Major League Wrestling (MLW®) yesterday and today announced the seventh and eighth participants of 2021 Opera Cup, pro wrestling’s oldest tournament dating back over a century, taking place the upcoming MLW Fightland event live on Saturday, October 2 at the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia and airing nationally on a later date.
TAIGASTYLE will be on display as Lee Moriarty has entered the ’21 Opera Cup, as well as Alex Shelley who will make his Major League Wrestling debut Saturday night October 2nd at the 2300 Arena. Entering the Opera Cup, Alex Shelley is the eighth and final participant. His opening-round opponent and full brackets will be revealed in the days ahead. “Alex is a true fighting artist,” said Court Bauer. “He’s someone I’ve been dying to bring into MLW and the timing is perfect as the Opera Cup is the definitive stage for the grappling genius that is Alex Shelley.”
The eight-man, single-elimination tournament includes a who’s who of the toughest fighters on the MLW roster, including 2020 Opera Cup winner and former UFC knockout artist “Filthy” Tom Lawlor, one of the sports greatest technical wrestlers Davey Richards, high-flying phenom TJP, decorated international champion Matt Cross, former D1 football recruit, Bobby Fish, the heavyweight hustle Calvin Tankman, Lee Moriarty and now Alex Shelley. The tournament finals are scheduled to take place on Saturday, November 6 at MLW Intimidation Games also in Philadelphia.
The grandest tournament for over a century, MLW re-introduced the world-famous Professional Wrestling Opera House Cup in 2019 after a 71-year hiatus as its biggest annual tournament. The historic event was held annually for nearly 50 years at renowned turn-of-the-century opera houses from New York to Boston, showcasing the greatest wrestlers of the day in a gruelling multi-day tournament that launched the careers of many pioneers of the sport.
Upon returning to the Opera Cup to the national spotlight, MLW contracted the craftsman behind maintaining the Stanley Cup to meticulously restore the original Opera Cup trophy to its original glory. Now modern Opera Cup winners are immortalized in plaques alongside legends like George Hackenschmidt, Stu Hart, Leo Pardello, William Muldoon and Waldek Zbyszko.
Over the summer of 2019, Major League Wrestling entrusted the same craftsmen who have worked with the NHL on maintaining the Stanley Cup to complete the restoration process of the original cup in time for the return of the tournament.
TITLE FOR TITLE – WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION VS. NATIONAL OPENWEIGHT CHAMPION
JACOB FATU VS. ALEX HAMMERSTONE
Opera Cup opening and semi-final rounds
Some of the athletes and talent signed to compete and to appear, include:
CONTRA Unit • Caribbean Champion Richard Holliday • Davey Richards • World Middleweight Champion Myron Reed • King Muertes • Cesar Duran • Alicia Atout • EJ Nduka • TJP • Tajiri • Bobby Fish • Alex Shelley • Lee Moriarty • Calvin Tankman • Aramis • Arez • 5150 • Nicole Savoy • “Filthy” Tom Lawlor plus more to be announced in the days ahead.
All pics courtesy of MLW