Wednesday, September 9, 2015

WWNLive in China: Night 4 Review

Johnny Gargano challenges Ricochet for the Open The Freedom Gate Title!!

WWNLive in China: Night 4
Beijing, China 11/16/14

1.) FIP World Heavyweight Title – Rich Swann vs. AR Fox: ***1/2

Originally, this wasn’t a FIP World Heavyweight Title Match, but since Rich Swann now holds it after winning it from Trent Baretta on Night 3, and with the other three titles on the line on this show, I guess they decided on making this a title match. It was a pretty solid opener, as you would expect. Like I said in my Night 3 Review, AR Fox seems to be at his best when he’s in there with other high-flyers. While this match was not as good as the match he had with Ricochet on Night 3, this was still a very solid outing. Swann would eventually get the win in his 1st successful title defense.

The Bravado Brothers attacked AR Fox & Rich Swann after the match, but Johnny Gargano came out and ran them off. He then cut a promo saying he’s going to win the Open The Freedom Gate Title and the Citic Guoan Cup in the Main Event.

2.) Allysin Kay vs. Su Yung: **1/4

After the miscommunications on Night 3, we have Valkyrie stable mates going at it. This was a relatively short and basic match, which ended when Allysin Kay uses the “fake injury” trope to get the rollup on Su Yung for the win. This was probably another case of using a well known finish in wrestling in front of a crowd that isn’t very familiar with wrestling, to get it over as something that could happen.

3.) Chuck Taylor vs. Jody Kristofferson (with Larry Dallas & Earl Cooter): **1/4

This was pretty much the same match that Kristofferson had with Biff Busick on Night 3, with a few changes. We saw a little bit more of comedy, as Chuck Taylor was in this match. The match ended on a 10 Count instead of a 20 Count (weird that they would do that, as all of the shows prior uses the traditional 20 Count that most independent promotions like Evolve use), with Taylor getting the win. Kristofferson, once again, chased off the referee, and once again, Earl Cooter got taken out, this time with an Awful Waffle from Chuck Taylor.

4.) Biff Busick vs. Timothy Thatcher: ***3/4

These two faced off on Night 2, and in that encounter, Busick got the win. This was another really good match between these two. It was better than their match from Night 2, and close to being on the same level as their Evolve 32 match (I’d give a slight edge to the Evolve 32 Match but it’s close). Really great action from these two, especially in the closing stretch. Timothy Thatcher would get the win via submission, and much like Night 2, the two competitors shook hands afterwords.

5.) SHINE Title – Ivelisse vs. Mia Yim: ***3/4

Now we’re getting to the meat of the show, as the three remaining matches are all titles matches. First up is Ivelisse defending the SHINE Title against Mia Yim. This was a really good women’s title. It was easily the best women’s match on the entire tour, in my opinion. Both women are quality wrestlers, so it should be no surprise that they delivered in this environment. After a hard-fought match, Mia Yim would eventually put Ivelisse away to capture the SHINE Title. Yim had a very emotional post match interview with Lacey afterwords. Ivelisse shook hands with Yim, but was still visibly frustrated.

6.) Open The United Gate Titles – Three-Way Elimination Match – The Premiere Athlete Brand (Caleb Konley & Trent Baretta) vs. The Colony (Fire Ant & Silver Ant) vs. The Bravado Brothers: ***1/2

Up next we have our final Open The United Gate Title Match of the tour, and this time, it’s a three-way elimination match. The Colony ended up being eliminated first, and the P.A.B. would eventually go on to put away The Bravado Brothers to retain the Open The United Gate Titles. It was a pretty solid three-way title match. The only complaint I have is that The Colony wasn’t in the match for very long, as they were eliminated around five minutes in, and the match went on for another ten minutes. I would have either switched it, and had The Colony vs. The P.A.B. finish the match, or had the eliminations occur in quick succession. I wasn’t a fan of The Bravados vs. The P.A.B. again (though the action was fine).

7.) Open The Freedom Gate Title – Ricochet vs. Johnny Gargano: ****1/4

The final match of the night, and of the tour, sees Ricochet do battle with Johnny Gargano, not only for the Open The Freedom Gate Title, but the Citic Guoan Cup as well (since both men come into this match undefeated on the tour). As you would expect, these two put on a fantastic match to finish off the tour. While it wasn’t as epic as their title match in New Orleans from earlier in the year, it was still a great match (if it had been in North America, it might be closer to that New Orleans match). After a really hard fought contest, Johnny Gargano put Ricochet away with the Lawn Dart to capture the Open The Freedom Gate Title for the 2nd Time!! My only real complaint about the match is that it ended with the Lawn Dart. It would have been ok had that been built up a bit during the tour, and while Gargano used it in his other matches, he didn’t win any of them with that move. I’m sure why it ended like that, but other than that one complaint, this was fantastic.

Gargano celebrates after the match. He’s given the Open The Freedom Gate Title, The Citic Guoan Cup, and a large yellow & red wreath. He cuts a promo saying that he & WWNLive love Beijing and China, and that they would be back (though that has yet to happen as of this post).

Overall: 8.0/10

WWNLive closed out their tour of China in a big way, with four big title matches. I would say this was about on par with Night 3 in terms of the match quality as a whole. Part of that is because there were a few short matches on the undercard. Still, those show have several really good matches, a fantastic main event, and two really cool moments with Johnny Gargano & Mia Yim walking away with championship gold.

Looking back on the tour as a whole, I thought that all of the shows were good to really good. There weren’t any Show of the Year Contenders on this tour, but you shouldn’t have been expecting any, given the environment they were in. It was certainly a unique experiment for the WWNLive brand, and it produced crowds larger than anything they’ve had in North America. While a return to China is in doubt (they had originally announced that they would be back in the Spring of 2015, but obviously that hasn’t happened, and no mentions have been made of it since), this should still be looked on as a very unique and entertaining set of shows for the WWNLive brand.

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