MLW FUSION REPORT: ACH vs. Tom Lawlor in the Opera Cup Semi-Finals

Originally published at

MLW Fusion #114 – “2020 Opera Cup Semi-Finals Conclude”

December 16th, 2020

GILT Nightclub – Orlando, FL

By: John Siino

Commentary: Rich Bocchini & Jared St. Laurent

The Dynasty & The Sentai Death Squad

The show starts with Alicia Atout in the parking lot trying to get a quick word with Alexander Hammerstone and Richard Holiday as they pull up in their car. Holliday sounds disgruntled, asking if he could just get a minute away from her, but Hammerstone mentions how he was just talking about her. Holliday mentions it was a different “Alicia Atout from Canada” he was talking about. Just as they are talking, they get attacked by three members of the Sentai Death Squad from CONTRA Unit, and just as Hammerstone is about to slam one against the hood, Holliday stops him and says, “no dents in the car, it’s in my name.” Holliday seems upset, but more about Hammerstone exposing him to Atout and that he’s not worried about these goons, and neither is Hammerstone as they walk away with the bodies on the ground.

LA Park Jr. (w/ LA Park & El Hijo de LA Park) vs. Bu Ku Dao (w/ TJP)

This is promoted as a double debut, with LA Park Jr. having his singles debut as he did appear on the Tijuana, Mexico shows earlier this year. Bu Ku Dao with an over-the-top insert promo saying he’s so excited and honored to be in MLW, and he’s going to make everybody in Vietnam and TJP and his fans proud. Dao is barely 5 feet tall and is said to be the shortest competitor in MLW. Park Jr. easily distracts Dao in the beginning and takes him out of the ring where the other Park’s attack Dao as Jr. and TJP is distracting the referee. The tallest of the Parks, Jr. hits Dao with chops, forearms, and kicks and takes out Dao with a suicide dive on the outside. As the senior Park distracts the referee, El Hijo joins in on attacking Dao with Jr. Dao is able to dodge an Irish Whip and comes back with a kick and a crossbody for a 2 count. Jr. hits an Enziguri for a two count not before telling the invisible fans to ‘suck it’. Jr. then shakes it a little bit before hitting an Alabama Slam for another two-count. Dao is complaining about his neck before getting a bit of offense in. Park Jr. is able to set up a Guillotine Choke, but Dao quickly reverses it and gets the pin although it seemed like Park Jr.’s shoulders were not fully on the mat.

Winner: Bu Ku Dao by pinfall at 4:44

Siino Vision: After the match, the Park Family got in the face of the referee disputing the finish. This was supposed to come off like a big upset, but without a crowd plus the fact that we don’t know much about Dao other than the fact that he’s short, and Parka Jr. was much taller made it rather weak. The ‘out of nowhere’ convincing didn’t really land for me either. That being said, I would like to hear more from Bu Ku Dao as I found him to be rather entertaining and charismatic.

Opera Cup Hype

We see highlights of last week’s bout with Low-Ki advancing in the Opera Cup over Richard Holliday. We go to Filthy Tom Lawlor talking about the last time he faced ACH, he choked him out. ACH says Lawlor thinks he has one over him, but he’s changed his game a lot since the last time they met. Lawlor admits ACH is one of the top talents, but one thing he can’t do better than him is fight. ACH says he has the UFC experience, but he loves a good fight as well. Lawlor says that ACH doesn’t have the brains to compete with him. ACH says he’s more aggressive, and Lawlor says ACH can’t keep up with the speed of him. ACH then says he’s not afraid of Team Filthy and they can get involved, it won’t stop him.

The Clout Cutter

They show the brawl from last week that ended Fusion and mention Jordan Oliver found this as a perfect opportunity to attack Simon Gotch not only for causing a career-ending injury to Kotto Brazil seven months ago in Mexico but also for a recent sneak attack Oliver had from Gotch on Pulp Fusion. We go to Oliver who says ‘Simon, I told you that when I see you, it’s on sight. And that I was going to hurt you. Now that I slapped you in the face, gave you a little shiner, a little black eye. I need more, I’m addicted to the feeling of beating that ass. I need to see you in the ring, Simon. I need to see you on an episode of Fusion, I need to see you in the Kings of Colosseum. I need to show you no mercy, just like you showed Kotto Brazil no mercy when you ended his MLW career. Simon, I promise you this isn’t just some Twitter finger stuff, I’m going to get in that ring with you. I’m going to go strike-for-strike, slam-for-slam, and hey man, you might beat me up. But I tell you what, you will not outlast Jordan Oliver. And you will not outlast me, the Clout Cutter, you won’t outlast Justice.”

Mads Krugger vs. Budd Heavy & Daniel Starling

They mention that a wall of security has been formed in the back to stop Hammerstone from getting involved in this match. Heavy & Starling both seemed scared as hell to start the match, but Heavy ran right into the fist of Krugger. Krugger slams Starling multiple times against Heavy in the corner before hitting a running powerslam into the corner where Heavy still was laid out. Krugger hits a Full Nelson slam on Starling and puts hit foot on both competitors to get the pin

Winner: Mads Krugger by pinfall at 58 seconds

Siino Vision: Again, after the match, the Sentai Death Squad come out and put Heavy & Starling in the body bags as Krugger lays the CONTRA Unit flags over them. Just another demolishing from Krugger as they continue his story with Hammerstone. Poor Heavy was labeled as ‘Ben Heavy’ even though his trunks clearly said BUDD on them.

