In just a few short days, we’ll be right there… In the center of the Manilaverse, surrounded by hundreds of Kapa-FEDS, as the Manila Wrestling Federation makes its return to UP Diliman. This time at the Bahay Ng Alumni, for the second show in our current canon: Maki Wrestling-Wag Matakot. Excitement isn’t even an understatement.
Every show we do is a labor of love, built from the hardwork and sacrifice from our roster, our management, and dedicated technical team- a wider family of hardworking men and women who go through so much every week just to make our shows happen. It’s this hard work that takes a toll on our personal lives and professional careers, but we do it because together we see the dream; we see the end goal. We know where all the sacrifice will take us, and we will do anything to get there.
Before I go any further, a brief apology on behalf of our Senior Analyst, Tarek El Tayech, who was not able to write on this blog due to personal matters.
In a few short nights, I’ll be standing back at Gorilla, with a headset and a two-way radio, overseeing everything that goes down on what’s going to up a hell of a show. And because I know it’s going to be a hell of a show, I need to be on my toes- anything can happen and as much I don’t want to go out there, I prepare myself to step through the curtains in the event someone crosses the line.
Because I just know, someone is going to try something that’s going to interfere with what I can only hope would be a smooth show. But then again, this is what I signed up for as Commissioner of the Manila Wrestling Federation. It is my job to come in and lay down the law whenever someone steps out of line.
Which also puts me in an interesting situation, because while I could easily abuse my powers and do anything I want (Life Coach on a Pole Match LOL; the Cage of Ultimate Jeopardy), I instill a lot a control. I know that good guys will do good things and bad guys will try to do bad things, and in some cases, both faces and heels will be left with decisions that compel them to reconsider their moral alignment in the Manilaverse.
I see all this, and while I can’t help but hold myself from rushing in whenever someone crosses the line, I do know that every decision every man and woman in the Manilaverse make will leave behind an important mark on the tapestry of this promotions history.
Colorful words and big dreams, I know… But as I pull in overtime at the office, in my life away from wrestling, my mind can’t help but think of this weekend and all its great possibilities. It’s got its highs and lows, but I love wrestling and I can’t wait to see you all on Sunday.
Mike Shannon’s Lazy Predictions:
– Rex hurts someone
– Ashura vs. Kyle is going to be the sleeper match of the night
– Morgan Vaughn declares his secret love for Aldrin Richards
– Fabio Makisig makes Gigz Stryker do all the work for him
– The Mystery Lady turns out to be a really good wrestler
– Gus finds a way to beat RG, damn it!
– Robin Sane vs. Mr Lucha II = MOTY Candidate!
11 days to go before “MWF 2: Maki-Wrestling, ‘Wag Matakot”, and the full match card has been announced and made official today! Of course, if you’ve been paying attention to what we’re doing, MWF 2 will be filled with surprises and you’ll go home feeling and believing you’ve spent P299 (or less, with discounts) on the best wrestling show you can see live this month.
I just booked my flight to the Philippines for that weekend, and I can’t wait to once again hear the crowd roar for something we put much of our hearts and souls into.
Time to answer your questions:
Ritz Sy: Can you picture out how will a feud between Tarek El Tayech and Mon Confiado would go? Could this be a continuation from that movie?
Unfortunately, I haven’t seen “Hitboy” yet. But a feud between Tarek and Mon Confiado with the MWF wrestlers involved will definitely get more eyeballs for our show! Without giving so much details (‘cause, you know, there might be a big possibility for this to happen in the future), I’d put Mr. Confiado – one of the best working film actors in the country today – in a heel role, setting up a feud with Commish Mike first before he actually gets Tarek, who knows a certain 90s action hero to be his ‘kasangga’… Now, that is something to sports-entertain all of us, yes?
Naj Siplon: Will we ever see William Elvin in an onscreen role in MWF?
