Another dip into MLW Fusion, as we take a look at something of a dream match between Timothy Thatcher and Low Ki.

A little over two years ago, we got this as part of wXw’s World Tag Team League – with Thatcher & WALTER taking on Low Ki and Homicide. Fast-forward to this past weekend, and we’ve the rematch, minus tag team partners, with WALTER and Homicide having moved on to WWE and the NWA respectively. Imagine saying that two years ago…

Commentary comes Orlando’s Gilt Nightclub comes from Rich Bocchini and AJ Kirsch. If you’ve got a good memory, you’ll remember him from Tough Enough. Or if you’re deep into the US indie scene, Hoodslam and 3-2-1 Battle…

Timothy Thatcher vs. Low Ki
Thatcher’s (not) being accompanied by Douglas James, despite what our ring announcer tells us, as Timothy’s meant to be doing a teacher/student gimmick with James.

Timo stares a hole through Low Ki before the bell, with that height advantage coming into use. We’ve a bit of a testy start here, with Thatcher going to ground from the off, before a lock-up ended with Low Ki in the ropes… where he surprised Thatcher with an armbar. Of course there’s a break, as Thatcher comes back with a front facelock, then a hammerlock as he torqued Low Ki all the way into the ropes.

Thatcher keeps up the pressure, bending Low Ki back on himself from a knuckle lock, before he switched in for a cross armbar, which ends as the pair roll into the ropes. Kicks get checked as MLW went into a break, returning as Low Ki was struggling to escape a single leg crab that Thatcher added some hooking to for good measure. It turns into a bow and arrow hold, as Thatcher continued to punish Low Ki, going back to the arm for good measure as the feed’s interrupted by Contra bollocks. I’m not a fan of “invasion” stuff like this in matches, particularly since they’re going over a match involving pushed talent… anyway, we’re back as Low Ki’s slapped down, with Thatcher resuming on the arm, clinging on despite Low Ki’s attempt to go for the ear. Another rope break’s called for, and Low Ki’s able to respond with a series of chops… only for Thatcher to stop him with an uppercut.

It’s all Tim Thatcher again, as he took Low Ki back into the ropes with uppercuts and crossface punches, which left Low Ki with some decidedly not-photogenic snot across his mouth. Undeterred, Timo keeps going with a snap suplex for a near-fall, before another uppercut sent Low Ki sailing to the outside. Oof. Thatcher seems to be happy with keeping Low Ki outside for a count-out, but when Low Ki beat the count it was more of the same… Except this time, Low Ki fought back, only to get taken outside again with another uppercut which led to the mother of all count-out teases… but Low Ki dives back in and into a pinning attempt. From there, Low Ki countered a slingshot into the corner, rebounding back out with a stomp into Thatcher’s midriff, before he began to whale away on Thatcher with kicks. Until he was caught with the RINGKAMPF belly-to-belly for a near-fall…

Thatcher tried to add to it with a Saito suplex, but Low Ki fought free and took out the leg, trapping Thatcher in a Dragon’s clutch, keeping gold despite Thatcher standing up out of it, as that wacky standing submission took Timo down for the stoppage. It’s amazing how little US crowds can be into Thatcher as compared to Europe… and while it hurts the matches a little, but this was exactly what you’d expect out of these two. A testy, hard-fought match, with Low Ki snatching a victory with one big submission out of nowhere. ***½