This is Ash’s first match since turning heel and joining The Stable. He did turn against Jason Wang way back in late 2016, but that didn’t go anywhere as far as the MKW YouTube videos are concerned. What matters is this promo where Ash states that he’s “seen the light” and is tired of the way MKW promoter Adrian Gomez runs things, so he’s joined up with Big Sam and company.
Italy’s Gabriel Martini has been wrestling here and there in China for a couple of years, but this is my first time seeing him in a full match…at least, under this “Party Boy” gimmick. MKW did post a wacky match in a bar between him and VooDoo, but it was just highlights.
I don’t want to go over every move and spot in this match because I’d be stuck typing for a long time about how most everything Martini does is awkward. He seems to stumble on a lot of moves, and at one point, he drops Ash dangerously with a powerbomb. He’s also out of position for a couple things, like the weird flying elbow that Ash does. And even from a character standpoint, he looks like a foolish babyface multiple times, just standing there and allowing his opponent or Uncle Money (who’s in Ash’s corner) to hit him when he’s looking right at them and should really know better.
Now, a caveat: I saw on Cagematch.net that Martini was, in fact, the man who wrestled under the Mad Tiger mask in the opening match of this Shenzhen show. If you remember, he took a bad shot in that match and was nearly unresponsive for a large chunk of what followed. He finished that match (and actually didn’t look too bad) and still came out for this one, so it’s quite possible that his injury played a part in his performance here. I’m personally willing to give him another chance, especially because I thought he looked all right as Mad Tiger when he wasn’t hurt. But I can’t recommend watching him in this match.
Ash does all right for himself, particularly as it pertains to his new persona. I liked him trying to bribe Martini, and I liked him working the leg (though I didn’t like how Martini sold an elbow drop to the leg that clearly missed). I liked how he tied Martini’s shoelaces to the rope so he could attack the leg. I wish he would’ve kept up the leg work; he sort of drops it for a bit before going for a half crab. I know most of his signature moves aren’t leg attacks, but if you’re going to start on the leg, I think you should keep it as the focus.
I also thought Uncle Money was a very good cornerman. He made sure to vocally hype The Stable numerous times, and he interfered at least twice, including throwing the punch that led to the finish. I wish that whole sequence could’ve looked a little more natural, but awkwardness seemed to be the unintended theme here.
The good news is that Ash won with the Superfly splash, and he and Uncle Money both came off looking strong within the storyline.