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    Friday, April 29, 2016

    The Road to Wrevolution X: The Official Smark Henry Review

    PWR made its return to action, this time in the red hot South, as the Road to Wrevolution X was officially kicked off! As one of the most unpredictable shows ever on the PWR calendar, it was a night full of surprises and action in the promotion's first outing in Parañaque.

    And so the big question on everyone's minds was: Who was going to impress en route to the company’s biggest show this May?

    Multiple threads had been laid out from the previous show, each one of them adding a layer of intrigue to each of the night's matches:

    • Could Jake De Leon and Ralph Imabayashi co-exist as tag team partners, or would their mutual thirst to regain the PWR Championship each one of them believes they never should have lost cause them to implode against the Royal Flush?
    • Could Bombay Suarez sustain his run as the first and only double champion in PWR history as he put his prized PHX Championship on the line against former champion Ken Warren?
    • What kind of showing would the surging SANDATA have against The Network's "Golden Boy" Chino Guinto?
    • In a battle between skidding stars Mark D. Manalo and the lone wolf Joey Bax, who could regain their winning ways?
    • Could Vintendo light a fire under his PWR career as he sought revenge against the man who injured him in his main roster debut, The Apocalypse?
    • Who would the respective surprise opponents be for Rederick Mahaba and The Network?

    Match 1: Rederick Mahaba vs. Yohann “#YOLO” Ollores

    What better way to kick off the night than with the pride of Southern Metro Manila, Rederick Mahaba, who took the opportunity to shower much love to his Sucat compatriots.

    Unfortunately, the cocky Yohann "#YOLO" Ollores showed up, making his main show debut with some choice words for the Intimate Warrior, leading to the first match of the night.

    "The Man From Katips" knows how to rile up a crowd.

    The match was as expected, a David vs. Goliath encounter with Rederick controlling much of the match with his massive size advantage. Ollores fought back, chopping down the King of Schlong Style with his aggressive style to gain the upper hand. But unfortunately for #YOLO, a Jaccolade and an “It’s More Slam in the Philippines” from PWR’s resident love machine spelled a quick end for the rookie's night.


    It might have been a slow first showing for Yohann, but there is definitely room for the character to grow and interact. Don’t forget, The Network had to start somewhere, and the same case goes for PWR's new DTP (Dude Tsong Pare). He can be one of the most entertaining characters in the company given the right material, but for now, he’ll just need a rivalry that can accentuate his personality more, the way Rederick did with The Network. A little bit of expanding for his character will go a long way.

    Speaking of Rederick, it’s obvious now that he is one of the most popular stars in the company, and he was the right man to start the night with the kind of energy he delivers. As a wrestler, his repertoire and workrate is improving, and his expanding moveset will surely help his stock in the long term. Overall, a great way to start the night and introduce a new star in one go.

    Rating: 3/5

    Chant of the Match: “SUBO!”

    Mr. Sy segment

    Mr. Sy knows how to make an announcement.

    PWR General Manager Mr. Sy made his appearance to welcome the Southern Revo-Nation to their first show in Parañaque. And in one fell swoop, he made a few blockbuster announcements (besides reminding everyone of the stakes of the Chris Panzer-John Sebastian match announced for May 28's Wrevolution X, with Mr. Sy’s and TV host KC Montero’s respective jobs on the line)

    At Wrevolution X, the number one contender to the PHX Championship will be determined in a first-ever eight-wrestler Gauntlet Match. Two stars will start off in a one-on-one contest, and with an elimination via pinfall or submission, a new competitor will enter the fray. The last wrestler standing will then immediately face off with whoever is PHX Champion that same night.

    Mr. Sy then announced the first competitor of the match: the talented Crystal, who had the match of the night at Vendetta not long ago, which prompted Peter Versoza and Scarlett of the Royal Flush to intervene.

    Scarlett lays the law down on Crystal.

    After the duo vehemently protested Mr. Sy’s decision, he decided to drop another bombshell: At Wrevolution X, Versoza will face the MyPW Regional Champion (and the man who beat Chris Panzer at MyPW Uprising in Malaysia), Shaukat! After Scarlett threw some shade Crystal's way, "P to the V" immediately blindsided her, dropping her with his Karne Norte elevated double-knee gutbuster to raucous disapproval by the fans.

    Wrevolution X just got way too interesting in a hurry.

    The PHX Championshio Gauntlet and subsequent title match has the strength to change the entire title scene in a hurry, with eight wrestlers getting a shot at greatness in the biggest show of the year. Unpredictability will be the name of the game, and it will be a wonder to see how it all goes down.

    The Shaukat-Versoza announcement was a huge shock, a bout made possible through the PWR-MyPW relationship. Shaukat is a fantastic wrestler and their company’s ace. Meanwhile, as Jack of All Trades of the Royal Flush, Versoza has proven himself over time as a workhorse that can be relied on, and it seems as though PV is being rewarded for his hard work with this special bout. No doubt, this has the potential to be match of the night.

