wrestling / TV Reports

411’s MLW Anthology: Low Ki Report

June 1, 2020 | Posted by Robert Winfree
MLW Anthology Low Ki

Hello everyone, I’m Robert Winfree and I’ll be providing your MLW reviews. At the moment we’re not dealing with a traditional wrestling show, instead MLW presents tonight a special anthology of independent wrestling legend Low Ki. If you’re not familiar with Ki’s work around the indy scene I can only encourage you to seek it out, he’s been pretty much everywhere.

I don’t normally do star ratings, I don’t feel I’ve watched enough recent wrestling to speak to objective quality like that, but I will include my thoughts on the match for whatever that’s worth.

Match #1: Low Ki vs. Homicide (2004)

Homicide starts out walking Low Ki down, this is billed as student (Ki) vs. master (Homicide). They tie up and Low Ki gets Homicide into the corner, resulting in a clean break. Another tie up, Homicide with some takedowns but Low Ki kips up. They hold the collar and elbow tie up into the corner, where Low Ki flips over the top rope and tries an armbar but the rope count comes into play and we get a clean break. Another tie up but Homicide moves to a side headlock, gets tossed into the ropes but takes down Low Ki with a shoulder block then they trade arm drags and Homicide evades a big roundhouse kick from Low Ki.

They separate after that and take a moment to let the action breathe. Now we get a greco-roman knuckle lock but Low Ki decides a leg kick is a better option. Homicide takes a second to shake the leg out before they get close again. Now Homicide with kicks to the gut and we’ve moved from wrestling to brawling. Punches and chops from Homicide, but Low Ki winds up hitting cross body then a drop kick. Homicide back body drops Low Ki over the ropes, tries a dive but Low Ki intercepts with a kick. That gets a 2 count on the cover. Well timed sequence from those two there. Low Ki on offense now, chops, kicks, now chops in the corner. Running elbow strike from Low Ki then a bridging double under hook suplex for another 2 count. Credit to the ref there, he double checked that the shoulders were actually down given the arm position of Homicide. Mongolian chops now from Low Ki, Homicide has had enough of that and moves in with forearms of his own. Low Ki reverses a whip to the corner and then hits his handspring kick to the head. Homicide gets chopped to the ring apron then eats some Kawada kicks before firing up by taking off his bandanna. Homicide avoids a running kick and then yanks the leg of Low Ki over the top rope. Low Ki to the outside now, which sets up a Homicide poetic tope into the crowd.

Homicide in control now, goes for the pin but only finds a two count. Delayed vertical suplex, impressive count he got but his pin attempt only yields 2. Snapmare and a modified surfboard hold. Low Ki lands a kick to break the hold but Homicide recovers first and retains offense. Belly to belly overhead variation from Homicide but he takes his sweet time on the cover and Low Ki kicks out again. Headbutts from Homicide in the corner, now chops and punches to go along with it. Low Ki tries to fire back with punches but Homicide cuts him off with an eye poke. Up on the top rope now, Homicide hits an ugly huricanrana, that looked like a bad landing for Low Ki. Follow up pinfall attempt only gets 2. Homicide back to the top, tries the diving headbutt but Low Ki moves. Now chops from Low Ki and a running elbow then a basement drop kick. Homicide on his knees, Low Ki with a series of kicks, Homicide back up though and looks for a Cop Killer, Low Ki rolls through and hits a rolling kick to the back of Homicide’s head. Deadlift German suplex from Low Ki and they’re both down recovering. Low Ki with a cover, Homicide gets his foot on the rope.

More kicks from Low Ki, Homicide catches a jumping kick and hits a dragon screw leg whip. Another one, this time off the top rope from Homicide and he rolls through into a modified STF. Homicide lets go, apparently he felt Low Ki tap but the ref disagrees. That’s really clever actually, you see it in grappling or MMA on occasion where the fighter on the wrong end of a hold gives a “phantom” tap that makes the aggressor think they’ve won but the ref can see it wasn’t an actual submission. Homicide drags Low Ki up, but Low Ki rolls over the top and locks in a dragon sleeper. Homicide has to move to the ropes to break the hold and save the match. Low Ki sets for the Ki Crusher, but his knee gives out so instead of tries a shining wizard which Homicide ducks, and then Low Ki hits a kick to the back of the head. That leads to a 2 count. Low Ki tries the dragon sleeper again, Homicide powers up into a firemans carry position and drives Low Ki into the corner before following up with a hard lariat. That also gets a 2 count. Homicide signals for the end, tries the cop killer but Low Ki rolls through again and goes for the dragon sleeper but Homicide counters into a pinning position and that gets the fall.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Homicide defeats Low Ki via roll-up

Jerry Lynn attacks Homicide after the match, but Low Ki takes issue with that and lays into Lynn. Gary Hart shows up and encourages violence from Homicide and Low Ki. Low Ki and Homicide go after a “fan” as things get crazy around the ring. Hart resumes talking, now taking aim at Court Bauer the MLW owner. Homicide pie faces Bauer down. Hart promises that tomorrow they’ll end the career of Terry Funk, I’m pretty sure someone is still making that promise now so I can surmise how that went. Homicide cracks Bauer in the head with a broom stick, then uses the broom to sweep garbage onto Bauer. That’s about where the clip ends.

