Joe Dombrowski and Rich Bocchini welcomed us to Dallas for another episode of MLW Fusion recorded over WrestleMania weekend.
Richard Holliday defeated Davey Richards
In a battle of a former title challenger vs. a future one, Holliday came out on top after showing some toughness and fight against a very hard-hitting opponent. This was a solid match that served its purpose to show Holliday as a new credible contender for the world title after cleanly knocking off a former challenger.
Holliday was clearly the taller of the two and tried to use that size advantage throughout but Richards' tenacity and in-ring skill always kept him competitive and often was one step ahead of the former stablemate of current MLW champion Hammerstone.
Richards had hit a standing double stomp earlier in the match, but missed his next one from the top rope but was able to roll through and lock in the Trailer Hitch submission. After reaching the ropes, Holliday hit a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker to regain control.
Richards slipped out of Holliday's 2008 finisher and locked in his ankle lock. Holliday escaped, but Richards knocked him straight back down with a hard kick. Shockingly, Holliday showed his toughness and kicked out at one.
A series of kicks by Richards followed, but Holliday roared up with a big clothesline and a 2008 twisting suplex to get the clean pinfall win on his way to a title shot against Hammerstone.
After the match, Alicia Atout grabbed the mic from Bocchini and introduced Holliday who screamed his way through another promo displaying his new determined and slightly unhinged persona. He said he was the next world champion and repeated what he has been saying since he turned on Hammerstone: "It was always about me."
We were reminded that Holliday tried to screw Hammerstone out of his title during last week's main event triple threat that also included Mads Krugger and Jacob Fatu. But, an attack from one half of "The Clout Couple" was not enough as Hammerstone was able to kick out of a 2008 and fight back to retain his title going into the Holliday title defense.
- 5150 disrespected the Von Erich legacy by stealing the World Class Heavyweight Title last week and taking it on a road trip. This week, Marshall and Ross Von Erich said there was a reckoning coming and they promised to kick their ass tonight. No confrontation happened, but be on the lookout for these two teams to meet up sooner rather than later.
- Earlier, EJ Nduka bumped into Mr. Thomas who sarcastically wished the tag champ luck in his match tonight. Thomas then said Tankman doesn't look good with him, trying to sow seeds of doubt within the newly formed team.
- Octagon Jr. (the former Kalisto in WWE) had a special hype video showing some character-based background of him training martial arts and respecting the legacy of the Octagon mask. Look for him to be featured more heavily in the coming weeks and months.
MLW Tag Team Champions Hustle and Power (EJ Nduka & Calvin Tankman) defeated Budd Heavy and Red Pickins to retain the titles
The champions made short work of their opposition as they focus on their main feud with Alex Kane and Calvin Tankman.
Nduka hit Pickins with a spinebuster and running powerslam before Tankman squashed him with a big splash. Heavy's only involvement was eating a spear when trying to break up the match-winning pinfall.
The champions will face off and defend their titles against Kane and his bodyguard Mr. Thomas soon.
- After laying out Jacob Fatu with a steel chair last week, "The Tijuana Gremlin" Bestia 666 confronted Cesar Duran in his office and said the money he was offering as a thank you was not enough and wanted Fatu in a match. Duran agreed and booked an Apocalypto match between the two next week.
MLW Middleweight Champion Myron Reed defeated Swerve Strickland to retain the title
Two weeks ago, Reed was attacked by a masked man during a five-way match for Alex Kane's National Openweight title. Last week, Reed called the masked attacker out and challenged him to show up tonight. Before the match, Reed called out Duran for answers as he thought he was the mastermind behind the attack.
Duran obliged and told him not to call himself a GOAT when he acts like a sheep. He has opened a forbidden door to a former MLW star which turned out to be the man who won the first MLW World title after their restart: Swerve Strickland.
When Strickland appeared, he received a good response but quickly made his intentions clear as he cockily sauntered to the ring and arrogantly posed and flaunted, cementing himself as the heel for the match.
The commentary team questioned that if won, would he take the title back to Jacksonville. He was also referenced as an AEW wrestler throughout the match. Interestingly, his time in WWE was also mentioned with the commentators saying he went from being the next brightest star to someone who now needs to reinvent himself.
Reed was the first to take to the sky after a nice equal opening exchange with a top rope no touch running dive to the floor. He then reversed a suplex into a cutter -- a great signature of the Middleweight champion. Seconds later, Strickland hit a cutter of his own as he built up some momentum.
The match was back and forth as Reed came back with his own momentum. The champion charged the length of the ramp (which was the same level as the ring) and leapt over the top rope. He was looking for a spectacular cutter -- another Reed signature -- but Strickland caught him mid-air and locked him in an armbreaker.
Reed fought out and after some rolling pinfall attempts by both men, Reed used the ropes to catch Strickland off guard and quickly hit a springboard cutter to both win the match and retain his title.
As Fusion was going off the air, the camera met up with 5150's Rivera, Hernandez and Slice Boogie by a Dallas riverside with the World Class Championship belt. They ended up tossing it into the river and walking off. No doubt the Von Erich brothers will have revenge on their minds now.
- Jacob Fatu vs Bestia 666 in an Apocalypto match
- MLW Caribbean Champion King Muertes vs. Octagon Jr. vs. El Dragon vs. El Hijo de LA Park in a cyclone four-way title match