Middle Kingdom Wrestling – September 18, 2016 (Season 2 Finale): A Different Kind of Upgrade

Middle Kingdom Wrestling
Date: September 18, 2016
Location: CWE Gym, Dongguan, China
Commentator: Eddie Strong

It’s the season finale with MKW Champion Dalton Bragg defending against the huge King Michael. This has been a rather different season as there hasn’t been much of a focus aside from the stuff over the title near the beginning. I’m still liking it well enough though and there’s a story to get us here, which is the most important thing. Let’s get to it.

M.A. vs. King of Man

This is a bonus match and a Kung Fu Showcase. No story or anything here and I don’t know who either of them are but that’s standard around here. They trade kicks and strikes to start of course with King (there probably shouldn’t be two Kings on the same show) getting the better of it until he gets thrown off the top. I don’t remember that in the full two Kung Fu movies I’ve seen.

A nice looking headscissors sends M.A. flying and a Vader Bomb elbow gets one. M.A. comes back with some running clotheslines in the corner as Strong (dang it I miss Ferguson) tells us that M.A. is the heel. See, that’s something so easy that a simple statement clears up. King gets caught in a hard chokeslam for two but he comes right back with a basement dropkick for two of his own.

We hit a dragon sleeper on M.A. as Strong tells us about the horrible weather in China at the moment. A missed moonsault from King sends both guys outside and M.A. hits a Triad Kick (Mafia Kick) for two. M.A. gets a bit more creative with a chokeslam spinebuster for yet another two, only to have King throw him down and hit a spinning top rope splash for the pin.

Rating: C+. I’m not sure where the Kung Fu part came in but this was another nice match with some time to make it work. Of course it’s not exactly up to par with most stuff you’ll see but it was still an entertaining match with one guy as the heel and the other as the face. A story would have been nice but at least we had something entertaining for the first half of the show.

Quick recap of King Michael vs. Dalton Bragg. Michael attacked Bragg earlier in the season and a match was made. Simple, yet effective.

Middle Kingdom Wrestling Title: Dalton Bragg vs. King Michael

Bragg is defending and this is anything goes. This is kind of an odd visual as Michael is huge and Bragg is a stick but he’s still taller than Michael. I also don’t buy for a second that Michael is 500lbs as he looks closer to 350. You can gimmick the weights but there’s a limit. Bragg gets shouldered down and splashed for two so it’s time for weapons.

Michael sets up a piece of wood over some boxes but has to shrug off some clotheslines before easily blocking a suplex. Instead it’s a chokebomb to put Bragg…..onto the wood, which just kind of flew to the side instead of breaking. A World’s Strongest Slam sets up some kendo stick shots but Bragg takes it away and pounds on Michael.

We hear about Bragg’s deathmatch background (which was mentioned in season one) as Michael takes it outside where some of his cronies get in a few shots to Bragg’s back. Another table is set up but Dalton gets in a few more kicks to stagger Michael in front of the table…..for a very, VERY long time……until a jumping kick knocks Michael onto the table (again, not through it) to retain the title.

Rating: C. This is a tricky one as the story was there but there’s only so much you can do when Michael is a one dimensional monster and Bragg MIGHT weigh 140lbs if you put a half dozen bricks in his pockets. The match was watchable enough but I really could have gone with another segment between them or some promos about why these two wanted to fight.

Post match the Slam comes out for a staredown. Bragg punches him in the jaw and a really bad looking slugout wraps things up.

We get a graphic for an upcoming wrestling festival featuring the MKW roster and some other wrestlers, including the Powers of Pain. Well that’s a bit of an upgrade.

Overall Rating: C+. For a stand alone show, this was fun enough but not so much as a season finale. For the last show we’ll be seeing from these guys for months, your longest match probably shouldn’t be between two newcomers without much of a story. That’s where MKW starts to fall apart for me: they rarely have more than one or two stories going on at a time and that gives a show like this a hard time. It’s still an easy sit through and that’s important.

Overall season two was…..odd. They set up the title match to start things off but then it was a few one off matches before we got to the six man (which is still confusing) and the season finale. It was cool to see the international talent but they all feel out of left field and therefore like filler instead of something out of MKW. I still liked it (partially due to the length of the shows and some better details in the stories we had) but it would have been nice to have some better character development and a reason to care about these people. I’m not sure I’d call it an upgrade but it’s definitely different.

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