Welcome back to MLW and the continuation of Fusion ALPHA. The Opera Cup 2021 is kicking off as we see the round one matches continue as Calvin Tankman takes on Matt Cross, the Women’s Division keeps kicking up with Holidead vs Nicole Savoy and we get a monstrous main event as Richard Holliday tries to survive and keep his IWA Caribbean Championship against the nightmarish King Muertes. It was all to play for on today’s loaded episode and there would be more than a few surprises along the way as nothing in MLW can ever be quite as it seems.

Nicole Savoy defeated Holidead (w/Dr. Dax) via Scissored Armbar

Since Holliday was currently KO’ed we went to the women’s featherweight division for our opening action. It would be Nicole Savoy, the Suplex Machine taking on the domineering Holidead. Savoy promised a hard fall for her giant opponent but Holidead had brought her pet to the ring so who knew what could happen there. Willow Nightingale joined the commentary team to add her opinion to the action. Holidead worked to intimidate Savoy early on, overpowering her and trash-talking as she did so. In retaliation, Savoy snapped Holidead to the mat with an arm-drag and bridged into an arm-lock. Holidead also worked an arm and the pair traded takedowns as the pace picked up. Savoy kicked into another gear with a Hurricanrana and Frankensteiner then followed Holidead out as she bailed. The camera cut and returned to Savoy smashing Holidead into the mat again with a Backdrop Driver. Holidead got angry and punched free of Savoy’s grasp to stomp at her knees and headbutt low. She locked Savoy in a Surfboard but couldn’t put her away as Savoy made the ropes. Both got stunned off of headbutts and hammered at each other again with slugs, neither fighter giving an inch. Savoy teed off with a combo of knees and launched Holidead again with a Butterfly Suplex into a German and elbow strike. Holidead escaped further damage as she countered Savoy’s further Suplex attempts and nearly took the win with a backbreaker into a deadly slam. Holidead looked to end it with a Fireman’s Carry but Savoy reversed into a Dragon Suplex. The arm was worked again and Savoy countered Holidead’s choke into a Triangle. Savoy kept bending until she had multiple limbs trapped and tapped out Holidead with a Scissored Armbar. Savoy might have won the fight but Holidead left her mark as medical had to check her over. Despite the injury scares, this match rocked. Both fighters brought their A-game and showed another chapter of what this women’s division is going to be. Especially as Holidead attacked Willow Nightingale after she left the commentary table, mauling her with chained fists. The Hateful Dead was really out for blood tonight.

Opera Cup 2021: Calvin Tankman defeated Matt Cross via Hidden Blade Elbow

Back to the Opera Cup action as Calvin Tankman, the indestructible Heavyweight Hustle looked to take the tournament by storm by taking out one of the most-experience veterans of MLW in MDogg 2020, Matt Cross. We were in for one hell of a clash of styles as Cross was going to have to use his agility to avoid Tankman’s clutches. Once again, a guest came to commentary as King Mo continued America Top Team and Team Filthy’s recruitment efforts. Cross started fast with quick strikes but it had little to no effect on Tankman so he bounced off a corner and sent Tankman flying with a head-scissor. He followed up with a rolling double stomp to the leg and launched an outside barrage with a wrecking ball dropkick and Suicide Dive. Cross tried to come at Tankman again in-ring but Tankman was prepared and launched him with a pounce. After another ad-break, we returned to the sight of Cross being smacked around by Tankman. He kept working over the back of Cross and tried to stretch his spine out. The pain kept coming as Tankman slammed and splashed Cross like he was nothing. Cross kept kicking back, blasting Tankman with heavy Bicycle Kicks and levelled him with a springboard crossbody. He nailed Tankman with another double stomp and kicked him to the outside again. He went for another dive but Tankman caught him and powerbombed him onto the apron. Tankman willed the veteran back to life with a strike exchange and Cross returned to favour with a rebound Cutter. Cross went back to the top but Tankman dodged and rocked him with an elbow. They traded more stiff shots until Tankman decapitated Cross with a lariat and knocked him out with the Hidden Blade elbow. Tankman just murdered one of the most experienced guys in the tournament and set a statement for the rest of the participants. Cross wasn’t happy as he thought Tankman had nailed him in the eye, no one else saw it but him though. Regardless of that, this was one hell of an electric little match, it went very hard and very stiff with Mo paying a lot of attention.

