MLW returned from New York City with the Opera Cup. Episode 91 of Fusion featured Tom Lawlor clowning the Von Erich family, Alexander Hammerstone versus Davey Boy Smith Jr. in an Opera Cup semifinal, and the Stronghearts being awesome against the Contra Unit.
On to a recap and review of the show...
Mance Warner had a message for Jimmy Havoc. Their feud has been back and forth on wins and losses. Ole Mancer loves to dance, drink, fight, and bleed. In Dallas, it will be a no rope barb wire match. “I’m going to sit down in that ring in your blood, covered in it, drinking my light beers, hitting that pay window, 1, 2, 3, you piece of sh*t.”
Tom Lawlor vs The Last Great Von Erich
Tom Lawlor cut a promo in the ring. All everyone wants to talk to him about lately is the Von Erich family. The Von Erichs are idiots, morons, imbeciles, dumbasses. The only people dumber than the Von Erichs are the fans still cheering them on. Lawlor sees two fake Von Erichs in the back. Tonight, he will face the greatest Von Erich. Straight from the loins of Lance Von Erich... Rip Von Erich!
The joke is that Lance Von Erich is not a real Von Erich. According to Wikipedia, “In October 1985, when Mike Von Erich was unable to wrestle due to toxic shock syndrome, William Kevin Vaughan went to World Class Championship Wrestling (WCCW) to take his place in the feud against the Fabulous Freebirds. He adopted the name Lance Von Erich and was billed as the son of Fritz Von Erich’s “brother” Waldo. In reality, neither Vaughan nor Waldo were related to the Adkisson (Von Erich) family.”
Lawlor pretty much manhandled Rip. The big move was a long airplane spin by Lawlor.
Lawlor was victorious via rear naked Iron Claw.
After the match, ring announcer Mark Adam Haggerty entered to interview Lawlor. “Come on, Joe Rogan. Give me this microphone. Get out of here. Go do your podcast. Take a hike.” Lawlor is now undefeated against the Von Erichs, and he is going to remain undefeated against them. The scumbag city slickers of NYC are going to realize they should have been chanting, “Filthy Tom,” instead of cheering for those two Hawaiian hillbillies.
Out came Marshall and Ross. Ambush! The Spirit Squad attacked the Von Erichs from behind. The brothers had the boots put to them.
Richard Holliday and Alexander Hammerstone were chatting about the qualities Geno Medina has for the Dynasty to penetrate the Latino market. Salina de la Renta interrupted to put the kibosh on the idea of Medina joining the Dynasty. They have nothing to offer him that she can’t beat. Hammer shooed her away. They were outside for this scene. Hammerstone frustratedly asked, “Why are we out here anyway? It’s cold.” Holliday replied, “I bought a new coat. I wanted to put it to use.”
Alicia Atout asked Davey Smith Jr. about his Opera Cup match against Alexander Hammerstone. Smith gives Hammer credit for being the hardest hitter in MLW, but Smith excels in technique, especially submissions. As the match goes longer, fatigue will kick in. “And once I’m able to procure and lock in one of those nasty submission holds right in the middle of the ring, and your tongue starts to get fat, and your eyes start to water, and then you start to get that little trickle down your leg. Streaming and streaming down. And you know what that means Alexander Hammerstone? That means you’re going to be tapping out like the b*tch that you are.”
Opera Cup semifinal: Alexander Hammerstone vs Davey Boy Smith Jr.
Richard Holliday joined Alexander Hammerstone ringside. MJF was on commentary for this bout. I believe MJF was wearing his Dynamite Diamond Ring from AEW.
MJF fully supported his Dynasty brother despite spitting in Hammer’s face in their Opera Cup match against one another.
This was a hard fight. At one point, Hammerstone had Smith’s back for a submission on the mat. As the referee checked Smith, Holliday shouted to ask him in Canadian. The highlight sequence was a trio of German suplexes by Smith.
For the finish, Smith trapped Hammerstone into a crossface submission. Holliday provided a distraction on the apron for Smith to let go of the hold. Holliday grabbed Smith. Hammer attacked with a bicycle kick, but Smith escaped and Holliday took the boot. Smith prevailed with a powerslam and a diving headbutt. Smith advances to the Opera Cup final. After the match, Smith offered a handshake to Hammerstone. Hammer was going to accept, but Holliday stepped in to stop that as the Dynasty left the ring.
