Powell’s MLW Fusion TV Review: Jimmy Havoc vs. Mance Warner in a Prince of Darkness match, Davey Boy Smith Jr. vs. Low Ki and MJF vs. Alex Hammerstone in Opera Cup tournament matches

By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

Major League Wrestling Fusion (Episode 89)
Taped December 5, 2019 in Queens, New York at Melrose Ballroom
Aired December 21, 2019 on beIN Sports

The Dynasty trio of MJF, Alex Hammerstone, and Richard Holliday were shown walking outside when a camera crew caught up with them. They were asked about MJF and Hammerstone meeting in the Opera Cup tournament. Holliday said his lawyer/dad was working on it and he doubted the match would take place… The MLW Fusion opening aired…

Rich Bocchini and AJ Kirsch checked in on commentary and hyped the two Opera Cup matches and a Tom Lawlor announcement…

1. Jimmy Havoc vs. Mance Warner in a Prince of Darkness match. Both men wore black hoods over their faces so that they were unable to see. The live crowd tried to guide Warner toward Havoc. Warner grabbed the referee, but realized it was him and actually pulled him just as Havoc was about to run into him. Warner eventually hit Havoc with some punches. Havoc’s hood came off and he shoved the referee at Warner. The ref scolded Havoc. Meanwhile, Priscilla Kelly entered the ring while the referee was distracted and kicked Warner in the balls. Havoc followed up with an Acid Rainmaker and scored the pin..

Jimmy Havoc beat Mance Warner in a Prince of Darkness match.

Powell’s POV: I have a soft spot for blindfold matches. The match match quality is terrible, but they don’t happen often and the live crowds seem to have fun with them.

A cameraman caught up with Tom Lawlor outside the building. Lawlor said the Team Lawlor Dojo was open for business again. Ross Von Erich showed up and brawled with Lawlor, who threw him into some cardboard boxes and ran away…

An ad aired for the MLW Zero Hour event that will be held January 11 in Dallas, Texas… After a break, the broadcast team recapped the Lawlor and Von Erich fight…

Alicia Atout interviewed Alex Hammerstone in the backstage area and asked if everything his okay with Dynasty. The Contra Unit logo flashed. Hammerstone said he loves MJF more than he loves his pet turtle. MJF and Holliday showed up and said they were just fine. MJF handed Hammerstone a bottle of orange juice. They taunted Atout over her Canadian accent…

Mance Warner started to deliver a backstage promo when he was attacked by Pricilla Kelly. Jimmy Havoc joined in on the attack and took a scissors to the head of Warner, who wiped blood from his forehead… Another MLW Zero Hour ad aired…

Gino Medina was shown backstage. He was asked about Konnan and responded with a “no comment.” Salina de la Renta showed up and pulled Medina into a room…

MJF spoke with Hammerstone in the backstage area. MJF told Hammerstone that he loves him and he has the most important title in all of MLW. MJF tried to hint that Hammerstone should throw the match. When Hammerstone called him on it, MJF played dumb. Richard Holliday entered the picture and was on the phone threatening to fire his father. Holliday assured MJF and Hammerstone that their match wouldn’t happen…

The Strong Hearts trio of Cima, Lindaman, and Irie were interviewed in front of the MLW backdrop. They were attacked by Contra Unit…

Bocchini hyped MLW Zero Hour and announced Mance Warner vs. Jimmy Havoc in a barbed wire match…

2. MJF vs. Alex Hammerstone in an Opera Cup tournament first round match. MJF and Richard Holliday came out together. MJF used his scarf to polish the Opera Cup trophy that was on a platform on the stage. MJF tried to talk Hammerstone into doing the finger poke of doom finish. Hammerstone no-sold the finger poke, then poked MJF with his finger. MJF pie-faced Hammerstone, who dropkicked him to ringside and then dove onto him. Hammerstone rolled MJF back inside the ring and performed a missile dropkick.

