I just watched the 1st episode of TVB's XAJH (90s version, forgot the year) called 'State of Divinity' (Astro in Malaysia is airing it starting today after HSDS 2000, and I'm delighted, since I've not watched it yet and heard so many good things about it) and was curious about something.
It started with the five peak leaders having a discussion on Songshan, when suddenly Ren Woxing and his cronies crash the party and get into a scrap with the 5 leaders. While I doubt this actually happened in the novel, it was still fun to watch. What was more interesting was that RWX challenged the 5 leaders to individual combat. Tian Men was deemed unworthy to fight, and Xiang Wentian fought in place of RWX, beating Tian Men. That was fairly believable to me as Tian Men was never lauded as much of a fighter in the story and never did much in terms of martial arts (his suicidal move in freeing his own pressure points aside). The second round was Qu Yang vs Mo Da, and Qu Yang won, although he (QY) mentioned that Mo Da lost to himself, rather than to him.
Regardless of the philosophy behind the whole thing, I always rated Mo Da as a top level fighter in XAJH, weaker than Zuo Lengchan but probably even superior to Yue Buqun. Much was made about how mysterious and exotic the Southern Hengshan martial arts were, and how exquisitely he could slice through cups, and through sheer speed take down Fei Bing in one stroke. I can't imagine Mo Da losing to Qu Yang, who, while he wasn't a pushover by any means, didn't do anything particularly spectacular martial arts-wise. I also imagined him to be on par with Liu Zhengfeng, who I expect to be weaker than his own elder martial brother. Would Qu Yang really be able to beat Mo Da in a fair fight?