Welcome back to MLW. We’ve been rocked by the seeming collapse of the CONTRA Unit following the War Chamber match and now need to tend to the other business of MLW. In this Thanksgiving Special, MLW gives back to its audience with more high-stakes wrestling. On the cards tonight, we’ll see the ladder match for the vacant Openweight Title between some of the company’s biggest and indie wrestling’s brightest, the debut of Big Beef Gnarls Garvin, and the continuation of the Opera Cup as Calvin Tankman goes to war with TJP. Plus, we’ll see all the trials and tribulations as the company continues to evolve and expand. Let’s get into the action.

Opera Cup Semi-final: TJP defeated Calvin Tankman via Mamba Splash

Up first was the semi-final of the Opera Cup as TJP looked to continue excelling up the bracket. He’d caused one upset against Alex Shelley, now he’d have to pull another out of the bag to deal with the size disadvantage he was at against Calvin Tankman. He was going to need all his tools and wits to walk away in one piece. He did have the advantage that Tankman was still recovering from the Alex Kane and King Mo attack. The crowd was entirely behind Tankman and so was momentum as Tankman manhandled TJP. Tankman no-sold a dropkick and fought of TJP’s attempts to reaggravate his head wound and floored him with the buckles. He abused TJP with chops and launched him across the ring with one arm. TJP chopped back and used a headlock takeover to get the fight onto the mat. That didn’t last and TJP made the mistake of trying to shoulder tackle Tankman, taking a walk when he couldn’t. After an ad-break, TJP finally returned and got his soul chopped out again before taking another flight via Air Tankman. He tried to bait Tankman outside but Tankman just dragged him out with him and threatened to dive. TJP hid under the ring and Alex Kane and a mystery man appeared to throw shade. Tankman tried to pay them no attention and drag out TJP but TJP sprayed him with water and dropped Tankman with a crossbody Lou Thesz. TJP began breaking limbs and tried to tap him out with an Octopus.

Tankman still had some fight in him so TJP brought him down and kicked him outside. Kane and the mystery man attacked outside, knocking Tankman loopy with a clothesline German combo as TJP kept the ref occupied. He took a breather as Tankman tried to get up. He pissed Tankman off with boot scrapes and got pounced out of his boots. TJP tried to recover but Tankman caught him out of the air with a backbreaker/clothesline combo. TJP just kicked out and reversed the Tankman Driver into a vicious head kick. Tankman stayed up and decapitated TJP with a pop-up back elbow. TJP stole the momentum with a roll-up and dropped Tankman on his head with a Tornado DDT. He took too much time going to the top so Tankman joined him up there. TJP headbutted free and tried to fly but Tankman caught him. A desperate struggle broke out and TJP ended up ripping off a turnbuckle pad. Kane and co-drove Tankman into the exposed buckle and TJP jumped to the top to deliver the killing blow, the Mamba Splash. TJP had won but it hadn’t been on his own merit. He might have stood up to Tankman but it was Alex Kane and his massive new cohort to deliver the knockout blows. Alex Kane had gotten the last laugh tonight as he was still scorned by Tankman not joining his little group. There will be blood between these two. Now, TJP will have to focus on getting past Davey Richards if he wants to hold that cup. There’ll be no shortcuts to take there. He certainly had no remorse in his post-match interview. Gotta love booing the dickheads. Tankman nearly murdered Emilio Starks during his, he’s going to kill Alex Kane.

Big Beef Gnarls Garvin defeated Budd Heavy via Backdrop Driver

Time for a new monster to enter the scene. You think you know violence? Well, Beef is going to break your face and your bones without giving care whilst having one of the heaviest themes in the company. He was bulldozing his way into MLW and would leave a trail of destruction behind him. His first victim, the cult favourite and the master of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, Budd Heavy. Beef instantly charged and mauled Heavy with no pun intended, heavy strikes. He downed Heavy again with headbutts and a dropkick, then took his head off with a Beefy Bomb. He scrambled back into the ring, dragged Heavy up, and brought him crashing back down with a Backdrop Driver, ending things. Beef had come in looking for a fight and destroyed Heavy in a flash. It had been swift, violent, and unapologetically Beef. He’s here for competition and he’ll maul, smash and break anyone who comes his way. MLW doesn’t know what has hit it, he’s going to chew them up and spit them right back out.

