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By Jay Cal on 6/6/2018 8:50 AM

A look at the historic night of Wrestling in China.

On April 14th Championship Wrestling from Hollywood in association with the National Wrestling Alliance and Shanghai based promotion Toho Eiyuden brought a historic night of wrestling to the city of Wenzhou.  The event premiered last weekend on the networks that air CWFH along with FITE and can even be seen via YouTube,  Leading up to the show on the 14th was certainly out of the norm for a North American based wrestling promotion.

A literal motorcade of Range Rovers ascended upon the Shangri-La Hotel. This motorcade wasn’t assigned to a foreign dignitary or a visiting prime minister, rather this spectacle would be responsible for taking the Championship Wrestling from Hollywood crew to various high traffic areas of Wenzhou.

“We’ve been working on this project for three years. Here we are, days away from making history in the United States by being the first television pro wrestling broadcast to originate from China. WWE hasn’t done it, Impact hasn’t done it. WCW never did it. And our little company that could, is.” Sounding almost rehearsed, David Marquez explained this project, in between photo ops.

The sounds of snapping cameras, a drone whizzing by, and the boisterous discussion of the English-speaking wrestlers drown out the sounds of the nearby traffic. People observing the controlled chaos race to record their own version with cellphones in hand, as it isn’t every day you see professional wrestlers in your city. You don’t have to be fluent in mandarin too hear the panic tones of the Chinese production crew as they retrieve more sponsorship material to include in the pictures. Beaming with pride David would finish with “Let’s see what happens.”

What would happen would be Hollywood’s first international television taping. The first time a professional wrestling match was taped in China for distribution in the North America. It would also be the first time that the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship would be defended in China. This event was a collaborative event between CWFH and Simon Kelly’s Toho Eiyuden , which literally translates to Oriental Heroes, and Li Hou En, a third-party promoter based out of Beijing who kind of got the ball rolling. Negotiations started in 2016 between representatives in China and the CWFH Office. Several months later producers from CWFH would fly to Shanghai to discuss their plans to bring wrestling to China.

The event was very serious to the local promotions in China. Establishing a press conference for the champions and challengers to sign official match contracts. The room full with local press, capturing every moment either in still or in video. Not many questions were asked, but there were tense moments between Reno Scum and Eric Watts and Nick Aldis and Colt Cabana.

Harley Race has been known to say “I took the championship all over the world except Red China and Russia.” The main event of the event is a matchup between the former two-time NWA World Champion Colt “Boom Boom” Cabana challenging the “National Treasure” Nick Aldis the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Champion.

Marquez remarked, “when I knew for sure we would be coming to China I reached out to Billy Corgan and David Lagana to bring a match here. I think the match is pretty solid.” This historic match will also be documented on the NWA YouTube Series, “Ten Pounds of Gold.” Nick Aldis marks the 28th NWA Worlds Heavyweight Champion that David Marquez has promoted dating back to Dan “The Beast” Severn in Missouri as part of the World Legion Wrestling. David’s affinity for the NWA brand has been well documented over the years and it’s only fitting that it would be a Championship Wrestling from Hollywood promotion that would promote this historic night of wrestling.

David Marquez has always been ambitious, he’s been promoting wrestling since the late 80s. “Ten to [twelve] years ago I was promoting arena shows all over the world. We were a real small crew [and we] were doing [up to four] events a weekend, all over the world.” David Marquez’s Pro Wrestling Summit toured through the United States; Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix Arizona, Silver Spurs Arena in Kissimmee Florida, Dodge Arena in Hidalgo Texas, El Paso County Coliseum, Plaza San Miguel in Houston Texas, Laredo Entertainment Center in Laredo Texas, Spirit Bank Event Center Tulsa, Oklahoma, Sioux Falls Arena in Sioux Falls, South Dakota and Hammond Civic Center in Hammond Indiana. Other tours included events; NWA 60th Anniversary Tour in South Okanagan Events Centre, Penticton British Columbia, Canada and the Phillips Arena in Atlanta, as well as events at the Paul E. Tsongas Arena in Lowell, Massachusetts, and the "Australian Tour" at Challenge Stadium in Claremont, Western Australia, and South West Sports Centre, Bunbury, Western Australia “This is a little more exciting because of the terrain.” Championship Wrestling from Hollywood has been on the air consistently for what will be eight years this September.

“I was invited here to speak with the sports authority and administration here in China. To help put together professional wrestling in this country.” Although there have been various independent wrestling promotions in China since WWE’s foray into to the nation, wrestling is till relatively an unknown commodity. One of the biggest obstacles was just trying to explain what pro wrestling actually is. Some within the Sports Administration assumed it was more like collegiate wrestling or mixed martial arts. Late night meetings at the hotel bar with CAD renderings of the arena would lead to walk throughs in the arena, to even discussions prior to show’s start with debates on camera placements. Language barriers were difficult to overcome, but ultimately the arena was set up beautifully for fans who ventured to Wenzhou.

“To actually put something in motion, build it, try to get people to understand what you’re trying to do and then to actually execute it, it’s very gratifying.” Fans would fill the arena; some fans even flew in from other Provinces to make this show. One fan caught the eye of David Marquez holding a replica championship belts.

Five matches including the much-anticipated debut of the Legendary Ten Pounds of Gold, certainly seemed to reach the audience. The fans really got behind the product. Mr. Lee seemed to be very excited about the prospects of a return as the fan would enter the ringside area snapping photos with their favorite wrestlers of the night. Before the crew had left the arena, there were talks about a return to China. “We do plan to make China a big part of the United Wrestling Network. We hope to do a weekly television show.”

Currently CWFH is available on nearly two hundred stations around the United States and is available on demand via the FITE TV App.

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