Posts Tagged ‘Wrestling’

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.

PyeongChang South Korea hosted the Winter Olympics in 2018, and was something I’d considered trying to see in the years prior. Summer of 2017 I’d left my teaching job on the Rosebud Indian Reservation and attempted to find work in Korea again. Nothing turned up for me there, so I accepted a position in Harbin, a city in northern China. Winter of 2018 I had winter holiday which allowed me to see the games. After the Olympics in late February of 2018 I was in the airport about to fly back to China, and I thought about how I had accomplished a lot of things I’d wanted to do in my life. I’d been teaching for around 15 years, did a road trip across the United States, self- published a few comic books and other literature, and had just seen the Olympics. Now that I’d done all of these things I wondered what to do with my life next; little did I know Professional Wrestling would be my next adventure.

I’m an 80’s child, and naturally was a fan of pro wrestling during the Hulkamania era. In high school I’d stopped watching it, and during the “Attitude” era of the late 90’s I confess to being a closet wrestling fan for a brief moment before becoming a full fledged fan again. Since then I’ve watched it off and on, but even during times of not watching it I appreciate it for what it is.

Tito Santana was one of my favorite wrestlers as a kid. When I first started watching wrestling, he was a tag team champion with Ric Martel in a team called Strike Force. Demolition, a heel or villainous tag team, won the belts off them. During a rematch they did an angle where Ric Martel got hit in the head with a chair, resulting in Demolition retaining the titles. Martel was then off TV for a whole year, and the wrestling announcers informed us fans that Ric had a concussion. As a young kid wrestling seemed like serious business, here was this guy fighting for his title, and he got a legitimate injury! Of course, my mom hated wrestling, “Why are you watching that crap?” she’d complain. “It’s so phony,” and so forth.

“No,” I argued back, “if wrestling wasn’t real then Ric Martel wouldn’t have a concussion and he would be on TV.” Martel’s “injury” was the silver bullet in my theory that the superstars of the WWF were in fact engaging in actual combat.

In the summer of 2017, before I went off to China in my quest to see the Olympics, I had a chance to meet Tito Santana. Reading Pennsylvania has a minor league baseball team called the Reading Fighting Phils who once a season host wrestling night. On this evening a professional wrestler appears at the game and signs autographs. My friend Ralph, who is a huge wrestling fan, told me that Tito would be at wrestling night that summer. We went to the game to meet him, and I got his autograph and my picture with him. Meeting Tito in person, I told him my childhood tale and asked if he could give me the scoop. The real truth was Ric’s wife had fallen ill and he took time off to be with her. Age old mystery solved.

A few months after this I moved to Harbin, and found out by chance that there was a independent professional wrestling promotion in China. Adrian Gomez, and American from Arizona, started Middle Kingdom Wrestling, which in fact based out of Harbin.

Spring of 2018 MKW ran a few shows in Harbin where I got to meet the wrestlers as well as Adrian. Mr. Gomez was the MC of the first show I went to. As he politely told the crowd, “Thank you for coming to the show everybody.” I reflected on how years ago when I lived in Korea people told me I had a good radio voice. Now I got the idea in my head that Adrian needed me in the ring to exuberantly proclaim “Welcome to Middle Kingdom Wrestling!” and announce his matches. As he held two more shows that spring, I kept bugging Adrian about letting me be a ring announcer. I was a stranger to him, with no experience in the professional wrestling business, hence I didn’t blame him for being skeptical.

In the meantime, my initial experience in Harbin wasn’t very positive, for reasons I won’t get into here (but will in my book). My initial contract was two years, which included a summer holiday in which I could go home. As the end of the spring semester approached, I seriously considered going home and not coming back. Thinking this, I took the time to see the sights of Harbin, such as their indoor ski resort, Siberian Tiger Park, and the Unit 731 museum about the horrific Japanese biological experiments conducted on local residents (Covered in more detail in my book). While potentially wrapping up my time in China, I told Adrian that I may not be coming back that fall. He asked me to let him know what I decided and informed me that he’d scheduled a wrestling event for Halloween season. Adrian told me that if I did come back, I could be the ring announcer for that show. That was almost the only reason I had to come back.

