Wednesday night’s edition of MLW Fusion featured the unification title match between AAA Cruiserweight Champion Laredo Kid and MLW Middleweight Champion Lio Rush from the Gilt Nightclub in Orlando, Florida.
Rich Bocchini and Jared St. Laurent are on the call.
ACH vs. Brian Pillman Jr.
ACH was nursing the rib injury stemming from the attack by Team Filthy, who watched from the stage.
The match didn’t go into high gear with the basic elements of ACH selling his ribs from Pillman’s attack and limiting his own offense. ACH kicked off the middle rope, landing a kick to Pillman on the turnbuckle, and won with the brainbuster.
WINNER: ACH in 5 minutes and 53 seconds
The match was short and was a backdrop for Team Filthy’s involvement and progressing that story. Pillman is not a big figure on the show anymore.
After the match, Team Filthy surrounded the ring and attacked ACH until Marshall & Ross Von Erich made the save to even the numbers. The three cut a promo with their connection being Texas and vowed that you “don’t mess with Texas”. This would appear to set-up a six-man tag for a future episode.
Last week, Salina de la Renta noted that Savio Vega’s IWA needs money and the mystery financier of Azteca Underground has deep pockets.
Vega responded and said business has been rough in Puerto Rico due to the pandemic but then due to their pride, the company is not for sale to a man hiding in the shadows.
Zenshi vs. Calvin Tankman
Long-term, it appears the match they are building towards is Calvin Tankman challenging Jacob Fatu for the MLW heavyweight title.
Tankman wouldn’t register a lot of Zenshi’s offense and it worked with the varied styles and worked in a strange way.
Tankman was recently trained at the “MARS Lab” and his spinning back elbow has registered 2,359 POUNDS OF PRESSURE!
Tankman missed with a standing shooting press, which was a sight to behold. Zenshi mounted a comeback with a handspring into a Pele kick, a 619 over the top rope, and then executed a somersault off the top and was caught and hit with the Tankman Driver (sadly, not the spinning back elbow, which should be the finisher).
WINNER: Calvin Tankman in 5 minutes and 52 seconds
Because of the diametrically opposed styles, I thought this was a decent little television match with Tankman as the base but can also do some impressive aerial stuff, for his size. It’s clear they see Tankman as a big player as he’s on the ascent. Zenshi worked as an opponent that could showcase Tankman’s strengths.
A video from CONTRA Unit aired with Josef Samael warning Alex Hammerstone how Mads Krugger will end him.
Lio Rush spoke about the match with Laredo Kid and said it’s a big opportunity for Laredo Kid, but not for him. He gave the cameraman $20 to take his bags.
Alicia Atout spoke with Richard Holliday and called him the “self-proclaimed” Caribbean champion. Holliday defended the use of Tim Donaghy as the referee because he was a close friend. Atout brought up sizable bets placed on Holliday right before the match against Savio Vega and Holliday threatened to sue her.
Daivari & Simon Gotch vs. Myron Reed & Jordan Oliver
The match never began as Jacob Fatu attacked Injustice on their way to the ring. Everyone brawled on the floor. Reed hit a tope con giro to the CONTRA Unit members and double-teamed Fatu inside the ring with a superkick by Reed and cutter from Oliver.
During the Filthy Island Control Center, it was announced that Rocky Romero will be in action next week, and Dominic Garrini will face the unknown “Mauna Loa” (picture unavailable for the match graphic).
Salina de la Renta said the offer to buy out Savio Vega was not optional. Now, Mil Muertes will destroy Vega in an “Azteca Jungle Fight” next week.
King Mo will face Low Ki in a No Holds Barred Match to round out the Filthy Island episode.
On March 3rd, Los Parks defend the MLW tag titles against Daivari & Simon Gotch, and Jacob Fatu faces Jordan Oliver.
Lio Rush vs. Laredo Kid
This was not the high-flying spectacle you might have expected as Laredo Kid was grounded for the first ¾ of the match. Rush worked him over and the match was lacking intensity. Whenever Laredo Kid tried to get going, Rush cut him off and resumed his control.
After missing a spinning back fist, Laredo Kid landed a slap and started his comeback with a Michinoku Driver and double moonsault off the turnbuckles for a two-count. Laredo Kid attacked the left knee and Rush was selling it effectively when all of a sudden, he hit the bounce back stunner and hobbled to the top before hitting the Final Hour, and pinned Laredo Kid.
WINNER: Lio Rush in 10 minutes and 25 seconds to win the AAA Cruiserweight title
The ending was a bit of a surprise given when it occurred as it seemed tailored for Laredo Kid to kick out after Rush sold his knee after hitting the Final Hour. Instead, he climbed on top for the three-count.
Laredo Kid had been AAA Cruiserweight champion since February 16, 2019, and Rush becomes a dual champion with the MLW Middleweight title.
Given the two involved, I wouldn’t say this met expectations but if it had more time, it would have.
Rush cut a promo to end the show putting himself over the best Cruiserweight, the best Middleweight, and the best wrestler in MLW.
– Low Ki vs. Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal in a No Holds Barred Match
– Mil Muertes vs. Savio Vega in an Azteca Jungle Fight
– Dominic Garrini vs. “Mauna Loa”
– Rocky Romero in action
The biggest news from the show was Rush ending the nearly two-year reign of Laredo Kid as AAA Cruiserweight Champion, which is noteworthy and continues the rise of Rush as one of the main players in MLW.
Overall, it an average edition of Fusion but planting the seeds and building towards payoffs down the road. They do a very good job of accounting for all the key programs with updates on the main players, even if they don’t have matches. It’s a fast-paced show but generally, all the promos and angles sit with the audience and you leave the show aware of what all the main people are up to.
The big stories continue to focus on the mysterious financier of Azteca Underground, the alliance of ACH with the Von Erichs was established on this show, the feud between CONTRA Unit and Injustice being a slow simmering program, and long-term it appears to be the rise of Calvin Tankman as a threat for Jacob Fatu.
Next week, is the Filthy Island episode that they have been building for a long time as a combination of UFC Fight Island and Fyre Fest.