MLW Fusion opens up with the usual intro, and this week is a big one. World Titan Federation’s first official superstar Matt Cardona has commandeered MLW’s social media accounts for this week. Great idea to have this very self-obsessed narcissist in charge of a whole company’s social media presence; fits with the character and with the times.
Selina De La Renta is set to announce her first talent acquisition to MLW also. The two major stories being threaded through this episode are tangentially related to one another, given that MSL is clearly an ally to Selina. This makes MLW feel like a real place where each individual story can affect another- they don’t each take place in a vacuum.
De La Renta interrupts the announcers’ opening rundown just to remind the live crowd that she has a big announcement later, excellent heel work there, considering her announcement was already heavily advertised to begin with.
Zayda Steel vs Tiara James
First match is the debuting Zayda Steel, who gives of sort of a Sasha Banks vibe in terms of presentation; taking on Tiara James.
Good solid match here, the ladies of MLW are definitely destined for bigger and better things. A lot of effort is put into making sure the women are treated with the same importance as the men; but it’s done in a manner that feels organic and not forced as it does sometimes in other promotions. Tiara James picked up a nice win.
Coming out of that, we get a preview of coming attractions, then we cut to Jimmy Lloyd, who is a bit nervous about his street fight in the main event vs AKIRA. Mance Warner attempts to hype him up. Good stuff, it makes sense the more inexperienced wrestler would have butterflies before the biggest match of his career.
Triple Threat Match
TJ Crawford, Alec Price, and Kevin Blackwood
This was again continuing the trend of constantly showcasing the future as well as the present in MLW. This was another really good, high energy match. Perhaps a bit flashier than a standard MLW match, but nothing that broke the suspension of disbelief. Really looking forward to seeing where all three competitors head going forward. The Mysterious Hooded Figure attacks Price and costs him the match, which Crawford won, only for the Hooded figure to attack and lay out both Blackwood and Crawford as well. This made all the competitors look good and also furthered the intrigue to the storyline. The hooded figure targets Blackwood after the attack and Pilmanizes his leg with a steel chair, before he unmasks and is revealed to be Tony Deppen.
Then we go to a humorous highlight reel showing Matt Cardona as the head of the social media team for the night, which quickly goes wrong for Cardona, but we don’t see what happened, before the social media feed cuts away humorously. Nice bit of humour before the street fight and good way to use Matt.
Street Fight Match
Jimmy Lloyd vs AKIRA
We then go to the main event, Jimmy Lloyd vs AKIRA in a street fight. This was a very good example of a street fight. Far from being whacky and wild, it felt violent and dangerous, and there was a sense of Jimmy Lloyd being afraid even though he was brave enough to compete. Jimmy Lloyd lost the match and AKIRA retained the title but MLW successfully built a new star in the making in Lloyd.