** Big takeaways**
- Before they face off next month in Philadelphia, CIMA and Jacob Fatu captained opposing teams as CONTRA Unit took on Strong Hearts in an action-packed 6 man tag main event.
- Davey Boy Smith Jr. made his way to the final of the Opera Cup at the expense of the Dynasty's Alexander Hammerstone.
- “Filthy” Tom Lawlor made a mockery of the Von Erich family when he choked out “Rip” Von Erich in his own special exhibition and later challenged Ross and Marshall to put their belts on the line next week on Fusion.
** Full Review **
-- Mance Warner opened this week's episode of MLW Fusion with a message for Jimmy Havoc. He recapped their rivalry and focused on his busted open forehead. He warned Havoc about their upcoming no rope barbed wire match in Texas and that he would be hitting the pay window this time.
-- Rich Bocchini and AJ Kirsch welcomed us to the first Fusion of the decade and hyped up the Opera Cup and tonight's semifinal between Davey Boy Smith Jr. and Alexander Hammerstone.
“Filthy” Tom Lawlor defeated Rip Von Erich in an exhibition match (3:20)
This was announced as an unsanctioned match as Lawlor came to the ring with a Von Erich t-shirt. He took the mic before “Rip” entered the arena and said everyone just wants to talk to him about the Von Erichs and called them all dumbasses. He didn't think Marshall and Ross are real members of the family anyway. He announced his opponent as “from the loins of Lance Von Erich” to which the announcers correctly reminded us that Lance was not a real Von Erich.
Lawlor outpowered and weighed much more than his much smaller opponent. He got him in an airplane spin and choked him out with a chin lock paired with an Iron Claw to the forehead for good measure. Lawlor acted relieved his match was finally over and called for the ring announcer, who he called Joe Rogan, to give him a mic. He told “Rogan” to go do his podcast as he snatched the mic and told us he was undefeated against the Von Erichs and called them Hawaiian hillbillies.
This brought out Marshall and Ross but before they could get their hands on Lawlor, the Spirit Squad ran down and jumped them from behind. Lawlor took Marshall's cowboy hat and paraded around the ring with it on. The Team Filthy cornerman also got involved in the beatdown.
-- We saw a recap from two weeks ago when the Strong Hearts were attacked by CONTRA Unit during their interview.
-- Richard Holliday and Alexander Hammerstone were backstage earlier in the day talking about how Gino Medina could become the newest member of the Dynasty. Salina de la Renta then joined them and said there was nothing they could give Gino that she couldn't. Hammerstone told her to stop cockblocking them.
-- Alicia Atout then interviewed Davey Boy Smith Jr. and asked him who the true power in MLW was between him and Hammerstone. Smith said he shines in the technical and submission wrestling division, and that when the fatigue sets in, he will lock in a submission and make Hammerstone tap like the bitch that he is.
In a non-title match, Davey Boy Smith Jr. defeated MLW National Openweight Champion Alexander Hammerstone (w/Richard Holliday) in the semifinals of the Opera Cup (8:56)
MJF was on commentary and brilliant throughout. They hyped this match as two powerhouses but they started chain wrestling and sizing each other up. Hammerstone hit a back elbow behind the ref's back but then ate one himself moments later. Holliday then grabbed Smith's ankle and distracted him so Hammerstone could hit him with a bicycle kick to the face. Hammerstone hit a belly to back suplex on the outside guardrail and got a two count back inside.
Hammerstone then started beating down Smith. Holliday shouted that the ref should ask Smith in Canadian “if he gives up, eh?” and MJF called Hammerstone a bald eagle as he flew through the air to connect with a dropkick. MJF asked Kirsch on commentary if he thought that dropkick was “tough enough”.
Smith Hulked up and hit the ten punches in the corner, a big back body drop, a big boot and the leg drop of doom but Hammerstone amazingly kicked out. Smith then hit three rolling Germans for another close near fall.
Hammerstone landed on his feet off a back suplex and went for the Nightmare Pendulum but Smith reversed it into a crossface. Holliday distracted Smith and got up on the apron, but Hammerstone accidentally knocked him off when he missed a big boot. Smith then hit a running powerslam and a diving headbutt to pick up the win.
Smith will face the winner of next week's Timothy Thatcher vs. Brian Pillman Jr. Opera Cup semifinal. Smith offered a handshake after the match and it looked like Hammerstone was going for it, but Holliday pulled him away and sent him to the back.
-- Pillman Jr. was then interviewed by Atout about his Opera Cup match against Thatcher, but was interrupted by Kotto Brazil. Brazil was fed up with everything being about the Hart Foundation in MLW. He said Injustice were undefeated and warned Pillman that he might not make it to next week's semifinal.
-- We then got a CONTRA Unit propaganda video. Josef Samael warned everyone that you never see them coming. They called out the Hart Foundation and said Strong Hearts will also find out that they should not mess with the global dealers in violence.
-- They ran the debut hype video for Erick Stevens.
CONTRA Unit (MLW Champion Jacob Fatu, Simon Gotch and Josef Samael) defeated Strong Hearts (CIMA, Shingehiro Irie and El Lindaman) (11:00)
CIMA and Gotch met with a chopfest to kick us off. They started at 100 mph and the Strong Hearts quickly had Gotch in the corner eating a dropkick to the back. CONTRA fought back and singled out Lindaman after a quick flurry by the 5'3” OWE star.
Fatu hit Lindaman with a superkick to the temple but Lindaman fired up and got Fatu off his feet with a slam attempt. But, the MLW champion's size powered him over and he flattened Lindaman into the mat.
Irie tagged in and hit Gotch with a splash after springing back first off the top rope. He then reversed a Gotch piledriver and instead piledrove Samael on top of Gotch. Fatu came in and they met with double clotheslines but neither budged. They then collided with double crossbodies but Fatu got to his feet almost immediately as Irie writhed in pain on the ground. Fatu hit his handspring moonsault but CIMA broke up the pinfall attempt.
The action then broke down into a six-way brawl on the outside. Fatu chopped a ring post and was sent to the guardrail before he and Irie traded suicide dives onto each other. All three Strong Hearts then teamed up and got Fatu back inside. They chopped him but Fatu fought back with right hands. CIMA hit him with double knees from the top, Irie hit a rolling senton while he was draped on the middle rope, and Lindaman hit a bridging delayed German suplex for the close near fall only to be broken up by Gotch.
Lindaman then took out Samael with a somersault plancha to the outside. Back inside, Fatu caught CIMA with a pop-up Samoan drop and a 300-pound top rope moonsault to pick up the pin and the victory for his team.
Before we went off the air, Lawlor had a message for the Von Erichs. He said they were too dumb, stupid, and idiotic to see what is coming next. He challenged them to face his two star students next week with their tag team titles on the line.
** Next Week **
- Timothy Thatcher vs. Brian Pillman Jr. in the second Opera Cup semifinal.
- Tom Lawlor's open challenge to the Von Erichs for their MLW tag team titles against two of Team Filthy's top students.