Local Smack: MWF's fab 4 fight for gold

 

MANILA, Philippines – Before 2018 ends, the Manila Wrestling Federation (MWF) looks to write a new chapter in its "aksyonovela" history by crowning the first-ever MWF Champion.

A 16-person tournament that kicked off at MWF 2: Maki-Wrestling, 'Wag Matakot in May is underway, and now we're down to the final 4 competitors. MWF recently raised the stakes and added a P20,000 pot to the mix. 

Let's look back at the Fab 4's respective roads to the semifinals at MWF 5: Todos Los Wrestling on Sunday, October 28, and assess their chances to win the big one.

THE GLITCH. Morgan Vaughn approaches his opponent Ninja Ryujin at MWF 2: Maki-Wrestling, 'Wag Matakot at the UP Bahay ng Alumni on May 27, 2018. Photo by LeAnne Jazul/Rappler

THE GLITCH. Morgan Vaughn approaches his opponent Ninja Ryujin at MWF 2: Maki-Wrestling, 'Wag Matakot at the UP Bahay ng Alumni on May 27, 2018.

Photo by LeAnne Jazul/Rappler

Morgan Vaughn

Road to the semis: His tourney journey has no glitches so far. Morgan Vaughn quickly dismantled the pugnacious RG at MWF 3: Republika in July. 

He then bested his arch-rival Aldrin Richards in a No DQ, Falls Count Anywhere Match at MWF 4: Road to Fate in September. 

Championship chances: In this all-star tournament, The Glitch is considered the underdog. His star has consistently shone bright in MWF, so a title victory at Todos Los Wrestling will certainly place him at the center of the MWF galaxy.

FLOP HE ISN'T. Fabio Makisig battles Brother Jomar Liwanag in a 'Tsinelas on a Pole' Match in the MWF Championship quarterfinals at MWF 4: Road to Fate. Photo by Kathrina Sabatin of MWF

FLOP HE ISN'T. Fabio Makisig battles Brother Jomar Liwanag in a 'Tsinelas on a Pole' Match in the MWF Championship quarterfinals at MWF 4: Road to Fate.

Photo by Kathrina Sabatin of MWF

Fabio Makisig

Road to the semis: Fabio Makisig might be a trash talker on the mic, but don't underestimate his ways of pulling off victories, especially when it matters most.

At Republika, he faced his biggest nightmare in Jorelle, yet somehow eked out a win via count-out, thanks in part to his buddy Gigz Stryker. At Road to Fate, Fabio smacked his longtime nemesis Brother Jomar, like what a parent does to a petulant child, in a "Tsinelas (Rubber Slipper) on a Pole" quarterfinals match.

Championship chances: MWF Title plus cash prize equals everything for Fabio. Expect the highly-motivated street bully to plow through anyone in his path to claim the MWF Title.

DON'T BLINK. Robin Sane launches himself towards Mr. Lucha on the outside in the first round of the MWF Championship Tournament at MWF: Maki-Wrestling, 'Wag Matakot. Photo by LeAnne Jazul/Rappler

DON'T BLINK. Robin Sane launches himself towards Mr. Lucha on the outside in the first round of the MWF Championship Tournament at MWF: Maki-Wrestling, 'Wag Matakot.

Photo by LeAnne Jazul/Rappler

Robin Sane

Road to the semis: "The Daredevil" Robin Sane earned his first victory in the tourney opener against a dear friend Mr. Lucha at Maki-wrestling, 'Wag Matakot, then lost the same friend in the next show.

In a shocking twist, Mr. Lucha turned on his fellow MWF pioneer after the main event of Republika in July. Despite this drama, Sane soldiered on and defeated Ninja Ryujin in a 2-out-of-3 Falls Match at Road to Fate.

Championship chances: Robin Sane is the odds-on favorite to win the entire tournament. The MWF Championship will become the feather in the cap of his career that's already full of firsts.

'DANGER' ON A ROLL. 'Danger' Rex Lawin punishes Frankie Thurteen in an 'I Quit' quarterfinals tournament match at MWF 4: Road to Fate. Photo by Kathrina Sabatin of MWF

'DANGER' ON A ROLL. 'Danger' Rex Lawin punishes Frankie Thurteen in an 'I Quit' quarterfinals tournament match at MWF 4: Road to Fate.

Photo by Kathrina Sabatin of MWF

"Danger" Rex Lawin

Road to the semis: Talk about a dominant run. With Coach Gus Queens by his side, Rex Lawin knocked down not only MWF stars but also Philippine Wrestling Revolution (PWR) stalwarts. 

Martivo, PWR's resident "man-doll," was the first to fall to Lawin at Republika. Rex then crushed Frankie Thurteen's title opportunity – as well as Frankie's painting he named Lady Adrienne – in an "I Quit" Match.  

Championship chances: In the case of Rex Lawin, a win over Robin Sane in the semis and eventually over his finals opponent wouldn't be an upset. In the words of Coach Gus Queens perhaps, it's a guarantee.

The winner of Morgan Vaughn vs. Fabio Makisig will face the victor of Robin Sane vs Rex Lawin in the tournament final at MWF 6 in December.

No doubt that it will be the best Christmas ever for the first-ever MWF Champion.  

Other chops and stomps 

Todos Los Wrestling will also feature a huge 6-man inter-promotional tag team match, born out of Mr. Lucha's actions at Road to Fate.

FACE-OFF. Mr. Lucha confronts PHX Champion Jake de Leon at MWF 4: Road to Fate. Photo by Kathrina Sabatin of MWF

FACE-OFF. Mr. Lucha confronts PHX Champion Jake de Leon at MWF 4: Road to Fate.

Photo by Kathrina Sabatin of MWF

Mr. Lucha interrupted the visit of PWR's PHX Champion Jake de Leon in MWF, then unleashed his inner rage on the champ. Mr. Lucha resumed his rampage later in the main event and defeated The Eurasian Dragon, but JDL exacted revenge on Mr. Lucha as the show went to a close.

JDL then roped in PWR co-owner John Sebastian and ex-champion Chris Panzer, who all challenged Mr. Lucha to find two partners for Todos Los Wrestling.

Turns out, "The Pride of Sagada" will be teaming up with his former allies Robin Sane (who'll do double duty) and Ninja Ryujin.

With combustible elements on both corners, how will Team MWF versus Team PWR go?

Elsewhere on the card, Brother Jomar Liwanag will battle "The Howling Hunter" Hanzello Shilva, while the menacing Jorelle Liwanag will face "The Grunge Grappler" Frankie Thurteen. 

Martivo will visit MWF once again to team up with Ashura against the dynamic duo Gigz Stryker and RG, who will also star in the latest saga of the "Sagot Kita" mini-clips, "Stryke, Rattle and Roll."

Finally, the brash Khayl Sison will face "Beautiful" Charlie Salmon. – Rappler.com

MWF 5: Todos Los Wrestling takes place on Sunday, October 28, at the UP Bahay ng Alumni in Diliman, Quezon City. Gates open at 5 pm, while the show starts at 6 pm.

Michael Bueza

Michael Bueza is a researcher and data curator under Rappler's Research Team. He works on data about elections, governance, and the budget. He also follows the Philippine pro wrestling scene and the WWE. Michael is also part of the Laffler Talk podcast trio.

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