Hammerstone continued to dominate the offense and signaled for his finisher. MJF got to his feet and spat in the face of Hammerstone and then poked him in the eye. MJF ran into a pair of big boots from Hammerstone. MJF fired back with a couple of kicks, then ran into a big clothesline. Both men stayed down. Holliday climbed onto the apron and called for the referee to stop the match. MJF gave Hammerstone and low blow and put him in an inside cradle for a near fall. Hammerstone came back with a knee to the head and followed up with a sit-out powerbomb for the win.

Alex Hammerstone defeated MJF to advance in the Opera Cup tournament.

Afterward, Holliday entered the ring and brought the two men together. MJF offered a handshake. Hammerstone accepted the handshake, then MJF fell face first onto the mat…

Powell’s POV: A fun match with the fans siding with Hammerstone over elite heel MJF. It will be interesting to see what effect this has on Dynasty going forward. I like that MLW didn’t just book the usual babyface vs. heel matchups. Rather than avoid an interesting match between faction members, MLW actually booked it in the opening round. Was this a test run for an eventual Hammerstone babyface run?

An Injustice promo aired. The trio was backstage and shown in black and white. Myron Reed complained that they weren’t included in the Opera Cup tournament. Jordan Oliver continued to grumble. Kotto Brazil said someone wasn’t going to make it to the Opera Cup…

The Tom Lawlor and Ross Von Erich brawl continued at a gas station. Lawlor ran away again with Von Erich in pursuit… Another Zero Hour video aired…

Alicia Atout interviewed Davey Boy Smith Jr. in front of the MLW banner about his match with Low Ki. Smith said Low Ki is the most dangerous fighter in the tournament and he could beat anyone on any day. Smith said the pride in his blood would carry him to victory. Smith said he won the tag titles, the Opera Cup is the next step, and the third step is the MLW Heavyweight Championship…

3. Low Ki vs. Davey Boy Smith Jr. in an Opera Cup tournament first round match. Low Ki had short hair rather than his usual shaved head. The wrestlers shook hands beforehand. Low Ki threw some kicks at Smith early. Smith delivered an elbow to the knee of Low Ki. The broadcast team noted that cameras were still following the Lawlor and Von Erich brawl on Queens Boulevard.

Low Ki caught Smith with a kick to the chest that sent Smith to the floor. Low Ki followed up with a baseball slide kick, then worked over Smith at ringside. Smith fought back and shoved Low Ki into the guardrail. Smith pressed Low Ki over his head and threw him back between the ropes. Low Ki landed on his feet and performed a somersault kick.

Smith avoided the double stomp from the ropes and came right back with a powerslam for a good near fall. Smith came back with a bodyslam of his own. Low Ki went up top, but Smith cut him off with a couple of headbutts and then set up for a powerslam. Low Ki delivered knees to the back of Smith’s head and then applied a submission while wrapping an arm and a leg around Smith’s neck. Smith started to fade, but he ended up moving Low Ki into a pin for the three count.

Davey Boy Smith Jr. defeated Low Ki to advance in the Opera Cup tournament.

Smith showed disbelief over his win. Low Ki shook and raised Smith’s hand before leaving the ring…

Footage aired of Ross Von Erich chasing Tom Lawlor into a subway station. The camera feed cut out, then they went back to it. Lawlor got onto a subway and flipped off Ross through the glass as the subway drove away…

Powell’s POV: The main event was entertaining. I figured Smith had to go over since they are playing up how the Opera Cup belonged to his grandfather. Smith doesn’t necessarily have to win the tournament (though he is a favorite), but it would have been odd if he had bowed out of of the tournament in round one, even to a strong opponent in Low Ki. The Lawlor and Von Erich chase was fun. I like the small touch of making it seem like they lost their feed for a moment, as it made the scene feel more realistic.

Overall, this was a good episode. The Opera Cup tournament’s first round matches were entertaining in different ways. I love the way the trophy is spotlighted on the stage in a way that makes it look prestigious. I am genuinely looking forward to the semifinals and the tournament final.


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