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WMAC Masters was a live-action show featuring choreographed martial arts fights. It was created and licenced by 4Kids Entertainment. WMAC stands for the World Martial Arts Council, where the best martial artists compete for the ultimate prize, the Dragon Star. The Dragon Star is a gold trophy that looks like a shuriken surrounded by a dragon; it was proof that its holder was the best martial artist in the world. The show lasted for two seasons. The first season was hosted by Shannon Lee, the daughter of the late martial artist, Bruce Lee, and the sister of the late actor Brandon Lee. Come season 2, Shannon was gone from hosting and the show focused on fantasy rather than real-life issues.

Preliminary Matches & Battledome Finals

In many episodes, it featured some masters doing demonstrations, with some demonstrations being known as "Master Blaster" competitions. Some are done to inaugurate a new Master (such as Hien "Tsunami" Nguyen, Tracy "Tracer" Swedom, and Carmichael "Kid Carmichael" Simon). Jamie "Great Wolf" Webster did one to break a WMAC record held by Chris "Red Dragon" Casamassa, which was successfully breaking 2 ice blocks stacked on top of each other. Willie "Bam" Johnson did his form with his son, Lil Bam, as a rite of passage ritual. Herb "Olympus" Perez did one to test out his new weapon, the Disk Launcher. Richard "Yin Yang Man" Branden did his to demonstrate the weapons of wushu. Finally, Mike "Turbo" Bernardo and Ho Young "Star Warrior" Pak demonstrated a speed breaking contest to settle a few weeks-long dispute (which in the end was won by Star Warrior).

In most episodes, it begins with 4 combatants, 2 of them fight in 2 separated matches. They fight in the Battlezones against ninjas. After a short melee with the ninjas, depending on your health gauge, the fighters will fight each other until one of them is the victor. (In rare instances, if the fighters fight each other long enough that there is no winner yet, the ninjas will re-emerge).

There have been four instances where the match ended abruptly. The first incident took place in the Doom City battlezone, when Jamie Webster (Great Wolf) won by accidentally knocking out Johnny Lee Smith (Tiger Claw) with a double inward crescent kick to both sides of Smith's head; this kick was a move Smith taught Webster, who promised Webster he wouldn't use that move against him if Webster promised to not use it against Smith. The second incident occurred at the Danger Dock battlezone, when then-rookie Kid Carmichael had knocked Yin Ying Man into the water - because Yin Yang Man was all wet, Kid Carmichael immediately won the match. Then, in the Stone Valley battlezone, Red Dragon got disqualified after inadvertently hitting Super Star with a live bare hand after he had removed the glove from that hand due to a nagging, itching burn (this was due to itching powder being placed in his gloves by Great Wolf and Baby Doll, who were trying to get back at Warlock, but ended up mistakenly booby-trapping Red Dragon's gloves minutes before his bout, thinking those were Warlock's gloves). The final incident was another where Red Dragon lost by getting knocked into the water by the Machine in the Mayan Mystery battlezone and ending up all wet.

There was also one instance where the match ended in someone surrendering, and this occurred in the second-ever episode of WMAC Masters. The Pak brothers, Ho Young and Ho Sung (Star Warrior and Super Star, respectively) were pitted in a preliminary match against one another, and just as Super Star's gauge was almost at the bottom when Star Warrior had him beaten, Super Star bowed to his brother, signifying that he was giving up, thus awarding Star Warrior the win.

The two combatants who win their respective preliminary matches will face off in the "Battledome". The match lasts 2 minutes. Despite interference from the ninjas, if the fighter pushes his opponent into the cage wall, the fighter will get points. The higher the points, the better chance of winning. In case of a tie, the fighters will compete in sudden death. The winner will receive the opponent's "Ki-Symbol" and have them placed on the Dragon Belt.

Ninja Challenges & 4-Man Battledome Finals

In other episodes, 6 combatants took part in what was called a "Ninja Challenge." One at a time, they would compete in separate battlezones against a group of ninjas in 45 seconds of time, and at the end they receive a score. The 4 top-scoring combatants move onto the Battledome in a 2-minute free-for-all match with the same rules as the regular matches (that is to knock your opponents into the cage wall in order to score points), with the winner receiving 3 Ki-Symbols (one from each of the defeated opponents). This kind of Battledome match has no ninja interference, but Sudden Death rules still apply in case of a tie at the end of the match.

