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#SGQ: MWF Embraces The Culture With Its New Championship Belt

This past Saturday, at MWF 11: Road to Fate, Manila Wrestling Federation revealed their new design for the MWF Championship. It immediately got eyes on the product and a lot of people talking. MWF isn't your usual wrestling organization and they're often lauded for incorporating Filipino culture into their storylines, characters and, with this announcement, the MWF Championship.

The old championship belt held by Robin Sane was a crazy piece of art that required a certain taste. I wasn't a fan of that but it was definitely a different piece that doesn't follow the norm. This new one follows suit in being the most unique piece of gold (I may have to verify it is actually gold) in any promotion today—whether local or international.

It's easy to see that this was inspired by Filipino jeepneys. The MWF logo is reminiscent of a jeepney bumper. Even the fins (saksak puso, tulo ang dugo) and labels (pinakaromantikong pakikidigma) scream "patok na jeep." The side plates emulate the vehicle's headlights. Lastly, the sarimanok design helps establish that look. I'm not sure I'm a fan of the Red Horse-like logo on top but it does add to the craziness.

This belt is certainly a lot to take in and it will garner both haters and defenders—just as it has here at the Smark Henry offices. I'm still unsure where I stand but I do know what I do and don't like about it. It does accomplish what MWF is trying to do—which is move away from being a mainstream Western product and emphasize their originality and love for the country and the culture. However, I do think it's too outrageous to assign it as the main title.

I personally wish this was the Kampeon ng Masa title instead of the main championship. It would be easy to take in because if that were the case, MWF would be able to establish a more traditional take while still opening themselves to the quirks which make them different than other promotions. Regardless, I do think it's pretty ballsy of the company to explore this creative avenue.

I'd seriously love to hear from the MWF's creatives and management how they came up with the idea because I do have a lot of questions in my mind. How does the tagline "saksak puso, tulo ang dugo" relate to the championship? What does the romantic battle (pinakaromantikong pakikidigma) mean? Why did they put handles on the sides? These are some of the things lingering in my head right now.

Whatever happens, this belt is the probably one of the most talked-about news for this wrestling week and that I'm sure it can help the company establish themselves as a non-traditional company which embraces difference and endorses a change in this "open to interpretation" sport-entertainment business.

*****

Photos from MWF

Disclaimer: Smark Henry is independently owned and managed by a group of Filipino pro wrestling fans, but includes members affiliated with Philippine Wrestling Revolution.

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