MKW: Big Sam vs. Triple T (March 17, 2018)

Our Story So Far…
Big Sam is the MKW Champion and essentially the leader of The Stable. Chairman Al is his manager. He won the title from Hong Wan in Shenzhen, then successfully defended it against him at a mostly MMA show. This will be his first defense against someone other than the former champion.
– Tommy Tuamasi Tamati (Triple T) is a 16-year veteran from New Zealand. He once trained at the Heartland Wrestling Association, a former WWE developmental territory.
Now on to the match!

I like the layout of this match. They’re both big guys, so Sam can’t throw Triple T around like he’s used to. He’s still cocky at the start when T is unable to move him, but as soon as T takes him over for the first time, Sam retreats to the floor. A distraction from Chairman Al allows Sam to get control, but T actually counters a slam and hits Sam with several moves before Sam retreats once again. T looks like a threat already, but he makes the mistake of going after Sam on the floor.

The ringside area seems to be Sam’s wheelhouse, at least in this match. He bails whenever he’s in peril, and he ends up taking the advantage soon afterwards. Triple T tries to hit him with one of his trademark left hands, but he punches the ring post instead, and Sam works over that hand a bit. When they get back into the ring, T fights out of a sleeper and goes back on offense, crushing Sam with a top rope somersault senton. Another distraction from Al allows Sam to kick T low and powerbomb him, but T kicks out.

It boils down to Sam retreating to the floor again and T going after him. This time, Ash Silva appears to argue with the ref, and Uncle Money spears T on the floor. Sam takes T back into the ring and tombstones him to retain the title.

The story of the match worked well for my tastes. It had ups and downs, and they didn’t seem like they were trying to go long to make it more “epic” or whatever. Sam is firmly entrenched as a heel with a gang of pals who will always be around to help him keep his title.

I liked the big man vs. big man aspect, but there were a couple points where Sam had trouble getting Triple T up for things, particularly the side slam and the drop onto the guardrail.

The one thing I would change about the match is Triple T’s selling of his hand after punching the ring post. I would have liked that to have played more into the story, but after Sam slams it on the apron a couple times, it’s kind of forgotten. T hits his big left punch once or twice afterwards with no sign that the hand is suffering. I’d have liked to see him hit the punch but be unable to capitalize due to the pain. In fairness, though, I see a lot of matches that do the hand-into-post spot and seem to forget about it later.

Overall, this was a pretty decent main event, at least by MKW-in-a-bar standards.

Now, one last complaint I have is actually about the entire “Wrestle Rescue: Year of the Dog” show. I hate the lighting. It’s dark, and every match seems to be tinted in red through the hard cam. Meanwhile, when the dynamic camera follows wrestlers fighting on the floor, they’re nearly impossible to see. The camera work is particularly hindering to the interference of the main event, because I couldn’t even tell that Uncle Money was there, nor could I see the spear he hit Triple T with. If MKW runs at this bar again, I hope they can fix the lighting for the sake of their videos.

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