Powell’s MLW Fusion TV Review: Timothy Thatcher vs. Brian Pillman Jr. in an Opera Cup tournament semifinal match, The Von Erichs vs. Spirit Squad for the MLW Tag Titles, the courtship of Gino Medina conclusion

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

Major League Wrestling Fusion (Episode 92)
Taped December 5, 2019 in Queens, New York at Melrose Ballroom
Aired January 11, 2020 on beIN Sports and MLW’s YouTube Page

The show opened with Alicia Atout standing at the back entrance of the Melrose Ballroom and announcing that the members of the Injustice faction attacked Brian Pillman Jr. She set up footage and warned ans that it would be hard to watch.

Pillman was shown entering through a door and being attacked by Myron Reed, Kotto Brazil, and Jordan Oliver. They targeted his arm. They cut back to Atout, who said that the early word was that Pillman suffered a shoulder separation… The Fusion opening aired…

Powell’s POV: The idea is that the Injustice faction is upset about being alternates for the Opera Cup tournament and are trying to force their way in. My guess is that Pillman wrestles, but the angle is used to give him an out for losing to Thatcher.

Footage aired of Tom Lawlor’s promo from last week and the angle with Spirit Squad attacking the Von Erichs from behind…

The broadcast team of Rich Bocchini and AJ Kirsch checked in. They were joined by Tom Lawlor, who mockingly wore a Von Erichs t-shirt…

1. Ross Von Erich and Marshall Von Erich vs. “Filthy Squad” Ken Doane and Mike Mondo for the MLW Tag Titles. The Spirit Squad was dubbed The Filthy Squad during the entrances. Footage aired of Lawlor welcoming the duo to Team Filthy. A brief Von Erichs promo also aired with the duo saying they don’t do much trash talking and instead do their talking in the ring.

Marshall had his left knee wrapped from a Lawlor attack and it was targeted by the heels. The Von Erichs came back and hit their suplex and Iron Claw combo on Mondo, which led to Marshall getting the pin.

The Von Erichs defeated Filthy Squad to retain the MLW Tag Titles.

After the match, Rip Von Erich attacked Ross and Marshall from behind, but they quickly got the better of him and the Filthy Squad…

Powell’s POV: This was kept short and sweet. I thought they might try to make Spirit Squad look stronger now that they are aligned with Tom Lawlor, but perhaps that will come after the alliance is more established. The Spirit Squad duo get easy heat, but I really would like to see them drift away from the gimmick and get a shot at becoming a stronger tag team.

Footage aired of the Injustice attack on Brian Pillman Jr. Bocchini said there was no word yet as to whether Pillman would be able to wrestle in the tournament match…

Atout was about to interview the Von Erichs when Tom Lawlor entered the picture and attacked them with a weapon…

Coming out of a break, Kirsch said it had already been a wild night with the Injustice and Lawlor attacks…

New black and white footage aired of Injustice. Oliver mimicked Court Bauer by saying they were fined $5,000 for their actions. The trio delivered a promo about not getting them on bullshit charges. Reed said you have to lose money to make money…

A Mance Warner promo aired regarding his feud with Jimmy Havoc and facing him in a barbed wire match in Dallas…

Bocchini and Kirsch hosted the MLW Fightland control center for the February 1 event in Philadelphia. Killer Kross is advertised for the show, LA Park is returning to MLW, and Jacob Fatu will defend the MLW Title against Cima…

The hosts announced that Konnan would return after the break… A teaser video aired for Erick Stevens, who was billed as “coming soon to MLW”…

Atout delivered an update from the backstage area regarding Brian Pillman Jr. She said she was hearing that Pillman might not be able to compete in the main event. Pillman walked out of the room with his elbow wrapped and ice on his shoulder. Pillman said he was cleared. He vowed to kick the asses of Injustice, but first he would kick the ass of Thatcher despite having a separated shoulder…

A Contra Unit promo aired. Josef Samael said their soldiers were training for the upcoming war. Jacob Fatu spoke about taking the Von Erichs’ tag titles and burning Davey Boy Smith’s family legacy to the ground…

Konnan made his entrance and delivered a promo in the ring. Konnan put over MLW and the working relationship with AAA. Konnan said he thought he found the next big thing in Gino Medina, who made his entrance and joined Konnan in the ring.

