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Winfree’s MLW Kings of Colosseum (Fusion 153) Review 7.14.22

July 14, 2022 | Posted by Robert Winfree
MLW: Fusion Alex Hammerstone Image Credit: MLW
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Winfree’s MLW Kings of Colosseum (Fusion 153) Review 7.14.22  

Hey there everyone, time for the latest relatively big MLW event. Tonight we’ve got Kings of Colosseum, which should set us up nicely for the Battle Riot later this year, and represents an end to the current “season” of MLW. The main event sees MLW World Heavyweight champion Alex Hammerstone defending his title against former partner and best friend Richard Holliday. Holliday has been showing a slightly more deranged side of himself, a definite necessity as the goofier persona would never lend itself to the main event scene, with mixed results.

We open with a video recap of The Dynasty, originally Maxwell Jacob Friedman, Richard Holliday, and Alex Hammerstone though MJF doesn’t get much play in the package. It focuses on their rise and eventual explosion leading to the main event.

We head right to the ring to get the event going.

Match #1: Brittany Blake vs. Zoey Skye

Skye hits a top rope drop kick on her way into the ring, which gets a 2 count. Gordbuster from Skye but Blake cuts her off with an enziguri then a corner cross body and a rising knee strike. Backbreaker from Blake then Skye with a misdirect into the ropes and hits a clothesline. Kicks from Skye now, but she’s sent to the apron. Skye heads up top and hits a cross body for another 2 count. Blake fights back with a jawbreaker then kicks Skye to the floor and hits a low 619 (she calls it the 609 because it’s one rope lower). Back in the ring, Skye hits a backstabber for a near fall. Blake avoids a corner rush, hits a tornado DDT then uses the kick out to lock up the Bad Omen (Serena Deeb’s Serenity Lock but with a Cloverleaf leg configuration rather than a half crab) and Skye taps out.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Brittany Blake won in 2:24

Rating: 2 stars

Total sprint from these two ladies, which has pros and cons as far as the style goes. Skye kept a high pace and didn’t really botch anything, Blake didn’t get to show much character work here as she was reactive to Skye. This could have benefited from being a little toned down, it didn’t feel like anything had an impact because they had to rush through their spots to get to the finish. That said this wasn’t bad and if MLW is committed to adding more women’s wrestling to their product this is a good sign.

In the back EJ Nduka is being interviewed, he wants to know why he’s not getting a title shot despite all of his accolades, then plays that off as a joke. He’ll be watching the main event and says his time is coming.

Alex Hammerstone talks a bit about what it means to be a champion, not just wrestling but all that being the face of the company entails outside of the ropes. He wants MLW to grow and to be the one who helps carry it to new heights.

We get news that MLW merch will be available at Hot Topic. Good for them.

Richard Holliday and Alicia Atout are interviewed in the back, Holliday says his mind is crystal clear. He tells Hammerstone that tonight he wants him to reminisce about the times they had together, the times they were brothers in arms and best friends. But when he gets in the ring he wants Hammerstone to look into his eyes and know that all that time meant nothing to Holliday. He never cared about Hammerstone and never did. Holliday cares about money, winning, and titles. Tonight he’s going to prove it was always about him. Not a bad promo from Holliday.

Match #2: ACH vs. Matt Cross

They tie up, Cross gets a rear waist lock then ACH counters into an arm wringer. They trade arm wringers and escapes for a bit then Cross grabs a side headlock and they hit the ropes. ACH jumps over Cross, then they trade arm drags, and leg sweeps, and ACH then lands a kick and a chop. Headscissors from Cross then he sweeps ACH down and hits a slow-motion elbow drop. Cross lands a chop, then ACH ties up Cross in a Muta Lock but Cross grabs the ropes as it’s locked in to avoid most of the damage. Chops from ACH, but Cross catches him with a handspring back elbow and then a cross body. Cross heads up top and double stomps ACH then follows up with a pump kick for 2. Cross winds up on the apron and ACH dropkicks him to the floor then hits a pescado. Back in the ring, ACH heads up top, but Cross jumps up there with him and looks for a superplex. ACH knocks Cross down then misses a flying nothing but connects with an enzigrui then hits a suplex for a 2 count. They trade strikes for a bit, ACH tries a German suplex but Cross flips out of it and hits the Cross Cutter. Cross up top for the Shooting Star Press which connects and is enough to get him the win.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Matt Cross won in 6:18

Rating: 2.5 stars

In terms of technical execution this was more like a 3 star, but the face vs. face dynamic kind of kept the crowd out of this one, and that hurts the overall match.

