Welcome back to MLW! This week, the Opera Cup rolls on as Low Ki and Richard Holliday meet in the first semi-final match, we’ll see the debut of Violence is Forever, the decimators of indie tag-team wrestling, Calvin Tankman gets his first proper MLW competitor as he takes on Zenshi and our main event will see The Von Erichs take the fight to CONTRA as they defend their MLW Tag Team titles against the monstrous team of Simon Gotch and Jacob Fatu. There’s a lot to get through so let’s get into the action.

Calvin Tankman defeated Zenshi via Tankman Driver

What better way to start a show than with more destruction from Calvin Tankman? He butchered his first opponent; would the same fate befall MLW’s Lucha sensation Zenshi? He tried to start smart and quickly dodged around Tankman to deliver quick kicks but Tankman no-sold these. Tankman caught Zenshi out of a hurricanrana but Zenshi recovered and launched Tankman into the turnbuckle. The pair had a leapfrog, roll-through exchange and continued to counter each other. Zenshi briefly stunned Tankman with a head kick and forearm but that was cut short by a devastating dropkick from Tankman. He threw Zenshi into a rebound spinebuster, then chopped him down in the corner and threw him across the ring by his head. Tankman accidentally trash-talked Zenshi back to life and ate a combo of kicks for doing so. This continued with a Pele Kick and high Tiger Feint kick but an ill-fated top rope attempt saw him get back-handed out of the air. A furious Tankman hoisted Zenshi up and dropped him straight back down with the Tankman Driver. Zenshi gave Tankman more of a challenge than his previous opponent but it was still a quick affair. Tankman wants the best and he’s going to kill them all.

Violence is Forever (Kevin Ku & Dominic Garrini w/Filthy Tom Lawlor) defeated Jason Dugan and Robert Martyr via Head Kick Brainbuster to Dugan

Next up was the hotly anticipated debut for the Team Filthy tag team of Dominic Garrini and Kevin Ku, AKA Violence is Forever. They have dominated the indie tag-team scene, now it was time to take names in MLW and earn enough favour to dethrone the Von Erichs. Their first victims… I mean opponents, Robert Martyr and Jason Dugan. Garrini and Dugan started with Garrini tossing Dugan like he was nothing, breaking him with ground and pound and nearly ending things quick with a Cross Armbreaker. Dugan clawed to the ropes and both men tagged out. Ku came in hot and chopped down Martyr with a slew of knife-edge chops, then tossed him overhead. He quickly tagged again and threw Martyr back to Dugan with a head kick/Gutwrench Suplex combo. Dugan tagged himself in and charged Garrini for a clothesline but Garrini trapped his arm, dragged him to Ku and the pair sandwiched his head with chops. They then dragged Dugan into the head kick brainbuster for the win. This was a dominant showing for Violence is Forever and showed just a fraction of what this team can do. The tag-team division has been put on notice.

Opera Cup Semi-Final: Low Ki defeated Richard Holliday via Warrior’s Way

It was time for the first Opera Cup semi-final. The Caribbean Champion Richard Holliday was all set to take on Low Ki, who was also riding a high after avenging his loss to Davey Boy Smith Jr. Both men had thrown barbs on Twitter, now it was time to throw hands in the ring. Low Ki started by startling Holliday with a stinging leg kick and got rushed into the corner and hammered with jabs to the gut and a flurry of stomps. Holliday took this advantage and continued to knock Low Ki about between the turnbuckles. He continued to try and overpower Low Ki and keep him trapped in the corner but Ki finally got back into things with a float over kick. He blistered Holliday with corner chops but ran at him one too many times and got faceplanted onto the top turnbuckle. From there, Holliday went back to working over Low Ki, targeting his back and both of his legs and scored a two-count with a Back Suplex. He threw Low Ki into the ropes again and got caught into a Cazadora double-stomp from Ki. He couldn’t capitalise though as Holliday caught him into a massive single-knee backbreaker. He pummelled Ki in the corner again but got caught into the high angle choke and was forced into the ropes. Ki punished him with more kicks and chops, brutalising the leg of Holliday with stiff kicks. Holliday fell into the ropes and used the space to fire a back elbow into Low Ki’s jaw. Holliday tried for a 2008 and fought around a waist-lock but he got blasted by a stiff enzuigiri and downed Low Ki with a rebound clothesline. Both men struggled to their feet and Low Ki took the lead with a series of running elbow strikes but Holliday dodged a follow-up kick into a massive powerbomb. Ki returned the favour by breaking out of a Suplex and hammered Holliday with more elbows in the corner. The ref dragged Ki away and Holliday shocked him with a spinebuster for a 2.9-count. Ki sandbagged Holliday out of a Suplex and launched him into the turnbuckles with a shotgun dropkick. He dropped down with the Warrior’s Way double stomp and won the match. Low Ki had withstood the onslaught of Holliday and brought himself one step closer to the Opera Cup.  He even teased a shot at Holliday’s Caribbean Championship. This was absolutely exceptional. No one should sleep on Richard Holliday; he’ll always bring the best out of his opponents.

