Becoming a Pro Wrestling Announcer Part Three: Working in Thailand, Korea, and the USA.

Posted: May 7, 2022 in Memoirs/A Teacher's Life
Tags: , , ,

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.

By some miracle I was still living in Harbin China in January of 2020. At my job, the winter holiday was coming up, but by this point in my life I’d traveled so much that I didn’t really want to go many places anymore. I considered going somewhere perhaps for just a week (Here our seasonal breaks were a whole month, which was one thing China had over working in Korea), but the day my break began a wrestling show in Bangkok Thailand was scheduled and some of MKW would be there. I got invited to go and do interviews, including one with Ho Ho Lun, who was on WWE NXT and whom I’d previously met in China. 

After bouncing around South East Asia a bit I returned to Korea again where I did interviews with Pro Wrestling Society. Naturally, I was happy to help out at a show in Korea. There I interviewed then champion Jo Kyung Ho, who does Korean commentary for special events on the WWE Network. I also interviewed future champion Bryan Leo, and Duncan Solaire, who later became Korea’s first African American and likely first LGBT champion in Korea when winning the tag team belts. 

While all this was fun, lurking in the background was the news of this new virus going around. As it got to the point where it was looking serious, I talked to my boss and to my family, and in late February I came home to the United States.

While what was happening with the virus was awful, I was grateful to have some extra time at home with my friends and family. In Pennsylvania things got shut down for a while, but I kept myself busy as I was still teaching my Chinese students online.

That summer I got word that a wrestling event was going to be held at the Mahoning Drive-In in Lehighton, PA, about an hour from my hometown. I’d emailed them explaining I did interviews for MKW in China, and sent them a YouTube clip of my work. At the last minute they asked if I could do ring announcing, as that spot just opened up. At the two day event, the Reel Rumble, I made my American debut as a professional wrestling announcer.  Reel Rumble had many big names from the indy-wrestling scene that were on All Elite Wrestling on TNT and TBS like Veda Scott, Willow Nightingale, Puff, and referee Bryce Remsburg even made an appearance. Competitive eater and pro-wrestler MegaByte Ronnie was also there. We did an angle where I acknowledged him sitting in the audience and asked him to come in the ring for an interview (He’d just competed in Nathan’s hot dog eating contest in NYC) which led to an “impromptu” match.  

The wrestling ring was set up in front of the massive drive-in screen. On both nights, after the card was over, two wrestling related films were shown. One of them was Suburban Commando, starring Hulk Hogan and Christopher Lloyd, which meant I got to stand in a wrestling ring as an announcer and say the name Hulk Hogan. It was a great show, and almost had to have been one of the first big wrestling events with an audience after the pandemic hit.

October of 2020, I managed to get back to Harbin. That Christmas I got promoted to bellman at MKW’s War on Christmas event. We had a few more events the following spring, including a tag team tournament to crown China’s first Tag Team Champions, Buffa and DC Chen, the team of C2NY. Due to a lot of factors, at the moment wrestling in China seems to be on hold. I don’t know when or if I’ll be involved with it again. Even if I would not work another show, it will always be fun to look back on this experience I had in the crazy world of professional wrestling.

Bellman for MKW’s War on Christmas
MKW Tag Team Titles

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s