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MLW Fusion recap: Davey Richards battles DragonGate star in title fight

Davey Richards is building a strong résumé as a fighting champion. The American Wolf has defended the MLW National Openweight Championship far and wide. His latest televised defense came in an interpromotional contest against DragonGate’s SB-KENTo on episode 159 of Fusion, which can be streamed through Pro Wrestling TV.

SB-KENTo visited MLW for the Super Series event with talent from AAA in Mexico, DragonGate in Japan, and IWA in Puerto Rico. SB-KENTo is a two-time titleholder of the Open the Brave Gate Championship as well as tag team champ and trios champ in DragonGate. That championship pedigree made him worthy for a shot at MLW gold against Richards.

Richards and SB-KENTo battled for roughly 10 minutes. SB-KENTo gained an early advantage after a DDT on the apron.

SB-KENTo showed personality by mocking Richards’ striking game. Richards came back to block a sunset flip for a jumping double stomp. Richards gained control with a dragon screw leg whip in the ropes. The champ continued his focus on damaging the leg with a Trailer Hitch submission. SB-KENTo reached the ropes for the break. He rallied with a German suplex, but Richards wasn’t down for long. As SB-KENTo climbed the corner, Richards sprang up to score a superplex.

Down the stretch, SB-KENTo fired up for a strikes. He ran the ropes overzealously, and Richards met him with a superkick to the mush. SB-KENTo was stunned. Richards seized the moment for a German suplex, crushing lariat, and brainbuster. SB-KENTo kicked out on the cover. Richards was one step ahead and snatched the leg for a grapevine ankle lock. SB-KENTo tapped out in defeat. Richards remains the MLW openweight champ.

Moving to another Richards’ feud, Alex Kane dented the stolen Opera Cup trophy. He renamed the prize as the Bomaye Fight Club tournament of the gods. Whenever the next Opera Cup tournament is held, Kane is confident that he will still be is possession of the prize.

That promo from earlier in the show was necessary context before cutting back to Richards’ victory promo. The American Wolf showed respect to his opponent. Richards sharpened his fangs in Japan, and he can attest that SB-KENTo is the real deal. The champ wants to see more DragonGate competition in MLW. As for Kane, Richards respects Kane’s skill, but stealing the Opera Cup is disgraceful to the sport. Richards is coming for the cup, Kane’s blood, and to eat Kane’s soul.

In undercard action, Star Rogers defeated Cosmos in a lucha libre style contest. Rogers came over from IWA in Puerto Rico, while Cosmos was a local Atlanta luchador. Atlanta was the home city for the Super Series taping. Rogers and Cosmos engaged in a competitive showcase bout. Rogers pulled out the win via Spanish Fly.

On the story tip, Alexander Hammerstone received 52 stitches under his bottom lip after suffering an accident when tacking EJ Nduka off stage last week. MLW showed the gnarly wound.

Nduka’s reply was to criticize Hammerstone’s tackling technique. Hammerman was the one who delivered the blow, and yet Hammer was the one who got injured. Leave the spears to Nduka as a former football player. Bottom line of Nduka’s promo was that he will beat Hammerstone for the MLW World Heavyweight Championship.

Samoan SWAT Team works hard and plays hard. The crew was hungover from partying. Jacob Fatu advised his crew to tap into themselves to rise to the top. Lance Anoa’i and Juicy Finau are making moves for tag team gold, and Fatu has the right to a world title shot after winning Battle Riot.

Mads Krugger is coming for Mance Warner. Krugger blames Warner for costing him a win in the Battle Riot. Meanwhile, Warner was in the woods hunting Doc Gallows, who Mancer believed was under the Krugger mask. Warner found Microman trying to catch butterflies. They palled up and walked down the road together.

Lady Flammer had words for Taya Valkyrie. Flammer is simply the best. She has the whole package, and she’s coming for the MLW women’s title.

Taya versus Flammer for the MLW Women’s Featherweight Championship will main event next week’s episode of Fusion. Also on tap, a table match was announced between Warner and Krugger next week. That show should be fire.

Episode 159 of Fusion was a solid outing. Even though nothing jumped out as amazing, the matches were satiating like a stew of meat and potatoes. I’m not familiar with SB-KENTo prior to this bout, so I can’t speak on his standard of performance. For fans of Richards, I think they will be pleased with his efforts in victory. It felt like his style of match. In promos, personalities shined to advance angles. I’d give the budding friendship of Mance Warner and Microman as the show-stealer.

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