Last week, we got a question if I would ever go back to a managerial role for MWF, and now this from Naj! Do you actually want to see me involved in MWF stories? Man, just thinking about it kinda gives me a mini-heart attack, with so much stress and anxiety involved there!
I enjoyed playing the William Melvin character in PWR’s test show 4 years ago, and I consider it to be one of the most memorable performances in my life. I’m sure I’d have so much fan doing it in front of a waaay larger audience this time, but only if I’m really, really needed. Right now, as I have mentioned last week, I’m more needed behind the scenes. But we’re not ruling out some simple, minor appearances.
Christopher Sandico Pepper : Thank you for answering my past questions. Your favorite fan has another question.
The Manilaverse has Supernatural long haired wrestlers that appears when you open a book, a mask the cause glitches in sound system (which affected your first video in MWF relaunch ) and light systems , mind controlled ninja and future resurrected prophets. Will MWF be more fantasy with fireballs and lightning or sci fi with flame throwers and lasers?
The Manilaverse will be what it is needed to be, depending on what story we want to tell. Our great multimedia production team, led by our visuals director Juan Carlo Tarobal, has opened up a million doors of possibility with the films we’re producing, so nothing is impossible – we can do fireballs and lightning or flame throwers and lasers whenever our creative ideas point to those directions.
Will be a very busy week for all of us, but we are happy to know that you’re all there for us! See you on May 27!
I know there’s been an awful delay in the production of my blog over the last couple weeks. With so much work going into our upcoming show, MWF 2: Maki-Wrestling, Wag-Matakot, it’s hard to keep our focus away from what’s sure to be an incredible show. Plus, I’m down with a really nasty heat-related flu. Anyways…
With the MWF Championship looming on a horizon and casting its spell over the landscape of the Manilaverse, I thought it was only fitting to take a moment and briefly discuss some of my favorite World Champions in recent memory. So, if the Kapa-Feds will indulge me, I’m going to fangirl just a little.
Mike Shannon’s Top 5 Wrestling Championship Reigns of the last 25 Years
Rob Van Dam
ECW Television Champion
I spent my teen years devouring any ECW video I could get my hands-on and a lot of that had to do with Rob Van Dam. While, championship belts in ECW were really plot devices that would get wrestlers and storylines over, Rob Van Dam’s historic run as the ECW TV Champion took that title to great heights thanks to his hotly-competitive and incredibly athletic performances. At his best, Van Dam made it a point make sure that each match was better than this last.Standout Matches:
Rob Van Dam vs. Balls Mahoney (ECW Anarchy Rulz 1999)
Rob Van Dam vs. Jerry Lynn (ECW Living Dangerously 1999)
WWE World Heavyweight Champion
2011’s run of the Summer of Punk produced some of the best TV in years. Sure, I could have focused on his ROH title run, or even early reigns over in IWA-MS. But for a lifelong fan like me, the 2011 Summer of Punk was nothing short of a dream come true. CM Punk wasn’t just the Champion, he was our Champion. He was, like many of us, a fan who had wanted to see the WWF we all fell in love with back in the spotlight. And for a brief moment in time, the WWE felt a lot like that.Standout Matches:
CM Punk vs. John Cena (WWE Summerslam 2011)
CM Punk vs. The Miz vs. Alberto Del Rio (WWE TLC 2011)
CM Punk vs. Daniel Bryan (WWE Over the Limit 2012)
CHIKARA Grand Champion
If there’s a wrestler who’s seriously underrated, it’s Eddie Kingston. Eddie Kingston made a name for himself in the mid-00’s by wrestling in a number of indies that included Ring of Honor, Jersey All Pro Wrestling, IWA-MS, and Combat Zone Wrestling (as a member of BLK OUT). Eddie Kington is a prize-fighter through and through. His backfist to the future can knock anyone out, and he can back it up a strong and balanced fighting style.As CHIKARA’s Grand Champion, Kingston carried the title for over two years after defeating “Lighting” Mike Quackenbush during the tournament finals and successfully defended the title against a number of the best names in the business.