Between the matches:

  • Josef Samael opened the show with a scathing opening palace from his hideout in the Valley of the Serpents. He is readying a new wave of CONTRA soldiers for a second attack. The company is only safe for now. CONTRA is coming and he teased an end for the Von Erichs.
  • Salina de la Renta was at the Aztec Ruins in Mexico City and promised she was bringing vengeance in the form of Pasquale Mendoza, a tortured spirit she was summoning personally.
  • Dan Lambert was pissed that King Mo was an alternate whilst King Mo was an alternate. He warned Low Ki that King Mo would deliver his message personally since Low Ki had not been suspended from action.
  • Lio Rush cut a promo from his car reacting to the challenge put to him by Myron Reed. He was sure he needed no introduction and was only making the video as a favour to Court Bauer. He wasn’t just going to give Myron a one on one in December. Come January, Rush was coming for him. That match will happen at Kings of Colosseum on January 6. Reed was ecstatic for this match and the chance to prove who’s the best middleweight.
  • Hammerstone was interviewed by Alicia Atout about his health and gave praise to the monster that took him out, Mads Krügger. He was going to come back stronger to make sure that the monster couldn’t get him again. He was clear to compete again and he wanted a match with anyone from CONTRA. His interview was cut short as Krügger took over the feed with a warning and a challenge for Kings of Colosseum.

MLW Tag Team Titles: The Von Erichs (Marshall & Ross) vs CONTRA Unit (Simon Gotch & Jacob Fatu) ends in No Contest

Last but not least, the main event. CONTRA Unit were looking to expand their gold collection and the Von Erichs were more than happy to kick their asses to the back of the line. The Von Erichs have not stopped talking about how much they want to fight again and what better starting point than the most dominant faction in MLW?  The Von Erichs didn’t even get an entrance as CONTRA rushed them on the outside. The two teams brawled around the outside, then Ross and Gotch finally got in the ring and the bell rung. He hit Gotch with a duo of corner kicks and a Fisherman Suplex. Gotch escaped further punishment with a head toss and tagged in Fatu. He clobbered Marshall and took advantage of Marshall’s anger to bully Ross. He tried to fight back but Fatu downed him with a superkick. Gotch tagged in and started taking out the arm of Ross, locking in a Cross Armbreaker. When Ross made the ropes, Gotch stomped his arm to the mat and KO’ed him with uppercuts. Fatu came back in and continued the beating. Ross kicked back and stunned Fatu with a step-up enzuigiri. He tried to make the hot tag but Fatu dragged him down and dropped an elbow on him. He tried to make a second tag so Fatu barred his arm and bit his wrist. He dragged Ross back to the CONTRA corner and Gotch went back to work on him with kicks. He trapped Ross in the centre of the ring with a crossface and dropped him on his head with a brainbuster when he made the ropes. He tagged again and held him in place with a guillotine as Fatu stomped Ross’s back. Fatu raged on Ross again, beating him mercilessly in the ropes. He tried to charge Ross but got low-bridged to the floor. Gotch tried to stop the hot tag but Ross ducked and Marshall came in swinging. He smashed down Gotch and floored him with a discus clothesline. He tried to win with a spinebuster but Fatu crushed him with a senton. The match descended into chaos as Marshall put Gotch through a ring board with a Claw Slam and Ross mixed it up with Fatu. Violence is Forever and Filthy Tom Lawlor rushed the ring to attack the Von Erichs and got the match thrown out. It seems that the tag division is exploding as everyone wants to be the top team. This was a fun brawl and CONTRA beatdown with Gotch stealing the show by having Junji Ito gear.

We’ll see the fallout next week as the Opera Cup continues. With the tag-team scene exploding and a potential Hammerstone return in the works, MLW continues to heat up in the best way. Violence is Forever have clearly made their intentions known and Filthy Tom Lawlor could stand the chance at winning it all if he can best ACH in his semi-final bout.

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