The second iteration of Middle Kingdom Wrestling‘s Belt and Road Championship Tournament will be hosted in Nepal this year. The May 11th event is being organized by Nepal Ring Wrestling Association in conjunction with MKW.
The Belt and Road Championship is a truly unique title belt. The champion must hold the passport of one of the more than seventy nations that are members of the Belt and Road Initiative. The current champion, Black Mamba, is an MKW talent from China, but the inaugural tournament to crown a champion featured wrestlers from India, Russia, China, Austria, and other nations. While this year’s card isn’t an actual tournament, the Belt and Road Championship Tournament name holds enough value to both the NRWA and MKW, and hopefully to other promotions within the member countries.
This is certainly a major step towards reaching MKW’s goal they initially set out to achieve when creating the belt. As the promotion puts it, the Belt and Road Initiative intends to “enhance regional connectivity and embrace a brighter future… Our aim is to bring diplomacy through professional wrestling and to encourage strong friendships between the countries that are a part of the Belt & Road.” The card will feature wrestlers from China, Nepal, America, New Zealand, Hong Kong, and England, among other countries. The main event will be a four-way contest for the Belt and Road Championship belt.
The very nature of this card is very ambitious, much like the championship itself. The world of professional wrestling has become more and more interconnected over the past several years. On the most recent MKW card, a match took place between rising MKW star Masterclass Michael Su and Oriental Wrestling Entertainment‘s Hyperstreak. In previous conversations, Adrian Gomez has stated that one of his goals is to have “MKW wrestlers to wrestle as much as they can in front of completely different crowds” and to “expect to see more MKW talent in unexpected places this year.” Though he also mentioned the potential of the Nepal show at the time, it is still surreal to see this card coming to fruition. Only one-third of the way into the year, we’re seeing MKW promote diplomacy and professional wrestling to a half the world’s population through the Belt and Road Championship Tournament.