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Lio Rush Takes Double Gold To Be The Moneyweight

MLW Fusion Review: 02/10/2021

This week on MLW Fusion, the big main event was a title unification match between MLW Middleweight Champion Lio Rush and AAA Cruiserweight Champion Laredo Kid. Lio’s been promoting himself as the ‘Moneyweight’ Champion.

Can he put his money where his mouth is tonight? Let’s find out!

ACH vs. Brian Pillman Jr

This was the first time we had seen ACH in an MLW ring since he lost to Heavyweight Champion Jacob Fatu, and he was clearly still carrying the marks of that his attack at the hands of Team Filthy, as he came to the ring with his ribs taped.

On the other side of the ring, Brian Pillman Jr didn’t even get an entrance, having already entered the ring beforehand. So is Pillman Jr just a robber now? I know there must be some hard feelings after the summer and Pillman’s continuing appearances with AEW, but come on. The Hart Foundation was a big part of MLW since the debut of Fusion in 2018. Is there not a better way he could be used? A hot feud to build up to a Loser Leaves Town match?

This was a solid opening encounter that was never flashy but did the business. It was fairly evenly wrestled, with back and forth exchanges and a nice mix of athletic and physical grappling, taking it to the mat on occasion. About 15 seconds in, Team Filthy wandered out and watched the match from the stage. So you knew how this was going to play out.

ACH took the win with an impressive bicycle kick to Pillman, who was perched on the top turnbuckle, followed by a brain buster. As Pillman Jr wandered sadly into the darkness to the back, dreaming of Daily’s Place, Team Filthy slowly creeped into the ring, vipers stalking their prey…only for the Von Erich’s to storm out and make the save! Team Filthy took a beating then beat a retreat. The Texas Squad of the Von Erich’s and ACH cut a promo on how Texans need to stick together. Should make for a good six-man tag!

Zenshi vs. Calvin Tankman

This is a rematch from a Fusion a couple of months ago. The fact that this is a rematch so soon makes me seriously wonder if there’s problems with a lack of depth to the MLW roster at the moment.

Tankman, of course, is a beast of a man. Zenshi was able to dodge him at first, although a leg sweep and a hurricane attempt on the big man went away. Tankman responded to some Zenshi dropkicks with one of his own, impressive considering Tankman’s size, and a spinebuster for a two count.

A standing shooting star press from the big man missed the mark, allowing Zenshi to get some flurries of offence in, although Tankman used his power to cut him off with a shoulder block and clothesline, eventually nailing the Tankman driver for the win.

Fun for what was and I’m warming to Tankman, but did it strip away a little of Tankman’s monster feel by having him take the offence from Zenshi? It’s more realistic, I guess.

The jury’s out on this one…

Mads Krügger’s In Russia?!?

At the conclusion of last week’s Fusion, Mads Krügger had Alexander Hammerstone at his mercy. From that, I assumed that, considering this took place on a CONTRA compound, Hammerstone had been caught by his tormenters and would be held against his will. Yes, such a story could be horrible if not done properly, but it would certainly make sense in terms of the CONTRA gimmick.

Imagine my disappointment then when it was announced Hammerstone has a grade one concussion and that Mads Krügger had gone to Russia to train for the final destruction of Hammerstone. Why didn’t he just destroy Hammerstone when he had him at the compound? Surely there were other CONTRA people there too who would have helped? Now they’ve given Hammer a chance to recover. Not the cleverest decision CONTRA could have made, is it.

Holliday Invokes His Father/Lawyer

Much like COVID, the allegations against Richard Holliday, that he fixed his strap match against Savio Vega, do not seem to be going away. Alicia Atout decided to take him to task over zoom but the Dynasty man wasn’t having it. He denied there was anything strange about the sudden surge of bets that were placed on him winning the match, and also denied that he had anything to do with Tom Donaghy, his “close, personal friend”, refereeing or ‘gatekeeping ‘ the fourth corner.

Alicia, quite rightly, refused to let the matter drop. So Holliday witheringly evoked his lawyer/father and ended the call. Do you think she touched a nerve?

Simon Gotch & Daivari vs. InJustice

More a segment than a match, Jacob Gary jumped the InJustice boys as they made their entrance. The CONTRA trio beat down Reed and Oliver until Reed was able to break free and nailed everyone with a beautiful senton to the outside. This left Fatu on his own in the ring where, without any resistance, he was nailed with a super kick/jumping cutter combo to Send CONTRA packing.

The match never even began.

What was the point? CONTRA and Fatu are meant to be completely dominant and dangerous? And we’re meant to believe InJustice could take them out like that in two minutes or less? Really?

I understand they want to give InJustice credibility. But that isn’t the way to do it. Not when you’ve been pushing Fatu as a beast for so long. A misstep to be sure.

“It’s Our Pride”

Last week, Salina de la Renta made an offer on behalf of the mysterious owner of Promociones Dorado to Savio Vega for the purchase of IWA Puerto Rico.

This week, in a pre-taped segment, Savio declined said offer, stating that the IWA is “our pride”. It’s not for sale.

Of course, Salina didn’t take kindly on to not getting her own way. So she announced that her enigmatic benefactor will give ‘a gift to the Gods’—an ‘Aztec Jungle Match’ next week between Savio Vega and Mil Meurtes!

A gift for the Gods? If this is going where I think it’s going—into Lucha Underground territory—then that’s something to get excited about. And if Dario Cueto isn’t announced as the mysterious owner of Promociones Dorado, then I’m at a loss as to who it is. I’ll be watching this one closely.

Title Unification Match: MLW Middleweight Champion Lio Rush vs. AAA Cruiserweight Champion Laredo Kid

Here we are: the chance for Lio Rush to prove he is the ‘Moneyweight’ champion. Did he do that?

Look, we all know Lio Rush is super talented. His promos are fire and tonight was no exception, proclaiming the time to be ‘Rush Hour’ and making a camera man carry his flight case. We all know he can go in the ring; what was the problem here?

To be honest, the match itself was fine for what it was. The psychology was sound; Laredo Kid went for the fast paced assault, so Rush slowed the pace down to keep him grounded. The issue was, just as the match started to warm up and get going, it was over. I get the feeling that with a few more minutes, these two would have killed it. As it was, it was fine but not special.

Still, it looks like MLW is fully behind Rush, as it should be, and that is a positive thing. Let’s see where they take it from here.

Final Thoughts

Another episode of Fusion, another sense of feeling deflated. MLW has a lot going for it; it has some great talent and a realistic, gritty presentation. So why does everything feel so flat at the moment? Something is just not gelling. From main events sometimes not getting enough time, to the rather one-note method of storytelling evident at present, we’re not seeing the best of MLW at the moment and it’s a shame because during 2018 and 2019, they were one of the most exciting promotions going.

I’m on their side, honest. I want them to succeed. But there’s some fixes that need to be made for that to really happen. Here’s hoping.

Written by Chris Flackett

Wrestling obsessed since '91. Lived through the Monday Night Wars and is still here to tell the tale. Major fan of Strong Style, technical and Super Jr. Wrestling, as well as big versatile hosses smacking the hell out of each other. Lives in Manchester, England.

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