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MWF 7: Kasaysayan: The Official Smark Henry Review


Full disclaimer, this was my first time to watch a full MWF show. I’ve been following the Manila-verse since its initial outing and I was able to catch some of the matches during last year’s HistoryCon exhibition and I did enjoy everything. I was pretty excited to watch a complete show in the flesh because I normally never have Saturdays free and their original choice of venue wasn’t really somewhere I’d travel to because of its distance from me. To be able to experience the whole shebang at a venue closer to my liking was much appreciated and, as a bonus, the show was free.

So, what are my takeaways from MWF 7: Kasayasayan

I’d like to kick off this review by mentioning everything I noticed during the show, from the bad to the good. I say this not as an entitled fan, but as a person who sincerely wants to see MWF succeed because on paper and on social media, the company gives out an alternative vibe that could give local wrestling fans another choice for sports entertainment.

Bloody Hell, No

Let’s talk about the elephant in the room (and I won't put up pictures because I don't want this kind of thing tolerated) I’m sure most people have already heard about (if not seen) the unfortunate accident Robin Sane suffered during his match against “Danger” Rex Lawin. Most of us hardcore fans would just shrug this off as part of the show. We’ve seen those old Hardcore Holly and Sabu videos where they continued even after huge gashes. This isn’t something that’s truly far-fetched in the world of wrestling.

The thing is, in this day and age, where head trauma is an iffy subject, it didn’t feel right for me. Maybe it was an accident or maybe it was part of the story. I don’t know if Sane and Rex were acting gassed out or if they were legitimately hurt and that’s what bothered me. You could see the performers struggling to continue and it was a cause for concern. It wasn’t just me, half of the crowd went silent because of that. No ERTs even showed up to check on the bleeding guy. There’s a certain threshold of disbelief that I’m willing to suspend for wrestling but I was 100% sure as hell this wasn’t part of the plan. I hope next time they take more precautions for things like this. Sane is a pretty talented dude, but I want to see him in more matches and not in a wheelchair.

Too Much Gus Will Kill You


Is it bad that I hate Coach Gus Queens and not for the reasons I'm supposed to? His theme song is catchy and quirky but hearing it five times (possibly even more) in a single night gave me a mental aneurysm. Maybe they're trying to go the ECW route or maybe they’re trying to incorporate worked shoots but when it takes up more than half of your show, it somehow takes away from the entertainment. 

It’s ironic that when Commissioner Mike Shannon came out for a promo, he said something along the lines of “this show is not about me” and “this show is about wrestling.” Then, they spent another chunk of the show having a verbal discussion in-ring. I was literally dumbfounded.

Overbooked, Overloved, Over Me


I seriously have a problem with the way some of the finishes were overbooked. The Fabio Makisig/Khayl Sison finish was awkward, then Rex Lawin appeared for a post-match beatdown. After that, Sison made the save and left Lawin down. Youngblxxd then entered the ring to pick apart Lawin. You see where I’m going here? It’s awesome when one storyline bleeds into another, but then again, when it connects into two or three stories in such a short span of time, it kills the ones that came before it.

After that, Fabio and Khayl felt like an afterthought and this is where I have some regrets. The Fabio win didn’t have any kind of closure because the Youngblxxd appearance overpowered what was supposed to be Khayl and Fabio’s moment. I hope they consider these little things on the next show. Makisig is a fun guy to watch, please don’t make him a low-tier character.


This carries over to the Youngblxxd match with Bahay ng Liwanag. There were too many things to pay attention to during the finish. We had Gigz Stryker run in, which was a welcome addition (I do wonder why he wasn't booked on the card) while Youngblxxd celebrated in-ring. I honestly didn't know which to pay attention to.

The Long and Winding Road

Because I'm an older soul, I tend to get bored with slow yet packed matches. This is why I didn’t appreciate the Luchadonna versus Mr. Lucha match. Considering it was the co-main event of the night, it was pretty one-sided for what it was. I think they were trying to tell the story of how Mr. Lucha (who was a face again by the way) didn’t want to fight with Luchadonna. MWF’s IG story billed it as a cousin versus cousin match.


I felt this would’ve been better if it was shortened and moved up to the opening moments of the card. Maybe as the third or fourth match, it would’ve been great. That, or maybe the team should consider a shorter show but more dates? The limited roster doesn’t allow too much flexibility so maybe this is an option for them?

The Good and Bad


How great is it to watch the MWF trainees put on their boots in a public showing? Most of the fans got behind white shirt guy and red shirt guy. Unfortunately, it sucked not knowing who they were. It’s great that they've started to explore and expose their young talent, but I do wish they gave the guys names and entrances. It would’ve added enjoyment and I could’ve invested myself in looking forward to seeing these guys on the next show. For now, these nameless wonders’ debut matches will be just a footnote to MWF 7: Kasaysayan

New Talents

One of the things I like about the company is how they’ve always had it great when it comes to bringing outside talent. They announced that former WWE Superstar Tajiri will be competing at MWF 8, which was a welcome surprise for everybody. It’s like an early Christmas present because on top of that, the next show is also free. I do hope they continue to do it at Mandala Park because I’d love to catch Tajiri. 


