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Winfree’s MLW Fusion (Ep. 193) Review 11.30.23

November 30, 2023 | Posted by Robert Winfree
MLW Fusion 11-30-23 Image Credit: MLW
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Winfree’s MLW Fusion (Ep. 193) Review 11.30.23  

Hello everyone, it’s time to head back to the land of MLW and see what’s cooking on Fusion. We’re using the Fight tapings now as last week aired the last of the Slaughterhouse matches. One Shot is coming up in a week so whatever else they’re going to do for that card they’ve got to get done now. Last week the Bomaye Fight Club lost a tag team match, this week they’re in trios action still furthering their feud with the World Titan Federation. This is mostly still setting up Matt Cardona vs. Alex Kane for One Shot, your individual mileage will vary on how well this has gone so far. The Calling has begun to fall apart but it’ll take a few more weeks for that to finalize, and Salina de la Renta is still skulking around with her Bulma hair.

Matt Cardona and Steph de Lander, the former Persia Priotta from NXT, talk in the back. Cardona is the king of New York and Steph is the Queen of New York. Cardona is going to walk out of New York with the MLW World Title and calls Alex Kane a little boy. You see, Cardona has dealt with the real Kane, the Big Red Machine who dragged him through hell, kicked him off a stage and more, so Alex has nothing for him. Him and his family are going to celebrate after he wins, because Cardona is the champion then. . . now. . . Forever! Man, comparing Cardona’s presentation and delivery against Alex Kane’s is almost unfair, Kane is so flat and monotone in that all he does sounds the same, has the same cadence, same intonation, and just feels canned. Kane has a lot of physical tools but his personality and presentation are still a big work in progress and this is a pretty good example of that.

Video intro, then our first match.

Match #1 – Thumbtacks Pit of Deathmatch: Jimmy Lloyd vs. Cannonball

So there’s a kind of table covered in thumbtacks at ringside and to win you send the other guy into them. OK then. Cannonball no sells some punches from Jimmy and yells at him. Cannonball tosses Jimmy then hits a corner avalanche and a clothesline. Jimmy avoids a scoop slam but runs into a clothesline. Cannonball takes some paper and tries the old papercut between the fingers spot, then one across the cheek as well. Jimmy fires up with a corner attack then a Meteora as Cannonball slumps down, but Cannonball just pulls himself up and then hits a clothesline. Cannonball drags Jimmy to the table of tacks and pushes his head into it for a bit. Cannonball gets a couple of chairs and sends them into the ring, then gets a handful of tacks in the mouth of Jimmy and punches him in the face. Back in the ring, Jimmy is sort of bleeding now. Jimmy kicks Cannonball a few times then hits a neckbreaker. Jimmy grabs a chair and hits the hand of Cannonball with it. They head to the floor again and fight over the tack table, Jimmy winds up pushing Cannonball’s hand into it, then Jimmy with a suicide dive onto Cannonball and Talon. They brawl into the back, Rickey Shane Page shows up but Akira attacks him and we get a cut as those two brawl and Jimmy and Cannonball meander away.

I don’t think we miss much during that break and come back to Cannonball and Jimmy fighting back to the ring. Cannonball pushes Jimmy into the ring post. Jimmy into the ring, he catches Cannonball on the apron with strikes, they trade strikes then Jimmy tosses a chair into Cannonball’s head. Another chair toss and a third, then another chair shot finally gets Cannonball to fall from the apron into the tack table and end this.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Jimmy Lloyd won in 7:30, probably closer to 6:50 actual

Rating: 1 star
Thoughts: Boring, slow paced, uninteresting, shockingly tame for the gimmick despite a couple of spots. Cannonball is just a big body and a mask. I’m far from squeamish and don’t dismiss the ultraviolent kind of stuff out of hand, but this was just not a good match by any standard.

A quick recap of Mance Warner losing his Loser Leaves MLW match and his farewell speech. That leads to a 1 Called Manders promo in front of some foliage and before he gets goin in comes Masked Good Brother #3 with a case of Coors Light. Clearly this is not Mance Warner in a mask, Mance only drinks Bud Light. They shake hands and Brother introduces himself and he’s here in MLW and wants to make friends with the Second Gear Crew. He’s been all over the world and asks if there’s room in the SGC for him. Seems like there is, and he puts over Manders and Justice as the tag team champions. Well this will be something.

To the ring, here’s Midas Black to introduce the Mane Event.