Alex Hammerstone is in the back for an interview ahead of the main event. Hammerstone says we’re finally at the match Holliday wanted, but right about now Holliday is lacing up his boots and is starting to feel the nerves. In a few minutes, he’ll start sweating behind the curtain as the nerves keep coming on. This hasn’t been a fantasy where Holliday gets to walk in and take the world title. Everything Holliday has done will have consequences, and when they’re across the ring from each other he wants Holliday to know that Hammerstone is the consequences.

We get a video of a masked guy in the back who went into Holliday’s locker room. To be clear, this wasn’t one of Duran’s masked goons but someone in a hoodie and mask to try and hide their identity.

Quick recap of Myron Reed joining the Bomaye Fight Club then we hear from that group. Alex Kane says Davey Richards doesn’t have what it takes mentally or physically. Myron Reed says Richards isn’t a big dog anymore, he’s just a pup. They both yell “Bomaye” because of course they do.

Main event time, looks like Hammerstone and Holliday will have a decent amount of time. Richard Holliday has new entrance music, and it’s like nails on a chalkboard. Not a good production decision.

Match #3 – MLW World Heavyweight Title Match: (c) Alexander Hammerstone vs. Richard Holliday w/ Alicia Atout

Immediate brawl at the bell, Hammerstone is stronger and unloads in the corner on Holliday. Holliday lands a boot and avoids a belly-to-belly suplex but Hammerstone hits the second attempt. Holliday avoids a Nightmare Pendulum but Hammerstone clotheslines him out of the ring. They start brawling on the floor before Holliday hides behind Alicia so he can get a cheap shot in and then hit a Russian leg sweep on the floor. We get a cut in the match and come back to Hammerstone and Holliday in the ring and Hammerstone hits a facebuster. Hammerstone gets rolled up for 2, then Holliday hits a spinebuster for another 2 count. Holliday keeps control and starts stomping on Hammerstone then hits a neckbreaker. Garvin stomps from Holliday and when he hits the ankle that Hammerstone injured in his title win against Jacob Fatu he sees a target and starts focusing on it. Hammerstone kicks Holliday away from a Figure 4 attempt, then fires up with clotheslines and a facebuster to the knee then a German suplex. Holliday fights back with a kick and Pedigree for a 2 count. Alicia hops on the apron and leaves a shoe for Holliday, he gets it and cracks Hammerstone with it then covers for a near fall. Holliday is livid, he gets Hammerstone on his shoulders but Hammerstone fights free then hits a TKO but wipes out the ref on the way so Hammerstone gets a visual pin but there’s no ref. Cesar Duran sends out a masked goon in a ref shirt to be the new ref. Holliday jumps Hammerstone as Hammerstone doesn’t like that, he heads out of the ring and gets a chair. The ref comically doesn’t look as Hammerstone drives the chair into Hammerstone a few times. Holliday wants the 2008 on the chair, hits it and covers but the original ref pulls out the goon ref and shoves him into the barricade. Holliday loses his mind but the ref stands up to him and tells Holliday to get back to wrestling. Hammerstone grabs the chair and slowly rises from the mat, then tosses the chair out of the ring. Time for Hammerstone to Hulk up, and he lays out Holliday with clotheslines. A shot to the masked ref for good measure then Hammerstone presses Holliday up and drops him into a Catatonic. Hammerstone wants the Nightmare Pendulum, hits it, and pins to retain the title.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Alex Hammerstone retained the title in 9:54

Rating: 3 stars

I feel like we lost a fair bit during that edit. This was overbooked but in kind of a good way as it didn’t descend into being a mess with the singular ref bump and didn’t wind up playing too large a role in the finish. Hammerstone looked good, and Holliday held up his end of things. Holliday as desperate works so much better than him trying to be menacing and intimidating, so his overall presentation here was a course correction over his prior presentation. That music needs to go though, that’s legitimately painful on the ears. We’re probably not done with these two, Holliday will be in the Battle Riot and Duran isn’t going to be pleased with his authority being questioned.

Post-match Hammerstone celebrates with the fans at ringside.

We get a video of Mads Krugger stumbling around via grainy footage, he’s wearing fake burn makeup and finds someone I think named Katonga, couldn’t hear all that clearly, but this man with his face and upper body mostly out of frame seems to welcome Krugger.

The final score: review Average
The 411
This is a one match show, while the women did a decent job given how little time they had and Cross vs. ACH was competent, neither of those matches had much crowd investment. Hammerstone vs. Holliday is the big selling point here, and those two more or less delivered. The match was very "sports entertainment" with the slightly overbooked nature, but I think they made those elements work and delivered a good enough title match. Solid overall episode, but it being so top heavy means the show more or less lives and dies by the main event and while it was good the rest of the show pulls it down a bit.