Eddie Kingston vs. Brodie Lee (Luke Harper) (CHIKARA: It’s How You Play The Game)
Eddie Kingston vs. Sara del Rey (CHIKARA: The Great Escape)
Eddie Kingston vs. Kevin Steen (CHIKARA: While The Dawn Is Breaking)
Shimmer Tag Team Champion w/ Portia Perez
ECCW World Heavyweight Champion
It’s no secret that I’m a huge Nicole Matthews fan! As a worker, it’s hard to find someone as well rounded as her. It doesn’t matter who she’s wrestling, with her combination of strikes, suplexes, the occasional high spot, or even comedy- every Nicole Matthews match is a main-event caliber must-watch! She throws the stiffest lariats and her northern lights suplexes are a work of art.Matthews found success with Portia Perez as the Canadian Ninjas. This heelish combo dominated Shimmer Women Athletes for over two years, carrying the tag titles on two consecutive occasions. In addition, she would carry the ECCW Heavyweight Championship three times.
The Canadian Ninjas vs. Cheerleader Melissa & MscChif (Shimmer Vol. 29)
The Canadian Ninjas vs. Kana & Lufisto (Shimmer Vol. 49)
Nicole Matthews vs. Bishop (ECCW Ballroom Brawl)
Nicole Matthews vs. Jessika Havok (Shimmer Vol. 73)
WWF World Heavyweight Champion
Truth, this list could have ended with either Shawn or Bret. I love both of them dearly, for different reasons. I had come in as a wrestling fan at the end of Hulkamania, just when Bret and Shawn were getting major pushes. While, I do think Bret is the smarter wrestler between the two and has a had his share of amazing matches, Shawn seemed to have the more consistent title-run, at least in terms of defenses (regardless of the controversy).I still remember watching Wresltemania XII on Star Sports and loving every single minute of the Bret-Shawn Iron Man match. The win launched Shawn into a short-lived, but incredibly memorable championship run that saw him going against every freak and monster the WWF could throw at him.
Shawn Michaels vs. Bret Hart (WWF Wrestlemania)
Shawn Michaels vs. Diesel (WWF In Your House: Best Friends, Bitter Enemies)
Shawn Michaels vs. Mankind (WWF In Your House: Mind Games)
Taas kamay kung sino excited na sa buwan na ito! Ang daming ganap sa local wrestling scene natin, at nakaka-excite!
I just want to apologize for not making it up here last week. Big thanks to Sig Pecho for stepping up, and stepping in for me while I was away. You can check out his awesome article here if you haven’t already, and please do let us know what you thought of it. Gusto nyo ba ng more guest articles written by members of the ManilaVerse? Sound off sa comments!
SINO SA INYO ANG HYPED UP FOR THE MWF CHAMPIONSHIP TOURNAMENT???!!!
Ever since Commissioner Mike Shannon made the announcement a week ago, the entire ManilaVerse has been abuzz! Couple that with the fact that Mr. Lucha and Robin Sane are facing off in the first match, first round???!!! That is shaping up to be a battle for the ages. The best of friends turn into the fiercest of foes once again as they square off for an opportunity to prove they are the best MWF has to offer.
I, for one, cannot wait for this match! After the events of MWF 1: Kasaysayan, where Mr. Lucha assisted his best friend to the back (after said BFF was BRUTALIZED by an irate Ho Ho Lun… also DON’T TOUCH OUR FLAG, GUY!), I’ve noticed that Robin Sane has been keeping to himself a lot lately, and whenever I see him, di na nya suot ung MWF History Maker medal nya. Malala ang galit ni Robin Sane sa isang Mr. Ho Ho Lun… and who can blame him? Ho Ho desecrated something Robin holds so dear, and takes great pride in. This analyst wonders if the speed chaser is 100% focused on the match against his friend. He will need to be, if he is to stand any chance of making it to the second round.