Promo Time, part 2
Brian Pillman Jr. is the underdog for his Opera Cup matchup against Timothy Thatcher. That’s okay, because being an underdog has gone hand in hand with his name for quite some time. Kotto Brazil interrupted. Alicia Atout should be talking to him instead. Pillman mouthed off. Brazil warned Pillman to watch out. Injustice are the alternates, and Pillman might not make it to the next round. They bickered off camera.
Josef Samael had a message for the Stronghearts. The world was a much safer place a year ago before the Contra Unit arrived in MLW. You can see the black flag, smell flesh burning, hear women screaming, false idols crying, but you will never see Contra coming. Just like with the Hart Foundation, Contra will break and shatter the Stronghearts.
A hype video played for Erick Stevens with a heavy rock tune saying, “You won’t make it out alive.” The weak, the brave, the bold, the mighty will be annihilated. Coming soon to MLW
Highlight package for Low Ki. Never send an amateur to the professional.
Stronghearts vs Contra Unit
CIMA, El Lindaman, and Shigehiro Irie represented the Stronghearts. Jacob Fatu, Simon Gotch, and Josef Samael represented the Contra Unit.
This was a very solid six-man tag bout. Irie was the standout performer with a nifty slingshot splash.
Irie also had a piledriver to Samael on top of Gotch.
.@tachimukau_irie hits @JosefSamael with a piledrive on @deviousjourney #Fusion | #STRONGHEARTSvsCONTRA— MLW • Dallas • Jan. 11 #ZeroHour (@MLW) January 5, 2020
WATCH FREE ▶ https://t.co/etrX9ijQK0
SUBSCRIBE FOR FREE ▶ https://t.co/TYKiDCnP2e pic.twitter.com/J28rjTPvYN
Best of all, Irie went toe to toe with Fatu. They threw blows and smashed into each other with a running crossbody collision. Fatu came out on top with a swinging uranage and a handspring moonsault. Later, the two beasts exchanged suicide dives as well.
Stronghearts took Contra to the limit when Lindaman used a drop toehold to send Fatu into the ropes. CIMA flew off the turnbuckles for a knee drop to Fatu’s back. Irie was next with a running cannonball onto Fatu. Lindaman cleaned it up with a bridging German suplex.
Gotch swooped in to break the pin.
For the finish, Fatu was too strong. He crushed CIMA with a pop-up Samoan drop then a springboard moonsault to win.
Tom Lawlor’s offer
Tom Lawlor had an offer for the Von Erichs. They are too dumb, too stupid, too idiotic, too Von Erich to see what’s coming next. After weeks of running from Lawlor, he finally saw a glimmer of fight out of the brothers. Team Filthy Dojo is back open, and business is booming. If the Von Erichs would like a lesson, let’s see if they are man enough to face his two star pupils next week in a tag team title bout.
Episode 91 of Fusion was another banger. Tom Lawlor and MJF brought the comedy. Alexander Hammerstone and Davey Boy Smith Jr. brought the action. The Stronghearts and the Contra Unit brought the heat.
My only experience in seeing the Stronghearts was in AEW. They had some moves in those matches, but they were basically brought in to lose. Even though the Stronghearts lost this fight in MLW, they were still mighty impressive. CIMA, El Lindaman, and Shigehiro Irie put on a show. I almost believed they were going to win after the teamwork sequence into Lindaman’s bridging German suplex. I can’t wait to see the Stronghearts again in MLW.
Hammerstone and Smith continued the streak of Opera Cup tournament performances being up a notch from the norm. Even though I don’t prefer shenanigans in matches of this magnitude, the botched assistance worked. Smith looks tougher, and Hammerstone remains strong. Hammerstone also has an avenue to appeal, should he chose, over the referee not asking in Canadian for Smith to submit. Holliday believes Hammerstone would have won for sure if that were the case.
Tom Lawlor hit comedy gold with his insults of the Von Erichs. I didn’t get the Lance Von Erich joke until I looked up Von Erich history. It certainly was a creative tip to the past. As funny as this sounds, Lawlor could end up being the best thing for the Spirit Squad’s career. Under his tutelage, they could shed the goofy cheerleader gimmick and transition into serious wrestlers. Although, the Spirit Squad characters probably brings them money on the indie scene.
I think my favorite moment from the show might be Mance Warner’s promo. He has a fantastic fiery charisma when pissed off. It makes all his crazy talk believable. If I ever get tired of another match with Jimmy Havoc, all I need is a Mancer promo to put me in the mood.
What was your favorite moment from episode 91 of MLW Fusion? Were you impressed by the Stronghearts?
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.