MLW World Middleweight Champion and NWA World Historic Welterweight Champion Rocky Romero def. Mascara Dorada
For the record, and I mentioned this the last time he was on Fusion, Dorada is not Metalik but rather a new luchador using the name. What happened to Ichiban getting a shot at the MLW World Middleweight Championship? This was a fun opener with Dorado getting time to shine before eating defeat. It was wisely positioned as the opener. Romero's pairing with Salina de la Renta is working out well so far.
TJPW Princess of Princess Champion Miyo Yamashita def. Delmi Exo
I know nothing about the TJPW Princess of Princess Championship, but I have seen nothing but great things from Yamashita whenever I've seen her in action in AEW or IMPACT and she didn't disappoint here, either. Exo is talented in her own right and they had a really good match. Maybe this will end up being a one-off, but more of Yamashita in MLW certainly wouldn't be a bad thing. Meanwhile, I'm curious if Exo will eventually set her sights back on the MLW World Women's Featherweight Championship.
Satoshi Kojima def. "Filthy" Tom Lawlor
This was the battle of former MLW World Heavyweight Champions, and as Lawlor told me in our recent interview, they have history from a few years ago and thus this wasn't the first time they've faced off. This was the well-wrestled, hard-hitting match you'd expect from these two as Kojima can still go even at his age. However, I don't think Kojima going over was the right call, though I'm not sure how long MLW expects to have either guy around for.
Alex Hammerstone def. Mr. Thomas and Midas Black in a Bodies by Saint Laurent Bodybuilding Contest
With this entire event being "promoted" by Mister Saint Laurent, I guess it made sense to do some sort of "bodybuilding contest" because the World Titan Federation is supposed to be a knockoff of '90s WWE. It was a stupid segment, but at least it served a purpose with Hammerstone trash-talking members of the MLW roster before Jacob Fatu emerged to brawl with them. Their match is happening at this taping but will air another time, possibly on next week's Fusion season finale if not on the Christmas Eve special.
MLW National Openweight Champion RIckey Shane Page def. Jimmy Lloyd
This was one of those matches that wasn't advertised as being No Disqualification, but they used weapons anyway and the referee didn't disqualify them. I guess that means it's implied that anything goes in any match involving a member of The Calling. MLW has been doing an excessive amount of hardcore matches this year and this didn't do much for me, either. It was your typical garbage brawl, but at least they kept it on the shorter side.
MLW World Women's Featherweight Champion Janai Kai def. Maki Itoh
Itoh is obviously a fan favorite anywhere she goes and MLW is no exception. Most of the MLW audience is probably aware of her, so it was smart to put Kai in there with an established name she can beat. There wasn't much to the match due to being brief, but what we got was adequate. Kai continues to be booked like a one-woman wrecking crew and having her run through the competition for the foreseeable future is the way to go.
MLW World Heavyweight Champion Alex Kane def. Matt Cardona
Like most Matt Cardona matches, this was riddled with interference and shenanigans. I figured that'd be the case given the recent faction war between The Bomaye Fight Club and The WTF, but it was definitely too overbooked by the end. I assumed Cardona would win to put Kane back in chase mode and to put some heat on WTF, so I was surprised by the outcome. Is Cardona done with MLW already? And if not, where does he go from here? Richard Holliday returning to close the show and being announced as Kane's next challenger was a cool cliffhanger, but I could've done without him immediately joining WTF.
I've been digging these live MLW specials on FITE and this was another enjoyable event on the whole. The two hours fly by and they manage to incorporate plenty of quality wrestling in that timeframe. The main event was actually one of the weaker matches on the show, but the undercard was super solid. They did an effective job of setting the stage for Kings of Colosseum next month. I believe the only MLW original content we'll be getting between now and then is the Fusion season finale next Thursday and a pre-taped Christmas Eve special.