MLW Fusion #112 – “2020 Opera Cup Opening Round Concludes”
December 2nd, 2020
GILT Nightclub – Orlando, FL
Commentary: Rich Bocchini & Jared St. Laurent
The Black Hand of Contra is Mads Krugger
We start the show with both Low Ki & Davey Boy Smith Jr. talking about how important winning the Opera Cup is and their opening round match from last year. As Rich Bocchini welcomes us to Orlando, Florida, we get interrupted by Josef Samael who criticizes everybody for enjoying their Thanksgiving meals. While everybody is celebrating their tradition, Contra is getting stronger in a cold, wet bunker in Mongolia. Their soldiers are training, readying for their next strike. And tonight, they formally introduce the world to the Black Hand of Contra, who has already caused havoc from South Africa to the Baltics and all places in between. Samael reveals his name is indeed Mads Krugger, and to expect a lot of suffering and the suffering has just begun.
2020 Opera Cup Opening Round Match: Laredo Kid vs. ACH
Laredo Kid is announced as representing AAA as their Cruiserweight Champion, and he will bring the Opera Cup to Mexico. ACH says he’s not too familiar with Laredo Kid’s work, but that excites him because that has him going into something not really knowing what Laredo Kid is capable of. Quick moving starts with multiple roll-up pin attempts and submission trade-offs. Commentary mentions ACH putting on some size by joining the 500-pound deadlift club. Laredo Kid gets the advantage with a missile dropkick knocking ACH to the outside, followed by a leap to take ACH down again. ACH comes back with a punt kick of his own taking Laredo to the outside. ACH kept working on the back of Laredo with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker and elbows to the back.
They take it back to the outside and Laredo gets his elbow smashed up against the steel steps, back in the inside Laredo comes back with a cross body and clothesline, followed by the Three Amigos but switches it up and does a Northern Lights Suplex at the end instead. ACH shows strain in his back after a couple of backbreakers to Laredo. Laredo hits a Michinoku Driver followed by a pair of moonsaults for a 2 count. ACH is able to grab Laredo from the turntables with a beautiful snap powerbomb for a 2 of his own. They go back and forth on the top rope ending with ACH falling onto the ropes and receiving a cutter from Laredo Kid. Laredo seems frustrated as he goes to the top rope again, but ACH kicks him off followed by a brain buster for the pin.
Winner: ACH advances by pinfall at 14:08
Siino Vision: Not sure what happened with the commentary, but Rich Bocchini in particular seemed out of sync and that took me out of the match a bit, as every close pinfall or reaction to a big move was out of place. Regardless, the match was still good, and similarly to my sentiments for Lio Rush, I am happy that ACH has continued to stay in the wrestling business and choose MLW. The Opera Cup 2019 was the last time he was in MLW, and it was a surprise to see him show up when I was in attendance. I haven’t seen much from Laredo Kid besides his short stint in Impact as well as his appearance at AEW Fyter Fest, but this is a nice reminder of what we have in store when he challenges Kenny Omega for the AAA Mega Championship next week at Triplemania. ACH will next go head to head with Tom Lawlor, a rematch from 2018’s World Championship Final show where Lawlor won by submission.
Team Filthy’s Newest Member
We go to Filthy Tom Lawlor from his home in Las Vegas, Nevada where he reminds us that he has advanced in the Opera Cup and says now it’s time that the MLW tag team division advances. Dominic Garrini has found a partner in Kevin Ku, and next week we will see the debut of Violence is Forever.
The Von Erichs Promise a Claw-tastrophe
We see a tweet from Josef Samael stating, “Champions of MLW will fall as they enter the next stage of war. Contra is so skillful in attack that the enemy will not know what to defend and so skillful in defense that the enemy will not know what to attack. I am the director of fate and I predict an orgy of sacrifice.” The Von Erichs from Kauai, Hawaii responded that Contra will not learn and not to get beat up over and over again. They take direct defense to Contra calling out all champions. They’ve gone so long without clawing somebody, and how they woke up on a beach and saw a dead shark with five holes in its head, and realized it was a mom with a whole family. They blame Contra for that. They are coming for Contra, and challenges them to try and take their titles, and it’s going to be a “claw-tastrophe”.
