The MLW Opera Cup took place last night at the infamous Melrose Ballroom in the Queens section of New York City and the event was full of surprises. PWInsider‘s Mike Johnson was on hand for coverage of the event and his full report is below (WARNING: Full spoilers of the event are below)
Maverick Chris Calaway vs. Dr. Dax
Calaway took the fight to him but was hit with a big Beal Toss across the ring. He wiped out Calaway and pinned him
Your winner, Dr. Dax!
They tossed out some t-shirts to the crowd.
Opera Cup: TJ Perkins vs. Brian Pillman Jr.
They had some nice back and forth action before facing off. Pillman took him to the mat with a side headlock but TJP worked his way out. They had words and locked up again. This time, Pillman was caught in the side headlock. He escaped and they went back and forth. Perkins went for a spinkick but Pillman shoved it aside and told him that he was in Pillman’s house. The crowd went back and forth with dueling chants.
Pillman was sent out on the apron. Perkins rebonded off the buckles with a kick. Pillman was drilled with a backbreaker and covered for a two count. Perkins locked up Pillman in a Sharpshooter before turning it into a Muta Lock. Perkins cinched on a rear chinlock. Pillman escaped but was trapped in the Octopus.
Pillman escaped and tried to run the ropes but Perkins cut him off and took him down to the mat, snapping his arm. He nailed a back suplex but missed a swanton off the top. Pillman lit him up with chops and powerslammed Perkins for a two count.
They battled to the top where Perkins nailed a superplex and then slammed Pillman again. Pillman came back with a superkick but was nailed by Perkins. Perkins went for a kick but missed. Pillman hit a neckbreaker variation for the pin.
Your winner, Brian Pillman Jr!
Pillman was interviewed by Alicia Atout. He did a babyface promo saying tonight would be his night and a star would be born. He said 2020 would be his year.
Low Ki vs. Davey Boy Smith Jr.
They circled each other, wary as they tested each other out. They went back and forth with some really nice mat work. Smith brought Ki to the mat and worked him over with a grinding headlock. They battled to the floor, where Smith stomped at Ki. He sent Ki into the barricade and brought him back into the ring.
Smith continued working Ki over as the crowd tried to rally the former MLW Champion. Smith slammed Ki and stomped him across the chest. Smith cinched in a bearhug. Ki escaped and nailed a series of kicks to the chest. Smith cut him off and fired back with a big uppercut. Ki gained control and came off the top with a big double stomp across the back.
Ki tried to slam Smith but was blocked. Smith drilled him across the back. Ki came back with a dropkick through the ropes that sent Smith to the floor. Ki dragged him around the ringside area, drilled him with chops. Smith reversed a whip into the apron. He pressed and tossed Ki into the ring but Ki landed on his feet and drilled Smith.
Ki went for a top rope double stomp but Smith moved out of the way. Smith nailed a powerbomb for a two count. Ki fought back and finally slammed Smith to a big pop. Ki went to the top. Smith pulled him down for an attempted running powerslam but Ki escaped and locked on a sleeper. Smith went down but was able to flip over, trapping Ki under him for a three count.
Your winner, Davey Boy Smith Jr!
Very good match with some stiff action.
Ki raised Smith’s arm after.
They aired a video on King Mo Lawal.
Opera Cup: Timothy Thatcher vs. Richard Holliday.
The crowd chanted, “Thatcher’s gonna kill you.”
Early on, Thatcher used some striking and kicks but was kicked off by Holliday. Thatcher used a double leg takedown but was nailed. Holliday nailed a series of rights and uppercuts, dazing Thatcher. Thatcher came back to grab a single leg crab but Hollday fought his way out and sent Thatcher into the buckles. He rolled up Thatcher for a two count.
Holliday was drilled with several kicks to the legs from the mat but still maintained control, stomping away on Thatcher. Thatcher drilled him across the chest with a series of clubbering blows. Thatcher sent Holliday into the ropes but was nailed on the rebound. They exchanged chops and strikes.
Holliday took him down and worked him over. Thatcher went for a back suplex but Holliday nailed him with an elbow. Thatcher fired back with a big chop. They battled into the corner, where Thatcher attempted a superplex but was shoved off. He returned and went for it but Holliday turned it over in mid-air, scoring a two count.
Thatcher finally caught him in an armbar and forced the submission.
