RAW Deal: Philippine wrestling is more alive than ever

MANILA, Philippines – WWE may be the king of the world when it comes to professional wrestling, but local fans should definitely not miss out on the month-to-month growth of our local wrestling companies.

We’ve just come off a two-week stretch in which both the Philippine Wrestling Revolution (PWR) and the Manila Wrestling Federation (MWF) – the country’s active wrestling companies – put out big shows in Wrevolution X and MWF 2: Maki-Wrestling, Wag Matakot last May 20 and 27, respectively. 

It’s also worth noting that Wrevolution X is PWR’s version of WrestleMania, also known as the biggest show of the year, and they pretty much went all out and justified that claim. The event was headlined with two huge co-main events, as the company’s top singles titles, the PWR and Philippine Hybrid X (PHX) Championships, were put on the line in riveting matches. 

Fan favorite Ken Warren, the so-called “Social Media Sinister” won the PHX Championship, while current PWR Champion Ralph Imayabashi successfully defended his title, resulting in challenger “Ruthless” Miguel Rosales’ exit from the company. (Rosales is actually moving to Singapore, explaining the otherwise heartbreaking loss.)

That wasn’t the only thing to watch from Wrevolution X, as the card was chock-full of good, solid action from most of the PWR roster, including MWF’s own Robin Sane – proving that in its 4 years of existence in the local scene, young Filipino wrestlers have a lot of potential that fans should be tuning into.

SURPRISE. Kapitan Tutan (right) beats Robin Sane and the YOLO Twins during the PWR WRevolution X at the iAcademy in Makati City on May 20, 2018. Photo by LeAnne Jazul/Rappler

SURPRISE. Kapitan Tutan (right) beats Robin Sane and the YOLO Twins during the PWR WRevolution X at the iAcademy in Makati City on May 20, 2018.

Photo by LeAnne Jazul/Rappler

Meanwhile, MWF’s own show a week after was no slouch, either. Making their home in UP Diliman, a territory that isn’t often visited by PWR’s brand of local wrestling, the second local wrestling company established their own take on how it’s done.

Mixing a family-friendly, almost comic-book-esque aesthetic that hasn’t been fully cornered by PWR with equally awesome athletics, MWF’s rise with this well-received second show of the year shows that there’s even more potential in the local scene than we thought. 

The young company’s already set the table for their very first MWF Championship in a roster-wide tournament, kicked off by a barn-burning main event between stalwarts (and local scene OGs) Robin Sane and Mr. Lucha. And to solidify the fact that the local wrestling scene is thriving, PWR characters Mr. Sy and SANDATA made an overwhelming surprise appearance in MWF’s show, with the latter facing off against “Danger” Rex Lawin in a hard-hitting bout. 

SANDATA and Sy’s participation, coupled with Sane’s participation in this year’s Wrevolution X, former PWR Champion John Sebastian’s appearance at an MWF show last year, as well as Coach Gus Queens and his charge Lawin’s cameo at a PWR show last year, goes to show that the connections making up Philippine pro wrestling are getting stronger than ever.

And if you’re a wrestling fan who still hasn’t bought into the local wrestling hype for whatever reason – maybe because you find they’re not on the same level as the world-class talents of the WWE – it’s pretty foolish to expect that all these guys would be that good. They’ve all got less than 5 years of experience; it’s a young scene, and a lot of the wrestlers you see on TV have at least twice that much time under their belt to perfect their own craft. 

WWE’s not always going to come around, so if you want some real live wrestling, there’s no excuse not to support homegrown talents. They put their bodies on the line living out all our dreams, of action in the squared circle.

*****

Do you listen to podcasts? Would you want to listen to a local podcast about pro wrestling? If the answers to those questions – especially that last one – are yes, then you should check out the cleverly-named Smark Gilas-Pilipinas Podcast, featuring PWR General Manager Stan Sy, wrestling writer and Wrestling God Romeo Moran, and all-around multimedia person and former voice of PWR Raf Camus! On this week’s episode, journalist Rie Takumi reviews MWF 2: Maki-Wrestling, Wag Matakot! Listen to it here! – Rappler.com