05th Apr2021

‘MLW: Fusion – Never Say Never 2021’ Review

by Nathan Favel

Welcome to this week’s special Never Say Never edition of MLW: Fusion, right here on Nerdly. I’m Nathan Favel and we have three matches worth talking about once. We’ve got Melanie Griffith and her android army. Melanie Griffith: I have a loud voice! Android Army: Show me the money! Al Capone: Here’s your f–king record shop asshole! Regis Philbin: Say the word door. Lorraine…say the word door. Lorraine: Door! Regis Philbin: Holy s–t! She said door! Jesus f–k! Mordo: Dormammu shall be released from the Netherworld! Leonardo Di Vinci: Domino’s Pizza! Matt Damon: Matt Damon! Me: What the f–k are you asshole talking about? Never Say Never…to these f–kers again!

Match #1: Jordan Oliver def. Simon Gotch

The following is courtesy of mlw.com:

Oliver catches Gotch in a standing switch and takes the CONTRA member down. Gotch does the same to Oliver with a single leg takedown. Indian Death Lock attempt by Gotch gets rolled through by Jordan. The two competitors roll on the mat and it takes a big knee to jar Jordan. Front chancery by Gotch who rolls Oliver down to the canvas with a grounded octopus stretch. Oliver battles out of it and slugs Simon off the apron. Oliver goes to dive on top of Gotch, but he is well-scouted. Oliver goes leaping off for a cutter attempt, but it’s Gotch who catches him with a back elbow. To protect his own hand, Gotch takes Jordan’s bandana and slugs Oliver repeatedly before choking it’s rightful owner with it. Simon keeps Jordan grounded with a flurry of harsh kicks. Gotch attempts a modified armbar, but it’s Jordan who rolls to the outside for a recoup. It ends up being the wrong decision as Simon delivers a snap suplex onto the floor. Simon rolls him back in for a two count. Frustrated, Simon hammers Oliver with pointed elbows and focuses on Oliver’s left hand. Jordan gets caught flush with a standing kick to the skull. Gotch attempts his patented rive, but Oliver musters up enough energy for a modified DDT. Both men are down as we reach the eight minute mark. Back on their feet, the two men trade elbows and running shots which is all capitalized by a lariat from Oliver. Jordan jumps out of the corner for his cutter attempt, but once more Simon scouts it. Third time’s a charm and Oliver nails him with it, picking up the win!

The Score: 7 out of 10

  • The Good: This was a match based around brutal ground and pound. Oliver was always trying to bust out of Gotch’s offense. It felt like a desperate scramble for both men every step of the way. Gotch had the edge on Oliver every step of the way. I rather liked the idea of Gotch making Oliver earn the advantage instead of just a fierce back and forth.
  • The Bad: A little more time would have been great and the end could have used more oomph.
  • The Verdict: I’d call this an excellent opener by many respects.

Match #2: Myron Reed def. Daivari

The following is courtesy of MLW.com:

Reed lives up to his “Hot Fire” moniker as he goes immediately on the attack with a dive to the outside! The ref begins the MLW 20 count as Daivari sends Reed crashing into the big soundboard at ringside. He begins choking Reed and the official has to come outside to break it up. Davairi takes his brute force to the canvas as he doesn’t relent on The Young GOAT. It’s not long until the fight goes back to the outside as Davairi attempts a piledriver in front of the stage, but Reed reverses for a back body drop and dives onto the veteran. Reed goes back to dive onto Daivari but a side step saves him. Daivari continues his gameplan of wearing Reed down with his brutal offensive attacks, particularly to the left knee and ankle. Reed however, manages to counter with a modified stunner. Reed shakes the pain off and kips off for a series of clotheslines. Massive boot by Myron sets Daivari up for a guillotine leg drop and then a springboard leg drop for a very near fall! Reed is still favoring his leg as he tries to walk off the pain, but this allows Daivari to counter with a swift powerslam. Daivari then removes Myron’s chest protector and dons it himself. He goes to nail a frog splash, but Myron moves and hits Daivari with a leaping cutter akin to Oliver’s earlier actions. He puts his vest back on, steps on the apron and vaults himself on top of his foe for the No Cap Splash and that’s enough for the W!

