Nearly a week has passed since I traveled to China. I’m still recovering from the jet-lag, that I had no idea would be so brutal. I enjoyed everything about my trip. Spending time with some of the cast and crew of Championship Wrestling from Hollywood, the NWA, and the people who helped to put the show on was very enjoyable. I want to publicly thank David Marquez and Nick Bonnano for helping me join them on a very memorable trip. Full Results of the show can be found here.
I’ve known Marquez since about 2002. Affectionately refereed to as “Gucci Glasses,” my first interactions with David were at Gary Yap’s TV Taping for Epic Pro Wrestling. David was producing and doing in front of the camera stuff. I didn’t know David specifically, never spoke to him. But remembered his face. Flash forward game seven in Anaheim at the World Series. A Disney production company (who still owned the Angels at the time) were filming like crowd reactions during the game. Guess who I recognized. “Ole Gucci Glasses” himself. I even yelled it out at him. David would look over, but would only nod in recognition. Years later I would tell Dave that story and he’d only humor me in acknowledging he was there. Over the years, Dave has given me a lot of access to behind the curtain of Championship Wrestling from Hollywood. It’s helped to create NWA and non-NWA related content for my website over the years. When David jokingly suggested to come to China to be apart of the historical night, I called him on it. Four days later I applied for a visa. A week later, purchased my airline tickets. Travelocity got me a great deal.
I really didn’t know what to expect. The furthest I ever flew before was to Jamaica. And that was nothing compared to 18 hours in the air. Airline food is as bad as they say, I kept hearing Jerry Seinfeld in my ear, “What’s with airline food.” The hotel accommodation was very nice. I got to spend time with Heather Monroe, Eric Watts, Adam Thornstowe, Luster the Legends, Bonanno, Logan Checwidden, of course David Marquez and even David Lagana. Colt Cabana was busy most of the time in China shooting stuff with Lagana. Nick Aldis did come out and celebrate one night at the most happening spot in all of Wenzhou. All in all, real good people to be in China with and I enjoyed getting to me the other side of them. The language barrier was rough, but we got to spend an evening with the one of the match promoters Mr. Lee. Mr. Lee bought us dinner, some of the food was a little weird (like mayo on fruit), but I was grateful for the free meal. And Mr. Lee was a gracious host and a lot of fun.
The promoters responsible for bringing in CWFH and the NWA were very busy making this a big deal in China. The cast and crew of the show were taxied around on Thursday before the show in Land Rover’s (who were one of the sponsors) and took photo ops around the city in high foot traffic areas, including in front of a Starbucks and a Land Rover dealership. Other sponsors for the show were a Mineral Water company, who’s name I couldn’t get and an energy drink that Thornstowe described as flat redbull, which was appropriate. Their production staff included a drone, several live camera operators, and plenty of photographers. Getting to see the intro of the video at the event on the big screen was kind of a thrill.
Friday, our second full day in town, we convened in a make shift press room at the hotel, which looked the part. There were very few questions from the media, but great photo ops. You could see Cabana was trying to sell the match, when Marquez mentioned if Cabana was lucky enough to win the title, Cabana interrupted and aggressively questions “if?” Their were more pictures and promos recorded by the local production crew. Heather, Scum, Watts, Barbi Hayden, and more got to cut promos for the Chinese audience, I have no idea if those will air on CWFH’s footage of the show, but I heard Reno Scum’s and they killed it.
The day of the show, we were again transported to the show with the Land Rovers. It was pouring rain. People from the building literally hugged us with an umbrella all the way up a flight of stairs, to get us into the building dry. And the building was beautiful on the inside. Very reminiscent of the NJPW show in Long Beach just a few months back. This had all the look of a big feel environment. And I feel the wrestling held up.
This show was a bit more then what you’d expect from a traditional CWFH TV Taping. The matches were taped with television in mind and when the matches end up in Hollywood, I think a lot of people will be happy with the presentation and the content. One of the minor miscues was a worked-shoot fight that Marquez has zero say in. It was pretty bad. The fans were laughing at it and it ended in a disqualification. But the opening wrestling match was Vito Rea vs. Lin. SoCal fans might know Vita Rea from the Territory Leagues working with Knokx Pro, he’s a catch-as-catch-can wrestler. Lin along with his corner-man Joe are both products of N.E.W. Shanghai, which is the other promotion responsible for bringing CWFH to China and was part of the show as well. N.E.W. is ran by Simon Inoki, who some of you may remember from the early days of the Inoki Dojo in Santa Monica. The match was very much more in the same vein as sports entertainment. And I think the CWFH fans will appreciate it. Heather Monroe and Barbi Hayden worked very well together. Heather, I thought did a great job bringing the crowd into the match, I don’t think the fans understood the “Heel vs. Babyface” dynamic, but I think they enjoyed the back and forth with Heather. On a side note, Barbi Hayden’s now had three matches in China and each one was a loss. Eric Watts teamed with Alex Chamberlin to take on Reno Scum. Chamberlin was a last minute substitution. Dude literally flew a 18 hour flight to China to get a match in. I totally respect that dudes hustle. Last minute opportunity and he took full advantage of it. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Chamberlin more frequently in Hollywood as he has a great look and could easily fit into the title picture there. I also give credit to Watts and Chamberlin on being on the same page during the tag match. They partnered well together, though the two hadn’t met until just hours before the match. Reno Scum were over in China. In all honesty, if Reno Scum don’t win a Tag Team of the Year Award, I’ll be surprised. Lastly Colt Cabana and Nick Aldis really brought a solid main event to The People’s Republic of China. They both started with a little comedy, but got more serious as the match progressed. I thought early on that this would be a story of the King Lynn Clover Leaf versus the Billy Goat Curse, but they didn’t rely heavy on the submission moves. I really think that the match was a great way to introduce the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship to the people of China and perhaps its return isn’t as far off as we may think.