By Colin McGuire, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@McGMondays)
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MLW Kings of Colosseum (television taping)
May 13, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at 2300 Arena
As of bell time, there were probably more empty seats than anyone wanted there to be. But the ones that show up do show out. For the second batch of tapings in a row, nZo was among the wrestlers working their merch tables and while we all have opinions on the guy, he continues to draw people in and he seems to relate to a lot of the people who want to relate to him. It’s such an interesting dynamic to observe. Anyway, on to the matches.
1. Gangrel defeated Budd Heavy via pinfall. A squash that you knew would be a squash, but man, old Budd is one of the most popular wrestlers in this company. After the match, Gangrel’s stable beat up Budd some more and they dragged the poor guy to the back.
2. Alex Kane fought Davey Richards to a 20-minute time limit draw in an MLW National Openweight Championship match. Kane cut a promo before the match until Richards came out to answer the open challenge. This was a lot of fun and a great use of the time limit challenge stipulation. We just don’t see it that much these days. Richards had Kane in the ankle lock for the last two minutes but time ran out. After the match, Kane attacked Richards, but Myron Reed came out for the save … until Reed attacked Richards and united with Kane. It looks like Reed will be part of the stable moving forward.
5150 came out and Danny Rivera cut one hell of a promo but I’m not allowed to repeat a single word of it or this website will be flagged for unsavory things.
3. Lince Dorado, Taya Valkyrie and Microman defeated Arez, Holidead and Mini Abismo Negro via pinfall. The most crowd-pleasing match of the night. Microman got the pin. Afterwards, the heels attacked him. The Blue Meanie came out during the match to help the babyfaces. As Microman was being attacked, “Enter Sandman” hit and Sandman made the save. Sandman had a tiny beer for Microman and the two shared a drink. The crowd loved every microsecond of it.
4. Los Maximos defeated a couple dudes via pinfall. And that’s about all there is to say about that. Afterwards, Los Maximos cut a promo while we were told “something happened to Calvin Tankman in the back.”
5. Myron Reed defeated KC Navarro and Arez via pinfall to retain the MLW Middleweight Championship. This was an odd one. It felt like time was cut and the finish kind of came out of nowhere. It was the spot fest you’d expect from these three, but it could have used another five minutes or so. If it would have got it, it would have been very good. Instead, it just left me feeling empty. After the match, Reed cut a quick promo addressing Richards.
6. Alexander Hammerstone defeated Richard Holliday via pinfall to retain the MLW Heavyweight Championship. Lots and lots and lots and lots of shenanigans. Cesar Duran came out. There was a ref bump. Holliday used a chair and some other foreign object. You know, they probably could have just had a really good wrestling match, too, guys. Anyway, the more lasting takeaway here was that they put this in the middle of the night. I’ve been to these MLW marathons before and the crowd checks out by the end of the night, which is always a shame for those involved. So kudos to MLW for making some necessary fan-friendly changes to these tapings.
Cesar Duran came out and cut a promo, saying he’s bringing in some tough guys. Jacob Fatu interrupted Duran and brought out the Samoan Swat Team.
7. The Samoan Swat Team defeated Los Aztecas via pinfall. The expected squash. Not much more to say. Afterward, nZo attacked Fatu, who was at ringside.
8. Taya Valkyrie defeated Holidead via submission to become the inaugural MLW Women’s Featherweight Champion. Good for Valkyrie. She was pretty vocal about how unhappy she was with the way things went down with WWE and now she’s got not one but two titles. The match had its rough edges and though Valkyrie was good throughout the night, she looked a bit tired by the end of this one and it maybe kind of/sort of affected how the finish went down, but that’s pure speculation. Also worth noting: Sure, the outcome seemed elementary, but I did wonder if maybe Holidead would get her time to shine after all the work she’s put in. This wasn’t it.
9. “Hustle and Power” Calvin Tankman & EJ Nduka defeated “5150” Rivera & Hernandez and Ross Von Erich & Marshall Von Erich in a three-way via pinfall to retain the MLW Tag Team Championships. After the match, Los Maximos attacked the champs, so that’s probably next for them. This was pretty good – one of the better matches of the night. Non-stop action and some creative spots. The Von Erichs didn’t get much shine in any respect, so that was kind of sad, but for a tornado match, this checked the boxes.
10. nZo defeated Lince Dorado via pinfall. Dorado looked great here while nZo won with the help, I think, of a low blow, but I couldn’t quite see. That guy sure does know how to get heat. He came out to cheers but quickly figured out how to get the crowd to hate him, even if he did go to the cliche sports jokes. In all, this match overdelivered thanks mostly to Dorado.
11. Brittany Blake defeated Zoey Skye via submission. This has a lot of fire, mostly thanks to Skye. Naturally, it only went about two-and-a-half minutes, but they worked hard and the crowd was way more into it than I thought they would be, three hours into the night.
12. Matt Cross defeated ACH via pinfall. Both guys looked great and you could make an argument that this was match of the night, even if it was short. Cross winning was a mild surprise for this attendee, but maybe that means MLW has bigger plans for him. ACH looks better than he’s ever looked, as far as I’m concerned. Dude seems like he’s inspired.
13. Jacob Fatu defeated Mads Krugger via pinfall in a Weapons of Mass Destruction match. After the match, the two briefly brawled and Fatu took off Krugger’s mask. The most memorable moment came when Mads lifted Fatu for what seemed like a powerbomb, but he couldn’t get him all the way up and the two tumbled to the floor outside the ring. I didn’t quite see the fall, but it looked like Fatu was legitimately hurt, even though he toughed it out. The finish was botched when Krugger went to lay on a table, but it broke instead and he just took a splash for a pin.
In all, a good night of wrestling. Kudos to MLW for deciding to put the title match on early. And kudos to the crowd for being up for pretty much everything until the bitter end. I’m interested how these matches turn out after they hit the editing truck.