Your winner, Timothy Thatcher!
If you enjoy back and forth grappling and strikes, this is for you.
Opera Cup :MJF vs. Alex Hammerstone.
MJF tried to convince Hammerstone to lay down for him but when he poked Hammerstone, it didn’t work out that way. MJF shoved him in the face and Hammerstone attacked him, knocking him to the floor. Hammerstone hit a dive to the outside, then hit a missile dropkick from the top after MJF was tossed back into the ring. MoJF screamed, “Oh Sh**!” when he saw Hamerstone launch, which was funny.
MJF cut him off and stomped away at Hammerstone, then scissored him on the mat, trying to force a submission. He locked on an abdominal stretch, using the ring ropes for leverage, a la Mike Rotunda. The ref caught him and kicked his arm off, allowing Hammerstone to reverse it into a hiptoss.
Hammerstone nailed a big overhead belly to belly suplex and then a big underhook into a slam for a two count. The crowd was into Hammerstone’s offense. MJF cut it off with a thumb to the eye but was nailed with several big boots. He fired back with a superkick, only to eat a big lariat. The crowd chanted for Hammerstone.
Richard Holliday distracted the referee. MJF low blowed and small packaged Hammerstone for a two count. Hammerstone cut him off with a boot to the face and hit a big sit-down powerbomb for the pin.
Your winner, Alex Hammerstone!
MJF did a great job here as the obnoxious villain, helping Hammerstone get the best reaction from a crowd I’ve ever seen.
MJF offered his hand after and when Hammerstone took it, MJF collapsed in exhaustion.
They aired footage of Tom Lawlor’s recent turn. Lawlor came to the ring. He said all anyone wants to talk to him about lately are the Von Erichs. He said they are idiots, morons, and dumbasses. He said the only ones dumber than the Von Erichs are the fans cheering them on. He asked if Ross and Marshall are even real Von Erichs. He then said he had the real Von Erich here and introduced RIP Von Erich, allegedly the son of Lance Von Erich, who of course was not actually related to the family.
Tom Lawlor vs. Rip Von Erich
Lawlor outclassed RVE, using him to mock the family. He avoided a dropkick and used an Airplane Spin. Lawlor locked the Iron Claw on RVE for the pin.
Your winner, Tom Lawlor!
This was all old school heel stuff with Lawlor mocking the family. It was very good in that regard.
Lawlor said he was undefeated against the Von Erichs and is going to remain undefeated against them. Then, all the scumbag city slicker at home are going to know they should have been chanting Filthy Tom for him and not cheering for the Von Erichs. He called them Hawaiian Hillbillies. Marshall and Ross Von Erich came out to confront him but were attacked by The Spirit Squad. They were laid out as Lawlor wore their cowboy hat to mock them.
El Lindaman vs.MLW Middleweight Champion Myron Reed
Some nice back and forth action early on. Reed gained control. Lindaman hit a big dive to the outside on all three members of Injustice. He scored several two counts but Reed kept kicking out. He nailed a stiff kick to the chest and a big back suplex for a two count. Reed came back with a sit-down inverted powerbomb for a two count. He went for a springboard move but was dropkicked in mid-air. Reed was slammed for a two count. Reed came with a cutter and a springboard 450 splash for the pin.
Your winner, Myron Reed!
Short but all enjoyable action.
They aired a video feature on the forthcoming AAA working agreement.
They aired a short Injustice promo in front of Citifield, knocking New York.
Injustice came to the ring complaining they aren’t being celebrated. They complained about not being in the Opera Cup. The old “white investors” upstairs don’t like them. They make too much noise and too much controversy. They complained their merchandise wasn’t being sold. Officials came out asking them to leave. They asked what was going to happen and if they were going to get fired. They refused to leave and brought a chair into the ring. They sat down in the center.
King Mo Lawal came to the ring. The crowd chanted that Mo was going to kill them. They were going to fight him when out came the returning ACH.
ACH & King Mo vs. Jordan Oliver & Kotto Brazil.
Mo and ACH controlled Brazil early. They nailed a double hiptoss. Mo locked in an anklelock but Brazil made it to the ropes. ACH tagged in and stomped the hell out of Brazil in the corner. He nailed a series of chops. Brazil came back with a rana and a dropkick.
