CWF: Gao Yuan vs. Shooting Star (December 17, 2016) – Title Match

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Shooting Star actually jumps Gao Yuan from behind before the bell. Gao gets a few shots in, but for the most part, Star is all over him for the first few minutes, beating him around in and out of the ring. Gao finally asserts himself with an Ace crusher. He works a long heat segment, but he doesn’t work any specific body parts. He uses a camel clutch, a half crab, and some choking on the ropes, as well as several kicks, a suplex, a running frog splash, etc. He does well making evil faces, too. He even plays directly to the camera. Such a novel concept.

Star gets cut off at least four or five times before he finally makes a real comeback. I actually thought the shining wizard that leaves both men down was the comeback, but it’s really just the bookmark for when Gao’s period on top becomes more of a struggle for him to maintain. Star becomes harder to cut off, and pretty soon they’re trading moves and strikes. Star comes close with a German suplex hold. Gao hits a German suplex out of an O’Connor roll, like a delayed version of Doug Williams’ Chaos Theory.

Shenanigans begin when Star executes an over-the-shoulder side slam and Gao’s heavy, Wang Qiushi, runs out, sliding the belt into the ring a distracting the ref (Gao still kicks out of the move on his own, though). Star kicks out after a belt shot, so Wang throws a bunch of chairs in the ring and accosts the referee. Gao hits and chokes Star with a chair, so the ref calls for a DQ.

But not so fast! The boss, Brad Guo, comes out and says that this isn’t cool, so he makes it a “Wu Gui Ze” (“No Rules”) match. Gao and Wang are upset. Wang leaves as Star goes after Gao again. He beats him with the chair (these are plastic folding chairs win metal frames, mind you), but Gao blocks him and hits a Meteora for two. Gao gets mad at the ref, so he knees him and throws him out of the ring. Star blocks a powerbomb and backdrops Gao on chairs. Gao still manages to block the Shiranui, putting Star in the tree of Joey Lawrence and kicking a chair into his face. But there’s no ref, so Gao has to go get him. This allows Star to dodge the running knees, hit Gao with a chair, and hit the Shiranui to get the pin, becoming the second CWF Fighting Spirit Champion.

Winner – Shooting Star

Rating – OK

I think it’s a solid match that could’ve been more fun with a large crowd that actually cared about the characters. They improved on their previous matches, IMO, because Star didn’t kick out of quite as many finishing moves as usual. I do think that Star needed to have a bit more offense, especially near the end. His role in his matches with Gao is to just get beaten up and kick out a bunch; he never really gets to shine for very long. I don’t like it when a guy kicks out of a bunch of moves, hits one or two of his own, and gets the win, either. I don’t see the Shiranui (Sliced Bread #2) as a devastating move that can beat knock a guy out like it was here. At least Star didn’t win on a fluke roll-up, though.

Elephant in the room: From a logic standpoint, it’s maddening how the match is made into a No DQ affair, and Wang Qiushi’s response is to just leave. If there’s no disqualifications, shouldn’t he just stay in there and double team Star with Gao? Did I miss Brad say something about him being barred from ringside? I suppose that’s possible, since my Chinese isn’t great and there were no subtitles. But I think it would’ve been a really cool thing to see Gao and Wang go for some double team move, only for Star to counter, get really fired up, waylay both guys with a chair, and expel Wang from the ring for good. That’s a sorely missed opportunity right there.

Oh, by the way, Xue Weigang comes out afterwards and faces off with Star, but then they hug and Xue holds up Star’s arm.

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