Fusion Recap: The 2020 Opera Cup Commences


The MLW Fusion on Thanksgiving special is presented by newlawoffice.com and what a way to make it stand out with the opening round of the 2020 Opera Cup?

Plus, MLW newcomer and certain force of nature, Calvin Tankman makes his league debut tonight! The show starts off “marketable” as Richard Holliday looks ready to roll against squared circle journeyman, TJP in the first round of the historic tournament.

The “Air Pod God” looks ever confident for the opening round despite missing last week’s Restart due to some travel issues. We cut to earlier in the day as Holliday is asked about the status of Hammerstone. He assures the camera man that The Beef Castle will be a-okay and whoever that attacker may be from last week is not important, but what is is Hammer fully recovering. Rich does happen to ramble by the former Dynasty member in Gino Medina. He and Holliday exchange words as they go back and forth as to if Gino was fired or he quit The Dynasty. Medina implies that Rich could happen to get “hurt” in his opening round bout. After that exchange may want to down a couple extra Pike roasts to assure his head is on full swivel tonight.

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

“The Carribean Champion” hands his title over to the offcial whom he prompts to hoist it up in a moment of glamour (this is a total non-title match for those keeping track). Holliday holds court further by making an event of him holstering his Air Pods. The bell rings and we’re underway.

The two men circle one another before a very brief lock-up and a reset. The second lock-up has TJP getting sent to the canvas due to the strength of Holliday. Side headlock by TJP who turns it into an impressive snapmare, utilizng the turnbuckle to down Rich. Holliday turns it into a grounded head scissors, but TJP kicks himself free. That causes Rich to roll in the corner. The two look to be going for a test of strength but Holliday using some striking. TJP briefly turns it into an octopus stretch. It’s not long before Rich uses his speed to roll TJP up for a two count.

Back on their feet, Rich trips TJP up and turns it into a leg lock. Another headscissors allows TJP to free himself, but a shoulder tackle finds him on his back. TJP catches him with a front chancery, Rich powers him up in a fireman’s carry and TJP turns it into an arm drag. Rich looks dizzyed and TJP dropkicks him in the back and sends him on the outside. The dropkicks keep kicking as TJP leaps off the top and hit Rich right in the mush on the outside.

TJP ascends once more, but the ring acumen of Rich uses the ropes to crotch the high-flier. Rich stomps away on the legs of TJP before delivering some destructive shoulder blocks. A northern lights suplex gets a two count.

TJP utilizes his speed and the apron to lock Holliday in a sharpshooter. He turns it into a bridging deathlock. Rich turns it into a chin lock, but TJP turns to his feet and gives Holliday a mean stump puller!

Rich is in immense pain, but does knee TJP in the gut. TJP finds sanctuary in the corner and fakes Rich out with a handstand turned head scissors. Holliday is able to scout TJP out well and lariats him hard on the apron, but TJP tangles Rich’s arm in the ropes. Headbutt by TJP leads to an impressive hurricanrana to get himself back in the ring. TJP attempts a cross body and turns it into a White Noise for a near fall.

He goes for another cover but no dice. Ground sleeper by Rich. TJP tries to fight free and does when Rich goes for a double underhook. Tornado DDT off the turnbuckle and does three front chancery suplexes.

Holliday is out and TJP comes off the turnbuckle with a swanton attempt. Rich rolls out of the way and catches TJP with a 2008 Market Crash for the 1-2-3.

WINNER and ADVANCING in The Opera Cup: Richard Holliday

The Von Erich family are all together in Kauai, HI and they wish all the MLW viewers a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Last week after his hard fought defeat against Brian Pillman Jr., Myron Reed wants some action against fellow hybrid high-flier Lio Rush. A camera man catches Lio in the production room and Lio is all for that fight who we’ll get our first chance to see come December 23 at Kings Colosseum.

King Mo is not pleased that Low Ki is in the Opera Cup Tournament. He thinks the league needs to give Low Ki a brain scan as it’s very imperative to his health to get his mind right. An irate Dan Lambert expresses his distate for excluding King Mo, the rightful number one seed! His attorneys assure that Low Ki will be back on the suspension list before the tourney begins. “Sorry, not sorry.”

Speaking of not pleased, Salina de la Renta is all of such considering her MLW looks to be terminating her contract in light of her allegedly allowing CONTRA access to the MLW headquarters in New York City . If matters haven’t been rectified before she is scheduled to executive produce the January 6 episode of Fusion, there indeed will be hell to pay. She will not only sue MLW to the ground, but she will also drop a bomb on all you “sons of bitches.” She then calls out Konnan for his thoughts on the Empresia.

Calvin Tankman vs. Robert Martyr

The 355 lb big man shows his major league athleticism by leap frogging his much smaller foe before delivering a big-time dropkick. Hard chops in the corner by Tankman and Martyr attempts to be ever-resilient, but a modified standing blue thunder followed by a lariat lays Martyr out cold. Tankman is not done and gives him a Tankman Driver for the dominant finish.

WINNER: Calvin Tankman

Post-match, Tankman dedicates his debut to his family and his supporters. Now he’s putting the entire league on notice as he vies for the World Heavyweight Title…by any means.