Between the matches:

  • The show was meant to open with Holliday vs Muertes but Holliday’s music kept getting cut and a backstage camera revealed he’d been jumped by CONTRA’s Mads Krügger and Ikuro Kwon. Hammerstone came to the rescue but it could have been a bit too late. Later in the show, Holliday was cleared to fight and damn well did so.
  • Alicia Atout interviewed Budd Heavy about booze and reception when she was taken away by Cesar Duran’s henchmen. Heavy has become an unexpected favourite since his match against Alex Kane.
  • Fatu and Samael were filmed having a team meeting as Samael tried to calm down Fatu ahead of the War Chamber. He had a plan and was going to avenge the fluke that Hammerstone had gotten.
  • Speaking of Cesar Duran, he was trying to entice someone with a deal when Atout was brought back to his office and he tried his best to intimidate her over her expose. He’d even given her a front-row seat to see Richard Holliday get his ass kicked by Muertes. Atout refused to be intimidated and accepted the seat. He also gave Mads Krügger an open invitation to see him and explore his full potential.
  • New news has broken this week as MLW has been announced as streaming free on FITE TV, that news can be read in full here.

IWA/MLW Caribbean Title: King Muertes defeated Richard Holliday via Concrete Straight to Hell

I’ll give Richard Holliday one thing, he’s stubborn and determined as hell. He was injured in that attack at the start of the show but he wasn’t going to let that deter him from defending his Caribbean Title. This would have been admirable had it not been for the fact he was fighting a monster like King Muertes who was going to hurt him for Cesar Duran’s amusement. The playmaker himself was sat front row, holding Alicia Atout hostage at the front row. They opened with a shoving match and quickly descended into a mix of lock-ups and hard strikes. Neither man could really find the opening they needed until Muertes nailed Holliday with a Spear and hammered him with ground and pound punches. From there it was all downhill as Muertes worked Holliday’s back, his shoulders and just smashed him about with more strikes. Duran was as happy as he could be watching the monster murder Holliday as Atout just looked disgusted by it all. Even Holliday’s throat was targeted as Muertes catapulted him into the ropes and yanked at his neck from the apron. CONTRA goons started appearing at ringside as footage of another attack broke out backstage as EJ Nduka and Mads Krügger got into it. The final ad-break of the show came as Holliday ate a vicious lariat and the show returned to show Muertes try to rip Holliday’s arm off. Holliday chopped back but Muertes blocked a Suplex and headbutted Holliday for a Cactus Clothesline. Duran gave him no quarter either, upending his champagne onto his head as he crashed to the concrete near him. We got another picture-in-picture as Holliday’s head met the steel steps to show that Nduka had been overwhelmed by CONTRA forces. Holliday tried to beg for mercy but Muertes just dragged him up and hammered him with corner clotheslines.

They fought up to the top and Holliday sent Muertes crashing down for a flying forearm. He had no effect with clotheslines so he scored another near fall with a Spinebuster. Muertes booted away a crab and knocked Holliday loopy with a powerslam. Holliday tried begging again and struck at Muertes again as more picture-in-picture showed us that the CONTRA war was still ongoing, Hammerstone trying to save his team. Holliday got to show off some strength with a torture rack neckbreaker but it still wasn’t enough for the win. The CONTRA forces crept closer and Kwon stunned Holliday with a roundhouse kick so Muertes could hit Straight to Hell on the concrete. That gave Muertes the win and had left Team Hammerstone, The Dynasty and Atout broken up. It was a valiant effort for Holliday, showing a whole load of heart but the numbers and injury were too much. What the hell was CONTRA doing here and could they be in league with Cesar Duran? Samael did claim he had a plan, could working with Duran be part of it. I’m sure all will be revealed soon as Fusion ALPHA keeps ramping up.

All images and screencaps courtesy of MLW (special thanks to a certain French Nygma), Basil Mahmud, Video courtesy of MLW YouTube

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