Fale Dojo Exhibition 2 – Showcasing NZ Strong Style

The week leading to Fale Dojo Exhibition #2 was filled with excitement which included the expected training sessions as well as promo videos by Liam Fury, Aaron Solow, Tome and Stevie Filipe, and Mark “Mareko” Tui to promote the Exhibition event. The Dojo were also guests on PMN Niu radio represented by Tui, the Fale Dojo General Manager/Coach, and young lions Fury and Stacey “Smashahontis” McInnes on Wednesday evening, and Thursday morning, the event was promoted by young lions Tome, Stevie and Solow.

The Exhibition pre-event festivities started at 5 pm with our world-famous Fale Dojo BBQ and Silver Lion Sports selling New Japan Pro Wrestling merchandise. As the doors to the Dojo opened at 6 pm, people immediately began making their way inside.

Mark Tui welcomed everyone to Exhibition #2, speaking on behalf of Toks ‘Bad Luck’ Fale who was competing at a New Japan Pro Wrestling event. Tui thanked the audience for attending the show and also for supporting the students before handing the evening over to head coach Tony Kozina who served as emcee and ring announcer.

“Here at Fale Dojo, the students are taught to wrestle. They’re also expected to cook, clean and make their beds because that’s how it is in Japan,” said Kozina, who explained to the audience some of the requirements of the Dojo’s curriculum, which is based on what is taught at the New Japan Dojo. The NJPW Dojo is where the young lions hope to train at the conclusion of their three-month course.

“More so, young lions are taught humility and kindness,” stated Kozina, emphasising these two important principles.

Like the first Exhibition show, this event showcased current trainees and graduates from the Dojo classes Young Lions three-month course, several students from the professional wrestling advance course and some of the coaches. The students that were not competing on the card helped set up the event and served as ushers.

Kozina also announced the upcoming Fale Dojo New Zealand tryout which will be happening on May 11.

Before going into the opening match, Kozina introduced the referee, Lloyd Morgan.

Oskar Münchow (Germany) vs. Anthony Richards (South Africa):

Münchow entered the Dojo with excitement letting out a loud roar. His opponent, Richards was quiet and readily alert. Münchow, who is 6’5 and weighed 98 Kilograms outweighed Richards by 14 kilograms was most likely to out power Richards. Münchow and Richards locked up, Münchow was in control at first, but Richards was steady and didn’t let Münchow dominate.

The two lions locked up again and Münchow surprised Richards with a massive waist lock takedown.

They tied up again, this time engaging in a test of strength knuckle lock which Münchow dominated with his height and weight.

Realising that he couldn’t match Münchow in grappling, Richards took an aggressive approach by administering some intense stiff kicks to Münchow’s knees. Richards had the upper hand delivering some strong style forearm shots before swinging Münchow into the turnbuckle and running in with a clothesline.

Richards the aggressor delivered some chops to Münchow’s chest. He swung Münchow again into the turnbuckle then charged at him, however, Münchow slipped out of the way as Richards barged in and hit the corner face first. Richards fell back into Münchow who from behind pulled Richards down into a school boy roll up, but only got a two count.

Richards regained possession of the struggle with a single leg crab then into a reverse chin lock. Münchow fought the chin lock and makes his way back on his feet. With the move still in intact, Münchow elbowed Richards in the stomach to loosen the hold. Münchow seized the opportunity and ran against the ropes while Richards stood still in the middle waiting for Münchow who used the momentum of the ropes to hit Richards with a high cross body. Münchow landed on top of Richards and referee Lloyd Morgan counted to three.

Winner: Oskar Münchow

Victor Faletogo (USA) vs. Richard Mulu (New Zealand):

This match was booked after Richard Mulu and Victor Faletogo from the pro wrestling advanced course lost their tag team match to Vik Shiva and Jordan Allan-Wright at the first Exhibition event. Mulu was not happy and blamed Faletogo for the loss. Although Mulu, having his family present and being a South Auckland native, was expected to be the crowd favourite, he managed to lose favour with most of the audience because of his resentment towards Faletogo and his unwillingness to accept crowd support.

This match was driven by heavy strikes and power moves that both Faletogo and Mulu worked on to build their repertoires. Mulu provided his own commentary to the match as he talked trash at Faletogo while he had control.