It wasn’t really the only reason, but it was definitely a factor. I had learned in my life that once you shut a door, it’s really hard to re-open it. Thinking my options over, I decided I would come back. That summer I went home and had a nice vacation with my family and friends. After which I flew back to Harbin, where in just a few short months I would become a professional wrestling announcer!

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On September 7th in Harbin China, Middle Kingdom Wrestling held their first Kingdom Rumble event. Cam Ferguson came to the ring first and cut a heel promo in Chinese. His opponent was KC,  which made this a match between two big guys to start the event. When coming to the ring Cam had a large chain around his neck that he would later use to win the match.

Tag team action followed with Bamboo Crusher and Black Mamba against Bitman and Buffa, who came to the ring dancing and had a Big Boom box straight out of the 1980’s. Crusher and Black Mamba managed to be victorious over their much larger opponents.

Rocky Huynh out of Vietnam defended his SPWC title against Ash Silva, who was accompanied to the ring by fellow stable members Chairman Al and Lady Marie. This was a back and forth acrobatic match with action spilling out of the ring. Despite being in the Stable’s home turf and being outnumbered at ringside, Rocky managed to retain his title via a small package pin over Ash Silva.

Women’s tag team action followed with Zeda Chang and Japanese wrestler Asuka facing off against Ray Lynn, out of Pittsburgh USA, and  the “Queen of Philippine Wrestling,” Crystal. Asuka and Crystal both were high flyers that brought great acrobatics to the match. Zeda and Asuka were victorious.

The last standard match had MKW Champion “Masterclass” Michael Su against former champion and Stable member Big Sam. The former champ came off as a heel right away, giving the middle finger to a fan who wanted to take a selfie with him. Shortly afterwards the action began out of the ring as Michael Su dove between the ropes onto Big Sam. The two fought in the crowd for a while before bringing the fight into the ring. Lady Marie again was ringside and took a bump for her troubles, and soon Su retained.

The main event of the evening was the Kingdom Rumble match, which would start with two MKW superstars, with another entering every 90 seconds for a battle royal style match. Once all but two wrestlers are eliminated, the Kingdom Rumble becomes a traditional pinfall/submission match, the winner gaining a title shot at MKW’s Bash at the Bay event in December. Nine superstars were advertised for the Kingdom Rumble match, including “Pretty Professional Producer” Peter Avalon of AEW fame, and Ho Ho Lun and Zeda Chang, who both appeared in WWE/NXT. Their were also six unknown/surprise entrants.

The Kingdom Rumble Match can be viewed here, below the video the results are listed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Order of entry                                  Order of Elimination

1: Ho Ho Lun                                    1: DC Chen

2: Zombie Dragon                             2: Lin DongXuan

3: Uncle Money                                 3: VR Nikk

4: DC Chen                                         4: Steve the ESL Teacher

5: Lin DongXuan                                5: Ho Ho Lun

6: Ash Silva                                         6: Uncle Money

7: VR Nikk                                           7: Ash Silva

8: Black Mamba                                  8: Chairman Al

9: Steve the ESL Teacher                    9: Black Mamba

10: Peter Avalon                                10: Tommy Combat

11: Jalapeno Lopez                            11: Bamboo Crusher

12: Tommy Combat                           12: Jalepeno Lopez

13: Zeda Chang                                  13: Zeda Chang (With interference from Ray Lyn

14: Chairman Al                                 14: Peter Avalon (via pinfall)

15: Bamboo Crusher

 

Winner of the Kingdom Rumble Match, Zombie Dragon, who will get a title shot at MKW’s Bash at the Bay in Shenzen this December.