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    Monday, February 29, 2016

    Basic Smarkometrics (2/29/16): The Post-Vendetta PWR Power Rankings

    With the chaos of PWR Vendetta 2016 firmly behind us, it's as good a time as any to take stock of the Philippine Wrestling Revolution roster as it heads towards May's Wrevolution X, traditionally the biggest show on the PWR calendar.

    The question that always comes up when we tell our friends about PWR is a deceptively complicated one: "Sinong magaling doon?"

    As anyone who's followed pro wrestling would know, there's much more to defining who the "best wrestler" is than through wins and losses. So here at the Smark Henry offices, we've designed a proprietary method called Smarkometrics 2.0 to measure who the real big dogs in PWR have been over the past six months—a period spanning five official shows between last September's Renaissance, and ending with February's Vendetta. House shows, pre-shows, and inter-promotional matches don't count. Apologies in advance to anyone who was raving about Chris Panzer and Bombay Suarez's appearances for Malaysia Pro Wrestling.


    How Smarkometrics 2.0 Works

    We take a look at four separate criteria, each one of which bears equal weight towards how a wrestler places on our list.

    • Panalo Factor. What kind of win-loss record does the individual have over the past few months? Whether it's a singles match, a tag match, or a battle royal, every single match should count, because true stars shine no matter what kind of format the match is in. Pre-show matches and house shows don't count towards canon, however.

    • Puso Factor. We don't like wrestlers who pad their records by choosing jabronis as their main source of competition. If your goal is to be the best wrestler in the Philippines today, then the level of competition you choose needs to be equally great. The tougher your opponents, as measured by their own win-loss records, the more the system rewards you.

    • Pasok Factor. Just like in real life, showing up for work is half the battle. If you want to be on top of the rankings, then you need to prove that you're going to work for it. So we're counting how many times each man wrestled across the five official shows in the last six months, and making sure anyone who missed any show for any reason at all gets points docked, and anyone who busted their ass by pulling double duty gets his due.

    • Puri Factor. Fighting for gold should mean more than just fighting for pride, so we're giving a juicy little bonus to each man who successfully emerged victorious from the seven matches in the last six months with championships at stake. Because when it comes to puri and adulation from the fans, the men who wear the crowns are the ones we love best.

    We've analyzed the performances for all twenty competitors who made any kind of official appearance in PWR over the last few months, weighed them against this system, and ranked them accordingly.

    Will we see a new number one this time around? On with the numbers!


    Panalo Factor: PWR Win-Loss Records

    We've been tracking the win-loss records of each active talent on the PWR roster over all ten official shows in the Philippine Wrestling Revolution's history, whether these happened in singles matches, tag matches, or even multi-man contests, as in the case of the "Path of Gold" elimination match held at last December's Terminus.

    Records accurate as of February 29, 2016.

    There's a huge disparity between the amount of matches each wrestler's record shows, and for obvious reasons. A workhorse like "The Senyorito" Jake De Leon has been around since the first ever PWR show and has pulled double duty a PWR-leading four times. Conversely, talents like Vintendo and Crystal have only shown up for official matches in recent months and haven't had the chance yet to build their respective resumes.

    Some interesting trends pop up just by looking at the above chart.

    The longest winning streak in PWR history is at five matches, a feat accomplished by two-time PWR Champion "Classical" Bryan Leo and the reigning PHX Champion Ken Warren. Warren has the opportunity to extend his live streak, however, assuming he successfully defends his gold against Bombay Suarez and Chris Panzer at next week's PWR Live: Manila Madness. We do like Warren's odds; the man is undefeated in nine months after all.

    On the other hand, the longest losing streak of seven matches is owned by SANDATA, who just recently picked up his first win at the expense of Joey Bax at Vendetta. Rederick Mahaba and Mark D. Manalo could possibly steal this dubious honor though—both men are mired in four-match losing streaks at the moment, with no signs of abating.

    Four competitors have never lost consecutive matches in their PWR careers: former PWR Champion Ralph Imabayashi, the enigmatic Mayhem Brannigan, the just-returned Kanto Terror, and The Network's James "Idol" Martinez.

    But that's all ancient history; how do their win-loss records look over the past six months?

    Match records from September 20, 2015—February 20, 2016.

