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[TV Recap] ‘#MLWFusion 91’ – Opera Cup Semi-Finals, #StrongHearts vs. CONTRA Unit

COMMENTATORS: Rich Bocchini & AJ Kirsch

Opera Cup action continues this week on Fusion as Alexander Hammerstone meets Davey Boy Smith in a Saturday Night SuperFight rematch. StrongHearts also make their debut on this show, taking on CONTRA Unit, and Tom Lawlor wrestles the “REAL” Von Erich.

CHAMPIONS

  • MLW WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION: Jacob Fatu
  • MLW NATIONAL OPENWEIGHT CHAMPION: Alexander Hammerstone
  • MLW WORLD MIDDLEWEIGHT CHAMPION: Myron Reed
  • MLW WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS: The Von Erich Brothers (Ross & Marshall Von Erich)

LINEUP

  • Rip Von Erich vs. Tom Lawlor (SQUASH)
  • OPERA CUP: SEMI-FINALS: Davey Boy Smith Jr. vs. Alexander Hammerstone (***)
  • Strong Hearts vs. CONTRA Unit (***1/2)

*****

-BACKSTAGE: Mance Warner recaps his feud with Jimmy Havoc and hypes the Barbed Wire match scheduled for the next group of tapings in Dallas, TX. Warner will be end that match sitting in Havoc’s blood and drinking light beers.

“Filthy” Tom Lawlor makes his way out for opening contest, accompanied by an unnamed Team Filthy member. Or maybe he has a name and I forgot it. Lawlor is wearing a Von Erichs shirt to add salt to the wound of his feud with the brothers. Clip of his NYC brawl with Ross Von Erich two weeks ago. Lawlor grabs a mic and calls the Von Erichs idiots and morons, and the only people dumber than them are the fans. Lawlor calls Ross & Marshall fakes, and tonight he will be facing the GREATEST Von Erich: Rip Von Erich, the “son” of Lance Von Erich (an actual fake Von Erich). HA! I was hoping for Lance proper, to be honest. Rip even has a “Real Von Erich” jumbo tron video.


Rip Von Erich vs. “Filthy” Tom Lawlor

Lawlor mocks the smaller Von Erich, Von Erich grabs a headlock but gets whipped off and dropped with a shoulderblock. Von Erich charges, Lawlor drops him again. Bocchini and Kirsch explain the Lance Von Erich thing: he was a fake “cousin” introduced by Fritz to keep interest in his family but the fans saw right through it and did not accept him. Lawlor grabs a half-crab, stepping on the hair but Von Erich gets to the ropes for a break. Von Erich goofily tries a discus punch but Lawlor easily dodges and airplane spins him around the ring. Rip tries the claw, Lawlor easily blocks it and applies a rear-naked IRON CLAW for the KO.

Tom Lawlor defeated Rip Von Erich via KO (3:20)

  • That was pretty amusing. Whoever this Rip Von Erich dude was played his role perfectly. (SQUASH)

Lawlor celebrates like he just won a hard-fought contest, and we even get some streamers from some fans who want in on the joke. HA. Lawlor gets back on the mic and brags about being undefeated against the Von Erichs, and he’s going to remain undefeated. His barrage is interrupted by Ross & Marshall Von Erich, but they’re attacked from behind by THE SPIRIT SQUAD (Mike Mondo & Kenny Doane) OF ALL PEOPLE. Even the cornerman gets his licks in as Lawlor wears their cowboy hat.


-Bocchini hypes MLW Zero Hour next weekend in North Richland Hills, TX. Sounds like it’ll be a good taping, one day I’ll go to one of these shows.

-TWO WEEKS AGO: CONTRA Unit attacks Strong Hearts backstage.

-EARLIER TODAY: Richard Holliday discusses adding Gino Medina to the Dynasty with Alexander Hammerstone, they are interrupted by Salina de la Renta who says there is literally nothing they can give him that she can’t. Hammerstone tells her to stop cockblocking them and get out of it, Renta asks WHAT she is cockblocking exactly. GET IT HE HAS A SMALL PENIS.

