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Winfree’s MLW Fusion (Ep. 162) Review 1.13.23

January 13, 2023 | Posted by Robert Winfree
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Winfree’s MLW Fusion (Ep. 162) Review 1.13.23  

Hey there everyone, first let me apologize for this being late. Between subbing in for Dynamite and a few home related things that came up my last few days have been quite busy and stressful leading to MLW taking a slight back seat. Hopefully that wont happen again, so again my apologies. As for tonight we’re off of the Super Series set of tapings and into the Fightland taping that took place in October of last year. We’ve got Shun Skywalker defending the MLW Middleweight title against Lince Dorado, plus a trios match when the Bomaye Fight Club take on Davey Boy Smith Jr and a version of the British Bulldogs.

First up, here comes Cesar Duran. Duran was ousted as match maker not too long ago, but he’s got a mic now. He says MLW came to him for help, and he saved MLW from Contra. But now it’s time for him to rise as the proprietor of Azteca Lucha, and he’ll do that with strength, power, and blood. Just wait, then he drops the mic. OK then, no objections from me.

Match #1 – MLW Middleweight Title Match: (c) Shun Skywalker vs. Lince Dorado

Shun attacks Lince at the bell, landing kicks and sending Lince out of the ring. They brawl on the floor briefly then head back into the ring where Shun lands more strikes. Some arm work from Shun, then Lince fights back with some elbows then a headlock takeover. Kick from Lince then a flying arm drag then a head scissors to send Shun out of the ring. Lince tries to dive but Shun moves then Shun lands a back suplex onto the apron and follows up a pump kick to the head. Back in the ring Shun lands a stomp then a kick to the back. Chop from Shun, Lince tries to fire back but Shun is the better striker it seems and hits a pump kick in the corner. Shun grabs a Texas Cloverleaf, then transitions into a flapjack for a 2 count. Lince fights back with a jawbreaker but Shun slaps the crap out of him. They start trading strikes then Shun lands a big boot. Gory Special from Shun, Lince counters with an arm drag then a head kick. More strikes from Lince but Shun stuns him with a double chop. Lince sends Shun to the apron then lands a clothesline and Lince drop kicks Shun to the floor. Lince goes up top, and hits a cross body to the floor.

We come back from a break with Lince hitting a cross body in the ring for a 2 count. Lince bounces out of the corner but runs into a striking flurry from Shun then a suplex into a Cutter, similar to Kenta Kobashi’s Black Crush which gets a near fall. Shun looks for a finish, but Lince blocks the Blaster and lands a head kick then a hurricanrana. Shun avoids a 619, hits the Blaster but only a near fall. Commentary incorrectly calls that the SSW, that’s the Blaster guys. Lince catches Shun on the top rope and puts him in the Tree of Woe and lands a baseball slide. Brainbuster from Lince gets a 2 count, then he switches into an armbar that gets pretty close but Shun spins into him and Lince goes for a triangle choke but Shun hoists him up and hits a Landslide and both men are down. They start trading strikes from their knees, all the way up until they’re standing where they resume trading strikes. Again Shun seems to be the better striker and they trade counters off the ropes then Shun lands a Sick Kick and follows with a standing double knee moonsault for a near fall. Shun goes for the SSW, but Lince counters into a Sunset Flip for a 2 count. Springboard Stunner from Lince then a front flip DDT. Now Lince goes up top, Shooting Star Press and we’re done.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Lince Dorado won the title in 13:02

Rating: 3 stars

There was a lack of story here that hurts the match, a few timing issues as well, but all in all a good match. Pity they had to get the belt off of Shun so quickly, I rather like what I’ve seen of his work, but it’s understandable.

Lince gets an interview post match, he’s emotional and says everyone who means something to him is here tonight. He died in that ring in this venue in 2007, now he’s here as the MLW Middleweight champion. Cesar Duran shows up with some champagne for him, Lince takes a swig and Duran says they’ve got a lot to talk about later. Lince seems intrigued.

In the back the Bomaye Fight Club talk. Well Alex Kane says they’ve got the Opera Cup, and if MLW wants to hold the Opera Cup they’ll have to compete with offers from all around the world. They disparage Canadian and UK wrestlers, and Cesar Duran walks up and says the UK doesn’t even have a Queen anymore, but what about Mexico. Kane says Mexico is missing “Bomaye”, and they all yell Bomaye as a theoretical end to the promo. Thomas has some decent comedic timing, but Kane is so one note it’s almost painful.

