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MWF 3: Republika—The Official Smark Henry Review


Hi everyone, this is Smark Henry’s newest writer Nico Parungo, here to bring you the juicy details on what happened in last Sunday’s eventful show. To be honest, this was my first MWF show so I was a bit worried about getting lost in the continuity and the rivalries taking place. 

Thankfully, the beauty of pro wrestling is that every match has one story: both competitors want to win. Everything else surrounding the match is just a side dish to make the whole meal taste better.

If you’ll allow me to stretch the food metaphor a bit, MWF 3: Republika definitely felt like a full wrestling meal that would satisfy any curious fan’s hunger. Our pre-show appetizer gave us promos that highlighted personalities like Gigz Stryker, RG, and “The Glitch” Morgan Vaughn. The hosts also ran down the match card early on, as if it were a menu for a long dinner, which a newbie like me could appreciate.

We also had a tournament for the MWF Championship, which immediately made every match more important. Tournaments have always been a great staple in professional wrestling since they add stakes to each match and rivalries can be born out of every outcome. The first round in Republika succeeded in this, with mostly quality matches and interesting results that make the next show, MWF 4: Road to Fate, a must-see.

All of that added up to a fairly delicious event that left fans wanting more. Let’s run things down.

The Main Course: WHY LUCHA WHY?!

This might be hard to believe, but the main event grudge match between Robin Sane and Ho Ho Lun was only the start of Republika becoming a crazy show. Both men put on a pretty good, albeit brief, match that resulted in the challenger Sane overcoming the odds and beating his heated rival, despite interference from the champion’s special referee.

While quicker than expected, the match was a good one with plenty of stiff strikes from Lun and high-flying offense from Sane. At one point it seemed like Sane was going to win after a 450 Splash but the special referee refused to count it. 
Lun ended up accidentally taking down his referee but did take advantage of this by giving Sane two low blows. He ended up calling for another referee but this gave Sane enough time to recover and beat Lun with an inside cradle to pick up the win.

Now, this is where the story got interesting.

An incensed Lun started beating up Sane after the match and took down several referees who tried to stop him. Lun even took down official Mike Shannon and attempted to desecrate the Philippine flag before the entire MWF roster came out and made him know that enough is enough.
Ego soon took over Philippine pride, as the roster ended up fighting each other after Lun had run off with his belt in tow. Things seemed to calm down after PWR’s Robynn took everyone down with a diving crossbody.

Then it happened. Mr. Lucha turned on his friend Robin Sane, hitting him with a devastating DVD-X, which shocked his ally Ninja Ryujin. What’s interesting is that Lucha seemed to regret his actions, seemingly weeping after his actions before heading to the back. He did so to the crowd chanting “Why Lucha why?!”
If anything, it makes September’s show much more interesting. There are plenty of possibilities that can be stemmed from this, including a triple threat Match between Robin Sane, Ho Ho Lun, and Mr. Lucha in the future. We’ll have to wait for September's Road to Fate and see what happens there but it already looks like a promising event.

Delicious Finger Food: Overcome Your Fears

While the main event segment was the most entertaining aspect of the night, the opening bout between Fabio Makisig and Jorelle was probably the best match of the whole event, wrestling-wise.
It started with the undefeated Makisig, accompanied by Gigz Stryker, not caring about his opponent and declaring how he will be the champion. Jorelle was soon announced as his opponent and Makisig realized he had to take this match seriously.

There was a fun story here, with Fabio clearly intimidated by Jorelle but overcoming his fear throughout the match. It wasn’t apparent at first, with Jorelle no-selling his first clothesline and dominating early on, but as soon as Makisig got an advantage he worked over his opponent’s leg with much more swagger.

Jorelle would make a good comeback and even countered a leg submission into a Scorpion Death Lock. However, the injured leg would cost her the match as Makisig managed to trick Jorelle into following him to the outside and managed to trap her in a leglock before heading back to the ring for a count-out win, advancing to the second round of the tournament and keeping his undefeated streak intact.

Everything here was pretty fun and the crowd was really into it as well. It’s proof that simple story-telling and great wrestling can go a long way.

