MLW Fusion Recap: The Opera Cup Commences With Two First Round Matches
Photo Credit: MLW
MLW Fusion is ready to carry on the classic tradition of much-anticipated Opera Cup Tournament, but leave it to Injustice to cause a little chaos. Jordan Oliver, Kotto Brazil and MLW Middleweight Champion Myron Reed are all apparently upset that they are not involved in the tournament and it does not sit well with them. They decide to “sit-in” and hold up the ring. That brings out King Mo who isn’t ready for such tom foolery.
Mo looks all but eager to take on the three ne’er do-wells in orange, but he gets a surprise partner by his side – ACH!
The crowd goes wild and the referee makes it an official tag team match.
King Mo & ACH vs. Injustice (Kotto Brazil & Jordan Oliver w/ Myron Reed)
ACH shows his pure athleticism as he starts off the match with a flurry of offense. He and Mo do a double team hip-toss on Brazil. Mo kicks the legs of Kotto and tags back in ACH. Guest on commentary Dan Lambert says Mo wants checks and he wants gold in MLW and that’s evident in this match.
Kotto Brazil shows his athleticism against ACH, but also shows his underhandedness as he allows his Injustice members to seize attack on ACH behind his back.
Lambert makes it clear that Mo has his eyes on all titles in MLW as Injustice keep the ring cut off from ACH. Ref is having a hell of a time trying to maintain control.
Jordan and Kotto keep ACH way away from Mo as Brazil even locks in a sharpshooter onto ACH. He makes it to the ropes.
King Mo rallies the crowd behind ACH and it charges the returning star up enough to strike free and then clotheslines the daylights out of Oliver before finally making the tag. Mo takes it to Brazil by hitting him with one fierce spinebuster, popping him back up for an appropriately named Manhattan Drop before pancaking him back down. Oliver finds a timely kick to distort Mo’s momentum, but Mo hits a doube spear to tag back in ACH.
ACH shows his in-ring prowess before he tags back in Mo who hits a sit-out powerbomb before locking the leg of Mo for a submission victory.
WINNERS: King Mo & ACH
We see backstage that Konnan and MLW newcomer Gino Medina discussing business matters in the stairwell. Neither disclosed what those matters were but it did end in a handshake.
We cut to the latest installment of Lifestyles of “The Rich and Dynastic” where both Hammer and Richard Holliday are at a NYC bar. Hammer asks what Holliday has their big man Grogan up to after his mystery box battle royal win, and Richard has him doing some work for his Lawyer/Father (cleaning out orphanages, of course). Holiday gets he and Hammer some Starbucks (at the bar!) and in enters MJF chugging on the “gift train!” He presents Holliday with VERY big Air Pods.
Holliday gets emotional as they group hug. Holliday has a gift of his own: Max Mini (literally a smaller MJF). “This is dogsh*t,” says Max.
Opera Cup Round 1
Timothy Thatcher vs. Richard Holliday
Holliday gets cocky with Thatcher and he makes Most Marketable feel the wrath of a belly to back suplex followed by The Sweet Scientist’s ground game. Holliday however hits Timothy with a 2008, but that doesn’t keep Thatcher down.
Thatcher cranks on one fierce single leg crab as Holliday tries to roll free who adjusts it into an ankle lock. Holliday delivers a dropkick and stomps the limbs of Tim.
Richard is a pitbull and continues to keep the bigger man grounded. Body slam. He soon goes for an elbow but misses and Thatcher starts giving European Uppercuts to Most Marketable. He forearms Holliday in the chest several times.
AJ Kirsch notes Holliday’s “explosive intensity” as he trades blows with Timothy. He hits a DDT out of nowhere for a very close fall.
Holliday hits a backbreaker then a spinebuster for a very close fall of his own. Thatcher gets to his feet and goes for a Market Crash, but Thatcher fights it off and smacks the heck out of Holliday. Holliday shows off his strength and reverse suplexes Tim over for a close fall.
Holliday tries to take his offense to the corner, but Thatcher fights off and turns the tide with a suplex attempt. Holliday however, turns it into a top rope 2008! Kickout!
Then out of nowhere, Thatcher locks in a fujiwa armbar and Holliday immediately taps.
WINNER and advances to the semi-finals: Timothy Thatcher
Alicia Atout makes her debut in MLW to try and speak with Salina de la Renta but The Empresia dismisses the Interview Queen to discuss her own matters with Gino Medina.
We see Mance Warner with his Uncle Moon Man. Mance is still seething from his feud from Jimmy Havoc and wants an eye for an eye: he wants a blindfold match with “Jimbo.” Moon Man is all about it.
The feed gets interrupted by CONTRA as Josef Samael says that soldiers are rising up everywhere. Definitely some unsettling news for MLW fans.
Some settling news, however, is that CIMA and his Stronghearts are coming to MLW and they’ll be able to show that Japanese strong style to wrestling fans soon enough!
Opera Cup Round 1
TJP vs. Brian Pillman Jr
TJP returns to MLW and the crowd is all about him reaquainting himself with MLW, but Brian Pillman Jr looks ready to rumble.
The match starts and TJP ties Pillman up several times with his legs. Pillman, however quickly shows his quickness by rolling free and launching his boots into the mush of TJP. Side headlock by Pillman, but TJP shimmies free.
The two shove one another before TJP locks Brian down who then reverses matters. TJP headstands and flips free and the two miss one another in a wild showcase of quickness as they meet in a stalemate. Good applause from the crowd.
AJ Kirsch reveals during the match that Tom Lawlor will be on Fusion next week and has a major announcement!
TJP begins to control the match with some outside the ring action, but tries to put Pillman away in the ring by kicking away at Pillman (“shades of Liu Kang!”). Submissions are exchanged and TJP tries to tie Pillman up on the ground. Lots of mat work in this bout.
TJP catches PIllman in an octopus stretch, but Pillman changes the tide. TJP though snaps the arm of Brian and he’s back on the attack. Belly-to-back.
TJP misses a top rope senton and Pillman makes the most of it even though he favors his arm. Pillman gets a near win with a powerslam, but TJP soon knocks him silly with a tornado DDT.
Pillman really feels the impact of TJP’s power when he receives a superplex, then a brainbuster for an extremely close fall.
TJP locks in a TJP clutch and he tries to get to the ropes. He finally does.
Pillman later gets dumped right on his head and it looks all but over but Pillman knees TJP right on the temple and hits him with his Dying Promise finisher to advance!
WINNER and advances to the semi-finals: Brian Pillman Jr.