Welcome back to MLW Fusion. Today was all about mergers. The merging of events towards Filthy Island, the potential merger of IWA Puerto Rico and Azteca Underground, and of course the big merging of the MLW Middleweight and the AAA Cruiserweight titles to whoever won the massive title vs title main event. Plus, we’d see the merger of Injustice’s fists with CONTRA Unit’s face and Calvin Tankman merge more bodies with the grave whilst ACH looked to rebound from his title match loss by beating Brian Pillman Jr. It was a packed episode and I’m out of merger references so let’s get into the action!

ACH defeated Brian Pillman Jr via Buster Call

Up first was ACH vs Brian Pillman Jr, an extra addition to this monster card but something that was almost certainly going to be a banger. I imagine outside forces would be watching since ACH is still wrapped up in Team Filthy attack allegations. Was he working at 100% now? He started locking up with Pillman when the camera panned back to reveal Filthy Tom Lawlor and Violence is Forever watching from the stage. Pillman escaped with a light face kick and went straight for ACH’s ribs. He took control of a wrist but ACH athletically escaped and thudded Pillman in the chest with a chop. Pillman fired back with his own chops but ACH hit harder and he fell into the corner. They ran the ropes with Pillman stunning ACH with a back elbow and ACH blasted Pillman with a single leg dropkick. Pillman dodged around more of ACH’s signature offence and caught him in the ribs with a kitchen sink. The rib-based assault continued with strikes and holds until ACH escaped and trapped Pillman in a surfboard. Pillman made the ropes and caught ACH into a nasty powerslam after more trading. ACH came back with a heavy dropkick but caught his ribs on the way down and couldn’t quite land the Tiger Driver. A slugfest broke out and Pillman fought out of a second Tiger Driver with a back-body drop. The fight went to the top rope as ACH caught Pillman with a flipping kick and took the win with Buster Call. This was a nice little competitive bout that was about to get a whole lot uglier as the sharks that surrounded the ring, finally made their presence felt. The trio stomped down ACH but the Von Erichs rushed the ring to send Team Filthy packing. I’m glad they saved the attack section until after the match as Pillman vs ACH was genuinely quite fun to watch. As ACH and the Von Erichs said, don’t mess with Texas.

Calvin Tankman defeated Zenshi via Tankman Driver

Up next was a rematch I wasn’t going to groan at seeing. It was the pride of Chile, Zenshi taking on the Heavyweight Hustle Calvin Tankman in another battle of size vs speed. Would Zenshi have learned from their last encounter or was history doomed to repeat itself? Don’t let Tankman’s size fool you though if he wants to move, he can move. Zenshi started by trying to go for the legs but got thrown off or shook off. He launched Tankman into the ropes with a Hurricanrana but any follow-up strikes were no-sold. After tanking a couple of dropkicks, Tankman fired back with a huge one of his own and sent Zenshi flying. He planted Zenshi with a spinebuster and chopped him down before driving him into the ropes and tossing him away like a ragdoll. Zenshi jumped at Tankman but he was caught and slammed into the mat again. He drove Zenshi into the mat again and tried for the running Shooting Star Press but Zenshi rolled aside and hit Tankman with his own. Tankman hoisted Zenshi up as he kicked out of a pin but Zenshi brought him straight back down with a Frankensteiner. The fight went to the apron when Zenshi collided with a 619 and tried for a Poisonrana off the apron but Tankman withstood and took out Zenshi with a misdirection pounce when Zenshi returned to the ring. From here, it was textbook Tankman as he brutalised Zenshi with lariats, backbreaker, and back elbows. Zenshi got another hit with a cartwheel roundhouse but Tankman answered back with a headbutt. This rocked both and Zenshi took advantage with a handspring kick into another 619. He took to the air but Tankman caught him and ended things with the Tankman Driver. Once again, Zenshi gave it his best shot but there’s very little that can stop Tankman. What an excellent little bout to watch.