Only three of these were ever held (one in the first season and two in the second season). Before the start of the first Ninja Challenge, then-Dragon Star Champion at the time, Olympus, was asked to demonstrate a Ninja Challenge. He would be surrounded by ninjas in the WMAC Arena, where he would then proceed to battle them for the 45 seconds. Once the demonstration was finished, the real challenge begun.

In the first one, the individual results, including the Battlezones fought in and the final ranking going into the 4-Man Battledome Finals, were as follows (in order of appearance. Those that moved on to the 4-Man Battledome Finals are in bold print):

* Red Dragon (Mayan Mystery): 92 points. Final rank: 5th place
* Warlock (WMAC Arena): 102 points. Final rank: 2nd place
* Great Wolf (WMAC Arena): 126 points. Final rank: 1st place
* Tsunami (WMAC Arena): 101 points. Final rank: 3rd place
* Tiger Claw (Mayan Mystery): 90 points. Final rank: Last place
* Panther (WMAC Arena): 97 points. Final rank: 4th place

Battledome Finals Winner: Tsunami. Final score: Great Wolf 1, Warlock 1, Tsunami 4, Panther 1.

These were the results for the second:

* Yin Yang Man (Mayan Mystery): 79 points. Final rank: 3rd place
* Turbo (Mayan Mystery): 77 points. Final rank: 4th place
* Great Wolf (Ghost Town): 73 points. Final rank: 5th place
* Star Warrior (Mayan Mystery): 91 points. Final rank: 1st place
* Bam (Ghost Town): 72 points. Final rank: Last place
* Olympus (Pressure Area): 80 points. Final rank: 2nd place

Battledome Finals Winner: Turbo, by Sudden Death. Final score: Olympus 2, Yin Yang Man 3, Star Warrior 0, Turbo 3. (Note: With Turbo and Yin Yang Man tied at the end of regulation, Olympus and Star Warrior were ordered to leave the dome, so the other two could conclude the match under Sudden Death rules. Turbo came out the victor.)

These were the results for the third:

* Great Wolf (Ghost Town): 75 points. Final rank: 5th place
* Kid Carmichael (Doom City): 74 points. Final rank: Last place
* The Machine (Ghost Town): 92 points. Final rank: 1st place
* Tsunami (Ghost Town): 88 points. Final rank: 2nd place
* Warlock (Doom City): 86 points. Final rank: 3rd place
* Tiger Claw (Dark Alley): 86 points. Final rank: 3rd place

Battledome Finals Winner: Warlock. Final score: The Machine 2, Tsunami 0, Tiger Claw 2, Warlock 3.

NOTE: As you may notice, Great Wolf is the only Master to have taken part in all 3 Ninja Challenges.

Dragon Star Matches

Once you receive Full Dragon Belt (which takes about 10 Ki-Symbols to do), you will compete for the Dragon Star. In the Dragon Star championship, the champion and challenger fight on a rotating pedestal. If you move out of the pedestal, a "Violation" will be called and a ninja will come in for each violation and increase your handicap. Once the opponent (and every last ninja) is thrown off the pedestal, the combatant left standing is the Dragon Star Champion and will have proven to be the greatest Martial Artist in the world. Then the preliminaries start again until a new contender for the Dragon Star emerges, and so on, and so forth.

NOTE: In Season 2, following the controversy which involved a ninja knocking off both The Machine and Superstar in their Dragon Star match, a Dragon Star rematch between the two was called with different rules, since ninjas were ineligible from holding the Dragon Star Championship. It took place in a battlezone (in this case, the Subway Station Battlezone), where the fighters had to fend off large numbers of assorted ninjas (aside from taking each other on), and try to be the first to place their Ki Symbol into the Dragon Star replica that holds compartments for the Ki Symbols. This match wasn't without its obstacles however, as occurrences like earthquakes and floods would take place. This is the only time in which a Dragon Star match would follow this type of format. The Machine emerged victorious in this battle.

