This week on MLW Fusion, Bu Ku Dao finally gets his hands on his mentor-turned-enemy, TJP. Who will come out victorious—will Bu Ku Dao finally get satisfaction?
Plus, Hammerstone has a big announcement to make and so does MLW CEO Court Bauer, who will make a rare appearance on the show to speak to Alicia Atout.
It’s all going on this week, so let’s head down to the ring and get into it!
Gino Medina vs. Rocky Romero
Sneaky Style is in the house! Both men are coming into this one after a loss; Gino to his nemesis, Richard Holiday, last week; Rocky to Chavo Guerrero Jr at Bloodsport 6. Both men would be looking for a win but Gino, as the younger and hungrier of the two, needed the win more than Rocky.
Starting off with a lovely exchange of reversals and counters, Rocky focused on wearing down the arm of Gino Medina until a Gino forearm seemed to earn the annoyance of Rocky, who returned fire with forearms of his own. A rake of the eyes put a stop to Rocky’s momentum and a 540 kick solidified the advantage for Gino, who went to work on hurting Rocky, stomping on the fingers and nailing a hard kick to the back.
Some forearms and a spinning kick from Rocky barely put a halt to Gino’s offence, but a sneaky poke to the eye seemed to work much better. He lured Gino into falling through the ropes before a baseball slide knocked Gino across the floor. A dropkick to the back earned Romero a two count. A series of running clotheslines into the corner didn’t stun Gino; instead, Gino knocked the wind out of Rocky’s sails with a big kick to the face. The fight was far from over.
A springboard cutter attempt saw Gino counter by dropping Rocky face-first onto the top turnbuckle. But it wasn’t to be Gino’s night as a tornado DDT was followed by a suplex drop into an arm bar for the tap out victory for the King of Sneaky Style.
This was a well-paced, enjoyable little match. Romero could wrestle a broomstick, but he had good chemistry with Gino here. The question remains though: after two big losses in a row, where does Gino go from here?
King Mo (w/ Dan Lambert) vs. Robert Martyr
This is the first time we’ve seen King Mo in action since that car crash of a match at Filthy Island. Hopefully, this is not going to be the same.
Mo made quick work of Martyr (what a great jobber name!) by dropping Martyr twice with two massive slams, a charge in the corner before finishing it off with a choke. Nothing special, but Mo did look good; he looked hungry.
He had good reason to look hungry. Dan Lambert got on the mic afterwards, bemoaning the fact that King Mo was said to have tapped out to Low Ki at Filthy Island when he didn’t (he did, fans). Mo added that when he sees Ki, he’s going to break him in half.
Good. Hopefully, we’ll get a proper rematch between Mo and Ki this time. The potential for a great match is there. Let them have it.
In a round-up of this week’s promos:
- Richard Holliday tried to convince Alicia Atout that he’s a babyface because of how the “consumers” love his merch. He revealed a new poster to Alicia that he was going to put up for sale: ‘Muscle Mountain’, a rollercoaster with the slogan “Newest Ride, Longest Line”. Holliday didn’t seem to appreciate it when Alica pointed out that, however nice the poster is, it does feature a “hammer d**k” at the bottom. That’s not very dynastic, Richard…
- Los Parks spoke out against Salina de la Renta’s failed plan on last week’s Fusion and the way she went against El Jefe. LA Park claimed he made Salina famous and that the bad decisions are mounting, like the time Salina called LA Park a “dumbass” after Hammerstone hit him. Park warned Salina not to fail El Jefe again or she will regret it.
- Lio Rush told Alicia Atout that, in response to Myron’s challenge last week, he hasn’t got the time to face Reed because it’s “Rush Hour”. Alicia got the time wrong again, much to Rush’s displeasure.
- Salina de la Renta was caught on camera taking a call from someone we can presume was El Jefe—never have I seen Salina look and sound so submissive! Oh my. What power does El Jefe have over her? It sounded like Salina agreed to some sort of meeting next week. Will we finally be able to put a face to the name El Jefe?
- Tom Lawlor cut an awesome promo where he said how sick he was of people calling him names and praising the Von Erichs where in reality, he was the one who brought the Von Erichs in and he is the only one who knows what they’re truly like. Lawlor demanded that Marshall Von Erich speak “with whoever’s left in your family” to see if they think he has what it takes to face Filthy Tom one-on-one. If he does, Lawlor will expose Marshall as “just a boy”.
- Marshall Von Erich runs down all of Lawlor’s crimes and says he doesn’t need a crutch to bash Lawlor; he’s got heart and he’s got Texas behind him. He’s going to squeeze his skull until he s***s himself and Marshall wins the match. Lovely. Von Erich and Lawlor will meet in next week’s main event.