As for the amiably awesome Mr. Lucha, where will his focus be on the 27th? Ever the consummate professional, Lucha prides himself in maintaining strong mental focus before each bout… but with his two wards facing off against each other on the same night, will The Pride of Sagada be able to keep his emotions in check? How will this affect his preparations? After the events of the History Maker Battle Royal, he is fully aware of the lengths Robin Sane will go to. Is Mr. Lucha prepared to eschew his principles and do whatever it takes to win? This analyst wonders how Mr. Lucha will approach this matchup given the friendship, the complexity, the animosity, the respect… the sheer history that is shared with his opponent. Can he maintain that iron focus needed to eek out a win? We shall see…
To be honest, I always expected Mr. Lucha vs Robin Sane to be the finals of the tournament, but fate has decided to switch things up (and what a great opportunity this is for all the Young Tigers of MWF to try to usurp the established order) and give us this slobber-knocker of an opening round match.
#kapaFEDs, you are not gonna want to miss this! PRAMIS! (Huy! Naj! Nuod ka! Labyu! ) Kayo po, sino sa tingin nyo ang aabot sa tuktok ng MWF mountain?
Join me again next week when I preview and predict the card of MWF 2: Maki-Wrestling, ‘Wag Matakot!
Super excited to catch PWR’s Wrevolution X (and not just cause Robin Sane and The YoLo Twins (ugh) are gonna wipe the floor with TDT x ECX x 3rd (wo)man (actually a fan of that whole gang butttt… la eh, nandun si Robin #Bias #Road) Can’t wait to see kung sino ung 3rd person joining the fray. Will The YoLos mesh well with Robin Sane? MWF’s resident trailblazer’s last foray into the tag team world didn’t exactly work out too well last time (see MWF 1: Kasaysayan). Can the more cohesive unit of The Naughty Boys prove that they’re more than just ‘joke team’? (Ugh YoLos so mean talaga. DON’T SUE ME OR ELSE WALA AKONG MAGAGAWA!) Kita kits #kapaFEDs sa Wrevolution X on May 20, 2018, 2pm, iAcademy Auditorium at supportahin natin sila Robin Sane at ang mga iba nyong paboritong mga wrestlers, at ang buong Philippine Wrestling scene! Woohoo! ️
This is the only time I’l feel bad for Fabio. Ang hirap kaya makipag away sa Mystery Lady na yun. PANO KUNG DI SYA CORPOREAL OMG??!! Sino kaya ang maloloko ni Fabio na maging partner nya doe? Hmm…
Big congrats over to our friends at Singapore Pro Wrestling (SPW) for the event they successfully held recently, and a big WOOOOHOOO CONGRATS!!! to our friends and #kapaFEDs, The Eurasian Dragon and Mighty Mighty (Mighty Dragon) for retaining their Southeast Asian Tag Team Championships. I think I’m not the only wrasslin’ fan who wants to see those belts defended in an MWF ring… hmm… sino kaya pwede? Sound off in the comments and let us know!
SINO MAGDADALA NG PILLOWS PARA SA PILLOW FIGHT?! AKO MAGDADALA AKO NG THROW PILLOW, NG HOTDOG PILLOW, MEMORY FOAM PILLOW (wag na yun pala, baka ma-memory pa ung pagka-Hypebeast ni Kyle…) DALA NA MGA #kapaFEDs! All pillows will go to our MWFoundation initiative! ️
BINALIKAN BA NI GIGZ UNG MENUDO NI ATE GURL??!!!
LAST COUPLE OF THINGS!
IM NOT THAT HAIRY!!! Ugh… who am I kidding? You suck, subtitles guy…
To make myself feel better, I made memes of Fabio’s frightened face (Salamat Sonny Go sa picture)
BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA ANG FUNNY KO TALAGA! TALENTED PA AT MARUNONG MAG SPELL (CHECK)
GAWA PA KAYO NG MEMES ABOUT FABIO #kapaFEDs!!! DALIIII!!! PARA MAASAR PA LALO SI FABIO!!! WAAAAAHAHAHAHAHA ITO GAMITIN NYO OH!