Match #2 – Triple Threat Tag Team Match: Mane Event (Midas Black and Jay Lyon) vs. Austin Luke and Lucky 13 vs. Wasted Youth (Marcus Mathers and Dyln McKay)

No tags I guess, this is just a free for all. Mathers and McKay are ejected and Black and Lyon attack Lucky and Luke. McKay and Mathers re-enter the picture and run over Lyon for a bit with tandem offense. Luke and Lucky attack McKay and Mathers getting to show off their own stuff for a bit. Luke with a butterfly suplex, OK I guess we do have tags now. Lucky tags in and trades strikes with Mathers ending with Lucky hitting a knee strike. Mathers with a float over suplex and both men are down. Luke cheap shots McKay and then Mathers tags in Lyon. Lyon runs over Luke and then he and Midas hit a tandem Spear on Lucky. Assisted Big Ending then Black holds the ring for Lyon so he can dive onto everyone on the floor. McKay kicks Black back in the ring but he’s caught in the Grand Finale, think Shatter Machine but with an X-Factor instead of a Codebreaker, but Lucky and Luke break up the pin. Jay takes a Dragon suplex from Luke. Black gets caught in an assisted Go To Sleep but only a 2 count. McKay and Mathers with a double dropkick to Luke, then tandem superkicks to Lucky. Mathers with a Finlay Roll to Lucky, McKay then hits a Shooting Star Press and follows that with a Fosbury Flop onto the pile of bodies on the outside, setting up Mathers to polish off Lucky with a 450 Splash and the pin.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Wasted Youth won in 5:00

Rating: 2 stars
Thoughts: Boy they crammed a lot into just five minutes, tons of spots so everyone could get a bit of a spotlight. I’ve seen to many Young Bucks knock offs to be terribly impressed with Wasted Youth based on just this, and honestly you’d think MLW could give Mane Event a bone at some point and book them a win.

Wasted Youth get a post match interview, McKay thanks the fans for their support and thinks MLW might be their home for a bit. Mathers agrees, they wanted the hottest tag team division and think MLW has it.

We get a quick recap of Alexander Hammerstone wanting out of MLW. His kayfabe contract was ended and he signed with WTF, if you want the behind the scenes stuff it’s been reported that being part of this angle is what secured his release and he’ll be finishing up with MLW at the end of 2023. For what it’s worth, I wish him the best wherever he lands.

So Mr. Saint Laurent, Tom Lawlor, Alex Hammerstone, and Josh Bishop talk in front of a WTF logo. Lawlor wants to know where else you can find the masculinity, the vascularity, or the testosterone like they have? Bishop promises that Bomaye will bow to MSL. Hammerstone says the Bomaye is bogus manufactured BS put out there by the MLW office. He’s been on the shelf trying to fight those jokers and wannabes, well tonight the WTF shows what a real faction looks like. Solid stuff, Bishop is clearly the weak promo link but between MSL, Lawlor, and Hammerstone they can help his general presentation.

We’re reminded that Mascara Dorada and Rocky Romero will wrestle for all of Rocky’s titles at One Shot.

Salina de la Renta introduces Rocky Romero. Rocky again reiterates that he’s putting his belts on the line, but Dorada isn’t on the level of Rocky and at One Shot Rocky proves he’s the real gold standard of professional wrestling.

Back to the ring for our next match.

Match #3: Zayda Steel vs. Gia Scott

Circling to start, then they tie up and Scott grabs a side headlock then takes Steel down with it. Steel fights up but Scott hits a shoulder block to drop Steel. Steel with a kick then her own side headlock and a takedown. Scott fights free and they hit the ropes then Scott lands a clothesline and a dropkick. Corner attack from Scott. Steel rakes the eyes and slams Scott down by the hair to take control. Some kicks from Steel but only a 2 count then she grabs a chinlock. Scott fights free and lands a back elbow then a high kick and a Uranage for 2. Steel avoids a scoop slam then avoids a School Boy, only to trip up Scott in the corner and grab a pin with some rope assisted leverage to get the 3 count.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Zayda Steel won in 3:32

Rating: 2 stars
Thoughts: Decent little match, Steel has her character presentation down but there’s a lack of connective tissue here that needs to be addressed. Both women have worked on occasion for MLW before and are decent enough developing talents. Nothing special here but nothing disastrous either.

Steel gets a post match interview, but MSL immediately interrupts this and tells her not to answer anything from that guy. He’s got a contract offer for Steel for the World Titan Federation. He sucks up a bit calling her a diva, a total 10, and a ruthless bitch. Steel considers and is blown away that someone around here actually has taste. She insults Philadelphia and says the crowd sucks, and since MSL has a team of money talent and she loves money she’s willing to sign. She quickly signs the contract and leaves with MSL.

