By Colin McGuire, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@McGMondays)
Major League Wrestling Fusion (Episode 150)
Taped May 13 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at 2300 Arena
Streamed June 23, 2022 on the MLW’s YouTube Page and FITE TV
The episode opened with a video from Mads Krugger recapping the War Chamber match when things boiled over between him and Jacob Fatu. That extended into a video chronicling the entire feud. The opening video aired. Joe Dombrowski and Rich Bocchini were on the commentary team and they checked in to run down the card. We cut to a backstage interaction between Myron Reed and Davey Richards. The latter wished the former luck in his middleweight title bout as he stared down the strap on Reed’s shoulder. Richards then walked out of the room. From there, we went to the ring.
1. Arez vs. KC Navarro vs. Myron Reed in a three-way for the MLW Middleweight Title. Navarro and Arez worked over Reed to begin. After they got rid of him, Arez kicked Navarro to the outside. Quickly, Navarro rolled inside the ring and ultimately hit a tope suicida onto Arez, who was on the outside. Back in the ring, Reed and Navarro went at it, with each missing their share of quick moves. Arez pulled Reed to the outside and that led to Reed hitting a splash onto Arez. The sequence ended when Navarro hit a DDT on both guys on the outside.
Navarro rolled Arez back into the ring and the two traded blows. Navarro hit a powerbomb, but Reed broke up the pin. Arez rolled Reed up for a two-count. Arez and Navarro traded forearms until Arez super-kicked Navarro and landed a modified leaping cutter. Reed broke up the pin with a 450 splash and then got two-counts on both guys. Reed went to run the ropes, but Holidead grabbed his legs and Arez went back on the offensive.
Reed and Navarro exchanged roll-ups and Navarro landed a dive onto Arez and his crew on the outside. Navarro went for a splash, but Reed ultimately caught him and hit a series of moves, including a springboard cutter (or an Os-Cutter, depending on who you ask) to get the pin over Navarro.
Myron Reed defeated KC Navarro and Arez via pinfall to retain the MLW World Middleweight Title.
After the match, Bocchini interviewed Reed, who talked about Davey Richards. Bocchini asked Reed if he ever wanted to face Richards because he trains with Richards. Reed said something that was hard to make out and walked to the back, looking kind of pissed off.
McGuire’s Musings: The non-stop action that you would expect from a match like this. I was there for these tapings (check out my in-person report in the archives!) and I remember feeling like it was rushed then … and seeing it on a screen now, it felt just as rushed. I won’t spoil what ultimately happens between Richards and Reed here, but every time I cover an MLW event, I can’t help but wonder why Reed isn’t on a bigger platform. All respect to MLW, but why wouldn’t he fit in on either NXT 2.0 or even the oversized AEW roster? He has a lot of the tools to get it done. Anyway, back to the match. It was fine, albeit a little too short. Each guy worked hard and while Arez is a pretty good talent, I think he might be bogged down by this faction, even though this faction is fairly new. At the end of the day, he just gets lost in the shuffle. Navarro, meanwhile, feels like he could be a star someday if he plays his cards right.
We got another Mads Krugger video but between the distortion and the grumbling, it was hard to understand him. I’m pretty sure he said something about destroying Jacob Fatu and we’ll leave it at that. Alex Kane held a faux press conference. Kane said he wanted to make history in the 2300 Arena. He put out an open challenge saying if someone lasted 20 minutes with him, they would win $20,000. EJ Nduka made his way to the commentary booth for the next match.
2. Los Maximos vs. Chris Cage and Jake Ballow. I may have spelled Jake’s last name incorrectly, but his team didn’t get an introduction. As the match was going on, a split-screen camera cut in and video of Calvin Tankman getting beat up appeared in the other screen. Nduka rushed to the back for the save. Before long, Maximos hit the Washing Machine and a double Spanish Fly from the top for the win.
Los Maximos defeated Chris Cage and Jake Ballow via pinfall.
After the match, Los Maximos stopped for an interview. They said what’s going on with Tankman doesn’t matter. They said they want Power and Hustle’s belts and they are going to beat them. We then went to a dark room where Gangrel and his group were being confronted by Cesar Duran, who asked the group to do something, but again, he spoke so low, it was almost inaudible. A Killer Kross vignette aired.
A satellite interview with Alex Hammerstone began. Hammerstone said it’s Richard Holliday’s chance to prove why he should be world champion. Hammerstone said he’s not trying to prove he should be champion; rather, he’s just coming to beat Holliday’s ass when they fight in a couple weeks for the world championship. The announcement was then made, presumably as a result of the recent Duran video, that next week, Strange Sangre will face Lince Dorado, Microman and Taya Valkyrie.
