Ho Ho Lun vs. Tajiri (MWF Aksyonovela 1/22/20)

Match Reviews

I don’t watch MWF to see great matches. Tonally and spiritually, the promotion takes far more from CHIKARA despite the more mature themes you’ll find in its storylines. It’s a collection of well-defined and colorful characters interacting in a variety of layered and complex storylines. There’s an emphasis on continuity, history, and shifting morality.

It’s fun.

Ho Ho Lun as the top heel champion in the promotion operates more as a comedy heel than a threatening force. He’s the perfect picture of a stereotypical goofball heel–making faces at the crowd, calling the fans monkeys, getting bamboozled by the heroes.

Standing across from him: an aging Tajiri, who at the time of the tapings had just completed a tour with All Japan. We’re two full decades removed from ECW workhorse Tajiri threatening to decapitate people by launching steel chairs at their heads. Tajiri isn’t going to be putting in five star classics. What he does have going for him is a ton of good will from a wrestling-starved Filipino crowd who mostly have warm memories of Tajiri making jokes with William Regal on Raw every week.

What you get here is essentially a house show match. Milking maximum reactions from minimal actual action. Even in that, there are bright spots like how hard Ho Ho grinds against Tajiri’s face in a resthold, or how satisfying the thud of every chop from Tajiri sounds. In this intimate setting with roughly a hundred people or less in the crowd, every kick is a high spot.

It’s wrestling at its most fundamental. Unremarkable, sure. Noteworthy? Not particularly outside of any MWF canon. But as someone who saw the match live, it held up surprisingly well on the video footage. That’s certainly more than I expected.

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