“LET’S GO SEATTLE,” yelled Mulu mockingly at Faletogo, originally from Seattle, Washington, USA. “JUST GIVE UP,” Mulu taunted.

Faletogo fought back, swinging Mulu into the turnbuckle then charging at him with a massive avalanche. The Seattle native then followed up with a big Samoan drop to the excitement of the crowd.

Faletogo attempted a second Samoan drop, but he couldn’t lift his former tag partner over his shoulders. Mulu regained momentum and shoved the exhausted Faletogo into the turnbuckle and then barged in with his own ferocious avalanche. Mulu’s determination landed him the win in the end when he put away Faletogo with an amazing powerslam.

Following the match, Mulu extended his hand to Faletogo and they embrace. It will be interesting to see if Mulu and Faletogo will resume their tag team partnership.

Winner: Richard Mulu

Mareko (New Zealand) vs. Patrick Schischka (New Zealand):

Mark “Mareko” Tui is one of the first graduates from Fale Dojo. Mareko wrestled in the NJPW ‘Fall Out Down Under’ 2018 tour of Australia when he teamed with the legendary Yuji Nagata in Perth to take on The Guerrillas of Destiny, Tama Tonga and Tanga Loa.

Patrick Schischka, a young lion from the February intake made his Exhibition debut. In addition to his current training at the Dojo, Schischka also holds a background in amateur wrestling which he made use of in this match.

As they locked up, Schischka put a reverse waist lock on Mareko and took him down with a reverse drop toe hold. Schischka pursued Mareko with an aggressive approach most likely due to Schischka being unfamiliar with Mareko’s demeanour. This match was a fine example of a clash of cultures and wrestling vs. brawling in the strong style context.

Schischka hit Mareko with a series of strong style forearms to which Mareko yelled in his native Samoan, “E LE ILA! KO SAU!” which translated to ‘it doesn’t hurt, come again’. Schischka caught off guard wasn’t sure how to respond.

Schischka charged at Mareko with a series of shoulder blocks from each side of the ring, but Mareko didn’t move. Schischka tried one last time but the unmoved Mareko blasted him down to the mat.

Mareko drove Schischka to the turnbuckle with a thrust to the chest and a headbutt dropping Schischka to the mat.

Schischka gave everything he had in his strong style arsenal when he realised that he couldn’t combat Mareko with mat wrestling.

Schischka ran at Mareko with the intent to throw a big strike, but he ran into a Samoan drop. Schischka laid on the ground as Mareko climbed to the second rope.

“UMA”, screamed Mareko, meaning ‘finish’ in Samoan, a fitting line for the Easter season. Mareko jumped off the rope and hit Schischka with a splash. Mareko picked up the victory with a three count pinfall.

Mareko’s hand is raised in victory, he then helped Schischka to his feet. They embrace with a hug, and as a sign of respect, Schischka bowed to Mareko his coach.

Winner: Mareko

Victor Faletogo (USA) and Anthony Richards (South Africa) vs. Oskar Munchow (Germany) and Arthur Papali’i (New Zealand):

This tag team match consisted of a unique blend of students from different parts of the Dojo’s curriculum. Papali’i is as a coach who specialises in freestyle wrestling and amateur boxing. Richards, a recent graduate of the Young Lions programme competed for the second time in the evening as well as Münchow who wrestled Richards in the opening match, is a current lion in the February intake, and Faletogo is a student in the pro wrestling advance course. The encounter served as an opportunity for all four participants to lend their experience while also learning from each other.

Richards and Papali’i almost started the match, but Richards insisted that his opponent Münchow step in. Münchow accepted and Papali’i tagged him in. Münchow put Richards into a headlock, Richards elbowed his way out of the grip which sent Münchow running against the ropes and hitting Richards with a high cross body – the very move that he used to beat him earlier in the show. Richards had learned from the first time and kicked out at two. They then tag out to their tag partners Papali’i and Faletogo. Faletogo backed Papali’i into the corner, Papali’i escaped around Faletogo and with use of his freestyle instincts he delivered a waist lock takedown and slammed Faletogo front first to the mat. Faletogo resorted to a boot his Papali’i’s stomach and tagged out to the experienced Richards.

