This week's final MLW Fusion before their next set of TV tapings this July featured Myron Reed challenging Lio Rush for the Middleweight title, some big announcements, and the big reveal of Azteca Underground's El Jefe.
Laredo Kid defeated Gringo Loco (9:19)
With both not having stellar recent records on Fusion, this was set up to propel one of these middleweights up the rankings in time for the start of the next season.
The story of the match from Laredo Kid's point of view was that he was disgruntled at the finish of his loss to Lio Rush where he dropped the AAA Cruiserweight title. Kid thought Rush tapped out during the match and a replay showed the incident where Rush was trapped in a submission and hit the mat once with his hands. Kid wanted to appear on the same Fusion episode as the Rush vs. Reed rematch to make his point.
However, this was the first the viewing audience heard of the issue from that February match. If it is setting up Kid being a middleweight contender again or a rematch with Rush for the AAA title, I'm all for it.
Loco has unfortunately fallen into the Zenshi category in MLW: putting on some spectacular matches but not winning many. A very good worker that can pull off some spectacular moves for his size, he showed just that with a somersault dive to the outside that looked like it crushed Kid on the mats.
Kid hit an excellent top rope leaping hurricanrana while Loco was standing balanced on the middle rope. A huge top rope Spanish fly followed which won the match for Kid...who was then shown carrying the AAA Cruiserweight title that he had lost to Rush in a bit of a continuity error.
-- Last week, Josef Samael said that he had overriding control over Jacob Fatu's World title challengers. This week, National Openweight Champion Alex Hammerstone questioned why, if Fatu is so dominant, is Samael stopping the Hammerstone/Fatu match? He said Samael is the one that is scared, not Fatu, that his reign as champion is finally in danger.
Alicia Atout investigated the Fatu contract situation and confirmed that Samael does indeed hold control over Fatu's opponents, apart from the Battle Riot winner who has a guaranteed title shot if they win. So, look for Hammerstone to be the firm favorite to win that.
-- Atout also announced an MLW "open draft" will start next week on YouTube where we will see who will be competing in MLW's next season starting in July, especially in the Battle Riot match.
-- Marshall Von Erich made a promise to everyone, especially Tom Lawlor, there were would be a reckoning for Lawlor in Philadelphia which would end with an Iron Claw.
IWA Caribbean Champion Richard Holliday defeated Ariel Dominguez (1:36)
Holliday quickly put Dominguez away with the 2008 (a twisting suplex) in a one-sided match. It was hinted that Holliday had put his feud with Gino Medina behind him after defeating him a few weeks ago, but during an interview after the match with Atout, Medina interrupted, blindsiding Holliday and leaving him laying after a DDT on the stage.
-- The PWI top 10 heavyweight rankings from 10-1: Rocky Romero; Ross Von Erich; Calvin Tankman; Myron Reed; Mil Muertes; Richard Holliday; Mads Krugger; Lio Rush; Tom Lawlor; Alex Hammerstone.
Myron Reed defeated Lio Rush to win the MLW Middleweight title (15:56)
This was a fantastic title match, filled with flips, counters, springboards and exciting high flying action.
Up until January 2021, Reed had held the middleweight title for 14 months, but at Kings of Colosseum, Rush won the title and successfully defended against Laredo Kid (where he also won the AAA Cruiserweight title) and Brian Pillman Jr since then.
After losing the title, Reed took a side step to team with Injustice teammate Jordan Oliver to feud with CONTRA. But after coming away victorious against Daivari, Reed turned his attention back to Rush and his former title.
Rush went for his bottom rope springboard stunner early on, but Reed dodged and hit two springboard leg drops to the back of Rush's head. Rush took control and focused on Reed's lower back, but it didn't stop him from hitting a huge running crossbody over the top rope to the floor once he fired back up.
Reed seemed to have Rush's number during the midway portion of the match as he quickly countered and hit a springboard codebreaker out of the corner. Rush rallied and hit a reverse hurricanrana and a running Spanish fly but Reed kicked out. He then hit his own dive to the floor through the middle rope, followed by a corkscrew moonsault.
Reed countered Rush's bottom rope springboard stunner again, this time with a springboard cutter and an air raid crash but he still couldn't put Rush away.
Fatigue was kicking in at the 13-minute mark as Reed rolled to the apron to avoid a Rush aerial attack. From there, Rush countered a running cutter attempt to the floor from the apron by landing on his feet and slamming Reed's head into the corner post and hitting another reverse hurricanrana on the floor. A frog splash in the ring followed, but Reed heroically kicked out.
Rush arrogantly took his time to try and hit an air raid crash of his own, but Reed countered with another of his own and his finishing springboard 450 splash to win the match and reclaim his title, becoming the first-ever two-time Middleweight champ.
The commentary team hyped up that they were now 1-1, so a rubber match could be in the cards next season. Calvin Tankman and Jordan Oliver joined Reed to celebrate his win.
We then cut to Boyle Heights in Los Angeles, CA, for the reveal of Azteca Underground's El Jefe.
Last week, we saw Salina de la Renta's turbulent relationship with Azteca Underground's mysterious El Jefe crumble as she was led away under a hood for a face-to-face meeting. Even though she had guided LA Park and Hijo de LA Park to the MLW Tag Team titles, it was the only shining light in a season of disappointment for her, her clients, and her now-defunct Promociones Dorado.
Azteca Underground bought Promociones Dorado earlier in the season coupled with an unsuccessful attempt to pry the National Openweight title from Alex Hammerstone who beat both LA Park and Mil Muertes recently.
This week, we finally found out the identity of El Jefe as it was revealed that Dario Cueto is the man who has been pulling the strings of Azteca Underground. Cueto said de la Renta let down his believers after giving her access to the best luchadors on the planet. All he wanted in return was gold and violence. He said he is building a new temple and that “requires certain sacrifices” before the masked figure from last week dragged the hooded Salina off-screen.
A phone then rang as Cueto said, “July 10th. Philadelphia. I will see you there.”
This was a great end to the MLW season and the next time we see first-run programming will be from the July 10th tapings in Philadelphia with fans in attendance.
Reed vs. Rush II was a great happy ending to the season and the Cueto reveal sets up the intrigue for next season, even if that reveal and a return of a Lucha Underground-esque angle was predictable.
The Battle Riot returning and the MLW draft starting next week will also help add to the hype between now and the action returning in July. According to the MLW website roster page, there are only current champions so look out for some new signings being announced very soon.