Year Zero: Republika [Rune Stones & Voodoo, Who Do? # 12]

by Commissioner Mike (CM) Shannon

In June 2017, the then-struggling Manila Wrestling Federation made its return to the Makati Square Arena for the promotion’s second standalone show, Republika. After putting all our efforts into making MWF: Live the best show imaginable, we knew we had to take things a step further. We didn’t have a lot, but we had a lot of nerves as a promise to keep to our budding Kapa-FEDS to give them the best wrestling show in the country: And we succeeded.

Match Card with sponsorsAs I’ve admitted in a previous entry, running shows at Cinema Square was incredibly stressful. And this continued from Live into Republika. If anything, we were faced with a far greater task: where Live was our chance to show the world what we had, Republika had to become their reason to stay. So while there was a focus on wrestling, we wanted to emphasize the stories we could tell given what little we had.

In the week leading to the show, the turnbuckle at the Makati Square Arena snapped during training. This would the first of many instances where the MCS ring would give out on us. So, with just weeks before the show, the decision was made to pay for the welding repair out of our own pockets. But even then, when it was time for the show, we still had no idea what to expect. All we could do was hope and pray that this show would be better than our last!

The Power of the Liwanags

In what’s one of my favorite moments in our short history, Moises Liwanag took to the ring with his newly christened disciple, Brother Jomar. The crowd loved Moises and the decision was made to give him the time greet his budding congregation. Moises took to the microphone and after a brief sermon, promised to “heal” members of the audience that included PWR’s Alexander Belmonte III and future MWF Senior Analyst, Tarek El Tayech.

mwf-republika-when-in-manila-moises

This moment alone proved to be a showcase of Moises’ powers. With his arm locked in a cast, Moises placed his hand over Tarek’s head and blessed him with the power of the light, giving this injured, yet dashingly handsome man, the chance to regain feeling and movement in his arm for the first time in months.

You would have thought this was enough to weak Moises, but it just made him stronger. Frankie Thurteen rushed to the ring and gave the enigmatic leader the fight of his life, but even then, it wasn’t enough. One impaling backbreaker was enough to give Moises the highly-coveted victory.

The Young Lions of the MWF

In another showcase of talent and passion, the young Hanzello Shilva took to the ring to face Morgan Vaughn. Vaughn used his wiles to get the better of Shilva for most of the match, but through sheer will and attitude, the hungry cub defeated the Glitch.

Hanzello had poured his heart and soul into that match, dedicating it to the memory of his mother who had unfortunately passed a month earlier. It was a very poignant moment for the young Wolf, who proved to everyone that no matter what it took, Hanzello Shilva was a wrestler who would always stand for honor.

An Evening of Debuts

In the weeks before Republika, the Manila Wrestling Federation found itself with a handful of new recruits who were willing and ready to prove themselves inside the ring. Fabio Makisig took the ring first and used the moment to prove why he was one the nastiest and endearingly entertaining wrestlers in the Philippine Wrestling.

Enter: Aldrin Richards. Richards was young patient and ready to prove himself as a legend in the making. Richards stormed to the ring and took a beating from Fabio Makisig, but when he saw the opportunity, he bested Fabio and proved to everyone there that he too was worthy of calling himself a wrestler. But one rookie mistake later, Fabio got the better of him and left the ring, antagonizing the audience along the way.

Later on that night, another hungry young wrestler by the name of Ashura took to the ring. Initially, plans were for Ninja Ryujin to face off another wrestler, but somehow, Ashura came into the ring instead and gave him a hell of a challenge. Like Richards, she too was hungry. But unlike Richards, she had a point to make.

mwf-republika-when-in-manila-ryujin-ashura-2

Ashura is someone who does not want to be regarded for her gender. She is a wrestler first, before anything else. So if there was anyone on the roster who had the hardest job to get that through it was her. And who better to guide her though her first match than Ninja Ryujin- a wrestler with all the patience in the world who understands that each and every opponent commands a different approach in the fight.

Because of this, both Fabio Makisig and Ninja Ryujin have become the defacto ‘boss’ battles of the Manilaverse. If a new wrestler can make it through either of them, they have a chance of surviving everyone else.

A Battle of Power

If there’s any re-match I would love to see, it’s Rex Lawin vs. Mr. Lucha. Both these guys are the biggest and baddest the Manila Wrestling Federation has to offer and on our second show, they collided head-to-head in a battle for the ages. Before the show, Lawin and Queens had bounded Lucha in an attempt to get a rematch against Gigz Stryker. But Lucha called him out and the match was set.

mwf-republika-when-in-manila-elbowdrop

Both these guys are incredible powerful and are highly skilled warriors. Where Lucha knows how to balance athletic proficiency with brute force, Rex Lawin uses his own brute force with his knowledge of kickboxing and ground-based combat. For that, these two beat the hell out of each other.

