By Commissioner Mike (CM) Shannon
Kamusta, mga Kapa-FEDS!
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.