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    Tuesday, July 30, 2019

    #ThemeSongTuesday: ANGAS!

    If there's one name from the local scene that everyone should keep their eyes on following PWR Live: Championship Spirit, it has to be Jaye Sera. The first-year pro put on a performance worth remembering in her first main event, competing for the Queen of Asia Championship against defending champion—and All Elite Wrestling/Stardom sensation Riho, Gatoh Move star Jibzy, and fellow homegrown star Crystal.

    In the months leading up to Championship Spirit, Jaye Sera had already built up quite a bit of a following as the no-nonsense angas girl who feuded with Jhemherlhynn through both of their respective debuts.

    But after last Sunday, Jaye Sera has proven that she's a star on the rise and that she's ready to start kicking ass and taking names. That's why it's only fitting that we feature her and her entrance music on this week's #TST.

    Jaye Sera's entrance theme is a trap and EDM track called "Stay" by a 16-year-old DJ named Despotem, with vocals from Danish singer/songwriter Laurien van Buuren—no known relation to Armin van Buuren. Sera shares that upon finding out that she was debuting at PWR Live: New Year's Wrestle-ution, she worked on looking for the right entrance theme and got some advice from fellow main roster newcomer, Jhemherlhynn. Her advice? To use certain specific terms on YouTube's search bar. That led Jaye Sera to search for “non-copyright bass boosted EDM” on YouTube.

    Jaye Sera's a woman of few words in the ring and she's not that much different when it comes to picking an entrance theme. Her criteria include: (1) a song that hypes her up to wrestle, (2) a song that feels right when she walks to the ring, and (3) a song that sounds like a banger to her. On that last note, all Sera wants in a "banger" is that the bass drop makes her... well... bang.

    "Stay" has the elements that Sera enjoys in an EDM track. "The edgy sound produced by the amazing mix of synth, trance, and bass drops connect with the quarrelsome and pugnacious demeanor of my character," she explains. "Jaye Sera is snappish and ill-tempered, after all. But as for the words, the song probably resonates because the lyrics talk about how she has no loyalty or doesn't have time for those who can't stay. It's connected because she's independent and no-nonsense."

    However, "Stay" is similar to another PWR theme—"Agos" by Hans Dimayuga, which Rederick Mahaba walks out to—in that both songs don't sound like your typically aggressive wrestling entrance music. Sera's theme gives off a more pulled back vibe and doesn't immediately get you in the mood to fight. She doesn't see it that way. "Minsan kahit sa kwarto ko lang siya pine-play, napapalakad ako na parang papasok ako ng ring!" she laughs. "Kapag nasa kotse ko naman pine-play, biglang umaangas mukha ko all of a sudden. It's really the natural effect of the song on me!

    "Odd, but 'yun talaga," she says with a shrug.

    The woman behind the character is an EDM fan herself. "When I hear something with really cool bass drops and synths, it’s hard to not play it on repeat," she shares. "My EDM playlist includes Skrillex and Flux Pavilion." It's not exactly the type of music you'd immediately associate with someone who looks like her upon first glance. But both the woman and the character come together in their shared love for punk, emo, grunge, and nu-metal acts like Mayday Parade, Saosin, Linkin Park, My Chemical Romance, and UnderOath.

    What surprised me was that Jaye Sera's musical tastes are pretty diverse, too. She reveals a soft spot for trance or shoegazing music. "Iyung ethereal-sounding music na super dreamy and hypnotic na may overwhelming volume and beautiful effects," she describes. That said, she acknowledges that her personal guilty pleasures in music—including her love for Hillsong praise and worship songs, bands like Amber Run and Vancouver Sleep Clinic, and even the Backstreet Boys—are choices Jaye Sera would probably scoff at.

    Jaye Sera will most probably be known for that beautiful moonsault and her involvement in that 4-Way main event for the considerable future. But there's an alternate universe in which she would probably not even be in that match at all, much less the PWR family.

    She was part of the first batch of PWR Bootcampers in 2014, along with the likes of Jake De Leon, Chris Panzer, and Ken Warren. However, she stopped training after three training sessions because her parents were strongly against her pursuit of the craft. "It was a case of shattered dreams for me," she recalls with a sigh.

    That changed after she went through what she describes as "a dark period in [her] life that spanned from late 2016 to 2017." She needed an escape and like most of us, looked at the squared circle as a pathway. She recalls thinking, "Try ko kayang bumalik? Try ko kaya ulit na sabihin sa mama ko na magte-training na talaga ako at seryoso ako?"

    The gamble paid off and it was timely enough that she made it back onto PWR as part of the all-women bootcamp from a couple of years ago. Much to her delight, her mother approved.

    And the local wrestling community is much better off as a result. With the rise of up-and-coming female talent like her, Jhemherlhynn, and the returning Nina, PWR's women's division is in good hands as it ushers in the Philippines' answer to the Women's Evolution.

    Not a bad resolution for a woman who once wondered if she should just stay where she was at.

    Photos from "High-powered" Hub Pacheco

    Disclosure: Smark Henry is independently managed and operated by a group of local 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: ANGAS! Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Stan Sy
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