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.
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!