We do happen to receive an official injury update on Alexander Hammerstone: The National Openweight Champion has suffered a contusion of the ribs, a hyperflexion of the neck (whiplash) and tranverse mylelitis. The latter is the most concerning as it’s a swelling of the spinal cord. Dr. Swegler will keep up updated on his status. Hammer is on the line and makes pure clarification stating that he feels like he’s been cheated. These injuries aren’t ones that wouldn’t keep him out of the gym, let alone the ring. His 80% is 100% on anybody’s best day. He’s certain to give whoever exacted the attack on him will get whiplash from his Nightmare Pendulum. Suddenly the line gets interrupted by Josef Samael and makes it known that Hammer put a target on his own back by calling himself the “CONTRA Hunter.” He just sent in the black hand of CONTRA and who has just dealt Hammerstone the death card.

It’s main event time, folks.

Opera Cup Tournament Match (Opening Round)
Rocky Romero vs. “Filthy” Tom Lawlor (w/ Dominic Garrini)

Romero is proudly representing New Japan Pro-Wrestling in the Opera Cup and he awaits the former MLW World Champion.

Tom comes out with representation of his own: Team Filthy (and Condom Depot which Garrini displays a big banner of behind Tom as he enters). He comes in wearing cut-off jean shorts which is a certain manner of mind games, but the bell rings and clearly Romero is not phased.

The two tie up and Romero catches him in a scissors hold. Tom handstands and rolls free. The two get to their feet and lock hands. Waist lock by Tom before Rocky grabs the noggin of Tom. The two continue to jock for position and goes for a lock he learned in NJPW, but Tom turns it into a pin attempt.

The chess match contines as Rocky and Tom roll about on the mat that only the top class of grapplers are capable of. The headlock head games are extremely strategic by each man as both want to weaken one another. Romero goes for a shoulder tackle, but Tom stands his ground. Attempt two does the same. Same with four, five and six before so Rocky resorts to some kicks, but it’s Lawlor who ends up with the shoulder tackle take down. Rocky soon fights back and sends Tom on the outside. He then leaps off the apron with a flying knee before doing a bit of gloating. As Tom rolls back in, Rocky stomps at Tom before jarring him with forearms. Another facelock by Romero. Tom strikes himself free, but Romero ties Lawlor up in an impressive octopus stretch. The torque is intense, but Tom powers himself somewhat free. The leg strength of Rocky leads Tom to the corner for a spinning head scissors.

Tom somehow manages to maintain focus on the ankle and knee and flips Rocky over for a reverse surfboard. Romero looks to be in big time pain and Lawlor senses now is the time to feed him some knees. Snapmare followed by a leaping clothesline gets a close fall.

A hard chop in the corner stumbles Rocky and sets him up for a float-over leg sweep. A kickout by Rocky, but Tom maintains control of his competition. He works the back of Rocky, but Romero reaches his feet and wrangles him down for a modified crossface. Tom somehow manages to rest his foot on the ropes and the hold is broken.

The two soon trade chops and punches. Tom downs Rocky and he takes a brief moment to recuperate, but then has a heel hook on Rocky’s left leg. Romero goes for the enziguri, misses, but does catch Tom on the reverse.

Hard jabs and chops by Rocky. He goes for a tornado DDT but calls an audible and locks Tom in a guillotine choke. Tom flings him over in an exploder suplex. Tom looks to go for the rear naked choke, but Rocky reads the room and does hit his tornado DDT.

Rocky gathers his bearings and hangs Tom over the middle rope. Big kick to the face of Tom and then does a top rope double stomp to the back of the Filthy one. He then wrenches the arm once more and leads Tom to the corner. Rocky ascends and then drops his knee on top of Tom’s arm. More knees by Rocky who goes for a roundhouse but Tom catches it. Lawlor looks for a lariat but Rocky takes the momentum and tries to tie Tom up with an armbar. Tom rolls free and goes for his rear naked choke. Rocky in turn rolls free and flips himself over to deliver a sliced bread. Tom slips free, but gets a punch and knee for his troubles. Rocky then hits his running sliced bread and covers: 1-2-no! Such a near fall!

A major series of running clotheslines by Rocky, but Tom transitions that adrenaline rush to hoist him up for a big-time spinebuster. The referee begins his ten count. Both men reach their feet and trade leg strikes and then an extreme amount of palm strikes. Extremely fierce. Rocky takes out Tom’s leg hard and goes again for the sliced bread, but Lawlor lays down a backslide. He goes for a lariat but Rocky makes it a rolling bridged pin attempt. Lawlor tries for his rear naked choke, but he calls an audible and utilizes his leg strength to roll Rocky on his shoulders for the 1-2-3.

WINNER and ADVANCING in The Opera Cup: “Filthy” Tom Lawlor

Lawlor gets on the mic post match and states that he was “covieniently” left out of the Opera Cup and missed his chance to make history. Romero just got a taste of what’s to come for every other competitor in the tournament. He says the likes of Stu Hart and George Hackenschmidt will join the greatest name of them all: “Filthy” Tom Lawlor – Opera Cup Champion! The final two matches of the opening rounds will continue next week!

Never dismiss CONTRA as they continue to meddle with MLW’s feed and close off reception as Rich Bocchini was about to make an announcement!

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