Everyone’s Favorite Dish: Khayl Sison vs The World

Jorelle and Makisig might have had the best technical match but Khayl Sison vs. Aldrin Richards was the one the crowd ate up the most. Accompanied by the Kakaibros, Sison ended up being the show’s hottest heel and riled up the audience to an extreme extent.
Sison would start fights with various audience members, including an edgy girl behind me, and had to be held back by the PWR tag team. He played the crowd masterfully and had the whole arena hating on him, which is probably why everyone was happy to see Richards win with his Brainbuster and advance in the MWF Championship Tournament after Hanzello Shilva fought off the Kakaibros.

If I had any qualms with this match, it was that Sison almost hit an audience member when he threw a chair around ringside. No one was seriously hurt thankfully, but it could have been a lot worse.
That being said, this was the most involved the audience was throughout the night and it’s clear that Sison has what it takes to be a top bad guy. Many call this the best match of the show and it’s hard to argue with that.

Everything Else on The Menu

  • Rex Lawin defeated Martivo to advance to the second round of the tourney. This was probably the third most over match with the crowd and was pretty good while it lasted. Sison might be the heel who got the loudest reaction but Lawin came at a close second after this bout, when he pretended to show Martivo respect before assaulting him and his partner Robynn. As if that wasn’t enough, Lawin also disrespected Martivo’s pride flag, which earned a lot of boos and had to be addressed by the hosts later on.
  • Gigz Stryker vs. Jomar Liwanag was a fine second match that served its purpose, showing how tough Stryker was despite an injury. This cost him the match, however, as Liwanag put him down with a vicious backbreaker. I was pretty surprised that the move earned Liwanag a win but the injury does protect Stryker. Fabio Makisig would soon help his partner after the match and was pretty over, despite being a heel. Makisig will be taking on Liwanag in the second round of the MWF Championship Tournament, so this match now has a bit more fire in it.
  • Frankie Thurteen vs. Ashura was fine while it lasted. The story revolved around Ashura’s frustrations with Mr. Lucha, particularly when he wouldn’t let her use Thurteen’s painting as a weapon, which cost her the match. Khayl Sison soon confronted his former mentor and chastised Ashura, which made her angrier and resulted in Lucha getting slapped. It was an alright segment but felt like an afterthought after Lucha himself turned on Robin Sane.
  • “The Glitch” Morgan Vaughn squashed RG after distracting him and putting his thesis-less opponent to the ground with a Jumping Complete Shot. I wanted to start a “thesis awesome” chant but the match was literally a few seconds. I also tried “thesis bullshit,” but it didn’t work.
  • Whether it was due to a miscommunication or the two having an off night, Ninja Ryujin vs. Hanzello Shilva ended up being a pretty bad match. Both competitors are obviously talented, just look at Ryujin’s Asai DDT, but the whole match just felt off with moves getting repeated and odd pacing that made it feel longer than it actually was.
The second round of the MWF Championship Tournament is shaping up nicely, with some exciting matches for September's show.

Fabio Makisig will take on Jomar Liwanag, which is a little more interesting now since Makisig attacked Liwanag after the latter's match, even if it was to save his buddy. Aldrin Richards vs Morgan Vaughn should be unpredictable, especially after Vaughn outsmarted RG to get a quick win. Rex Lawin will be taking on Frankie Thurteen, which should be a nice contrast of styles and personalities. Lastly, Robin Sane will have to take on Ninja Ryujin and this will likely have the most drama behind. It's clear that Ryujin wasn't cool with Mr. Lucha's attack and even made sure Sane was okay after the DVD-X.

As far as my first MWF show goes, this was pretty damn good. The wrestling was pretty good and we got some interesting stories out of it. It was very memorable and I can’t wait for the next show.

Rating: B+


*****
Nico Parungo is currently a writer at Epicstream and has previously worked for Flipgeeks and IBTimes Australia. Aside from watching wrestling, he also likes to read comic books and is always curious about anything Spider-Man. He started watching WWE in 2004 and never looked back, even though he regrets being a fan of post-Evolution Randy Orton.

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