Lawin was able to ground Lucha and control him for most of the match. Lucha was able to get the better of Lawin and in order to even score the victory, Lucha put everything on the line (including the rest of the show) and drive a flying elbow into Lawin’s chest.

An Award Winning Main-Event

For the second show in a row, Robin Sane headlined the main-event of the evening. In the weeks leading to the show, Gigz Stryker offered a challenge to both Mr. Lucha and Robin Sane. And while Lucha was ready, if anyone wanted him more, it was Robin Sane.

Robin Sane understood what happened during MWF Live- after taking that historic 450 splash off the top rope, his performances became a standard of excellence that had to be maintained in each and every main event. And because of that, he accepted Gigz Stryker’s challenge and gave him a match worthy of the marquee.

But unfortunately, Sane’s victory was short lived. Rex Lawin and Gus Queens hit the ring and assaulted Gigz Stryker, forcing the entire roster to pour into the ring in order to separate them and me to give Rex his re-match.

To Wrap This Up…

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In hindsight, Republika was the show that set the tone for everything else that followed: It gave us the unexpected debuts of Jomar Liwanag, Aldrin Richards and Ashura, Rex Lawin proved that he had what it takes to hang with the biggest the MWF had to offer, and Robin Sane began to establish himself as a main event mainstay.

Not bad for a tiny wrestling show, on a tight budget, and a decent crowd of 90+.

Photos by Martin Vicencio and Jonathan Guillermo

 

 

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Dear Manila, My Art Has A Body Count [A Piece of Frankie Thurteen]

Art is limited, my friend. It is not infinite, it is very finite. But Art is also a small velvet coated room for people like me, and I work best in a place that limits me because oddly enough, it makes me feel … infinite.

Greetings, Kapafeds! It is I, the Grunge Grappler, The tortured Soul Artist, and the young blood wrestler from Katipunan, Quezon City.  I’ve been wrestling for a year now and I’ve learned a lot not just inside of that canvass but outside, however, this piece isn’t just about  the tokens I attained in this game but also for all of you Kapafeds want to know  who I really  am and who think they know exactly what I’m about.

So go ahead, crack your knuckles, grab your sodas, play some AFI (Just to set you in the mood I am in as I write this with my left hand, oh the struggle.) and let me help you sink your teeth into my mind.

Adrienne
Photo by Noel Tanjeco

Ever since I started walking I was already deeply in love with art and everything about it. I grew up with a family of Portuguese descent who’s deeply into classical music and piano, everything about them was pleasant and classy, but I, I was the one sneaking into the living room at night just so I can go watch wrestling and pretend my hair was all colored up, kikwear pants on, looking like an angst child, looking like Jeffrey Nero Hardy. I grew up wanting to not be like my family, I refused to walk in their leather shoes  because I had my own combat boots that only I can walk into and I had my sketchpads that easily became my best friend. Just like Jeff Hardy, I was drawing weird graphics on my sketchbooks and I would make stories for them, I like to think of my art as not just my ownership but as my peers, my friends, and when I really feel alone…my family. The first ever painting I ever did was of this mutated alien face, it had spiky red hair and a humanoid but an extremely anorexic face, Axl was his name. When I made Axel, my agenda was to breathe life into something  that can be put on a wooden chair beside my bed and talk to (because let’s be honest, humans can be terrible sometimes) and maybe even jam with when I play my guitar.  I thought I was invincible while creating Axl, I viewed art as a limitless medium, but I was wrong, I was very much limited. I couldn’t give Axl  a physical body, all I can give him was the power to listen to my grievances. However, the limitations that art gives us are only for our own good, you can never evolve as an artist if you only know how to work in a field where the accessibilities are infinite. Art is meant to be limited just for everyone to see who the real artists are, who can breathe life and spirit into a piece, no matter what it is.

Rex Frankie
Rex Lawin destroyed Frankie Thurteen’s arm at MWF 1: Kasaysayan. Photo by Vlad Gonzales

Axl has passed on but recently I fell in love with someone, someone who’s existent but at the same time, not really. It’s a very odd feeling, the latest work I made wasn’t even my full creation, she was already here before the others who I made. She has two eyes that can see my spirit, and a third one above her forehead that whispers and sings to me like an angel when I look at it, when I look at her. Her name is Adrienne, she is my angel, looks after me and counsels me while healing my wounds.  It’s a little unfortunate that the first time I was able to bring her along with me to meet all of you beautiful Kapafeds was the day when “Danger” Rex Lawin destroyed my right forearm. While Rex Lawin was attempting to kill my career, all I can hear was her screaming in agony.  Rex, that messed me up.  You might have took away my arm and my artistic outlet, my colors, but you left me color I can play with, the color of the bloodlust brewing in me. I might be limited with only one arm working fine, but I am an artist, and people like me… we find creative ways to get around when someone puts a barrier in front of us. Rex Lawin, I will never  forget.

