5 - Rex Lawin and Veronica Shannen Litton
4 – Keyan Khayl Sison
Khayl Sison looks like a Hypebeast or a typical Kanto boy on the streets of Manila. Sison was usually frowned upon for his cocky character, a systemic gut reaction because Filipinos irked Hypebeasts or Jejemons. So, you can generally see these kids like him in Manila smoking in the Kanto or playing basketball games on the streets and probably betting one game for one round of soda with his friends.
Khayl Sison usually plays dirty and will do anything to win. Alongside his crew, HSSL, they run the most notorious MWF stable. Khayl Sison fashions himself with local varsity shirts from NCAA and UAAP because Sison himself is still in college. Legend has it that he can recite the preamble of the Philippine Constitution by heart.
3 - Nigel San Jose aka NSJ
NSJ debuted as an anonymous wrestler called “White Shirt. He is an all smiles “happy to be here” character. Hearing and watching NSJ for the first time left me an impression like he’s an audience from Showtime or Eat Bulaga who happened to join a Noontime Show contest.
In Binondo, he had a massive crowd reaction when the interviewer asked for his name. This was NSJ’s first time wrestling without the usual white shirt. His debut was a titular moment in Filipino wrestling. He’s set to challenge for his first championship belt, so there is a lot to look forward to for NSJ.
2 - Fabio Makisig
Fabio Makisig looks like a Pene-film-looking character from straight from the 90s, wearing poison green garb. Fabio Makisig looks like he will outplay Gardo Verzosa in his prime. Additionally, with Khayl Sison and HSSL, he is one of MWF’s undeniably unique and notorious characters to date.
However, Fabio’s motivation is simple. He fights to win at all costs and win to make money for his family. Fabio Makisig comes off as a bad guy, but in hindsight, he represents every struggling working-class Filipino out there who is barely making scraps for doing grueling hours of duty. He is the perfect impersonation of a Hulk Hogan figure, even literally with Marvel’s Hulk colors.
Fabio’s character work and costume design represents how toxic the typical Filipino is that they will become desperate and do anything just to feed their family, hence the poison green. But the character evolved into someone who sees more with the community’s problems and relatively joins to fight the good fight because we do not have any choice.
1 - Rey Urbano, The Great Kabuki
Rey Urbano was the first Asian. Specifically, a Filipino or wrestler to amplify the Asian “bad guy” Gimmick to a whole new level. He disguised himself using several Japanese tropes like Silk for his Kabuki-themed attire and the Kabuki face paint. His general appreciation for Asian and Japanese culture even took the salt throwing that Sumo wrestlers used as a cheating tactic.
This technique evolved into the green mist or ninja mist which the second Great Kabuki popularized in the 80s.
The Asian Bad guy gimmick is the typical bad guy gimmick in professional wrestling after the war. The conservative Americans even cheered at Ricky “The Ballerina” Starr, a British, Jewish, Gay man who they usually boo against at that time against a Japanese wrestler.
The Asian Hate, a current western racial and political struggle, is something that the Asians took advantage of and profited against an all-white American crowd after World War 2.