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31 Days of Wrestling (12/21/19): Still Changing the World (Onslaught and Da Butcherman vs. Shaolin Monk, CIMA and Kenny Omega, SPW Klash of Kings)


Welcome to the 31 Days of Wrestling, ladies, and gentlemen. Once again, we're at that point where we take a look back at the past 11 months of pro wrestling (and as much as possible, the last month as well) and cherry-pick one match for each day of December from a list of bouts that defined the year in our beloved sport. Most matches will be good, while some may not be; what matters is that they helped build the perception and reputation of the kind of wrestling 2019 produced for us.


At this point, 31 Days of Wrestling suki Kenny Omega doesn't need further introduction. Earlier in the month, we featured his IWGP Heavyweight title match against Hiroshi Tanahashi, which turned out to be his last Tokyo Dome appearance for the time being. As his fan who heavily prefers puroresu, I took the news of him leaving New Japan Pro Wrestling pretty heavily.

But I guess, just like anything in life, when we lose some, we sometimes win some.

As I nursed the wounds I got from him leaving Japan, Singapore Pro Wrestling (SPW) announced in August that a certain Cleaner is coming to their island for their Klash of Kings show in September. From there, I wasted no time and bought a ticket, even way before I booked my flights to and from Singapore. Apparently, I made the right decision because their show was sold out in less than a day.


Save for Kenny's appearance last year in a gaming convention, this would make his first significant presence in the Southeast Asian scene. With All Elite Wrestling at the helm of making Wednesdays even more interesting, what better way to hit two birds with one stone than by bringing in puroresu legend and now AEW's CIMA, and an up-and-coming name in Oriental Wrestling Entertainment in Shaolin Monk (yes, that is his gimmick and his name)?

With Kenny bringing his A-crew, SPW also brought out its best weapons in Singapore wrestling OG "The Statement" Andruew Tang (who has faced big names before), his Onslaught tag team partner Trexxus, and Da Butcherman, two of their pro wrestling scene staples at the peak of their games.


The six-man tag team match was a great display of everyone involved. The veteran CIMA took everyone to school, and Kenny Omega will always be Kenny Omega with his flashy display of power. Shaolin Monk, despite relatively being the youngest inside the ring, proved himself to everyone that he can definitely hang with the best in the world, and he has a bright future ahead in OWE.




Despite their loss, Team SPW was rightfully the star of the show. It would seem that Onslaught and Da Butcherman would mix like oil and water because of their different attitudes, but they worked like a machine and made Team Omega earn their victory in their 28-minute match. WWE prospects Andruew Tang and Trexxus proved themselves of future tag team championship material with their display of fluidity, and while Da Butcherman is known as one-half of The Horrors with Dr. Gore, he still fit their team like a glove.

More than the results, this match—and the entire Klash of Kings show, which featured other OWE talents—only proved that the world of pro wrestling continues to get smaller. Just in the second half of 2019 alone, legends like CIMA and Tajiri, and stars like Kenny Omega, Jeff Cobb, and TJP have made their way to our side of the planet. From simulating our dream matches between our international and local favorites in our video games, these matchups can now finally happen in front of our very eyes, thanks to the hard work of people from the industry.

Wrestling in Southeast Asia is still relatively young, especially when put side by side with more established ones like UK and Australia, but it is a behemoth in the making. Thailand may have said goodbye to their own Gatoh Move franchise, but it paved the way for two more new promotions in SETUP and Thailand Origin Pro. Not far from there, Cambodia is now home to OWE, giving a boost to the region's blossoming scene.

All these are just the tip of the iceberg. Dig further down, and you'll find the more established promotions in the region in the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, and Hong Kong, with fans and wrestlers literally crossing oceans for our beloved sport.

Wrestling's borders are continuously being pushed, and everybody's a winner. And in 2020, we will all keep on winning.


*****
31 Days of Wrestling is Smark Henry's way of celebrating the matches that helped define wrestling in 2019. Read our previous entries:

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