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MLW Fusion recap: John Morrison & Taya Valkyrie fail in championship opportunities

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It wasn’t long ago that the First Family of Slamtown Manor were sitting on top of the world in MLW. John Morrision held the national openweight championship, and Taya was crushing competition as the inaugural women’s world featherweight champion. Fortunes changed in an instant. Not only are Johnny and Taya without gold, they also lost title opportunities on MLW Fusion episode 173.

John Hennigan, as he goes by in MLW, competed in the main event to become #1 contender for the world heavyweight championship. All that stood in his way were Willie Mack and Lio Rush in a three-way. It was every man for himself, but Hennigan and Rush worked together whenever Mack was in the ring. That arrangement lasted only so long when Hennigan took a cheapshot to kick Rush in the face.

The closing sequence kicked off when Rush missed a jackknife splash aiming for Mack. El Chocolate Caliente hit a stunner to knock Rush out of the ring. Sam Adonis tried to interfere on Hennigan’s behalf, but Mack flipped the script for Johnny to collide into his cohort. Mack scored a roll-up on Hennigan to take the win. Mack overcame the odds to earn a shot at Alex Kane and the MLW World Heavyweight Championship.

Taya demanded her contractual rematch against Delmi Exo to gain back the women’s featherweight strap. There is a reason why Taya is called La Wera Loca. She is the craziest bitch you’ll ever meet. Taya will prove that against Exo.

Taya had momentum down the stretch for a curb stomp on the mat and a curb stomp into the bottom turnbuckle. When Taya lifted Exo for the Road to Valhalla, the champion escaped to counter for a roll-up. Taya kicked out to continue the fight. Exo rallied on offense. Her back was weak due to damage dished out by Taya, and that affected her ability to execute the package piledriver finisher. Exo adapted to finish through other means. She came off running the ropes to go for a headscissors into the Fujiwara armbar. Exo cranked hard and forced Taya to tap out in defeat.

This would appear to be the end of the line for Johnny and Taya in MLW. This show was taped in April, and we now know that they are currently in AEW.

In other action, Ken Broadway defeated TJ Crawford. Both men showcased heavy moves and heart to kick out of pins. Crawford was in control with Broadway on wobbly legs. Broadway slapped Crawford across the face in defiance. Crawford responded with a roundhouse kick and a springboard stunner. Broadway regrouped for a rolling discus strike and kicked the middle rope into Crawford’s throat. A running punt paved the way for the Travis Plex to win.

On the news tip, the 2023 Opera Cup tournament starts next week. The bracket revealed the four-man field. Davey Boy Smith Jr. versus Calvin Tankman and Tracy Williams versus Tony Deppen are the semifinal matchups.

Kevin Blackwood and Matt Cardona were the first picks in the 2023 Open Draft. The next selection was O’Shay Edwards as part of the Bomaye Fight Club.

This episode of Fusion was mostly taped material from April, however, MLW played it off mixing with fresh results from Never Say Never this past weekend on July 8, such as Alex Kane defeating Alexander Hammerstone to win the MLW World Heavyweight Championship.

Kane delivered a post-match press conference. He defied the doubters to win MLW’s top prize. He rudely insulted Hammerstone by saying the former champ still hasn’t earned his respect. Kane made Hammer his bitch by tapping him out. If there is a rematch, the Suplex Assassin will beat Hammerstone again. Bomaye is for the people!

MLW also aired the Don King reveal as the money man behind Bomaye. The scene transitioned to Court Bauer yelling on the phone. The MLW CEO commented never to do business with a crook like Don King.

MLW Fusion put forth an interesting episode. The matches were given enough time for all to shine in their own way. I was shocked that Taya Valkyrie tapped out. That was a strong way to put over Delmi Exo on La Wera Loca’s way out the door to AEW. Willie Mack was a cool choice to become #1 contender for Alex Kane. Mack is a fan favorite who always puts on entertaining matches. He deserves more limelight, so it is nice to see a world title shot coming his way.

Kane was ruthless in his assessment of Alexander Hammerstone. If you’re interested in watching the Never Say Never replay, it is available on the Fite+ package on Fite TV. Kane had more harsh words to witness him make history.

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