Between the matches:

  • Savio Vega addressed Salina de la Renta’s proposal to buy out IWA Puerto Rico. He admitted it was a tempting offer but assured her that the company’s pride wasn’t for sale and that they’d not be accepting an offer from some shadowy company.
  • We got another CONTRA propaganda tape celebrating Mads Krügger’s injury-inducing strikes to Alex Hammerstone after the Baklei Brawl trap. Hammerstone had been concussed and Josef Samael was all for gloating over it.
  • Richard Holliday had an interview with Alicia Atout to explain the controversy surrounding his Caribbean Strap match and the dodgy ref who had been working the match. Holliday was still unhappy with how Atout announced him and didn’t really have many facts to offer, to no one’s surprise.
  • PWI top 10: Laredo Kid, Daivari, Myron Reed, Mil Muertes, Richard Holliday, Mads Krügger, Lio Rush, Low Ki, Filthy Tom Lawlor, and at number one as always despite his recent tangles with CONTRA, Alex Hammerstone.
  • The CONTRA vs Injustice tag match dissolved into a brawl before it could even get going. Jacob Fatu attacked Reed and Jordan Oliver before they could even make their entrance and it became another CONTRA beatdown with Daivari and Simon Gotch until Reed dived onto them all and Injustice hit Fatu with a superkick into a cutter. Everyone was pissed off as the two groups were pulled apart.
  • More Filthy Island updates, Rocky Romero will be there, Dominic Garrini will fight Mauna Loa and Salina de la Renta has made a match for Filthy Island as Mil Muertes will try to kill Savio Vega in an Aztec Jungle Fight.

MLW/AAA Title Unification: Lio Rush defeated Laredo Kid via Final Hour

Last but not least was the big title vs title match. Lio Rush the MLW Middleweight champion was about to go to war with Laredo Kid the AAA Cruiserweight champion. One was going to walk away with two belts whilst the other would walk away with none. The only question was who was going to home the winner. This was about to get very competitive. It started fast as Laredo tried to show off his power advantage and Rush did his best to avoid it all. Rush took a breather outside and tried to bait Laredo with misdirection but Laredo dropkicked him out of the air. Rush took another breather and tried to catch Laredo coming back into the ring but Laredo was smart enough to dodge. He kept control of Rush with another stiff kick into a sidewalk slam but Rush kicked out and choked Laredo over the ropes. Laredo rested on the apron so Rush sent him to the floor with a handspring kick. After slamming him off the apron, Rush dragged Laredo back into the ring and floored him with a clothesline. He hammered fists into Laredo’s head and stomped him down for a low corkscrew uppercut. That got two, as did the follow-up Snap Suplex. He locked in a chin-lock and put in some knees but Laredo nearly scored a roll-up and ran into an enzuigiri after missing a springboard crossbody. Rush went back to breaking down Laredo but Laredo forearmed back into the fight and bitchslapped Rush so hard he fell into the corner. He assaulted Rush in the corner and slammed him into the mat with a Michinoku Driver. Instead of going for a pin, he hit a first rope and second rope moonsault and only got a two-count. Laredo went to Rush’s legs and started snapping them into the mat. He bent Rush into an inverted Figure Four/Deathlock crossover and kicked Rush into a neckbreaker when he made the ropes. Rush dodged a Swanton and landed the Come Up after being pushed into the ropes. Rush hobbled to the top rope and landed the Final Hour to seal the deal and take home both titles. The cocky new champion was now a cocky new double champ with both an MLW and AAA Title in his collection. The Money-weight was really proving he had the skills to cash the cheques his mouth likes to run-up. What a fight, both guys brought their A-game here and put on a concise but compelling battle of champions.

With that, the show was over once again and we look to the future. Lio Rush has won two titles in his two matches for the company and Injustice gave CONTRA another bloody nose, even if they didn’t get their match. Next week is Filthy Island. Team Filthy has taken over MLW and Hawaii to bring us a special fighting soiree featuring the best of Team Filthy and that Aztec Jungle Fight between Savio Vega and Mil Muertes. It’s going to be a wild ride and I for one, can’t wait.

All images courtesy of MLW/MLW Twitter, Video courtesy of MLW YouTube