Salamat po sa pagbasa, #kapaFEDs! ️
P.S. Please ask Creative Director William more questions para makapod na sya at makapagpahinga. Seriously, the guy is a dynamo working non-stop with the Commish, along with the rest of the peeps in the back! Shoutout! Woot woot!
It’s been a long day for me, but as I always tell Senior Analyst Tarek, who sometimes asks me if I’m beginning to get overworked, thinking about the MWF and the hard work we put in will always be among the highlights of my waking hours.
So let’s get to more work and answer your questions, shall we?
Christopher Sandico PepperAs your favorite fan, my questions are always answered.
Are their going to be individual wrestler shirts available for sale? So we could support our favorite wrestlers!
Maow Del RosarioWhen can we expect to see tshirts of the MWF wrestlers at the merch booth?
(I want my Aldrin and Frankie merch!!)
Yes, there will be shirts and other merch for your favorite wrestlers! It just takes a bit of time because – and we ask for your understanding – as a company, we want all our merch concepts and items to be consistent in quality and design, so we always take a lot of consideration in all of the stuff we put out. So we ask for your patience. It will come soon. Remember when you guys were asking me about the MWF Championship? It came sooner than you all expected, right? So keep an eye out for the merch, too. For now, please buy our MWF shirts and other miscellaneous items, to keep our engines running.
Martin Vicencioas your favorite fa…wait..that’s someone else.
With MWF drawing elements of Theater into their craft..is a musical episode/segment/show of MWF a remote possibility in the future? (a.k.a. MWF: The Wrestling Musical)?
You trying to compete with my favorite fan Pepper, who already went to WIP PH to buy his ticket for “MWF 2: Maki-Wrestling, ‘Wag Matakot”?
Well, last I heard, MWF’s Creative Director has written a few original Filipino musicals… So, it may really be possible. 🙂
Also, one of my dream productions to direct (it’s posted here for the public to see, so I’m claiming this idea as my intellectual property :p) is a pro wrestling-themed staging of Shakespeare’s Macbeth. The play’s themes of power-grabbing and corruption fits perfectly in a wrestling arena setting, so if someone gives me about 1 million pesos to produce this, I definitely will start in a heartbeat.
Also, there’s a recent off-Broadway play titled “The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity”, which is a comedy/drama about a professional wrestler. It’s in my theater direction bucket list. If ever I mount these productions, you’ll support me, right? Hope so.
Sebs Daniel ArgarinIs there still a chance that we will see you sir in a manager role again at some point in the future?
No immediate plans for that, because our shows need me calling the shots for all technical cues, and I always loved being behind the scenes more than performing. But who knows, and why not? You might be seeing me cut simple promos soon, that I can say.
Naj SiplonAre there any plans to do a show outside of Quezon City? I’m from the south and I work weekends so it’s really hard for me to watch your events live.
Jaems Relativo Follow up question to this:
Would the MWF consider doing shows in the provinces/outside NCR lalo na’t masang Pilipino ang target audience ng Federation?
Crisencio Galvez follow up to this question:
what would it differ to the previous shows attempted by other promotions. like the batanes incident.
Naj, I hope to meet you in person soon in an MWF show. If the opportunity comes, we hope you can take that long trip to the north to see the MWF product we’re all so proud of.
To answer the questions, not only do we consider having shows outside Metro Manila, but that always was a part of the big plan. But in order to successfully achieve that, we have to build a solid fanbase and following first, like what we’re doing by holding our shows in Quezon City at least for the first few months.
