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MLW Roundup: Davey Boy Smith Jr. grappling Timothy Thatcher on Fusion, Opera Cup, kickboxer signed

Let’s catch up on this week’s news in MLW and preview Saturday night’s episode of Fusion. The Opera Cup is returning after a 71 year hiatus, Alexander Hammerstone will be heading to NOAH in Japan, and a kickboxer has been added to the roster. Fusion looks strong with the Grapple in the Big Apple bout between Davey Boy Smith Jr. and Timothy Thatcher, an open workout from the male cheerleader Spirit Squad, and The Dynasty has a new video series.

Grapple in the Big Apple on Fusion

Davey Boy Smith Jr. and Timothy Thatcher will challenge one another in the Grapple in the Big Apple on Saturday night’s episode of MLW Fusion. The Grapple in the Big Apple is a regular match but with a fantastic catchy title. Just saying Grapple in the Big Apple makes me want to rip off my pants and break down into a grappling stance.

Both wrestlers are skilled in catch wrestling. I’m not familiar with Thatcher, but he has the kind of rapid fan base that will tune into MLW for the first time just to watch him in the ring. That’s enough for me to get excited about his MLW debut.

If you aren’t sold yet, Smith believes he and Thatcher had a match of the year candidate. MLW producer Alex Greenfield said it was one of his favorite MLW matches and is a, “thrilling game of human chess.” His past recommendations in MLW have been true.

Also on the episode will be the Spirit Squad. Remember the obnoxious male cheerleaders that were a thorn in the side of DX during the mid-2000s? The Spirit Squad will be represented by Kenny Doane and Mike Mondo. They plan to hold an open workout. It is likely that someone will come out from the back to kick their butt.

Low Ki versus Jimmy Yuta rounds out the card. The Von Erichs, Konnan, and the Contra Unit will be featured as well. Plus, it is the return of Tony Schiavone on commentary.

Oh, I saved the best for last. The show preview states:

The self-proclaimed golden boys of Major League Wrestling – The Dynasty debut their new series, Lifestyles of the Rich and Dynastic. What does the National Openweight Champion and World Tag Team Champions have in store for their premiere episode? Tune in to find out.

Yes! The Dynasty are being given their own version of the Hart Foundation’s H2tv. They definitely earned it with outlandishly entertaining promos in recent weeks. Three cheers for dickhead MJF, meat castle Alexander Hammerstone, and marketing genius Richard Holliday.

MLW Fusion airs on beIN SPORTS and PlayStation Vue Saturday nights at 9 pm ET / 6 pm PT. New episodes are posted on YouTube Mondays at 7 pm ET. Fusion is also broadcast in the UK, Ireland, Israel, and Africa.

The return of the Opera Cup

It was teased last week that Teddy Hart donated a family heirloom to MLW. That object turned out to be the Opera Cup. The historic Opera Cup was won in prestigious multi-day tournaments held at opera house venues. The prize returns from a 71 year hiatus after a nearly fifty year run. Teddy inherited the Opera Cup due to the death of his grandfather, Stu Hart.

MLW is holding the 2019 Opera Cup tournament on December 5 at Melrose Ballroom in New York City. Tickets for the event go on sale Monday, August 5.

Douglas James signed with MLW

MLW’s newest acquisition is Douglas James. James is an undefeated kickboxer with MMA experience. The press release paints an intriguing picture.

A former No Gi jiujitsu world champion trained by the founder of 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu, Eddie Bravo, Douglas James is one of the top prospects on the California pro wrestling circuit.

With a total of 15 mixed martial arts fights between both amateur and professional, Douglas James mixes an array of strikes, grappling, high flying and submission wrestling to an ever-growing arsenal.

James is new to me. He was kind enough to provide a highlight reel.

That splash at the end was pretty sweet.

James is scheduled to debut at the War Chamber show in Dallas on September 7.

Quick hits

Some of the following information comes from the MLW newsletter. Sign up here if you fancy.

National Openweight Champion Alexander Hammerstone is the first MLW representative to compete in Japan with NOAH in the new promotional alliance. Hammer will be participating in the N-1 Victory 2019 tournament. The winner of the round robin tournament receives a Global Honor Crown title shot. Read more about the tournament here.

Tony Schiavone has returned to MLW.

Schiavone will be joining Rich Bocchini on the August episodes of MLW Fusion from New York City for the matches on the Never Say Never card.

Timothy Thatcher will return to compete in MLW on September 7 for the War Chamber show in Dallas.

MLW is following through on their desire to train referees after the death of Silver King in an unrelated event in London. “Most of MLW’s referees have completed their CPR and life saving training. In addition to the men in pinstripes, a few backstage coordinators and producers have also partaken in CPR / life saving training.”

AEW has pushed the idea of bringing analytics into professional wrestling. MLW is also investigating crunching numbers for analysis. “The league is having meetings with leading sports analytics and insights groups from the private sector. The league is exploring furthering athlete development and injury prevention in addition to bout analysis and athlete evaluations.” I don’t know what that means, but it sounds neat.

Salina de la Renta is selling more vinyl POP figures. Get them while they last.

Who will be the grapplingest grappler between Davey Boy Smith Jr. and Timothy Thatcher? Who do you predict will come out to shut up the Spirit Squad? How high is your excitement for Lifestyles of the Rich and Dynastic?

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