MWF: Who We Are and Who We Want to Be [No Curtains Needed # 8]

By William Elvin Manzano

 

“Those who are crazy enough to think they can change the world usually do.”

― Steve Jobs

 

Hello, mga KapaFEDs! We just received one question for today, but I hope it is not because you don’t care or think much of our shows. This past week has been very busy, and I’m sure a number of you are getting excited about how “MWF 2: Maki-Wrestling, ‘Wag Matakot” is taking shape.

Yes, we have a street fight, a pillow fight, an action film sequel, and the 1st match, 1st round MWF Championship Tournament match between Robin Sane and Mr. Lucha. And we still have a few matches we haven’t announced yet. Pretty crazy, huh?

So, I am sure a lot of you have been thinking of how this MWF 2018 relaunch came to be. The way the ManilaVerse is being set up right now is causing various reactions, mostly positive, but of course, some people have a few choice words to describe our product a bit negatively.

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And personally, I can understand where they are coming from. A lot of people view professional wrestling differently as we do, but I hope you guys just sit back, relax and let the MWF roster tell you their stories in the ring, around it, and outside of it.

I will dare say this: The MWF is more than just a wrestling show. We are here to create an entertaining, compelling and thought-provoking universe that mirrors life in Manila and represents as many Pinoys from all walks of life. Pro-wrestling, what happens in the ring and in matches, is one of our major tools in building this universe, and is as important as our videos, our vignettes, our social media posts and all our artistic devices. In simpler words, we want you to come to see a great wrestling show, and end up going home happier because you got something much more than what you came for.

MAria Ozawa

All our efforts – all the time we spend shooting our promotional and in-show videos, writing scripts, producing segments, etc. – are being exerted with only one goal in mind: To give you all the best show possible, every single time. We want you to laugh, be angry, be annoyed, get pumped up, and in some instances, cry with us as all our characters’ journeys unfold.

We want you to eventually also feel in our episodic theatre, the one we shall lovingly call “AksyoNovela”, the way most of you feel when you watch your favorite movies, read your favorite books or comics, get lost in your favorite anime or manga, or immerse in the latest Marvel movies. The Triumvirate

Are we a bit too ambitious? Yes, probably.

Are we crazy? Yes, I’d say we’re absolutely out of our minds.

But with your help, we can all get a little bit crazy, and build something wonderful.

We thank you for being with us, always.

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QUESTION CORNER:

Kenneth Tongol Are there any banned wrestling moves?

There is no official list of banned wrestling moves. However, we make sure that all the moves our wrestlers do can be done safely, according to their athletic capabilities and their level of ring training. As much as we want to see complex and exhilarating moves, the priority of our company is the safety of our wrestlers and ensuring that they can eventually make a living out of what we do in the best health and physical condition possible. So, if they can prove that they can do certain moves safely, then we allow them to execute the moves.

 

See you again next week, KapaFEDs!

All photos by Vlad Gonzales

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Prelude to Glory [Rune Stones & Voodoo, Who Do #8]

By Commissioner Mike (CM) Shannon

 

First off, I want to apologize to our Kapa-Feds for the delay of this week’s blog. I had been so caught up with adulting and it’s only now that I’ve had the chance to sit down, gather my thoughts, and give the Manilaverse another installment of Rune Stones & Voodoo, Who Do worth reading.

I sit today on this Tuesday morning with the announcement of our upcoming MWF Championship tournament still fresh on my mind. For the next several months, as MWF progresses into 2018, we will be dedicating the entire year to our Championship tournament. And as a promoter and a fan our product, I can’t help but feel the jitters of excitement running through my being.

Everything we’ve done, in the ring and in the personal sacrifices we’ve had to make outside of the ring, has all led us here. And in that spirit, I can’t help but rewatch the show that brought us all into the dance at the first place, Wrestlemania XXX.

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While this show is incredibly memorable to all of us for Daniel Bryan’s grand victory at the biggest platform in professional wrestling, it’s more personal and symbolic to me because this is the day when I met the two men that would become Robin Sane and Mr. Lucha.

In the aftermath of Joshi Jam, the decision was made in the Revolution to hold what would be the first of many Wrestlemania viewing parties. At the time, the concept was simply to establish the Revolution’s presence in the community while putting together an event that would gather fans across the metro together under one roof. And among the hundred who attended, would be three boys named Sen, Myslon, and Ryan (who would grow to become our senior referee).