Earlier today Hugo Savinovich was given an award for Booker of the Year for 2022, he wants to give the award to Cesar Duran. Duran accepts the award, it’s a novelty pencil, and he says he’s the booker of the history of the sport, the best there is period. No one has ever been better than him, and he didn’t need a trust fund or to inherit from a dead father to get here either. Now to prove his claims he’s going to show his first signee, and brings in Taya Valkyrie. Taya says they’ve got years of history between them, and she knows violence just like Duran does. Taya as a heel makes more sense.

Taya will defend her title next week.

A minor update on EJ Nduka, then a video from Alexander Hammerstone. He talks about 2022 being a lot of highs but he knows there’s still a long way to go. He doesn’t want to be the next guy to hold the belt, he wants to be the one name you associate with MLW. The pressure can get to you, but it’s helped him level up and now he feels like he’s finding his stride. Starting 2023 at the top is a little surreal, but he did expect it. His journey and message have reached people, fans and the boys in the back, and he thinks there are still some dream matches for him this year all around the world. He lives for the big fights, and wants to take this title around the world and prove that MLW is a force to be reckoned with, and he’ll prove again that he’s here for a reason. Hammerstone isn’t the most dynamic promo but he’s got good delivery and can take you some interesting directions on occasion.

In the back the Davey Boy Smith Jr and the Billington Bulldogs of Tom and Mark Billington are warming up for their match.

Cesar Duran has allegedly signed a new wrestler who will be revealed next week.

Next week Jacob FAtu will take on Ben-K.

Match #2 – Trios Match: Bomaye Fight Club (Mr. Thomas, Alex Kane, and Myron Reed) vs. Davey Boy Smith Jr. and the Billington Bulldogs (Tom and Mark)

Reed and Mark get us going. They tie up, then we get a clean break from Mark out of the corner. Another tie up, and Reed also gives a clean break then mockingly bows at Mark. Now Mark goes for an arm wringer, switches to a hammerlock then Reed counters into an arm wringer of his own. Mark hits the ropes and hits an arm drag then slams Reed into the corner and tags in Smith. Smith with a big scoop slam then a right hand. Snap powerslam from Smith onto Reed, then a back suplex. Tom tags in now and they hit a Wishbone splitter. Snap suplex from Tom, then a falling headbutt. Gutwrench suplex from Tom, then a running clothesline. Reed rolls out of the ring to recover, but as he comes back in Tom levels him with a top rope drop kick. Reed avoids a double team and kicks Mark only to get leveled by a clothesline from Tom. Thomas shoves Tom off of the top rope. Kane attacks Smith on the floor briefly, then Thomas tags in. Thomas chops Tom to the mat then hits a delayed vertical suplex. Kane tags in now and hits a suplex.

We come back to Kane hitting a backbreaker for a 2 count. Reed tags in, then he tags in Thomas. Thomas with a chop in the corner then he tosses Tom across the ring. Reed winds up tagged in and then Tom flips out of a double back suplex and hits a drop kick and tags in Smith. Smith runs wild for a bit, including a noggin knocker for Reed and Kane. Reed lands a kick, then he tags in Thomas. Things break down now and Tom takes a Codebreaker then a suplex. Black Hole Slam from Thomas but here’s Mark to complicate things but low bridging Reed and Kane. Mark lands an enziguri to Thomas then he climbs the ropes and moonsaults onto the pile of bodies on the floor. Back in the ring Smith and Thomas square off, Tom and Mark feed Thomas to Smith on the top rope for Smith to hit an avalanche powerslam and get the pin.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Davey Boy Smith Jr. and the Bulldogs won in 8:55

Rating: 2.5 stars

My first exposure to Tom and Mark here, Tom definitely has a different kind of explosive movement of the two but given how much time there is still left for both of them to mature physically and as performers I’ll just say this was a solid introduction. It’s also worth noting that any time a more polished wrestler shows up in these shows it’s obvious, and Smith easily looked the best of anyone here.

The Bulldogs pose in the ring as the Bomaye Fight Club retreat and the episode closes.

The final score: review Average
The 411
Not a bad episode this week, they were basically set up to restart with the new taping set and where several of the storylines had ended. This was a good enough start, with Lince Dorado winning the title, Cesar Duran starting up his new faction after being ousted as match maker, and the reintroduction of Davey Boy Smith Jr to MLW as he starts hunting down the Bomaye Fight Club. The wrestling quality never quite rising holds this back, but all in all I'd say Average trending towards Good.

article topics :

MLW: Fusion, Robert Winfree