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Colin McGuire, staffer (@McGMondays).

Major League Wrestling Fusion: Alpha (Episode 4)
Taped in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at 2300 Arena
Streamed October 13, 2021 on the MLW’s YouTube Page

A recap video from Vice TV’s Fightland aired, complete with Alexander Hammerstone’s in-ring celebration… The commentary team of Rich Bocchini and Joe Dombrowski checked in to run down the card. Rumors of the former Enzo Amore coming to MLW were discussed…

1. Lee Moriarty against Calvin Tankman. The two wrestlers circled each other to start the match. The crowd seemed divided between the wrestlers, and for whom they were rooting. Moriarty tried to take Tankman down, but Tankman stood there and it wasn’t going to happen. Moriarty went for multiple shoulder-blocks, but Tankman didn’t sell them. Moriarty was eventually taken down by Tankman’s nasty, echoing right fist.

Tankman was shocked when Moriarty pulled off an arm-drag. Tankman hit a shoulder block that lifted Moriarty across to the ring. Moriarty tried his best to get going, but Tankman slammed Moriarty. Tankman landed a forearm but Moriarty was fired up. Tankman ended the fight with a headbutt. Tankman was stunned when Moriarty hit an Enziguri. Moriarty struck a series of knees on Tankman to take him down. He also got a two-count with a running knee strike.

Moriarty was a cross-arm-breaker (the Joint Custody), and entered an occtopus to work over Tankman. Tankman broke it up by pushing Moriarty above the top rope. Tankman beat Moriarty to death on the apron. Tankman attempted to cover Moriarty but he kicked out. Moriarty went after Tankman’s arm, but Tankman caught Moriarty with a pop-up power-bomb for a close near-fall. Moriarty continued to hit a string of strikes for a double-count. Moriarty then ran another knee for another near-fall.

Moriarty attempted to climb the top rope but Tankman caught him with his back-elbow after Moriarty jumped. Tankman went for the Tankman Driver, but Moriarty got out of it … only to have Tankman land it a few seconds later.

Calvin Tankman defeated Lee Moriarty in pinfall in 11 minutes.

After the match, Tankman picked Moriarty up and raised Moriarty’s hand. Alex Kane, King Mo and Tankman came out after the match to give Tankman a promotion offering a place in American Top Team. Tankman said he’d think about it.

McGuire’s Musings:The match was very good to excellent. Tankman is very good at being the monster big guy — and I mean, very, very good — and Moriarty is the Belle of a lot of wrestling fans’ balls in the last handful of months, so this is worth watching. It was logical that Tankman would be over since Moriarty was heading to AEW. Even though this was taped before Moriarty received the call. Speaking of taping, though, the post-match promo has me wondering if that’s what led to the Tankman/Kane match I saw at the Fightland tapings a few weeks ago. Although the promo was not filmed on that night, the match was and I assumed it was Opera Cup-related. Maybe.

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A Contra video aired hyping the War Chamber…

Cesar Duran was shown backstage on the phone and Alex Hammerstone entered the room. Hammerstone came in and forfeited National Openweight Title. Cesar asked Hammerstone to take a seat to discuss his future. Cesar asked Hammerstone if he was willing to face Contra. Hammerstone said he’d find a team, presumably to take on Contra in the War Chamber…

McGuire’s Musings:It’s all good. Hammerstone told me, along with other members of the press, that he didn’t want to take opportunities away from people if he was to beat Jacob Fatu during the Fightland tapings, and I guess he’s following it through with that. I thought he kind of/sort of insinuated that he’d defend both belts, but so it goes. Contra and whatever team he creates should have fun in the War Chamber matchup.

An Alicia Atout “investigation”On Duran was then aired. There was a lot of cinematic stuff. I don’t even know what to say about it…

Tom Lawlor cut a promo backstage. Lawlor mocked Davey Richards’ absence for so many years. Lawlor stated that the Opera Cup is the permanent tournament of wrestling. He ended by saying the Opera Cup would be covered in filth…

A Richard Holliday video was shown. It was announced that Hammerstone will be joined by Holliday in the War Chamber match…

2. Brittany Blake vs. Delmi Exo. The match began with Blake palm-facing Exo. Exo tried to hit an Exploder, but Blake fought back. Exo then hit a Northern Lights Suplex for a two count. Exo missed a knee, and Blake slammed Exo onto her knee for a one count. Blake worked a submission that faded into a one count. Blake maintained control of his boots.

Baker scored a neckbreaker on the apron to get a two count. Blake wanted to be a bulldog, but Exo pushed him off. Blake hit Exo with a smack across her face, but Exo got fired up with a series on clotheslines. Exo hit the EXCrusher (cutter), for a two count. Blake scored an Enziguri and Tornado DDT in an unbelievable close call. Blake attempted a double-stomp and Exo scored the Pedigree.

