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Winfree’s MLW Fusion (Ep. 161) Review 1.05.23

January 5, 2023 | Posted by Robert Winfree
MLW Fusion 1-5-23 Image Credit: MLW
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Winfree’s MLW Fusion (Ep. 161) Review 1.05.23  

Well everyone last week MLW took a week off due to the proximity to the end of the year, now we’ve got MLW’s first 2023 offering. Tonight we’re wrapping up the action from the Super Series set of tapings, so we’ll have Microman in multiman action, EJ Nduka continuing to get hyped up for his upcoming title shot, and a main event of Jacob Fatu taking on Willie Mack in a match that has some decent potential.

Match #1 – Trios Match: Gino Medina, Black Taurus, and Mini Abismo Negro w/ Dr. Dax vs. Laredo Kid, Komander, and Microman w. Mr. Saint-Laurent

Our stipulation for this match is that the person who takes the pinfall must leave MLW as Cesar Duran is still trying to get rid of Microman. We get a prolonged stare off, Gino and Microman are a little heated. Eventually Komander and Abismo start things off. They tie up, trade some arm drags with Abismo getting the better of things. Now Komander replies with arm drags of his own. Abismo takes another arm drag and is sent out of the ring which brings in Gino as we’re using Lucha tag rules. Gino wants Microman but Komander wont tag out and they hit the ropes with Gino grabbing a face lock but Microman breaks up the hold. Now Laredo hits Gino to break a hold, but blames Microman and Gino gets more heated. Abdominal stretch from Gino, Laredo lands a leg kick to break it up and again Gino thinks Microman kicked him. All that sets up a head scissors from Komander, then Taurus wipes out Komander with a headbutt only to be taken down by a satellite headscissors from Laredo. Laredo with a dive onto Gino and Taurus, then Komander hits a suicide dive onto the pile. Abismo and Microman square off now, Microman sends Abismo out of the ring and sets to dive but Gino cuts him off with a cross body. Everyone stomps on Microman for a bit, isolating him as we get a commercial break.

We come back to more abuse to Microman. Laredo tries to help out but Taurus cuts him off and now Laredo takes the triple team attention. Taurus with some corner offense then Gino hits a facebuster and Abismo follows up with a Lionsault for 1. Now Komander gets isolated and chopped by Taurus. Triple team move to Komander but he kicks out at 2. Gino wants to fight Microman, and the ref grabs Microman by the mask. Heel ref it looks like. Microman takes more stomps, then Abismo looks to remove the mask of Mircoman but thinks better of it. Microman fights back now with a headscissors on Gino, then a suicide dive onto Gino but Gino catches him only for Laredo to dive onto Gino and Dax. Komander with a drop kick to Abismo and Taurus then he walks the ropes to set up a dive onto the pile of bodies. Crazy spot there from Komander. Laredo sets up Abismo, and Microman hits a splash from the apron to the floor as we get another break. We come back to Gino hitting a Snake Eyes then a neckbreaker on Laredo. Laredo avoids a corner attack and hits a forearm then a scoop slam. Laredo heads for the triple set of moonsaults, one from each rope, he hits the first two but Taurus then interrupts with a right hand. Taurus lands a kick then a bulldog and a sick backbreaker but Komander flies in with a hilo to break up the pin. Komander with an around the world DDT, then a rope walk 450 splash but Abismo breaks up the pin. Abismo with some strikes, then a rebound Cutter and Microman has to break up the pin. Abismo with a kick to Microman, but Micoman follows up with the Victory Roll only for Gino to break up the pin. Gino and Microman finally square off one on one, Gino with a scoop slam and a pin for a near fall. Really slow count from the ref, not sure what’s going on with this ref. Laredo hits Gino with a poisoned rana, time the parade of finishers I guess, which ends with Microman hitting Gino with a second rope splash and everyone’s down. Abismo and Komander fight to their feet, then Komander sends Abismo out of the ring and follows up with a reverse rope walk into a moonsault. Taurus eats a crucifix bomb from Laredo then Gino super kicks Laredo. Gino wants to take out Microman, he hoists him up and looks to throw him but Laredo is trying to stop him, which leads to Taurus hitting a Spear on Gino with Mircoman falling on top of Gino for the 3 count.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Microman, Laredo Kid, and Komander won in 17:45

Rating: 2 stars

Boy did this wear out it’s welcome. I enjoy the Microman stuff more than I thought I would but this didn’t need to be this long. Komander was a surprise as his acrobatics are top notch though.

