All operas tend to have big finishes, and the matchup for the MLW Opera Cup finals is no different.  After a grueling tournament, TJP and Davey Richards have made their way as the top two contenders.  But will the Fil-Am-Flash be able to stop The American Wolf in the main event, or will Richards’s hunt finally see victory after a long hiatus?  We’ll find out tonight.

The show starts with the history of the Opera Cup as wrestlers from the turn of the century would vie for the cup in similar tournaments in opera houses (hence its name).  The last person to win the Cup was the legendary Stu Hart.  There it remained, until the Hart Family gifted the Cup to MLW three years ago, and the tournament restarted.  Davey Boy Smith, Jr. won the OperaCup in 2019, and last year “Filthy” Tom Lawlor earned the Opera Cup.  The question tonight is: who will make history?

Rich Bocchini and Joe Dobrowski have the call in the ECW Arena in Philadelphia, PA.  We get underway with your First Match of the night…

KC Navarro vs. Warhorse

This match came about because last week, Navarro interrupted WarHorse’s promo time as he received the Most Interesting Wrestler from Parts Unknown.  A petty reason for a match, sure, but then again, it’s a better reason than any of the booking currently happening in WWE lately.


The match is classic Speed versus Headbanger Strength, but it’s Navarro getting the speed going right away with a tope suicida and a missile dropkick to WarHorse.  The fans get in the match with dueling “Warhorse/Kay-Cee” chants, and Navarro feels good as he tries to ram Warhorse’s head in the top turnbuckle, but…silly Navarro.  You can’t bust the head of a headbanger.

Warhorse gets back in control with a powerslam and Mustang-style mud stomps to the corner.  Warhorse send Navarro to the ropes, and Navarro attempts a sunset flip, but WarHorse head butts him back to the mat.  Warhorse goes for the Blackfoot Deathlock (because, as commentary points out, he is 1/8 indigenous.  OK, I’ll play along.), but Navarro is able to reach for the ropes.

Navarro manages to pick up speed and nails WarHorse with a tornado DDT to cover for a two count.  Navarro goes up top and goes for a double stomp that misses, but he manages to hit a superkick.  Warhorse goes back to the ropes, and springs back with a lariat and a cover of Navarro for a two count.  WarHorse then hits a running knee, he goes up top for a double stomp that misses.  Navarro now gets the sunset bomb and covers for another two count. He follows up with the Jesus Peace (standing Sliced Bread #2) and corrals WarHorse for the win.

Your Winner via Pinfall:  KC Navarro

We head to the man that gives “Dirt Sheet Writers” a bad name, Emilio Sparks, from earlier today as comes up to Myron Reed if he sent Calvin Tankman to take out Alex Kane before the MLW Openweight ladder match to take him out.  Reed is feeling like this whole line of questioning is “super sus”, as the kids say, and blows him off.

Excuse me, as I wash my hands in tequila for using the phrase, “Super Sus.”

We also get a recap of the feud between Los Parks and 5150 boiling over, and it’s announced matchmaker Cesar Duran has announced that next week will be Street Fight match for the MLW tag belts.  Yeah, I’m down for that.

Commentary mentions that Sparks is live-streaming Duran, and they get a close up of the key around his neck.

OK, so…did I miss something, ’cause “Matanza” came out as Jeff Cobb in War Chamber.  Is there something else going on?  I feel like I’m missing something, or else I washed my hands a little too hard with the tequila.

Willow Nightingale is at ringside and Joins Bocchini and Dobrowski with commentary and can’t wait to see the featherweight tag bout, which is your next match.

Sea Stars (Delmi Exo and Ashley Vox) vs. Top Dogs (Davienne and Skylar)

The Sea Stars are becoming the favorites in the MLW Featherweight division, and Davienne and Skylar are looking to make their mark in the division in their MLW debut.  It doesn’t take long, as the Top Dogs blindsides the Stars, but Exo and Vox are able to send the Davienne and Skylar outside the ring, and they both hit  stereo suicidas.  Finally, the match goes back to the ring, and Exo is in with Davienne, but the Top Dogs are able to overpower her to the corner, and Exo is a Delmi in Peril.  At one point, Skylar holds Exo in position as Davienne delivers with a sliding dropkick to Exo into the ring post, and she covers to pin for a two count.

Davienne attempts a big move, but Exo rolls out of the way for the hot tag to Ashley, and the other Sea Star is a Vox en Fuego. Vox gets a fishhook to Skylar and transitions to a lariat to cover for a two count.

Vox tries a fisherman’s buster, but Skylar reverses to a jawbreaker, then the Top Dogs nail a Death Valley Driver/powerbomb combo, but Exo breaks the count.  From there, it’s all Sea Stars as the women from Ocean City hit the Tidal Wave finisher and they go over the Top Dogs.

Your Winner via Pinfall:  The Sea Stars

As Nightingale say thanks for letting her hang out, Holidead comes out and stars beating Nightingale, but the Babe with the Power fights back up to backstage.

We go back to Sparks, still livestreaming and now we see the Azteca Stooge ™ putting the Matanza mask in a box and carrying it off.  Uhhhh…okay?

Now, we get a recap of the MLW Openweight ladder match, and Alex Kane addressed the “media” with Not King Moe ™ at his side. Kane once again wants to establish his Bomaye Fight Club, and he wants all wrestler to join the group, as they’ll take down all comers quickly and efficiently, just like he did with Calvin Tankman.

Next up is a promo from 5150, as they respond to the tag match set for next week.  Slice Boogie says they’re from the slums and ain’t waiting for their turn.  They’ll make their opportunities, and they made their presence known to Los Parks. Rivera states that 5150 took care of #Injustice, and will take care of Los Parks as well.

nZo is still coming. Bada-Boom, he’ll face off against Matt Cross soon.  How you doin’?