And how would our shows be different from the ones attempted by other feds? I personally don’t know what really happened in Batanes, nor is it my business, so I can’t comment on that. However, when we do those shows, we’ll run as we have been doing so far: treat it like how we’ve done it professionally in events and theatre, and always put on the best show possible.
Ritz SyI remembered the Reboot MWF show inside the UP campus, which is also my first time inside the university. Now that you’re going back to UP, I would like to know your opinion if the MWF brand is perfectly suited within the university turf.
Being a UP alumnus, I’d like to believe that I have a firm grasp on how UP students think and feel, and so far, most of our UP friends who saw the shows instantly got what we’re trying to do creatively. The best thing is, we’re already creating new wrestling fans in the University, with quite a few having MWF as their first exposure to the artform.
We hope to continue getting more new fans, whether they’re from UP or not, with the help of you, our core followers. If you like what you’re seeing, bring your friends and have fun with us! It’s easy to go to UP even if you’re not UP students, either by private vehicles or commuting. So tara, let’s go and join us!
Charlie SalmonYou ever think of doing a Royal Rumble style contest? They’re always good crowd pleasers and it’s fun to have surprises from other feds show up.
Personally, I think the Royal Rumble is the best match concepts ever conceived. When the right time comes, and when we have a bigger roster to play around with, having a Pinoy-style Royal Rumble will certainly be at the top of our ideas list.
Mark De JoyaWithout giving away any overt spoilers, can you tell us about the design inspiration behind the MWF Championship? You have a very unique design language in your company.
Ohm David, MWF’s ringmaker and one of the best technical directors and set designers in the country (not even exaggerating here, he really is considered by everyone as one of the best in the whole damn country), will design the MWF championship belt. We can’t even describe how excited we are to show you the MWF Championship belt on December.
Carlo AgoncilloDo the MWF wrestlers use original music in their entrances? If yes who composes their music?
Not yet, though it is inevitable for us to use original music soon to avoid copyright issues. When that time comes, the music work will be split between yours truly and Teresa Barrozo, who scored most of the MWF videos that you have been seeing so far.
That’s it for tonight, my friends. See you in about two weeks at UP Bahay ng Alumni. Much love to all of you.
Here we are, just under a month away from our upcoming show, MWF: Maki-Wrestling, ‘Wag Matakot, coming to you live from the UP Bahay Ng Alumni on May 27, 2018. As announced last week, the main event will be Robin Sane and Mr. Lucha, squaring off at the opening round for the MWF Championship Tournament.
It is no secret that there is so much history between these two men. And since I’ve already written about this relationship numerous times in the past, I thought it was only fitting that I used today’s blog to revisit some of my ‘Best Friend/Better Enemies’ match-ups from the past.
The concept of two best friends facing off is nothing new. And it’s always so engaging and emotional to watch two best friends go-at it; whether it’s a blood feud or a competitive contest for a bigger prize. The very foundations of this kind of relationship can really raise the stakes, producing a hard-fought and emotionally driven classic that fans remember for the ages.
So, without further delay, here are my favorites:
CM Punk vs. Colt Cabana
Punk: The Final Chapter (Ring of Honor)This was something I got into as a teenager, after having been introduced to the wonder that is CM Punk after his debut on (WW)ECW. I started to get into indie wrestling through tape trading and digital download, and one of the first things I did was look into everything I had missed about CM Punk in the years before.It’s hard to miss his exploits with Colt Cabana, and Ace Steel, as the Second City Saints. With a combination of Cabana’s natural athleticism and Punk’s in-your-face/never-say-die personality, the Second City Saints were one of the hottest tag teams on the indies during their time. The team formed after long-time rivals and (former?) best friends realized their combined efforts made a hell of a team.
After driving Ring of Honor crazy during 2005’s Summer of Punk, CM Punk worked his last match for the promotion at Chicago’s Frontier Field House in a 2-out-of-3 fall match against Colt Cabana. A tearful Punk came to the ring decorated in streamers and walked away losing to his best friend.
