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Episode 12 - December 9, 2021

by Doc Allen

MLW Fusion

Taped at the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Our hosts are Joe Dombrowski and Rich Bocchini.

Show opens with Cesar Duran and a masked henchman in the ring. Duran is ready to give a briefcase full of American cash to a lucky individual.

Arez (with Holidead and Dr. Dax) vs. Aramis

The winner gets Duran’s money. They lock up and flip around to reverse wristlocks. Neither man is willing to let go as they exchange springboard attempts, until reaching a stalemate with 75 seconds gone. Aramis slips out of the ropes and tries a Gory Special, Arez blocks, so Aramis rolls into an ankle lock. Arez cleverly reverses into a pendulum swing, but Aramis quickly slips out! They restart by running the ropes, trading leap frogs. They trade enziguris, Arez tries a Razor’s Edge onto the apron, Aramiz slips out, so Arez hits a Razor’s Edge onto the ramp instead! Arez follows with a frog splash double stomp for a good nearfall. Aramis no-sells by standing up for a headbutt to the spine, tries a tornado senton, Arez botches his counter and gets knocked to outside. Aramis hits a knee to the head and sprints into a lightning quick tope suicida. Back from commercials, Aramis misses a 450 splash, tries a torture rack slam, but manages to block Arez’ finisher. They exchange a series of stiff shots until they both go down. Crowd misses their cue for an ovation. They both go for headbutts and take another breather. Aramis hits a spinning torture rack slam for only 2! Aramis follows with a tight rope walk moonsault to outside, earning a “holy sh!t” chant. Holidead grabs Aramis by the leg, allowing Arez to hit a double knee backbreaker. Arez’ Fisherman buster gets 2. Aramis blindsides with a heel hook, but Dr. Dax and Holidead interfere again. Aramis takes the bait and Arez slams him on his head for the win at 12:01. Great effort, with a few selling issues and botchy moments that keep this from being a truly special match, ***¾. Winner: Arez

Arez is now "several thousand dollars richer" and celebrates with his newfound wealth.

Alicia Atout interviews Willow Nightingale backstage. Willow is feeling sad because she wants to elevate the women’s division but Holidead won’t stop picking on her. Willow is ready for a fight and threatens to show Holidead her dark side.

Emilio Sparks ambushes Myron Reed for a pushy impromptu interview. Reed has suffered some setbacks but he isn’t going away. The lights go out and Duran’s lady friend appears from the shadows. She offers him some support and leaves him speechless.

Meanwhile, Alexander Hammerstone is brawling with one of Duran’s goons.

Video promo with 5150. Konnan is the calm before the storm, but Julius Smokes is the storm. Rivera and Slice Boogie are ready to die or become Tag Team Champions.

Alicia Atout presents a video package recapping the long history of CONTRA in MLW. The latest scoop is that Cesar Duran is behind the dissension in the group. Many of the key members have vanished.

Meanwhile, Hammerstone continues brawling with Duran’s guy. This is payback for Hammerstone refusing Duran’s gift.

Matt Cross vs. NZO

Yes, NZO is the man formerly known as Enzo Amore, who I once stated was the worst in-ring performer in all of WWE. He is the man who was released for not being up front with WWE about allegations against him. ROH tarnished their reputation by having him appear in the crowd at their MSG show, which left casual observers thinking he was with the company full time for months afterwards. I have no clue why MLW thinks bringing him in is a good idea, but the fans welcome him with a “How you doin?” chant.

They lock up for a shoving contest. NZO runs away from a clean break and dishes out a series of headlock takedowns. Cross needs a rope break to regroup. NZO hits a shoulder block, but Cross scores a well aimed dropkick. Back handspring elbow by Cross and then a springboard crossbody gets 2. NZO grabs Cross’ tights to thrust him into the buckles and retake control. Back from commercials, NZO is working a chinlock while the fans jeer. Cross escapes, but NZO trips him back-first onto the buckles. NZO is sucking wind as he hits a vertical suplex. Cross makes a comeback, hitting a flying double stomp to the spine for 2. Cross steps over NZO on his way up the ropes, but NZO sneaks up for a Razor’s Edge! NZO fumbles while setting up a Backstabber and gets a nearfall. NZO flies into Cross’ pump kick. Cross misses the SSP but recovers with a springboard cutter for only 2. NZO messes with the apron, the ref stops to fix it, giving NZO the opportunity for a low blow and hit Done-Zo for the win at 10:31. Fire that referee immediately. Dismal match, that dragged from start to finish. Cross is such a clearly superior athlete and polished performer that watching him sell for NZO felt ludicrous. If I were running MLW, I would not invite NZO back, DUD.
Winner: NZO

KC Navarro is about to join commentary, but NZO doesn’t like the way he looked at him and goes on the attack. NZO struggles but ultimately throws Navarro into the ring post with another Razor’s Edge. That was an ill-advised bump for Navarro, hope he’s okay.

Richard Holliday has a Christmas gift for Alicia Atout, even though he knows they don’t celebrate Christmas in Canada. Surprise, it’s a Dynasty coffee mug! They’re interrupted by Hammerstone’s brawl, and he smashes the mug over the masked goon’s head. Richard berates Hammerstone for ruining the holidays.

Emilio Sparks has some serious questions for Holidead, who has Dr. Dax on a leash. They’re interrupted by 5150, who admire Sparks’ sneakers. Rivera wants to take the sneakers by force, but Konnan reminds him they have gold to win first.

MLW Tag Team Championship (Philadelphia Street Fight)
Los Parks © (El Hijo de LA Park and LA Park Jr.) vs. 5150 (Rivera and Slice Boogie, with Konnan and Julius Smokes)

5150 clear one Park out so they can double team the other one. Park Jr. outsmarts 5150, allowing him and his brother to hit quick dives. Los Parks unload chair shots on 5150. Boogie takes a rake to the back. Rivera attacks with a hockey stick, but Park crashes a shopping cart into his groin. Rivera answers with a springboard crossbody to the outside. Back from commercials, Boogie catches Park with a fallaway slam. Boogie hits the other Park with a German suplex. Park answers with a sunset bomb on Boogie, Rivera saves the match. Spanish Fly by Rivera, but the original LA Park sneaks in for a spear! Ref totally missed the old switcheroo. Homicide arrives and pulls LA Park out from under the ring, and they brawl up the walkway. Meanwhile, Los Parks look poised for victory as they hit Boogie with a powerbomb/backstabber combo. Rivera runs into a mean sunset bomb but kicks out at 2. Los Parks bring in a board covered in 5150 graffiti, but Boogie spears Park through the wood! 5150 finishes Park Jr. with the 456 Head Crack (double stomp/DVD combo) at 9:17! Entertaining, compact brawl with some well placed surprises and stunts, ***¼.
Winners and new MLW Tag Team Champions: 5150

Meanwhile, National Champion Alex Kane arrives in his car, but gets chased away by Calvin Tankman.

Final Thoughts: MLW continues to provide highly entertaining and engaging TV shows. The NZO match really dragged this down in the middle, with a crappy match and scary, dangerous attack on KC Navarro. I really hope this is the last we see of NZO, despite them setting up the Navarro feud. Check out the first and last 20 minutes of this episode and you’ll be all set.

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