Now, these guys were loud, proud, and hungry to get in the business. We had promoted a WWE 2K14 tournament that would never happen- I was even going to put up some treats from my personal library and collection as big prize items. But technical difficulties wouldn’t allow this, which would ire the future-Mr. Lucha who had his eye on some of the stuff I had up for grabs.

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Now, I initially thought these guys were jerks. But little did I know that I would eventually meet two guys who’d grow into my best friends and all-time favorite wrestlers in the world. Over the course of the last three years, we’ve shared laughs, tears, and arguments. We had been through so much; the promotion started with them. So it’s only fitting that our road to the championship begins with them.

 

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Now, the problem I’ve always had with one/two-show title tournaments is that it’s always seemed like a quick and easy way to establish a champion. Promoters cram so much into one show, that by the time you finally get a champion, you’re just glad it’s over and they have a champion. While I can totally understand the convenience, I feel that it takes away from the physicality and human drama that is supposed to make the championship a worthwhile commodity.

And that to me is what really makes a championship. For years, I’ve always told myself that when the opportunity presented itself, I would make sure that our champion didn’t get the easy win; that they would need to survive a year long journey filled with sacrifice, heart-ache and violence.

And that is what the MWF Championship has to represent: the fighting spirit that allows the Manilaverse to thrive! We need that human drama, we need that competition- that glory to greatness. And all that will culminate this December when we crown the first MWF Champion at Noche Buena.

Oh here I go again, I see the crystal visions. I keep my visions to myself.

Each and every time I close my eyes, the entire title tournament flashes in my mind- every win, every loss, and each and every moment that forever changes the lives of the wrestlers who are sacrificing their bodies and souls just to elevate our championship to legendary heights.

I wish I could say more, but this is going to be a groundbreaking, breath taking and completely entertaining endeavor that will bring the best out of the MWF locker room. I almost wish I was a fan so I could selfishly experience these next few months with all the excitement and passion of a mark.

 

ATTN: Gus. This one’s for you! (Tarek’s Take #7)

Spotlight, please?

Kamusta mga #kapaFEDs?

So… yep. That happened.

First off, I just want to say what an honor it was to be a part of this historic event. As MWF continues to push forward, we hope to create more memorable moments with you, our fans, and we here at MWF just want to thank you all for joining us on this journey. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to entertain you. We hope you continue to create and share more memories with us in the years to come, kapaFEDs

Since we started on such a high note, I won’t give Gus Queens what he wants the most – the spotlight. You know what… I take it back. Since you want the spotlight so much…

GUS! BUDDY! HELLO! Hope you’re reading this instead of running some scam life coaching session. WHERE ARE YOUR OTHER LIFE COACHEES, GUS?! Granted, ‘Danger’ Rex Lawin IS a formidable life coachee, so you get a pass there.

But loook Gus, pal, whatever issues you have with New Management coming in and stripping you of your CFO title, and whatever issues you have with Mike’s commissioner-ing of MWF… don’t take it out on me. Take your problems up with New Management, with William Elvin, or Commisioner Mike. You don’t need to sic your… life coachee, ‘Danger’ Rex Lawin on me. OUCH, GUS, FRIGGIN FUDGING OUCH! THAT HURT MAN! WHY? JUST WHY?! I WANT TO UNDERSTAND WHY GUHHHSSSS! YOU SUCK, GUS! YOU SUCK MAJORLY!

Look Gus, amigo… you may have some of the #kapaFEDs fooled with you life coaching… whatever???… but the rest of us see through your little temper tantrum, mmmkay?

So Gus, tsong… since you want to get New Management’s attention so much… iz cool. They heard you. They will grant you your CELEBRATION TIME… whatever that is that you requested…

BUT… GUS!!! PAAAAARRRREEEE!!!

As a… SPECIAL TREAT!!! For our Isko #kapaFEDs in da Bahay… Commissioner Mike Shannon has granted a certain Isko’s punishment suggestion…

SO!!! At MWF 2: Maki-Wrestling, ‘Wag Matakot, at the UP Bahay Ng Alumni (show starts at 6pm) we will see… FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER (AGAIN)!!!

