and says he knows Reed wants to go after the other titles in MLW and offers Reed a spot on his team. Reed agrees and they shake hands. That could be a fun pairing.

Next, we get the rules for next week and the Weapons of Mass Destruction match. It’s just a hardcore match but with a bit of military dressing up. Mads Krugger’s video interrupts this, he quotes Bane and calls himself a living breathing weapon. Contra sought him out, unlike Fatu who he calls an impotent Trojan Horse. It’s time for their war to end, and his mission doesn’t end until his target is eliminated. Fatu will not know peace until he’s in the ground. Better presentation from Krugger, I’m still not sure the voice changer is a good idea, and the writing here was a bit too derivative.

Killer Kross video, he tells MLW to tick tock, and again we see Scarlett Bordeaux by his side.

In the back, nZo examines his car which was dinged up and he seems to immediately know that it was done by a black Cadillac, and someone around the area tells him that sounds like Fatu’s car.

Richard Holliday is in California, he gets a call and brags about signing with the top talent agency in Los Angeles. The usual self fellating follows as Holliday puts himself over on the phone. He will continue to prove he’s the sole proprietor of the Dynasty, and the next MLW World champion, oh, and no, he doesn’t want to extend his car’s warranty. That somewhat overstayed its welcome for a joke, but Holliday came off like the right kind of slimy and slightly delusional douchebag.

Match #3 – Women’s Feather Title Match: Taya Valkyrie vs. Holidead w/ Dr. Dax and Gangrel

They circle then tie up, Taya gets the better of that and grabs an arm wringer. Holidead counters into an arm wringer of her own, Taya escapes and grabs another one of her own then chops Holidead. Arm drag from Taya then a back elbow, minor timing issue then Taya lands another back elbow. Holidead lands an elbow of her own, but Taya sets her in the ropes and hits Nakamura’s sliding German suplex. We get a minor cut and come back to Holidead dropping Taya on the ring apron then tossing her off of it to the floor. Some clubbing blows from Holidead on the apron, then a leg drop on the apron. Some choking from Holidead and biting then another few leg drops. Taya avoids a third leg drop and then lays in chops while avoiding strikes. Knees from Taya then a Spear for a 2 count. Holidead heads out of the ring, Taya follows her but gets kicked then Holidead hits Darkness Falls on the floor. They head back into the ring and Holidead covers for a near fall. Holidead grabs a Camel Clutch, Taya crawls to the ropes and forces a break. Taya lands a boot then hits the ropes and connects with a cross body then a one-legged drop kick. Hip attack from Taya in the corner, then a Meteora to follow up gets a near fall. Now Taya goes for the Road to Valhalla, but Holidead shoves her away and hits a spinebuster for a 2 count. Holidead calls on Taya, they trade some chops, then Holidead hits an Unprettier for another 2 count. Arez runs down as Holidead distracts the ref, Holidead goes for another Darkness Falls, but Taya fights this one-off and knocks Holidead into Arez. Holidead lands a boot, but Taya avoids a Shining Wizard and goes for her modified STF, pausing only to land a bit of a Curb Stomp then starts wrenching on the hold and Holidead has to tap.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Taya Valkyrie won the title in 9:00

Rating: 2.5 stars

Holidead has a good presentation going, but her timing needs work, there were several points when she seemed to get a bit lost and I give credit to Taya for settling things down. Working with someone of Taya’s level will only help Holidead out in the long run, but you can definitely still see the rougher edges in her game.

Taya poses with both of her belts.

We get a quick preview of next week to close the episode.

The final score: review Average
The 411
MLW remains a well booked promotion, they're mostly limited by the roster and that showed up here. The two featured matches were better in layout than in execution. Still, we never wanted for action even if it was a bit sloppy at times, Taya Valkyrie becoming the champ makes all the sense in the world if she's going to be here for a bit, and we got a good chunk of time dedicated to promoting Fatu vs. Krugger next week. All in all with a few less execution issues this would have been Good.

article topics :

MLW: Fusion, Robert Winfree