-EARLIER TODAY: Alicia Atout asks Davey Boy Smith Jr. who the true power in MLW is. Smith puts Hammerstone over as being strong, but he’s a much better technical and submission wrestler. Smith vows to make Hammerstone pee himself and tap out like the bitch he is.


OPERA CUP: SEMI-FINALS
Davey Boy Smith Jr. vs. Alexander Hammerstone [w/ Richard Holliday]

MJF joins Bocchini and Kirsch on commentary and immediately kills it by making fun of them with reckless abandon. Clip of Hammerstone beating MJF two weeks ago, MJF says everything is good with them and he’s rooting for his brother to win the Opera Cup, calling him a meat castle. MEAT CASTLE. I love it.

Hammerstone counters out of a waistlock with a hammerlock, Smith whips him off and counters with a wristlock into an armbar. Smith with a snapmare into a double armbar, knee right to the spine. Hammerstone gets to the ropes and connects with a back elbow to the jaw, Smith with a back elbow to the jaw himself off the whip. Smith with a corner whip and a clubbing forearm across the back of the neck. Hammerstone tosses Smith out, Smith skins the cat but Holliday grabs his ankle and leaves him open to a bicycle kick from the National Openweight Champion. Hammerstone with a belly-to-back suplex on the top of the guardrail then rolls Smith back in for the 1…2…Smith gets the shoulder up. Hammerstone stomps a mudhole in the corner and applies a chinlock, wrapping his legs around the body. Holliday yells at the ref to ask Smith in Canadian if he gives up. Tremendous. Richard Holliday rules. Smith fights out, Hammerstone connects with a dropkick for the 1…2…kickout. MJF asks Kirsch if that dropkick was “Tough Enough”, can’t help but smile. Smith no-sells some punches and hits a series of forearms followed by count-a-long rights in the corner. Smith with a corner whip into a backdrop, followed by a big boot. Smith with the Big Legdrop for the 1…2…Hammerstone kicks out. Smith connects with a pair of Germans, Hammerstone tries to escape with an elbow but Smith hangs on for the third and covers for the 1…2…Hammerstone kicks out.

Hammerstone flips out of a suplex and belts Smith with a savate kick (according to MJF), Smith suddenly counters with a Crossface but let’s go due to a distraction from Holliday. Holliday holds him, Hammerstone charges but hits his own teammate with a big boot. Smith drops Hammerstone and connects with a flying headbutt from the top for the 1…2…3!

Davey Boy Smith Jr. defeated Alexander Hammerstone via pinfall (8:56)

  • Good match made even better by MJF on commentary. I waver on that guy a lot promo-wise but he killed it here and I thought all three played off each other beautifully. So did Smith and Hammerstone who had themselves a solid contest, and I liked the Dynasty interference backfiring. SLOW BURN TO FACE HAMMERSTONE CONTINUES. (***)

Smith offers a handshake after the match, Hammerstone goes to shake it but Holliday pulls him away. Smith tries to offer again but Hammerstone is shooed off to the back.


-Alicia Atout is standing by with Brian Pillman Jr. Pillman says there’s a lot of truth to being considered the underdog in next week’s match against Timothy Thatcher. Pillman says being an underdog comes with the name, and says he joined MLW on his own terms. Kotto Brazil interrupts and says that Alicia should be talking to her because Injustice is undefeated. Pillman tells him to walk, Brazil says Injustice are the alternates and he should be careful. Brazil then decides to beg off and Pillman follows him off-screen.

-VIGNETTE: Josef Samael hypes tonight’s main event against the Strong Hearts. HAIL CONTRA, ALSO A FIREBALL.

-VIGNETTE: Erick Stevens is coming to MLW. Eyyy getting that run in before retiring in April, respect.

-Clips of Low-Ki’s MLW run are shown in black and white. Never send an amateur to “The Professional”. Cool line.