Dragon Star Matches

Once you receive Full Dragon Belt (which takes about 10 Ki-Symbols to do), you will compete for the Dragon Star. In the Dragon Star championship, the champion and challenger fight on a rotating pedestal. If you move out of the pedestal, a "Violation" will be called and a ninja will come in for each violation and increase your handicap. Once the opponent (and every last ninja) is thrown off the pedestal, the combatant left standing is the Dragon Star Champion and will have proven to be the greatest Martial Artist in the world. Then the preliminaries start again until a new contender for the Dragon Star emerges, and so on, and so forth.

NOTE: In Season 2, following the controversy which involved a ninja knocking off both The Machine and Superstar in their Dragon Star match, a Dragon Star rematch between the two was called with different rules, since ninjas were ineligible from holding the Dragon Star Championship. It took place in a battlezone (in this case, the Subway Station Battlezone), where the fighters had to fend off large numbers of assorted ninjas (aside from taking each other on), and try to be the first to place their Ki Symbol into the Dragon Star replica that holds compartments for the Ki Symbols. This match wasn't without its obstacles however, as occurrences like earthquakes and floods would take place. This is the only time in which a Dragon Star match would follow this type of format. The Machine emerged victorious in this battle.

Battlezones

There were many different Battlezones for the fighters to compete in, whether they were for Preliminaries or for Ninja Challenges. However, in Season 2, only 5 of these would be used. These battlezones included:

* Ghost Town - a traditional ghost town-like setting (presumably in a long-abandoned wild west town), with abandoned buildings and saloons, and other things like tumbleweeds, wagon wheels, and haystacks lying about. Thunder and lightning could always be heard and seen in this place.
* Doom City - a city scene with wreckage everywhere (cars, buildings, etc.), and even some burning buildings. Searchlights would roam around the area randomly.
* Mayan Mystery - a Mayan courtyard scene with waterfalls and climbable boulders, including some with Mayan face carvings.
* Dark Alley - a city slum scene set in some alleyways, in front of brick buildings which feature many balconies and dumpsters.
* Pressure Area - a nuclear power plant scene with buildings under construction.
* Subway Station (used only for the Dragon Star Rematch) - the only battlezone to take place indoors, and in this case, underground. It is a typical seldom-used subway station setting which also features some subway cars entering the station (only to transport the ninjas to the scene). It is modeled to closely resembled a Bay Area Rapid Transit San Francisco station.
* Stone Valley - a forest-like setting with many trees and huge boulders (hence the name of the battlezone), as well as some waterfalls and ponds.
* Nuclear Nightmare - a scene with many power plants, presumably the predecessor to the later-introduced Pressure Area.
* Danger Dock - a typical harbor setting right by the river, which has boardwalks, shacks, and a more open courtyard area fit for battle.

NOTE: In Battlezones such as Mayan Mystery and Danger Dock (which had water), if a combatant was knocked into the water during the match, he or she would automatically lose the match.

NOTE 2: Stone Valley, Nuclear Nightmare and Danger Dock were not used in Season 2.

NOTE 3: The Dark Alley battlezone is the only battlezone that has been rained on during the show's run (despite the fact that it's always thundering in the Ghost Town). A thunderstorm was appearing in one episode, and Great Wolf and Turbo were battling it out in the Dark Alley. According to the officials, if the rain was too great for combat, then the match had to be cancelled or suspended. Fortunately, however, as the rain began to fall, Great Wolf was able to end the match by defeating Turbo.

Ninjas

There were many different types of ninjas that appeared in the show, most of them specific to a battlezone, although they would appear in other places, including the Dragon Star matches. They are all WMAC Academy Cadets who would eventually become Masters, Tsunami and Kid Carmichael were known to be a former ninja. Here are the different kinds of ninjas that appeared:

