MKW: Belt and Road Tournament Round 2 (August 11, 2018)

Black Mamba 🇨🇳 vs. Baliyan Akki 🇮🇳 vs. Martin Pain 🇦🇹
Mamba defeated Hong Wan. Akki defeated Sandata. Pain defeated Vladimir Kulakov.

I like this match. Lots of good spots. Akki and pain team up on Mamba at first, and then Akki turns on Pain in the middle of an elaborate handshake. Mamba gets to pick his spots while the other two work with each other a lot. Akki does a big tope con giro. There’s some good stuff down the stretch, like when they’re trading off running into each other in the corner. There’s one major flub when Pain fails to catch Akki coming off the top, but he recovers well and lifts him into a military press. Mamba then kicks his leg out from under him so Akki falls on him. Mamba and Akki trade shots, and Mamba gets out of a Akki’s finisher attempt and hits a roll of the dice to get the pin and advance to the finals.
Winner – Black Mamba

Ash Silva 🇭🇰 (w/Chairman Al & Lady Marie) vs. Nuwakote Tiger 🇳🇵 vs. Shiho 🇰🇷
Ash defeated Killer Kublai. Tiger defeated Triple T. Shiho defeated Mirko Panic.

I thought this match was OK, but I didn’t like it as much as the previous one. It doesn’t have as good of a flow to it, and some of it is a lot rougher. Shiho actually seems to be the weak link, as he messes up a leapfrog early (or did Tiger not duck enough?), and later, he awkwardly dawdles in the ring while waiting for his opponents to get in the right position for him to dive onto on the outside. He hits the dive rather well, though. And there are some bright spots, like when Tiger is unimpressed with his chops and makes him try a few times before chopping back harder. Ash does the proper heel thing and lets Shiho and Tiger fight until he feels like jumping in to catch one of them off-guard. It boils down to Tiger hitting a big flying elbow on Shiho, but Shiho rolls away, and while Tiger is staggering over to pin him, Ash comes in with a one-knee codebreaker and gets the three count.
Winner – Ash Silva

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MKW: Belt and Road Championship Tournament Round 1, Part 3 (August 10, 2018)

Triple T 🇳🇿 vs. Nuwakote Tiger 🇳🇵
Triple T is representing New Zealand. Tiger is representing Nepal.

Triple T rides a train in Sri Lanka and chants “Belt and Road” out the window. Tiger says he never loses and anyone who gets in his way will get hurt badly.

I didn’t enjoy watching this match because Triple T got legitimately injured early on when he missed a jumping knee in the corner. He looked to be in a lot of pain from then on, but he gutted it out and went several more minutes against Tiger. He even climbed up and went for the somersault senton, but he missed. Tiger did well for his part. He didn’t attack the leg after the injury, but I think maybe he knew he might make it worse. Most of his offense was pretty basic. His finishing run was a codebreaker, a body slam, and a flying elbow off the top for the pin. They did well for what they were unfortunately forced to work through.
Winner – Nuwakote Tiger

Hong Wan 🇨🇳 vs. Black Mamba 🇨🇳
Both men are representing China. This is a rematch from April (which was actually a rematch from one of the first MKW shows, come to think of it).

Black Mamba says something I can’t understand because his mic is too low. Hong Wan says he deserves all the championships.

I like this match. Hong Wan, normally a babyface, gives Mamba a thumbs down as he takes a selfie with him, a callback to their first match when Mamba was the one giving the thumb. He leans heelish the rest of the match, though he thinks better of using a chair at one point. Aside from one botch at the beginning, things go pretty smoothly. Hong works the leg briefly. Mamba dodges a frog splash and hits a flipping kick, but gets caught with a Samoan drop. He kicks out of Hong Wan’s standing moonsault, though, and then counters a reverse DDT into a roll of the dice for the win to advance.
Winner – Black Mamba

MKW: Belt and Road Championship Tournament Round 1, Part 2 (August 10, 2018)

Mirko Panic 🇸🇮 vs. Shiho 🇰🇷
Panic is representing Slovenia. Shiho is representing South Korea.

