Updated: Dec 28, 2020
My first experience with MLW came in March of 2019, when my wrestling buddies Joe and Zach had an extra ticket to MLW Intimidation Games, and they invited me to come join them to watch the show. I have heard of MLW, but never followed it or watched it. So, I took it as a night with the boys, and what better atmosphere to be in than wrestling.
I'll spare you the small details, but this was the best wrestling event I have ever been too. Joe and Zach had front row seats. We were able to get in early, and part of the ticket got you a surprise meet and greet. Out comes MLW Heavyweight Champion, Tom Lawlor. It's before the show even starts, and I get to hold the MLW Heavyweight Championship belt. That was definitely the highlight of my night, or so I thought.
The show started, and MLW presented an event that I missed from when I started watching wrestling in the 80s. Action was fast paced, got a nice mix of competitors, and within an hour of the show, I got more than my money's worth, and definitely more than I would have had with a whole week of WWE Raw or Smackdown.
There was great Lucha wrestling, and I got my first look at The Lucha Brothers. The great thing about Chicago is that there is an appreciation for Lucha wrestling, and the fans showed their appreciation for it. Along with chants, there were also drums. It was almost like a Chicago Fire soccer game, and the fans were into it. At the end of every Lucha match, fans would throw money into the ring to show their appreciation. What a fantastic atmosphere. Another great aspect of the Lucha wrestling, was a woman manager who seemed to come out every match, Salina de la Renta. Salina was the perfect heel manager. Along with distracting the referee, she also talked shit to the fans. Made fun of you, told us how ugly we were, and made fun of our mothers. Made me miss the days of how a manger should be.
Speaking of heels, out came a guy I never heard of, but the crowd booed him out of the stadium as he was introduced. A guy known as MJF. My buddy Joe let his feelings known as MJF walked by, and MJF flipped Joe's hat off his head. I had to laugh. Not at Joe, but the enjoyable wrestling experience where I saw another instance of a great heel personality.
Along with the great wrestling, I had two other highlights to cap off the night, which made the whole night memorable. Mance Warner came around, handed beers to Zach, Joe and myself, and we clinked beer cans together in the front row. Then at the end of the night, we met Salina de la Renta, who was real nice, but still had that sass.
I still think about how much fun I had that night, and when I found out Intimidation Games was coming back to Chicago for 2020, I was stoked.
I was ready to go again. Then the pandemic hit. Then MLW shut down production for the summer. Then the announcement came for the return of MLW, simply known as #TheRestart.
I am all about this, and plan on watching every week, to show my support. For those who aren't watching, allow me to bring you weekly updates, as I will give my review every week, and let you know what's going on in MLW. Everyone needs that alternative from WWE and AEW, and for me, I had such a good time with MLW, I want you all to come along for the ride. So stay tuned.
Follow Pete on Twitter @peteopolis