Welcome back to MLW as the countdown to War Chamber continues. As we ramp up to the ultimate CONTRA vs Hammerstone bout, MLW has other business to take care of too. Tonight, we’d see the first semi-final match of the Opera Cup as Davey Richards and Bobby Fish battle it out for the first final spot and 5150 get their first shot at Los Parks with a bit of trios action but just who have they brought in as their third man? Plus, before the War Chamber, Richard Holliday and EJ Nduka have to lead another army of stars to victory in a 12-man survival tag. Let’s get into this monster show.

5150 (Slice Boogie, Rivera & Homicide w/Konnan & Dr. Julius Smokes) vs Los Parks (LA Park, LA Park Jr & El Hijo de LA Park) ended in no-contest

The first match of the night promised to bring the pain as Los Parks and 5150 got the chance to tear each other apart in a proper match. The Chairman had brought his sons into the fight whilst 5150 had brought an extra member as the legendary Homicide joined their ranks. Though it took some time to get that way as we opened with LA Park Jr and Hijo de LA Park taking on Boogie and Rivera as LA Park had been in an altercation before entry. For now, it was just a four-person brawl as both teams beat the hell out of each other. Homicide jumped in on the fun and aided 5150 in beating up Hijo and Park Jr. Park Sr quickly followed suit and we had all 6 men for the fight in a monster brawl. Los Parks made their full presence felt with a trio of dives and kept brawling around ringside. Slice Boogie took a whipping from Hijo and only just kicked out of a German and Code Red combo. Boogie saved himself from further damage by booting Hijo in the face and powerbombing him through a board. Park Sr came to the rescue and had the match thrown out by smashing Boogie in the face with a chair. That opened the floodgates for even more brawling as everyone just went to war again. The ref got knocked out with a slapjack but that didn’t stop the violence as everyone tried to show out before fighting to the back. For a 12-minute segment, it was pure unadulterated anarchy as we got manic doses of bruising, brawling, and flying. This feud is only just getting started and I can’t wait to see where it goes. Especially as 5150 made it personal by jacking Hijo’s mask.

12-Man Survival Tag: EJ Nduka, Richard Holliday, WARHORSE, Savio Vega, Zenshi & The Blue Meanie defeated Gino Medina, Ikuro Kwon, KC Navarro, King Mo, Kevin Ku & The Beastman (w/Kimchee) via The Nduka Verdict Massacre

Next up was something even wilder as we went into the 12-men elimination tags. It would be two teams of heroes, villains, new faces, and legends going to war for the sheer hell of it. On one side we had, Ikuro Kwon, Gino Medina, KC Navarro, Kevin Ku, King Mo, and the Beastman and on the other we had, EJ Nduka, Richard Holliday, WARHORSE, Savio Vega, The Blue Meanie, and Zenshi. In the nicest way possible, this was going to be a clusterf*ck. WARHORSE and Ku opened with a striking battle, WARHORSE once again showing how he rules ass. Kwon made the save and the pair eliminated the Heavy Metal Warrior with an axe kick and sit-out double knees. The Judge EJ Nduka quickly evened the numbers by murdering King Mo with his monstrous Spinebuster, The Verdict. Ku tried to chop him down but Nduka removed him from the fight too with a Cyclone sit-out Bomb. KC Navarro was out next to bless the match so Nduka gave Holliday that fight. Navarro took the fight to the Air Pod God but couldn’t put him down and had to contend with Zenshi. Navarro stomped through Zenshi’s chest and the pair picked up the pace with a nice bit of countering. Zenshi took out both Navarro and Kwon with his creative offence but had to face the wrath of the Beastman and ate a nasty fallaway slam. Beastman killed him off with a cannonball then took a kendo stick beating from Vega. He tried to fight back with his bone but was too slow and got taken out by a kick. The ref was too preoccupied with the kendo and allowed Beastman to murder Vega with a splash.

