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MLW Fusion ALPHA: Let’s lucha!

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MLW is back with round two of Fusion: ALPHA. A title fight, a lucha libre exhibition, and a suplex assassin are on the docket for matchmaker Cesar Duran (alias Dario Cueto).

The advertised lineup includes:

  • MLW National Openweight Championship: Alexander Hammerstone vs. Tom Lawlor
  • Aramis vs. Arez
  • Alex Kane vs. Budd Heavy

Duran is all about super luchas, and he is backing that up by booking Alexander Hammerstone to defend the openweight title against Tom Lawlor. The story intrigue will be to see if Hammerstone can maintain peak momentum as Muscle Mountain before clashing in title versus title against Jacob Fatu at Fightland. (The Fightland special will air October 7 at 10 pm ET exclusively on Vice TV.)

Traditional wrestling booking would often dictate Hammer drops the belt to Filthy Tom. On the other hand, the delay in timing actually works to MLW’s benefit. Assuming Hammerman wins, it would provide a showcase to hype him with a quality victory before next week’s super deluxe hoss fight of champions.

Aramis and Arez are two highly skilled luchadores. It is fitting to pair them together for a chance to shine bright to new audiences. This match received very positive reviews, so it should be a treat to finally watch. Alex Kane is making his MLW singles debut as a suplex assassin. Let’s go with an over/under of 10 suplexes to Budd Heavy. Are you taking the high or the low?

Episode #2 of Fusion: ALPHA launches at 7 pm ET Wednesday night on YouTube (here).

To find out why Duran booked that title fight between Hammerstone and Lawlor, read on for the recap of the Fusion: ALPHA debut.

Duran opened with a message to his Believers. It is a new era of super luchas and violence in MLW. Duran ran down the lineup then shouted, “Let’s lucha!”

The ring announcer yelled, “This bout is the Bunkhouse Braaaaawwwwlll!!!” Denim god Tom Lawlor took the mic to rile up the Philly crowd. They don’t deserve to see Team Filthy in action.

Bunkhouse Brawl: Von Erichs defeated Kevin Ku & Kit Osbourne. Marshall Von Erich was in control with the claw, so Team Filthy used a shovel to smash his leg. The ruffians went to work on Marshall’s limb. Ku crushed Ross Von Erich with a painful fisherman’s brainbuster onto an open chair.

When the Von Erichs proved to have too much heart to quit, Lawlor brought in a huge 2x4 piece of wood. That tactic backfired when he hit Ku. Ross snatched the weapon to bash Team Filthy. The Von Erichs set up a wooden board across two chairs. Ku was underneath, and Osbourne was on top. Marshall launched for a moonsault to crash down upon the pile. A double pin earned the win.

A hype video played of Alexander Hammerstone wining Battle Riot III to cash in for title versus title against Jacob Fatu at Fightland. The epic clash of titans will air October 7 on Vice TV.

TJP spoke about globetrotting in his career as a wrestler, while Davey Richards has been out of action. TJP wrestles like beautiful music in contrast to Richards’ wrestling equivalent to the sound of pots falling on the ground. TJP was confident he will tap out Richards, since the American Wolf is a quitter.

MLW is bringing in the women’s featherweight division with Ashley Vox, Delmi Exo, Brittany Blake, Holidead, Zoey Skye, Willow Nightingale, and Nicole Savoy.

Duran was admiring a photo of himself when Matt Cross (aka Son of Havoc) interrupted. New name for Duran but same old game. Cross angled for a title shot in MLW. Duran would give it some thought.

Alicia Atout updated the backstage scuffle between Team Filthy and the Von Erichs. Security intervened to escort Lawlor toward the office of Duran.

Konnan did a 5150 roll call for Dr. Julius Smokes, Slice Boogie, and Rivera (aka Danny Limelight). Ratta-tat-tat.

Gino Medina defeated KC Navarro. Medina used flashy kicks to grind down the speedster. Navarro rallied with a whirling DDT, but Medina snatched control back with more kicks. Medina executed a spinning torture rack facebuster to close it out.

Josef Samael had a message for Hammerstone. The Contra leader laughed at the notion that Hammer believed he could do what no man has done since Fatu won the MLW World Heavyweight Championship. Typical American arrogance in its purest form. This won’t be a title fight. It will be a war zone. Hammerstone is going home in a body bag. Hail, Contra!

Davey Richards explained his goal to be the best professional wrestler in the world. MLW is the place to be with all the talent. Richards predicted a submission victory over TJP.

Duran was on the phone counting on the other person to prove their success. Lawlor entered in a huff stating his case for a world title shot. Duran appreciated Lawlor’s understanding of violence, spectacle, and victory. Duran booked Lawlor in a title match... against Hammerstone for the MLW National Openweight Championship. Duran rushed Lawlor out to get back to his phone call. A mysterious figure walked in on the side with a grunt. Its sounded like a tease for Matanza.

Davey Richards defeated TJP. Mat work to start. TJP did a twisting headscissors takedown then dabbed to flip the middle finger to the crowd. Boos rained down. The action built toward a superplex from Richards. The pace picked up from there with submission counters and roll-up reversals. Richards flipped the switch to a higher gear in the end. He nailed TJP with an exploder brainbuster on the apron, a flying double stomp, and a regular brainbuster. TJP would not stay down, so Richards forced him to tap out on an ankle lock.

The debut of Fusion: ALPHA rocked hard. It’s great to see Dario Cueto again. I’m still amazed that MLW pulled off the idea to shift his obvious identity to a new alias in Cesar Duran. My personal reaction to Duran is similar to the excitement felt by fans of CM Punk coming to AEW. It puts a smile on my face every time I see Duran. They peppered his presence throughout the broadcast, and it was awesome each time. We were able to observe his slimy nature as a promoter when glad-handing Tom Lawlor. I don’t know if MLW can bring back Jeff Cobb as Matanza, but it sure sounded like a possibility with the off-screen grunt. A family reunion would certainly be cool.

It has felt like a long time since weekly installments of fresh MLW action, but the instant intensity from the Von Erichs made it feel as if MLW never went on hiatus. Marshall and Ross brought me right back into the fold to quickly remember the feud details for their fight with Team Filthy. The Bunkhouse Brawl was a hootenanny with all the weapons. Those matches are usually free-for-alls, but Team Filthy actually mixed in a bit of strategy by attacking Marshall’s knee. The ending sandwich moonsault was a fantastic visual and a fitting way to dispose of Lawlor’s goons.

The main event was set up well with the addition of pre-match promos. It provided an opportunity for consumers to pick a side without being able to lean on previous history. Since TJP was clearly the heel when speaking, it made an easy choice to cheer Richards. The main event was solid. The early ground work gave way to flashier moves as the match progressed. The closing blitz by Richards was impressive. If Richards can replicate that effort, I don’t see anyone standing in his way to winning the upcoming Opera Cup tournament.

Share your reaction to Fusion: ALPHA. Who were the standouts to your eye?

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