Konnan said he watched Medina grow up in locker rooms in Mexico because his father El Sanguinario was a member of Los Gringos Locos. Konnan said they broke all the rules and spent a lot of days in jail. Konnan said Medina reminds him of Los Gringos Locos.

Medina took the mic and said that his father told him a lot about Konnan, Eddie Guerrero, and Rey Mysterio. Medina said Konnan was trying to use him. Konnan said Medina had it twisted, he was there to help him out. Konnan said Salina de la Renta did not have his best interests in mind. Konnan said he didn’t know what was going down between them and whether she was “going down.” Salina de la Renta made her entrance. Salina said they were talking about her sex life because they couldn’t talk about Konnan’s because he doesn’t have one.

The Dynasty made their entrance. MJF said there’s a reason that he is the only member of the roster with not one, but two “elite major contracts.” MJF said that if Medina wants to have similar success then he knows the right move to make. Richard Holliday said that when The Dynasty is in the building, everyone is breathing rarified air. Alex Hammerstone said the decision was simple. He questioned whether Medina would go with a washed up Konnan, a woman who had never made a real champion or The Dynasty.

Salina tried to pull Medina away, but he resisted. Konnan offered a handshake, which Medina accepted. Medina kicked Konnan and put the boots to him. The Dynasty trio joined in the beatdown. Salina left the ring, then Media and the Dynasty members all raised their arms together. Kirsch said the Dynasty became even more powerful. The group put the boots to Konnan again, Bocchini said they became even more despicable. MJF pulled a woman out of the crowd and she kissed Medina on the cheek…

Powell’s POV: A good angle. There were similarities to when Randy Savage was being courted by all of the managers in the WWF. Elizabeth made her first appearance at the end of the courting and the rest is history. I really liked the way they did this and how it made Medina feel like a big deal. There have been times lately when it seemed like they were testing the waters for a Hammerstone babyface turn, so it will be interesting to see if the group sticks with four members (plus Grogan) or if Medina will essentially be Hammerstone’s replacement.

An ad aired for MLW in Philly, Chicago on April 18, and Dallas on May 2… Ring entrances for the main event took place with Pillman selling his shoulder injury…

2. Timothy Thatcher vs. Brian Pillman Jr. in an Opera Cup tournament semifinal match. Pillman dropkicked Thatcher to start and was the early aggressor. Kirsch explained that Pillman knew he had to strike early due to the injury. Thatcher quickly took control and went to work on the bad shoulder.

Pillman came back with a cross body block from the ropes, but Thatcher rolled through and got a two count. Thatcher went right back on the offensive. Thatcher applied a Fujiwara armbar, but Pillman rolled him into a pin and got the upset win.

Brian Pillman Jr. defeated Timothy Thatcher to advance to the finals of the Opera Cup tournament.

Thatcher rolled out of the ring and headed to the back. The broadcast team hyped Davey Boy Smith Jr. vs. Brian Pillman Jr. as a battle of friends in the finals. The updated bracket graphic was shown, then a graphic showing Smith vs. Pillman. Highlights aired of Smith in the tournament while the broadcast team continued to set the table for the finals…

Powell’s POV: Or the idea was to make Pillman look vulnerable and sympathetic so that his win would come off as a surprise. I don’t like what this does for Thatcher, but I didn’t see this coming as you can tell from my earlier comments. Overall, another strong show. The opening match was quick and basic, but I continue to enjoy Lawlor’s feud with the Von Erichs. The Medina angle was strong and the main event was entertaining. Plus, they gave Pillman a post tournament feud with Injustice if they want to go in that direction. Dot Net Members will find out what John Moore thinks of this show when he releases his weekly MLW Fusion audio review.



The Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features Richard Holliday discussing The Dynasty faction in MLW, MJF's departure, the addition of Gino Medina, training under Paul Roma, and much more. Check out MLW Fusion Saturdays on beIN Sports and on the MLW YouTube Page...


Readers Comments (1)

  1. So Thatcher can’t beat a relative ookie with an injury? Pretty sharp burial of Thatchers’ character for the future

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