I think I first discovered Oriental Wrestling Entertainment through one of my WeChat wrestling groups, but I didn’t really find out anything about it until I read Nuclear Convoy’s extensive article about Chinese wrestling at his WordPress blog. (Someone needs to pick that article up and get it on a major wrestling website yesterday, by the way.) If you really want to get in-depth info about OWE, check that out.
I have access to video of OWE’s first show, so of course I want to review the matches. But I feel like I must make note of something before I do. OWE is not a typical wrestling promotion, either in China or elsewhere. They have big-time production values. Their local wrestlers all come from kung fu backgrounds. They’re backed by Dragon Gate in Japan, so much so that they recently announced that a group of DG wrestlers (including founder CIMA) are moving to Shanghai full-time to work with the promotion. They also partner with Future Stars of Wrestling out of Las Vegas to share talent.
Most peculiarly, their shows (or at least the first one) featured several non-wrestling segments, including elaborate dance numbers and costume exhibitions by the wrestlers, as well as performances by Japanese and Chinese “idol” pop groups,
Now, this is a wrestling match review blog, and I’m not into J-pop, Mandopop, Cantopop, or any of that pop. Heck, as a Christian, I believe I’ve got to stay away from idols (1 John 5:21, among other verses)! So when I review these OWE matches, I’m not going to spend time on any of that stuff. I’m just going to focus on the matches and the wrestlers. That’s my wheelhouse, and while I respect those who like the other stuff – and I’m definitely impressed by the talent of those who perform it – I’m not the guy to rate, rank, or otherwise judge its quality. Even if I liked it, I wouldn’t have the words to properly review it.
If any of that stuff bleeds into the wrestling stories, then I’ll touch on it, but until that time, you’ll just have to judge it for yourself (if you can).