Pro Wrestling Illustrated Top 10

World Heavyweight Champion: Jacob Fatu

1. Alexander Hammerstone

2. Low Ki

3. Filthy Tom Lawlor

4. LA Park

5. Myron Reed

6. ACH

7. Laredo Kid

8. Richard Holliday

9. Calvin Tankman

10. Mad Krugger

Hammerstone Not in Action Tonight

As the graphic flashes for ‘Hammerstone in action tonight!’, we hear chaos and are told Alexander Hammerstone and Mads Kruger are fighting backstage and yelling to get security. When we come back from the commercial there is shaky camera footage of what just occurred. We go to Alicia Atout from the MLW Kings of Colosseum Control Center where she says everything has turned to mayhem, MLW has locked down the building, but she is fine. She’s going to keep a close eye as it unravels.

Alicia then plugs Kings of Colosseum being free on January 6th at 7 pm on YouTube, Fubo Sports Network, Pluto TV, and Bein Sports and says not only will we get the Middleweight Title fight between Myron Reed and Lio Rush, but just announced Alexander Hammerstone will defend the National Openweight Title against Mads Krugger as his scheduled return fight has been pushed back. She mentions Hammerstone and Krugger have exited the building and are fighting in the parking lot now.

Mil Muertes is Coming

They show a sent in a video from Salina de la Renta at the Aztec Ruins, who is speaking Spanish and mentions how they said she is an evil woman and that she is a traitor. She says “How quick to bite the hand that feeds you. And also, how quick to forget how powerful I am. And my power reaches far beyond the talent I so graciously present. I know awful men. I have stared at evil right in the face and he stared right back at me. Every temple, every arena, burned to the ground”. She starts singing that Mil Muertes is coming as we see a table full of candles and blood made to resemble the mask of Mil Muertes.

Rainy Kauai

We went to Von Erichs in a rainy Kauai, Hawaii. Ross mentions how it was great to have ACH out there training for 10 days at the Von Erich Ranch. Marshall says they know about Tom Lawlor, and that ACH has more tools than Lawlor does. Lawlor’s biggest tool he’s got is his tongue. They ask ACH to do them a favor and to bring that Opera Cup home to Texas.

2020 Opera Cup Semi-Finals Match: Filthy Tom Lawlor (w/ Violence is Forever) vs. ACH

We get a bit of CONTRA Unit interference as they are running down the tale of the tape for the match. They start the match with a bit of grappling before Lawlor ends it with a schoolboy pin attempt. ACH is able to take down Lawlor with a Dragonscrew before they trade locks and pin attempts back and forth. Bocchini mentions this is a rematch of the first-ever match in the MLW reboot. We go to extremely blurry footage of something still going on backstage, although they mentioned that Krugger & Hammerstone had left the building. Lawlor pretends to back down before hitting ACH in the corner with chops and strikes. He hits a couple of knee strikes before a low clothesline. Lawlor is trying to lock in a submission, but ACH does a good job of blocking it and countering back with a cartwheel into a dropkick. ACH tries to lock in an abdominal stretch before turning it into a pin attempt. ACH hits a backbreaker for a two count before he starts kicking at Lawlor. Lawlor counters a suplex and hits one of his own. Lawlor kicks out of a pin attempt and hits a spinning back elbow on ACH. They trade forearms back and forth, before having a sequence where ACH escapes the rear-naked chokehold, misses the double stomp, and falls right into a rear-naked chokehold before pushing off the ropes for a 2 count. They trade pinfalls before ACH hits a Tiger Driver a close two count. ACH goes to the top and attempts the Midnight Star but Lawlor puts his knees up and rolls up ACH for the pin

Winner: Filthy Tom Lawlor advances by pinfall at 12:29

They announced that next week The Dirty Blondes will be in action as well as the finals of the Opera Cup with Low Ki vs. Filthy Tom Lawlor. We go back to Team Filthy where Lawlor compares himself to Hackenschmidt, Gotch, and Zbyszko. 100 plus years of the Opera Cup and now it’s one step away from adding Filthy Tom Lawlor to the list. He says the win over ACH was “Super!” and now for the third time he will go undefeated against Low Ki in MLW, and the cup might as well be a crown because you are looking at your King of the Mat.

Siino Vision: Definitely the standout match for the show, as ACH had a nice showing but it was a little bit obvious that Lawlor was going to win as the story with him and Low Ki was pushed right from the start of the Opera Cup. Regardless, they had a good match and ACH proved like he said he can stand toe to toe with a UFC fighter like Lawlor

Overall, this show was a bit lackluster, nothing else really happened of note besides the main event. Everything else either introduced new characters or built to future matches. I felt like the stuff with Hammerstone and Krugger was rather weak with them showing a blurry and shaky camera and resorting to the audio in the back with Alicia Atout’s reaction. The cut to another blurry shot in the lower third during the main event was unnecessary especially if there was going to be no follow up to it, Alicia had already stated that they left the building so why the need for this? Why show the angle with Hammerstone in the beginning and hype up a match, if you weren’t going to show him again for the rest of the show? The Jordan Oliver promo was a nice little substitute for the Myron Reed-Lio Rush storyline, but the story I am most intrigued by is the debut of Mil Muertes. Salina de la Renta continues to be a shining star in this company and her new ‘bruja’ ways certainly have me looking forward to what’s next for her.

5 shaky cameras out of 10