MKW: Sam, Money, Ferguson, and Suzuki vs. Gunderson, Su, Dragon, and Lee (August 10, 2018)

Big Sam, Uncle Money, Cam Ferguson, & Johta Suzuki (w/ Chairman Al & Lady Marie) vs. Buck Gunderson, Michael Su, Zombie Dragon, & Junyan Lee (w/ Luan)

I like this match all right, but I’ll admit that I watched it in a bit of a rush and with no sound so as not to bother the other people in the room with me. Everyone looks competent; Su seems the greenest, but he gets a lot of experience taking bumps and selling for Big Sam here.

I’ve never seen three of these guys before – Gunderson, Lee, and Suzuki. Gunderson and Lee work for Battle Arts in Canada. I really like Gunderson’s intensity and hard work. Lee doesn’t get to do much in the match, but he does have one nice tope con giro spot. Pro Wrestling Alive’s Suzuki gets to do a bit more than that, and he looks fine, though I didn’t see anything that made me think, “Wow, I’ve got to look for more from this guy.”

The match starts as a brawl all over the place, then settles into the regular tag format. Su takes the heat for a long time. Then, in a bit of a reversal from the norm, multiple tags happen where guys on one side each challenge a specific guy on the other side to come face them. That usually happens earlier in these kinds of matches. Anyway, things get wonky when Zombie Dragon brings his flaming book into the ring and seems to hypnotize Uncle Money. Clips and images appear on the video screen that seem to be embarrassing old footage of Money. Dragon then chases Money out the door. This leaves Gunderson in the ring with Suzuki – the others are on the floor – and Buck pins him after a cross-legged suplex.

I definitely want to see more of Gunderson and Lee, especially to see what the latter can do in a less-convoluted environment.

MKW: Big Sam and Ash Silva vs. Buffa and Michael Su (June 17, 2018)

Since my wife and I just had a baby about a month ago, I haven’t been using my moments of free time to watch or write about a lot of wrestling. I think, if I’m going to continue with match reviews, they’re going to have to be more succinct. So here goes.

Previously, Ash lost to Michael Su by DQ and continued beating him after the match, to the point that Su had to be helped to the back. Meanwhile, Buffa is replacing Hong Wan, who had been feuding with Big Sam but is out with an injury.

I like this match. Sam and Ash are a dastardly heel team. They’ve even got two managers at ringside this time: Chairman Al and a blonde woman named Lady Marie. She’s actually really good as a ringside personality, arguing with fans and cheering her men on. She looks and acts very natural in her role as far as I can tell. Meanwhile, Michael Su is looking pretty good for his experience level, and Buffa is always a solid hand. I’m glad he’s been hanging around the Chinese scene.

After Michael Su refuses a Stable T-shirt, the faces are jumped, and it settles into a standard tag format. Buffa finally does the bit where he has trouble getting Sam up for a slam. Too many guys have been able to pick the big man up with ease, so this was refreshing to see. The match didn’t seem too long, either. The hot tag to Buffa doesn’t lead to a very long final segment, though, as he gets booted out after a few minutes and Su is finished off with a doomsday powerbomb.

Two little things I would have changed: First, I would have liked Su to have been a little more heated against Ash. He kind of treats this like a normal match, not a chance for getting back at the guy who viciously assaulted him at the last show. Second, I think it would’ve made more sense for The Stable to offer a shirt to the new guy, Buffa, since he doesn’t have a grudge against them. People might actually believed he would accept (though he shouldn’t have).

Anyway, good match with a big post-match segment. Ash and Sam continue to beat on Su, and when Buffa comes in to help, Uncle Money appears and spears him. Then the three heels get a ladder and hold it on Su so Ash can dropkick and stomp it into him. Hong Wan is shown in normal clothes, and he wants to run in, but Adrian the promoter holds him back because he’s injured. But eventually he breaks free and hits Sam in the back with the MKW title belt. Luan and Black Mamba appear to back him up, and The Stable is on the floor yelling at them while Luan shows off his nunchuck skills to end the video.

MKW: Ash Silva vs. Michael Su (April 29, 2018)

Our Story So Far…
– “Masterclass” Michael Su is the first graduate of the Middle Kingdom Wrestling school. Ash Silva was his trainer, but Su isn’t happy that Ash has joined with the rule-breaking Stable. At the last show, Ash and Uncle Money defeated Su and Gabriel Martini in a tag match.