Panic says Slovenia isn’t a small nation, it’s a big nation. Shiho says he’ll beat whoever they put him up against.

I liked this match. It’s a good display of a big guy vs. a smaller guy. Shiho frustrates Panic early, but Panic is big and mean, so he takes over doing big, mean guy things. I’m actually quite impressed with him; I had no idea Slovenia had anything more than backyard wrestling, but this guy really seems to know how to work a match without just spamming moves. I particularly like his chain of suplexes because it’s quite different from the typical style. Shiho is good, too, but I guess Panic left more of an impression on me. I’m not a huge fan of the finish, as Panic misses an impressive moonsault attempt and gets pinned with a small package. I thought maybe Shiho should’ve done something more.
Winner – Shiho

Vladimir Kulakov 🇷🇺 vs. Martin Pain 🇦🇹
Kulakov is representing Russia. Pain is representing Austria.

Pain tells China to get ready for pain. Kulakov says that the god of war is with him.

I like this match. These two match up very well; two big European bruisers who know their way around a ring. I don’t know if they’ve ever worked together before, but they have great chemistry, and everything they do flows so well. They’re both very athletic for big dudes. Pain has a sweet flipping dropkick (though his running shooting star leaves a lot to be desired), and Kulakov can whip off a nice headscissors. Pain is more of the aggressor for this match, and Kulakov is the one who needs to mount the comeback. Ultimately, Pain resorts to a low blow out of the referee’s view, then gets the pin with something like an AA. I’d love to see both of these guys again.
Winner – Martin Pain

MKW: Belt and Road Championship Tournament Round 1, Part 1 (August 10, 2018)

Ash Silva 🇭🇰 (w/ Chairman Al & Lady Marie) vs. Killer Kublai 🇲🇳
Ash represents Hong Kong. Kublai represents Mongolia.

Hey, insert promos! Ash says that management tried to keep The Stable out of the tournament, but since he was born in Hong Kong, he’s eligible. (Remember, this tournament is only for people from countries that are part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative.)

I had to mute commentary early when Al Leung went into the Belt and Road propaganda. I know any business in a country like China needs to placate the powers that be, but I just loathe propaganda, whether it be from a government or a company. That’s one reason I can’t take WWE seriously anymore.

Anyway, onto the match. I liked it at first, but it kind of lost me once I realized that the pace wasn’t picking up. Ash shows an appropriate amount of jerkiness, and Kublai has some good throws and submission holds, but there were things happening late that seemed like they should’ve happened earlier (such as Kublai going outside and letting himself be distracted by Al and Marie). Kublai didn’t look too rusty, though, for a guy who’s supposedly been retired for a long time. It was just kind of slow for an opener, and the finishing sequence wasn’t much of a sequence. Ash hit the zig zag for two, then moved Kublai over and hit a Superfly splash for the win. If Kublai had enough to kick out before, why did he stay there for the splash?
Winner – Ash Silva

Sandata 🇵🇭 vs. Baliyan Akki 🇮🇳
Sandata represents the Philippines. Akki represents India.

Sandata says that he’ll show the Chinese fans how a Filipino fights. Akki says he doesn’t care who his opponent is, but asks that management makes it fun. They should turn the arena noise off when they play these promos; Akki is hard to hear.

I like this match. It’s rather rough around the edges – I’ve never seen a sunset flip pulled off like that – but they seem to be working hard. The ring doesn’t always cooperate with their ideas, but they make it work, I think. Neither guy works as a heel, but they stay competitive. Most importantly, there’s a good finishing stretch where Sandata avoids a 450 and lands a dropkick, but then gets caught coming in with a kick to the head, and Akki finishes him with a fisherman buster on the knee.