Opera House Cup Tournament Reboots After 71 years

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Photo: MLW

In the early days of pro wrestling, the Opera House Cup was a prestigious trophy won after a grueling multi-day wrestling tournament in the US that determined new challengers to the World Heavyweight Championship. In 1948, it was won by a young up-and-comer from Canada, Stu Hart, in what proved to be the tournament’s final running, after it’s launch nearly 50 years earlier. For over 50 years, the trophy remained on display in the famed Hart Mansion in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, a reminder to a bygone era of some of the early days of wrestling’s lost heroes and champions. While Stu Hart went on to form Klondike Wrestling that same year (which would eventually become the legendary Stampede Wrestling), the Opera House Cup tournament – named after the fact it was predominantly competed for in some of the top opera venues of the time – faded into obscurity.

A young Stu Hart

Major League Wrestling (MLW) has announced they are reviving the tournament, which last saw operation in 1948, after MLW star Teddy Hart – who acquired the trophy following his grandfather’s death in 2003 – had donated the trophy to MLW to re-ignite the former tournament to its glory days. In a press release issued on Tuesday, MLW stated the following:

Held annually for nearly 50 years at various turn-of-the-century opera house locations from New York City to Boston, the Professional Wrestling Opera House Cup was a grueling multi-day tournament.

The best of the day competed in the tournament and would often be an entree to more success, including the World Heavyweight Championship of the day. For years the cup has sat in the attic of the Hart Mansion in Calgary until the tragic passing of the last cup recipient, Stu Hart (1948 winner). 

Teddy Hart inherited the Opera House Trophy Cup upon the passing of his grandfather. Inspired by the legends whose names are immortalized in plaques on the sides of the cup, Hart has donated the cup to Major League Wrestling to reignite the spirit of the greats who preceded today and tomorrow’s greats. 

After a 71 year hiatus, the Opera Cup returns December 5th as MLW hosts the 2019 Opera Cup tournament at Melrose Ballroom in New York City.  The event will be a FUSION TV taping for beIN SPORTS.

Tickets go on sale Monday August 5 at OperaCup.com.

Entries will be revealed later this fall on MLW FUSION and MLW.com.

The Professional Wrestling Opera Cup is dedicated to the great men who have fought valiantly before us to ensure our passion, professional wrestling be cemented and respected in the annals of time.

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.

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