Wednesday featured the return of MLW Fusion: Alpha, their first show since July's Battle Riot III.
The debut featured Davey Richards making his singles debut vs. TJP; the Von Erichs vs. Team Filthy in a bunkhouse brawl and Gino Medina against KC Navarro.
It was immediately clear that Cesar Duran is the new authority figure in MLW. He welcomed us to his "new era of luchas" before announcing the entire card.
Later in the night, he was confronted by Matt Cross who said he deserved a shot at the MLW World title because the last time he and Duran were face-to-face, he defeated a previous MLW champion. Look for Jacob Fatu vs. Cross in the coming weeks.
Tom Lawlor came into Duran's office and complained that Alexander Hammerstone got a title shot for winning the Battle Riot while Lawlor won the 2020 Opera Cup and got nothing. Duran gave Lawlor a title shot next week against Hammerstone for the National Openweight title. This was definitely not the title (or the champion) that Lawlor wanted to face.
Marshall & Ross Von Erich defeated Team Filthy (Kevin Ku & Kit Osbourne) in a bunkhouse brawl
This feud stems back to Thanksgiving night 2019 when Lawlor turned against the Von Erichs and smashed Ross Von Erich's head with a steel chair. Before that, Lawlor was aligned with the Von Erichs in their ongoing war with CONTRA Unit. The turn and the betrayal cut deep, but the fallout has yet to be concluded.
Lawlor took the microphone before the match and told the Philadelphia crowd that they didn't deserve to see Team Filthy or the 2020 Opera Cup winner in action. He was interrupted by the Von Erichs as they were keen to shut him up.
This was as advertised: a weapons filled brawl. With Osbourne involved, the result was never really in doubt, but the threat of Lawlor on the outside loomed large as it appears this feud will continue with the Von Erichs still not getting their hands on Lawlor himself.
Ku and Osbourne focused on Marshall's previously injured knee, but Ross was the one who fired up after being suplexed onto two sitting chairs. Lawlor tried to get involved but ended up waffling poor Ku with a 2x4. This led to Marshall hitting a top rope moonsault onto both Team Filthy members (Osbourne lay on a makeshift wooden table resting on two chairs while Ku lay under it). Marshall then pinned both of them to get the win.
-- The first participants in the new MLW women's featherweight division were announced: the Sea Stars (Ashley Vox & Delmi Exo), Brittany Blake, Holidead, Zoey Skye, Willow Nightingale and Nicole Savoy.
Gino Medina defeated KC Navarro
This was a good high-flying and hard-hitting showcase for both. Navarro was likely the favorite due to this being his first singles match in MLW, but Medina pulled out the win with a new finishing sequence: a Go-to-Sleep style knee, his previous finisher (a high kick to the back of the head), and a torture rack into an X-Factor.
The 22-year-old "blessed" Navarro looked good as he smashed into Medina with a suicide dive between the middle and bottom rope, later landing a great looking tilt-a-whirl satellite DDT inside in the ring. But Medina aggressively fought back and took control. After a good back and forth toward the finish, Medina got the win to put him right back into the ranking picture.
Davey Richards defeated TJP
Richards got a nice "welcome back" chant for his MLW singles debut. This was a 15-minute battle that started technically excellent and had the time to build to an exciting submission battle finish.
TJP had an arrogant and cocky interview earlier in the night where he said that they both go back 20 years, but he hopes Richards doesn't quit again before he gets to the ring. That arrogance played into the opening minutes as TJP rested between the ropes and worked the crowd as he got the slight upper hand over Richards.
TJP also mentioned Richards' long layoff, even saying that he had been spending all his time with his nose in a book while he could have earned his degree by watching just one of TJP's matches. That story played out quite well as it seemed TJP was the fitter of the two in the opening segments.
But TJP's arrogance came back to bite him as Richards cut him off on the top rope. That led to Richards firing up with multiple headbutts and a superplex off the top. They had an exciting closing five minutes which started with Richards firing up with a great German suplex, a victory roll reversal, an ankle lock, and a penalty kick for a close two count.
Richards missed a double stomp and they went back and forth with a submission battle as he locked in an armbar. TJP reversed it into one of his own, Richards turned that into an ankle lock and TJP then rolled into a heel hook and a stepover toehold into an abdominal stretch. That finally grounded Richards before he got to the ropes.
After they untangled, the two exhausted wrestlers fought on the apron. Richards hit an exploder brainbuster on the apron and a double stomp from the top rope for a two count, but he didn't stop after the kick out. Richards planted TJP with a brainbuster, but it still wasn't enough.
Richards turned to an ankle lock to bring his pre-match submission win prediction to light, tapping out TJP.
- National Openweight Champion Alex Hammerstone vs. Tom Lawlor title match
- Arez vs. Aramis
- Alex Kane in action