Injustice took control on ACH and whipped him into the guard rails. Oliver took control and drilled ACH with a series of chops. He and Brazil hit a series of slingshot elbows into the ring on ACH. Brazil used a front facelock to control ACH. He turned ACH over into a Sharpshooter variation.
They kept working over ACH as Lawal tried to rally the crowd. Mo finally got the hot tag. He started throwing Injustice around rudely. Lawal was worked over but came back with a double clothesline. ACH returned to the fray and attacked Brazil with a series of fast kicks in the corner. Oliver jumped him but ACH regained control and nailed a big dropkick.. Lawal hit a big splash in the corner. He powerbombed Brazil and forced him to tap to a leglock.
Your winner, ACH and King Mo!
Mo is a project and he’s going to need some work but he tried. The crowd really loved seeing ACH.
Opera Cup Semi-Final: Brian Pillman Jr. vs. Timothy Thatcher
Thatcher was in control early on, working on Pillman’s arm and raining down strikes on the mat. He cinched in a one-legged crab in the center of the ring and then tied up Pillman, turning him over. Thatcher kept twisting his back and nailed a series of strikes before locking up Pillman’s arm. The story of the bout was Pillman fighting to survive and figure out how to get past Thatcher.
Pillman gained control and began working over Thatcher but was drilled backwards into the corner and nailed with a series of strikes. Thatcher nailed a butterfly suplex for a two count. Pillman came back with a back suplex. He snatched Thatcher but was taken down with an armbar. Pillman was able to escape and roll up Thatcher for the pin.
Your winner, advancing to the finals, Brian Pillman Jr.!
Opera Cup Semi-Final: Alexander Hammerstone (with Richard Holliday) vs. Davey Boy Smith Jr.
They went back and forth with some power spots, testing the other. They battled to the floor, where Hammerstone gained control. He worked over Smith and sent him into the apron. Back in the ring, he worked over Smith’s neck and back. Smith fired back and they exchanged punches in the center of the ring. Smith rained down punches in the corner.
Smith sent Hammerstone into the ropes and nailed a big boot. He dropped a legdrop for a two count. Smith hit a back suplex for a two count. Smith caught him with a crossface but Holliday tossed the National Openweight belt into the ring, distracting the referee. Smith went after him. Hammerstone tried to attack Smith from behind with a kick but Smith ducked. Hammerstone crotched himself on the ropes.
Smith powerslammed Hammerstone and came off the ropes with a headbutt for the pin.
Your winner. Davey Boy Smith Jr!
Pillman vs. Smith in the finals of the Opera Cup.
Konnan came to the ring. He said that NYC and MLW are both lit. He said that next year, MLW and AAA are going to do business together and there are some really great things in store. He said he’s been involved with a lot of stars and the next big one will be Gino Medina. He said that people may not know but Konnan watched him grow up in locker rooms in Mexico. He said his dad ran with El Gringos Locos. Medina says he knows all about Konnan and he’s trying to use him. Konnan said that he’s getting it all twisted and that rat Salina de la Renta is trying to recruit Gino. He said he doesn’t know who’s going down or what’s going down but she’s bad news.
Salina de la Renta came to the ring. She said we’re out here talking about her sex life, since we can’t talk about Konnan’s sex life, since he doesn’t have one. She called him a sad, pathetic placcid man. She told Medina that they have a lot of fun together and with her, he is a bigger man. Renta said Medina is a man with taste and a man with taste should have a woman at his size. Konnan said she’s not a boss, she’s a b***h. Konnan questioned why Medina would sign with her after all she’s done with Low Ki and the Lucha Brothers. Medina said that Konnan was making a lot of sense. He told La Renta that they can still have fun, but business is business.
The Dynasty came to the ring. He began putting himself over and then hit on Salina. He then mocked Konnan. Konnan made all sorts of jokes at the Dynasty’s expense. He said that Medina knows what they, Salina and Konnan is all about. He asked him to shake hands and seal the deal. MJF said that he could get Medina two elite contracts. If he wants to be a top guy like MJF and the Dynasty, he knows what the move is. They all made their play to Medina as to why he should sign with them. Medina picked Konnan, then attacked him and joined The Dynasty.
On the video screen, Tom Lawlor said that the only thing that makes him angrier than the fans in this sh**hole is hearing them chant for the Von Erichs.
Ross and Marshall Von Erichs vs. The Filthy Squad, Mike Mondo & Ken Doane.