The match was a back and forth classic. And if there’s anything I loved most about this match it’s how both Punk and Cabana were having fun out there. It’s something you hardly really see in wrestling on that level and it makes for such an entertaining and engaging contest.
Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart
Wrestlemania X (WWF/E)I still remember watching this one so vividly as a kid. Growing up, I was a Bret kid, while my nephew (who’s a year younger and also a ‘Mike’), was an Owen kid. Like any other rugrat with a budding passion for pro-wresting, this feud was something that really meant something to us. It was personal- especially when we’d fight over a jar of cookies or who got to be Player 1 on the Sega.At the ’93 Survivor Series, Shawn Michaels and his knights squared off against the Hart Brothers. After getting eliminated considerably early into the match, Owen returned later to confront his brother. It did seem like all was good at the ’93 Royal Rumble, but after Bret supposedly cost himself and Owen a shot at the tag titles, the younger Hart lost it.
This match opened Wrestlemania X and gave fans an emotional technical clinic that saw Owen’s advantageous nature get the better of his older, more experienced brother. I still remember watching this on ABC 5 late at night on a Saturday and just blown away by the kind of wrestling I was watching.
Kana vs. LuFisto
Shimmer Vol. 44 (Shimmer Women Athletes)Before breaking out into the WWE a couple years ago as Asuka, the Joshi-superstar then-known as Kana set the US indies on fire with a tour that spanned across both Shimmer Women Athletes and (MWF’s senpai promotion) CHIKARA Pro. While, many fans remember Kana vs. Sara Del Rey, Kana vs. LuFisto has always been a favorite of mine, because if there was anyone in the Shimmer locker room who could kick as hard as Kana/Asuka, it was LuFi.
To the unaware, Lufisto is a twenty-year veteran from Montreal, Quebec. She has been in the ring with Sara Del Rey, Kevin Owens, Ember Moon, the Necro Bucher, among others – and she has beaten each of those wrestlers. After proving herself in the ultraviolent world of deathmatch wrestling, LuFisto resurfaced with a fury and a vengeance as the Super Hardcore Anime.Their match was fast-paced, intense, and incredibly stiff. Neither woman backed down from each other, but in the end Kana got the better of the ultraviolent goddess. Now, their chemistry in the ring would eventually give way to a fierce, yet short-lived tag-team Shimmer fans lovingly remember as LuKana.
Shawn Michaels vs. Diesel
In Your House: Best Friends, Better Enemies (WWF/E)Now, if there was any match that brought it and tore the house down, it was this one. We all know the story: Diesel came into the WWF as Shawn’s bodyguard, but within a year, his dominant force and good looks would propel him to the top of the World Wrestling Federation. It was always a friendly rivalry of sorts, but once you put the Winged Eagle in front of Shawn and Diesel, there was no turning back.
The match was Shawn’s first defense as world champion and like any adorable pug in front of a fresh bowl of food, the Heartbreak Kid wasn’t going to let anyone come close to even breathing near his newly-won championship gold. Like Bret vs. Diesel a few months earlier at the ’95 Survivor Series, Shawn and Diesel clashed in one of the most underrated title defenses in the history of the WWF/E.
Like if anyone thinks Nash cannot work, please give this match a watch. When he is with someone who can really bring in the ring, the guy is capable of making magic on a main event level.
Kevin Steen/Owens vs. El Generico/Sami Zayn
EverywhereThese guys have wrestled all over the world- either as partners or as opponents. No matter where they go, they always seemed destined to tell the same stories over and over. I know I could easily pick a match- an ROH Ladder War, a battle against the Briscoes, or an encounter in PWG or Canada.There’s a lot of great matches there that to me, by singling out, I’m taking away from a bigger story that only a handful of wrestlers get a chance to tell. They’ve been engaged in an on-again/off-again feud for almost two decades and we all just want to see them go.
As a promoter and as a fan, I can’t help but hope for the same out of Mr. Lucha and Robin Sane.