Life Coach Gus Queens (in his in-ring debut! Yay!) vs. RG from UP (DOBOL YAY!)

in a DILIMAN STREET FIGHT! TRIPOL YAYYYYY PALAKPAKAN! Have fun, Gusssss! This really makes getting choked out in front of my mother (Hi Mom! ), family, and loved ones SO WORTH IT OMG! Hahahahahahahaha ay sorry. Bias… inappropriate. Oh well

Aww Gus… you thought you could get away with it… Sorry buddy, pal, amigo, tsong, pare…

Not tonight.

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…

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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.

 

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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

Leather & Gold (Rune Stones & Voodoo, Who Do #7)

Leather & Gold
By Comissioner Mike (CM) Shannon

Whenever I think of championship titles in professional wrestling, I instantly think of the second wrestler to be recognized as the World Heavyweight Champion of wrestling: Frank Gotch, and his victory over an injured George Hackenschmidt in 1908, roughly a hundred and ten years ago this April.

Up until that time, pro wrestling was recognized as a legitimate sport that garnered more mainstream attention and respect than boxing, baseball, or football. It was a contest of physical strength that lasted for hours upon hours. bilde

I think back to this event as the one defining moment that would forever shape the history of professional wrestling and begin its transition from an actual sport into what we lovingly know today as ‘Sports-Entertainment’.

On April 2rd, 1908, Frank Gotch had cleanly defeated Hackenschmidt after two hours of intense, physical action. Three and a half years later, the two men would square off for a rematch that would see Gotch besting an injured Hackenschmidt in under twenty minutes- a relatively short wrestling match for its day.

Now, this is where the story began to take on a life of its own: Shortly after Hackenschmidt’s second defeat, word had spread that Gotch’s camp had paid off Hackenschmidt’s trainers to injure him during training. Both Hackenschmidt and his team would later deny these allegations, but the damage was already done. Public opinion on the sport began to wane and promoters across the country began to understand the need of “protecting” their champion at any and all costs.stranglerlew

This transition in the sport of professional wrestling began to really develop in the 1920’s due to the work by the Gold Dust Trio of Ed “Strangler” Lewis, (Capitol Wrestling/WWWF co-founder) Toots Mondt, and Lewis’ manager, Billy Sandow. Together, these three would begin to incorporate the sport’s carnival roots with the creation of “Slam Bang Western-Style Wrestling”- an action/entertainment derivative of catch-as-catch-can wrestling that incorporated a new and completely game-changing addition to the rules of professional wrestling: the Time Limit.

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Toots Mondt, wrestling’s first mad scientist

With the sudden popularity of this new style of wrestling, combined with Lewis’ legitimate background as a wrestler and his status as a protected World Heavyweight Champion, and Sandow and Mondt’s inclination towards business, the Gold Dust Trio set a template that would be repeated and refined in the decades to come.

 

 

 

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1cenaI share this story whenever someone asks for my opinions on the wrestling business, specifically championship belts, because it reveals so much of why certain things are the way they are. In the eyes of promoters, regardless of their sport, so much time and money is spent on putting over their top, most reliable worker as the champion. And that person has to be protected at all costs.

And this is where it becomes very problematic for fans of professional wrestling: In most cases, the fan favorite is not the champion chosen to lead the promotion. Granted, there are exceptions to the rule. But generally, it takes a lot of trust and professionalism in order to give someone the run with the belt. That is why in many promotions, past or present, promoters have always been careful who they gave the honor to- the entire weight of a single company can rest on one person’s shoulders and that is a very heavy burden to give someone who is not ready for it.

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But at the same time, I look at the colorful band of misfits the Manila Wrestling Federation lovingly calls its roster and I can’t help but see so much potential. Whether it’s one of the younger guys with dreams of a legacy begging to be written or one of the older, locker room leaders who put themselves through a lot inside and outside of the ring to make our shows happen.

I look at our roster and feel blessed to be surrounded by a bunch of hard workers who are eager to learn and carry the responsibility for themselves and the promotion. While I will forever hold myself true to the traditions bestowed to us from our forefathers in this industry, the excited fan in me can’t help but see the possibility and the potential of championship material boiling in our locker room. We, too, can make history!30546834_10216390483653581_462632504_o

One day, it’ll happen. Perhaps a lot sooner than later… In an environment where fighting spirit and imagination knows no limits, we too, will crown a champion- a great champion- who will cement their legacy and carry the Manila Wrestling Federation in the years and decades to come.

 

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