The Von Erichs worked them over and nailed a double dropkick. The Squad cut off Ross and worked him over. Marshall made the hot tag. They nailed the chokeslam/claw finisher and pinned Mondo.
Your winners, The Von Erichs!
Rip Von Erich attacked them and was beaten and thrown out of the ring after.
Prince of Darkness Match: Jimmy Havoc vs. Mance Warner.
They were blindfolded. Mance pointed trying to find Havoc. Havoc lifted his mask and attacked Werner. How is that NOT a DQ? He worked over Werner. Havoc, blindfolded, went to the top and dove off with an elbow, completely missing. That was moronic. Werner grabbed Havoc but his mask came off. Havoc grabbed the referee and tossed him into Werner. The referee yelled at Havoc, allowing Priscilla Kelly to run out and attack Werner. Havoc scored the pin.
Your winner, Jimmy Havoc.
New York Street Fight: Gino Medina vs. Savio Vega.
Vega came out with a Singapore Cane. He lit up Medina with the cane and chased him out of the ring. Medina got control and caned the hell out of Vega, chopping away at him. Vega came back to nail him with a garbage can lid. Vega tossed the can in the ring. He nailed Medina with a chair. Back in the ring, Vega nailed him with a stop sign. Medina nailed him and worked him over with punches in the corner. He hit Vega hard with a trash can lid. Medina nailed snake eyes in the corner and covered him for a two count.
Vega came back with a flurry of punches and a big right hand that sent Medina flying. Medina kicked him in the gut and smacked him over the head with a stop sign. Vega fought back and tossed Medina to the floor. He began beating him with the cane on the floor over and over. Medina nailed Vega so hard it was ridiculous with a hockey stick and then placed a chair around his neck. He ran Vega into the ring post and brought him back to the ring for a two count.
Vega came back with a backspin tackle. He went for a spinkick but Medina moved out of the way. Medina was drilled with another. The Dynasty came out on the stage. That distracted Vega, allowing Medina to low blow Vega, kiick him weakly and score the pinfall.
Your winner, Gino Medina!
A pretty gritty and rough street fight. I didn’t care for the ending but the rest was way better than anyone could have expected. Good stuff.
Alicia Atout interviewed The Dynasty . She said that she didn’t think Medina would have won without the interference. MJF said that he knows she’s from Canada and things are weird there but they have a thing called respect here. They bullied her into apologizing. Medina said he did it himself and now he belongs to the Dynasty.
CONTRA Unit’s Jacob Fatu & Ikuro Kwon & Simon Gotch vs. Strong Hearts’ CIMA & El Lindaman & Shigehiro Irie.
Jacob Fatu worked over Lindaman. Gotch and Irie went back and forth. It turned into a brawl with everyone battling all over ringside. It was too much to recap but very entertaining. All three Strong Hearts worked over Fatu in the ring. He fired back but was caught in the frenzy of big moves. Lindaman nailed a big back suplex. Lindaman nailed a big flip dive to the outside. Fatu caught CIMA with a Samoan Drop and moonsault for the pin. Frenzied but a lot of fun.
Your winners, CONTRA Unit!
Opera Cup Finals: Brian Pillman Jr. vs. Davey Boy Smith Jr.
The crowd chanted “Hart Foundation.”
They had some good back and forth wrestling. They went into a long test of strength. Pillman nailed a dropkick that sent Smith out of the ring. Pillman hit a springboard splash on Smith on the floor. Smith worked over Pillman and sent him into the barricade hard. He suplexed Pillman on the floor. Pillman was almost counted out but Smith brought him back in the ring.
Smith worked him over but missed a legdrop off the top. Smith went for a slam but was small packaged for a two count. Pillman and Smith went back and forth with near falls that were really good. Pillman caught him with a superkick, then a big knee strike. Pillman nailed Air Pillman for a two count.
Smith shoved Pillman back into the buckles. Pillman kicked him off and went for a bodypress but missed. Pillman was powerslammed for a two count. Smith nailed a leaping tombstone piledriver and went to the top. He nailed a headbutt off the top but Pillman kicked up. Smith powerbombed him for another two count.
Smith locked on a crossface. PIllman finally tapped.
You winner, Davey Boy Smith Jr!
Smith was awarded the Cup. He and Pillman embraced.