Musings from the Tech Booth – Part 2, and Your Questions Answered [No Curtains Needed]

By William Elvin Manzano 

 

Before anything else, I’d like to apologize to you Insider #KapaFEDs for being very late in posting this article for this week. Aside from being busy juggling all the responsibilities for “MWF 3: Republika”, I also had to dedicate some family time over these past few days. I’ll make it up to you. Here we go.

***

“Kuya Will, dito ka lang please. Kailangan ko po ng next cue,” says Mara, who, if I would have to guess, only understood what pro wrestling really is when she got to work with us for MWF 1: Kasaysayan. I was trying to catch some, if any, fresh air because I was starting to get really dizzy. Also, in a few minutes, I will cut a promo to announce the MWF Foundation, in front of people who don’t know or don’t care about who I am, including those who have negative pre-conceived notions of me because of some online arguments I started last year. 

It has been more than an hour of holding my breath in almost all of the segments, and I already missed a cue for a lights spot in the opening tag match when we were monitoring Ninja Ryujin’s arm/shoulder that looked like it got injured. I was also feeling so nervous in the Pillow Fight match, not only due to Ashura having a sprained ankle, but also in wondering if all the right pieces and pillows have been prepared and if the finish we planned will work smoothly.

Sandata and Rex Lawin had an unbelievably solid match, set up by the awesome segment featuring PWR’s Stan Sy sharing the spotlight with MWF Commissioner Mike. Jorelle’s debut match with Jomar, Gigz and Fabio also turned out as we all hoped and envisioned it to be, with all four in-ring performers displaying their impeccable instinct to tell the stories we need to tell.

Photo by Trixie Dauz

Despite having set up the big finale we’re planning with Coach Gus and RG’s Diliman Street Fight, I assume that the crowd has no clue how we were going to tie the show up with them. And here I am, stepping out of the gorilla to cut a promo while dizzy and nervous.

I tried to speak as calm as possible, going over all the basic points that need to come across and pitch the main event between Mr. Lucha and Robin Sane, which will come after. I get out of the ring as quickly as possible, eager to get back to the tech booth. I was still confused, as I asked Sig Pecho, “Saan ba ako dapat dumaan?” in front of the audience. I heard some laughs. F*ck it, I’m not supposed to go over with a brilliant rousing promo anyway.

It’s time for the main event. I’ve known these two men since the scene’s humble beginnings. The first time I met Mr. Lucha was in PWR’s test show “Revolution Now”, where he was in the small audience who was chanting “walrus” at me while I was doing my managerial duties for Classical Bryan Leo against Mayhem Brannigan . With him, among others, was MWF co-founder Tala Haliya, who blurted out a loud “pisting yawa” directed toward me. Now, he’s putting on an essential Philippine wrestling match against Robin Sane, who four years ago was asking me if his character could be a spider. Yes, Robin Sane wanted to be a spider.

Photo by Noel Tanjeco

These memories made the match much more emotional for me. So much memories, both good and bad. And here they are, showing the fans what they can really do.

I’m not going to lie about this. I am now in tears watching this match from the 2nd floor of the UP Bahay ng Alumni. What makes these tears flow more freely is I’m watching this beside Frankie Thurteen, who is also crying, and who I remember as the very young boy who wanted to be a pro wrestler but was too young.

The main event’s finish was done perfectly. We’re getting the reaction we want. We made these people happy, and feel good about pro wrestling. There is hope. There is a future for what we’ve all been building for almost five years now.

And personally, this is the first time when I felt like I perfectly belonged somewhere.

But sh*t, I almost forgot. I have a flight back to Hong Kong in just a few short hours.

Let’s do this again on July 8.

***

QUESTIONS!!!

Richard James Mendoza What do you feel about wrestlers doing promos? Should it be scripted, off the top of the head, or a combination of the two?

Also, to subvert the usual question, are there any non-wrestling roles available for MWF? Wala lang, just curious.

Should always be a combination of the two for me. In MWF’s case, we just write down the key beats and points of their promos in our production outlines, so we can relay the stories we want to tell through their characters. Then, we listen to the promos they come up with before the show rolls on, and we fine tune them from there. Sometimes, some of the wrestlers submit their promo ideas to us first, and we try to work them in the show if they make sense.

