Happy Thanksgiving everyone, as Major League Wrestling is set to give a Fusion of Thanksgiving that is jam packed with an Opera Cup semi-final match, a new wrestler debuting, and a ladder match for the ages to crown a new MLW Openweight champion.  With so much action, and so little tryptophan coursing in the veins, let’s get to a sporting event that more exciting than a Detroit Lions game.

The show starts with a cold open of Contra Unit at losing at War Chamber, and the resulting implosion with Jacob Fatu and Mads Krügger. Have we seen the end of Contra Unit?

As we head to the ECW Arena in Philadelphia, Pa, Rich Bocchini and Joe Dobrowski have the call for your First Match of the night, and it is for…

The Opera Cup Semi-Finals match: TJP vs. Calvin Tankman

Tankman’s head is taped up after recent events by Kane and King Mo.  As fans at ringside chant “Tankman’s Gonna Kill You”, and “Let’s go Tankman/TJP” dueling chants, the start has The Heavyweight Hustle’s size and power overtake the Fil-Am Flash. TJP targets his bandaged head, and uses the ropes for headlock takeover.  He follows with a shoulder tackle, but bounces off Tankman twice, and then takes a powder outside which goes to…

Ads (I’d complain, but I’m digesting a turkey dinner, so Tonight it gets a pass.

We come back to Tankman chopping TJP in the corner, and deliver another toss to TJP across the ring.   TJP ducks Tankman and then disappears under the ring, and that’s when Alex Kane comes out with…the announcers are confused by the presence of the big guy shadowing Kane, so let call the dude “Not King Mo ™.”  As they come to watch, Tankman grabs TJP to come back in the ring, and he spits water in Tankman’s face, blinding him.  TJP gets a crossbody and rains blows on Tankman’s head.  He continues to hobble the Heavyweight Hustle by wrenching his knee and then tries an Octopus stretch, but Tankman fights out.  TJP sends Tankman outside the ring, and he gets beat down by Kane and “Not King Mo™”, as TJP distracts the ref.  Back in the ring, TJP attempts a face wash on Tankman, but he bounces back up for a tackle.  Tankman fires up backbreaker to a clothesline.

He attempts a Tankman Driver, but TJP gets a high kick.  TJP hits the ropes, but Tankman nails a pop up spinning back fist.  Dazed, Tankman goes to the corner, and TJP nails a tornado DDT.  TJP goes up top to finish the job, but Tankman hits a palm strike to the side of TJP’s head.  He tries the Tankman Driver again, but TJP hangs on to the second turnbuckle and rips off the pad.  Tankman goes to the corner, and the ref back him off as he deals with the turnbuckle pad, and Kane and “Not King Mo™” throw Tankman to the exposed buckle. With Tankman knocked out, TJP capitalizes with a Black Mamba splash for the pin.

TJP flies onto Calvin Tankman. Photo by George Tahinos, georgetahinos.smugmug.com

Your Winner, and the finalist in The Opera Cup:  TJP

As Kane and “Not King Mo™” celebrate Tankman’s loss, Alicia Atout talks to TJP at the top of the ramp, and says he should be ashamed of his win.  TJP responds that Philly should appreciate when a job is done all by yourself, to massive boos from the crowd. But next week will be TJP versus Davey Richards in the finals of the Opera Cup, and no one should miss the fun.

We also get word that MLW announces an open door policy for any free agents.  The best part of that press release was the following quote:  “‘Why allow your career to be at the mercy of the whims of a billionaire?’ said Cesar Duran.” Just priceless.

Also, Ho Ho Lun will come to MLW in January next year, and that will provide some interesting matchups for the Middleweight division

Alicia Atout is backstage with Warhorse, who won the Parts Unknown Most Interesting Wrestler. Only problem, he says, is that it’s misspelled and should be WARHORSE, So rip off the knob and turn it up!  That brings KC Navarro into the frame, saying he’s the most interesting person in wrestling.  Now, Warhorse…sorry, let me try that again…WARHORSE don’t take kindly to “Pinky” interrupting his promo time, and he head butts Navarro for a pull apart brawl.

Emilio Sparks backstage with Tankman, who’s stewing about his loss.  Sparks think this is the best time to go to the Heavyweight Hustle, and ask if this woulda happened if he just joined up with Kane and King Mo.  Tankman throttles Sparks and says that Kane is f***ed, and he took an opportunity away from him and he ain’t gonna forget that. Myron Reed comes in to talk him down, and suggest they smoke a little before they smoke those fools.  Tankman walks off with Reed in tow.

NZo is coming to MLW.  Bada Boom.  Realest Guy in MLW soon.  How you doin’?

The Von Erichs wish everyone in MLW a Happy Thanksgiving from Kauai and thanks for kind words. However, they are not happy with not having tag matches, and they blame Cesar Duran for the gatekeeping. Ross and Marshall state they want a singles title match, noting it’s been over forty years since a Von Erich held a singles belt and they want a shot when they return to Dallas, TX.

But now for the much acclaimed debut of…

“Big Beef” Gnarls Garvin vs. Budd Heavy

Garvin comes in with a vest that says “White Trash Wonderful”, and this debut is just a huge heaping of squash.  So, in Honor of “Big Beef”, enjoy this recipe for Braised Beef Short Ribs Butternut Squash

Gnarls Garvin on the mic after his MLW debut. Photo by George Tahinos, georgetahinos.smugmug.com

Garvin delivers a side suplex for the pin and thanks for coming out, Heavy.

Your Winner via Pinfall:  Gnarls Garvin

Alicia Atout is with Garvin at the ramp to say congratulations, but he tells her to make herself and get a couple Coors. He then tells the crowd he will chew through the ranks and he spit ‘em out.  First impression: he’s no Mance Warner, but I’ll reserve judgment for a couple weeks.  So show me what ya got, Garvin.

