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: Coldray vs. Triple T (June 17, 2018)

Hey, everyone, my wife just had a baby last weekend, so my reviews are going to be fewer and shorter for the foreseeable future. But I don’t want to completely abandon my blogs. I’ll just make quicker posts and only review matches I really feel like watching.

Triple T is on a roll after his win over Uncle Money last time. Coldray hasn’t appeared since Shenzhen, but he’s back with manager Khan Spirasi. Guess he’s taking a break from calling out The Slam in KOPW. This match is for a spot in the Belt and Road Championship Tournament coming in August. That’s MKW’s new secondary singles title, and yes, they named it after a heavily-propagandized economic plan by the Chinese Communist Party. Search Google for “One Belt, One Road” and decide for yourself if it’s good for anyone besides China.

I was really into the first half of this match. Triple T was looking the best I’ve seen him (though I like his singlet better). Specifically, his Hogan leg drop was spot-on this time. Coldray’s promo skills are good, and he’s a fine hand in the ring.

Speaking of the ring, that’s my big negative. Both guys were slipped up by its size and the loose ropes, making a number of bits awkward in the second half of the match. I’m pretty sure I can blame the ring, because Coldray never seems to have these kinds of problems in KOPW. I’ve never seen Triple T anywhere else (but I’d like to), so I can’t speak to what kind of ring he’s most comfortable in.

The basic finish is Coldray accidentally bumping Khan Spirasi off the apron, setting him up to get squashed by a Swanton bomb from Triple T for the win. It’s scary to watch such a big guy do that move off of wobbly ropes, but he always manages to hit it.

Okay match that I would like to see again in a sturdier ring. I’m enjoying Triple T’s push, and I’m curious to see how far he goes in the tournament.

MKW: Uncle Money vs. Triple T (April 29, 2018)

Our Story So Far…
Tommy Tuamasi Tamati was doing pretty well in his MKW Championship match with Big Sam until Sam’s Stable-mates Ash Silva and Uncle Money showed up to spoil his night. Uncle Money speared Triple T on the floor while Ash distracted the referee, and this weakened him enough for Sam to hit him with the tombstone and retain the title.
– Triple T challenged Uncle Money to a relaxed rules match via a WeChat promo, and Uncle Money accepted in the same forum. Both promos were quite good, I thought, but they’re not posted anywhere I can share them from. Relaxed rules seems to mean a no DQ match where nothing really crazy is going to happen.

I thought this was decent. The execution was a little rough around the edges, perhaps due to the quality of the ring (particularly the saggy ropes), and it also felt a few minutes too long.

I liked Triple T’s intensity. He went hard after Uncle Money whenever he was on offense, just pounding on him and trying to flatten him into the ground. I could tell he had a grudge and was out for revenge. I also liked his full body tights. They slim him down a bit.

I also liked that Uncle Money approached things differently. He wasn’t emotional; he was just doing his job beating up a guy, just like he’d done when he attacked Triple T at the last show. It wasn’t personal to him, but he’s not about to step aside when someone calls him out. I liked how he spent most of his offensive periods focusing on the crowd, flexing and doing push-ups. Good dichotomy to both men’s goals. And I like his belly to belly suplex.

The main thing I didn’t like was the lack of variety. Triple T did at least one elbow drop too many. Uncle Money did a lot of stomps and steps onto Triple T’s midsection. They went back to the body slam too often. There was a heat segment about 12 minutes into the video that was nearly identical to the one that came before it. I really would have preferred that they cut that section and gotten to the finish faster.

That finish, by the way, featured Uncle Money running into the turnbuckles he had exposed, leading to Triple T pinning him after a top rope somersault senton. I was kind of surprised to see a member of The Stable lose already, but I could see an interesting angle or two coming from it.

MKW: Big Sam vs. Triple T (March 17, 2018)

Our Story So Far…
Big Sam is the MKW Champion and essentially the leader of The Stable. Chairman Al is his manager. He won the title from Hong Wan in Shenzhen, then successfully defended it against him at a mostly MMA show. This will be his first defense against someone other than the former champion.
– Tommy Tuamasi Tamati (Triple T) is a 16-year veteran from New Zealand. He once trained at the Heartland Wrestling Association, a former WWE developmental territory.
Now on to the match!

I like the layout of this match. They’re both big guys, so Sam can’t throw Triple T around like he’s used to. He’s still cocky at the start when T is unable to move him, but as soon as T takes him over for the first time, Sam retreats to the floor. A distraction from Chairman Al allows Sam to get control, but T actually counters a slam and hits Sam with several moves before Sam retreats once again. T looks like a threat already, but he makes the mistake of going after Sam on the floor.

The ringside area seems to be Sam’s wheelhouse, at least in this match. He bails whenever he’s in peril, and he ends up taking the advantage soon afterwards. Triple T tries to hit him with one of his trademark left hands, but he punches the ring post instead, and Sam works over that hand a bit. When they get back into the ring, T fights out of a sleeper and goes back on offense, crushing Sam with a top rope somersault senton. Another distraction from Al allows Sam to kick T low and powerbomb him, but T kicks out.

It boils down to Sam retreating to the floor again and T going after him. This time, Ash Silva appears to argue with the ref, and Uncle Money spears T on the floor. Sam takes T back into the ring and tombstones him to retain the title.

The story of the match worked well for my tastes. It had ups and downs, and they didn’t seem like they were trying to go long to make it more “epic” or whatever. Sam is firmly entrenched as a heel with a gang of pals who will always be around to help him keep his title.

I liked the big man vs. big man aspect, but there were a couple points where Sam had trouble getting Triple T up for things, particularly the side slam and the drop onto the guardrail.

The one thing I would change about the match is Triple T’s selling of his hand after punching the ring post. I would have liked that to have played more into the story, but after Sam slams it on the apron a couple times, it’s kind of forgotten. T hits his big left punch once or twice afterwards with no sign that the hand is suffering. I’d have liked to see him hit the punch but be unable to capitalize due to the pain. In fairness, though, I see a lot of matches that do the hand-into-post spot and seem to forget about it later.

Overall, this was a pretty decent main event, at least by MKW-in-a-bar standards.

Now, one last complaint I have is actually about the entire “Wrestle Rescue: Year of the Dog” show. I hate the lighting. It’s dark, and every match seems to be tinted in red through the hard cam. Meanwhile, when the dynamic camera follows wrestlers fighting on the floor, they’re nearly impossible to see. The camera work is particularly hindering to the interference of the main event, because I couldn’t even tell that Uncle Money was there, nor could I see the spear he hit Triple T with. If MKW runs at this bar again, I hope they can fix the lighting for the sake of their videos.