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[TV Recap] ‘#MLWFusion 93’ – 2019 #OperaCup Finals, Savio vs. Gino, World Middleweight Title Match

COMMENTATORS: Rich Bocchini & AJ Kirsch

Hart Foundation members collide this week on Fusion as Davey Boy Smith Jr. takes on Brian Pillman Jr. in the finals of the 2019 Opera Cup. Also on the show Savio Vega returns to MLW to teach the newest Dynasty member Gino Medina some respect in an NYC Street Fight, and Myron Reed defends the World Middleweight Championship against El Lindaman.

CHAMPIONS

  • MLW WORLD 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

  • Myron Reed [c] vs. El Lindaman for the MLW WORLD MIDDLEWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP (***1/4)
  • NYC STREET FIGHT: Savio Vega vs. Gino Medina (**3/4)
  • 2019 OPERA CUP FINALS: Davey Boy Smith Jr. vs. Brian Pillman Jr. (***)

*****

-VIDEO: History of the Opera Cup, plus a recap of the 2019 Opera Cup tournament leading to the Smith/Pillman final tonight.

-PREVIOUSLY RECORDED: Myron Reed takes offense to being compared to Muhammad Ali; Ali wanted peace but he wants war. He fits in no mold the rich white man tries to put him in. Great promo, Kotto Brazil and Jordan Oliver killed it in the background as well.


Myron Reed [c] [w/ Jordan Oliver & Kotto Brazil] vs. El Lindaman for the MLW WORLD MIDDLEWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP

Lindaman catches Reed’s attempted leapfrog and throws him in the corner, but the chest protector Reed is wearing blocks the chop attempt. Lindaman plants Reed with a flatliner and cinches in a chinlock. Lindaman goes for a full nelson but Brazil and Oliver distract from the apron, allowing Reed to roll him up for a two-count. Lindaman charges, Reed hits a slingshot slam followed by a slingshot legdrop for the 1…2…Lindaman kicks out. Lindaman blocks a suplex attempt, Reed escapes and connects with a forearm to the jaw. Reed whips Lindaman, Lindaman takes flight and wipes out Oliver and Brazil. Reed flies as well but hits his own Injustice teammates, and Lindaman connects with a somersault plancha that BREAKS the guardrail. Reed counters a clothesline with a nip up, Lindaman catches a kick and belts a forearm to the kidneys followed by a CRAZY STIFF dropkick to the back of the head for the 1…2…Reed kicks out. F*CK, get that man that some Advil jeeez. Reed lands on his feet off a German but Lindaman tries again and sends the champ crashing on the back of his head for the 1…2…champ kicks out. Reed connect with a stunner, springboard Ace Crusher, and sit-out slam for the 1…2…Lindaman kicks out and the champ is frustrated. Lindaman catches a springboarding Reed with a dropkick followed by a sit-out slam of his own for the 1…2…Reed gets his shoulder up just in time. Reed jumps through the ropes to stun Lindaman and runs back in with an Ace Crusher followed by a 450 Splash for the 1…2…3!

Myron Reed [c] defeated El Lindaman via pinfall to retain the MLW WORLD MIDDLEWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP (7:06)

  • Good match, helluva first defense for Myron Reed. Chest protector came into play a few times, notably the chop attempts by Lindaman and the ending 450 Splash, but Reed also proved he had what it took to beat Lindaman pretty much by himself. Lord knows Oliver and Brazil couldn’t do sh*t. (***1/4)

-EARLIER TODAY: Alicia Atout sits down with Opera Cup finalist Brian Pillman Jr. Atout asks about Pillman’s shoulder, Pillman denied surgery and treatment so he could compete in the finals of the Cup. Pillman tells Injustice they didn’t succeed in taking him out of the tournament, and says he likes them because they remind him of himself as a kid. Pillman says he’s going into the finals with nothing to lose. Atout brings up his opponent tonight is his mentor and fellow Hart Foundation member. Pillman says this isn’t about the Hart Foundation; this is about two legacy wrestlers mano y mano. Pillman wants to prove to the Hart Family that he deserves their respect and deserves to win the Opera Cup. Atout wishes Pillman luck.

-VIDEO: Mance Warner takes on Jimmy Havoc next week in a No-Rope Barbed Wire match next week. HELL YEAH, GIMME THAT BLOOD.

King Mo says the winner of the Opera Cup will have to face him, and calls out Jacob Fatu because he needs that gold. The king has spoken. Cool?

-LAST WEEK: Gino Medina turns on Konnan and joins The Dynasty.

-LIFESTYLES OF THE RICH AND DYNASTIC: MJF, Alexander Hammerstone, Richard Holliday, and Gino Medina chug champagne. Holliday gives Medina a Dynasty card now that he’s a member. Medina says Konnan used to be the Hulk Hogan of Mexico, Hammerstone says in MLW he’s a fast washed-up has-been, and that Medina made the right call by joining The Dynasty. Only one thing to seal the deal: pinkies in and DYNASTY BROOOOO war cry.