For the second part of your question, we don’t have any non-wrestling roles available for now, but we’ll surely inform you guys when something comes up. For now, we really need you guys to be in the audience, making the shows more awesome with your participation.

 

Kenneth Tongol What is the ring made of?

You’d have to ask our production design expert Ohm David that question when you meet him.

 

Bon Evangelista Nasaan na po yung dating manager (?) ni Fabio Makisig? Can’t remember kung aling show last year siya lumabas. Huhu

I think Fabio himself answered this one. Apparently, the manager is now an OFW.

 

Paul Nikko Degollado A friend noticed from the last show that Ninja Ryujin was actually doing FSL (Filipino Sign Language) during his promos, was this the case of his promos ever since? Could his booking be angled towards an advocacy of some sorts for FSL and for representation of PWDs in general (though medyo stretch na ito for me hehe)?

No, it’s not a stretch at all. We really want our PWD audience to identify with Ninja Ryujin, and WE CAN’T THANK HIM ENOUGH for really studying sign language for his promos. I’m not sure if they already did it that way before the new management came along, but it’s really our idea to develop Ninja Ryujin’s character from this. Thank you for noticing the details! KapaFEDs, please take note. We do a lot of small details that will make your viewing experience much more enjoyable.

 

Maow Del Rosario Will there be an Aldrin Richards t-shirt for sale at Republika

I am not in charge of merch in terms of when they’re scheduled to be rolled out, but creatively, we’re already finalizing designs and concepts for a number of wrestlers. So, I may not be able to promise the when, but I could definitely tell you that there is a big possibility of you getting your hands on your favorite wrestlers’ merch soon!

 

Christopher Sandico Pepper Your Favorite Fan has a question from the farthest parts of Asia.

Any plans for an earlier time? 6-10 event is prohibitive to some members of the Fabulous Early Birds. Not for me coz anytime is fine.

Hey, I hope you’re getting the most out of your great holiday experience. I envy you so much right now.

Let’s see what the future brings, but I don’t think the MWF shows would look good at an earlier time, as we really need that dark, evening atmosphere to make our shows much more aesthetically appealing. However, we have no plans of ever going beyond 3 hours. If you haven’t noticed yet, Kasaysayan and Maki-Wrestling, ‘Wag Matakot were only 2 hours and 40 minutes, and we’re really strict on production time.

This means that if we start by 6 PM, we’d basically be done by 9 PM. So, we hope you can just come out and stay a bit late for a few times in a year, because, you know, we really don’t end our shows really late.

AAAND… I hope it’s getting a bit clear now, after 3 shows, that we always make sure to put on a fascinating show everytime.

 

Carlo Agoncillo In MWF kasaysayan coach Gus and Rex Lawin challenged TNT Greg Bownds. So far he hasn’t answered their challenge. Will we still see Rex vs TNT this year ?

TNT vs. Rex Lawin is one match that will surely happen. The important factors to really consider are people’s schedules, especially with TNT, and when the match will really mean something and would make sense story-wise. But don’t worry, we’re often in touch with TNT to make sure that match happens. And when it does, it’s going to get  a major, important match treatment that it deserves.

 

***

That’s it for this week! I’ll try my very best to be more in time for next week. Thanks for all your love and support!

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Musings from the Tech Booth — Part 1 [No Curtains Needed]

By William Elvin Manzano

 

I’ve been in this position countless times before. I’ve mastered this craft of orchestrating everything – from the script, to the stage, to the lights and sounds. This is where I’m supposed to be most confident, relaxed and comfortable.

But my nerves are going haywire. Yes, I spent more than half of yesterday at the airport, with about 4 hours of it in a cold, boring, flying tube. Yes, I still have a plane to catch just hours after this show. I don’t think those are the reasons why I feel like I just shot uppers and downers at the same time, though. No, not at all.  I’m just not totally sure how this show would go, and unlike every event or show I’ve manned before, there are hundreds of factors that are out of my control tonight.

Unlike traditional theatre, where directors are gods who can manipulate every detail of a show, professional wrestling is way more of a collaborative work. Most of all, I am nowhere near godlike in this one. My main purpose is just to highlight what the MWF roster can do, and provide a theatrical spotlight to their unbelievable talent.

