Wow, do you remember this series? This had every youngster trying any move possible each Saturday morning. I believe I was 9 years old when this came out (yes, I’m a youngster). I was so infatuated the first time trying to be like Panther or doing 540 kicks like Tsunami. The crazy thing about this show is a lot of the people on here were stuntmen for Power Rangers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and even Mortal Kombat. These were all well respected martial artists in their own lane. The first season featured Bruce Lee’s daughter, Shannon Lee, as the host. The second season was more fantasy based and had more of a exotic voice to the background. Either way, it was a series that had a good concept. Here are some great moments from WMAC Masters:
1. Nothing’s Impossible
In this episode of WMAC Masters, there’s a tournament going in a ninja challenge format. Tsunami (Hien Nguyen) is looking to score his first 3 key symbols on his empty key symbol belt. Superstar claims that Tsunami won’t even make it into the final four. He has a bet going that the loser has to do pushups. It’s funny because Tsunami obliterates the competition and sits up Superstar’s back while he does pushups. This had a great lesson showing anything is possible.
Great Wolf (Jamie Lee Webster) and Tiger Claw (Johnnie Lee Smith) had some bad blood after Great Wolf used a double inside crescent kick on Tiger Claw. It’s not necessarily the move that caused the rift. It’s more or less the fact that Tiger Claw taught Great Wolf the move. They agreed neither would use it on each other, but it happened. The backstory is Tiger Claw and Great Wolf were in a match when they were a bit younger. Tiger Claw showed him the move and out of desperation Great Wolf did it and knocked him out briefly. Tiger Claw was upset, but moved on and gave him praise for the execution of the technique. In this rematch bout, they were able to fight it out honorably and rekindle their friendship. It was a great storyline and a great bout due to the suspense of the thunderstorm.
3. Going For Gold
Olympus (Herb Perez) is a former Olympic Gold Medalist in Tae Kwon Do. He was getting ready for his Dragon Star match with Turbo, but had a bit of self-doubt in his ability to achieve victory. He went back to his hometown to meet with his old sensei, who left a bunch of clues all over the city. However, it really sent Olympus on a wild goose chase bringing him back to the start. He realized that all he needed was self-confidence in himself and his skills as a martial artist. This was a well fought out match and Olympus took the victory.
Ho-Sung Pak (Superstar) and Ho-Young Pak (Star Warrior) are actually real life brothers. Before Superstar joined the WMAC, he was a movie star (a fabrication of his real life). He was really arrogant and didn’t follow the script of a particular scene. He ended up hurting one of the henchmen/stunt guys in the movie. Superstar made a fatal error because the stuntman was actually a gang member. In a night alone in the studio, he was jumped by some gang members. Star Warrior ended up saving his life by performing a drunken boxing technique. In a match on WMAC Masters, both Star Warrior and Superstar faced off. Superstar was faced again with the drunken boxing technique. He was no match and submitted to his brother out of respect. This was a great and humbling moment.
5. Overcome Obstacles
Richard Branden (Yin Yang Man) has faced adversity since a young age. He was a very great martial artist that suffered an eye injury that left him blind in one eye for the rest of his life. In a match with Tsunami, he was hit in that same eye illegally with a wooden wheel. All of the masters wondered how Yin Yang Man didn’t see the attack coming, so he went into a story about how he used this challenge as inspiration. In his college days, he went to a martial arts tournament and saw a great fighter performing an exhibition in a wheelchair due to paralysis. This expert took out a number of attackers and showed him a physical challenge was only an obstacle, not a handicap. Yin Yang Man went back into the arts full-fledged with a rekindled spirit. He even won the dome match.
6. Ladies’ Night
This was another awesome match that showed off the skills of Christine Rodrigues (Lady Lightning) and Sophia Crawford (Chameleon). Lady Lightning lost a bout with Black Widow in a Dragon Star match. Lady Lightning wanted to reinvent herself with a new costume and hairdo, but she realized that it all came down to skills. It was a great fight between Chameleon and Lady Lightning. I also thought the color change concept akin to chameleons adapting to their surroundings was a great touch. Chameleon won the match and got her first key symbol. Lady Lighting also learned a great lesson about herself.
Although this series was incomplete and only lasted for two seasons, it was a great kids’ show. It had great concepts of virtues that could be applied to life while still having action packed martial arts weapons, choreography, and stunts. It was ahead of its time and I wish it lasted longer.
What were some of your favorite WMAC Masters moments?