-CIMA will challenge Jacob Fatu for the World Title at Fightland on February 1st in Philadelphia.


Strong Hearts (CIMA, El Lindaman, & Shigehiro Irie) vs. CONTRA Unit (Jacob Fatu, Simon Gotch, & Josef Samael)

CIMA and Gotch trade chops to start, CIMA with a kick and lift, Gotch counters with a takedown and roll through, CIMA escapes via snapmare and connects with a dropkick. Lindaman and Irie hold Gotch in the corner and CIMA dropkicks him in the buckles. Lindaman tags in, CIMA with a drop toehold and Lindaman with a standing frog splash to the back. Gotch gets in the ropes and elbows Lindaman, following up with a big boot. Samael tags in and rams Lindaman into the corner followed by a pair of knife-edged chops Lindaman escapes the corner and connects with chops of his own. Fatu tags in and dominates like he do, giving control of the match back to CONTRA Unit. Gotch tags in and whips Fatu into Lindaman in the corner, then follows up with an overhead suplex. Samael tags in and connects with a falling headbutt followed by a snap suplex, CIMA breaks up the pinfall attempt. Samael holds Lindaman’s head and Fatu belts him with a superkick. Lindaman tries to slam Fatu but he too big; after a rolling forearm he tries again and gets him up but Fatu falls on top for the 1…2…Lindaman kicks out.

Lindaman escapes a slam from Gotch, Irie tags in and hits a splash for the 1…2…Gotch kicks out. Gotch kicks Irie down and goes for a Gotch Piledriver but Irie counters with a backdrop. Gotch tries a sunset flip, Samael runs in and Irie piledrives him on top of Gotch for the 1…2…Fatu breaks it up. Fatu misses a corner splash, he and Irie clothesline each other but no one goes down. Fatu and Irie hit a double crossbody, Fatu gets to his feet immediately. Irie with a headbutt, Fatu catches him in mid-air into a standing urinage followed by a back-handspring moonsault for the 1…2…CIMA breaks it up with a double stomp. All six brawl at ringside, Fatu misses a chop and hits nothing but post. Fatu throws Irie in, Irie with a tope suicida. Irie rolls Fatu in, Fatu hits a tope suicida of his own. BIG BOYS DOING FLIPPY-DOOS. LOVE IT. Strong Hearts take turns chopping Fatu in the ring, Fatu fights them off. Lindaman sends Fatu into the ropes with a drop toehold, CIMA with a double stomp from the top and Irie with a cannonball, Lindaman with a BRIDGING GERMAN for the 1…2…Gotch breaks it up. Irie drops Gotch with a lariat, Lindaman with a somersault plancha on Samael. Irie taken out with a superkick, Fatu connects with a pop-up Samoan drop on CIMA followed by the moonsault for the 1…2…3!

CONTRA Unit defeated Strong Hearts via pinfall (10:59)

  • Damn good main event. Lots of brawling, lots of cool spots by all the competitors, I enjoyed this a lot. CONTRA Unit gets a dominating win, little strange for Fatu to pin the man who is supposed to challenge him for the World Title next month but maybe that feeds into an underdog story. CONTRA Unit is great. (***1/2)

-BACKSTAGE: Tom Lawlor calls Ross & Marshall “too VON ERICH” to see what’s coming next. Lawlor challenges the Von Erichs to defend their Tag Team Titles against two of his star Filthy Dojo pupils. OH MAN IS IT GONNA BE THE SPIRIT SQUAD?

*****

FINAL THOUGHTS: Entertaining episode of Fusion with a great main event and another solid Opera Cup tournament match made even better by MJF’s commentary. He’s got a future in it if he wants it in like forty years when he has to retire from competition.

  • MATCH OF THE NIGHT: Strong Hearts vs. CONTRA Unit
  • MOMENT OF THE NIGHT: MJF clowns Kirsch with a Tough Enough joke

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