MLW’s Opera Cup tournament continued in episode 92 of Fusion. The show featured Brian Pillman Jr. against Timothy Thatcher in the semifinal, the Von Erichs defending tag team gold, a warning from the Contra Unit, and a new member of the Dynasty.
On to a recap and review of the show...
Alicia Atout informed us that Brian Pillman Jr. was brutally attacked by Injustice. Fan footage of the incident was shown.
Injustice jumped Pillman as he entered the building. The worst damage appears to be to Pillman’s shoulder and the poor plant in the corner. Injustice sent a message to MLW for leaving them out of the Opera Cup tournament. Atout updated the injury as a shoulder separation, which puts the episode’s main event in doubt. It is supposed to be Pillman against Timothy Thatcher in the Opera Cup semifinal.BREAKING: @AliciaAtout with more on a developing story from earlier today regarding @FlyinBrianJr and members of #Injustice ( @TheBadReed @TheJordanOliver @SnoopStrikesOAO) that may put in danger tonights #OperaCup Main Event. #MLWFusion on @beINSPORTSUSA pic.twitter.com/TbnkfairI8
— Major League Wrestling (@MLW) January 12, 2020
World Tag Team Championship: Von Erichs vs Spirit Squad
The Spirit Squad entered wearing black gis. Kenny was a white belt, and Mikey was a purple belt. We were shown the moment when Tom Lawlor handed them uniforms. Lawlor sees something in the Spirit Squad. He thinks they could be champions. Team Filthy Dojo is back open for business. For the match itself, the Spirit Squad wrestled in just gi pants.
The Von Erichs entered for the match and were presented fancy flowers by female fans. They had a picture-in-picture promo. Unlike Traitor Tom, the brothers do their talking in the ring. They are ready for Lawlor’s Cobra Kai jabronis.
The Spirit Squad attacked before the bell. They worked Marshall’s knee that was mysteriously attacked a few weeks back. Rich Bocchini and AJ Kirsch accused Lawlor, who was on commentary, as the masked culprit. Lawlor dodged a denial. Ross got the hot tag and cleaned house. That led to the teamwork belly-to-back Claw slam. Marshall used the Claw to pin Mondo for the win.
After the match, Rip Von Erich tried to attack the brothers, but they handled him quickly. Rip looks like he might be a member of Team Filthy, although, that might only be for this particular series of tapings in NYC.
Alicia Atout interviewed the Von Erichs. Before they could speak, Lawlor cracked them with nunchucks.
Injustice made fun of the Pillman situation. Jordan Oliver got on a pay phone to mock being fined by CEO Court Bauer. MLW won’t get them on bullsh*t charges. The bottom line is Pillman is out. Injustice are the alternates. Let them in.
We got a video package of Mance Warner’s promo from last week about the upcoming no rope, barbed wire match against Jimmy Havoc for Zero Hour in Dallas, TX.
A hype video for Erick Stevens tells us he is coming soon.
Atout was outside the doctor’s room. Pillman was getting checked out behind closed doors. Lots of shouting could be heard. Pillman burst through the door popping pills with an ice pack and an elbow wrap. He was cleared for the Opera Cup match against Thatcher. Pillman is going to give Injustice an ass whooping after the tournament.
Josef Samael and Jacob Fatu of the Contra Unit had words for the world. Violence is the only universal language. Contra soldiers continue to train for the upcoming war. Their cause is just. Unlike infidels, Contra is strong. They want the Von Erichs’ tag gold, and they are going to burn Davey Boy Smith Jr.’s legacy to the ground. Kingdoms will fall, fires will rise, and their soldiers will triumph. Hail Contra.
The recruitment of Gino Medina
Konnan returned to MLW. He has found the next big thing in Gino Medina. He’s watched Medina grow up. Medina’s dad, El Sanguinario, was a member of Los Gringo Locos with Art Barr, Eddie Guerrero, and Konnan. Medina reminds Konnan of them. Medina replied that he saw what Konnan was doing; trying to use him. Konnan said Medina had it twisted. He’s out there to help Medina. Salina de la Renta won’t look out for Medina’s best interest.
Salina came down to the ring to return insults with Konnan. Konnan has shown Medina negative paperwork of Salina’s past treatment of her steeds.