Update on the upcoming MLW World Title match, EJ Nduka is demanding more money given that they’re in a Last Man Standing Match so our title match has been postponed.

We get a recap of Mance Warner beating Mads Krugger in a tables match a couple of weeks back, then it’s interview for ol’ Mancer. Mance is happy to have hit the pay window after beating Krugger, I mean Gallows, and now he’s going to show off an autographed guitar. I’m pretty sure this is just a replay of the promo from the last episode.

Video promo from Jacob Fatu and the Samoan Swat Team. Fatu puts over Mack since they come from the same place and they plan on showing off what they’ve got going on the west. Juicy Finau and Lance Anoa’i talk a bit as well. Fatu has goosebumps about this match. Not really comprehensible for a lot of the promo, and that’s as much an audio issue as it was a lingo issue.

A reminder that Davey Boy Smith Jr. is returning to MLW soon.

In the back Alex Kane talks in a badly mic’d up area as he caresses the Opera Cup. He’s interrupted by Mr. Thomas, they’ve got an offer to run a tournament in India but the exchange rate for Indian currency isn’t great and he declines.

Next week the Bomaye Fight Club takes on the British Bulldogs, plus Shun Skywalker defends the MLW Middleweight title against Lince Dorado.

To the ring for our main event.

Match #2: Jacob Fatu vs. Willie Mack

Fatu attacks at the bell and unloads with strikes in the corner. Headbutt from Fatu, but Mack fires back with strikes of his own and they start trading punches. Arm drag from Mack then a head hurricanrana but Fatu then lands a right hand. Back to the ropes and Mack hits a flying kick. They head out of the ring for some ringside brawling, Mack lands some chops then Fatu slams him into the barricade. They head back into the ring and Fatu lands a falling headbutt. Some more strikes from Fatu, then they hit the ropes with Mack avoiding a seated senton and grabs a crucifix for 2 but Fatu then lands another right hand to maintain control. Nerve hold from Fatu, then a headbutt and a back rake. Mack with what was supposed to be a Sling Blade and both men are down. They fight up and Mack fires up with strikes then a scoop slam and a running leg drop. Mack runs into a boot but then catches Fatu with a Samoan drop, kip up from Mack then he does the Macarena then a standing moonsault for a 2 count. Fatu avoids a Stunner and lands a super kick then a handspring moonsault for a 2 count. Mack lands a boot, but eats a right hand only to counter a charge from Fatu with an exploder suplex into the corner. Mack with a running senton in the corner, then looks for a Coast to Coast which connects as Mack avoids the lighting rig. That might have hurt Mack’s leg and he takes too long going for the pin which allows Fatu to kick out. Mack limps as he tries another Samoan drop but his leg gives out and Fatu lands a super kick then a pop up Samoan drop. Fatu with the double jump moonsault and that’ll do it.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Jacob Fatu won in 11:04

Rating: 3 stars

This had a slow start, it felt more like the had a 7 minute match that got stretched out rather than a full 11 or so minutes planned out. That said when they did hit the gas it was pretty good, Mack hanging with Fatu is a nice endorsement even though he wasn’t really in a position to go over.

Fatu celebrates as the episode ends.

The final score: review Not So Good
The 411
Another bit of filler this week, not much angle advancement, an opening match that way overstayed it's welcome, and a main event that was pretty slow in places. Next week should start the material from the Fightland taping that took place in October of last year, so we might get some more energy then. But taken on it's own, a pretty lackluster episode this week.

article topics :

MLW: Fusion, Robert Winfree