Let’s catch up on the latest news in MLW and recap the heavyweight title fight between Jacob Fatu and Calvin Tankman from Fusion.
We’ll start with the Never Say Never special of MLW Fusion.
The heavyweight champ opened the show. Jacob Fatu had words for the challenger. Did Calvin Tankman really expect to sign a deal then make a name for himself? Hell no. Tankman will be just another body to add to the body count. Over to Tankman hyping up the main event. Fatu has been running roughshod over the roster, but Tankman is different and dangerous. Fatu better not play games or else Tankman will hold the heavyweight title.
The Never Say Never official theme song, “Ride on Our Enemies,” by Monteasy set the mood right. Combat sports announcer Ray Flores called the action as a special guest alongside St. Laurent.
Simon Gotch vs Jordan Oliver
Gotch worked Oliver on the mat. On the floor, Gotch hit a snap suplex. The Contra Unit member took great joy in dishing out pain methodically. Oliver countered a slam into a DDT for his first big attack. Oliver hammered a clothesline to win a striking exchange. Oliver exploded out of the corner for a flying cutter, but Gotch countered with a sleeper. Oliver used a snapmare takeover to escape then successfully connected on the flying cutter to win at 9:14.
Josef Samael delivered a badass promo as only he can. “Never say never,” is an idyllic expression full of hope when low on luck and out of time. The arrogant Injustice infidels are trying to convince themselves that their revolution has a chance. However, this is a war that Contra has been training for. The black flag of Contra will be draped over body bags as their revolution lays in ruins.
MLW announced that the partnership with Dragon Gate is back on track with big projects in the works. Highlights were shown of Dragon Gate wrestlers.
Daivari vs Myron Reed
Fisticuffs exploded right at the opening bell. Reed took control with a suicide dive. Daivari reversed an Irish whip into a wall. He used his strength to put on a pounding. Reed reversed a piledriver into a back body drop on the floor, then he took flight for a flying crossbody off the stage.
Back inside the ring, Daivari astutely dodged a second flying crossbody. Reed tweaked his leg upon impact, so Daivari focused solely on destruction of that limb. Reed had a hot fire comeback with a stunner and a slingshot leg drop. Daivari regained control for a powerslam. He took off Reed’s chest protector to wear it himself on a flying splash, but Reed moved out of the way. After a leaping cutter, Reed put his chest protector back on to hit a springboard 450 splash to win at 8:05.
Alexander Hammerstone is excited for his official match against Mil Muertes for the MLW National Openweight Championship on April 14. Mil’s plan was poorly thought out. Step 1 was to steal the belt. Step 2 was to post selfies. Steps 3, 4, and 5 will be Hammerman whooping that ass.
Alicia Atout mediated an interview with Richard Holliday and Gino Medina. Holliday rightfully chastised Atout for her disrespect in failing to introduce him as the Caribbean Champion. Medina was tired of their flirting. He came to talk business. Insults were traded all around. Atout broke news that their will be an official title defense from Holliday against Medina on April 14. Holliday was unhappy about the choice for his undynastic opponent.
MLW World Heavyweight Championship: Jacob Fatu vs Calvin Tankman
Daivari was ringside to support Fatu. The bout began with stalemates in the tests of power. Tankman used his agility to frustrate Fatu then blast him out of the ring with a shoulder block. Fatu came back with a springboard body smash. Fatu tried to wear down Heavyweight Hustle with kicks to the head, a Samoan Drop, a running cannonball in the corner, and a nerve hold.
Tankman found his second wind to slug it out in the center of the ring. Fatu ducked a spinning backfist, however, Tankman kept moving to truck Fatu out of the ring again. Tankman followed with a suicide dive. A running shooting star press from Tankman earned a 2 count on the cover. Tankman kept on the pressure. Fatu used a handstand to escape the impact from a cutter. The champ fired back with a handspring moonsault. Tankman stayed alive to kick out.
Tankman had momentum after a hefty clothesline, so a worried Daivari created a distraction. Tankman headbutt the Contra soldier. Fatu took advantage of the chaos to hit Tankman with the Contra flag pole. A springboard moonsault put Tankman down for the 3 count at 10:44. Fatu retained his title.
Never Say Never delivered on the big fight feel. The golden pipes of Ray Flores and special theme song from Monteasy were excellent touches to enhance the mood. It is too bad live fans aren’t allowed yet, because they would have blown the roof off the building.
The main event displayed entertaining power and agility from both men, but the finish felt cheap. MLW has had quite a few cheap finishes lately. Fatu’s mystique is based on being a badass. He shouldn’t need to cheat to win. Tankman wouldn’t lose any hype by taking the champ to the limit in a clean defeat. Since nothing was really settled, Tankman clogs up the title picture until he gets a deserving rematch.
The undercard bouts both stayed true to their story. Gotch kicked ass with superior skill, but Oliver refused to quit. I suspect Oliver was working at less than 100%, since he came up gimpy in his championship bout versus Fatu. That might have been why Oliver was less flashy than usual. Daivari and Reed had the callback using the chest protector in their finish. That made sense given the context and provided a creative way to highlight intensity and trash-talk.
Tonight’s offering of wrestling from MLW is a throwback to the MLW Underground days. Terry Funk will wrestle Jerry “The King” Lawler as the next step of Funk’s feud with Steve Corino. A $10,000 bounty is being offered for Lawlor to take out Funk. Also on the card will be Sonjay Dutt versus Jimmy Yang.
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After Jacob Fatu’s successful title defense, Daivari was fined an undisclosed amount and suspended two months due to his interference. MLW aims to protect the integrity of the championship. As for who’s next for Fatu, Alexander Hammerstone is in the mix. Contra has failed to eliminate Muscle Mountain thus far, but Josef Samael has veto power in Fatu’s championship contract. MLW is looking for a loophole to set up the money fight.
On the injury tip, Marshall Von Erich suffered a knee injury in the chain rope match. He should be cleared in 10 days. MLW is considering sanctions for Tom Lawlor over accusations of falsifying an injury to get out of the Von Erich match. Bu Ku Dao will undergo a concussion test, but he should have a full recovery from TJP’s sneak attack.
The previously planned April 10th event in Philadelphia was rescheduled for July 10th at the 2300 Arena. This is one of the shows that MLW keeps pushing back until it can be run safely due to the COVID pandemic.
MLW is now available on TV in Poland.
Share your thoughts on Never Say Never. Were you satisfied by the main event? Who would you like to see next up on the menu for Jacob Fatu?