Times like these, all I could do is pray to the Universe, and hope that my cosmic karma is enough for us to have the best show possible, with all my beloved friends and colleagues safe and healthy when the show ends.

As the seats fill up, I suddenly feel nauseous. I go to the holding room, where the wrestlers oddly feel relaxed and ready. They’re the ones who will risk their bodies out there tonight. They’re the ones who will be heckled by the unforgiving crowd. They’re the ones who will make or break this show. Not me. I already did 75% of the work, weeks ago when I turned in the final production script. It’s their game now. But I’m the one who’s getting pale as f*ck.

“You need water,” says a laid-back Robin Sane. I’m pretty sure that’s not what I need, unless there’s a tablet of valium that goes with a cup of it. “Where did you come from? Why are you there?” asks Tarek El Tayech. “I don’t even know where I am right now,” I reply. All I know is I’m surrounded by kids with drumsticks, who should be standing by for their cue outside the building very soon, Sandata who’s quietly taping his wrists, and a limping Ashura, who is working through a sprained ankle this evening.

I feel like passing out. Is this because I’m actually living a dream I’m not totally ready for? Or, am I just getting too old for this sh*t?

***

“Kuya Will, pa-cue na po kung magsastart na,” says Mara Agleham, who’s manning the tech booth with Mikko Angeles on video. On my right, our lights designer Meliton Roxas is taking his seat. “Hanap ka ni Sir Tony sa baba,” he says, referring to Sir Tony Mabesa, theater/film icon, Dulaang UP founder and one of our mentors in the craft of theater. This night just got more bizarre. I look for Tarek, so I can share my nervousness of having to show this rather unique form of drama to one of the most vicious critics of all time. He’s nowhere to be found. I look down the audience area, and apparently, he’s already talking the old man.

I grab the headset and talk to Mike, who’s on gorilla.

“That sounds like a wrestling crowd,” I say, referring to the buzzing noise of an audience who can’t wait to consume what we’ve been working hard on for the past month.

I remember my wife’s voice. “How can you top Kasaysayan with your UP show?” she asked. I don’t know, and I’m not sure if we can.

Let’s try, anyway.

“Mara, start na tayo.”

The lights dim. The show starts.

I’m still dizzy as hell.

— to be continued —

 

QUESTIONS!

Gary Agustine L. Lantoria Why are you all conniving against Coach Gus?

Ugh. Coach Gus is not a victim, so stop treating him like he’s one. He’s an arrogant prick who thinks too highly of himself. If he wants to whine, let him whine. Ugh.

 

Crisencio Galvez bootcamp

I wish I can tell you our plans. But it will be open very soon. And it will be so worth it for new trainees.

 

Naj Siplon Can we expect more wrestlers to debut on MWF this year?

Let’s see about the new trainees who will be joining us soon. If anyone will be as good as Jorelle in a short period of time, why not?

 

Carlo Agoncillo Since the MWF foundation is helping UP rebuild the shopping center will we see an UP based MWF store in the future ?

Brilliant idea! We’ll credit you for that when it happens, and I hope the Shopping Centre will be rehabilitated very soon. We’re happy and excited to help, and we are working day and night to make sure the MWF Foundation becomes an integral part of our administration.

 

Aaron Lemuel Alvarez Will we see another Manila Rules Match in the near future?

I can’t say how near that near future is, but we sure have the Manila Rules match in our booking notes.

Thanks for your questions, and that’s it for the week! See you again next Wednesday, #KapaFEDs!

Flamethrowers or Lasers? Tarek or Mon Confiado? [No Curtains Needed]

By William Elvin Manzano

 

Hello, my beloved #KapaFEDs!

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!

Sagot Kita: The Musical? The Return of Mr. William Melvin? and More! [No Curtains Needed]

By William Elvin Manzano 

 

Good evening, mga #KapaFED!

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 Pepper As 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!

and

Maow Del Rosario When 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 Vicencio as your favorite fa…wait..that’s someone else.

*AHEM*

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 Argarin Is 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 Siplon Are 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 Sy I 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.

MWF Open House: Level Up Promotional Poster, featuring Mr. Lucha.

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 Salmon You 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 Joya Without 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.