Now Alicia Atout is with Hammerstone and Richard Holliday on the end of Contra Unit. Before they can get into it, the Azteca Stooge ™ comes in presenting a box of Rolexes as a gift.  Holliday is impressed, but it’s a hard no by Your Boy Hammer, since it came from Duran. Holliday is up for hearing his proposal, but it’s still a hard no.

Emilio Sparks finds Alex Kane chilling with Not King Mo ™, and he announces to Sparks the formation of the Bomaye Flight Club. All of a sudden Tankman comes into view as Security tries to hold him back.  He wants Kane, and Kane ain’t sweating him, but he’s gonna get prepared for the ladder match tonight

Meanwhile, back at Cesar Duran’s office, he’s meeting with Sparks and Atout, and asks why he needs two reporters? Atout says been doing it for a decade and looks for stories from what’s happening in MLW.  Sparks says it’s a war zone out there and he’s in the trenches and doesn’t need cute stories, unlike Atout.  Duran decides to keep them both around, but wants the scoops.  As the leave, the Azteca Stooge returns with the Rolex box, and Duran says Hammerstone’s choice is no Bueno, like they say in Ogden, UT.

We’ll get into the fact that Duran shoulda future endeavored Sparks another day, because we head to the Main Event, which is the…

Ladder Match for the Vacant MLW National Openweight Championship: Alex Shelley vs. Myron Reed vs. Alex Kane (with Not King Mo ™) vs. Zenshi vs. a Mystery Opponent

During the intros, Bocchini acknowledges that #Injustice is no more, and Reed is fighting alone.  As they run through the combatants, the mystery entrant is…ACH.  Once all five men are in the ring, the bell rings, and it’s a donnybrook to start.  Kane is able to get a double suplex on Zenshi and Reed, and then he tries to use the ladder as a battering ram, but ACH puts a halt to that.  Kane makes ACH pay for that by slamming him to guardrails and that follows with…

Ads (Just assume I said something witty about putting ads in the middle of the match, and leave it at that.  Man, that turkey was good this year!)

Zenshi is back in ring, along with Reed and they dropkick a ladder into Kane.  With Kane out, Zenshi and Reed focus on each other, and Zenshi hits a high 619 to take out Reed.  Zenshi tries to leap from the top rope and almost gets belt, but misses by *that much*.  Reed comes back, in and Zenshi goes for a clothesline, but Reed goes with a quick Matrix move to dodge, and hits an enzugiri to Zenshi.  Reed climbs the ladder, but Zenshi drags him down and climbs up top.  Reed tips the ladder, but Zenshi balance and gets his feet on the top ropes.  Zenshi goes to Reed, but Reed ducks under the ring and misses a ladder held by ACH and Shelly, who end up slamming him with said ladder, and then to Zenshi after he does an impressive balancing act.

Now ACH attempts the climb, but Shelly catches him with a dragon screw leg whip in the ladder rungs, and delivers a basement dropkick to ACH.  Shelley climbs the ladder, but Kane back suplexes him off the ladder.  ACH comes back with tornado DDT to Kane, and then climbs again but Reed cuts ACH off and nails a springboard cutter.  Reed is in control for a minute, but Shelley delivers a nasty STO to Reed on the ladder.  Shelley goes to the ladder, but Kane cuts him off and goes for a goozle.  Reed leaps from the top, and Kane gets him in another goozle.

Alex Kane lifts Alex Shelley and Myron Reed. Photo by George Tahinos, georgetahinos.smugmug.com

He tries to choke slam both men, but cannot, and Shelley and Reed escape the clutches, and Reed attempts a cutter, but Zenshi shoves a ladder that Reed lands painfully.  Zenshi then follows with a springboard elbow drop to Reed’s chest, but Shelley decides to sandwich Zenshi into the ladder and drop kicks him in the ladder ‘wich for good measure.

Shelley gets a new ladder and tries to climb again, but Zenshi wriggles out and is able to drive Shelley to corner with the ladder. He climbs up the ladder to Shelley, but ACH comes from behind with a release German suplex, and then Kane delivers his head and arm suplex to ACH on the ladder.  Reed nails a guillotine leg drop to Kane, and goes with a flying crossbody to Kane and ACH on the floor.  Reed sets up a ladder, and ACH follows suit.  Now they and Shelley and Zenshi climb up to slug it out on the top.  ACH falls off, followed by Shelley.  Reed climbs back, but Zenshi gets him with a head scissors takedown from the ladder, but then Shelley knocks off Zenshi.  Shelley sets up ladder, and Kane comes from behind and chokes him out.  With no one left to oppose him, Kane climbs up top and gets the belt.

Your Winner and new MLW Openweight Champion: Alex Kane

As Kane relishes the win, Tankman comes back out and tries to rush at Kane, but security and everyone is blocking his path of rage.  Kane is still celebrating his win as the show fades to black.

TOP PHOTO: Alex Kane vs Alex Shelley vs Zenshi vs Myron Reed vs ACH in a ladder match. Photo by George Tahinos, georgetahinos.smugmug.com



Final Thoughts:

So far, I’m not sold on Gnarls Garvin, but I’ll give it time to see what type of push he gets in MLW.

As for the Opera Cup Semi Final and the Ladder Match?  Both were great, and the ladder match deserves to be watched over and over again, if only to see the moves that take place.

With next week’s Opera Cup match in place, and the feud between Kane and Tankman heating up, I am looking forward to more MLW.  This was a great Thanksgiving show, and we’ll see you in seven!