#Preview MLW Presents the 2019 Opera Cup

Opera Cup
Photo / MLW

The world of MLW never stops and now they return to the Melrose Ballroom in New York City! Here they will resurrect the Opera Cup tournament, which hasn’t been seen in over 70 years. The Hart Family donated the prestigious cup to MLW for its return. MLW then had the cup painstakingly restored to its former glory for the December 5th show. Fans will feast their eyes on it for the first time at this MLW Fusion taping. The field may be small, but it is stacked with the likes of Hammerstone, MJF, Davey Boy Smith Jr., Shinjiro Otani and more. Tom Lawlor will also take on a Von Erich in the wake of his shocking betrayal. CONTRA Unit will also be in six-man tag team action against CIMA and the Strong Hearts!

“El Intocable” Gino Medina vs. Savio Vega

Photo / MLW

The young and self-proclaimed untouchable Gino Medina has a huge obstacle in his way at the Opera Cup. Gino talks a big game, but so far in MLW, he has backed it up. He is currently undefeated, his biggest win over fellow rising star Air Wolf at Saturday Night SuperFight. Savio Vega, the Boricua brawler will come home to NYC and take on this brash newcomer. Vega can be a vicious competitor, with a physical style that is not flashy. This a great contrast to the technical prowess of Medina, who was trained in Texas under Booker T.

Opera Cup Opening Rounds

MJF vs Alex Hammerstone

Opera Cup
Photo / MLW

In the opening round of the Opera Cup tournament, the Dynasty is set to explode. Both of these wrestlers are extremely talented but also have large egos. Will the bond of brotherhood stand the test of this match? In the Melrose Ballroom, MJF will face the much bigger and stronger Hammerstone, the current National Openweight Champion. MJF may be smaller, but he is technically sound and very wiley. Also, an interesting caveat will be Hammerstone’s gift, Grogan. Will he be lurking nearby and just who’s back will he have?

Timothy Thatcher vs. Richard Holliday

Photo / MLW

The third member of the Dynasty will also be in action in the opening round of the Opera Cup tournament. Holliday also has a tall order before him in the form of current wXw champion Timothy Thatcher. Thatcher is rugged and incredibly gifted as a grappler, unafraid of punishment – either taking it or dishing it out. Despite his arrogant attitude, Richard Holliday is a gifted athlete and has the drive of a champion. The real question is will he be able to withstand the onslaught of Thatcher to find an opening in which to capitalize on for his consumers.

Davey Boy Smith Jr. vs. Shinjiro Otani

Opera Cup
Photo / MLW

This dream match is also set to take place in the first round of the Opera Cup tournament. Davey Both Smith Jr. is a star on the rise, formerly one half of the MLW World Tag Team Champions. He also has many years of experience in Japanese strong style which will be useful against his opponent, Shinjiro Otani. Smith’s grandfather, Stu Hart, was also the last winner of the Opera Cup back in 1948. He will continue the Hart Family legacy in this incarnation of the tournament. Otani is a certifiable legend in wrestling, having been around for over twenty years. He is most closely associated with Pro Wrestling ZERO-1 but has worked with many other promotions such as WCW and NJPW. Otani also challenged for the MLW World Heavyweight Championship back in 2003. Now he has a chance at taking home another prestigious prize.

Brian Pillman Jr. vs. TJ Perkins

Photo / MLW

Another member of the Hart Foundation is also in action in the Opera Cup opening round. The Rogue Rookie looks to bounce back here. At Saturday Night SuperFight, he took quite the beating from Low-Ki. Perhaps he took the lesson Low-Ki was trying to teach him to heart. TJ Perkins is returning to MLW for the first time in 15 years to compete in this tournament. He was in a similar position to Brian Pillman Jr. back then, a young rookie attempting to make his name. In the years since he’s been around the world for companies big and small. On Thursday, December 5th, TJ will come full circle with MLW.

Exhibition Match
“Filthy” Tom Lawlor vs. A Von Erich

Opera Cup
Photo / MLW

On Thanksgiving Night, it was supposed to be a night of accomplishment and family for the Von Erichs. For the first time in over 30 years, a Von Erich would challenge for a world championship. Following an injury to Marshall, brother Ross Von Erich challenged Jacob Fatu. Instead of finding glory or gold, Ross found a knife in his back. “Filthy” Tom Lawlor was the man responsible for the betrayal, as well as the one who brought the Von Erichs into MLW. They stood side by side as brothers in the fight against CONTRA Unit. Now after signing a new deal with MLW, the Filthy One has decided to go to the dark side. Hopefully, we can hear from Lawlor over why he decided to betray the legendary wrestling clan as he faces a Von Erich at the Opera Cup.

Prince of Darkness Match
Mance Warner vs. Jimmy Havoc

Opera Cup
Photo / MLW

The rivalry between Mance Warner and Jimmy Havoc is one that just won’t settle itself. Every time Warner thinks he has Havoc beat, he comes up with another way to get one over on Ol’ Mancer. Havoc has put Mance in the hospital, put him in a Stairway to Hell match, taken him on a chase across Orlando and gotten the better of the Bucksnort native all year. Warner was technically victorious in their falls count anywhere match, but Havoc again attacked him after the match. Now we move onto this Prince of Darkness match at the Opera Cup. This will be a blindfold match, where both competitors will be cloaked in black hoods. Anything can happen as they won’t quite know who they have or what they’re doing exactly. Will Warner finally put England’s Most Dangerous Man behind him for good? Or will Havoc find yet another way to outsmart him?

CONTRA Unit (Jacob Fatu, Simon Gotch & Ikuro Kwon w/Josef Samael) vs. Strong Hearts (CIMA, El Lindaman & Shigehiro Irie)

Photo / MLW

There is also trios action on tap at the Opera Cup. Reports have been trickling in that there have been skirmishes abroad that were instigated by operatives affiliated with CONTRA. The Stronghearts requested this match in the hopes of curtailing the Global Dealers in Violence. CIMA is joined by the dynamo that is El Lindaman and the Japanese Beast Shingehiro Irie. Irie is a regular for Big Japan Pro-Wrestling, wXw, PROGRESS and other companies in the UK and Europe. He’s also made a select few appearances in North America. He’s also one of few people in the world who could match up to Jacob Fatu. The maniacal leader Josef Samael was none too pleased with this development either.

Will the sensational team of CIMA, Lindaman and Irie finally beat back CONTRA Unit, even if it’s only for a little while? Or will the harbingers of wanton terror and destruction continue their lethal march?

Photo / MLW

Also scheduled to appear: Konnan, Salina de la Renta, Myron Reed & Injustice, Marshall & Ross Von Erich, and King Mo. King Mo will also be in action once again following his successful debut. Konnan will appear for the first time since Battle Riot. Salina de la Renta hasn’t been seen or heard from since being taken out by a spear at Saturday Night Superfight. Will the Empresaria be back or will she continue to lick her wounds? There are only a few ways to find out. Limited tickets do remain for the Opera Cup at the Melrose Ballroom in New York City. If you can’t attend in person, all of the great action is being taped for future episodes of MLW Fusion.