MKW: Big Sam vs. Gabriel Martini (April 29, 2018)

Our Story So Far…
– Big Sam is the MKW Champion and the defacto leader of The Stable. His manager is Chairman Al. This match is Sam’s third title defense.
– Gabriel Martini from Italy doesn’t win a whole lot, but he won a battle royal at the last show to ear this shot (leaving me questioning the legitimacy of battle royals for determining worthy contenders).
– Before the match, Martini says that since Sam has Chairman Al in his corner, he’s bringing out his own backup in the form of local celebrity Luan Yanwu (or something like that). He’s an actor, martial artist, film producer, etc. He’s so famous that commentary doesn’t seem to know any of his films.

I liked this better than any other Gabriel Martini match I’ve seen. He seems to be trying hard, and he looks sober. I still think that his execution looks awkward most of the time, though. A lot of the moves he does require some finesse to make them look good, and he doesn’t seem to have it. I feel like he would be better suited as a brawler than a guy trying to do tilt-a-whirl headscissors.

Sam does a lot of roughneck stuff here, choking Martini and dropping him on the guardrail and apron. He’s pretty brutal in the early goings, but Martini seems like a guy who can take it. He also throws in tributes to Earthquake and Dr. Death, so that made me happy. 

Luan doesn’t do much during the match. He doesn’t get involved when Chairman Al punches Martini on the floor; he just stands there and lets Sam use him to distract the referee. He does face off with Sam for a moment on the floor before Martini jumps on the big man.

Martini kicks out of Sam’s powerbomb and manages to hit one of his own out of the corner, but Chairman Al grabs his leg when he climbs up the ropes (Luan does nothing about this, even though that was the whole reason Martini brought him out). This allows Sam to catch him and use the tombstone for the win. Logical heel finish, but I would have liked Martini to have a bit more offense before getting caught at the end.

Afterwards, Sam moons the crowd and mocks Martini, so Martini dropkicks him out of the ring. Al is left facing off with Luan. He makes fun of him, so Luan gives him a kick to the leg and a roundhouse to the head. Then he and Martini celebrate to send the fans home happy.

So “Pro Wrestling Is Alive” was a pretty good little show, all things considered. Not my favorite Chinese wrestling show, but perhaps my favorite complete MKW show since their inception.

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