WWFX in Manila report: John Morrison vs. Shelton Benjamin, MVP vs. Chris Masters, Luke Gallows vs. Rhino, Carlito vs. Snitsky, Jillian Hall vs. Melina, Hurricane Helms vs. Daivari, Jimmy Yang vs. Billy Gunn, Colt Cabana
WWFX Live Event
Report by Dot Net reader Ram Cervantes
The event was recorded and apparently broadcasted via iPPV. Not sure how it came across on video but the arena looked barely filled as there were about 1,000 fans in the Smart Araneta Coliseum that has a seating capacity of about 15,000. Considering that they didn't promote on TV until about two weeks before the event, I'd say they were lucky to even get a thousand people to show up. Bell time was supposed to be at 7:00 but they started at 8:30. Not sure if this is something that is done in most non-WWE live events or a lack of professionalism on their part.
Colt Cabana came down the ramp alongside a couple of beautiful ring girls to open the event. He mentioned how he would be the ring announcer for the big show that is headlined by the crowning of the first ever WWFX Champion.
1. Jimmy Yang defeated Billy Gunn. Gunn came out first and looked like he was in good shape. Yang is still using his Asian redneck gimmick. The match lasted about five minutes and was your basic big man vs. little man match. Gunn had offense for most of the match and used slow, deliberate moves while Yang avoided corner splashes and used his speed to get some offense in. The match ended with Yang going for his moonsault onto a standing Gunn finisher but Gunn didn't turn around fast enough to catch him and make it look like a splash. Instead, it looked like Yang hit a moonsault into a kick to the back of the head (which looked pretty stiff) and got the pin.
Hurricane was looking like he was a little bit on the heavy side. He was accompanied by a fan who won some Facebook contest. Daivari spent most of the first third of the match stalling by walking out of the ring and letting the ref count. There was a spot where he shoved referee Rudy Charles, Charles shoved back, took his shirt of and began wrestling Daivari while Hurricane wore his referee shirt. After about a minute of Charles vs. Daivari, Hurricane took off the shirt and gave it back to Charles. While the ref was putting his shirt back on, Daivari gave Hurricane a low blow. He used rest holds for the next few minutes. Match ended with Hurricane hitting his Hurrichokeslam and pinning Daivari.
Colt Cabana introduced another fan who won a Facebook contest to become a guest ring announcer but Colt still did the actual announcements. The kid was heavily booed as he walked down the ramp.
3. Melina defeated Jillian Hall. Jillian came out and started singing Hit Me Baby One More Time. Melina interrupted her to the delight of the crowd. Both women hit all their signature spots but the crowd died a little for this match. Melina pinned Jillian after a corner counter into her Sunset Flip Powerbomb finisher.
The fan walked back in the ring with two drinks in hand. The cans looked generic but they were saying it was beer. Luke Gallows came out and cut a short spiel on how Melina was weak for needing alcohol to get people to like her. Before he could physically harm her, Rhino ran down the ring to the chants of "Gore!"
4. Rhino defeated Luke Gallows. The match wasn't anything special. Both men seemed to try their best but they had trouble keeping the fans interested for most of the match, save for a few spots. The crowd chanted "CM Punk" whenever Gallows threw up the X sign with his hands. Gallows tried to use the steel chair Cabana was sitting on to get the advantage but Melina came out and distracted him. He turned around to get hit with a Gore and Rhino scored the victory.
5. Carlito defeated Snitsky. After the intermission, they introduced Snitsky, who came out to some horrible music and lights that could cause an epileptic seizure. He was wearing a flannel shirt and carried a baby doll, which he asked one of the ring girls to take care of. Carlito came out to a pretty big pop. I found it amusing that spent a sequence in the area with the ring girls just so they can put their hands on them. Snitsky even mentioned how the baby liked to be breastfed. They spent 85% of the match brawling in the crowd, which was fun to experience if you're up close. If you were on a different side of the arena, you wouldn't have appreciated it. About a fifth of the crowd turned their attention to the ring girls and Colt Cabana while this was happening. The match ended soon after they got back to the ring when Carlito spat the apple at Snitsky, which is apparently enough for the three count. Snitsky didn't even sell it like he was stunned and Carlito rolled him up. He sold it like he was kicked in the face.
6. MVP defeated Chris Masters. Chris Masters initially got a pop but when he began to play his heel character up, the crowd chose not to react to him rather than boo him. MVP came out to a big pop. Not much to say about the match. It was well wrestled enough that each wrestler got his spots in and the psychology was sound but nothing notable really happened. MVP won after he hit the Drive-By Kick.
7. John Hennigan (a/k/a John Morrison) defeated Shelton Benjamin to win the WWFX Title. Benjamin came out to a mixed reaction. I guess people didn't like hearing him cuss during the press conference. Hennigan came out to a pretty good pop. Some chain grappling was used to start. Benjamin tried to get a fan ejected out of the arena to draw some heat. The crowd chanted "Morrison" whenever rest holds were being applied. After a few minutes of really solid wrestling, they did a ref bump right before Hennigan hit his Flying Chuck kick.
The crowd counted up to three but the ref was down. Benjamin hit Paydirt, crowd counted up to three, ref still down. Benjamin grabbed the title and smashed Hennigan with it. Someone who looked like he was either another lucky fan or just some random schmuck ran in with a referee shirt. He counted two, which led to a frustrated Benjamin to knocking the new referee out. Hennigan was up, hit a Tilt-A-Whirl into a Russian Leg Sweep and followed up with Starship Pain to win the WWFX Title.
Confetti cannons fired in the corners while Hennigan grabbed the title. All the faces came out, except for Billy Gunn. Hennigan and Melina hugged in the ring and then all the faces began to slap hands with the fans. Cabana said fans could buy merch and ask for autographs near one of the entrances and then thanked everyone for coming.
Notes: It was a decent show but I feel like some parts were a little bland. It could be some wrestlers going through the motions because they feel that Manila, Philippines doesn't experience live wrestling annually so they can get away with phoning it in. Hard to make a list of best pops and heat because the fans were respectful of both competitors in the ring for the most part.
Hennigan might have gotten the biggest pop for Starship Pain while Daivari was the only heel who received little love from the fans. Best moment of the night for me was right after Colt closed the show and went around ringside. I asked for a picture with him and he complimented by Bryan Danielson shirt which I bought from ROH right before he went to the WWE. All in all, a pretty good way to spend a night if you love watching wrestling and you miss seeing these guys on TV.
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