Editor's Note: You can watch this episode in full by scrolling down to the bottom of this post.
** The Big Takeaways**
- Davey Boy Smith Jr. won the Opera Cup and continued his family's legacy with the trophy as the last winner before Smith was his grandfather, Stu Hart, back in 1948.
- Myron Reed successfully defended the MLW Middleweight title against El Lindaman.
- With a little help from his new friends in the Dynasty, Gino Medina defeated Savio Vega in a NYC street fight.
** Full Review **
We had a video recap of the Opera cup highlights thus far, following Davey Boy Smith Jr.'s and Brian Pillman Jr.'s paths to the final.
MLW Middleweight Champion Myron Reed (w/Jordan Oliver and Kotto Brazil) defeated El Lindaman to retain (7:06)
We had a pre-recorded promo from Reed, Oliver, and Brazil as Reed made his way to the ring for his first title defense. Reed said he cannot be controlled and that they are at war with "the system".
Reed tried to catch Lindaman off guard with a right hand to the jaw, but it backfired on the Middleweight champion as the OWE #StrongHeart just shook it off, took Reed down, and went to work. Injustice soon got involved from ringside, but Lindaman soon found an opening to launch himself over the top rope right on top of Oliver and Brazil.
Reed tried to then catch Lindaman off guard, but to no avail as he went for his own somersault plancha but landed on his buddies instead of his opponent. The StrongHeart was not finished as he jumped back in the ring and landed another somersault plancha on to Reed this time.
Lindaman hit some great kicks and strikes before dumping Reed on the back of his head with a German suplex. But Reed later reversed a suplex into a stunner and hit a springboard ace crusher and a sit-out reverse DDT (curtain call), but Lindaman kicked out before three.
Lindaman caught Reed with a dropkick off a springboard and planted him on his head for a close two count of his own. Reed briefly escaped Lindaman's grasp by backing up the ramp, but the champion had a plan and quite a way to execute it. He ran down the ramp, leaped over the top rope and into the ring, hitting an ace crusher in the process before smoothly following up with a springboard 450 to pick up the win in his first successful title defense.
-- Alicia Atout interviewed Brian Pillman Jr. earlier in the day. He said that he has a grade 3 AC joint separation, but Injustice could not keep him out of the tournament. He said Smith is an excellent martial artist but this match isn't about the Hart Foundation any more. He is leaving it all on the line and wants to show the Hart family he can earn their respect and win the Cup.
-- King Mo was backstage and said that it doesn't matter who wins the Opera Cup tonight, the winner can face him. He then called out MLW World champion Jacob Fatu and told him to stop using the belt to hide his stretch marks, and that he is coming for him.
-- Lifestyles of the Rich and Dynastic followed with a recap of last week where Gino Medina joined the Dynasty. The now foursome were celebrating with champagne as MJF asked Holliday where Grogan was. Holliday reassured that he was downstairs keeping people out of the VIP area and then thanked Medina for picking them over “that janitor” Konnan. Medina said Konnan used to be the Hulk Hogan of Mexico which enraged Hammerstone who then listed all the ways Konnan was nothing like Hogan: no tan, he's fat, washed up, and a has-been. They sealed the deal with a four-way Dynasty pinkie shake.
Gino Medina defeated Savio Vega in a NYC street fight (8:33)
With an inset promo, Vega told Medina to be ready as it's time to pay the price. He was not lying. The instant the bell rang, he was swinging his kendo stick and landing all over Medina's body. Medina fought back and hit Vega with a chair, a trash can, and a stop sign, and then arrogantly tried to get the win by pinning Vega with only a foot on his chest.
Vega choked Medina on the mat and then tossed him to the outside where he went back to the kendo stick. However, Medina turned the tables and used a hockey stick across Vega's back. Medina then wrapped Vega's head in a steel chair and rammed it into the ring post.
Vega responded to the fans' encouragement and hit a big backdrop and a spinning heel kick but only got a two count. Vega went to the well once too often and missed the next spinning heel kick, but then just hit the third one anyway. The Dynasty then came out and distracted Vega, which allowed Medina hit a low blow and a Kamagiri kick for the win. They danced and posed to celebrate.
-- We were told that the New York State Athletic Commission is looking into Tom Lawlor's use of nunchucks last week as they are illegal there. He could be looking at a fine or even a suspension.
-- Atout then caught up with Davey Boy Smith Jr. ahead of the Opera Cup final. Smith said that being in the final means pride, passion, and glory. He said Pillman's father was taught by his father in the Dungeon, and he is surprised Pillman has made it to the finals. But, he sees the passion and burning desire in him. Tonight, he means business.
Davey Boy Smith Jr. defeated Brian Pillman in the finals of the Opera Cup (16:57)
This was a great match to cap off a great tournament with a worthy winner given the performances and a nice, touching story about keeping the family tradition with the Cup alive. To tie in with the story and build, we were told Injustice had all been kicked out due to their threat on the participants in the Cup final, and also that the Opera Cup tournament will now be an annual tradition in MLW.
A handshake started us off, but Pillman threatened an early clean break with a cheeky back elbow but he didn't follow through. Smith got the early advantage in the slow-paced opening segments, but Pillman eventually dropkicked Smith to the outside and hit a springboard splash to the floor. His success was short-lived as Smith floored him with a clothesline and a suplex on the floor outside.
The crowd momentarily brought Pillman back into it but Smith floored him again, this time with a headbutt. Smith missed a big flying legdrop from the top rope and Pillman fired up with right hands and a kick to the head. Pillman nearly picked up the win after rolling through a power slam for a close two count. He tried a backslide and an inside cradle for more close calls. They exchanged more two counts before Pillman rocked Smith with a superkick and a knee to the temple before hitting his Air Pillman springboard clothesline for another close near fall.
Pillman hit his Dire Promise swinging neckbreaker but Smith kicked out at two. Smith moved when Pillman flew through the air and hit him with the running powerslam, but Pillman somehow kicked out. They exchanged slaps as Pillman begged for Smith to give him his best shot. Smith obliged and hit him with a tombstone piledriver and a diving headbutt but Pillman dug deep and kicked out at the last moment to the shock and amazement of the crowd.
Smith powerbombed Pillman in frustration, but we got another kickout. As Pillman tried to roll to safety, Smith locked in the crossface submission. Pillman momentarily tried to roll out of it but the power of Smith was too much and he got back into position, sunk the lock in deeper, and gave Pillman no choice but to tap out.
Smith posed with his trophy after the match, raised Pillman's arm, and was greeted with streamers from the New York crowd. Smith seemed genuinely emotional as he paraded the Cup around the ring and thanked the fans in the arena.
** Next Week **
- Mance Warner vs. Jimmy Havoc in a no ropes, barbed wire match