-FIGHTLAND CONTROL CENTER: Brian Pillman Jr. vs. Jimmy Havoc and Davey Boy Smith Jr. vs. Erick Stevens announced. LA Park will also return to MLW for the first time since his loss at SuperFight in December.

-INSERT PROMO: Savio Vega vows to beat respect into Gino Medina for his attack on Konnan last week.


NYC STREET FIGHT
Savio Vega vs. “El Intocable” Gino Medina

Vega brings a kendo stick to the ring with him, ready to wreck Medina in the latter’s MLW debut match (I think). Medina tries an enzuigiri, Vega dodges and lights him up with quick kendo stick shots. Medina takes a powder, Vega keeps beating him with the stick until he’s sent into the post. Medina takes the kendo stick and cracks it across Vega’s back. Trash cans and other weapons have been placed around the ring/on the apron. Vega sends Medina into the post and cracks him with a trash can lid. Vega throws the can itself in the ring and buries a chair into Medina’s ribs. Back in the ring Medina grabs the chair and kicks Vega in the head. Medina covers Vega for two and places the can on his head for a pump kick and another two-count. Vega and Medina trade chops and strikes, Vega hits him with a tiny Stop sign and chokes him with a pizza tin. Medina hits Vega with said pizza tin and pummels him into the corner with rights. Medina picks Vega up and launches him like a dart into the corner, following up with a knee to the back of the head for the 1…2…Vega kicks out. Vega brushes off some slaps to the face and hits Medina with a stop sign, followed by a chop off an Irish whip for the 1…2…Medina gets his shoulder up. Medina with a snapmare and a stop sign shot, he tries to pin him with one foot but Vega immediately kicks out. Vega catches Medina with a back heel kick and chokes him instead of going for the pin. Vega tosses Medina to the floor and we get some more kendo stick shots. Vega grabs a hockey stick in his other hand and belts him repeatedly until Medina grabs the tights and sends him into the guardrail. Medina grabs the hockey stick and CRACKS IT across his back. Ouch. Medina then wraps a chair around Vega’s head and sends him into the post. Vega rolls in, Medina covers for the 1…2…not yet.

Vega hulks up and mounts some babyface comeback offense. Medina counters a backdrop with a kick and hits a spinning…elbow for the 1…2…not yet. Looks like it was supposed to be a spinning heel kick but this was also brutal. Vega tries the spinning heelkick again but Medina ducks. Vega ducks a chair shot and this time connects with the spinning heel kick, doing some KWANG MARTIAL ARTS POSES. YESSSSS. Out come MJF, Alexander Hammerstone, and Richard Holliday to distract Vega, allowing Medina to low blow him and hit a spinning kick (Trouble in Paradise, can’t remember the correct name for it) for the 1…2…3.

Gino Medina defeated Savio Vega via pinfall (8:33)

  • I thought the novelty of Savio Vega was going to wear off after his match with Hammerstone a few months back, but it mostly certainly did not and I loved seeing him mixing it up in 2020 (or 2019 when this was taped). It was a little wonky but they hid it well enough with all the weapons, and much love to Vega for busting out some KWANG there towards the end. That’s the kind of dumb sh*t that pops me. Match itself was okay, Medina getting the win over his elder and one of Konnan’s friends furthers that feud. I hope we get a better showcase for Medina’s skills though, I want to see why he’s been so sought after since announcing his signing to MLW. (**3/4)

MJF and Hammerstone celebrate Medina’s win with the Macarena (!!!) while Holliday spins his scarf around like he’s doing a rhythm gymnastics routine. I LOVE IT.


-LAST WEEK: Tom Lawlor attacks Ross & Marshall Von Erich backstage with nunchaku, which the NY State Athletic Commission are looking into. I thought it was a pipe. I was wrong.

-Alicia Atout is standing by with the other Opera Cup finalist Davey Boy Smith Jr. Smith says being in the Opera Cup final means pride, passion, and glory. Smith admits he’s surprised Brian Pillman Jr. has made it to the finals but he sees the passion; but while he’s part of his family, tonight is all business.

-NEXT WEEK: Mance Warner vs. Jimmy Havoc in a BARBED WIRE match.

-Bocchini announces that Injustice have been kicked out of the building to prevent them from interfering in the main event.

-BREAKING NEWS: The Opera Cup will become an annual event; 2020 dates to be announced at some point.


