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    Thursday, February 27, 2020

    MWF AksyoNovela TV Episodes 14-15: Nigel Goes Super Saiya-Jin

    And just like that, 15 episodes of AksyoNovela TV are done, and the first season has wrapped up! How did the last two episodes of AksyoNovela fare? Let's find out.

    Bagong Taon, Bagong Handog

    The Gus Constabulary comes out and sets up a series of matches to determine the next No. 1 Contender for the MWF Championship. Two matches were drawn "at random" for this episode. Below are the results:

    Frankie Thurteen wins by forcing his opponent, Tristan Creed, to lay down for him.

    Moises Liwanag wins against Kevin from the Man Bros when the latter attack him with the title belt, earning a DQ.

    The matches themselves were not matches at all! That's an instant dislike right there. They built up the idea of showcasing new matchups drawn at random, and instead lined up non-fights that, at best, advanced existing storylines. It can't even be properly spun as CoCo Gus fixing matches to his benefit—there was no obvious cui bono, and they made a show out of "proving" that Gus was drawing names properly. Double dislike. Quadruple dislike!

    Okay, maybe just a double dislike for each of the two matches.

    Nigel Can't Catch a Break

    This match also featured Ken Cifer, the Gus Con snitch, going up against SSJ Nigel San Jose. Nigel is always such a delight to watch, and this match was no different. Ken Cifer, for his part, matched Nigel's athleticism with an equally impressive power game, eventually defeating Nigel with a Fade to Black.

    Nigel's losing streak was front and center here. He would hesitate when Ken offered a sportsmanlike handshake after the match (though ever the babyface, he still eventually shook it) and Tarek would interview him to talk about him losing yet another one. Nigel would acknowledge that he hasn't had a lucky break, but that he would keep doing his best until he can show the KapaFEDs that hard work yields results.

    You know, as a wrestling fan, we can be pretty jaded about pure babyfaces. But Nigel does the job well.

    Verdict: Like

    Taft Guys Wear Green

    Gus Con comes out again to announce the third participant in the No. 1 Contender Triple Threat: Nigel San Jose. Now on one hand, authority figures coming out to do promos are trite and repetitive. And honestly, they should have just done this from the start with all three participants instead of making two non-matches last week. On the other hand, I already gave last week's segment all the dislikes, and this one was shorter, and as a Katipunan guy, myself, I will admit to enjoying the act of hating on CoCo Gus heeling it up, DLSU-style. So yeah, I guess I like this. Hypocritically.

    Verdict: Like

    Winning When it Counts

    Next up is a Triple Threat between Frankie Thurteen, Nigel San Jose, and Moises Liwanag, and it was great. I've been openly critical of Moises' wrestling in the past, but I must acknowledge that he is getting better. Nigel, of course, is a suplex machine and is one of the most technically sound wrestlers in the roster, and Frankie's moveset, in this casual smark's opinion, is the most indie-inspired in MWF. Their different styles meshed well together, and the result was a very enjoyable match.

    And of course, we can't discount the storyline significance of the results. Finally, after a lengthy losing streak that began when he was just a white shirt trainee, Nigel San Jose was finally able to pick up a win—and not just any win, but one that propels him to the top of the card as the No. 1 contender to Ho Ho Lun's MWF Championship.

    Verdict: Like

    Rex Lawin Outsmarts Gus Con

    Next up is the 4-on-4 match between HSSL with Tajiri, versus Gus Con with Ho Ho Lun, to cap off the season. Tajiri brought something special with this match, being an annoyance even as Gus Con isolated Khayl from his corner, and just generally having fun with the last match of this batch of tapings. And say what you will about Classical Bryan Leo, but he knows his role well. When Tajiri hit him with the green mist, he acted like his eyes were melting! Overselling has its place, friends.

    HSSL and Tajiri win here after one member of the Gus Con just stopped cooperating, and instead helped HSSL win. He unmasked himself after the match, revealing that he was Rex Lawin all along. When did this switch happen? I need to rewatch the past episodes more closely to find out, but I certainly didn't notice.

    Verdict: Like

    Total Likes: 4
    Total Dislikes: 3

    Finale tl;dr: Episode 14 was lackluster, but Episode 15 more than made up for it. It seems that MWF knows how to stick the landing of their final matches in a night of taping.

    Disclaimer: BJ Recio is personal friends with the wrestler who plays the Fabio Makisig character. He is otherwise unaffiliated with the Manila Wrestling Federation in any way, shape, or form.
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    Item Reviewed: MWF AksyoNovela TV Episodes 14-15: Nigel Goes Super Saiya-Jin Rating: 5 Reviewed By: BJ Recio
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