McGuire’s Musings: The tag-team squash was simple yet effective, especially when you throw in the Nduka/Tankman angle that forced Nduka to pretty much immediately leave ringside. The double Spanish Fly spot/finish from Maximos is impressive, and I’m interested to see if Nduka or Tankman ever end up taking it. Because that could be wild. As for Alex Kane, I don’t recall the $20,000 stipulation being announced when the challenge went down at the show, but I can tell you on good authority that the match was the best match of these tapings. So whenever that airs, be on the lookout for it. And finally … you know what? AEW gets a lot of flack for cramming things into its programming each week, but damn if MLW doesn’t have something new popping up every three-and-a-half minutes on its weekly show. And the problem is that most of the content is pre-taped, so I think they might overthink themselves with the brooding, hard-to-understand promos we consistently get. If the hour was tighter, and some of the skits were replaced with in-ring action, who knows how much better Fusion could be on a weekly basis.
3. Mads Krugger vs. Jacob Fatu in a Weapons of Mass Destruction match. Krugger tried to attack Fatu as Fatu came down the aisle, but Fatu threw a chair at Krugger’s head. Fatu landed another stiff chair shot to Krugger’s head. Fatu grabbed a kendo stick and hit Krugger in the head and on the back. One was to the side of the head and it didn’t look like it felt good. Krugger grabbed some nightsticks and pounded Fatu with them before running him into the guardrail.
Before long, Fatu took back control and hit Krugger with a chair. Fatu set up a table and grabbed a kendo stick, but Krugger threw powder into Fatu’s eyes. Krugger then lifted Fatu for a powerbomb through the table, but he didn’t quite get Fatu up fully and Fatu took an awkward spill. Krugger pulled out a can of gasoline and inside the ring, Krugger chopped Fatu. Krugger tried to hit Fatu with a club, but Fate ducked and speared Krugger. Fatu then grabbed the club, but Krugger cut him off, took the club and hit Fatu with the club. Krugger laid the Contra flag on Fatu.
Krugger grabbed the gasoline and poured it onto Fatu. Before Krugger could light him, Fatu got up and fought Krugger to the outside, where Fatu landed a splash. Back in the ring, the two traded strikes. Fatu landed a back suplex. Krugger landed a back suplex. Fatu came back with a Samoan Drop and a German Suplex. Krugger came back with a Panama Sunrise, but Fatu landed a super-kick. Fatu hit a moonsault and Krugger rolled to the outside.
On the outside, Fatu put Krugger onto a stretcher and hit him with the Contra flag. Fatu put on some gloves and bit Krugger. Fatu grabbed a roll of barbed wire and put it on Krugger, who was on the stretcher. Fatu then jumped onto Krugger and essentially bounced off Krugger/the stretcher. Fatu rolled Krugger inside the ring and covered Krugger for a two-count. Krugger tried to sink in a triangle choke. Krugger hit a pop-up powerbomb. Guys in masks ran down to the ring and gave Krugger a ladder and a table. They also unwound the turnbuckles.
Fatu, when he came to, took care of the masked men and went after Krugger, but Krugger hit a lariat. Krugger tried to put Fatu onto the table, but Fatu fought back and hit Krugger with a chair and it looked like that was supposed to place KRugger on the table, but the table broke. Still, Fatu climbed to the top of the ladder and hit a Samoan Splash for the win.
Jacob Fatu defeated Mads Krugger via pinfall in a Weapons of Mass Destruction match.
After the match, Krugger got up and the two brawled until Fatu put half of Krugger’s body into a box of biohazard. Fatu then took Krugger’s mask off. Krugger was stuffed head-first into whatever the box was and Fatu made his way up the ramp with Krugger’s mask to close the show.
McGuire’s Musings: The most memorable moment for me back in May was that weird maybe/maybe-not botched powerbomb that Fatu took early in the match. In person, it looked a lot worse than it did here, but if memory serves, there was a long lull after that as Krugger introduced the gasoline can, and at the time, I thought they were stalling for Fatu to recover. Here, they edited that lull out. So, who knows, because by the end of it, Fatu seemed fine. I’m happy this feud appears to be over because both guys can move on (though when it comes to Fatu, I’m not quite sure what’s left for him to do in MLW). Does this mean Krugger gets a reboot now that he has no mask? And more importantly, does it mean we’ll be able to understand him when he speaks?
There were some good spots here, but mostly everything seemed safe (shame on those unprotected chair shots, though) and it was fairly standard when it comes to today’s version of a knock-down, drag-out wrestling brawl. The Weapons of Mass Destruction gimmick was cheesy, but you knew it would be. And then, of course, oddly enough, the thing that finally puts Krugger down for good is putting his head in a box that has a strobe light and dry ice in it. So, when you put it like that … .
In all this was a fine episode of Fusion. It continued a few stories and even (probably) ended one in Krugger/Fatu. I maintain that Fatu is one of the best kept secrets in pro wrestling today, so I hope there are some plans for him coming out of this program. Why not send him to NJPW Strong? He’d fit in like a glove there and it’s not like we don’t see other MLW talent pop up elsewhere from time to time. Let a boy dream. I’ll have more to say, including reflections on these matches as I saw them live, in my audio review for Dot Net Members (including our Patreon subscribers).