Brittany Blake was defeated by Delmi Exo via pinfall in 6 minutes 40.

McGuire’s Musings: This was good and perhaps I even say better than I thought it’d be. The result wasn’t much in doubt, but Blake looked really good here. If she’s not an MLW regular, she should be a regular somewhere. Although there were some stumbling blocks, I enjoyed this match.

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Contra attempted to attack Hammerstone in a video, but EJNudka intervened and saved Hammerstone. Hammerstone asked Nudka to join his War Chamber team. The two said they’d talk about it later…

Davey Richards then presented his Opera Cup promo. Richards spoke about the future, present, and past. Richards then outlined Lawlor’s keys to winning before saying it would be a game of inches.

Cesar Duran replied to the “investigation” saying he can’t confirm or deny anything…

A report on an injury was broadcast. Richard Holliday continues to be ill with lacerations to his head. Hammerstone will reach a full recovery in eight weeks after suffering a hairline fracture in his ankle…

3. Davey Richards vs. Tom Lawlor, in an Opera Cup opening-round match. Richards was mocked by Lawlor, before Richards was taken away. Richards responded by playing to his audience. The two of them fought a lot. Lawlor went at Richards’s arm. Richards stretched Lawlor’s back. Lawlor took a break and moved to the ropes. Lawlor went back after Richards’s arm, but Richards took back control by working on Lawlor’s arm in the ropes, including a kick. The action then spread outside.

Lawlor was able to take control of the ring and work over Richards in his corner. Lawlor then posed. Lawlor went back to working Richards’s arm, but Richards fought his way out with round-kicks. Richards draped Lawlor’s leg over the middle rope and hit a dragon-screw leg-whip. Richards attempted to stomp Lawlor’s leg over the middle rope, but Lawlor moved. Richards tried a reverse figure four, but Lawlor was able to get to the ropes and take a break.

Richards attempted a suplex but Lawlor blocked it. Richards then sank in a guillotine choke. Richards fought out by working Lawlor’s ankle in a really neat spot. Richards eventually got Lawlor in an ankle lock, but Lawlor was able to escape. Lawlor attempted a pair of chokeholds, but Richards did a back suplex. Richards hit an elbow in a corner and climbed up to the top to do the double stomp. Richards was almost in danger of falling.

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Richards was forced to take an ankle lock. Lawlor retaliated with a Triangle that turned into an attempt at an arms-lock. Richards managed to get out of this, however, and he sank in the ankle lock while kickin Lawlor in his ass. Lawlor tried to reach for the ropes, but he was unable to do so before Richards gave him the middle finger and he passed out.

After Lawlor had lost in an Opera Cup opening-round match, Davey Richards beat Tom Lawlor in 11.46.

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After the match, Holliday went into Duran’s office and said he’s the most marketable man in the sport. He added that he’s the MLW Caribbean Champion. Duran said he was disappointed that Holliday’s girlfriend was checking into his Duran’s affairs. Holliday acted like he didn’t have a girlfriend. Duran then stated that Holliday would face a surprise opponent. Holliday said Duran would hear from Holliday’s lawyer before leaving the room. It was then announced that Holliday would face King Muertes for the Caribbean Championship next week…

Footage “Injustice”Jordan Oliver and Myron Reed delivering a promo on a parking ramp. The 5150 crew arrived, and they brawled. The 5150 crew had the numbers advantage and got the better of the brawl before driving away…

McGuire’s Musings: Here’s what I wrote coming out of the tapings: I actually liked the finish and for my money, was even better than Fish vs. Moriarty. You couldn’t think Lawlor was going to repeat in the Opera Cup, so I’d rather him pass out from pain than tap out in a traditional manner. Richards won this one. The story here was Lawlor working Richards’ arm, both in and out of the ring, but once Richards began attempting his ankle locks, it felt like the end was inevitable. At different times, both wrestlers were supported by the crowd, including one that was quite loud. “Filthy Tom”Chant.

Here’s what I’ll say now: I didn’t know about the middle finger spot – that was fun. It was too far for me to see Lawlor perform that, but it was something I really enjoyed seeing. Lawlor is so talented. But I’ll refrain from continuously praising him because I always do when it comes to NJPW. This was the best match of all the night, and it’s one you should see if possible. Richards looked great coming out of it, and Lawlor sold like a Lionhart. All told, a solid episode of MPW Fusion Alpha, including the final angle, which I will refrain from commenting on, because no spoilers here … because I love you.

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