Becoming A Pro Wrestling Announcer Part Two: Welcome to Middle Kingdom Wrestling

Posted: April 23, 2022 in Memoirs/A Teacher's Life
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This piece is adapted from a manuscript I wrote about my teaching career and travels around the world. ‘A Teacher’s Life’ is the working title (Feel free to offer title suggestions). On this blog I will add a few other excerpts about different topics. In time I hope to find an agent and get this properly published as a book. Feedback, suggestions, assistance are all welcome. Enjoy.

My first year living in China I met Middle Kingdom Wrestling founder Adrian Gomez. After attending a few of his shows, I bugged him about letting me be a ring announcer. Before going back to America for summer break, Adrian told me he’d scheduled a wrestling event for Halloween season. For many reasons I was thinking about staying in America and not coming back to China, but Adrian informed me that if I were still around, I could announce the Halloween show.

Halloween Frenzy in October of 2018, is where I made my debut as a professional wrestling announcer. “Welcome to Middle Kingdom Wrestling!” I finally go to say in the ring. We had a fun Halloween themed show which included a costume contest. One amusing bit was the Halloween Frenzy Match, between Mexican Wrestler Jalapeno Lopez, English wrestler Voodoo, and the American heel Cam Ferguson. Cam disparaged Halloween, coming to the ring throwing empty wrappers of candy into the audience, disappointing any kids hoping to score some sweets. The Halloween Frenzy Match was mostly no holds barred, the stipulation being that any Halloween object could be used. This led to a humorous spot as Jalapeno Lopez attempted to hit one of the wrestlers with a Pinata, but the referee wouldn’t allow it. Confused as to why he was being admonished by the referee in a no holds barred match, it was explained that the Pinata is not a Halloween object!

Once the show was over, I thanked Adrian for the opportunity. While it was fun, in the moment, I perceived it as a one off. While I may have come back to China, I still wasn’t thrilled with it. I was still thinking about leaving for good after the holidays and thought someday I would look back and think “Remember being a wrestling announcer, that was fun.” Fortunately, when the school year started, I got put with the 8th grade class. I was still teaching English instead of History, which is my background, but now I was working with a group who were probably the best kids in the school. They were fun to teach and a lot of them spoke English well. By this point I also made more friends, including a group who held weekly trivia at Sky Bar, one of the main gathering spots for Harbin foreigners. Here I met people from Canada, Latin America, Kosovo, Africa, Australia, and Russia. One of my new friends was Ken, a fellow writer from Las Vegas Nevada who helped me edit this book. As I started feeling better about the overall situation, I decided to stick around.

Wrestling announcing was fun, but Adrian was focused on building the Chinese audience, and really needed a Chinese announcer. He eventually found one named Jianing who does a great job at the shows. Fortunately for me, Adrian kept me around as an interviewer, where I mainly worked with the foreign wrestlers. The champion at the time was Big Sam, a British fellow, and there were a handful of Americans and people of other nationalities that participated in the shows. I was happy to help out in other ways too like setting up the ring and later being the bellman. Interviewing was cool, and of course the heels (bad guys) would insult me, and I even took a few bumps as wrestlers like Big Sam would push me down on the mat. It was all in good kayfabe fun. 

Years prior, the WWE Network broadcast a cruiser-weight tournament featuring wrestlers from all over the world. They did short features on many of them, including Ho Ho Lun, who founded the wrestling scene in Hong Kong. In the spring of 2019 Ho Ho wrestled at an MKW event. I remembered watching him on the Network thinking it would be cool to meet him, but I never thought I actually would. 

One of the more unusual stories in Chinese Wrestling happened not in Harbin, but in the southern city of Jiangmen, in Guangdong province. There, Xiao Xin, owner of a local seafood restaurant, was a fan of a promotion called King of Pro Wrestling.  After attending several of their shows he had the idea of hosting his own wrestling event, but with a twist.

Xiao announced to his friends the wonderful news that he would be getting married to a Russian woman. The thing was everyone knew he already had a Chinese wife. Nevertheless, a crowd of people came to a special hall in Xiao’s restaurant, all dressed formally for the special occasion. Wedding photos were already taken, an MC was present, PPT’s were shown, everything appeared as if a wedding was about to commence. At one of the back tables sat Big Sam, Greg and some other foreign wrestlers who weren’t dressed formally and were presumed to be with the bridal party. Undoubtedly, the guests must have wondered why a fighting ring was set up in the middle of the room below the chandeliers. They would find out soon enough.

Xiao and his bride exchanged their “wedding vows.” inside the wrestling ring, and as Xiao spoke a certain cue, a stable of foreign wrestler’s stormed the ring. Big Sam took the mic and cut a promo in both English and Chinese as the crowd booed. “This wedding isn’t happening, not on my watch!” the foreigner taunted as Xiao was held captive in the corner while Greg planted his lips on the helpless “bride.” Fortunately, a group of Chinese wrestlers came to the rescue, and a professional wrestling show commenced.

After four preliminary matches Xiao himself teamed with tag duo the Lion Dance brothers to defend his “bride’s” honor against the three dastardly foreign wrestlers who disrupted his wedding, Greg, Big Sam, and Uncle Money. Xiao came to the ring to a Chinese song that sounded straight out of Karaoke as the crowd cheered on. Naturally Xiao, who had five minutes of wrestling training that day and never wrestled in his life, scored a pin fall victory over Greg to end one of the most unique wrestling bouts on record. 

Below is an interview with The Stable of MKW and the Japanese Illuminati.

  1. […] Becoming A Pro Wrestling Announcer Part Two: Welcome to Middle Kingdom Wrestling […]

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