Richards and Faletogo were a cohesive unit throughout the battle as they often tagged in and out and kept Papali’i in their corner.

Papali’i struggled to break free from the grasps of the opposing side, but he found his opening when Richards charged at him in the corner. Papali’i dodged around Richards, causing the lion from Cape Town, South Africa to run into the turnbuckle. Richards and Papali’i slowly made their way to their opposite ends of the ring to tag out. The energetic Münchow exploded into action and threw a series of forearms and clotheslines at Faletogo. Münchow attempted a slam but Faletogo being too strong flattened Münchow with a crushing powerslam.

Faletogo tagged out to Richards. Still not letting go of his loss, Richards administered a series of strikes on Munchow and then picked away at his leg with some decimating kicks.

Confident that he could go toe to toe with the 6’5 German, Richards hit a repetition of chops, but Münchow retaliated with his own succession of open hands. The exchange excited the audience as well as Faletogo who encouraged the belting of chops.

Münchow, the most aggressive he’s ever been couldn’t combat Richards’ dirty tricks. Richards tagged out to Faletogo who hit Münchow with a combo strikes and jabs. They resumed control and isolated Münchow, forcing him into their corner.

Richards applied the single leg crab, Münchow using his size fought his way to the ropes to break the hold. While Münchow regained his balance Richards bounced off the ropes intending to hit a clothesline, but Münchow used his elder’s momentum to execute a massive powerslam.

Münchow and Richards tagged out to their partners. Papali’i dropped Faletogo with a flying shoulder block. Papali’i bounced off the ropes and executed a jumping big splash. Faletogo tagged Richards who charged at Papali’i but was met with Papali’i’s flying shoulder tackle.

Münchow was tagged in while Richards was in the corner. Münchow charged at his rival, Richards ducked around as Münchow ran into the turnbuckle. Richards from behind pulled down Münchow into a school boy roll up and gained the three count for his team.

Winners: Victor Faletogo and Anthony Richards

Young Lion Showdown: Michael Richards (New Zealand) vs. Andrew Villalobos (Australia):

This special attraction featured two graduates from the June 2018 intake who went on to further training at the NJPW Dojo in Tokyo where they survived the three-month programme. Since returning to their respective countries, Richards has been lending his experience as a trainer at Fale Dojo. Villalobos who has competed in Sydney returned to the Dojo to wrestle his fellow and also assist with the students training.

Richards and Villalobos engaged in an intense lock up into a test of strength. Richards applied a headlock take over to ground Villalobos.

The two graduates locked up again as Richards drove Villalobos into the corner. This contest took a meticulous and thorough approach in strong style grappling. The two exchanged intense headlocks and arm locks. Villalobos took the grappling to the mat with a hammerlock. Richards, however, gained control with a tight head scissors lock which Villalobos managed to escape after several moments of finding his way out.

The graduates got back on their feet and resumed grappling. Villalobos used the headlock until Richards began striking Villalobos. Villalobos retaliated by hitting a shoulder block which sent Richards to the ground. Villalobos grabbed Richards and hit him with a clubbing forearm to the back and followed up with a powerful body slam which caused extra pain to Richards’ back.

Villalobos kicked away at Richards as he lay in agony. Villalobos went for a pinfall but only got to two. Villalobos struck away to the back of Richards’ neck. But Richards broke the momentum with his own body slam. Richards’ pinfall attempt got to two before applying a chin lock.

The accomplished lions got back on their feet and Richards came off the ropes and hit with Villalobos with a European forearm uppercut which stunned Villalobos and sent him falling to the mat.

Richards applied the Boston crab, but Villalobos crawled to the ropes to break the hold.

Villalobos regained dominance in a fierce exchange of forearm strikes. He tried to body slam Richards but Richards while being lifted up countered the move into a school boy roll up which got a two count from the referee.

Richards lifted Villalobos and drove him face first into the turnbuckle and then grounded his fellow lion with a chin lock. However, Villalobos got back on his feet and broke the hold with a strike and a clubbing forearm to Richards’ hurting back. Aware of the pain he caused, Villalobos executed another major body slam.

Villalobos applied a Boston crab as a hurting Richards desperately tried to fight off the move. However, Villalobos sat right on Richards’ back which made Richards’ scream, he taps out to the shocked gasps of the crowd.