Ohm David, as featured in the Philippine Daily Inquirer in 2013 (Photo credit: Walter Ang, Philippine Daily Inquirer)

Carlo Agoncillo Do 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.

Sadako Girl, Wolfman Issues and Front Row Seats [No Curtains Needed #7]

By William Elvin Manzano

Hello mga KapaFEDs!

I’m so sorry this article is coming late tonight, since I had a lot of things to write for my day job today. Not to mention the fact that there are so many questions and discussions at the FB Insider group today! I can’t thank you all enough for the interest in the stories we tell, and your love for the wrestlers who work so hard for this whole MWF project to work. Words won’t give justice to the hard work they all put in, so thank you for all your support!

Let’s start answering these questions…

***

Ulysses Galapon Cedeño If there will be a championship that can be defended locally between AOWW, MWF and PWR, what would you name it and who should be the inaugural holder?

Whoa we’re starting off hot tonight. Forgive me for being a bit bitchy with my answer though.

I’ll call it the Philippine Ego-Rub Champion. :p

Seriously, I wouldn’t put myself in a position to book something like this. My 31 years of existence have already been filled with more than enough stress, depression and anxiety I can handle, so no, I will never book something like this, even in fantasy.

 

Ritz Sy Just needed to get this off: I love how the promotion gets a theatrical touch.

Now my question is, do you plan to have a standard annual big event with twists? Four famous examples to that is WWE’s Big Four PPVs.

Hey thanks, Ritz! We are happy that most of you appreciate all the creative efforts we’re doing.

Creatively, we do, and always will, try to book things with the same effort for every show. We want the storytelling to be solid and steady, and all characters developed as much as possible in each show. However, in terms of production scale, we plan our “Big 4” events to be Kasaysayan, Republika, Road of Fate and Noche Buena. But don’t ever think that some shows are creatively lesser than the others, because we don’t treat our shows that way.

Carlo Agoncillo After the debut of the Sadako girl who frightened Fabio at the last event. Will you be introducing other supernatural characters similar to the Undertaker and Kane in your future shows?

We don’t have plans about that yet, so I can’t answer with a yes or a no. However, I really feel like any character or gimmick could work within the right context, story and character treatment. So, anything is possible within the ManilaVerse.

BJ Recio Bakit wolf si Hanzello Shilva, eh wala naman tayong wolf sa Pinas? Nagtravel ba siya at nakagat ng werewolf habang nasa Tate? Isa ba siyang askal-variant na wolfman? Loyal din ba siya gaya ng ibang aso, at hindi maghi-heel turn?

So, this one got quite a few comments and thoughts in Llermo’s FB post. All of them are interesting, guys. I love that discussion.

But, Occam ’s razor guys. The simplest explanation is the one that works best.

See, Hanzello Shilva is an exceptionally athletic young man who’s got a bright future ahead of him in wrestling. He sees himself as having the physical strengths and virtues of a wolf, so he embraces the wolf as his spirit animal. As we progress, we will see more of Hanzello’s journey, and we will see him grow and succeed.

Naj Siplon When are you guys going to have an official youtube channel? I haven’t gone to a show since the relaunch but it seems that the production values of the promotion has improved. It will be a waste if it can’t be shared on the internet.

AND

Christian Benedict Javier Why is there no individual FB pages for the wrestlers? (Dunno if this was asked before)

AND

Jaems Relativo Have you ever thought of utilizing Facebook/Youtube streaming? Like, if ever MWF makes an Internet Championship belt, I think it would be cool if all of its title defenses would be free on live stream (WCPW did this before). If the fans would want to see the rest of the event’s matches, they have to buy a ticket (or wait until it’s uploaded on Youtube after a few months hehe). So parang maganda siyang patikim without giving everything to the audience agad-agad.

The answer is because we’re a small company with big ambitions, and our vision just can’t be fully realized in a short period of time. We want to streamline all of our online content so it becomes as consistent as possible with our vision of the ManilaVerse. The individual FB pages can definitely happen sooner, but we’re strategizing everything as of the moment.

And while there are no YouTube content yet, all our video packages and show highlights/clips can be viewed on Facebook, where we promote our shows, stories and angles. So if you haven’t checked out the video packages yet, go there and view them now!

