MLW Opera Cup opening round: Night 1 (Nov. 25, 2020)Rocky Romero from New Japan Pro-Wrestling will kick off the tournament against “Filthy” Tom Lawlor in opening action. Romero is a former IWGP Junior Heavyweight and eight-time Junior Tag Team champion. Lawlor is a former MLW World Heavyweight champion. Self-proclaimed IWA Caribbean Heavyweight Champion Richard Holliday will also be in action. He will face TJ Perkins (TJP) in first-round action. This marks the second consecutive year that both have fought for the Opera Cup.
MLW Opera Cup opening round: Night 2 (Dec. 2, 2020)Reigning defending Opera Cup winner Davey Boy Smith Jr. is seeking to retain as champion. However, he will have to face off in a rematch against Low Ki. The 2019 tournament would have both in the finals, in which Smith became the victor. AAA Lucha Libre’s Laredo Kid is seeking to bring the cup back home to Mexico. First, the current AAA Cruiserweight Champion will have to advance past ACH. ACH is known for extraordinary athleticism and power in all wrestling promotions he has been a part of.
History of the Opera CupThe Opera Cup has been an annual event for nearly a half-century. The event, often a grueling multi-day tournament, has graced many turn-of-century opera houses from New York to Boston. The best in professional wrestling would compete in this tournament and is often an introduction to further success. Moreover, this has included major championships in other wrestling promotions. Unfortunately, the Opera Cup as it was during that era would halt tournament action in 1948. However, MLW would revive the tournament exclusively in 2019 after a 71-year hiatus. Many names are forever immortalized on the sides of the Opera Cup. Some of which include George Hackenschmidt, Stu Hart, Leo Pardello, William Muldoon, and Waldek Zbyszko. The 2019 revival of “The Classic” would return to reignite the spirit of those greats. It would also ignite the same for those who will one day be among the immortals of pro wrestling. In summer 2019, MLW would entrust the same craftsmen who work on maintenance of the NHL’s Stanley Cup to complete the Opera Cup’s restoration process for its tournament return.
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Jake Leonard, a broadcast media and journalism veteran, is the editor-in-chief of Heartland Newsfeed. Leonard is also GM and program director of Heartland Newsfeed Radio Network, wrestling editor and contributing writer for Ambush Sports, a contributing writer for My Sports Vote and Midwest Sports Network, and a former contributor to Bleacher Report and Overtime Heroics. He resides at home in Nokomis, Ill. with his dog Buster.