As Richards’ struggled to stand up, Villalobos extended his hand to his peer only for Richards to slap away his hand and leave the ring.

Winner: Andrew Villalobos

Main Event – Liam Fury (NZ) and Aaron Solow (USA) vs. The Filip Brothers (Australia)

The main event featured four young lions in an exciting tag team encounter. Liam Fury and Aaron Solow who wrestled each other in the main event at the first Exhibition event went up against Tome and Stevie Filip who were making their New Zealand wrestling debut.

Solow and Tome begin the match with some grappling accompanied by remarks spoken back and forth between the two present in the ring. As the grappling progressed, Solow gained the advantage of the wrestling and jousting which upset Tome. He tagged in his brother Stevie who then pointed at Fury and said, “I want New Zealand’s best”. Solow gladly tagged in Fury.

Fury took down Stevie and worked on stretching his leg. They locked up again and Fury applied an arm lock, he tagged Solow who hit a double axe handle onto Stevie’s arm. Fury and Solow worked together to weaken the arm. Stevie broke the momentum with a rake to Fury’s eyes while holding him up against the ropes. Stevie then swung Fury against the ropes to the other side of the ring where Tome was situated. Tome hit Fury from behind and Fury reacted by trying to hit Tome but failed to do so. Fury turned his attention back to Stevie who hit him with a glorious standing dropkick.

The Filip brothers used their advantage of the situation as Tome came back in the ring and rag-dolled Fury with an aggressive headlock takedown. Tome still gripping the hold while Fury lay on the mat tried to gain a pinfall but he barely got a one count on New Zealand’s best. Fury fought the headlock and managed to tag Solow after he pushed Tome off against the ropes. Solow exploded into the ring passing through Tome to get to Stevie in the opposite corner who was mouthing off to the crowd. Solow cleverly hit Stevie who dropped off the ring apron. Tome charged at Solow in the corner. Solow moved out of harms way in time for Tome to crash into the turnbuckle. Solow ran at Tome with a masterful European forearm uppercut. Solow’s momentum, however, was abruptly stopped when Stevie forcefully pulled Solow’s leg which sent him crashing outside on the floor.

Stevie provoked the crowd with his “AUSSIE AUSSIE AUSSIE!” chant, to which the crowd responded with boos. Aware of the toll that Solow’s body took from the fall, Tome slowed down the pace and gave Solow some strikes that were delivered like a well-timed thunder strike, each one timed to make an agonising impact. Solow, still hurt tried to come back with some educated MMA strikes, but Tome returned with some hits. Tome then executed a body slam and while Solow hit the mat, Tome jumped up and came crashing down with an impressive legdrop.

The audience cheered their support for Solow as the brothers took turns inflicting their share of strikes which according to their reaction were very severe.

Solow, fortunately, managed to escape further punishment and tagged in Fury. Fury stormed in unloading a series of forearm shots on Stevie. Fury then proceeded with a succession of MMA kicks which dropped Stevie to the mat, Fury followed up with a beautiful standing moonsault into a pinfall attempt.

Fury went for a spinning kick, but Stevie dodged the strike and tagged in Tome. The Filips attempted a double clothesline but the brothers ended up the recipients of Fury’s dynamite dropkick. With Stevie driven to the outside, Fury executed the GTS on Tome who managed to kick out at two much to the crowd’s surprise.

Fury tagged Solow and together they hit a dropkick and spinebuster combo. They try another pinfall but is interrupted by Stevie. Fury inserted himself to even the odds, but was thrown outside the ring. The Filips moved in as Tome lifted Solow in a fireman’s carry, Stevie executes a scissors kick to Solow’s head while Tome crashed down with a Samoan drop. Tome covered Solow while Lloyd Morgan counted 1, 2, and 3! The match is over and the Filip brothers have won on their New Zealand wrestling debut!

Winners: The Filip Brothers

“We just fought New Zealand’s best and the best in the USA,” said Tome who then on behalf of Fale Dojo thanked the audience for their support.

The Filips embraced Fury and Solow.

The young lions returned inside the Dojo while Solow explained the importance of multiculturalism which they’re taught as part of their wrestling education at Fale Dojo. The young lions performed a powerful haka to the crowd and ended the evening with the sending spoken in Japanese.

Fale Dojo

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