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    Tuesday, March 19, 2019

    #ThemeSongTuesday: MAIN MAXX AND / SAN-DA-TA

    There's really no way to write about this week's featured theme song without it getting awkward, so let's just get it out of the way.

    This week, we're talking about the MSG (Mr. Sy Group of Talents) entrance theme.

    Let's pull the curtain back a bit here.

    Throughout my time with Philippine Wrestling Revolution (PWR), I've never really appeared as a heel, which was weird because the Mr. Sy character had all the makings of a heel. Here's a Chinese-Filipino who's always dressed in suits or fancy jackets and trotting out his Jordans, putting people in their place as the PWR General Manager. For all this time, even I had to wonder how this motherfucker wasn't a heel. I'd been wanting to try tapping into my inner villain in front of the Revo-Nation for a little over a year, which is why I was more than happy to say yes when PWR's creative direction eventually necessitated it.

    I wanted to use my association with Main Maxx and SANDATA to give them a rougher and more ruthless edge. That started with the presentation of the group. From the moment MSG's music hit, it had to sound intimidating, menacing, and sinister.

    The three of us spent a couple of days going through several links on YouTube as we searched for beats that could serve as a peg for someone to work on. We had initially planned to commission someone to come up with an original theme, but as luck would have it, we had The One early on. In fact, it was one of the first links I'd sent into our little group chat.

    I found this immediately while searching for aggressive, hip-hop beats on YouTube. It led me to British producer MickeyMontz, who first released this track in 2011. A couple of emails over the course of a week went by and we reached a deal that allows MSG to use this theme as our entrance music.

    "Warning" works for MSG because as SANDATA puts it, the track goes "hard as fuck." He adds that the theme music is enough to keep him going for a whole workout. "That's how hard it goes," he stresses. SANDATA's old entrance music also had horns in its intro, much like the tuba intro in Samoa Joe's theme, so that element is retained in "Warning." As for Main Maxx, he was pretty economic in his description of the theme, simply calling it "Mabangis."

    Without realizing it at the time, "Warning" reminds me of two songs whose vibe I really love because they set the right tone for the characters they're associated with. The first is William Regal, one of my favorite characters in all of wrestling.

    Notice that his theme has a similar-sounding synth horn hook like "Warning" does. It also screams, "BAD GUY WHO WILL FUCK YOU UP" from the moment it hits. What's beautiful about Regal's theme is that its regalia (heh) paints an accurate picture of who this character is. He's a man of class who isn't beneath disfiguring you just because he can. I love entrance themes that can describe a wrestler so easily, and hearing this in "Warning" brought me close to my vision of MSG's presentation.

    The second track that the MSG theme reminded me of is a song I first heard in a movie theater.

    Eminem's "Kings Never Die" played during the credits of the 2015 film "Southpaw," which starred Jake Gyllenhaal and Rachel McAdams. Every time I listen to this song, I imagine a boxer marching to the ring with his entourage, big fight feel and all. It's so easy to visualize a guy shadow boxing, not at all unlike Kyle O'Reilly's own moves during his entrances. If you've seen "Southpaw," then you can easily imagine Jake Gyllenhaal's character, Billy "The Great" Hope, coming out to "Kings Never Die" ready to knock someone out. The vibe is just so badass and it makes me want to hit someone in the face with my elbow—even though I'd never do that in real life because I like living my life outside prison. 

    Going back to "Warning," you've got the 25-second intro before the beat drops, which sounds like horns blaring and announcing the arrival of two motherfuckers who have stopped giving a shit. It also adds to that big fight feel that elevates the tension and creates an atmosphere that gets you invested in what's happening in the ring.

    And then you have the beat, which I really love because it doesn't sound like the trap beats that have become all the rage in hip-hop today. I may work for a hip-hop radio station, but give me Eminem, Jay-Z, and Peak Kanye over Migos, Lil Uzi Vert, Lil Pump, and Blueface any day of the week. I'd rather listen to hard hip-hop beats from the 2000s than a lot of what's being churned out today. 

    The beat doesn't have any lyrics over it (for now), but that could change if (and when) someone comes in and kills these bars. In the meantime, I guess we'll have to settle for the Revo-Nation singing, "MAIN MAXX AND / SAN-DA-TA" over and over again while our music is playing. Hey, it beats hearing crickets when your music hits, right?

    And that's the story behind the MSG entrance theme. Would you rather hear this track on its own or would you prefer hearing it with lyrics over the beat? Leave us a comment below if you have any ideas on how to improve this banger!

    Photos from "Husband Material" Hub Pacheco


    Stan Sy (@_StanSy) is the Editor at Large of Smark Henry and is also a radio DJ on Wave 89.1, an events host, a freelance writer, and one of the hosts of The Smark Gilas-Pilipinas Podcast. He also used to be one of the hosts and writers of The Wrestling Gods on FOX. He enjoys watching WWE, NXTLucha Underground, and the occasional New Japan match. You can ask him questions about wrestling, Survivor (yes, the reality show), or whatever you like on his CuriousCat account.
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    Item Reviewed: #ThemeSongTuesday: MAIN MAXX AND / SAN-DA-TA Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Stan Sy
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