MLW FUSION REPORT: 2020 Opera Cup Opening Round

MLW Fusion #111
November 25th, 2020

By: John Siino

Commentary: Rich Bocchini & Jared St. Laurent

2020 Opera Cup Opening Round Match: Richard Holliday vs. TJP (w/ Bu Ku Dao)

Holliday comes out to an instrumental version of “Diamonds from Sierra Leone” by Kanye West. He has his AirPods in but has yet to update to the AirPods Pro. They show a video from earlier where they asked Holliday how Alexander Hammerstone was doing from last week’s attack. Holliday said he’s recovering fine, he isn’t sure who the masked Contra attacker was but he’s sure he’s ugly, hideous and repulsive. He then walks past Gino Medina and accuses him of calling him something in Spanish and says he doesn’t have Dynastic qualities anymore. Medina says he wasn’t kicked out of The Dynasty, but quit. Holliday says he used him for the Spanish demographic and then he fired him. They go back and forth a bunch of times, and when Holliday tries to leave, Medina says it’ll be a shame if he were to get hurt.

As the match starts, Holliday tells the referee to hold up the Caribbean Heavyweight Championship but makes sure to say it’s a non-title match. Holliday takes his sweet time to remove the AirPods. A lot of technical wrestling to start as we see another Contra feed interruption around the four-minute mark. TJP is able to knock Holliday out of the ring with a drop kick and follows with another flying drop kick from the top rope. As they get back into the ring, Holliday is able to knock TJP off the top rope and begins attacking his legs until he hits a Northern Lights suplex for a two. TJP transitions a Sharpshooter into a bridged submission, until reverses it to a chin lock. TJP hits a DDT followed by three Front Chancery suplexes, but instead of going for the pin he attempts a senton from the top and misses. Holliday hits a spine buster followed by the Market Crash for the pin.

Winner: Richard Holliday advances by pinfall at 10:25

Siino Vision: Holliday continues to be a stand-out for me, even though he seems to be missing something without a crowd to feed his character off of, as well as MJF being the similar counter from their run together in The Dynasty. Bu Ku Dao was mentioned as watching his mentor by ringside. Holliday will face the winner of next week’s Low Ki vs. Davey Boy Smith Jr.

Holiday Message from the Von Erichs

Kevin, Marshall, Ross and 14 other members of the Von Erichs are in Kauai, Hawaii wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. Kevin says there is so much to be thankful for, we live in America and we have this world title. Marshall says Team Filthy beat them in numbers, but in a few years from now they have some tag team champions on the way.

Closed Session

An interviewer bombards Lio Rush as he’s in the recording studio questioning what he thinks of Myron Reed’s title fight request. Rush says his big debut should be a big title fight before kicking him out. They promoted the Countdown to Lio Rush’s debut December 23rd at MLW Kings of Colosseum.

American Top Team Are Livid

They go back to earlier this year when King Mo knocked out Low Ki in Philadelphia. King Mo is asking why Low Ki is in the Opera Cup instead of him, he said they should send Low Ki to get a brain scan and not wrestle anymore and if they do, he will beat his bitch ass. Dan Lambert pulled his car off the side of the road so he would avoid running somebody over in his fit of rage from hearing the entrants in the Opera Cup. Lambert is upset because Low Ki is included but King Mo is not. He acknowledges Low Kid is off the suspension list, but his attorneys have filed appeals and he should be back on the list on a permanent basis by the time the first round begins. The disrespect on King Mo and ATT will also be dealt with at the appropriate time.

Salina De La Renta’s Contract

Salina De La Renta interrupts Bocchini and Saint Laurent asking which one of them two had the idea of threatening her contract. She says MLW is full of hypocrites, and if they try to cancel her contractually guaranteed executive producer episode on January 6th, she will not only sue MLW to the ground but she will also drop a bomb on all of them sons of bitches. She then says to Konnan: she knows he loves to say she’s alone and while it may look that way, she wants him to remember in a world full of people – Contra’s feed interrupts her mid-sentence and we come back to her saying, “I won’t be…”

Calvin Tankman vs. Robert Martyr

Martyr starts with a dropkick that barely phases the 355-pound Tankman. Tankman counters with a leapfrog and a dropkick of his own. Tankman starts to destroy Martyr with chops in the corner, and Martyr hilariously tries some of his own. Tankman puts Martyr out of his misery with a spinning backbreaker, a clothesline and the Tankman Driver. After the match, Tankman says he is super excited to finally make his MLW debut, and that dominant performance is dedicated to his family and everybody who supported him since day one. Now it’s time for him to do what he set out to do when he signed that contract; beat everyone in his path until he gets to the champ, by any means.

