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Winfree’s MLW: Fusion (Ep. 157) Review 12.01.22

December 1, 2022 | Posted by Robert Winfree
MLW Fusion 12-1-22 Image Credit: MLW
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Winfree’s MLW: Fusion (Ep. 157) Review 12.01.22  

Hey there everyone, back to the land of MLW for another episode of Fusion. We’re finally out of the Battle Riot taping material, and on to the Super Series taping. This stuff was taped on September 18th of this year, and features a lot of crossover between MLW, AAA, and a little bit of Dragon Gate. Tonight we’ve got a potentially great main event when MLW World champion Alexander Hammerstone defends that title against the very talented Bandido. Alex Kane will be on this episode, as will Killer Kross. There will be a four way match for a shot at Taya Valkyrie’s title as well.

We open with a recap of EJ Nduka’s turn to heel and challenge to Alex Hammerstone that happened last week along with a little recap of Hammerstone vs. Holliday. You know, I didn’t mention it last week but Hammerstone’s Torture Rack looks really good.

Our episode proper begins with Taya Valkyrie in street clothes going to join commentary for our first match.

Match #1 – Fatal 4-Way Match: Lady Shani vs. Lady Flammer vs. Reina Dorado vs. La Hiedra

The winner of this match will get a shot at Taya Valkyrie’s MLW Women’s title. Flammer and Shani share some shoves before they all start circling. Flammer with a susnset flip on Dorado for 1, Dorado then hits a double arm drag on Hiedra and Shani. Hiedra and Flammer tie up, Sole Food from Flammer then Hiedra hits a Stunner. We’re going tag rules it looks like, or half the match is waiting. Double roll up form Dorado and Shani then they send Hiedra and Flammer out of the ring. Stereo suicide dives from Shani and Dorado send us to a minor cut. We come back to Shani and Hiedra in the ring, Shani sends Hiedra on the top rope but eats a drop kick from her. Stretch Muffler form Hiedra is broken up by Dorado. Kicks from Dorado then a wheelbarrow bulldog. Buzzsaw kick from Dorado but Flammer breaks up the pin. Sit out belly to belly piledriver from Flammer but that pin is broken up by Shani. Shani ties up Flammer in a nasty looking submission but Hiedra breaks it up. Shani and Hiedra start trading strikes, Flammer and Dorado in with drop kicks and Hiedra lands a Michinoku Driver to Dorado. Shani with a Pendulum swing to Flammer as Hiedra gets one on Dorado. Four kicks and all four women are down. Everyone starts trading chops from their knees. Double Muta Locks from Flammer and Dorado but no submissions from Hiedra or Shani. Flammer and Dorado square up now, they trade roll ups then Flammer lands an elbow which Dorado returns then we get a double clothesline spot, into a double cross body. Shani and Hiedra seem to team up on Dorado for a bit, but Dorado fights back and boots Shani only to be caught on the top rope by Hiedra. Shani comes over to set up a double superplex which connects then Flammer flies in with a Splash to Dorado which gets the pin.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Lady Flammer won in 6:04

Rating: 3 stars

This was fast paced lucha libre style action, so you have to make some stylistic adjustments for it but ultimately it was good and all four women definitely showed what they can do. The original reported run time for the match was 8:39 so we lost something during that cut.

Post match Flammer gets in the face of Taya, despite the height difference, and then Flammer attacks Taya leading to a pull apart brawl between the two ladies.

Samoan Swat Team video, they’re eating outside by a pool and share some banter. Lance Anoa’i asks Jacob Fatu when he’ll get his title shot, Fatu asks Lance and Juicy Finau when they’ll get a tag team title shot. A little more banter, then they share some beers to cool off in the hot sun.

We see EJ Nduka arrive earlier today, EJ says it’s been a year of waiting on Hammerstone ghosting him. Well after he won the tag team titles he thought that would earn him a shot. He’s undefeated, eliminated a ton of people in the Battle Riot, but ultimately he had to run up on Hammerstone and bash him in the head. EJ is who he says he is, and it’s his time. At the end of the day the crowd will cheer for the Judge while EJ has two titles in his hand, and the entire world will know that EJ Nduka is a titan. Pretty good promo from EJ Nduka there.

Next is a recap of Mance Warner and Mads Krugger and their budding issue. That leads to a video from Mance Warner, he’s on his phone by a dumpster which he calls for a metaphor for pro wrestling. He calls over some tech guy and reminds us that Mads Krugger is in fact Doc Gallows, who he claims is on the phone with him. He plans on proving to the whole world that Doc Gallows is Mads Krugger. Funny little bit from Warner.

Shun Skywalker video again where he challenges Myron Reed for the MLW Middleweight title. This time Reed has a response, he accepts the challenge of Skywalker and promises to keep the belt. That match will take place next week.

In the back we see Killer Kross covered in welt, someone has attacked him and apparently he wont be in action tonight.

We see Alex Kane and Mr. Thomas arrive, and Kane denies that he was beaten by Davey Richards. People can call Davey Richards the Openweight champion, or the Opera Cup champion, but where’s the Opera Cup Davey? Well, Alex Kane pulls the Cup out of a bag then yells Bomaye because that’s what passes for a promo from him. This wasn’t terribly good.

Kross was apparently attacked by the same guy who’s been leaving business cards and Kross is on his way to the hospital. This would have been around the time Kross returned to WWWE I believe so that’s how they’re writing him off.

