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MLW Roundup: Jacob Fatu dream match, Davey Richards re-signs, more!

MLW is hosting dream matches upon dream matches. Not everyone will share those same dreams, but it is safe to say MLW matchmaking can be pretty cool.

There are two contests in particular for the dream realm. First is Alexander Hammerstone versus Bandido for the MLW World Heavyweight Championship. That airs on the newest Fusion episode Thursday night at 8 pm ET, available through Pro Wrestling TV. The second is Jacob Fatu versus Ben-K from DragonGate. That bout is scheduled to take place at Blood & Thunder on January 7 in Philadelphia with footage to air down the line at a later date.

Before we move forward, let’s look back to the week that was. On last week’s episode of Fusion, there were two title bouts and an intriguing beatdown. Taya Valkyrie handled business to retain the MLW Women’s World Featherweight Championship against Brittany Blake. Hammerstone closed his feud with Richard Holliday to retain the MLW World Heavyweight Championship in Falls Count Anywhere. In the aftermath, EJ Nduka slammed Hammerstone through a table to make a statement about his desire for a world title shot.

Hammerstone is making a quick turnaround to defend against Bandido this week on Fusion. Bandido has championship accolades of his own as former ROH world champion. The clash in styles will be intriguing, but I’m curious if Bandido can pull off his power moves on a man the size of Muscle Mountain. Imagine Bandido executing the one-armed gorilla press on Hammerstone.

This episode also kicks off the Super Series stretch of shows. Bandido is crossing over from AAA. (This footage was filmed in September before Bandido signed with AEW.) In other action, AAA sent over a quartet of luchadoras to compete in a #1 contender match for Taya’s MLW gold. La Hiedra, Lady Flammer, Reina Dorada, and Lady Shani will duke it out for that honor. That should be a hard-hitting lucha libre affair. There are AAA angles to lean into for MLW if they choose. Hiedra and Flammer are pals in Las Toxicas. Flammer earned a AAA title shot at Taya for the Reina de Reinas Championship, but she has yet to receive it. Shani is the top babyface luchadora in AAA at the moment, so she would present an interesting matchup for Taya.

Jumping forward to Blood & Thunder on January 7, MLW is pumped for the dream match between Jacob Fatu and Ben-K. I’m not familiar with Ben-K, so let the MLW press release carry the sell job. It is pretty effective.

For the first time ever, two of wrestling’s most dynamic athletes will collide in an inter-promotional clash that will display the powerhouse ingenuity of Ben-K against the chaos and bedlam of Jacob Fatu.

One could argue no one in DragonGate has had such a breakout year like Ben-K has experienced.

Joining Gold Class earlier this year, DragonGate’s a faction of brute romantics, Ben-K flexes as he carries a golden rose and rocks gold chains that would make Gucci Mane show respect.

Dripping in gold around his neck as well as at times around his waist, Ben-K has collected multiple belts in his 6-year career, including the Open The Triangle Gate Championship, Open The Dream Gate title, the Open The Twin Gate Championship and claimed the 2019 King of Gate tournament.

A standout member of DragonGate dojo class of 2016, Ben-K has been a fixture in DragonGate for the past half decade.

With fans chanting along to his catchphrase “chiki chiki,” the gold draped DragonGate wrestler is the star of the show.

Backed by an arsenal of signature moves, including the Ben-K Bomb (Deadlift gutwrench powerbomb), Masakari (Jackhammer) and Sodegarami (Grounded full nelson sleeper), Ben-K vows to show his force using his explosive power when he steps in the ring with Fatu.

Meanwhile, Fatu enters this dream match on the heels of winning the Battle Riot and several high-profile wins.

On the hunt for the World Heavyweight Championship, Fatu will require a focused battle plan to counter Ben-K’s expansive arsenal and lucharesu style.

Expect Ben-K to challenge Fatu’s stamina and power. Can Ben-K counter the chaos Fatu is notorious for conjuring up in his matches?

Will Ben-K finish start 2023 building on the extraordinary momentum he has enjoyed in 2022? Or will he the next victim of the “Samoan Werewolf”?

Alicia Atout returned with the latest installment of MLW Insider. It was amusing to hear her slanted recap of last week’s title fight in favor of her man, Richard Holliday. Atout also interviewed Davey Richards, who broke news that he re-signed with MLW. It was an easy decision for Richards, since the company’s vision aligns with his own over a sport-first perception to supply the best competition. When asked about sharing the ring with the Billington Bulldogs, Richards teased bringing in a partner of old. He didn’t name names, but it seemed like a clear reference to Eddie Edwards. The American Wolves (aka The American Pitbulls) are five-time TNA tag champs and two-time ROH tag champs.

Share your thoughts on the happenings in MLW.

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