Episode 178 of MLW Fusion kicked off with a banger as Jacob Fatu fought Rickey Shane Page.
The MLW National Openweight Championship was on the line for this bout. RSP was flanked by Raven, Mandy Leon, and The Calling’s goons. The challenger walked around the ring trying to intimidate the champion. Fatu don’t play that. He attacked on a suicide dive before the bell. Fatu kept on the pressure for a swanton and an Arabian moonsault.
RSP came back with a running crossbody and a body slam with a chair.
Referee Frank Gastineau was lenient on the rules due to Fatu and RSP agreeing to mutual combat. Give an inch, take a mile. RSP used a spike to jab the bottom of Fatu’s foot and his inner cheek as well. As they say in professional wrestling, never test the durability of a Samoan’s head. A drop toehold into a chair woke up Fatu to rally with offense. The champ unleashed a savate kick, suicide dive, flying crossbody, and handspring moonsualt.
Raven had to cause a distraction to slow down Fatu’s momentum. It didn’t work for long. Fatu executed a pop-up Samoan drop onto a stack of chairs.
The match progressed with RSP landing a flying senton through a table.
Fatu and RSP brawled on the outside. In the process, they roughed up the referee. Gastineau had enough and called for the bell to end the match without a winner. Fatu and RSP continued brawling to the back.
MLW wasn’t content to let the rivalry end there, so they booked a Weapons of Mass Destruction match between Fatu and RSP for Fury Road on September 3. Hell yeah!
The main event of the show was the Opera Cup tournament final between Tracy Williams and Davey Boy Smith Jr. (Full details here.) It was a back and forth competitive battle, but Smith’s power was the game changer. A powerslam and a powerbomb softened Williams enough for a crossface submission to win. Smith celebrated with Mister Saint Laurent to trash the Philly crowd.
The match in the middle saw Delmi Exo defend the MLW World Featherweight Championship against Paris Van Dale. Exo handled business to win via package piledriver. The champ had to work for the win, but she was never in serious trouble.
Exo had bigger trouble with B3CCA. The pop star sassed Exo before the bout, so the champ put her in her place.
After Exo’s match, B3CCA smashed a guitar over the champ’s head.
On the promo tip, Matt Cardona explained that he has no animosity toward Mance Warner. Their match at Fury Road is just business. Cardona is in MLW for buzz, money, and gold.
Last but not least, the purpose of the satellite vignette tease about kingdoms clashing and worlds colliding will be revealed next week.
This episode of Fusion had that spark that makes MLW stand out. Jacob Fatu versus Rickey Shane Page was a very enjoyable fight. It was down and dirty, but Fatu added beauty with his flashes of athleticism. RSP’s toughness was on display with that Samoan drop onto the chairs. That had to hurt. When thinking about the types of matches that result in unfinished business, this one fits the bill perfectly. Neither man had victory within his grasp, and they just kept fighting after the disqualification. The rugged action left me wanting another round to see a final winner. Upping the stakes to Weapons of Mass Destruction is going to be wild, and this feud deserves it.
The Opera Cup final was a fitting match to honor the technical style of the past. The finish seemed botched when the referee pulled up on his count for Davey Boy Smith Jr.’s powerbomb. Tracy Williams did not move to kick out, so I’m not sure what happened in miscommunication. The post-match promo from Mister Saint Laurent and the Bulldog was hilarious. Smith is firmly entrenched as a heel.
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