Pro-Wrestling Exists in Shenzhen and Here's How the Show Went Down

By Daniel Romero, May 28, 2021

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On a warm Tuesday night in Shenzhen, spectators gathered at Tencent WeSpace in Upper Hills for The Foundation: Live

Infinity Battle Empire Wrestling (IBEW)’s inaugural show, which was co-produced and co-promoted with Middle Kingdom Wrestling (MKW), featured stars from China’s biggest promotions Oriental Wrestling Entertainment (OEW) and MKW. 

A lot was riding on the wrestlers and their matches. Did IBEW hit the mark with its first foray? Read on to find out. (Disclaimer: this article is loaded with wrestling terminology that readers may not be familiar with.)

Rappers Caesar and Chill Zayn warmed up the crowd by performing English and Chinese hype raps in front of a packed house. There were denizens from all corners of Shenzhen – from the rugby community to the teacher crowd to artsy locals to even the neighborhood grannies. Three songs and a George Lucas cease and desist-tempting opening sequence later, the matches were ready to begin.

Match 1

The Bad Boy from OEW Shanghai vs the King of Men

Giphy via That’s

The first match was a high-octane exchange with lots of counters and reversals into a series of arm drags. Rowdy fans quickly turned on the Bad Boy as he taunted and yelled at the crowd. The action spilled beyond the ring, and the King took over with a vicious assault on the outside, culminating in a crazy cannonball off the ring apron. 

The fight came back inside and just as the Bad Boy was mounting a comeback, the King of Men hit him with an electric chair drop. The Bad Boy looked finished but was able to reverse his fortunes when he hit the spear and put down the King for the three-count – quite a finisher.
Rating: 3.5/5 for a solid, fast-paced opener

Match 2

Tag Match: Voodoo and Ash Silva vs. DC Chen from China’s New Blood and Jason Wong

Before the contest, Voodoo made it known that Ash Silva was a bastard, and he didn’t want to team with him. Voodoo pandered to the crowd until they agreed that it should be a Fatal Four-way!

Fatal Four-way: Voodoo vs. Ash Silva vs. DC Chen vs. Jason Wong

WechatIMG134.jpgImage courtesy of promoter

To start off, Ash provoked all three of the opponents with some aggressive posturing. The other competitors punched and dumped him to the outside. Eventually, Ash made his way back into the ring and took control of the action with a cerebral display of technical strikes and high-risk moves. 

Voodoo and Ash tried to team up on Jason Wong until he powered over both competitors with a vicious-looking Samoan drop in which he lifted both men and slammed them. DC Chen then snuck back in and used the Canadian Destroyer, a flip piledriver-like maneuver, on Wong, before catching a hard-hitting two-footed spinning kick from Voodoo. A series of broken-up top-rope suplexes in the corner eventually led to Voodoo hitting an over-the-top powerbomb – or wrestling throw – on both Chinese fighters. The crowd chanted “Holy Shit” as all three bodies hit the ring with a massive crash. Eventually, all four fighters made their way back to the ring, and a tombstone from Wong almost took out Ash. Voodoo broke up the pin and went for another powerbomb on DC, which was turned into a ‘reverserana’ and a high-impact knee strike for the 1, 2, 3.
Rating: 4/5 for an athletic contest with quality storytelling

Match 3

Hardcore Match: The Slam vs. Black Mamba

Image courtesy of promoter

For this match, Slam entered with a pipe and Black Mamba carried a chain. Both men wore serious expressions – ready to go to work. The history between these two characters was evident in the intensity of the match. Slam trained Black Mamba in 2015, and now the student was looking to oust his teacher. They began with a handshake, but the legend of China Slam was looking for blood out of the gate. 

The contest went into the crowd with Mamba bloodying Slam up with chair-shots. A ramshackle table made of plywood and two chairs were constructed in the middle of the ring waiting to claim a victim. Slam reversed Mamba’s suplex – backward throwdown – and sent him through with a cacophonous crash. Another shanty table was built on the outside of the ring faster than a Chinese building. Slam made his immoral intentions known with a brutal chokeslam through the table to the arena floor. Despite Slam’s assault, Black Mamba was able to use his ring prowess and experience to choke Slam out in a submission hold. After the match, the veterans shook hands as a show of respect.
Rating: 3/5 for a hard-fought match between two grizzled veterans

The show then took a 15-minute intermission followed by another hype-rap performance. Caesar and Chill Zayn got the crowd ready for some more wrestling.

