MLW Intimidation Games
March 31, 2022
Major League Wrestling (MLW)’s contribution to WrestleMania Weekend 2022 are two TV tapings live from Gilley’s.
Although the majority of their focus has been on their Azteca Underground event, their first show, taking place on March 31, is Intimidation Games.
They may not have the star power or MOTY contenders rival promotions do but MLW’s product is one that I enjoy. The weekly TV is typically a breezy hour’s viewing and their booking follows the classic A-to-B approach that I can get behind.
Repeatedly delayed by the pandemic, this is MLW’s third show under the Intimidation Games banner. The first saw Shane Strickland defend the MLW World Heavyweight title against Pentagon. Jr in the main event, while the second was headlined by Tom Lawlor and Low Ki battling for the same belt in a Steel Cage.
This time, the intrigue centers on the promotion’s current top feud between World Champion Alexander Hammerstone and former Dynasty stablemate Richard Holliday. Holliday, who now forms the Clout Couple with former MLW interviewer Alicia Atout, attacked Hammerstone after the latter’s successful title defense against Pagano and the two have been on a collision course ever since.
At Intimidation Games, Hammerstone defends his title in a three-way against two men he has plenty of history with – Mads Krugger and Jacob Fatu. While their matches weren’t great, Hammerstone went through Krugger in a long feud before going on to end Fatu’s record-setting run as champion last October.
Since that title loss, Fatu has been referencing his Samoan heritage more and moving towards a fully-fledged babyface turn. That’s put him on a collision course with Krugger, who is seeking to reform Contra Unit, of which they were both formerly part, in his own image.
Holliday, meanwhile, faces Davey Richards. I’ve never really seen much in Holliday myself but his recent work has been solid and this is a chance for him to have a genuinely good match before challenging for the title. I say genuinely good because he’s in there with Richards, who has been as good as advertised since coming out of retirement and linking up with MLW.
There are a few other bits on the card that should provide intrigue if nothing else. LA Park is a treasure and his cooking segments are the highlight of every MLW show. He’s in tag team action alongside LA Park Jr, against the oddball pairing of Gangrel and Pagano.
Myron Reed recently became a three-time Middleweight champion and he defends at Intimidation Games against a mystery opponent. With him also booked to vie for the Openweight title the next night, could a title change be in the offing? Arez, Aramis and TJP are announced but not booked yet – any would make for a great opponent and match.
It’s also worth keeping an eye on EJ Nduka.
The former American Football player and NXT trainee is still very green but he’s clearly a big development project for MLW. He’s now one half of the tag champions alongside Calvin Tankman and they’re in action here for the first time since winning the belts from 5150.
WrestleMania Weekend shows can be manic, with many trying to do too much in not enough time. If you’re looking for something a bit gentler but with enough variety to sate your appetite, MLW’s offering is likely to be for you.