Alright, main event time.

Match #2 – MLW World Heavyweight Title Match: (c) Alexander Hammerstone vs. Bandido

A little posturing from both men then Hammerstone offers a handshake which Bandido accepts. They tie up, Hammerstone pushes things into a corner then gives a clean break. Bandido ties up again and they start trading waist locks with Bandido getting a bit of the edge before Hammerstone grabs a side headlock in transition then hits a shoulder block to drop Bandido. They hit the ropes and Hammerstone hits a hip toss. The crowd is very pro-Bandido here. Bandido with a takedown then hits the ropes for some acrobatics before hitting a hurricanrana then tries a dive to Hammerstone but Hammerstone intercepts him with an elbow. Hammerstone drags Bandido out of the ring and lands some more strikes. Some ringside brawling from Hammerstone as he drops Bandido across the barricade. Back in the ring now and Hammerstone hits a backbreaker. Bandido fights out of a corner with strikes then a corkscrew cross body for a 2 count. They wind up out of the ring again and Bandido launches Hammerstone into the barricade. Back in the ring again and Bandido works the arm a bit then heads up top only to roll through a toss attempt, then Bandido avoids a pump kick only to be caught in a belly to belly suplex. Another belly to belly from Hammerstone then a military press into a Catatonic. They take some time on the follow up, but Bandido catches Hammerstone with a military press into a sit out slam for a 2 count. Impressive strength from Bandido there. Bandido heads up top and flies but Hammerstone catches him for a powerbomb, Bandido avoids it but Hammerstone cracks him with a back elbow. Spinning fireman’s carry facebuster from Hammerstone but that only gets a near fall and we get a commercial break.

Hammerstone is still in control as we come back, I don’t think we lost much in that cut. Bandido avoids a suplex and hits a flapjack then grabs a Boston crab. Bandido then transitions into a reverse pendulum but Hammerstone rolls through into a pin for a 2 count. Elbow from Hammerstone, but then he runs into a pop up Cutter for a near fall. Both men slowly move to their knees and start trading punches as they stand. Hammerstone gets the edge in the power striking, then hits a pump kick but Bandido counters a German suplex into a Vicotry Roll for 2. Go To Sleep from Hammerstone then a Burning Hammer but only a near fall. It still hurts my soul to see the Burning Hammer not actually finish matches. Hammerstone calls for the end, but Bandido escapes a Nightmare Pendulum with knee strikes then tries a suplex and they fight over the spot before Bandido hits the suplex, then swings the hips for the 3 Amigos which he hits. Bandido up top now and hits a Frog Splash but only a near fall. Now Bandido wants the 21 Plex, he hits it but Hammerstone rolls out of the ring after the impact. Bandido follows Hammerstone out of the ring and gets Hammerstone back in the ring, but he’s caught in a Small Package for 2 on the way back in. La Magistral Cradle from Hammerstone, then a school boy and he powers Bandido up for a one armed powerbomb. Nightmare Pendulum connects and Hammerstone retains the belt.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Alex Hammerstone retained the title in 16:05

Rating: 3.5 stars

That was pretty good, Bandido has tons of ability and charisma and was the defacto babyface here. Hammerstone continues to be a versatile worker and it’s always nice to see him showcase more of his skills, him working just a little more heelish in terms of control and layout was the right call given how the crowd was reacting. The listed runtime includes the brief commercial interlude as the original reported time here was 15:48. Solid main event.

Post match Hammerstone helps Bandido up and raises his arm. Bandido gets a mic and thanks Hammerstone for coming here and having this great match, and gets the crowd to sing a little Spanish for him. For everything he just did Bandido doesn’t sound out of breath at all. Hammerstone seems moved by the gesture and waves the Mexican flag that Bandido came out carrying.

EJ Nduka will be in action next week, as will the Samoan Swat Team, with a main event of Myron Reed defending his Middleweight title against Shun Skywalker.

Hammerstone gets a post match interview, he puts over Bandido very hard, and thanks the fans for all of their energy. EJ Nduka tries to attack Hammerstone with a chair but Hammerstone boots it back at him and we’ve got a pull apart brawl between Hammerstone and Nduka. In the back Mr. Thomas, Gangrel, Alex Kane, and many more have been laid out with a calling card on his body and Cesar Duran along with a couple of his goons wander through a field of carnage with a ton of cards. Duran says they’ve got to go and runs away with his goons in tow as the episode ends

The final score: review Good
The 411
There seemed to be a minor audio issue all episode, everything seemed a little flat and it might have had to do with the acoustics in the venue and some post production editing that became necessary. But it's not at all a major detraction from the episode, which had two solid matches and some good angle advancement. Confirming that Alex Kane stole the Opera Cup makes sense, especially since Davey Boy Smith Jr. is returning to MLW and he's a natural fit into the issue with Davey Richards and the Bomaye Fight Club if they've got the Cup. Taya Valkyrie gets her next challenger, which is good, we got a really good main event as well as a reminder that EJ Nduka and Hammerstone will be big meaty men slapping meat sooner rather than later. The calling card attacks ramped up, which I consider a good thing since if it dragged on too much longer it might have lost intrigue. All in all I'm calling this a win of an episode.

article topics :

MLW: Fusion, Robert Winfree