This is a fun match. It happened in Shenyang the night before the show I went to. Too bad I didn’t see it live, but it would’ve required me to stay up past midnight, and I’m too old for that. We have four distinct styles represented: Xue Weigang is the big power guy, Liu Xing is the technical high-flyer, VooDoo is the sneaky rule-breaker, and Gao Yuan is the hard-hitting, big move-loving champion. And they all get their own moments to shine.
Xue is likely the least experienced of the four, and he burns bright and fast. He gets minute or so alone with Liu early to show a couple of his moves. His pinnacle is a huge chokeslam that gets him a nearfall. After that, he’s able to clothesline both Gao and VooDoo, but then he gets ganged up on by all three opponents. A jumping codebreaker from VooDoo, a backdrop from Gao, and a frog splash end his night. Afterwards, he’s rolled out of the ring like a dead man.
VooDoo starts the match daring the others to come at him before bailing into the ringside crowd (there’s little space between the ring and the fans). He doesn’t come back in until Xue has chokeslammed Liu. He tries to attack him from behind, but his barrage of forearms proves ineffective, and Gao has to save him from a chokeslam. After Xue is gone, Gao and VooDoo team up on Liu and take turns chopping him (VooDoo has Gao lick his hand first). VooDoo chokes Liu and gets into an argument with the ref, and Gao school boys him for two. This angers VooDoo, because he thought they had a deal. Gao gives him a hug, but Liu has recovered enough to counter them and lay them out with a bulldog and clothesline. VooDoo’s biggest move of the match is a series of dodged kicks that ends with him connecting with an enzuigiri. This only leads to him missing a corner charge, though, and Liu then pins him with a shiranui.
Gao and Liu were the big two of the CWF, and they’re still at the center of WLW. They’ve probably worked together more often than any other pair, so their chemistry is likely unmatched. Gao counters a shiranui into a tombstone, but Liu kicks out. Liu escapes a last ride and comes back with a blue thunder driver, but he misses a top rope move and takes a pump kick and a backdrop. Gao then gets him with sit-out last ride to retain the title.
Winner – Gao Yuan
Rating – Good
A few other notes…
- I mentioned that VooDoo is the only real heel in the match. Gao Yuan is technically a heel, but he sure spends a lot of time trying to get the crowd to clap along and react (and not just in this match, either). I think he should to pick a side – either embrace the cheers and pander towards giving the fans what they want, or act like a jerk and try to get the boos. But that’s the style I like, I guess. I’ve never been a fan of the cool heels like the nWo or the Bullet Club.
- Those ropes are really loose. I’m surprised Liu Xing could balance on the top enough to hit do anything. Definitely no springboarding happening in this ring.
- One of the top turnbuckles came off at one point, but they worked around it until some guys got it back on.
- The video quality is really good. I think it’s a step up from the CWF’s usual fare. I think the light color of the ring helps with visibility, too.