Can Tom Lawlor repeat his run as The Opera Cup Champion? We’ll get that answer starting off this October as the 2021 Opera Cup will commence in Philadelphia, but if the 2020 series is any indication, Tom will aim to turn the historic tournament on its head.
“Filthy” Tom has always been an enigma in and out of the squared circle, but there is zero denying in the simple fact that Lawlor can win a match at any moment. How he achieves such matters can always be a topic for debate.
2020 became a cowbell year for Tom Lawlor as it came to him re-establishing his league legacy for better or for worse. In July 2019, Tom felt like a man on an island (pun totally intended) after losing his World Title to Jacob Fatu at Kings of Colosseum and matters began to unravel quite swiftly for Lawlor. Despite his friendship with The Von Erichs, bitterness bubbled up to the surface for Tom. It was the summer of Marshall and Ross as the brothers very much dug their claws into establishing themselves as wrestling’s next top tag team, all the more punctuated by a win against CONTRA in the War Chamber. Lawlor, however still seemed adrift and on the Thanksgiving special of Fusion he stabbed both brothers in the back. Tom clearly had a new agenda as he began to form a new Team Filthy and what better way to bring “Filthy” to the forefront by entering the 2020 Opera Cup.
For Lawlor, the opening round of the cup featured a face many in MLW are all too familiar with as Rocky Romero took on Tom in the opening bout and was a contest of athleticism and intensity. Chops echoed throughout the venue before Lawlor managed to advance against Romero when he utilized his leg strength to secure the pinfall victory.
Richard Holliday returned for the second year in a row in an effort to hoist the Cup in Dynastic fashion. Holliday carried over the aggression he showed in the 2019 series and acheived a statement win against TJP in the opening round. Holliday however, met Low Ki in the semi-finals. The Lone Wolf of Brooklyn was fresh off an opening round W against the 2019 Opera Cup Champion in Davey Boy Smith Jr. Like DBS, Holliday leaned on his ability to beat Low Ki down with power moves, but Ki caught Richard with the top rope double stomp to advance.
That ultimately put two established fighters in the finals as we were set to see Lawlor and Low Ki, two former World Champions, fight for history. Ki had back-up via the Von Erichs in his corner in case Team Filthy decided to get unruly, but it truly did come down to a battle of endurance and circumstance. The fighters nearly went 25 minutes until Low Ki smelled blood in the water with Lawlor and hit a woozy Tom with his signature rolling kick in the corner. Unfortunately for Ki, however, his back was on the mat and Tom mustered up enough wherewithal to to put all his weight on Low Ki to secure the 1-2-3 and eventually, hold high that Opera Cup in 2020.
Tom powering through to become the Opera Cup Winner exemplified the endurance and determination he previously displayed for ten years in a UFC octagon, but how he handled the victory exemplified his “Filthy” new outlook even further. Lawlor went on an absolute bender and celebrated with the antique cup in what anyone with sense would consider disrespectful and disgraceful.
Will Lawlor’s veteran savvy help him secure a second cup in 2021? There’s plenty of fresh, new and young talent in this year’s tournament so Lawlor, despite his unprecedented resume, will have a tall order ahead of him in the City of Brotherly Love come October.
Tickets are still available for 2021 Opera Cup in Philadelphia. Go to MLW2300.com to secure your seat!