2019 OPERA CUP: FINALS
Davey Boy Smith Jr. vs. Brian Pillman Jr.

“HART FOUNDATION” chant as they lock up. Smith backs Pillman into the corner, breaks clean. Second lockup, this time Pillman backs Smith into the corner and teases a chop to fake him out. Pillman tries an ankle pick, Smith moves, and applies a wristlock. Pillman counters into a side headlock, Smith tries to whip him off but he hangs on (his “bad shoulder” is the one wrenching it in, but it is what it is). Smith breaks out and drops him with a shoulderblock to the injured shoulder. Smith follows up with a scoop slam and a double wristlock, pulling back with his knee buried into the spine. Back to a vertical base, Smith keeping wrist control and fighting off Pillman’s attempts to escape. Pillman spins around and finally reverses. Smith reverses back, Pillman kicks him away and sends him to the floor with a dropkick. Pillman slingshots to the apron, avoids an ankle pick, and splashes Smith from the bottom rope. Pillman rolls Smith in and lays in the strikes. Pillman charges, Smith catches him with a big boot and drives him to the mat. Smith tosses Pillman to the floor, whips him into the guardrail, and suplexes him on the protective mats.

Back in the ring Smith belts Pillman with a European uppercut and a headbutt, lateral press for the 1…2…Pillman kicks out, Smith immediately transitions to a chinlock, wrapping up Pillman’s arm and bringing him to the mat for a one-count. Pillman belts Smith with chops, Smith stops him with a well-placed headbutt and stomp to the midsection. Pillman reverses a corner whip, runs into a big boot, and Smith buries an elbow right to the bridge of the nose while the camera focuses on the Opera Cup instead. Back to the chinlock we go. Most of the chants, when the fans can be bothered, are pro-Pillman, Smith brushes them off and connects with another scoop slam followed by a legdrop. Smith takes a chance from the top and misses a flying legdrop. Poor tailbone. Pillman connects with a series of forearms followed by a roundhouse kick and snap suplex, floating over into a lateral press for the 1…2…Smith kicks out. Smith catches Pillman, Pillman shifts weight and rolls him up for the 1…2…not yet. Smith connects with three European uppercuts, Pillman surprises him with a backslide for the 1…2…kickout. Pillman with an inside cradle for the 1..2…Smith shifts his weight and reverses for the 1…2…Pillman kicks out.

Pillman tries a sunset flip, a whole lot of pinfall attempts by both men fail, and Pillman hits a superkick followed by a knee strike. Pillman follows up with Air Pillman for the 1…2…Smith gets his shoulder up. Pillman connects with Dire Promise for the 1…2…Smith kicks out again! Pillman goes for it again, Smith drives him into the corner but eats a boot when he charges in. Pillman misses a corkscrew crossbody and connects with a running powerslam for the 1…2…Pillman kicks out! Smith tries again, hooking both legs, for the 1…2…Pillman kicks out again! Smith removes his mouth guard, Pillman slaps him but gets slapped back and Smith connects with a Tombstone Piledriver. Smith takes flight again, this time hitting the Diving Headbutt for the 1…2…PILLMAN KICKS OUT AND SMITH CAN’T BELIEVE IT. Smith connects with a power bomb and stacks him up for the 1…2…Pillman kicks out again and Smith goes right to the Crossface, wrapping the “bad” shoulder up. Pillman rolls him up but only gets a one-count and Smith shifts his weight back, wrenching back further and causing Pillman to tap.

Davey Boy Smith Jr. defeated Brian Pillman Jr. via submission to win the 2019 Opera Cup (17:14)

  • A hard-fought match, with Pillman once again looking like a million bucks, but went just a hair too long for my taste. I appreciate they went for a slow build on this one but it wasn’t the type of slow that I find all that entertaining. Still competent though, can’t take that away from anyone. Pillman’s injured shoulder barely came into play on this one, which was strange given how the Injustice attack/semi-finals went for him, and it felt like a missed opportunity. I guess they didn’t want to redo the Thatcher match from last week or something. Anyway props to Davey Boy Smith Jr. for donating the Opera Cup and then winning it back, that’s a baller move on his part. (***)

Smith celebrates with the Opera Cup then gives a standing ovation for Pillman, the true MVP of the tournament. Game recognize game. Smith helps Pillman to his feet and raises his hand, causing Pillman to start crying. Smith poses with the Cup some more as the episode concludes.

*****

FINAL THOUGHTS: Damn good episode of Fusion, not a bad match on the show. The Opera Cup concluded with a hard-fought final match that I’m sure people are going to like more than me but I can’t take anything away from Smith and especially Pillman. Big way to reintroduce the Opera Cup and I look forward to seeing how they go about the tournament again in 2020. I was a little disappointed that both Injustice and Pillman’s shoulder injury were completely shunted to the side for this one, but that’s life I’ll get over it. NOW BRING ON THAT BARBED WIRE BLOODFEST NEXT WEEK BAYBAY.

  • MATCH OF THE NIGHT: Myron Reed vs. El Lindaman
  • MOMENT OF THE NIGHT: MJF and Hammerstone celebrate Gino Medina’s win with the Macarena. Hammerstone has to be World Champ by the end of the year. HAS TO BE.

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