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    Friday, November 20, 2015

    Smark Survey (11/20/15): Who Will Be Crowned As The Royal Flush Ace at PWR Live?

    In the Philippine Wrestling Revolution, reigning PWR Champion "Classical" Bryan Leo has assembled what he believes to be the finest collection of talent into one dominating group, the Royal Flush. The Flush, comprised of himself as King, the devious Scarlett as Queen, the swaggering John Sebastian as Jack of all Trades, and the tank-like Main Maxx as his Perfect 10, is the most feared, cohesive stable in Philippine pro wrestling.

    The King of the Royal Flush—and of PWR. 

    Card aficionados will tell you that in poker terms, the Royal Flush is a near-impossible hand to receive; at a statistical probability of just .00015%, it would take you nearly a century to get one if you were to be dealt 20 hands every single night of the year. A Royal Flush is as rare as it is unbeatable, but looking at everything that the Classical One and his crew have accomplished in the past year, you would argue that their chosen monicker is uniquely suited to them. Leo and Sebastian, after all, hold the two longest active win streaks in PWR, at four and three wins respectively. 

    Here's the obvious problem: A Royal Flush is a five-card play. If we were to take things literally, Bryan Leo and his crew are short by one man: an Ace, which so happens to be the highest card in that hand. 

    But based on the recent announcement by PWR on its official Facebook page, it looks like the Flush will finally be rectifying that oversight by crowning a new member to be its designated Ace. 

    #ICYMIThe Royal Flush is set to "crown" their new Ace on the debut of Rederick Mahaba - PWR's show, "Mahabang Usapan"...
    Posted by Philippine Wrestling Revolution on Thursday, 19 November 2015

    Already, a buzz is building among both PWR fans and talents alike; backstage, we've heard rumors that the Flush is universally disliked by nearly every other wrestler for their prima donna ways and clique-ish behavior. For one more talent to join their ranks would be considered a blatant violation of the unspoken code of honor shared among PWR's stars. But joining the Flush comes with its own unique set of perks: An instant back-up crew to run interference, added muscle to intimidate one's way to certain concessions, and the unique mentorship and guidance of Bryan Leo—the longest-reigning PWR Champion in history. For the right kind of competitor willing to pay the right kind of price, the pros outweigh the cons in a big way.

    And so for this week's Smark Survey, we're asking a simple question: Who do you think is selling out to join the Royal Flush as its new Ace?

    We've taken a look at the roster of candidates listed on the official Facebook announcement to give you our exclusive odds on who the snake-in-the-grass could be.


    Bombay Suarez  (200-1)

    There's a reason why Bombay is called "The Heart and Soul of PWR" and not "The Brains of PWR"—he's a man who runs on raw impulse, fury, and emotion. Given the wars he's been through against the Royal Flush (including two controversial wins stolen from him by his former pupil John Sebastian), we don't think he's the kind of warrior who would drop his long-simmering loathing for the perks and benefits of running with Bryan Leo. We think there's a bigger chance of seeing Pastillas Girl out-trend AlDub on Twitter than for Suarez to sell out as the new Royal Flush Ace.


    SANDATA (100-1)

    From going winless to being partner-less, SANDATA has had a tough run in PWR thus far. He's a man in the same boat as John Sebastian was before he signed up with the Royal Flush—a talented athlete with nothing to show for it. The only difference between this masked grappler and Sebastian is that, unlike the Flush's Jack of All Trades, SANDATA seems to have no craving for the glitz and glamor Bryan Leo has to offer. He may be dead-set on proving he can succeed on his own as a lone wolf, rather than fall back in line with a pack of hyenas.


    The Apocalypse  (50-1)

    The enigmatic force known as Apocalypse is an unreadable book in the PWR game. From fighting side-by-side with Mayhem Brannigan against the Royal Flush to dropping crowd favourites like Jake De Leon and Kanto Terror with punishing sneak attacks, it's impossible to tell where he holds his allegiance. He's still licking his wounds from a failed challenge for "Classical" Bryan Leo's gold at last September's PWR Renaissance, and it might be too soon to expect the volatile monster to fall in with the Flush.


