Sportsaholic

WWFX stars ready to rumble

John Hennigan answers a question at the press conference. (Photo by Sid Ventura)

Everything's set for the World Wrestling Fan Xperience (WWFX) Champions Showcase Tour that reels off tomorrow at the Smart Araneta Coliseum with a seven-bout card, including the main event where the first-ever WWFX world champion will be crowned.

The grapplers featured on the card met with the press earlier today, and in typical pro wrestling fashion, engaged in some entertaining trash talking and verbal sparring to build up their respective matches.

Veteran Billy Gun (yes, just one "n" because the name "Billy Gunn" is owned by the World Wrestling Entertainment), who at 48 is easily the oldest wrestler on the card, will go up against a younger opponent in Jimmy Yang, and he couldn't help make fun of their age difference.

"I'm looking forward to it, actually. I've watched Jimmy a long time, but probably not as long as he's watched me growing up," Gun quipped. "But it'll be entertaining anyway, because that's what my career has come down to, is being entertaining. Less on offense and defense."

Although much older, Gun enjoys a distinctive weight advantage against the much smaller Yang. "It'll be fun. It'll be fun to get in there and throw a cruiserweight around a little bit."

Meanwhile, Hurricane Helms, who holds the distinction of being the longest reigning cruiserweight champion in WWE history, will be the fan favorite against Sheik Daivari in his first match in over a year after figuring in a motorcycle accident. Before that, he was out of commission for nearly two years with a spinal injury, so this is sort of a comeback fight for him.

"I don't think I'm 100%," Helms admitted. "That's why I picked an opponent of very low caliber. This is pretty much a tune-up match for me."

Daivari quickly shot back. "The last time I wrestled the Hurricane, I actually beat him, and that was when he was at the peak of his career. When Hurricane Helms was at 100%, I was able to beat him. Right now he's at barely 20%. He had to be lifted from the stage to get down here."

Helms was part of a group of WWE stars who performed in Manila a few years back, and his experience then was what prompted him to sign up to face Daivari.

"One of the reasons I took this match was just to come back to Manila," he said. "The first time I came here was obviously with the WWE. Fantastic crowd, fantastic people, and we had a blast performing."

The emcee of the affair, a certain Mr. Cole, provided a comic moment, albeit accidentally. Explaining why former WWE Divas champion Jillian Hall was not present, Cole said she was at the "E-baluga program". At first the Filipino media present couldn't understand what "E-baluga" meant, until it dawned on us that he was referring to the noontime show "Eat Bulaga". Despite being corrected, though, Cole just couldn't pronounce "Bulaga" properly.

Jillian Hall's opponent, Melina, was asked if planned to follow the footsteps of other WWE divas who have posed for Playboy magazine.  "Never say never, but as of now, no," she said, much to the disappointment of the predominantly male media contingent.

The standard Manny Pacquiao question was inevitably asked, with former ECW and TNA champion Rhino asked if he would take on a fight with the Pacman.

"I would love to fight him….if he tied his hands behind his back," was the reply of the War Machine, who will go up against the hulking Luke Gallow.

"Rhino, you're a beautiful man, but I have a size 16 boot that will take your head clean off your shoulders. And that's exactly what I'm gonna do tomorrow," Gallow said.

The six-nine Snisky's opponent Carlitos was also at "E-baluga" so it was left to Snisky to do the trash talking.

"I'm bigger, I'm stronger, I'm faster, I'm much more ruggedly handsome, and I will destroy Carlitos like a red-headed stepchild," he said.

The most colorful exchange happened between Chris Master and MVP, who will square off in the co-main event.

Master showed off his finely-chiseled upper body by taking his shirt off, and MVP took the opportunity to portray his opponent as a dumb jock.

Chris Master took off his shirt to show off his muscles. (Photo by Sid Ventura)

"My advantage doesn't have anything to do with my wrestling ability," said MVP, who is currently enjoying a successful wrestling career in Japan. "It doesn't have anything to do with my past championships. I mean, Chris Master, he's an impressive foe. Look at him. He's very powerful. He's not very bright, though. So I don't have to really worry about technique. I don't have to worry about his strength. I just have to do what I am naturally, and that's just be smarter than him."

"MVP, I was gonna try and come out here and tell everybody how much I respected you and how much you have such a great and inspirational story," Master began his retort. "Coming out of jail and becoming a legitimate superstar. Going to Japan and winning world titles. You've done it all, man, and I have a ton of respect for you. But personally, I hate you."

"Jealousy will do that to you," MVP answered.

"I just dislike you and I think you drink a hell of a lot of Hatorade," Master continued. "Let's face facts here, ladies and gentlemen. Let's be honest. You're approaching 40. I'm not just going out there to beat you. I'm going out there to end your career once and for all."

"Chris, tomorrow we'll be wrestling. We won't be lifting weights. So I don't think you have a chance. Million-dollar body, 10-cent brain."

"Who are you kidding, MVP? This isn't the Chris Master from 2005, this is the Chris Master from 2012."

"So you read a book?"

The main event, for the WWFX world championship belt, will feature John Hennigan (known as John Morrison in the WWE) duking it out with Shelton Benjamin in a battle between two stars who are already familiar with each other.

"I've got a lot of respect for him," Hennigan said of Benjamin, "and every time I've been in the ring with him, we've left it all out there. We've had this thing between the two of us and a lot of the other guys on the WWE roster where we always tried to figure out which one of us is the better athlete. And when it comes to power, jumping and sprinting, it's actually Shelton. But when it comes to agility, aerial coordination, parkour, it was me."

"If I may have a rebuttal," Benjamin answered. "Me and John, every time we've gone out there, we've tried to steal the show. And I think in most of my matches, when you compare us to other superstars when we were there, that's exactly what we did. So with that in mind, tomorrow's bout is definitely to see who is best. And I'm not here to find out who's best. I will prove that I'm the best, and I will leave here the champion."

And as if to show that he was comfortable being the heel in their title match, Benjamin boldly declared:

"After I beat John and become the new WWFX champion, you know what? Bring Manny's ass into the ring. I'll whip him, too."

The show starts at 7PM, and tickets for this first-ever WWFX showcase are still available at all TicketNet outlets.

E-mail: sid_ventura@yahoo.com.

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