Early 2019 has seen an explosion of newsworthy events and information come to light about the expanding Chinese Pro Wrestling scene. In fact there’s been so much news that this time period may be looked back on as a crucial launching point in the next step of the scene’s development, with 2018’s big company debuts serving as a foundation. But enough speculation about the future impact, let’s get to the news!
Oriental Wrestling Entertainment
OWE had, by far, the biggest, most bombastic news out of early 2019 as they headed towards their 1 year anniversary. Spinning out of their very successful second half of 2018, they made huge moves that will shape the future of not only their roster but the whole of the scene, bringing a plethora of international eyes onto the brand.
– Partnerships between OWE and The Crash Lucha Libre and All Elite Wrestling were made official (for more AEW partnership details please see comments provided to me by OWE COO Michael Nee, and by AEW Executive VP Matt Jackson.) OWE management are expected to be in Las Vegas today to join Cody, Matt and Nick for meetings and press conferences.
– Famous trainer Jorge “Skayde” Rivera did a stint in China training all members of the roster, regardless of experience level.
– NothingElseOn.TV will be broadcasting OWE content on their service, and I learned in discussions with them that they are working on translations to provide English localization for OWE shows and Chinese localization for at least one of their other shows. No dates have been confirmed for when this will be available.
– OWE will be running international dates in Taipei, Taiwan on Marc 30th 2019 and in Osaka and Tokyo, Japan between April 18th and 20th 2019.
– “Scorpio XX” Liu Xinxi will be making his return to international competition February 13th with #STRONGHEARTS at Wrestle-1.
– American talent brought in to China by OWE have recently worked on Gao Yuan’s most recent WLW show, adding further fuel to the rumors that OWE will be more actively working with other promotions in the Chinese Pro Wrestling scene.
Ho Ho Lun’s expanding network
– Extreme Wrestling Entertainment (EWE) ran their first show on January 22nd 2019 with very high production values. The promotion is owned and operated by Cai Liangchan, a famous man in Macau who has a background in international sporting events representing Macau and in MMA. Ho Ho Lun has been appointed as the “head producer” for the brand, making this the 3rd company he has a creative controlling stake in (EWE in Macau, HKWF in Hong Kong, and KOPW in mainland China.) Further shows are anticipated to take place in March and May.
– Ho Ho Lun via HKWF will also be helping to run further upcoming Dragon Gate shows in Hong Kong in May, with a “whole Dragon Gate run in Autumn and Spring” planned.
– KOPW and HKWF both ran successful shows in January, with video footage hopefully forthcoming soon.
We Love Wrestling
– Gao Yuan, WLW’s owner, has said that while nothing is certain yet he is working on a plan for an OWE vs. WLW event off of the back of their recent inter-promotional friendliness.
– 2019 will see more big shows from WLW, with at least one being in Anshan (Dongbei.)
Middle Kingdom Wrestling
– MKW plan on running four to five shows in 2019 in China, with their first being in March.
– MKW have plans for a spring show taking place in Nepal to fall under their newly established “Belt and Road” show banner. Likely this will be headlined by a Belt and Road championship match, to continue their successful and government supported “Belt and Road” promotion efforts.