    Only four men are on any kind of meaningful streak: the red-hot Ken Warren with four straight victories to his name, and John Sebastian, Chris Panzer, and "Classical" Bryan Leo with two apiece.

    Mayhem Brannigan has had just a single match since September 2015—a PHX Championship semifinals win against Chris Panzer at Renaissance. This could be the end of the Mayhem Brannigan era, folks; if he no-shows Manila Madness, he'll be a non-entity in PWR altogether. What an ignominious end that would be for one of the pioneering talents of the Philippine Wrestling Revolution.


    Puso Factor: Strength of Schedule by Competitor

    We care a hell of a lot about wrestlers who consistently punch above their weight; there's no point after all in crowning anyone as "the best wrestler in the Philippines" if he refuses to go up against legit competition.

    For this particular step of our Smarkometrics system, we've aggregated the total win-loss records of every single wrestler faced by each PWR talent to arrive at their competitive strength of schedule. Here's how the numbers play out.

    Nobody's run a tougher gauntlet of matches than Ralph Imabayashi in the past six months en route to his brief reign as PWR Champion. With two matches against the 4-1 "Classical" Bryan Leo and another one against the 4-0 Ken Warren, it's no wonder that he tops the charts with a strength of schedule of .608. He may be the smallest man in the ring most times, but the Fil-Japanese Sensation has shown he is 100% heart.

    Ralph going Vintage Hulk Hogan on the Classical One.
    Vintendo lives up to his billing as "The Fighting Gamer" as well; despite his 0-2 record, he's faced tough competition in the forms of Ken Warren and the fearsome Apocalypse. That deserves a shout-out.

    "Classical" Bryan Leo may have regained his prized PWR Championship, but he hasn't been facing the toughest field, to be honest. Two of his victims, Mark D. Manalo and Rederick Mahaba, are both winless in the past six months, and that hurt his percentages big time. His .490 strength of schedule is an embarrassment. We expect greater things from the King of the Royal Flush.

    On the other hand, Miguel Rosales, Joey Bax, and Crystal bring up the tail-end of the chart, but that's mainly because they've been paired up against some seriously weak competition. Rosales and Bax of course have been locked in battle with both SANDATA and Peter Versoza in recent months, and while that may be a kick-ass feud, it hurts their strengths of schedule, considering that these foes own just 1-7 and 2-7 win-loss records respectively.


    Pasok Factor: #NoDaysOff

    So who's been showing up for work? 

    The Philippine Wrestling Revolution has had five shows between September 2015 and today, so in theory, 100% attendance means having wrestled five matches in that span. Here's the data.

    As always, Jake De Leon shows he's the true MVP of PWR; not only has he shown up to fight each and every show, he also wrestled twice at Terminus, giving him an attendance score of 120%. The same holds true for John Sebastian. The Ace-Hole of the Royal Flush has been tireless in his work ethic; these two men are the real Mr. #NoDaysOff of Philippine wrestling.

    John Sebastian is still an asshole though.
    Both Mayhem Brannigan and Miguel Rosales are showing terrible attendance scores, but that's how things roll when you're injured. The two are battling long-term injuries, and there's truly no knowing when we'll see them back in action again.


    Puri Factor: PWR's Championship Circle

    We've had seven championship matches in PWR in the past six months, with victories distributed between just three men: "Clasical" Bryan Leo, Ken Warren, and Ralph Imabayashi.

    • Renaissance 2015 (9/20/15)—"Classical" Bryan Leo successfully defends his PWR Championship against The Apocalypse and "The Senyorito" Jake De Leon in a Triple Threat match. 

    • Renaissance 2015 (9/20/15)Ken Warren defeats Ralph Imabayashi in the de facto PHX Championship finals.

    • PWR Live: May Aircon Na (11/21/15)Another successful PWR Championship defense by "Classical" Bryan Leo, this time against Mark D. Manalo.

    • PWR Live: May Aircon Na (11/21/15)Ken Warren defeats Chris Panzer in his first PHX Championship defense.

    • Terminus 2015 (12/19/15)Ralph Imabayashi defeats "Classical" Bryan Leo for the PWR Championship.

    • PWR Live: Road to Vendetta (1/31/16)—Ralph Imabayashi successfully defends his PWR Championship against The Apocalypse.

    • Vendetta 2016 (2/20/16)—"Classical" Bryan Leo regains the PWR Championship from Ralph Imabayashi.

