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 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