- Myron Reed says Lio Rush is running his mouth on the internet and doing little else. That’s fine; Reed is hitting the gym and training. Lio’s talking, but Reed is going to manifest his own words into action.
- Alex Hammerstone gave a press conference where he stated that he was sick of there being two heavyweight champions and so he is challenging Jacob Fatu to find out who the better man is. The ball is in Fatu’s court…
Court Bauer Speaks!
Making a rare appearance on Fusion, MLW CEO Court Bauer spoke to Alicia Atout about recent developments in the promotion. There’s a lot to unpack, so let’s break down what the boss had to say:
- MLW will be going national as they will air programming on VICE TV from May.
- It looks like Lio Rush will have to make time for Myron Reed after all—Reed will get his “contractually obligated” rematch on May 5th on what Court called the “close to this season” of Fusion.
- Court called it a “close to this season” as he wants his wrestlers to get rested. The new season is going to open on July 10th—in front of a live crowd! Wow, that is big news. MLW will be returning to the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia, which was the location of MLW’s first-ever show all the way back in 2002. It makes sense that MLW would host this momentous occasion from the same venue.
- Josef Samuel interrupted and gave one of his best promos in a long time, really spitting venom as he announced how happy he was that fans would be back so they could be witnesses to all the blood CONTRA will spill, and all live on national TV. It’s been a while since Josef Samuel gave me chills. He definitely did it here.
Well, this is big news indeed! Not only is MLW going to be airing on National TV (with what I assume will be a separate show to Fusion, but this is not confirmed) but will also be having fans in attendance. They’re not the first; New Japan, OVW and Championship Wrestling from Memphis spring to mind, but it’s significant news nonetheless. I’m expecting MLW will pull out all the stops for that return on July 10th. That’s definitely something to look forward to.
Bu Ku Dao vs. TJP
After the hideous treatment from TJP to Bu Ku Dao, including that backstage beating TJP issued, the time for talk is finally over. Can the student get revenge on the teacher?
TJP went for the leg early on before Bu Ku Dao returned fire by going to the head, first with a headlock before moving to a headscissors. TJP transitioned to a surfboard but Bu Ku Dao rolled out and floored TJP with a dropkick and an arm drag before TJP dropped Bu Ku on his face upon the apron. No more Mr Nice TJP.
Back in the ring, TJP focused on the back of Bu Ku Dao, mixing physical moves like a charge into the corner with aerial moves like a springboard senton. An Indian death lock kept the pressure on, before snapping back and crunching the back of Bu Ku Dao. It was mesmerising watching TJP twist Bu Ku Dao into what looked like a hybrid of a backslide and a bow and arrow. TJP’s mix of aerial and technical ability is perfect for MLW. He’s a real hybrid wrestler.
Bu Ku Dao was able to fight back and got a near-fall with a springboard cross body (one of the only weak points of this match was TJP just standing around waiting to take the crossbody—at least pretend you didn’t notice Dao so you can walk right into it!) TJP returned fire with a big powerbomb to counter a sunset flip before cinching in the surfboard again, balancing an agonized Bu Ku Dao in the air before setting him down for a pin attempt. This didn’t get the win, so TJP just nailed a furious elbow to Dao’s neck in temper.
Refusing to surrender, Dao hit a desperation enziguri before nailing a tope to the outside. Back in the ring, a bulldog made an impact but Dao was unable to capitalise. A barrage of Dao fists followed before TJP countered a top rope dive with a dropkick before planting Dao on his face for an incredibly close two count. This time, TJP made the mistake of climbing to the top, getting slammed to the mat. A second encounter on the buckles saw TJP land a superplex before contorting Dao’s back with a modified abdominal stretch.
An exchange of strikes saw Dao gain momentum but TJP picked Dao up onto his shoulders and accidentally knocked the ref down in the process. Dao counted with a crucifix pin, holding TJP down for the three, but the ref was unable to make the count. As Dao tried to revive the official, TJP viciously threw Dao into the buckles. Smelling victory, TJP went for another superplex but Dao pushed him down and drove TJP into the mat with a diving spinning flatliner for the shock 1-2-3!
Dao did it! What a great match. This was genuinely good stuff and I wasn’t necessarily expecting it would be. It played to both men’s strengths by letting TJP dominate and lead the way, with Dao gaining sympathy and looking good on the comeback. In fact, this was the best I’ve seen Dao look on Fusion so far. Just really good work from both men here.
This was a really strong, exciting episode of Fusion and after a run of mediocrity or worse since the relaunch last November, you don’t know how happy I am to say that again.
From Court Bauer’s exciting announcements to Gino and Rocky giving us a fun, evenly-fought contest, and from Lawlor’s fury and Holliday’s comedy to the drama with Salina and the surprising clinic put on by Bu Ku Dao and TJP, this show hit on all cylinders. Could this be the real resurgence of MLW? Here’s hoping.