Give me a too sweet if in 2018, you are still gaga about wrestling!
In my earlier years, whether you find it odd or not, the very first memory of TV that I have was sneaking under the pillow to hide from a surprisingly horrific and effective gimmick of a dead man coming back to life to annihilate lesser wrestlers in the ring. He kept on playing mind games to his opponents — indeed, he was a psy war tactician with a dwarfish sidekick, who had a deformed facial expression (who, come to think of it, actually prepared me not to be frightened at Lord of the Rings’ Golum). Yes, that unique moment of watching and hiding from the Undertaker was my very first memory of watching TV.
Since then, I closely watched what was then known as the WWF. I also became a Bret “The Hitman” Hart fan, inspired by my childhood hero to be “The Best there is, the Best there was, and the Best there ever will be”. His excellence in the ring was undeniably one of the best ever witnessed in wrestling. He had stellar matches, and his in-ring storytelling taught me what empathy means at a very early age. He defied the odds, went toe-to-toe with anyone who tried to disrespect him, his brand of wrestling and the people he represented. He was a great technician who had amazing matches against big guys like The Undertaker, Diesel, Yokozuna; had heated rivalries in Shawn Michaels, Jerry King Lawler, Terry Funk, Mr. Perfect, Stone Cold Steve Austin, even his great late brother Owen Hart, with whom he had some of his most critically acclaimed matches.
Recognizing my love for the underdog Champion in Bret Hart, I felt the need to create my own path of excellence. Often did I imagine having a career of my own in the WWE, building a character that simply carried my second name “Roy”. I had my dream tag team matches, dream rivalries, dream promos, and what have you. l remember being called weird by my youngest brother because he often caught me playing wrestling with sound effects up until High School. What seemed weirder was that I did not use action figures, and instead imagined my hands transforming as real characters. Indulging in those moments perhaps trained my hands how to work with puppets, how to make them alive, how to sketch my designs, and more.
Yes, I am a theatre practitioner now. I never thought of becoming a wrestler, because I never thought it would have been possible. But now, my craft introduced me to people who, like me, are still so gaga about wrestling; people in my field who were well-informed about the crafts and art of wrestling; people who spent so much time studying great match psychology, interesting characters, historic crowd reactions, and the relevance of character associations in the art of wrestling. My love for the arts led me to meeting people who acknowledged the art in something that is supposedly “just a form of sports entertainment”. I knew I was close to being part of living in a dream.
Last January, I got a call from one of my wrestling fan buddies, and brought good news that there will be a new wrestling federation that would try to meet Pinoy sensibilities. I knew right then and there that I wanted to be part of that action-filled event. I initially expressed my desire to call matches or to introduce everyone. Lo and behold, at MWF Open House: Level UP in the UP Film Studio, I became the voice of the MWF squared circle.
I stepped in the MWF’s newly constructed ring to do my thing. I held the microphone ala-rockstar Constantine Maroulis of American Idol or if you like a more wrestling reference, the loud Mr. Kennedy. I became a character. Once again, I was in my theatrical element, but this time it felt surreal — I was in my theatrical element inside a wrestling ring, the MWF ring.
I brought my Kasintahan (lover-beloved) with me, and was so happy that she enjoyed the show! What’s more interesting was her unexpected remarks recognizing heel tactics, babyface building up psy war through engaging promos, and the story in matches. It was insane hearing her observations, from someone who was not even a wrestling fan.
To me, it proved that we were doing the right thing. We were able to transform our colleagues as characters audience may relate to, characters with empathy, which can be a great tool in reflecting on our personal battles and values system.
Right now, the Philippine wrestling business is beginning to unfold its potential as a new form for us Pinoys to hear and tell stories, to connect us with our own demons and try to figure out how to pipe bomb our way to becoming more fueled in our lives.
I am now part of the MWF, and will always be. And that’s just too sweet to dig!