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MWF 6: Noche Buena - The Official Smark Henry Review

Photo by Kathrina Sabatin

Hey Kapa-Feds! Nico here to nick-pick (hehe) MWF 6: Noche Buena, the last MWF show of 2018. It was a newsworthy show, what with the crowning of the first MWF Champion and the emergence of a new number one contender. While Noche Buena had some great stories, it suffered a bit from what I felt was subpar in-ring work that was not there in previous MWF shows. There were definitely good matches here, but even they had their fair share of miscues.

The crowd during the main event also gave me one of the most annoying experiences I’ve ever had in a wrestling show. They went into business for themselves, chanting Powerpuff Girls at the men in the ring because of their colors and even singing the cartoon’s theme song instead of paying attention to the in-ring action. It was pretty damn annoying.

Seriously, it’s one thing to joke around but when you’d rather make your own fun than pay attention to the wrestling, then you can get the fuck out. Had they done this for a bad match I would have understood, somewhat, but they did it for THE MAIN EVENT, which was either the best or second-best match of the night, depending on who you ask. Shame on you guys. No audience chant of the night award for this review.

Noche Buena felt less like the holiday this event was named after and more like post-Christmas merienda with your parents' friends in the 27th or 28th. Yeah, you get along with people your age but then you have to start talking about your job and why you aren’t married or dating anyone. Then politics get brought up and intense arguments happen. At least the food is good.

Lechon: Robin Sane def. Fabio Makisig with a Phoenix Splash to become the first MWF Champion

Photo by Kathrina Sabatin

Lechon is always a good choice for dinner. Really, the only bad part about having it is the long wait. That or you have it delivered and it’s good, but not as great when compared to homemade lechon. In a way, the main event of Robin Sane vs. Fabio Makisig was like waiting for lechon on delivery. There was a lot of waiting involved and we had to go through some filler to get to it but when we got it, everyone was happy with what they got.

Sane and Makisig worked their asses off, making for a quality match and a worthy main event to close the show. The high-flying antics of Sane and Makisig’s stiff strikes made for a worthwhile bout, and it’s a shame some fans didn’t seem to appreciate it. I can’t say for certain if the (possibly worked) shoot Fabio cut online added to the match since the action never felt too intense. The crowd may have something to do with that though. Still, both guys gave it their 100%, and Sane came out on top to be the inaugural MWF Champion. It will be interesting seeing how long he holds it.

As good as it was, I had a couple of gripes with this match. First, the referee didn’t bother trying to count these guys out during a lengthy brawl outside the ring. Last time I checked, there were still disqualifications in a title match so this confused me. 

There were also two major miscues, one of which almost resulted in an injury. The first one had Sane trying to huracanrana Makisig from the apron to the outside. Makisig caught Sane and the two remedied it with some awkward brawling, which wasn’t too bad. The second was a 450 attempt by Sane to the prone leg of Makisig that almost resulted in him landing on his head due to a missed rotation. It seemed like he was okay but that was really scary.

This still ended up as a good match and one that ended this middling show on a high note. With “Danger” Rex Lawin as the number one contender, the old rivalry of Sane and Lawin should be something to look forward to given how good their last face-off was.

Christmas Ham: Mr. Lucha def. Jake De Leon with a Chokeslam

Photo by Miggy Hilario

The best part about Christmas ham is that you can have it for breakfast, lunch, or dinner and it will always be filling. As one of two main events for Noche Buena, Mr. Lucha and Jake De Leon gave fans everything they wanted and more.

JDL brought his A-game for this bout and it’s easy to see why many call him one of the best wrestlers in the Philippines right now. The former PHX champ had great spots and focused on Lucha’s leg, which was smart since the masked wrestler was the bigger man. I’m actually a bit annoyed that the injured leg wasn’t a part of the finish since Lucha caught a diving JDL for a DVDX near the end, though it was an eye-catching spot.

Lucha did a fine enough job in the ring, though it was odd seeing him take so much of a beating and win. This is also how it went with his match against the Eurasian Dragon back in MWF 4: Road to Fate, though this bout was much better. Hopefully, we can see him use his size and power better in 2019 since seeing this much vulnerability doesn’t suit a big man, in my opinion.

One thing that irked me was the “throw opponent on the chairs” spot, which I have seen in every MWF show I’ve attended. Yes, it always looks painful and I’m sure it’s not fun being on the receiving end of that spot, but it’s getting old for me. At least it was JDL that was mostly throwing Lucha around this time.