Match 4

The Stable’s Big Sam and Uncle Money vs. Mad Dog Connor and the Hole

Giphy via That’s

The crowd was hot for this one as there were massive amounts of Mad Dog supporters and Uncle Money fans. The Stable started off with a sneaky attack from behind, but Mad Dog and Hole were able to clear the heels. Mad Dog managed to pull off a suicide flip dive over the top. Big slams and furious back-and-forth strikes exchanged throughout. Suddenly, the Hole became visibly sick and shaken in the corner, and the lights flickered. The enigmatic fighter inexplicably disappeared in the darkness, leaving Mad Dog to fend for himself against the big men. They assaulted him with suplexes, slams and powerbombs. At one point, they thought he was knocked out, but the referee called for the match to continue. 

WechatIMG138.jpgImage courtesy of promoter

The fiery babyface Irishman put on a resilient display almost taking Money out with a Swanton Bomb – a gravity-defying crucifix-like frontflip from the top rope. Alas, the odds weren’t in his favor, and the Big Money Bomb from the top rope finally put the Mad Dog down. After the match, the raucous crowd showed massive support for Uncle Money. It seems that there may be a title in his future.
Rating: 3.5/5 for a dominant display by The Stable and a resilient babyface

Match 5

MKW Championship Match: The Flying Priest Gao Jing Jia vs. The Zombie Dragon 

Image courtesy of promoter

The OEW representative, Gao Jing, came ready for the fight, but the Zombie Dragon’s charisma and visceral energy mesmerized the crowd. High-octane opening exchanges with the Zombie Dragon showing early dominance. The challenger, not one to be dominated, took the Dragon down with some vicious strikes. A lot of crisp-looking action and back-and-forth reversals. Eventually, the Dragon was able to come back with a brainbuster-snap suplex. Dragon put Gao Jing down with an awkward-looking double-foot stomp from the top rope. The ending felt a bit off with the ref counting out the challenger quite slowly.
Rating: 3.5/5 for an excellent contest that ended a bit prematurely

Match 6

IBEW Championship Match: Buffa vs. Zhao Junjie

Image courtesy of promoter

Buffa came out to an adoring crowd shaking his boom box and his braids for the ladies. Another OEW competitor came out ready for a fight. The two big men challenged each other’s virility with a series of big strikes to see who would fall first. 

Finally, Zhao was able to take Buffa out with a massive lariat – an extended arm strike across the chest or neck. Buffa popped right back up with a hurincanrana, looking like a man half his size. The contest spilled to the outside, and the big men fought through the crowd. A series of combos from Junjie resulted in a “This is Awesome!” chant from the crowd. The contest nearly turned when Buffa managed to roll through a ‘superplex’ and hit a massive fisherman driver. The hometown crowd was firmly behind Junjie, until Buffa was able to hit a Sling blade and an insane-looking top rope X-Factor for the win and the belt.
Rating: 4/5 for a back-and-forth main event from two tough-as-nails competitors

After the match, the Stable hit the ring and attacked Buffa, but Zombie Dragon ran down to make the save. Zombie and Buffa closed the show out with a celebration and a hug while the heels cleared the ring and stared down the champs. Clearly, the Stable has their sights set on the gold.

Overall, IBEW delivered in spades. Everyone looked invested in the success of the show, including the competitors and the audience. Going forward, there are many questions that still remain: What happened to the Hole? Will Buffa and Zombie’s alliance prove enough to hold back the might of the Stable? Will Mad Dog get revenge for the beating he took? 


Follow MKW at and on their official WeChat channel (职业摔角MKW). Subscribe to their channel on YouTube and Youku to watch weekly shows.

READ MORE: Spectacle and Spandex! Professional Wrestling Returns to Shenzhen

[Cover image via @xiaolong/promoter]

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