    Chris Panzer  (20-1)

    Here's a painful truth: For all the adoration and cheers of "Papa! Papa!" that Chris Panzer gets from the PWR faithful, the fact of the matter is that his career thus far has been just average. Leading the Panzer Army hasn't gotten him any further than a .500 winning record thus far, and we know that falling short against his best buddy Mayhem in the recent PHX Championship semifinals has to be eating away at the famously-proud Panzer. Could he be looking to take a shortcut to the spotlight?


    Peter Versoza  (10-1)

    Dissecting SANDATA's former Dual Shock partner makes us think that this man has the perfect DNA to sign up with the Royal Flush: a hard-partying pretty boy with a flair for flashy offense. We've seen the ego and me-first attitude of Peter Versoza come to light after he viciously dismantled his ex-partner after yet another tough loss, and could be uniquely vulnerable to the lure of signing up with PWR's premier stable. 


    "The Social Media Sinister" Ken Warren  (2-1)

    The newly-crowned PHX Champion has long been the subject of rumored recruitment by the Royal Flush ever since "Classical" Bryan Leo let slip in a Smark Henry interview that he was keeping an eye out on the self-professed Human Trending Topic. We also know that Warren has no moral dilemma about taking shortcuts after paying off the mercenary Fighters 4 Hire to ease his way to the prized PHX Championship, and even taking an assist from the Flush's own John Sebastian to rob the hard-fighting Ralph Imabayashi of an almost-certain PHX-clinching win. And we do know the Royal Flush has a weakness for gold; who better a choice than the current holder of the iconic white-and-gold belt of the Philippine Hybrid X division? 

    And yet...

    Is there a man who would be a better fit for the Royal Flush that isn't on the poster? Someone with a winning pedigree and a taste for fine living. Someone with superlative wrestling skills who has earned "Classical" Bryan Leo's respect after going to war with him multiple times. Someone who knows what it's like to make history, and be the face of Philippine wrestling. 

    Could this man be the Ace? 

    That's right—here at the Smark Henry offices, we're betting on "The Senyorito" Jake De Leon to take a Hollywood Hogan heel turn to pitch his hat in with his archnemesis.

    JDL is in the midst of a three-match losing streak against Bryan Leo, including two failed attempts to regain the prized PWR Championship he made history as the first man to hold.

    JDL knows his stock is rapidly falling among PWR Championship contenders; with the influx of new talents to the PWR roster, the rugged veteran may find himself losing ground to a fresher, hungrier crew.

    JDL knows firsthand what it's like to fall to the force-in-numbers onslaught of the Royal Flush, knowing he can't go it alone and hope for a fair fight.

    JDL is the one man to have defeated both "Classical" Bryan Leo and John Sebastian in one-to-one match-ups, perhaps earning their grudging admiration as the best talent to recruit to their cause.

    Signing up the Heir of Hacienda De Leon would also give a crushing blow to PWR's power structure, creating a superpower in the Royal Flush that PWR General Manager Mr. Sy would find hard to resist, especially with the status of crowd-favorite Mayhem Brannigan still unknown as he recovers from his injuries incurred at PWR Renaissance, Bombay Suarez still spinning wheels in a three-match losing streak, and the rest of the roster either tied up in personal feuds or not ready for the prime time.

    JDL is right for the Royal Flush, and the Royal Flush is right for JDL. We're expecting the man once called "The Ace of PWR" to shock the world as he turns his backs on the fans to become "The Ace of the Royal Flush."


    Who do you think will be the new Ace of the Royal Flush?

    We'd love to hear your opinion on this, Revo-nation. Will "The Senyorito" shock the world as the Royal Flush's new recruit? Or do you think Ken Warren will be consolidating gold with Bryan Leo? Leave us your vote in the comments—one name each!—and we'll write up the results in a future column.

    All photos are by the world-famous Hub Pacheco
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    Item Reviewed: Smark Survey (11/20/15): Who Will Be Crowned As The Royal Flush Ace at PWR Live? Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Unknown
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