3 Day Push to MWF 2: Maki-Wrestling, ‘Wag Matakot [No Curtains Needed]

By William Elvin Manzano 

 

Hello, mga #KapaFED! Your weekly wrestling oracle here, William Elvin!

It’s just gonna be a quick one today, because as you know, MWF 2: Maki-Wrestling, ‘Wag Matakot is on Sunday, and all kinds of craziness is happening around me at the same time!

Let’s jump straight to the questions for this week, shall we?

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Carlo Agoncillo I see u already have a Ninja and Mr Lucha doll will we have dolls of other wrestlers in the future? And what wrestling merch do u enjoy collecting ?

We will definitely produce more merchandise items, especially dolls of other wrestlers. Ninja and Lucha came first as a way to test interest in these kinds of merch, and so far, it’s getting a lot of interest.

I used to have a lot of Stone Cold shirts when I was younger. Unfortunately, 2008’s “Ondoy” took a lot of those away, so now I only have a few. After that, I was never much into buying merch anymore, though I bought all kinds of wrestling DVDs (original or pirated, but not advocating piracy in any form) I could find and afford before the WWE Network came along.

If I had enough money and house space (and as long as my wife won’t be annoyed by them), I will definitely buy more action figures and toy rings.

Kenneth Tongol Thoughts on using guard rails in your shows? Last show I remembered a fan easily jumped the ramp to take a pic with Richards.

Oh thankfully that fan wasn’t violent! She just wanted a selfie.

If we can afford to bring in more metal in venues that what we’re already bringing, sure. However, we trust that you MWF fans are respectful enough to control your excitement and not disrupt our shows. For the unruly fans, we thank the universe we have security/bouncers in our shows.

Crisencio Galvez do you allow trained wrestlers with no compete contract to your promotion?

As far as I know, local wrestlers from other promotions don’t have exclusive contracts yet, so we can cross-promote anytime we think it is beneficial, as long as our promotions’ bounds are respected (and so far, our cross-promotional negotiations are quite well). For those with non-compete contracts (I imagine the WWE or NJPW are the only ones who really have these sorts of contracts, but please feel free to correct me if I’m wrong), they legally can’t work for other promotions other that where they work, so even if we want to have, say, Dolph Ziggler or Finn Balor in our fed, that won’t be possible.

Aaron Lemuel Alvarez What specialty match do you prefer most? And why?

Hey, welcome to the Insider blog! Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think you’re a first-time asker. Thanks for the support!

I’m an old school guy, so old-fashioned, balls-to-the-wall cage matches still appeal to me. Not the escape-type cage matches the WWE produces, but the NWA-style knock-down-drag-out pin and submission ones.

I love it because it has the capacity to feel legitimately brutal without relying on dangerous spots like a ladder match would. When done right, cage matches can give fans the best matches they will ever see (provided that you’re not the type of fan who judges matches based on how dangerous the spots are).

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That’s it for today! I look forward to seeing all of you in person on Sunday night!

 

The Late-Night Ramblings of a Sleepy Commissioner [Rune Stones & Voodoo, Who Do?]

by Commissioner Mike (CM) Shannon

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.

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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!

Mike Shannon’s Top 5 Title Reigns of the last Twenty Five Years [Rune Stones & Voodoo, Who Do #9]

By Commissioner Mike (CM) Shannon

Kamusta, Kapa-Feds!

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

  1. Rob Van Dam
    ECW Television Champion
    e9ee90fed71e6fc0f0dde3e319d3b2a1--ecw-wrestling-vansI 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)
  2. CM Punk
    WWE World Heavyweight Champion
    OTL12_Photo_1342011’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)
  3. Eddie Kingston
    CHIKARA Grand Champion
    tumblr_m5o9qiZSji1ql0k28o1_400If 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.

    Standout Matches:
    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)

     

  4. Nicole Matthews
    Shimmer Tag Team Champion w/ Portia Perez
    Shimmer Champion
    ECCW World Heavyweight Champion
    nicole
    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.

    Standout Matches:
    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)

 

  1. Shawn Michaels
    WWF World Heavyweight Champion
    Shawn-Michaels-Wearing-Belt-in-RingTruth, 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.

Standout matches:
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)

 

Fight Forever [Rune Stones & Voodoo, Who Do]

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.

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An emotional Robin Sane and Mr. Lucha share a moment following MWF Live, April 2017. Photo by Dove “Mrs. Luna Shannon” Subingsubing

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:

 

  1. 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.
    10-cm-punk-leaves-roh-2075849
    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.

 

  1. 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.
    hqdefault
    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.

 

  1. 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.
    f62f7d3c16ff79be3a7ba95f11209ed2127178a4_hq
    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.

 

  1. 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.x240-BIf
    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.

 

  1. 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.steengenerico_82068There’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.

 

Sig Pecho’s Wrestling Journey

By Sigmund Roy Pecho

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!

Hrmmmmmmmaaaaabuuhhaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyy!