MKW: Big Sam vs. Hong Wan (January 5, 2018)

This match is the main event of a Mars Martial Championship AllStars show in Shenzhen. Big Sam is defending the MKW Championship against the man he won it from the month before, “Selfie King” Hong Wan. Sam’s colleagues in The Stable are banned from the building because of their interference last time.

This is a back-and-forth match, as their last one was, but Sam definitely gets the edge in the amount of time spent on top. There aren’t any callbacks to their first match that I could see, probably because very few of those in attendance have seen it. They work as if it’s their first meeting. Case in point: Hong Wan accepts Sam’s handshake at the start and gets a beating for it. Hong Wan fights back but gets cut off. Sam throws him around with some power moves. When hong Wan fights back, he tends to throw his body at Sam. Later in the match, he shows his strength with a Samoan drop, but mostly he goes for splashes, cannonballs, and his standing moonsault (which Sam kicks out of again). Sam does a lot of slams and some choking, but he can’t hit his powerbomb. Hong Wan seems to have things in hand at the end as he climbs to the second rope, but Sam pushes the referee into him. Then he hits him with a tombstone piledriver to get the pin and retain the title.

This match was all right; I don’t have many complaints about the work in the ring, except that Sam’s Michinoku driver and vertical suplex looked a little off. Also, the ref bump was very blatant and seemed to justify a DQ, but the referee didn’t even seem to mind. Stuff like that always bugs me. Even if the match was under no DQ rules (which I didn’t hear if it was), I’d expect the official to at least be upset that he was used.

My biggest gripe is that I just don’t like the ring. Every other match on this show was an MMA fight, so the ring is like a octagonal boxing ring with a short cage on the bottom to keep the fighters from rolling out. The ropes are super thick, and the turnbuckles are covered by one large pad. When Hong Want wanted to do a flying move, it was too much trouble to squeeze through the ropes to climb to the top from the apron, so he just backed up to the second rope from inside the ring. It looked silly and left him open to an attack. Also, the ring was huge, and they didn’t even bother trying to run the ropes. I much prefer my wrestling matches to be in a wrestling ring.

I was not a fan of the music playing during the match, either. I just don’t like it when they do that. I’d rather hear the crowd or the silence. Music makes it seem like they’re trying to hide something.

However, I do not begrudge them for doing this match in this setting. This looked like a big, professionally-produced show, and MKW needs to get their name out there to gain publicity. I think this probably helped.

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