    To compute for the Puri Factor of our Smarkometrics formula, we've divided one whole point by the total number of championship matches—seven—to arrive at a factor of .143. Each of the three men gets as many points as commensurate to their championship victories, whether it was in claiming a title, or defending one successfully.


    Now that we've laid out all four criteria for our PWR Power Rankings, we're finally ready to spell out who the real kings of Philippine pro wrestling are today.

    In our previous edition of the PWR Power Rankings based on performance throughout the 2015 calendar year (you can read the full analysis here), this is where we left off.
    19. Rederick Mahaba
    18. Vintendo
    17. James "Idol" Martinez
    16. Joey Bax
    15. Main Maxx
    14. Miguel Rosales
    13. Mark D. Manalo
    12. Kanto Terror
    11. SANDATA
    10. Bombay Suarez
    9. Peter Versoza
    8. Chris Panzer
    7. Mayhem Brannigan
    6. John Sebastian
    5. The Apocalypse
    4. Ken Warren
    3. Ralph Imabayashi
    2. "The Senyorito" Jake De Leon
    1. "Classical" Bryan Leo

    Will we see a new number one this time around? Onwards and upwards, young Henrinites!


    PWR Power Rankings

    Remember the equation we set up at the start of this article?

    We've done the math to add up how each man performed and handed out grades on a curve based on the totals. Each factor is color-coded as well to indicate how he performs against the rest of the roster on each count—green for a top-tier number, yellow for an average one, and red for a mediocre one.

    Here are the grades.

    Reminder: These are for match participation between September 2015 and February 2016 only. 


    It feels good to see Kanto Terror back in business. The monster pop he got when he made his return at Vendetta was probably the local equivalent of Shane McMahon's return to the WWE after a six-year absence. But good feelings aside, his injury-driven absence from the last six months of action cost him greatly, as he drops 8 spots to #20.

    The F student 

    We don't know if Crystal has what it takes to go far in PWR—her ceiling as a wrestler could be Trish Stratus, but then again it might just be Jackie Gayda. But her fighting spirit lands her the #19 spot in her debut appearance in our PWR Power Rankings after falling to the dangerous Peter Versoza in her maiden match.

    The D Students

    The Fighting Gamer stays mired at the #18 spot, as Vintendo finds his promotion to the main roster a lot more difficult than he expected. After a pair of losses to The Apocalypse and Ken Warren, he just might be better off digging up his Game Shark. He does deserve a fair bit of credit though for going up against the second-toughest schedule in PWR. Now, he's got to actually win a match.

    Joey Bax might talk a tough game, but the resident basagulero of Fighters 4 Hire slides one spot down to #17. With his partner Miguel Rosales currently sidelined with a concussion, the man known as "Cold Heart" has struggled, even suffering the humiliation of being the first man to lose to SANDATA.

    And speaking of Miguel Rosales, his current spot warming the bench has cost him dearly, as he slides down two spots to #16. We miss his regular field trips to Barangay Suplex, and hope it's just a matter of time until the Ruthless One beasts back in a big way.

    The C- Students

    Rederick Mahaba might be winless, but that doesn't mean we don't respect his heart. This boy does the work. In his short time on the roster, he's gone toe-to-toe with "Classical" Bryan Leo and Main Maxx, and made his mammoth presence felt in the Path to Gold match. The Intimate Warrior rockets four huge spots to #15, and we're still so hard for him.

    Mark D. Manalo might not look like a conventional main eventer, but he's got courage that will take him far. He may be skidding out in a four-match losing streak, but there's no shame in losing to Bryan Leo, John Sebastian, and The Apocalypse in successive outings. He slides one spot down to #14, but with his Beer Promdi parter-in-crime back in action, we expect this to be a temporary drop.

    We were thrilled to see SANDATA claim his first career win in PWR history against the rugged Joey Bax, and hope this signals a full-time turnaround for the masked warrior from the South. In the meantime, he takes a two-spot dip down to #13.

    The Network is on the rise, and James "Idol" Martinez is at the heart of it, leaping five gigantic steps to the #12 spot. While some may dismiss his recent victories against Jake De Leon and Rederick Mahaba as flukes, this crafty conman has more up his sleeve than you'd expect. With "Big Bank" Bruno Bernardo and "The Golden Boy" Chino Guinto watching his back, the sky's the limit for the man called "Idol."

