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    Tuesday, May 7, 2019

    #ThemeSongTuesday: And In This Moment, I Swear, I Am Infinite

    No, #ThemeSongTuesday is not dead. The column just took a longer-than-expected vacation, y'know, like my WrestleMania trip, which you can read about here. But your boy's been back at work for a few weeks now and now that my health and schedule issues are out the window—for now—we can get back down to business.

    As PWR gears up for the fifth annual Wrevolution X, we've built a deep roster of talents, which means that there are a whole lot of local entrance themes that haven't been featured in this space yet. One of the local themes has stood out and I've actually been raring to write about it. Yep, it's that theme that Cali Nueva goes out to.

    PWR's resident hipster comes out to "Sweden" by She's Only Sixteen, one of the most popular indie bands in the scene today. Cali Nueva loves the local independent music circuit, saying that he likes to "lose [himself] to good live music on a Friday night while slightly intoxicated," even recommending it as "something everyone ought to try once in a while." His love for the indie scene was what pushed him to use a song written by a local band as his entrance theme. With his trademark smirk, he says, "That's my little way of giving back to the music scene. My wish is for people to hear my theme song and actually find the song catchy enough to look up on Spotify after the show.

    "Then maybe [they'd] check out other just-as-amazing local bands on the recommendations list. Then they'd get hooked on a band, check out upcoming shows, and have a good time at some nearby gig."

    One of the benefits of using a song by a local artist is the ease of getting their permission to use it as an entrance theme. It helps even more if the musicians themselves are also wrestling fans. "It was actually much easier than I had anticipated," Nueva recalls. "A few weeks before I debuted as Cali Nueva at PWR Live: New Year's Wrestle-ution, I sent a message to She’s Only Sixteen’s Facebook page asking permission to use the song."

    Not long after sending that message, She's Only Sixteen vocalist Roberto Seña replied enthusiastically to Cali Nueva, granting him permission to use "Sweden" as an entrance theme. A huge PWR fan himself, Seña watches the shows whenever he can. "I do remember him tweeting about the fact that it was a dream of his to have a wrestler walk out to one of his songs," gushes Cali Nueva. "Since I began using the song, I’m pretty certain the whole band has already seen me wrestle and that just makes me feel giddy just thinking about it!"

    Anyone who's ever seen Cali Nueva come out for a promo or a match will tell you that "Sweden" isn't your typical wrestling entrance theme. For one, it doesn't sound like the generic rock drivel that our friends at CFO$ are likely to come up with for WWE. But this track doesn't even sound like a song that announces, "HERE COMES A GUY WHO'S GOING TO KICK YOUR ASS!"

    "Right from the start, I knew I wanted something different," Nueva shares. "I mean, Cali is a hipster, after all, so why would he want to walk out to the kind of music other wrestlers walk out to?" He tells me about the other songs he initially considered as his entrance theme.

    "I originally wanted to walk out to something by The Smiths like "This Charming Man" or "How Soon is Now?" Or songs like "Marmalade March" by Psychedelic Porn Crumpets and "All That Love Is" by HalfNoise." Cali Nueva admits that asking for permission to use those songs would have been a much harder task. But like a typical hipster, he also didn't want to do what every other wrestler was doing seconds before they'd walk through that curtain in front of hundreds of people.

    "I don’t want to feel hyped during my entrance," he defiantly says. "I’d rather feel infinite, if you catch my drift. You know those scenes in Wes Anderson movies when people are walking or running in slow-mo and good music is playing in the background? That’s how I feel when I walk through those curtains. "Sweden" makes me feel infinite."

    Character-wise, Cali Nueva's raison d'etre is to show how different and superior he is. "He’s an artist who thinks everyone else is not capable of producing the level of artistry he can," explains the wrestler behind the gimmick. "He wants to bless normies of the Revo-Nation with his superior cultural taste."

    Echoing a phrase we wrestling fans have heard thousands of times over, Cali Nueva describes his character as his real self dialed all the way up to 11. But how close is Cali to the real guy? "Pretty damn close," he reassures me. "In fact, ever since debuting as Cali, I’ve been doing more of the things Cali would. I started upping my style." He shares that he's begun scouring through ukay-ukay stores, Instagram thrift stores, and even Carousell for items of clothing that are more colorful than what he grew up wearing.

    "I now collect windbreakers, bucket hats, band tees, and colored socks. I even bought myself a portable cassette tape player and collect tapes from flea markets. I’ve also been squeezing in 15 minutes of drawing practice every day just to commit to creative growth. Yes, I am turning into the hipster I was only hoping to parody. I just hope I don’t turn into the asshole he is," Nueva shares.

    Photos from "Harmonious" Hub Pacheco


    Smark Henry is independently owned and managed by a group of Filipino pro wrestling fans but includes members affiliated with the Philippine Wrestling Revolution.


    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: And In This Moment, I Swear, I Am Infinite Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Stan Sy
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