Of course, we want you to come to our shows and experience the fun! There’s nothing like being there, cheering and jeering with your fellow fans.

About utilizing Facebook Live and YouTube streaming, every possibility of promotion is being considered, but as I said, we’re still a small company, and we’re strategizing everything for maximum benefit.

But if you want something to watch on YouTube to get a little taste of our shows…

 

Mark De Joya Superstar Shakeup, Pinoy Version. Who would you draft from the other feds to beef up your roster? Who would you trade to another, for learning and exposure?

I’m afraid I’m gonna have to give an answer that, on the surface, would feel like a non-answer.

MWF works with a singular creative vision, so all our decisions are narrative-based. Every single one of our roster members understand that, and are working with us to make sure that their efforts as wrestlers align well with our vision.

To answer your question, anyone who is ready, willing and able to work with our company dynamic would be very much welcome in the future. Right now, all of the MWF rosters have definite and specific plans until about the 2nd or 3rd MWF year, so I wouldn’t add to or subtract from it until the time is right.

Maow Del Rosario Personally, what would you say is your creative process when coming up with show names and poster designs?

Man, you wouldn’t believe how much ideas are thrown out for show names. We usually just drop whatever we can drop, no rules and no inhibitions. Some are ok, some are crap. We’d just know we had it good when everyone else stops pitching and we all say “That sounds good. Let’s run with that”.

In terms of poster designs, we want our posters to look like the Filipino komiks of old, to emphasize that our shows are uniquely Pinoy-flavored episodic storytelling events.

 

Christopher Sandico Pepper As your favorite fan. I expect a lengthy answer to my question.

With Robin Sane having his return match at PWR after being stretchered the first time around , due to Frankie Thurteen being assaulted by Trian dela Torre, would you tell your talents to avoid sitting on the front row sits of other PWR events to prevent this from ever happening again?

Hey, yes Robin Sane will have his return match at PWR Wrevolution X, one week before MWF 2: Maki-Wrestling, ‘Wag Matakot. Told you, it’s nice being in touch with old friends and acquaintances. We hope you guys support and watch both shows!

If everything was my call, I would make it a written law to only allow MWF Senior Analyst Tarek El Tayech to be seated at the front row of PWR and AOWW events, so I would always see his big, overly theatrical reactions in  all videos I watch. All the other MWF wrestlers who want to watch should wear black hoodies behind Tarek and try to mirror everything he does , so he’ll look like a crazy cult leader and it will be weird and disturbing for everyone.

 

Crisencio Galvez what would you name the sadako girl the spooked fabio makisig.

You’ll know her name on May 27 evening.

 

Akashi Urai Kitado I wiss that kyle sison have a open challenge in our audience

Thanks for your enthusiasm, Akashi! But, we will only allow trained wrestlers to step inside the ring for a match. So, unless you get trained soon, I hate to burst your bubble.

 

***

That’s it for this week! Leave your follow-up questions at the comments sections here and on the FB insider group! Thanks a lot, and I look forward to seeing you all again on May 27! #TuloyAngLaban

Cross-Promotions, Tournaments and Deathmatches [No Curtains Needed #6]

By William Elvin Manzano

 

Hello, mga #KapaFEDs!

MWF 1: Kasaysayan is in the books, and we thank you all for the overwhelmingly warm and positive response we’ve been consistently getting. We were all very anxious and nervous in delivering you a narrative-based and character-driven wrestling show with Pinoy sensibilities, and we are happy to know that you are willing to ride this adventure with us!

Let’s answer some questions today!

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Christopher Sandico Pepper Being your most favorite fan I have one question with a potential sub question , have you fully killed Moises by presenting the Sadako character? And if you did , could I go fully Annie Wilkes from Misery on you?

The introduction of the mysterious ghostly lady is not in any way, shape or form designed to kill any character or storyline, especially the Moises Liwanag arc. Without spoiling the next story beats, all I can say is that we are exploring the whole Liwanag cult backstory, which personally is delightful and fulfilling to imagine. 

And, if you ever go through all the trouble to go full Annie Wilkes on me, I consider myself an artistic success, that my work has affected you so much.