    The C Student

    Where, oh where, is Mayhem Brannigan? We haven't heard from the leader of the Ryot Squad since he was jumped by the F4H and knocked out of action with a dislocated shoulder. His free fall out of the top 10 continues with a four-spot collapse to #11, and if he no-shows the next show, he'll fall all the way to the bottom of our rankings.

    The B- Students

    Ever since breaking free of his Dual Shock tag team with SANDATA, Peter Versoza has been the ultimate king of the upside, impressing us all with a stellar win against Crystal at Vendetta then debuting as the new "Jack of all Babes" for the Royal Flush later on in the evening. P to the V may be the future of PWR, and despite slipping one notch to #10, we could be looking at a future top five talent.

    Bombay Suarez has had one heck of an up-and-down career, but the current Malaysia Pro Wrestling Extreme Division Champion swaps places with Peter Versoza to claim the #9 spot for now despite falling to PHX Champion Ken Warren his last time out. They just don't come tougher than the "Bitch Killer," and it will be a brave man who decides he wants to wrest his precious gold from around his waist.

    The Apocalypse just can't seem to live up to his billing, ambushing unsuspecting victims with sneak attacks one moment, yet choking in his actual matches when they count. His two failed PWR Championship challenges against both "Classical" Bryan Leo and Ralph Imabayashi in the past six months shake our confidence in him deeply. The big man is all bark and no bite at this stage of his career, and with a brewing war with Beer Promdi in the offing, his three-place dive to #8 just might get even worse.

    Main Maxx rarely speaks, but the truth is that when you're the Perfect 10 of the Royal Flush, you don't need to say much at all. Silent Rage rockets eight massive slots up to the #7 spot after mauling Rederick Mahaba in singles action at PWR Live: May Aircon Na, and dropping the tough combination of Mark D. Manalo and Jake De Leon in tag action at PWR Live: Road to Vendetta.

    The B Students

    Chris Panzer is on a two-match winning streak, and after an impressive outing in Malaysia earlier in February, should be taken seriously by all PWR fans in the months to come. The Leader of the Panzer Army is just knocking on the door of our Smarkometrics top five after making two firm strides up the rankings to #6.

    The first-ever PWR Champion Jake De Leon slips three spots down to the #5 spot after a rough-and-tumble six month period that saw him lose in embarrassing fashion to James "Idol" Martinez and fail in his attempt to reclaim gold from "Classical" Bryan Leo. "The Senyorito" is locked into one more championship match at Wrevolution X, and he desperately needs to get some momentum back on his side.

    John Sebastian may be a major league jerk, but he's also a major league star-in-the-making. Bryan Leo's lieutenant in the Royal Flush edges out JDL for the #4 spot by virtue of his tougher competitive slate in the past six months, and we'd love to see the "Cutthroat" make another two-spot jump in our next Power Rankings.

    The B+ Players

    We all loved Ralph Imabayashi's unlikely rise to the top of the Philippine Wrestling Revolution, but his two-month stint as PWR Champion didn't do much for his spot in our rankings, holding steady at #3. This isn't an indictment of the Pocket Rocket's talent though; that he hasn't been able to climb any higher speaks more about the quality of competition at the top of PWR. Expect Imabayashi to regain his steam in the coming months.

    At #2 is the reigning, defending, undisputed PHX Champion, Ken Warren. There isn't much left to say about this man. He hasn't lost a match since May 2015. He's faced one of the toughest levels of competition in PWR. He shows up for work day in and day out, with his #KWHolidayTour being the sole blemish in his participation rate. The King of the Philippine Hybrid X division is on a massive roll, and it feels like his three-match losing streak from early 2015 was just an aberration on his road to greatness.

    The A Student

    Who else were you expecting at the top of the PWR Power Rankings? "Classical" Bryan Leo has proven once more that he is the one and only king of wrestling on the local scene after becoming the first-ever two-time champion in Philippine wrestling history. Whether he's making stars like Rederick Mahaba tap out to his brutal submission holds or dropping foes with his vaunted Royal Flushdown, the Man From A First World Country is strapped in for the long run. King of the Royal Flush, King of PWR, King of the Power Rankings—it's certainly good to be Bryan Leo.