I dug the match, nothing ground breaking or anything but it was well executed. Both men brought their hard hitting style but it never really got out of about second gear, though given that they wound up in a stable together right after it makes sense in terms of story. The phantom tap spot was cool, and the teacher one upping the student with a technical move is fairly traditional. The post match angle was alright but I’m not sure the broadcast was really equipped to pipe in the mic that Hart had and so we got a fair bit of garbled stuff with him in the background talking to the audience while commentary kept talking.

Match #2 – World Heavyweight Title Bout: Low Ki vs. (c) Shane Strickland (2018)

Low Ki is rocking his hitman attire so the dress shirt, red tie, leather gloves and shoulder holster are on. Low Ki trash talks for a bit, then slaps Strickland. Strickland fires back with punches and unloads in the corner then Low Ki counters with a kick but Strickland counters an arm drag into an armbar and Low Ki has to use the ropes to force a break. Strickland resumes unloading in the corners before Low Ki counters him with some chops. Headbutt from Low Ki and he’s in control now. Low Ki with strikes in the corner, now stomps as Strickland slides down to the mat. Another headbutt and a hard chop drop Strickland. Elbow, scoop slam from Low Ki but he just gets a 1 count. More kicks and stomps from Low Ki, he backs Strickland to the corner again and lands more elbows and chops. Full control for Low Ki right now. Strickland fires back with a right, but he can’t follow up so Low Ki kicks him to his back again. Low Ki backs off and Strickland takes some time to regain his feet but when he does Low Ki kicks him back down. Low Ki winds up holding a dragon sleeper over the top rope, he can’t maintain it but he does use that to further disable Strickland. There’s an editing or broadcast gaff, Low Ki hits a springboard kick of some variety but the show cut to Selina (I’m guessing on the spelling there) our evil femme fatale who’s put a hit out on Strickland in the crowd and we miss the impact. That’s the kind of thing you should have been able to fix for an anthology broadcast. Strickland fires up with punches and chops, the tie of Low Ki is now loose. Low Ki lands a kick but then Strickland tries a half and half move, Low Ki rolls through and lands a jumping double stomp but he only gets a 2 count on the pinfall attempt.

Strickland winds up throwing Low Ki over the top rope, then kicks Low Ki when he tried to get back in. That lets Strickland hit a flipping head scissor on the outside. Back in the ring now, Strickland yanks the shirt open and resumes laying into Low Ki. Punches in the corner but Low Ki shoves Strickland away but Strickland avoids a rush and Low Ki face plants into the corner. Strickland hits a half and half suplex, looked more like a straight half nelson as Low Ki’s other hand was free, but the cover only gets 2. Strickland finishes removing Low Ki’s shirt then sets for a power bomb but Low Ki counters with elbows, Strickland drops him and looks to catapult him into the corner but Low Ki lands on the buckles and then crushes him with a double stomp but that also only gets 2. Low Ki sets for the Ki crusher, Strickland fights out and hits a couple of kicks to drop Low Ki but Strickland is selling his knee and doesn’t follow up right away. Now Strickland goes for a rolling cutter, Low Ki evades but Strickland follows him and hits it on the second attempt for a very close near fall.

Strickland to the top rope now, goes for a double stomp but Low Ki evades and Strickland’s knee is hurting again. Low Ki clubs Strickland down with a forearm blow then hits the switchblade kick for the pinfall.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Low Ki defeats Shane Strickland for the title via pinfall

Low Ki celebrates with the belt, he’s joined by Selina and they pose for the cameras. Selina delivers the payment to Low Ki as they wrap the clip.

The match was good, but the story of the valiant champion finally being worn down by attrition and eventually succumbing to the villains is a hard one to fully convey in a single match like this. Both men worked well, nothing was visibly botched or dangerous. If I have a gripe I suppose it would be that if the injured knee was going to factor into the finish like that I’d like to have seen Low Ki work the leg a little bit more.

We go back to 2004 or so, Gary Hart is talking to Homicide and Low Ki in the back. He hypes both of them up, wanting them to put the fear of God into everyone who thinks about stepping into the ring with them. Hart mentions that he has a personal legacy to protect and he chose these two deliberately. He promises consequences to anyone who steps in their way before all three embrace. You know, I miss good managers like that. Hart did a great job of coming across almost like a coach, motivating his charges while also putting them over and promising more mayhem to come.

Next weeks anthology will be Satoshi Kojima, which I’ll be reviewing as well. Closing thoughts, it was an interesting choice to start with Low Ki’s MLW debut and then go with his title win and getting a little glimpse in how he tweaked his work and presentation from 2004 to 2018. Some minor production issues in the second match, and the fact that the first match seemed to hover around second gear aside it was a pretty good little look into Low Ki. Until next time everyone, stay safe out there and keep coming to 411mania for all of your pop culture needs.

article topics :

MLW Anthology, Robert Winfree