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MLW Roundup: Tom Lawlor re-signs, Japanese talent at Opera Cup, Alicia Atout on board, more!

Let’s catch up on this week’s news in MLW and preview Saturday night’s episode of Fusion. MLW has been busy again on the transaction wire and also making matches for the Opera Cup event. Mance Warner and Jimmy Havoc plan on dishing out pain as they main event Fusion then are scheduled for an even more brutal match in January.

Tom Lawlor re-signed with MLW

The biggest news of the week is Tom Lawlor re-signing with MLW. How time changes. Just last week, it looked like Lawlor was leaving. Now, MLW has him locked down to an exclusive multi-year agreement.

Lawlor released the following statement:

“After months and weeks of trying to figure out the next step in my career, I have come to the conclusion that indeed there is no place like home, and no where that I would rather continue to swing for the fences than in Major League Wrestling. I’m happy to announce that myself and management have come to terms that will keep me in the ring with the top talent, wrestlers, and fighters under the MLW banner. While I was able to reach the peak of the mountain and become world champion in the past, I have since realized that there are entire new ranges for me to conquer and I look forward to getting to the summit alongside the fans and supporters of MLW. Stay filthy!”

Lawlor also opened up bookings for 2020.

After Jacob Fatu was re-signed last week, it didn’t take long to come to terms with Josef Samael. He was re-upped to a multi-year agreement. MLW CEO Court Bauer played it kayfabe with the following comment:

“Josef’s achievements in the sport are only eclipsed by his tyrannical nature. I would describe this deal as one done under protest but we have to find ways to accomplish business with CONTRA, so this deal was unfortunately necessary.”

MLW also announced the signing of Alicia Atout for their broadcast team. If you’ve never heard of her, she’s the female equivalent to Chris Van Vliet. If you haven’t heard of him either, they both do great wrestling interviews on YouTube. Her role with MLW is classified as a correspondent in the field. Atout will be with MLW for the Opera Cup on December 5.

Opera Cup

MLW’s Opera Cup event is scheduled to take place on December 5 from the Melrose Ballroom in New York City. The namesake refers to a 100+ year trophy cup as the prize for an eight-wrestler tournament.

The four opening round matches for the Opera Cup have been revealed:

  • Davey Boy Smith Jr. vs Shinjiro Otani
  • Alexander Hammerstone vs MJF
  • Timothy Thatcher vs Richard Holliday
  • Brian Pillman Jr. vs TJP

While it should be amusing to see how Richard Holliday handles Timothy Thatcher’s gruff style, the name that sticks out most is Shinjiro Otani. Otani will be representing Pro Wrestling ZERO 1. The press release states his credentials:

A former Pro Wrestling ZERO1 World Champion, 4-time Fire Festival winner and J-Crown title holder, Otani also has the distinction of being the first-ever WCW World Cruiserweight Champion and is a former IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion.

Otani isn’t the only Japanese talent that will be on the Opera Cup card. It appears that the Contra Unit raised a ruckus in Japan and messed with strong-hearted fellows. Wanting retribution for disrespect, CIMA, El Lindaman, and Shigehiro Irie will battle Contra in a trios bout.

The Opera Cup is shaping up to be a fascinating event.

Mance Warner vs Jimmy Havoc Falls Count Anywhere on Fusion

The next chapter in the Mance Warner versus Jimmy Havoc feud takes place Saturday night on MLW Fusion. The two will meet in a Falls Count Anywhere bout. This contest came about after Havoc attacked Warner at SuperFight when Warner won the three-way Stairway to Hell match with Havoc and Bestia 666. The preview is claiming it will be, “Pure chaos that no Florida man can possibly contain!” Get your bottle of moonshine and settle in to watch a fight.

Also on the card will be Alexander Hammerstone defending his National Openweight Championship against Douglas James. James and Dominic Garrini defeated Hammerstone and Richard Holliday last week via countout. Hammer will be looking to hammer James this week as payback.

In addition, Zeda Zhang ushers in MLW’s official women’s division against the Spider Lady, and we’ll be hearing from the Von Erichs, Tom Lawlor, Contra Unit, and rumors regarding Salina de la Renta.

MLW Fusion airs on beIN SPORTS and PlayStation Vue Saturday nights at 9 pm ET / 6 pm PT. New episodes are posted on YouTube Saturdays at 10 pm ET. Fusion is also broadcast in the UK, Ireland, Israel, and Africa.

Quick hits

The first match has been announced for Zero Hour on January 11 in Dallas. Mance Warner and Jimmy Havoc will do battle again. This time in a no ropes, barbed wire match. Have mercy on their souls.

The reason MJF went through botox surgery on last week’s Fusion was due to damage from the Iron Claw at SuperFight. The press release states: can confirm that MJF suffered deep indentations and acute muscle contractions to the face during the title bout. With five distinct markings on his face, MJF elected to have plastic surgery this past week.

A reminder that MLW is airing a Thanksgiving special at 6 pm ET (Nov. 28) on their YouTube channel. The main event will be Jacob Fatu defending the Heavyweight Championship against Marshall Von Erich. The press release offered a neat bit of trivia:

The title bout marks the first time a member of the Von Erich family have world championship title since May 6, 1984, when their uncle, Kerry Von Erich beat “Nature Boy” Ric Flair in a historic match, in front of over 45,000 fans at Texas Stadium.

Court Bauer mentioned the next chapter in Konnan’s MLW story begins at the Opera Cup. Technically, Bauer said December, but the Opera Cup is their only scheduled event for that month.

MLW Fusion has a new t-shirt. If you are interested in MLW merch, now is the time to buy. Their shop is hosted by Pro Wrestling Tees, which is having big sales through the end of November.

Here’s a tweet from Bauer for all the Mil Muertes fans out there.

Former MLW producer Alex Greenfield opened up a Patreon account, if you are interested in his creative writing and wrestling tales.

We’ll close with Alexander Hammerstone’s seminar package.

He’ll probably also teach you how to get alien legs.


Are you pleased with the re-signings of Tom Lawlor and Josef Samael and the addition of Alicia Atout? Which of the Japanese stars are you most eager to watch at the Opera Cup? What is your prediction for the location of the pinfall in Mance Warner versus Jimmy Havoc? Who do you think is under the Spider Lady mask? Will you be attending Alexander Hammerstone’s seminar?

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