Maybe I’m just in a good mood today, but I’m really liking the matches from this show better than the last one. Really, it should be no surprise that this one floats my boat. It’s a trainer and a trainee working to each others’ strengths like they probably did in the gym dozens of times without a camera on them. It reminds me of the Emi Sakura vs. Riho matches from the CWF and KOPW. They know each other and have good chemistry together.

It also helps that this is a grudge match and that they treat it like one. They don’t go right into a brawl, but they’re aggressive in their lock ups, their shoves, and their slaps. Ash is mean when he’s on offense. Fortunately, he’s in there with a guy small enough for him to muscle up and slam. He does some flying stuff, too, but most of that seems to be defensive. The match is pretty back and forth, though, once one factors in all of Su’s fiery comebacks.

Things come to a head after Su kicks out of a splash and Ash gets peeved at the referee. He throws Su outside and kicks his head into the barricade. He tries to get him counted out, but Su crawls back into the ring just in time. This just enrages Ash further, and he chokes Su in the ropes, shoving the referee down when he tries to break it up. This is enough for a DQ, so Su technically wins. Ash isn’t finished, though, as he takes Su outside again and DDTs him into the barricade. Then he jaws and poses for a bit before leaving. Su has to be helped out.

So, yeah, a nice, heated contest that’s obviously building to some sort of stipulation match down the line. Looking forward to it.

P.S., Sorry that I keep switching back and forth between the present and past tenses in my reviews. I was trying something different based on reviews I’ve read elsewhere, but I think I need to stick with the present tense, since it seems to be the one I’m most comfortable with.

MKW: Michael Su and Gabriel Martini vs. Ash Silva and Uncle Money (March 17, 2018)

Our Story So Far…
– Khan Spirasi is the manager of the Flat Earth Foundation, a tag team that believes we’re all being conned into thinking the earth is round. They’re not very understanding of those who don’t agree with them.
– Ash Silva and Uncle Money are members of The Stable and are both coming off of wins in Shenzhen last year.
– Italy’s Gabriel Martini lost to Ash in Shenzhen thanks to Uncle Money’s interference.
“The Masterclass” Michael Su is the first graduate of the MKW wrestling school, and Ash was his trainer. He was the referee for Ash’s tainted win over Martini.

Before the match, we have Khan Spirasi’s “Conspiracy Corner” interview segment. Spirasi talks like a stoned surfer dude, which is funny. He brings out Michael Su, and their conversation turns to Ash Silva. Su says Ash betrayed him when he joined The Stable and cheated to beat Gabriel Martini. Ash comes out and berates Su, telling him it’s all about success and money. Uncle Money comes out, and they attack Su until Martini makes the save and issues the challenge for a tag match. Khan Spirasi has disappeared.
This was all done in English, and it was a pretty good segment for the level they’re at.
Now on to the match!

I spent most of the match focusing on Gabriel Martini because I was hoping he would redeem himself after his performance against Ash in Shenzhen that I really didn’t like. Unfortunately, I don’t think he looks much better here. Some of his moves are all right, but a lot of the time, he looks more like a layman trying to be a wrestler (alá David Arquette or Karl Malone). He doesn’t seem to be taking things seriously. He gets off the apron and gets a drink of water while his partner is in trouble. He gabs with fans while his partner is in trouble. He He really just doesn’t seem to care that his partner is in trouble. He sits on the apron or the turnbuckle when he’s in the corner. He just comes across as very unprofessional throughout the match. Al on commentary says that he’s working with a hurt back, so maybe that explains some of it, but it doesn’t make it any easier to watch.

I thought that Michael Su looked fine in what may be his first match. He has some teacher/student chemistry with Ash. His strike rush works for him. His small package (if that’s what it was) needs work. I question him using a chokeslam as someone who isn’t all that big (probably the smallest guy in the match). But I’m interested in watching him develop. I wish he could work with someone with a lot of experience, but its hard to find people like that around these parts right now.

I would like to see Uncle Money work more power moves into his repertoire. He’s got a big upper body, like a football player. I feel like he should be doing more shoulder breakers and power slams or something. And I don’t like his corner splash. He tries to do it like a frog splash, but it just makes it look weaker. Just do a regular stinger splash. The cocky push-ups work for him, though, and the spear is a good signature.

Ash looked the best. Not perfect, but he carried the match as far as I could tell, and most of his moves looked good. I’d like to see him wrestle Su in a singles match sometime.

I really thought that the whole thing was too long. They did two hot tags, both to Martini, as if they didn’t like the results of the first one and decided to have a do-over. Also, there were too many scoop slams. Vary things up a bit, please, guys.

Ash and Uncle Money got the pin on Su with a Samoan drop/neckbreaker team move.