Between the matches:

  • The show opened with a video package on the breakdown of CONTRA. Josef Samael, Jacob Fatu, and Mads Krügger are all stuck in a power battle for control of the faction now as tempers flared after the loss at War Chamber.
  • MLW recapped their newly announced open-door policy for free agents. The first person to utilise this will be Ho Ho Lun.
  • WARHORSE was interviewed about a cool Parts Unknown award he’d won. He was celebrating but was annoyed they’d missed that WARHORSE is all caps. KC Navarro interrupted the interview and got beaten down by WARHORSE for his troubles.
  • nZo makes his debut in 2 weeks.
  • The Von Erichs wished everyone a happy Thanksgiving and were ready to get back to work. They wanted Tag Gold and were sick of Cesar Duran’s gatekeeping. They wanted that Dallas title shot to end a 40-year drought.
  • Tajiri will be defending the Middleweight Title in AJPW against Atsuki Aoyagi and that match will also be aired in two weeks’ time.

  • Alex Hammerstone and Richard Holliday lamented the breakdown of CONTRA and Holliday’s face status. Holliday was talking about holidays and Cesar Duran tried to bribe the pair with expensive Rolex watches. Holliday was ready to grab one but Hammerstone refused.
  • Alex Kane was interviewed before his match and announced he’d made his own fight team alongside his new associate Mr. Thomas. Calvin Tankman tried to burst in to break some skulls but security kept him at bay.
  • Cesar Duran brought Alicia Atout and Emilio Sparks to his office to debate why he needed two journalists. They both pleaded their cases and what they brought to the table, explaining so much goes on in MLW. Sparks claimed Atout only utilised cute whilst he was fighting in the trenches. Karlee Perez made her presence felt and praised them both, thanks to her both got to stay. Duran and Perez want more scoops, more stories, and left the pair with advice, “if it bleeds, it leads.”
  • Next week, Team Sea Stars battle Top Dogs and WARHORSE fights off KC Navarro.

Openweight Title Ladder Match: Alex Kane (w/ Mr. Thomas) defeated Myron Reed, Alex Shelley, Zenshi & ACH via Title Grab

Last but not least, the main event. Three cemented MLW combatants, one of the most respected veterans of the indie scene and a wild card were all about to go to war in a ladder match to snatch the vacant MLW Openweight Champion. The first matter of business though, was who is the wild card? They were none other than ACH. Hell yeah, one of the most explosive wrestlers of MLW had come back and he was gunning right for some gold. He was going to give them all hell but we’d also have to see what Kane and Reed were willing to do to each other and the potential involvement of Mr. Thomas. Everyone started by braining Kane and systematically got taken out as he reversed their double-team attempts. Mr. Thomas gave Kane a ladder and he looked to bag an early victory. ACH rushed back to meet him and tried to work with Shelley to take him out of the equation but ended up nailing Shelley as Kane dodged. Kane wrecked him with a guardrail and went back to business, bringing more ladders with him. Zenshi and Reed launched him with double dropkicks and Zenshi tried to springboard to the title after taking out Reed. His fingertips brushed it but he couldn’t grasp it and ate a Matrix head kick for his troubles. Reed and Zenshi kept trading around the ladder and ended up getting taken out by ACH and Shelley who had armed themselves with a ladder. ACH took out Shelley and went for the title. Shelley kept grabbing his leg to prevent that and landed a Dragon Screw through the ladder. He took out ACH with a head kick and Kane took him out with a Back Suplex.

ACH pelted him with the ladder, threw it aside, and pummelled Kane in the corner into a Tornado DDT. Reed tried to intervene but ACH just dodged around him and threw him into the ladder too. Reed refused to be stopped though and flew off the ropes to take ACH out with a Cutter. Zenshi returned with a ladder but Reed just crushed his hands under it. Shelley rushed in and dragged Reed down to drill him face-first into the ladder again with a Snap Shellshock. He fought off another Kane Suplex with an eye rake but was caught around the throat. Reed jumped to action too and fought off Kane to deliver another Cutter, smashing his own hip off a ladder as Zenshi threw one into his path. Zenshi amplified the pain with a Slingshot Senton and Shelley threw another victim face-first into the ladder. Things went from bad to worse for Zenshi as Shelley kept him trapped in the ladder and crushed him in it. Shelley tinkered with other ladders and Zenshi had vengeance with a ladder charge. ACH rushed up the ladder and took himself and Zenshi out with a German. Kane capitalised on the position and drove ACH onto the ladder again with an Exploder. Reed took out Kane with a Guillotine Leg Drop and took him out again with a dive, then ACH, Shelley and Zenshi joined him for a high-rise slug out. Everyone impressively took everyone out until Kane choked Shelley out, threw him out of the ring, and claimed his prize. Alex Kane had hit a double whammy tonight. He was the new Openweight Champion and had stuck it to Tankman’s Injustice friend Myron Reed. Tankman again tried to come out to murder Kane but once again, security kept him at bay as Kane gloated. This was pure anarchy. A high stake, high impact, all pain ladder match that delivered everything you could want from some of the best around right now. Alex Kane remains undefeated, ACH is back and MLW is set to get all of that work.

All images courtesy of MLW, Video courtesy of MLW YouTube

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