Back to the livestream and Sparks has Duran with the key unlocking a door, talking to his “brother” and walking in.  All of a sudden, the Azteca Stooge™ sees the ‘streamers, and they run away.

And that was three minutes of my life I won’t get back.  But again…still better than WWE storylines.

We now head to the Tale of the Tape to see how both finalist match up heading to the final. 

Now it’s time for the Main Event for the…

2021 Opera Cup Finals: Davey Richards vs. TJP

The crowd is hot for this match as the bell rings, and the Philly fans hit dueling “Dave-E Rich-Ards/TJP Sucks” chants.  From there, it’s all chain wrestling, and Richards able to overpower with technique, but TJP has some moves as well.  Neither man has the advantage, as Richards and TJP are matching hold with counter hold. 

Richards has TJP in a head scissors, and TJP tries to escape by balancing his head to free his head, but Richards gets a short spike to drive him back down.  TJP escapes and gets Richards’ legs tied up to a toe hold, then to a STF, but Richards gets to the ropes to break hold.  Now, TJP is in control with a knee to Richards’ midsection, and he goes to stomp The American Wolf in the corner.  Richards reverses and scrapes his heel to TJP.  He hits the ropes, but TJP delivers a low dropkick to his knee, which has been Richards’ known weakness throughout the tournament.  Richards is outside the ring, clutching his knee, and TJP smells blood.  He capitalizes as he drops Richards’ head on the ring edge and that leads to…

Ads for MLW Blood and Thunder January 2022 in Dallas, TX.  No doubt this is important, but seriously…in the middle of an Opera Cup Final?!

We come back, and the action has spilled to the outside of the ring, as Richards gets a forward kick, but it hurts his bad knee.  TJP chop blocks the back of the knee, and sends Richards back in the ring and focuses the majority of his offense on the injured knee.  TJP slows the pace with a chinlock (aka a Randy Orton lock), and then he hits the ropes and Richards tries a toehold takedown but can’t get the necessary torque or force to bring him down.  TJP senses that and locks a Figure Four leglock (woo!) on Richards and he writhes in pain.  He’s smack dab in the center of the ring, and Richards tries to turn TJP over, and finally reverses the hold to get him to release, but TJP goes back to wrenching his knee further.  TJP follows with a slingshot senton and a cover but Richards gets a foot on the ropes before a pinfall can be made.  TJP goes back to the Figure Four and attempts to gets a headlock as well, but Richards escapes and slugs away.  With space now created, a clothesline by Richards takes a lot outta both men as the crawl back to the opposite corners. 

As they stand, TJP and Richards meet in the middle and unload with forearms.  TJP sends Richards in the corner, but escapes before TJP can hit a splash.  Richards grabs his leg and nails a vicious dragonscrew leg whip, leaving TJP in pain.  Richards now goes up top for double stomp that misses the mark, but goes back for the trailer hitch (calf crusher).  TJP is in pain, but manages to grab the ropes.  Richards tries a brainbuster, but TJP blocks and both men maneuver back and forth until TJP lands with the Detonation Kick to cover for a two count.  The fans are chanting, “This is awesome!*clap clap.  Clapclapclap*”, and now both men are on the outside e on the ring apron, kicking away.  Richards tries an exploder suplex, but is blocked.  TJP reverses with a wicked DDT that looked nasty as Richards head looks like in caught on the ring edge.  TJP sends Richards back in the ring, and goes for the Black Mamba splash for one, two…no, so close!  Even TJP can’t believe it.

TJP sends him to the corner with boot scrapes and a face wash to Richards. TJP goes to the well once too often, and hits the ropes but Richards gets up and gets a pop up kick that knocks TJP down.  Richards climbs up top, howling for the fans and nails the double stomp to TJP on the ring edge, and again in the ring for good measure.  He covers for one, two…TJP just barely kicks out. Now Richards senses the end is near, and nails the brainbuster to cover for another two count, but maintains control of TJP’s leg and transitions to an ankle lock. TJP escapes, but Richards reverses back to the ankle lock into a leg grape vine.  Richards twists at TJP’s ankle and then delivers heel kicks to his back, and TJP has no choice but to tap out.

Your 2021 Opera Cup Winner:  Davey Richards

Cesar Duran comes out with the Opera Cup in tow to present to Richards.

Exhausted by the near 30+ minute match, Richards has the mic and addresses the Philly faithful:

“We’ve known each other forever, Philadelphia.  I look around this awesome MLW audience…I don’t see fans. I don’t see a paying customer. I see the only family that I have ever known.  You were there, when I was a young guy starting out. You were there when my family died. You were there when I became world champion, and you are here when I have won The Opera Cup.

It was told to me in the back that I should dedicate this to someone very special to me. But, me being Davey Richards, I don’t exactly follow the script, now do I? So this one is for you, Philadelphia.  Because you were there through thick and thin.  As long as I’m able to, I will step in this ring, and every goddamn night will give you every penny you spent.  This Hunt never dies!”

Richards holds the Opera Cup aloft with fans chanting Davey’s name as the show fades to black.


Final Thoughts:

No doubt about it:  The American Wolf is back, and he’s in the Hunt.  Definitely a Match of the Year candidate, and Both men brought out the best in this Opera Cup final.  I wish we had more of this match, and less of whatever Sparks was trying to achieve.

After this, this shwo will be a hard act to follow, but the announced tag match looks like it will bring the violence, so savor the main event and see you in seven!