The Blue Meanie entered next and danced for a bit before starting a Sumo contest. Kimchee interfered and Blue Meanie was also eliminated with that splash. Nduka eliminated the Beastman with another Verdict and gave Kimchee one for good measure. Holliday tagged in to battle Medina and slugged it out with him still claiming to have fired him. They scrapped around the ring and disappeared towards the back. Medina played it smart and got Holliday counted out. it was Nduka against the final three. They all swarmed but couldn’t snuff out this monster and started wrecking with even more Verdicts. Kwon was the last man on his team and kicked the absolute hell out of Nduka but Nduka hoisted him up too and ended things with one final Verdict. The Judge had gone through every man in this match and cut a dominant figure before War Chamber. This was fun, nothing special but it gave Kwon and Nduka a nice spotlight whilst also giving us more WARHORSE and a bit of Blue Meanie. Can’t complain about that.

Between the matches:

  • Cesar Duran approached the Hammerheads with an offer. He wanted CONTRA to fail just as much as they did so he was going to give them the bonus members for their team.
  • Earlier in the show, we’d seen a pissed-off Fatu and now Josef Samael was cutting into the Philadelphia crowd through a scathing video package. This was the most insulting I’d heard Samael be yet it was still cut in his sophisticating, dictator-ish style.
  • Cesar Duran announced he had a surprise for War Chamber and brought in Willow Nightingale for a meeting about the Women’s Featherweight Division. Nightingale knew of Duran’s work and wanted to be part of his work. Their meeting was cut short though by one of his henchmen approaching him about a Fatu incident. He was brought into Duran’s office and tore the place up demanding a title shot. Duran couldn’t do it yet, though he wanted to. Duran tried to drive another spike into CONTRA by blaming Samael.
  • Nzo had his first promo video teasing us with his arrival soon.
  • The show ended with the announcement that Savio Vega had joined the Hammerheads and Nduka remembered what the key Cesar Duran had around his neck was for, his brother. Could we see Matanza Duran? It was revealed that Richard Holliday had a shot at Hammerstone’s title but Hammerstone wasn’t fussed, he wanted the match. The Hammerheads were fine.

Opera Cup Semi-Final: Davey Richards defeated Bobby Fish via Ankle Lock

Last but not least, the main event. It was time for Opera Cup action as two veterans of the game prepared to burn the house down. Bobby Fish and Davey Fish were going to go all-out in this one doing exactly what they do best, strike and grapple until one could go no more. They opened with a fist bump and tried for early head kicks. They went into a chain wrestling sequence and kept the pace and technique going until Richards landed another kick. Fish took a breather and grappled towards the ropes, Richards launching him through them to the floor for an attempted PK. Fish took out his leg and Richards crashed hard into the apron. Fish went to work with a rail crash and smashed at Richards’ body and knee. He kept stalking Richards and tried to kick him into submission. Richards struck back as best he could and took out Fish with a Kitchen Sink once they were firmly back in-ring. Richards began to target Fish’s arm and tied it up between the ropes, stomped it into the mat, and tried to break it with armbars. He did the same to Fish’s legs and kept Fish trapped with a barrage of different holds and locks. He woke Fish up with a kick and opened the door for a hellacious battle of strikes. Fish fought off a Suplex and mauled Richards with kicks and knees, mangling him in the buckles with tackles for good measure. He wrecked the knee with a Dragon Screw but ate nothing but knees on an attempted Senton. Fish shook it off and locked in the Fish Hook but Richards countered into a Sharpshooter. The pair went for more kicks and knocked each other loopy but Richards had the wherewithal to reverse an Exploder into the Ankle Lock. Fish fought free but got kicked into the Brainbuster for a two-count. Richards put Fish in the Ankle Lock again and quickly tapped out Fish. Richards has excelled to the final and put on a masterclass here alongside Fish. It was a compelling watch between two incredible veterans doing what they do best.

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

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