Revenge is a Dish Best Served Cold
We go to Salina de la Renta who is sitting by a water fountain in Mexico City. She claims everybody is asking where she is and what she is going to do. She said instead of hearing Konnan’s lies, you can hear it from here. She is there in Mexico handling business and revenge to take care of as she pulls out a knife and starts singing in Spanish in a real maniacal tone.
Mads Krugger vs. Ariel Dominguez
Krugger comes out to “Super 16” by Neu! Best known for being used in Master of the Flying Guillotine, and later on in Kill Bill. Krugger is twice the size of Dominguez. Dominguez starts the match holding on to Krugger’s leg similarly to my son trying to stop me from leaving for work. Krugger just grabs him by the back of the neck and swats him away like a bug. After tossing him a bit around, he hits a front facing chokeslam to put him out of his misery.
Winner: Mads Krugger by pinfall at 1:46
Siino Vision: After the match we see two mysterious Contra henchmen in all black come out to put Dominguez in a body bag and place the Contra Unit flag on top before carrying him to the back. Just your simple ‘new big man squash’ introduction for Krugger, but it’s been a rough quarantine for Dominguez, from being tossed around in the Raw Underground, to being demolished by Lance Archer in AEW to this, but hey, he’s getting TV time. I would like to see how Krugger fairs in a longer match with someone with more experience.
Lifestyles of the Rich and Dynastic
We go to Richard Holliday who dedicated his Opening Round win to Alexander Hammerstone. Even though Gino Medina tried to weasel himself in for a spot, Holliday is still advancing to the semi-finals. Doesn’t matter if it’s Davey Boy Smith Jr. or Low Ki, he is still dedicating the second match to Hammerstone as well.
World Tag Team Championship match set for next week:
Ross & Marshall Von Erich (c) vs. Jacob Fatu & Simon Gotch of Contra Unit.
2020 Opera Cup Opening Round Match: Low Ki vs. Davey Boy Smith Jr.
All throughout the show, they showed highlights from last year’s Opera Cup where they faced off in the first round. St. Laurent mentions that Low Ki’s gear is honoring Masahiro Chono, as this is the same outfit he wore at All Japan Royal Road 2013 where they collaborated and let down Chono when Akebono took out Low Ki’s knee. They start with a bit of grappling on the mat applying submissions. Low Ki keeps trying to ground Smith by taking out his legs. After a Dragon screw leg whip, the referee starts trying to keep Low Ki away as he checks on Smith. Smith finally applies his strength and throws Low Ki off of him and out of the ring as Low Ki was trying to rain elbows down in the corner. Now Smith takes his turns working on a body part, as he keeps targeting the left arm of Low Ki. Low Ki continues through the constant submission attempts and pinfalls and eventually is free by putting his leg on the ropes. Smith attempts a German Suplex, but Low Ki escapes and counters with a double stomp to the chest.
Low Ki pounces on a unique crucifix submission and Smith attempts to bite the ankle of Low Ki to escape, eventually grabbing the second rope. Low Ki hits a barrage of kicks and a shotgun dropkick for a 2. Nice back and forth, as Smith fails to hit a Superplex, dodges the double stomp from the top, connects with a short powerslam, but still fails to get the pinfall. Smith shows determination and immediately goes for the running powerslam, but Low Ki holds back by grabbing the turnbuckle with his feet and turning this into a Dragon sleeper. As he tries to keep the hold on, Smith starts walking around the ring with him, attempting to roll him up, but Low Ki does a roll of his own for the win.
Winner: Low Ki advances by pinfall at 20:13
Siino Vision: Great match overall, with the storytelling throughout the show and explaining how much this means for both men. Very surprising to see last year’s winner get eliminated in the first round, but it only solidifies Low Ki’s win more. Enjoyed how both men were working on a specific body part, and some real innovative submission attempts and escapes. Smith did show sportsmanship at the end by helping Low Ki up, raising his hand and hugging him. Low Ki will now face Richard Holliday in the semi-finals which will be next week. They also announced that Calvin Tankman will be in action again next week. Low Ki quickly says his game plan to win the opera cup is pinfalls, submission or go to sleep, he will always have options.
Two solid matches to close up the Opening Rounds of the Opera Cup, and your standard debut by Mads Krugger made this a fun breeze of a show to watch. I am glad the audio sync issues didn’t continue past the first match. Felt like there weren’t as many backstage segments as usual, but the ones that did air had more effect. Intrigued on how exactly Salina delivers her revenge to Konnan, as that promo was rather ominous.
7.5 mommy sharks out of 10