Winner: Calvin Tankman by pinfall at 1:14

Siino VisionTankman is a product of IWA Mid-South but most recently caught the attention of everyone this year in GCW. You would not expect the maneuvers and speed by looking at him, and there is still so much more for him to show off that he didn’t get a chance to yet in his MLW debut.

Dr. Sweglar’s Injury Update

It has been reported because of last week’s attack, Alexander Hammerstone has a ribs contusion, hyperflexion of the neck and a transverse myelitis. They go to Hammerstone on the phone where he asks if Dr. Sweglar is on Contra’s payroll, because these are injuries that won’t even keep him out of the gym, much less out of the ring. He says at 80% he’s just as good as anyone else at 100% on their best day. He doesn’t know where Contra is finding these new members and he has no idea who the Black Hand of Contra is. He says even though they say his neck is suffering whiplash from a couple chair shots, he can guarantee you that his neck will be suffering whiplash when he hits him with the Nightmare Pendulum. Josef Samael interrupts the feed to pretty much say they aren’t scared of Hammerstone, he has sent the Black Hand of Contra and he has dealt Hammerstone the death card. Hail Contra! It is suspected that Black Hand of Contra is Logan Creed, who signed with MLW last year.

2020 Opera Cup Opening Round Match: Rocky Romero vs. Filthy Tom Lawlor (w/ Dominic Garrini)

Romero is announced as representing New Japan Pro Wrestling, while Lawlor’s theme song is a parody of Queen’s “We Will Rock You” to say, “I have, come to, kill you.” Lawlor is rocking his cut-off denim shorts. As Lawlor does a headstand, Romero tries to turn it into a mini Piledriver. Romero tries to consistently wear Lawlor down with headlocks. After about a dozen shoulder tackles, Lawlor finally takes Romero down. Lawlor’s back has been cut open as he goes to the outside and receives a flying knee from Romero. They start to combat submissions on each other until Lawlor finally breaks it up with his foot on the rope. Lawlor puts on a heel hock dead center into the ring, until Romero hits an Enziguri to escape. Romero attempts a Tornado DDT that turns into a Guillotine Choke, but Lawlor escapes with an Exploder Suplex. Romero does connect a Tornado DDT and continues to dominate Lawlor until he tries an armbar that Lawlor reverses to a rear naked choke. Romero hits a running Sliced Bread for a close 2 count. Romero hits a barrage of running clotheslines until Lawlor hits a Ura nage. They start trading kicks and strikes until Lawlor reverses Romero trying to jump off the top rope into a backslide for a two. Lawlor attempts a rear naked choke but reverses it for a pin.

Winner: Tom Lawlor advances by pinfall at 17:43

Siino Vision: Easily match of the night. It’s easily forgotten how great Romero can really be due to his slightly comedic style, but in this match with Lawlor he impressed me. Lawlor different reversals and pinning situations were very impressive as well. Lawlor grabbed the mic before Garrini imitated the role of the interviewer. Their mic kept cutting out during all of this, making you wonder if it was legit or another Contra trick. Lawlor eventually spits out how he will win the Opera Cup. Before that though, he must face the winner of next week’s opening round match between ACH vs. Laredo Kid.

Overall, this was a pretty decent episode of Fusion. Tankman showed just a taste of what he’s capable of doing, the Salina and Hammerstone/Contra storylines progress and we were also introduced to new wrinkles between ATT/Low Ki and Holliday/Medina. In the end, it was also announced that the mysterious Black Hand of Contra will be in action next week.

7 Contra interruptions out of 10

About John Siino 18 Articles
New York native and reporter at POST Wrestling. He is also Associate Producer and Social Media Director at upNXT, and the host of the 'Shot in the Dark' podcast.