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MLW Fusion recap: John Morrison cheats defeat with help from Taya Valkyrie

MLW Fusion (episode 168) came from the ECW Arena in Philadelphia. John Morrison received a helping hand from wife Taya Valkyrie, Delmi Exo picked up momentum before her title shot, and 1 Called Manders wrestled a caveman.

John Hennigan (aka Morrison, Caballero, Mundo, and the list goes on) rumbled with Willie Mack in the main event for the MLW National Openweight Championship. Johnny entered with the title, and he exited still holding gold thanks to shenanigans.

Hennigan and Mack had an even flow to start the match. Mack’s intensity increased after being slapped by the champ. Johnny ran out of the ring to hide behind Taya. When Hennigan tried to throw a kick with his wife as his shield, Mack caught him for a suplex on the floor. Hennigan regrouped to pick Mack apart and hit signature moves.

Mack found his groove for the Samoan drop, kip up, standing moonsault sequence. Mack was close to victory when he ran the ropes back and forth to explode for a knee strike. Hennigan was knocked flat on his back. That’s when Taya hopped onto the apron to cause a referee distraction. Mack never got the chance for the pin. Hennigan tried to take advantage and accidentally superkicked Taya. Sam Adonis entered the ring to interfere with the title belt, but Mack ducked and hit back with a stunner. Johnny tried to pick his spot to attack. That tactic backfired when he ran into a pop-up powerbomb. 1, 2, kick-out. Ooh, the drama.

Mack went to finish with a frog splash, but he missed the mark. As Johnny picked up the title belt, Mack executed a sunset flip. That motion caused Johnny to drop the foreign object. The referee picked it up and walked away to restore order, while Mack secured the pin without anyone to count. A double screwjob on Mack turned into a triple screwjob when Taya clocked him with her championship. Hennigan made the easy pin to retain.

Taya is in line to defend the MLW Women’s Featherweight Championship next week on Fusion against Delmi Exo. The challenger strut her stuff in a showcase against B3CCA. The match was tougher than anticipated for Exo, but she got the job done in the end. B3CCA was aggressive with a springboard cutter and a Muta lock submission. When Exo gained control for a torture rack, B3CCA raked the eyes to break free. The tide turned for Exo when she dodged a moonsault. Exo crushed a package piledriver for victory.

In other action, 1 Called Manders battled Yoscifer El, who was billed from 3,000 to 5,000 years ago. Yoscifer looked like a fashionable caveman with colorful scarfs. Manders was never in serious trouble, but he did have to work for the win. A spinebuster cleared the path for a three-point stance lariat for victory.

On the promo tip, Alex Kane sensed a conspiracy from MLW trying to keep him down. He is bringing a revolution. Bomaye is for the people.

One gigantic problem though. The man known as Muscle Mountain stands in the way. Alexander Hammerstone has no plans on dropping the MLW World Heavyweight Championship to Kane at Never Say Never on July 8.

The Calling is sending Akira for the MLW World Middleweight Championship held by Lince Dorado. That belt will be defended next week in a three-way with former champ Lio Rush. Akira lived his life with honor, but that is a burden he refuses to carry anymore. Raven showed him the way.

The Mane Event were profiled in their journey to MLW. They have a blank canvas to etch their names into tag team wrestling.

The Never Say Never control center broke news for Timothy Thatcher’s opponent in his return bout. Tracy Williams is the fresh meat on the menu. The former TV and tag champ in ROH has excellent technical skills, so this bout should be a doozy.

This episode of MLW Fusion was anchored by the main event. That was a heck of a tease on Willie Mack. The match was long enough to tell a story and get invested in the outcome. That powerbomb really felt like it was time for a title change. Alas, it was not meant to be. John Hennigan cheated defeat to retain the openweight championship.

The other matches built up Delmi Exo and 1 Called Manders. Exo is primed to challenge Taya. La Wera Loca will have a tough time with those power suplexes. Manders has a pleasing style for those that enjoy roughhousing, which I certainly do. Bring on some big hosses for Manders to mow down.

The variety of promos was a strong suit for this show. Akira had The Calling craziness with Raven, and the Mane Event had the personal touch to earn new fans along their journey to the big top.

Share your reactions to the latest episode of MLW Fusion.

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