 

BJ David Will the AldrinxHanzhello ship have cannons? #GitDatFujoSHIPMoney

On a serious note, the December shows featured Fabio Makisig joining Coach Gus Queens’ stable, but Open House and Kasaysayan seemed to have scrapped this development. Is there a reason for that or was it just something the was arbitrarily dropped?

If by cannons, you mean a nice, satisfying payoff to the Aldrin/Hanzello storyline, I say YES, when all the stars align.

Regarding Fabio and Gus, Fabio just wanted money from Gus to buy yosi last December. Gotta hustle.

Creatively, we see Fabio more as a leader rather than a follower. If he will be a part of a faction, he will lead it rather than just be a lackey. We explore Fabio Makisig’s character more in the following shows, as well as Gus’ attempts at global domination.

Carlo Agoncillo Kyle and Ashura seem like an odd couple (hypebeast and Ninja Girl) will we be seeing a Ninja Ryujin /Ashura tandem in the near future?

 

Hey, I like odd couples because it brings out character dimensions in both individuals through contrast. Ashura and Ninja have faced each other before, and I definitely see them crossing paths in the future again. Ashura is more of a volatile, still-finding-her-place-in-the-world character, and Ninja is the wise, open, one-with-the-universe type, so there still are layers to that story when we decide to run with it.

Sebs Daniel Argarin What is your opinion about the deathmatch genre? Do you think it has its place on the southeast asian wrestling scene?

If you’re talking about the Japanese-style or CZW-style deathmatches, then I think they should have no place in professional wrestling. See, the point of pro wrestling is to tell athletic and physical stories in the ring without legitimately hurting anyone, as safely as it is convincing. When you hit guys with light tubes and other harmful weapons that shorten wrestlers’ careers, especially in front of only a few people, I don’t really see a benefit to all that.

 

Kenneth Tongol Magkakaroon po ba ng tournament in the future for a title or an accomplishment, if yes ito po ba ay single bracket elimination or round robin katulad po ng G1 Climax?

I won’t spoil anything, but you will get an answer to this question REAL SOON. J

 

Ulysses Galapon Cedeño Will we ever see an MWF vs AOWW event, or an MWF vs PWR one?

Not sure about whole cross-promotional events. I think it’s really early to think about something like that. However, we’re at a great time where MWF is on good terms with both AOWW and PWR. Personally, I’m happy to be in touch with old wrestling friends and acquaintances from both promotions. As Vince McMahon would say, NEVER SAY NEVER.

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That’s it for this week! Leave your follow-up questions at the comments section, so we can continue the discussions. Also, wait for the official announcement of the 1st ticket giveaway raffle on Friday in Tarek’s Take.

Meanwhile, congratulations to the winners of the Void Blaster ticket giveaway promo:

Kenneth Tongol

Syk Cabigon

Bon Evangelista

You win one ticket each for MWF 2: Maki-Wrestling, ‘Wag Matakot!

See you there. We’ll give you a good show, as always!

Photos by Francis Lumahan

My Exciting 8 for April 8 [No Curtains Needed #5]

By William Elvin Manzano

Hello, KapaFEDs! It’s the last Wednesday before MWF 1: Kasaysayan. Yes, 4 days to go before we give birth to this hopefully beautiful baby of a wrestling show. It’s been a hell of a ride, one that people in the events and live entertainment industry often experience, especially in the two weeks leading up to opening night. In Dulaang UP, we call this period the “hell week”, and I thank God he made me an atheist, so this is the only hell I am worried about in my life. :p

Alright, let’s get on with it. Here are the 8 things I am most excited about for our April 8 presentation of MWF 1: Kasaysayan!

  1. Working with the whole MWF talent roster in person

Due to my being away from the Motherland, I have only collaborated with many of the MWF boys and girls through Facebook chats and in our roster threads. I have met most of them in person, some of them from way back in the early PWR days, and some of the newer members in that Jollibee meeting in July last year. I am also fortunate to have closely worked with the non-wrestling talent roster in my theatre run before this – Tarek El Tayech, Sig Pecho, Kathrina Paula – and the addition of talented wrestling enthusiasts Sonny Go and Tristan Creed makes the experience much more invigorating.

