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Winfree’s MLW: Fusion (Ep. 182) Review 9.14.23

September 14, 2023 | Posted by Robert Winfree
MLW: Fusion Image Credit: MLW
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Winfree’s MLW: Fusion (Ep. 182) Review 9.14.23  

Hey there everyone, time for another trip to MLW land. We’ll get some announcements about Slaughterhouse tonight, Salina de la Renta is back and will talk, as will MLW World champion Alex Kane. As for matches we’ll have stuff from Fu from Never Say Never I believe, but as always I’ll try to keep you updated. We’ll have some middleweight action, plus Microman and Sam Adonis.

Match #1: TJ Crawford vs. Ichiban

They go face to face then Crawford with a cross chop and some corner attacks. Ichiban avoids a corner attack then climbs the ropes for a flying hammer fist. Arm drags, usual and Japanese variants, from Ichiban then a 10 punch in the corner. Crawford hits a body blow but then eats a back body drop and a dropkick from Ichiban. Kick from the apron from Ichiban, but Crawford complains to the ref about something to stall things, then he hits the ropes to crotch Ichiban and follows up with a double knee to the back. They fight over a suplex spot, eventually Ichiban lands a knee to get out of it but he’s caught off the ropes with a gutbuster, then a butterfly sit out slam from Crawford only gets 2 on a lax cover. Ichiban hits a jawbreaker then trips Crawford into the corner. Stunner from Ichiban then a handspring back elbow and a springboard dropkick. Ichiban up top for a crossbody but again only 2. Crawford lands a body blow but when trying a suplex Ichiban counters into a small package for 2, then Crawford lands a head kick to floor him. Ichiban avoids a wheel kick, they trade strikes for a bit then a big around the world satellite DDT from Ichiban. Ichiban wants to finish, and hits the Ichibankai (it’s a jumping Flatliner) to get the pin.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Ichiban won in 5:35

Rating: 2.5 stars
Thoughts: Decent little match, both men are solid in the cruiserweight style and Ichiban definitely got the crowd into things down the stretch. Crawford is a solid hand but lacks presence.

Post match a masked man in a hoodie approaches TJ Crawford and whispers something to him then walks away with Crawford following.

In the venue the Second Gear Crew help Microman prepare for his match, promising violence. They debate what kind of weapon to give Microman, and settle on what looks like a bottle opener as it’s size appropriate. Mance Warner promises cold beer and beautiful women after they’re done.

Sam Adonis is in the back getting an interview, he’s excited to finally be done with Microman and dismisses Microman as just another person looking up to Adons. He sees a bit more potential in Microman, and thinks he shouldn’t be slumming with the Second Gear Crew, so he’ll be happy to team him respect tonight and hopefully a little self respect rubs off on Microman.

Love Doug joins commentary as they recap his obsession with B3cca.

Match #2: Tiara James vs. B3cca

Quick headlock from James, B3cca tries to counter but James is out wrestling her thus far. Crossbody from James, and B3cca lands a kick to cut her off. Corner attack from James then she picks up B3cca for a modified gutbuster then a senton for 2. B3cca with a second rope dropkick to cut things off. Some corner offense from B3cca including a very awkward pump kick. Suplex from B3cca and a very weird Fargo Strut but James rolls her up for 2. Bad punch from B3cca. James lands a back elbow, then a shoulder block and a clothesline. B3cca lands a boot to stop a charging James, but James catches her with a spinebuster for 2. They head up top, as we get a cut to watching commentary to cover for something. Eventually B3cca pushes James down, hits a 450 splash and that’ll do it.

OFFICIAL RESULT: B3cca won in 4:09

Rating: 1.5 stars
Thoughts: Just the match might have warranted 2 stars, but the editing and commentary made this much worse. When Matt Striker is the one making the most sense in the booth, something’s gone wrong. B3cca has personality, but her mechanics need a ton of work and she fills in between spaces with flourish rather than substance which isn’t something I personally care for.

Post match B3cca ignores Doug.

Don King will do something next week, assuming he doesn’t die between now and then.

Slaughterhouse update, Minoru Suzuki will take on Jacob Fatu. I’m down for that one.