Dynasty, bro! The Dynasty came down to push their presence in the recruitment. MJF is the only member on the roster with two elite contracts. There is a reason why everyone in the Dynasty is a top guy. If Medina wants to be a top guy like the Dynasty, then he knows the right move. Richard Holliday added his line about breathing rarefied air. Alexander Hammerstone compared Medina’s options. A senile, washed-up, has-been in Konnan, a manager that never made a real champion in Salina, or go with the Dynasty.
Medina thought it over. He shook Konnan’s hand then put the boots to him. The Dynasty joined in on the stomping of Konnan. Salina scurried from the ring. Medina has joined the Dynasty, bro.
Opera Cup semifinal: Brian Pillman Jr. vs Timothy Thatcher
Brian Pillman Jr.’s shoulder was bandaged. Timothy Thatcher pointed at the injury and smiled. Pillman started with fire. Thatcher withstood the flame then broke Pillman down. Pillman would use his speed to hit some moves, however, Thatcher remained in control.
For the finish, Pillman was setting up his Dire Promise finisher, but Thatcher escaped and grabbed an arm for a Fujiwara armbar. Before the hold was locked in, Pillman rolled Thatcher up backwards for the surprise 1, 2, 3.
Thatcher immediately left the ring in frustration. Pillman advances to the Opera Cup final against Davey Boy Smith Jr.
MLW is on a roll. The streak of enjoyable episodes from NYC continues. Episode 92 was light on wrestling but not entertainment. There was an ambush, nunchucks, and a killer promo from the Contra Unit. Yes, yes, and yes!
The hallway beatdown by Injustice was a shocking way to start the show. I was not expecting that scene, but I’m all aboard. A future feud between Brian Pillman Jr. and Myron Reed is a perfect direction for both men, the middleweight title, and past story events. Pillman will need a new focus after the Opera Cup tournament. Injustice needs a hot babyface to pick on. The Middleweight Championship will get a boost with a fiery feud. Wrapping it back around to Reed taking the title off Teddy Hart will add to the Hart Foundation honor. That is if Pillman can be successful in that quest.
Pillman beating Timothy Thatcher was also shocking and unexpected due to the shoulder injury. The match was decent. The roll up finish feels like strategy Pillman learned from training with Davey Boy Smith Jr. I like the storyline injury, I like Pillman getting the win, but I don’t like the mix of the two. Thatcher was the heavy favorite against a healthy Pillman, let alone an injured Pillman. That loss pushes Thatcher down the totem pole even further. Maybe we’ll get a redemption story with the way he exited the ring. Thatcher will definitely need it if he is to be taken as a serious threat to win big matches in MLW.
The Von Erichs are always fun to watch. I love their teamwork Claw slam finisher. It is simple and effective in a pro wrestling kind of way. I’m curious what type of matches will sprout in their feud with Tom Lawlor. They have two, while he is one. The Von Erichs have honor not to interfere in singles matchups, but they are better as a team. Does that mean Lawlor will find a partner or just prove his point one-on-one?
My favorite moment of the show came during the recruitment of Gino Medina. Watch the Dynasty’s reaction as Medina shakes Konnan’s hand. They go from disappointment to elation. Quickly jumping in on the stomping was a great touch to show they are now bros.
All three options made sense for Medina, but the Dynasty is the most interesting. Being with Konnan or Salina de la Renta could be interchangeable for any Latin wrestler. Being with the Dynasty will help Medina to focus on his character work. That group has allowed Alexander Hammerstone and Richard Holliday to find themselves and develop strong personalities. I can see the same happening for Medina. A new member for the Dynasty also keeps the group’s numbers up as MJF’s MLW tenure comes to a close.Looks like things just became more "Dynastic" for the Dynasty as Gino "El Intocable" Medina (@TLHT__) joins the trio of @The_MJF , Richard Holliday (@MostMarketable) & @alexhammerstone. #MLWFusion on @beINSPORTSUSA pic.twitter.com/LWVks2maQb
— Major League Wrestling (@MLW) January 12, 2020
What was your favorite moment from episode 92 of MLW Fusion? Do you like the addition of Gino Medina to the Dynasty? Was Brian Pillman Jr. beating Timothy Thatcher the right choice? Are you excited about Pillman feuding with Injustice?
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.