The Score: 4 out of 10

  • The Good: This was a decent brawl. Reed and Daivari threw some nice shots and kept the pace going between each strike.
  • The Bad: This didn’t get much of a match going on, sadly. Everything felt like it always was a bit behind its own mind. Does that make sense/I’m a dink? What could have been a vigorous fight was rather slow and limp. I was surprised by that. Daivari has been very consistent lately, but this was a level below his foundation of stone. That sounded dumb too. S–t.
  • The Verdict: This was rather disappointing…like me in bed. It fell off! I mean…that’s what happened with this match. My Davy Jones didn’t fall off. It did.

Match #3: (Main Event) Jacob Fatu def. Calvin Tankman – MLW World Title Match

The following is courtesy of MLW.com:

Jared St. Laurent does make note that Calvin Tankman has been suffering from food poisoning and questions if the challenger is completely hydrated as Fatu steps forth into the squared circle. The title is raised, the bell sounds and we are underway. Tank and Fatu circle on another before locking up, several times. The two behemoths collide with one another and Tank tanks Fatu out when they do that a second time! Fatu is irate. This definitely has the champ briefly off his game as Tank hammers and scouts the Samoan Werewolf. A leaping arm drag and massive dropkick downs Fatu. Fatu finds a window with a headbutt on the apron as he follows up quickly with a springboard shoulder block. He certifies that Tank stays down with a superkick to the jaw! Fatu aims for the throat of Calvin and Fatu hoists Heavyweight Hustle up for a Samoan drop! Fatu loosens his wrist tape and begins to strangle Tankman with it. Calvin shows his resiliency as he fights from his knees, but Fatu chops Tank in the throat. This continues as Calvin struggles to survive in the corner. Fatu slows the pace down to methodical attacks and sends Tank tumbling down with a corner splash and then a running cannonball against the bottom turnbuckle. Fatu powers in his patented nerve hold. Calvin fights to his feet, but Fatu flattens Tank back down with an extreme diving shoulder block! Tankman still finds enough strength to trade shots with Jacob center ring. Both men show that they scouted one another very well, but Tankman gets the better with a suicide dive and follows that up in the ring with running shooting star press! `1-2-no! Tankman sizes Fatu up and hits a stunner, but Fatu blocks it to nail a superkick, then handspring moonsault for a close fall of his own! Tankman pops Fatu up for a spinning back elbow and then crashes him down for a big-time backbreaker. That gets punctuated with a lariat that turns Fatu inside out! 1-2-the champ kicks out. Daivari sense trouble in steps into the canvas. Calvin gives him a receipt, but it’s Fatu who nails Tank with the black flag of CONTRA. He quickly ascends up top for his patented moonsault for the 1-2-3!

The Score: 6 out of 10

  • The Good: Fatu and Tankman were evenly matched from bell to bell. That helped create an atmosphere for this bout of titan versus titan, if you like. The entire bout was was wrestled like they were trying to see who could hit each other harder. Fatu took some excellent bumps to sell ol Tankman as a threat. I was pretty happy with how much effort these guys were putting into this.
  • The Bad: As a prize fight, this never quite came together like it should have. As much as I enjoyed the fury behind the action, the action itself was just heavy hits in and of themselves. Both guys came across as challengers instead of champion or one to be. You definitely get your fight, but the fight lacks substance in the parts it really needs it in.
  • The Verdict: While not the best bout possible, it was a tantalizing tease for what these two fighters can do when they get going, even just a bit.

Final Verdict: 6/10

This was no great show, but it was simple and easy, like me if you slip me fifty bucks and a spank on the ass. The opener really was the highlight here. It’s a shame that the main event wasn’t the best bout of the night, but that happens sometimes. I can say that this was good and good is better than nothing any day of the week.


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