Welcome back to MLW Fusion. Last week saw the Opera Cup 2020 kick off with a bang as Filthy Tom Lawlor and Richard Holliday stamped their tickets to the semi-final of the tournament. This week we’ll see who joins them as Davey Boy Smith Jr tries to go for his second cup win against Low Ki and we get the return of ACH as he takes on AAA’s Laredo Kid. Alongside that, we’ll see the fallout of the CONTRA’s recent actions and the unmasking of the Black Hand as he is fed his first official victim. Let’s get into the action.

Opera Cup Opening Round: ACH defeated Laredo Kid via Spirit Bomb

The show opened with a very special bout. ACH was making his return to the company in hopes of winning the Opera Cup. In his way, AAA standout Laredo Kid, who was more than capable of bringing the fight to ACH and winning the cup in the name of AAA. The pair started with a rapid technical exchange trading countless pinfall attempts, counters, and technical holds. Laredo Kid took the advantage with a knockdown and rocked ACH with a springboard missile dropkick. ACH bailed so Laredo followed him out with a Pescado. He slowed the pace down when he threw ACH back in the ring and ground him down on the mat and in the corner. ACH struck back and knocked Laredo off the apron for a vicious apron PK. Back in-ring, Laredo tried to fight back but ACH swept out his leg and gave him a double stomp to the back. He chopped Laredo into a backbreaker and caught him off the ropes into a second tilt-a-whirl style. ACH got cocky and started throwing dancing strikes. He whipped Laredo into the corner and ran into a forearm and boot. ACH was quick to recover and launched Laredo off the apron with a springboard dropkick. He tried for a second apron PK but Laredo caught the foot and drove him face-first into the apron. He fired up and decked ACH with a crossbody, clothesline, and Three Amigos with a bridging Northern Lights combo. He tried for a diving crossbody but ACH caught him and swung him into a backbreaker and overhead toss. Laredo escaped the follow-up and rushed ACH with a forearm into a Michinoku driver and first rope/second rope moonsault duo. They fought up top and ACH brought Laredo crashing down with a sunset bomb. The pair both fired-up into a strike/kick exchange and Laredo crotched ACH on the ropes for a head kick. He jumped off the top rope and planted the trapped ACH with a cutter. Laredo tried to go to the top again but ACH followed and took his jaw off with a Pele kick. He quickly followed with a Spirit Bomb Brainbuster and won the match. The new game is here and with a fight like that, Filthy Tom Lawlor has a massive match on his hands. These two put on an insanely fun fight and ACH might be my favourite in the Cup now.

CONTRA Black Hand Mads Krügger defeated Ariel Dominguez via Half-Nelson Facecrusher

After laying out Alex Hammerstone in dramatic fashion and being hyped up to the heavens by Josef Samael, it was time for the Black Hand, Mads Krügger to make his presence felt in MLW. His first victim, Ariel Dominguez. He menacingly made his way to the ring and shrugged off Dominguez’s attempts to attack. Krügger grabbed him by the head, hammered him with fists, and threw him across the ring. He bounced Dominguez off multiple turnbuckles and caught him out of the air into a chokebreaker. He held onto Dominguez’s throat and muscled him up for a Half-Nelson facecrusher for the win. it was a brutal finish to a brutal murder at the hands of CONTRA. Dominguez was carried out in a body bag as Krügger stood tall.

Between the Matches:

  • Josef Samael revealed the name of the CONTRA Black Hand and mocked MLW and its audience for enjoying their chemically induced food as CONTRA grew stronger.
  • Filthy Tom Lawlor hyped up the MLW debut of Violence is Forever. Team Filthy has a team coming for the Von Erichs titles. The tag champs also gave CONTRA a warning, saying that they’d be taking direct action against them. Oh, and Marshall Von Erich has been clawing sharks.
  • Salina de la Renta was in Mexico City attending to both business and revenge. She had a warning for Konnan that she delivered in Spanish whilst posing with a knife.
  • Keeping up with The Dynasty gave us a clip of Richard Holliday dedicating his win to Hammerstone and lambasted Gino Medina for concocting a plan to try and get rid of him. He didn’t put much stock in either Low Ki or Davey Boy Smith Jr so he dedicated his second win to Hammerstone too.

Opera Cup Opening Round: Low Ki defeated Davey Boy Smith Jr via Roll-up

The show ended with one of the most hotly contested rematches in MLW history. Low Ki and Davey Boy Smith Jr had a war in their last Opera Cup encounter. Now, they were ready to do it again, bigger, better, and even more brutal. They started how you’d expect with respectful and technical exchanges. Neither man could get the advantage until DBS locked in an ankle lock. Low Ki picked the leg of DBS and started kicking at and twisting it. Smith continued to use his size to lock up Low Ki and tried to leverage into pinfalls whilst trapping limbs. Low Ki finally escaped and went to the leg again with more sharp kicks and a Dragon Screw. From there, Low Ki continued to go after the knee with stops and a devastating rope knee breaker. He couldn’t keep Smith grounded but he did reverse a corner move into a massive chest kick. They locked up and Smith snapped him over with a Vertical Suplex. Low Ki got Smith into the corner and rained down elbows but Smith overpowered him and threw him over the ropes. He landed hard on his back so Smith targeted that with kicks and an apron charge. He stepped over Low Ki’s limbs and hoisted him over the ropes with an outside-in Suplex. Smith hit a hammerlock shoulder breaker and fought to escape a Fujiwara armbar. Smith continued to torture Low Ki’s arms and body with stomps and toe punts in the corner and an arm drag and whip. Low Ki finally got an escape with a Crucifix but Smith just went straight back to the arm and put him in another wrist-lock. Low Ki tried to kick free but Smith silenced him with a crossface. He continued to punish the arm until Low Ki reversed and elevated armbar into a victory roll for a near fall. This just angered Smith who ragged on the arm and dragged him into a deadlift German. Low Ki had to escape another armbar and wrist-lock and flipped out of a second German into a double-stomp. He fired up and blasted Smith with high strikes and the Tidal Wave. He locked in an Octopus hold and massacred him with chest and Kawada kicks. A shotgun dropkick followed and he climbed to the top for the Warrior’s Way. Smith caught him up there and tried for a superplex but Low Ki sent him crashing down with elbows. The Warrior’s Way missed and Low Ki ran into a powerslam. He escaped a running Powerslam and locked in the same choke that cost him last year. Smith went for a pinfall and Low Ki rolled him through for the win.

Low Ki avenged the loss he got in last year’s Opera Cup and did it in a way that avenged the very way he lost. They put on a world-class match to end Davey Boy Smith Jr’s tenure in MLW and now he has to focus on a dynastic second round. He will take on Richard Holliday whilst ACH will take on Filthy Tom Lawlor in the semi-finals. The Cup is getting interesting and now we know Calvin Tankman will be in action next week and that The Von Erichs will have to defend their tag team titles against Jacob Fatu and Simon Gotch of CONTRA Unit. Someone is going to get clawed.

All images courtesy of MLW Twitter, Video courtesy of MLW YouTube