    Biggest gainers: Main Maxx (+8), James "Idol" Martinez (+5), Rederick Mahaba (+4)

    Biggest losers: Kanto Terror (-8), Mayhem Brannigan (-4), The Apocalypse (-3)


    In Closing...

    It's been a stellar six-month run for the Philippine Wrestling Revolution, and we can't wait to see how the rest of 2016 plays out.

    Here's a summary chart capturing how everyone on the PWR roster did, and it's clear what a huge gap existed between the top three players and everyone else in the game.

    It's interesting to note that if we take out the Puri Factor championship bonus—the orange bars in the chart above—Ken Warren could actually have been #1 in the rankings. His statistical performance in all other areas of Panalo, Pasok, and Puso would have been enough to edge out Bryan Leo by a slim .027 margin.

    It seems that moving forward, the Classical One's greatest threat could be coming not from his traditional foes like Bombay Suarez, Jake De Leon, or Ralph Imabayashi, but the outspoken PHX Champion. That's a match-up we'd love to see.

    We'll close this edition of the PWR Power Rankings with one last chart that segments the roster into four quadrants depending on their winning percentage and the quality of opposition each man fought.

    Warriors (+0.500 winning percentage, +0.500 strength of schedule)

    Ralph Imabayashi, Ken Warren, and Mayhem Brannigan are the sole occupants of this sector—no surprise considering the championship performances of the first two, and Brannigan's all-around excellence. As we warned above though, this could be the last time we see Mayhem in our charts.

    Imabayashi goes low on Bryan Leo.
    Chris Panzer and The Apocalypse are hovering on the fringes however; one more win by either men in their next match should be enough to bust through into this elite state.

    Big Fish In Small Ponds (+0.500 winning percentage, -0.500 strength of schedule)

    "Classical" Bryan Leo takes his first dip into this quadrant after being in the Warrior zone ever since the Smarkometrics system started. The culprit? His two battles against the winless Rederick Mahaba and the bumbling Mark D. Manalo the past couple of months. It's time for Leo to start acting like the king he claims to be, and chooses better opponents.

    James "Idol" Martinez resides in this quadrant as well, and until he moves on from his mini-feud with Mahaba, he'll be stuck here for the time being.

    "Idol" gives Rederick Mahaba a taste of his own medicine.
    John Sebastian, Jake De Leon, and Miguel Rosales could be on the cusp of breaking into this segment too. These three are too good to be hovering at the .500 mark, and deserve to ranked better than this.

    Fighting Spirit Award (-0.500 winning percentage, +0.500 strength of schedule)

    Vintendo's Hundred-Hand Slap could be the key to his success in PWR.
    Vintendo might be winless, but he's a fighter. The same can be said of Mark D. Manalo. These two grapplers have zero quit in them, and even if neither man has tasted victory in the singles game, it's only a matter of time until they finally break through.

    Underachievers (-0.500 winning percentage, -0.500 strength of schedule)

    Everyone not previously mentioned falls into this segment, with the most prominent being Bombay Suarez and Main Maxx, who both lost their matches at Vendetta. Suarez may be a massive fan favorite, but his initial three-match winning streak to start his PWR career way back in 2014 seems like ages ago; when will we see him get his act back together?

    The same holds true for Main Maxx; for all the hype, this dude has lost more matches than he's actually won. You can't teach size, and 2016 needs to be the year that he picks up some real steam, lest he be remembered as nothing more than the largest underachiever in PWR history.

    An all-too-common sight: Maxx laid out on his back.


    And just like that that, we've come to the end of our PWR Power Rankings for the past six months. How do you feel about "Classical" Bryan Leo topping the list yet again? Do you think Ken Warren is on his way to overtaking the PWR Champion? And on a scale of 1 to 23059109823, how depressed are you over Mayhem Brannigan's continued free-fall out of the rankings? Drop us a note, and let's have a good debate.

    Stay smarky, Revo-Nation!


    Mark De Joya (@MDJSuperstaris an advertising professional and brand strategist by day, but dreams of being the Vince McMahon of the Philippines by night. He writes anything to do with numbers for Smark Henry: People Power (our weekly fan survey), Best For Business (our regular financial report), and Basic Smarkometrics (our PWR Power Rankings). With 18" arms and a 300-pound squat, he is also the official bouncer of the Smark Henry offices.

    All photos are by the talented and stunning Hub Pacheco.
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