This week's edition of MLW Fusion: Alpha was solely focused on the War Chamber match between CONTRA Unit and MLW Champion Alexander Hammerstone's team.
The show opened with Cesar Duran addressing the crowd and announcing MLW's expansion into Mexico in 2022. That was followed by a 5150 vignette/hype video where they continued their feud with MLW Tag Team champions Los Parks ahead of their impending title shot.
Throughout the night, the hype for the War Chamber match consisted of shots of the cage being built in addition to video packages and montages of the participants. In one video, Mads Krugger continued the teased tension between the CONTRA members but promised to end his long time rival Hammerstone.
MLW Champion Alex Hammerstone, Matanza Duran (Jeff Cobb), Savio Vega, Richard Holliday and EJ Nduka defeated CONTRA Unit (Jacob Fatu, two Sentai Death Squad members, Ikuro Kwon and Mads Krugger) in a War Chamber match
Unlike previous years, it was a single ring this year and the cage was a traditional one with no roof. However, there was added barbed wire around the top to stop interference or escaping. All traditional War Chamber rules remained: entrants into the match are staggered and the match could only be won when all members of the match had entered with a win coming only by submission or surrender.
Fatu was out first as we learned CONTRA had won the coin toss and the man advantage as the combatants entered one-by-one. The first out for Hammerstone's team was the surprise promised by Cesar Duran: his storyline brother from Lucha Underground, Matanza Duran, known more famously as Jeff Cobb.
Matanza Duran was the name they used on the big screen, but on the stage, he stepped out of his suit and removed his mask to reveal his current Cobb ring attire. The commentary team named him Cobb throughout the match, saying that when he goes to his dark place, he becomes Matanza.
These two bulls had a great opening five minutes. They collided to find out who was the toughest, throwing each other around the ring to show who was the strongest, but both held up their end of the brawl and looked equally impressive.
The next entrant for CONTRA was a Sentai Death Squad member who looked to be near seven feet tall with a good physique. He took Cobb down with a bossman slam as we began a series of numbers advantage beatdowns followed by a babyface coming in like a house of fire to even the odds.
That first babyface was Vega who came in with a singapore cane. He cracked Fatu over the skull three times to knock him down and took the massive SDS member down to size too.
Kwon was quickly out next to give CONTRA the advantage again. He took Vega down with a sidekick while Fatu hit his impressive handspring moonsault on Cobb. Holliday was out next to even the odds by hitting Kwon with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker and then ramming the SDS member headfirst into the cage. He even took Fatu down with his twisting suplex finisher from the middle rope.
The babyfaces enjoyed a moment being on top until another Sentai Death Squad member came out to give them the advantage again. Nduka was out next to even the odds which is where the match really kicked into gear.
Nduka knocked all opponents down with big right hands. He grabbed SDS no. 1 and floored him with a spinebuster and a suplex. SDS no. 2 was sent into the cage a few times before he and no. 1 were sent out of the cage door to the floor, strategically making space for the last two competitors.
Krugger was out next with another SDS member who he instructed to stand by the ring and watch the ramp. The commentary team talked up the storyline of Krugger wanting to lead CONTRA and brought up his undefeated streak in MLW as well. He went face to face with Nduka as they hit stereo big boots before Krugger climbed to the top rope and took out Nduka.
Hammerstone was the last entrant. He threw powder in the eyes of SDS no. 1 on the ramp and entered the ring like a house of fire. Fatu got knocked down. SDS no. 2 was sent flying into the cage and Kwon was knocked to the ground. Krugger grabbed Hammerstone and floored him with a chokeslam, but the MLW Champion returned with a Nightmare Pendulum a moment later.
Fatu locked in an ankle lock to Hammerstone's storyline injured ankle. Hammerstone rolled out of it and sent Fatu into Krugger. They nearly came to blows as the storyline of who the real leader of CONTRA is started to unfold. Fatu tried to hit his top rope corkscrew onto Hammerstone, but he moved and Fatu hit Krugger again.
The babyfaces looked to be in firm control as each had a member of CONTRA down on the mat. Hammerstone hit Kwon with a pump kick and then lifted him up into a torture rack to pick up the submission win for his team.
CONTRA Unit explodes
After the match, Hammerstone and his team celebrated on the stage as CONTRA were left in the ring dejected after their loss. Krugger grabbed Fatu and confronted him. Fatu warned him not to start anything as he tried to help Kwon to his feet. Kwon got up and got between the two bigger warriors, but Krugger reached over and piefaced Fatu who exploded and attacked Krugger. He pushed Kwon away and superkicked Krugger, but Kwon returned with a big kick to the back of Fatu's head.
Fatu grabbed Kwon and hit a huge Samoan drop, but Krugger then threw Fatu out through the cage door. On the outside, Fatu started attacking SDS members who had come to ringside and continued to badmouth Krugger.
Krugger joined Fatu on the outside as they had a huge pull-apart brawl with officials and SDS members. Kwon was also involved in the in-fighting as the crowd chanted for Fatu. They broke free a few times and collided in mid-air, neither giving up an inch but giving everything as they swung big right hands.
A future Fatu vs. Krugger match was teased as we faded to Cesar Duran's office to find him drinking wine with Karlee Perez. They appeared to be planning MLW's next venture with Azteca Underground as talked about "the canvas" which was a blueprint for a ring from 1930 in what Duran called a "cathedral of violence."
This night belonged to Jacob Fatu. I have said it before, but it will be a travesty if he doesn't end up as a major player on one of the biggest stages. He has the family heritage, the agility to match the Omegas, Okadas and Rollins of the world, the power to match the bigger opponents and the toughness that would fit into the New Japan style perfectly.
He was the standout performer in the War Chamber match and was the main player in the post-match angle. This looked like a solid face turn for the former champion, so a series of matches against CONTRA could solidify him as a top babyface.
Next Thursday on Thanksgiving:
- Alex Shelley vs. Myron Reed vs. Zenshi vs. Alex Kane vs. a mystery opponent in a ladder match for the vacant MLW National Openweight title
- Calvin Tankman vs. TJP in the second semifinal of the 2021 Opera Cup tournament