It will be interesting seeing where Mr. Lucha goes from here, now that he has a huge win over Mr. Philippine Wrestling. We have until March to speculate, though it’s easy to assume that he still has unfinished business with former student Robin Sane, who is now the MWF Champion. JDL has "The Statement" Andruew Tang to worry about since the Singaporean powerhouse cost him his PHX Championship at PWR's Vendetta

Awkward Relative Talk: Gigz Stryker def. RG Liwanag with a Shoulder Jawbreaker

Photo by Miggy Hilario

You know that feeling when you’re sitting down eating Christmas food with your family then, suddenly, one of them asks you about life out of the blue? They’re probably wondering why you’re still single or are annoyed at your anti-Manny Pacquiao posts on social media. Either way, it’s awkward, feels longer than it actually is, and makes you never want to go again.

So yeah, that’s what this match felt like. This unannounced match was the result of the Sagot Kita segments peppered throughout MWF's shows this year, the last installment of which resulted in RG joining the Liwanag Family.

I never expected the Stryker videos to be canon with the main MWF-verse. I thought we’re supposed to believe that they’re just cute old-school Pinoy-style vignettes, while the Liwanag vignettes were clearly always building towards something. Now that both worlds have intersected, it makes for a confusing narrative and one I’m not sure is good, though it is intriguing.

The match itself was pretty bad. RG Liwanag is clearly more capable than delayed-graduation RG, doing cool moves like an End of Days and a moonsault, but the structure for this contest just felt off. It felt like these guys just did a bunch of moves to each other until someone won. There was technically a narrative, as Stryker tried to snap RG out of his zombie state but it wasn’t consistent throughout and made for a dull match.

RG eventually snapped out of his state after Stryker’s movie friend, Neneng, gave him a UP sash. It was a cute moment but one I felt was wasted since the Liwanag Family beat them up afterward and kidnapped RG again. Saving that moment would have helped a lot, but it looks like they have other plans.

Time For Dessert:

  • Rex Lawin def. Morgan Vaughn, Frankie Thurteen and Bro. Jomar Liwanag in a 4-Way Elimination Dance to become the #1 Contender for the MWF Championship: A pretty fun match with all four guys working hard that was hampered by them not announcing the rules beforehand. When Thurteen hit Jomar Liwanag with the Curb Stomp the referee didn’t want to count three, thinking it would end the match too early and seemingly not knowing it was an elimination bout, which was awkward as hell. We also got a Thurteen heel turn afterward, and his alliance with Morgan Vaughn should be an interesting one.
  • Khayl Sison def. SANDATA with a Low Blow and Bicycle Knee: A much better match than the one Sison had with Charlie Salmon in Todos Los Wrestling, with SANDATA back on the side of the angels for one night only and taking the heat magnet to a solid outing. Sison once again got massive heat by antagonizing members of the crowd by ripping signs and humping a stuffed toy, which made everyone want to see SANDATA kick his ass and briefly forget his association with MSG.
  • The debuting Luchadonna def. Trainee with a Tornado DDT: Luchadonna was teased during various vignettes in Todos Los Wrestling so seeing her here in a pre-show match was interesting. This was a basic squash, with the trainee basically just taking moves until the match ended. Luchadonna did impress fans with an Octopus Stretch, so she’s pretty athletic. She also had a short vignette with Mr. Lucha, implying that we’ll see more from them next time.
  • Martivo and Ashura def. Hanzello Shilva and Ninja Ryujin with a Dropkick/Tiger Suplex combo: Shilva is back in full-wolf mode, which was disappointing, but he had enough ring awareness to do pin attempts so I’ll take it. The match itself was only good when Martivo was in the ring, as the beginning with Shilva and Ashura was painful to watch. What really caught everyone’s interest was when Frankie Thurteen and Morgan Vaughn recruited Ashura to their new stable, though they also wanted Martivo who told them to kiss his ass. Thurteen told Ashura later on that they would still try to get Martivo on their side, which should set up something interesting for the next MWF/PWR show.
MWF 6: Noche Buena wasn’t a terrible show but it could have been better. It was a December show so I won’t be too hard on them, especially with the crowning of their first MWF Champion, but nothing here really blew me away. Can’t wait for that March show though.

Rating: B-

Match of the Night: Robin Sane vs Fabio Makisig
Spot of the Night: Mr. Lucha catching Jake De Leon and giving him a Death Valley Driver
Performer of the Night: Robin Sane
Audience Chant of the Night: NONE. 

Photos by Miggy Hilario and Kathrina Sabatin

Nico Parungo is currently a writer at Epicstream and has previously worked for Flipgeeks and IBTimes Australia. He still loves WWE, no matter how many times they hurt him, and copes with the pain by booking matches his way in WWE 2K19.

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