SPOILERS: New Champions and Opera Cup Winner Crowned at MLW TV Tapings

MLW logo from Opera Cup

MLW returned to its recent home of late, Philadelphia’s 2300 Arena, for another jam-packed set of TV tapings. Over the course of the four-hour long event, MLW taped matches for Fusion and Alpha including the five-on-five War Chamber (which featured a special debut), the ladder match to crown a winner of the vacant National Openweight Championship, matches for the new featherweight division, the semifinals and finals of the MLW Opera Cup, a tag team championship street fight, and more. Below are spoilers from the event. Continue reading at your own risk.

#AndNEW – Alex Kane Wins the National Openweight Championship, ACH Returns in Ladder Match

When Alexander Hammerstone won the MLW Championship from Jacob Fatu, he made the decision to vacate his other belt, the National Openweight Championship, of which he was the first -and up until Saturday – only ever winner. This left a field of competitors hungry to claim the title so MLW matchmaker Cesar Duran announced a ladder match to crown the second-ever champion. The field for the ladder match was announced in advance save for one competitor. Alex Shelley, Myron Reed, Alex Kane, and Zenshi were all booked for the show. The mystery competitor was revealed to be ACH, who was returning to MLW for the first time since March 2021, when he defeated Kevin Ku on an episode of Fusion. Since then, ACH has only wrestled sporadically, mainly for smaller indies in his home state of Texas such as MPX and HMW. In April, he began working for AAW as well.

ACH’s return was surprising and many in attendance believed he was there to win. However, the outcome wouldn’t exactly go that way. In the match’s closing moments, Shelley, ACH, Zenshi, and Reed were all fighting atop two ladders for the chance to grab the title. ACH and Shelley fell off before Zenshi did a huge spot, taking both he and Reed down as well. Shelley was the first to get to his feet and with the coast clear, began to climb, only for Kane to return to the ring, choke him out, and then ascend the ladder all by himself.

It was definitely not the outcome fans were expecting in the night’s hot opener. The 28-year-old Kane has only been wrestling since 2018 and he only joined MLW earlier this year. In fact, the championship ladder match was just his fifth bout with the company. His debut came in the 41-Man Battle Riot and since then, Kane is 3-1 with his only loss coming to rival Calvin Tankman in the Opera Cup. Kane would have his revenge, however, ultimately costing Tankman a chance to go to the cup finals, later that night. With a built-in rival in Tankman, it seems Kane may have his first National Openweight Championship challenger, however, aside from the Opera Cup bit, no additional matches/angles were taped for those two on Saturday night.

#AndNEW – 5150 Continue Rise with Tag Team Championship Victory Over Los Parks

When Konnan debuted his new LAX at a previous taping, the South Philly crowd was on board even before the new members were introduced. It was clear that this group was going to become a fan favorite sooner rather than later. Sure enough, it didn’t take long for the newly named 5150 to become a tag team MLW fans wanted to see. The charismatic sometimes insane antics of Julius Smokes would add to the atmosphere every time the trio of Homicide, Rivera, and Slice Boogie hit the ring. MLW had found something special and they knew it. So it wasn’t surprising when 5150 got tangled up with Los Parks, who had been the reigning tag team champions for just under 300 days. El Hijo de LA Park and LA Park challenged 5150 to a Philly Street Fight, which transpired on Saturday night. The challengers came out first, instantly popping the crowd when in classic ECW fashion, they brought out a shopping cart of weapons. The match itself was a nice, fast-paced affair that gave each of the four wrestlers (and 5150’s managers) a chance to shine. And there was no shortage of weapons either as boards, kendo sticks, and more from Smokes’ shopping cart of tricks made its way into the fray.

In the end, the match was decided when Rivera, pinned to a board, moved out of the way before El Hijo de LA Park could put him through it. Instead, Boogie put El Hijo through the board before picking up LA Park and holding him on his shoulders. This allowed Rivera to climb to the top rope and complete the tag team finisher. Together, Rivera and Boogie pinned LA Park to claim their first tag titles in MLW. This also marks the first set of tag titles ever won by either man and Boogie’s first title period in his now three-year-plus career.

#AndNEW – Davey Richards Wins MLW Opera Cup, Dedicates Win to Philadelphia

From the moment it was announced that Davey Richards was returning to wrestling and taking part in the MLW Opera Cup, it seemed pretty certain the direction the promotion was planning to go. And sure enough, at least when it came to the winner, what most expected was the result we saw play out on Saturday. But before that, we saw the second of two semifinals take place as Calvin Tankman took on TJP for a spot in the finals. Many in attendance expected and were pulling for Tankman, who was an easy crowd favorite. Tankman looked like he was about to win but that’s when interference came to play. Kane arrived on the scene and was able to make an impact on the eventual finish. In the end, it was TJP, who was happy to proclaim in a post-match promo how he did it “all by (him) myself,” advancing to the finals later in the night.

Richards had already earned his spot in the finals with a win over Bobby Fish at a prior TV taping, and now he knew his opponent. Similar in styles, the match between the two was a technical affair with both veterans looking to gain an upper hand. At times, it looked like either man could win as there were nearfalls on both sides. With fans firmly against the cheating TJP and firmly on the side of the returning hero, Richards, it made for a nice atmosphere. In the end, it was Richards, submission locked in the middle of the ring, who got TJP to tap out.

After the match and the MLW Opera Cup presentation, Richards remained in the ring to thank the fans, specifically the Philadelphia crowd. “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 were there when I won the Opera Cup! It was told to me in the back that I should dedicate this to someone very special to me…so this one is for you Philadelphia because you were there through thick and thin.”

Stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world, as well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world. MLW Fusion and Fusion: Alpha air every week on YouTube. You can also watch MLW on Saturday nights at 10PM on beINSports.