When I started putting creative ideas together with Commissioner Mike (CM) and the new MWF management, I just instantly felt that discussing their characters with the roster were some of the most wonderful creative moments of my career. It’s just so awesome to be able to help develop their artistic ideas, and I can’t wait to be in the venue with them in person on April 8. I love each and every one of them.

  1. Working with an ultimate dream production team

I cannot even fully describe how amazing the production team we were able to put together really is. I am stoked to work with Ohm David (our main theatre technical go-to guy and ring maker) and Meliton Roxas (our lights design master). I am proud to say that the three of us have been working together in a substantial number of our stage careers’ highlights, and we just might be adding another one with MWF. It is also a great deal to be working with fellow musician Teresa Barrozo again, whose music work in Philippine theater served as one of my inspirations. Lexi Bartolome, who I recall was only a few batches lower from ours in the UP Theatre Arts program, is now one of the best production and stage managers in the country, and exponentially helped the production to go way smoother.

Juan Carlo Tarobal’s video work is nothing short of fantastic, and will definitely fill the show’s highlights list. We asked A LOT out of him, and he was 100% with us along the ride. Eshei Mesina’s graphic design also turned out to be one the most astonishing aspects of the production, as his Pinoy komiks concept poster really captured the spirit and emotional hook we want for our product.

Needless to say, something as ambitious as this project needed a lot of helping hands to achieve. And we are very lucky to have the trust, support and enthusiasm of all these people and their teams to help us pull it off on Sunday.

  1. Finally working closely with Ho Ho Lun

It almost feels like it was only yesterday since I first shook hands and shared milk tea with Ho Ho Lun at a Fairwood café in Sha Tin, Hong Kong, or when I first introduced the greatness of Jollibee Chickenjoy to him in Central, HK (which he described to be better than KFC, or any fried chicken he’s tasted in the city). We also discussed a lot of potential wrestling projects for years (in between our Chickenjoy eating meet-ups), and here we are now, finally working a show together for real.

  1. Working with Kenneth “The Eurasian Dragon” Thexeira

From the first time I met him in Singapore, I felt all the good vibes in his aura. And true enough, pretty soon we were talking about our favorite Netflix shows and comic books! Kenneth is one of the coolest dudes you will meet in your life, and I am happy to be sharing the same wrestling spirit with him on Sunday.

SPW

Additionally, the success story of Singapore Pro Wrestling and their roster’s individual achievements are some of the most inspiring things in wrestling today. Check out this link and watch the video to further understand how truly inspiring SPW, and The Eurasian Dragon, can be!

  1. Seeing our creative ideas fully realized

I tell you, we wrote TONS of creative content for MWF 1: Kasaysayan, and ALL OF THEM are pulled off by the roster and production team. I don’t want to mention any further detail about this, but the whole thing is a labor of love from all of us – days of sleepless nights, tiring but satisfying efforts – and we all can’t wait to show you what we’ve done.

  1. New stories that will begin this Sunday

Of course I won’t spoil you anything, but damn, there is just so many surprises and story beginnings waiting for all of us..

  1. Surprises… LOTS of it

You know that blurred film actress’ face that we posted a few days ago? That’s just one of the surprises we have for you. We have a lot of thrills for you to experience, so I tell you, you don’t want to miss this show, because we really aim to make history with it.

  1. Visiting Manila again

If I love Hong Kong for its “organized chaos” feel, then I love Manila’s pure craziness and chaos (not for my everyday life, though, not this soon anyway). 3 days before I fly to my home country, I am already dreaming of its sights, sounds, smell, feel and taste. It’s a blessing to be able to take a very short break with my wife, amid all the stress of the busy Hong Kong life.

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There you go, kapaFEDS. Those are the 8 things I am most excited about for MWF 1: Kasaysayan. I gotta tell you, if you only have a slightest idea of what we have in store for you to enjoy, you’ll be more excited than our whole team.

See you on April 8!

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QUESTION CORNER:

Richard James Mendoza Are there any future plans with “TNT” Greg Bownds, seeing that he made an appearance last December?

Definitely! We’re just ironing out TNT’s schedule and ours, but you will absolutely get a storyline with Greg Bownds involved in it when our schedules align, hopefully sooner than later. TNT is one of the first few wrestlers to help out MWF, and we treat him as family.