Salina de la Renta is around in the back on her phone. She objects to being interrupted by the interviewer, then she’s asked about going away for 4 years, and she asks where Cesar is right now. I mean, he’s filming for Mayans, I don’t know what you want me to say here. She warns that if you go for the queen, you better aim for the head. Mixing your references there in a very awkward way Salina. She has plans for next week, and intimates that she’s behind Taya and Johnny Location leaving MLW, then clearly confuses interviewer Sam Leterna with Alicia Atout.

Jacob Fatu gets an interview, he’s excited about wrestling Minoru Suzuki and warns that Suzuki better be ready for him. He wants to keep it real though, everyone’s been shutting him out but MLW has had his back and he’s going to represent them. Salina interrupts this and warns him that she hasn’t forgotten what he did to her and the receipts are coming for him. Fatu seems unbothered, and warns again that the Philly crowd will be in his corner come Slaughterhouse.

To the ring, here’s Sam Adonis to talk before his match. Mr. Saint Laurent has joined commentary as well. Adonis introduces himself and calls himself the best looking man in MLW. He brings up that he’s about to commit mega homicide on Microman. He invites everyone to leave, because what’s about to happen is a massacre.

Match #3: Sam Adonis vs. Microman

Adonis drops to his knees and ties up with Microman, then shoves him down and poses. Another tie up, and again Adonis tosses Microman down. Adonis leap frogs over Microman, but Microman bits him in the thigh and trips him up. Right hand from Microman, but Adonis boots him down as we get a cut.

I don’t think we missed anything as we come back to Adonis chopping Microman down. Adonis goes to the mask, then misses an elbow drop. Microman with a few punches, then Adonis shoves him away again. Another chop from Adonis then he heads out of the ring for a chair. Adonis sets Microman in the chair and resumes trying to de-mask Microman before punching Microman in the face. Microman with some leg kicks then a headbutt and he then bulldogs Adonis onto the chair. Commentary has made MSL’s new World Titan Federation gimmick very apparent now by referencing the old body building PPVs, if Titan wasn’t enough of a hint that he’s all in on WWE castoffs. Punches from Microman then a double stomp but Adonis avoids the mini Vader Bomb. Adonis puts the chair against a corner but Microman with chops then a head scissors for a 2 count as Snitsky pulls the ref out of the ring to get the match thrown out.

OFFICIAL RESULT: No Contest in 5:35

Rating: 1.5 stars
Thoughts: I get more mileage out of Microman’s schtick than most, but Adonis isn’t a good fit to work him. Microman really benefits from a more energetic opponent and Adonis isn’t that.

Post match Snitsky and Microman menace Microman as MSL gets a mic and tells Snitsky to get rid of Microman. Snitsky seems to enjoy this idea and Adonis holds Microman on his head for a punt. The Second Gear Crew arrives to break this up and we get a brawl. Mance abuses Adonis then Adonis takes chops from everyone as Snitsky and MSL wait on the outside. Microman heads up top for a Splash to Adonis as Mance counts a visual 3 count. Everyone celebrates with booze.

Alex Kane has a press conference, at least they’ve done away with the bad graphic for the mics and whatnot. Now there’s just a couple of mics sitting on the table, if this is supposed to be comedy it’s kind of funny, if it’s not it’s just sad and I genuinely don’t know what the intention is. Kane claims no one is left to fight, MSL shows up and says Davey Boy Smith Jr. should get a title shot since he’s not only beaten Kane before he won the Opera Cup. Kane then threatens MSL and gets him to leave. I still don’t get what they’re going for with Kane here, trying him face against Smith would be an interesting choice but I’m not sure how that’ll work longer term.

In the back we’ve got a brawl between the Second Gear Crew and The Calling, but Jimmy Lloyd shows up to get involved as the episode ends.

The final score: review Not So Good
The 411
I appreciate that this episode tried to generate a little forward momentum for MLW, unfortunately the actual wrestling was a let down. There's a general lack of direction for MLW right now, but getting positive momentum here was a necessary first step as they reorient storylines going forward. I just can't be overly positive here given the lesser wrestling quality, a few production issues, and even accepting they're still trying to reset a few things the promotion just feels a little lifeless right now. That can change in the future, but they've got to get on that sooner rather than later.

article topics :

MLW: Fusion, Robert Winfree