* Ghost Town - Ninjas dressed in black garb with a skull-like mask on their faces. They always appear in the Ghost Town Battlezone.
* Kabuki - Ninjas in black garb with a white-faced, red-cheeked mask on both the front and back of their heads. They mostly appear in the Doom City Battlezone, although they have also been seen in the Stone Valley Battlezone.
* Black - Ninjas covered in traditional black garb. They appeared in various battlezones throughout the two seasons, including the Dark Alley. They are more frequently used for the 2-man Battledome finals.
* Red - Ninjas covered in red garb. They seldom appeared in battlezones, but they did appear once in Dark Alley, and also in the Subway Station during the Dragon Star rematch. In some earlier episodes they were seen in the Battledome finals.
* Cammo - Ninjas covered in camouflage-colored garb. They usually appear in the Mayan Mystery Battlezone.
* Hazard - Ninjas dressed in black garb with 2 green stripes and red stripes, and on their face they wear biohazard-like masks. They were introduced in Season 2 and appeared in the Pressure Area battlezone.
* Jukido (Hooded Ninjas) - they are friends of Warlock (who is a member of that group) who haven't appeared in any battlezones. They once ambushed Warlock's brother, Wizard, and gave him a beating until he was saved by Tiger Claw. Only one of these ninjas officially appeared in a WMAC Masters competition, that being the Dragon Star match between Red Dragon and Warlock. These ninjas are covered in black garb with a hood on it; the hood is placed over a red-masked face that also seemed to have a black bandanna over the eyes.

Special Match: Mixed Doubles

On one occasion in Season 2, a male combatant would team up with a female combatant to take on another male/female team in what was called a Mixed Doubles match. In the lone case, Superstar had teamed up with Lady Lightning in order to take on the team of Tracer and Chameleon. Superstar and Lady Lightning were Team Yellow, while Tracer and Chameleon were Team Red. The match took place in the Doom City battlezone, where they also had to fend off a group of Kabuki Warriors. It was just like a regular preliminary match, but there would be only one health gauge for each team, meaning that the two members of each team were competing as one. Team Yellow emerged victorious, and for their victory, they received the Ki-Symbols of their defeated opponents (Superstar getting Tracer's Ki-Symbol and Lady Lightning getting Chameleon's).

Past Dragon Star Champions

(In order in which they have held the title until someone beat them for it)

Male

* Turbo
* Olympus
* Superstar
* The Machine
* Red Dragon

NOTE: Yin Yang Man was also a contender and he challenged Turbo for the title (hence the reason that Yin Yang Man was starting on his second Dragon Belt when the series started), but Turbo defeated him. Similarly, Warlock was a contender who challenged champion Red Dragon, but Red Dragon won the match.
Female

* Tarantula
* Lady Lightning
* Black Widow
* Chameleon (if that is, the Dragon Star were to ever be found after being stolen)

NOTE: Baby Doll was the only female master in the series to lose the Dragon Star match as a contender. Lady Lightning, who was practically a dominant force in season 1 in the women's division, had successfully defended her title against Baby Doll. But it was revealed in season 2 that Lady Lightning was defeated by Black Widow. Black Widow is the only ever champion, male or female, to have willingly relinquished her Dragon Star, which then caused 3 competitors - namely, Lady Lightning, Princess, and Chameleon - to be automatically eligible to compete in a Dragon Star match.

Cast Overview:

  • Hakim Alston - The Machine

  • Clayton Barber - Hollywood (character never used)

  • Michael Bernardo - Turbo

  • Erik Betts - Panther (Season 1)

  • Richard Branden - Yin Yang Man

  • Chris Casamassa - Red Dragon

  • Mike Chaturantabut - Wizard (Season 2)

  • Mer-Mer Chen - Princess

  • Sophia Crawford - Chameleon (Season 2)

  • Marco Johnson - Little Bam

  • Willie Johnson - The Bam (most times referred to only as Bam)

  • Michele Krasnoo - Mouse (Season 1)

  • Larry Lam - Warlock

  • Lynnette Love - Tarantula (Season 1)

  • Hien Nguyen - Tsunami

  • Akihiro 'Yuji' Noguchi - Cyclone (Season 2)

  • Tiana Noguchi - Black Widow

  • Ho Sung Pak - Superstar

  • Ho Young Pak - Star Warrior

  • Herb Perez - Olympus

  • Bridgett Riley - Baby Doll (Season 1, with only one appearance in Season 2)

  • Rey-Phillip Santos - Reign (character never used)

  • Christine Bannon Rodrigues - Lady Lightning

  • Carmichael Simon - Kid Carmichael/The Kid

  • Johnny Lee Smith - Tiger Claw

  • Michael M. Foley (Tracy Swedom) - Tracer (Season 2)

  • Taimak - Striking Eagle (Season 2; archive footage)

  • Jamie Webster - Great Wolf

  • Pedro Xavier - Axeman (character never used)

    Note: Tracy Swedom is also an anagram for "Destroy WMAC".

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