MLW crowned a new champion in episode 5 of Fusion: ALPHA. The show featured Calvin Tankman and Matt Cross tangling in Opera Cup tournament action, Nicole Savoy and Holidead competing in the women’s featherweight division, and Richard Holliday foiled by a Contra conspiracy to assist Cesar Duran’s man of violence, King Muertes, in a Caribbean Championship match.
Let’s break it all down.
Richard Holliday was slated to open the show by defending the Caribbean Championship against King Muertes, but he never came out when his music played. Cut to cameras backstage catching Contra attacking Holliday. Alexander Hammerstone ran them off with a chair.
Willow Nightingale joined Rich Bocchini and St. Laurent on commentary for the women’s match. Savoy admits that Holidead is bigger and stronger but the harder Holidead will fall when going for a ride with every suplex in Savoy’s arsenal. Holidead came to the ring with Dr. Dax. She tied Dax to the ring post using a chain around his neck.
Nicole Savoy defeated Holidead. Savoy used a variety of suplexes during the contest, such as Saito, double underhook, German, and dragon. Holidead used a surfboard submission, backbreaker, and Air Raid Crash variation as her primo moves. Holidead had Savoy stunned on the mat after ground and pound. As Holidead reach down to goozle, Savoy swiftly cinched in a triangle choke. Holidead lifted and slammed on a powerbomb, but the impact wasn’t hard enough to break free. Savoy transitioned to a double armbar to earn the submission victory.
Savoy was in pain despite success. Medical officials attended to her in the ring. Nightingale exited the commentary table and crossed paths with Holidead. Bad move. Holidead attacked for a DDT on the entrance ramp and rained down punches with a chain wrapped around her fist.
Alicia Atout checked on Holliday’s status. He isn’t cleared to fight. However, when you are breathing rarefied air, you defend your championship.
King Mo joined commentary to scout Calvin Tankman as a prospect for American Top Team.
Opera Cup opening round: Calvin Tankman defeated Matt Cross. The former Son of Havoc attacked at the opening bell, but Tankman was too powerful. Cross used shifty athleticism to knock Tankman out of the ring for a suicide dive. Back inside the ropes, Tankman ended the rally with a massive shoulder block. As the match progressed, Tankman blasted an elbow and sent Cross into the ropes. Cross bounced back for a cutter.
Cross went high risk for a shooting star press, but Tankman evaded the maneuver. Cross charged forth into a pop-up back elbow from Tankman. Cross complained to the referee about being hit in the eye. He turned around to eat a meat hook clothesline. A vicious clubbing blow ended Cross’ Opera Cup aspirations.
Afterward, Cross spoke with Atout. He accused Tankman of playing dirty with a poke to the eye. (The strike was clearly clean and not dirty.) Cross was peeved about that BS loss.
Commentary alerted viewers that Holliday signed a medical waiver relieving MLW of liability when he competes against Muertes.
Tajiri received a hero’s welcome in Japan after winning the MLW World Middleweight Championship.
Budd Heavy drank delicious beer during his interview with Atout. Cesar Duran’s henchman interrupted to presumably request Atout’s presence for El Jefe.
After last week’s 5150 attack to Injustice, Jordan Oliver was sent to the ICU.
Emilio Sparks snooped backstage for footage of Jacob Fatu blowing a gasket. He was angry about Hammerstone’s fluke victory. Josef Samael calmed him down. Contra’s plan will go forth at War Chamber. Fatu chased the cameraman once he saw them spying.
Duran was on the phone offering a deal to a mysterious person. Enter Atout. Duran was displeased with her tabloid exploits. Duran questioned her bias, specifically in contrast towards the Dynasty. Atout claimed fair coverage across the board, so Duran offered a front row seat to watch Holliday get destroyed by Muertes. Atout reluctantly accepted to prove her point.
Duran had a message for Mads Krugger. Duran believed Krugger has yet to fully realize his potential, and he wanted to discuss matters with the big man.
Duran and Atout were seated ringside sipping champagne for the main event.
Caribbean Championship: King Muertes defeated Richard Holliday. There were two stories at play. First was the title match. Holliday’s injured ribs from the earlier Contra attack bothered him throughout. A spear by Muertes added to Holliday’s pain.
Muertes clotheslined Holliday out of the ring landing in front of Duran. El Jefe dumped champagne on Holliday’s head. Back in the ring, Holliday picked up steam by headbutting Muertes and connecting on a flying forearm smash. Two clotheslines from Holliday failed to knock Muertes down. Holliday ducked a clothesline from Muertes and answered with a spinebuster. It wasn’t long before Muertes was back on top pummeling Holliday, who pleaded for no more. The champ didn’t quit though. He rallied with a torture rack neckbreaker.
The second story involved Contra. Hammerstone and EJ Nduka engaged in fisticuffs with Contra’s goons backstage. The Sentai Death Squad came out to surround the ring and distract Holliday in a pivotal moment. Boom! Ikuro Kwon blasted Holliday with a roundhouse kick to the head.
Rich Bocchini tried to push this as a conspiracy of Duran and Contra in cahoots. Muertes took advantage with a Flatliner on the floor. He rolled Holiday into the ring for the 1, 2, 3. King Muertes is the new Caribbean champion.
After the match, Atout refused to toast Muertes winning the belt. She slapped the champagne glass out of Duran’s hand.
Smooth move by MLW providing a reason to root for Richard Holliday going forward. They even did it without changing his core character. Holliday is still a fancy boy, however, he demonstrated intestinal fortitude in defending the Caribbean Championship after a Contra beating earlier in the evening. That is the kind of attitude worth cheering. It helps that Holliday is associated with Alexander Hammerstone, has a budding flirtation with Alicia Atout, and also that extreme evildoers in Contra to make him look like noble in comparison. The sum of those parts overshadow Holliday’s past antics of converting orphanages to strip malls and other such malarkey.
Calvin Tankman was impressive in victory. The way he wound up on his final blow made it look killer. Tankman is going to be a tough task to eliminate in the Opera Cup. I still favor Davey Richards to win it all in the end due to his veteran experience. He should be able to find a way to solve the puzzle of Heavyweight Hustle.
That was an odd ending for Matt Cross to complain about the finish. It wasn’t even a cheap shot by Tankman. Cross has been pretty likable, so this feels like a stretch coming out of nowhere.
The women’s match had a cool conclusion. Nicole Savoy and Holidead worked an interesting variation to the powerbomb escape. That usually results in a break or an even tighter triangle choke. Savoy shifting for a double armbar was a nice wrinkle. The match itself was enjoyable. Both wrestlers showed they fit the MLW vibe.
Good show all around from MLW. The intertwining stories throughout added layers upon layers and created questions upon questions for upcoming drama. There were a lot of little details to catch, like the Hammerheads team name, that add value to rewatching.
Share your reaction to episode 5 of Fusion: ALPHA. Which match was the stand out? Are you buying in to rooting for Richard Holliday?