MLW World Heavyweight Champion Alex Hammerstone is prepared to have a big week.
Hammerstone spoke with WrestleZone to promote the premiere of MLW Underground on Reelz, where he will defend his championship against EJ Nduka in the main event. Prior to that, MLW will stop in Philadelphia for its Superfight event, and Hammerstone will be in action against Jacob Fatu.
Hammerstone vs. Fatu first clashed in MLW in at Fightland 2021, a match billed as a winner takes all bout with the World Championship and the Openweight Championship on the line. Hammerstone walked away from that match as the victor, and they’ve rarely crossed paths since then. The two have shared the ring three times since then, but none of them have been singles matches. Asked how he’s feeling going into the “second” match with Fatu and giving the rivalry time to breathe, Hammerstone said that he’s ready to show how they’ve both grown since the first encounter.
“We’ve had our encounters since then. We were in the War Chamber match together. We had a triple threat a couple of months after that. But, the singles match is something that not only fans have been wanting, but I think Jacob has been wanting and I’ve been wanting. It’s been a very busy year and a half so far as the champion. I’ve had some very big defenses, but I don’t know if I’ve ever had a challenger that’s brought me what Jacob Fatu brings me in the ring,” Hammerstone said. “So, it’s very exciting for myself and for the fans because like you said, that was a match that a lot of people wanted. It was almost like the MLW fans willed it into happening. I don’t think anybody was let down by it. So now, it’s just a matter of living up to the hype and hopefully taking it up a notch.”
Asked about the value of spacing the two matches apart rather than just going right back to it, Alex Hammerstone said it has benefitted him as a performer in a big way.
“I think it’s great because it gave both of us an opportunity to grow as wrestlers. If we fired off a rematch a week after the initial title fight, what are you really going to get besides us countering a couple of moves differently? But you give us a year to evolve, and to step our game up and to change and to grow. Anybody who knows professional wrestling knows a good professional wrestler from year-to-year changes significantly. So, I can say, speaking for myself, I have changed significantly in the last year and just in the last couple of months, knowing that this fight was around the corner, I really stepped some things up. I’ve never felt more ready for a match than I do for this weekend.”
MLW Superfight takes place at the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia on February 4. Fans can also tune into the MLW Underground premiere on Reelz on Tuesday, February 7.
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Your World Heavyweight Champion @alexhammerstone is ready for the @ReelzChannel debut and all challengers!
Are you? Represent Your Boy Hammer now at #MLWSHOP
Warning: Muscles may grow rapidly when wearing this tee. #MLWFusion #mlw pic.twitter.com/Jekx8yG40h
— MLW Underground on REELZ (@MLW) February 3, 2023