Promo time for Alex Kane, he only needs one shot to deal with Cardona. He’s going to handle business, and get back in blood. He’s taking Cardona to suplex island, then he’ll take Cardona’s knock off Chyna to hoe island. Oh and MSL is going to fat camp. Some more yelling of bomaye to close. Bless him, he’s trying but this just isn’t landing.

Tom Lawlor talks, the WTF is in the house and is going to take apart the scrubs who can’t help talking about them. After tonight the bomaye will have to crawl back to Don King and desperately try to get some money from him. Then Lawlor is looking forward to fighting Satoshi Kojima at One Shot, where they determine who’s the best MLW champion of all time. He doesn’t care how hungry Kojima is, he’s got more than he could ever take a bite of, and he’s sending Kojima back east in a pine box.

Update for One Shot time, Jimmy Lloyd will take on Rickey Shane Page for the Openweight title. Also new to the card, MSL will host a body building contest. OK then. The rest of the card gets talked about but it’s stuff we already know.

Match #4 – Trios Match: Bomaye Fight Club (J Boujii, Mr. Thomas, and O’Shay Edwards) vs. World Titan Federation (Tom Lawlor, Josh Bishop, and Alex Hammerstone) w/ MSL

MSL joins commentary and Everyone brawls just before the bell, for those keeping track the Bomaye guys attacked first. Lawlor is left alone to get run over in the corner by Edwards and Boujii then Thomas with a Black Hole Slam and they pose. Things settle to Boujii and Lawlor together, Lawlor quickly double legs Boujii and grabs a Sharpshooter then tags in Bishop. Bishop stomps on Boujii then hits a big scoop slam, then another one. Hammerstone tags in and elbows Boujii then ignores his chop and hits a Military Press and tags in Lawlor. Lawlor with a slam to Boujii then goes to snap the arm of Boujii and snaps it backwards. Bishop tags back in and hits a spinning side slam for a 2 count. Lawlor back in to begin trading strikes with Boujii, Lawlor gets the better of that and stuffs him into a corner. Bronco Buster from Lawlor then a corner chop. Boujii fights back with a German suplex then hits a DDT on Lawlor to stop a tag. Hammerstone pulls Edwards off the apron and brawls with him but Thomas tags in. Things break down for a bit, Thomas clotheslines Lawlor out of the ring then the big man hits a dive onto the WTF boys to set up a break.

We come back to Boujii with a springboard Cutter to Lawlor in the ring then Thomas launches Boujii onto Lawlor and Bishop has to break up the pin. Hammerstone with an avalanche to Boujii to drop him, then an exploder suplex to Thomas that sends him out of the ring. Boujii is hit with a double chokeslam by Lawlor and Bishop but Edwards breaks up the pin. Edwards attacks Bishop and starts brawling with him on the floor. Boujii eats a pump kick from Hammerstone, then Hammerstone with a Nightmare Pendulum to allow Lawlor to pin Boujii

OFFICIAL RESULT: World Titan Federation won in 8:16 shown

Rating: 2.5 stars
Thoughts: I have to question why Edwards didn’t really do anything here, is his development not where MLW want it yet? Boujii playing the heat magnet makes sense, and Thomas is a solid hand but the Bomaye crew just feel like cardboard cutouts rather than fleshed out characters and that really needs to be addressed before too long. Bishop has some presence but, like Edwards, he was kept to working a minimum while Lawlor did the lions share of the work and Hammerstone played the destroyer. Not bad stuff here in general.

Post match Boujii gets beaten down some more. Edwards and Thomas try to help but they get beaten down as well. Alex Kane tries to help but here’s Cardona from behind Kane to attack him. Kane gets sent into the ring and gets stomped down by the WTF crew. A bunch of helpless goons run down to get smacked down by the WTF guys and the dastardly four men stand tall. The Bomaye guys attack again anyway and everyone brawls this time Cardona is left alone and Kane with a suplex so the good guys ultimately stand tall to end the episode.

The final score: review Average
The 411
You know, there's a genuinely good episode of Fusion in here somewhere but this episode suffered from a bit of bloat and an opening match that just drags everything down. But the focus was on selling One Shot and this did a decent job of keeping that in your mind. I'd be pleasantly surprised if Cardona actually wins the belt at One Shot as they've done a pretty darn good job of building the WTF, even with all the silliness, pointless shots at WWE and Vince McMahon, into a fairly formidable force. Plus, well, my thoughts on Kane's run are pretty well established at this point. But One Shot looks OK, and this was Average but trending towards Good as far as Fusion episodes go. It was getting pretty strong by the end, but man did it have a rough start.

article topics :

MLW: Fusion, Robert Winfree