Let’s catch up on this week’s news in MLW and preview Saturday night’s episode of Fusion. The Zero Hour taping is happening tonight in Dallas. Meanwhile, Brian Pillman Jr. and Timothy Thatcher are getting it on in an Opera Cup semifinal matchup on Fusion. I hope the time vortexes don’t cross streams.
Opera Cup semifinal
The Opera Cup tournament continues with Brian Pillman Jr. against Timothy Thatcher. Pillman defeated TJP, and Thatcher defeated Richard Holliday to get to this point. I’d consider Thatcher to be the heavy favorite due to experience and style. He could easily catch an arm or leg when Pillman flails his limbs on high flying. The winner will move on to the finals to face Davey Boy Smith Jr.
The Spirit Squad are getting a tag team title shot in the year 2020. No, that’s not a joke. They have aligned with Tom Lawlor in his feud against the Von Erich family. Lawlor issued a challenge last week. Ross and Marshall accepted. Kenny and Mikey wrestled the Von Erichs back in episode 69, but they were not prepared when the Von Erichs crashed their open workout. An impressive performance from the Spirit Squad would definitely help Lawlor sell some memberships for his Team Filthy Dojo.
The preview also teases more on the managerial courtship of Gino Medina and Injustice promising to make a statement.
Are you siding with Brian Pillman Jr. or Timothy Thatcher to advance in the Opera Cup? Did you ever think the Spirit Squad would be in a televised title bout in 2020?
MLW Fusion airs on beIN SPORTS and PlayStation Vue Saturday nights at 9 pm ET / 6 pm PT. New episodes are posted on YouTube Saturdays at 6:05 pm ET. Fusion is also broadcast in the UK, Ireland, Israel, and Africa.
Zero Hour is going down tonight (Jan. 11) in Dallas, Texas. It is the stage for the next set of TV tapings. I’m guessing the matches will start airing in two weeks. Here is the full card as advertised:
- World Heavyweight Championship: Jacob Fatu vs Brian Pillman Jr.
- Barbed Wire Match: Mance Warner vs Jimmy Havoc
- Grudge Match: Ross Von Erich vs Tom Lawlor
- Marshall Von Erich vs MJF (If MJF wins, the Dynasty gets a tag title shot. If not, then no title shot ever again.)
- National Openweight Championship: Alexander Hammerstone vs Aerostar
- No Holds Barred: Davey Boy Smith Jr. vs Simon Gotch
- Richard Holliday vs Savio Vega
- Drago & Puma King vs Hijo de LA Park & Taurus vs Kotto Brazil & Jordan Oliver
- Gino Medina vs Septimo Dragon
- Dominic Garrini vs Zenshi
- Low Ki vs Chandler Hopkins
- Erick Stevens vs Douglas James
- King Mo open contract
There were three new matches announced this week. Low Ki will fight local Chandler Hopkins. Hopkins has a style of “blending brawling with high-flying flashy lucha.” The press release claims he has wrestled in AAA during 2019, but I’ve never seen that name. I wonder if Hopkins used a masked persona instead.
CEO Court Bauer teased another fight to be scheduled. Myron Reed may defend his Middleweight Championship against a AAA luchador.
Put the Kleenex down, Myron. You’re set to defend the title.... and you’ll defend against a @luchalibreaaa luchador tomorrow night. Now you have a reason to get all emo. Be ready for a Saturday night surprise. https://t.co/VJJI6zY7f8— Court Bauer (@courtbauer) January 10, 2020
Assuming no luchadores pull double duty, the potential surprise could be almost any middleweight from AAA. AAA doesn’t have any official shows until January 25. Lots of the luchadores do extra matches around Mexico, but the talent is available in theory.
Brian Pillman Jr. seems pretty confident going into his Heavyweight Championship opportunity against Jacob Fatu. Pillman talked a little smack saying he eats Uces for breakfast without milk. He’s already making plans to bring the title home. Josef Samael destroyed Pillman over that notion.
Wish in one hand and shit in the other and see which one fills up first. FATU is going to rip you in half and blow your house down!— 親分 (@JosefSamael) January 9, 2020
No matter what Samael says, I’ll always believe it. His intensity makes it sound like everything is a literal possibility. And yes, I read Samael’s tweet in my head in the form of his shouting style.
Moving on to what could be major news or just a teasing tweet. Will Zero Hour be MJF’s final show under contract with MLW?
Inaugural world middle weight champion.— Maxwell Jacob Friedman™️ (@The_MJF) January 10, 2020
World tag team champion.
Leader of the greatest faction in the history of professional wrestling “The Dynasty”
Greatest color commentator in MLW history.
End of an era. #Betterthanyou #lastdance pic.twitter.com/GBwSyHSpyC
That last line with the hashtags sure sounds like it. It’s weird to be talking about the end of an era if he was signed to continue appearing on the monthly TV tapings.
If you had any doubts about Court Bauer’s whereabouts, he is definitely in Texas. Look at all this meat.
How does the Zero Hour card look to you? Do you think this will be MJF’s farewell? Did Court Bauer’s dinner photo give you meat sweats?
We’ll close with a surprising development on the Hogan ‘91 tan. In case you missed it back in July, here is the first mention of the Hogan ‘91 from the Dynasty.
Okay guys... 2 questions.— Hammerstone (@alexhammerstone) July 2, 2019
1. Have you watched the latest episode of MLW Fusion streaming on YouTube now?
2. Which Hogan tan is better- ‘87 or ‘91? pic.twitter.com/975sqmBvMo
Fast forward to this week and the Hulkster himself tweeted about his tan. The Dynasty bros may have been aiming low all this time.
Alexander Hammerstone, Richard Holliday, and Brian Pillman Jr. are getting in on the Hogan ‘91 action heading into Zero Hour.
Note to self. Get some baby blue gear because it makes me look extra tan pic.twitter.com/cOTYNwrbuG— Hammerstone (@alexhammerstone) January 7, 2020
It's TV week bois!!! You know what that means... Not only am I gonna out-tan @alexhammerstone and easily out-darken @MostMarketable , but my pigment will be so dark that FATU is gonna question my lineage!!!— Brian Pillman Jr. (@FlyinBrianJr) January 6, 2020
Even Alicia Atout is staking her claim, but I have yet to come across photographic evidence of her preparations. Who do you predict will be the tannest in all of MLW?
Bonus breaking news! This isn’t about MLW, but it does involve Alexander Hammerstone. So, it counts for the MLW Roundup. Hammerman proudly won PCW Ultra’s top title last night.
Tonight was the culmination of years of hard work. I walked into @pcwultra years ago, losing on the undercard of the top show in california using the top wrestlers from around the world. Tonight I won my 25th championship and now represent this brand as the heavyweight champion. pic.twitter.com/6PWNQbbzM3— Hammerstone (@alexhammerstone) January 11, 2020
Congratulations to the meat castle with the unmatched tan.