Another huge step is the acquisition of other talents. The usage of trainees in-show is a great move towards the right direction but it’s also nice seeing Kanto (Kilabot) Terror make a comeback because it’s all hands on deck when the roster is limited. KT could easily mix it up with Gigz Stryker or any of the alumni for fresh new match-ups.

Breathing New Life

Without even flinching, I’d have to say that the production values for this show were top-notch. The lighting might’ve been too bright but it gave a different feel; one that I appreciated. The show felt like a special attraction–which in fact it is. Mandala Park seems like a good fit to be their new home and it felt like a match made in heaven. I was skeptical at first but seeing it there, in the flesh, I thought I was watching a foreign show. The trees gave a good backdrop, it actually reminded me of Bash at the Beach for some reason. This was a good decision as the spot is accessible and is surrounded by retail and food stalls so it adds to the marketability.



Also, minus the lingering media covering the live camera, it’s actually a breath of fresh air that there was a live feed camera that shows the action on the giant screen. It helps for people who don’t get to see the action straight on, and it makes everything look more professional.

Made For TV

I think I’ve commented on the older MWF vignettes on social media so many times that it still holds true to this day. They produce some of the most interesting promos and vignettes in terms of direction, storytelling, and quality. It’s something that I hope they continue to do so in the future because they have such a different approach to it than others. Props to the production team for these.

Finale

That being said, I’m being fair when I say that I expected a whole lot from MWF 7: Kasaysayan but it was a bit of a letdown. There was definitely potential from what I saw, and I’ll continue to support the product because I want them to achieve greatness with all these tools in their hand. However, they do have to step up their game in-ring and booking-wise. I know we, as fans, don’t probably understand how difficult it is booking a four-hour show. Let’s add the fact that they’ve got such a limited number of performers. But maybe, just maybe, it’s time to approach this differently, as I've said previously.

I hope MWF 8 will address some of the things because, at the end of the day, Mike Shannon is right. It’s all about wrestling. It’s for the fans. I’d rather have good in-ring performances, coupled with a few vignettes and promos and awesome storytelling than to have shoot style surprises and a fear that I'll be worrying about a performer’s life just for the sake of being edgy. We watch wrestling because we want to see fighting and sports-entertainment and not bloody murder.

Grade: C

Quick Hitters

  • Why did we have a recap segment prior to the main event? It literally killed the momentum, if there was any, prior to the match. I say, let’s just add live commentary instead of the recap if we really want to make use of the analysts.
  • I half-enjoyed Tarek El-Tayech’s pre-show hype speech. At first, it made me feel like I was watching some campy noontime show and I felt weird goosebumps, but then it does actually work and I did feel hyped up. The dude knows how to get the crowd up and going.
  • The new “Danger” Rex Lawin theme is fire. I could easily see myself listening to that during gym workouts or even while walking.
  • Speaking of theme songs, the MWF Instrumental and the MWF Main Song are two tracks that are still humming in my head right now. This is great stuff.
  • Ashura’s match antics could easily get on someone’s nerves and that’s why I think it’s fun and new. I always appreciate managerial figures doing their stuff outside. It’s entertaining.
  • Speaking of Ashura, how was she even drinking the milk tea with her mask on?
  • I was low-key cringing during the clamping of Rex Lawin’s chest. Guys, there are kids in the audience? I like edgy, but maybe decide if it’s family-friendly or not?
  • Why didn’t Bahay ng Liwanag win? The Gigz Stryker interference obviously should’ve been a DQ finish. That is unless they’re doing the ECW route and easing up on DQs.
  • Free shows are awesome. Makes me think how they’ll sustain this model, but I’m happy that they’re trying a different approach.
How did you like the show? Did you agree with the review? Are you looking forward to MWF's next show? Hit us up in the comments section below and we'll catch you at MWF 8, mga kapa-Feds!

*****

Disclosure: Smark Henry is independently managed and operated by a group of local wrestling fans, but includes members affiliated with the Philippine Wrestling Revolution.

*****

Miguel “The Migz” Llado is your supposed fashion guru and semi-young boy at the Smark Henry offices. A lover of everything music, wrestling, videogames and food, he lives his life tweeting his mind off (@the_migz) and ‘gramming random food items and locations (@tha_migz) as he sets on his journey to completely do things spontaneously. You can also add him on PSN (MigzLlado) to show your Fortnite or WWE 2K19 skills. When not being a smark, he lives his life being (and trying to be) an awesome architect, musician extraordinaire and armchair fantasy booker.

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