    Match 2: SANDATA vs. “The Golden Boy” Chino Guinto

    Guinto puts the hurt on SANDATA. 

    In all honesty, expectations were relatively low considering the random placement of this match and how it was seemingly booked out of nowhere, the same way as SANDATA vs. Apocalypse was booked a few months ago. But much like the Crystal vs. Versoza match at Vendetta, expectations were blown out of the window as it became such a surprisingly stellar singles bout between the two men.

    Their workrate displays how much they want to be featured in PWR as big name acts in the company, especially considering SANDATA’s previous bouts and Guinto finding an identity besides being the biggest douchebag in the company. It was a well-paced match that saw "The Golden Boy" being able to work the crowd and getting the advantage without the help of his fellow Network partners.

    SANDATA managed to show his aggression even more by fighting back with his patented kicks and knees, blowing the roof off the venue with a soaring double axehandle from the top rope all the way to the outside.

    Air SANDATA! 

    A highlight of the match saw Chino being able to counter SANDATA's Pagbasag huracanbuster into a sit-out powerbomb, a surprise for all things considered.

    However, the ending with Guinto rolling up SANDATA for the three-count was a bit confusing because it felt like it came out of nowhere, and it seemed like they were working towards a different kind of finish.

    While the abrupt ending can be debated upon, it is overshadowed by a surprisingly well-worked performance that benefitted both men. SANDATA is proving himself to be a quality singles star, especially post-Dual Shock, and more of these kinds of matches can only help him for the better. And while it seemed odd that SANDATA lost to Chino after dashing off a two-win streak, it benefitted the Top Downline as he did so without any help, and something could be brewing between the competitors in the future as The Network continues to make more enemies.

    Rating: 4/5

    Chant: “Fuck You Chino!”

    Match 3: Joey Bax vs. Mark D. Manalo (with Kanto Terror)

    Who could get momentum on their side once more? 

    In a match designed to reverse the respective fortunes of both men, Joey Bax of the Fighters 4 Hire took on one-half of Beer Promdi, Mark D. Manalo.

    It was a short and sweet bout that emphasized Joey’s ground-and-pound tactics and MDM’s charismatic fighting style. Bax had more control of the match however, and in the end, Ken Warren's designated goon managed to hit MDM with The Hit, his variation of the reverse Russian legsweep for the win.

    A cold-hearted way to win. 

    After the bout, The Apocalypse suddenly showed up in the entrance way, apparently to take advantage of a groggy Manalo, prompting Manalo's partner, "The Siga from Kanto Tinio Street" Kanto Terror, to run off the monster.

    The match was slow-paced and methodical, though certainly better than the MDM vs. Sebastian match at Vendetta. But then again, both men have shown to do better in the past, especially when you watch their previous bouts. Don’t get me wrong: both men worked their asses off, but it may not have been their night.

    MDM needed the win more than Bax, but if anything, at least Bax won in a convincing fashion, which may indicate a bigger role for him as you will see later in the review.

    Rating: 2.5/5

    Side note 1: The burgers sold in the venue were awesome, and the alcohol was a fantastic complement. More of these please!

    Side note 2: The venue had the perfect combination of a cool ventilation from iAcademy and the much-beloved indie aura from the old Makati Square Arena days, plus greater ease of access. More of these too in the future please!

    Match 4: The Network (James “Idol” Martinez & “Big Bank” Bruno Bernardo) vs. Los Trajabadores

    Shades of Bullet Club, Network style! 

    We knew that The Network would be in action, but who knew that this would also be the much-awaited debut of Bruno Bernardo at the same time? Their opponents would be the underdogs from Tandang Sora, Los Trabajadores.

    Los Trabajadores doing the work. 

    The Network tandem managed to make use of their strength and ingenuity as they overcame an early onslaught from their masked opponents, partially thanks to Chino Guinto and Network ally "The Machine" Mavericc Knight intervening on their behalf. In one of the most memorable moments of the night, Idol took out everyone with a top rope dive onto the outside, wowing the crowd in the process.

    But in the end, it was academic, as The Network won via 4B’s Paydown lariat to the back of the head of one of the Trabajadores.

    The humiliation continued post-match with an awesome triple powerbomb by Martinez's gang on the their vanquished foes.

    The biggest powerbomb in PWR history. 

    The story did not end there, as Rederick Mahaba stormed to the ring, golf club in hand, as The Network was beating up both Trabajadores. This led to a challenge by Rederick for one more match with Idol at Wrevolution X, with one interesting stipulation from Martinez: If the Top of the Pyramid wins, Rederick must join them as a Downline.

    Mahaba ready to swing for payback. 

    The Network tandem worked well as a team, with Idol's ingenuity working well with 4B’s power game instead of just defending him as with past events. Machine taking the outside enforcer role was a nice touch to the dynamic. Los Trabajadores definitely know how to kick things up a notch when needed, and are proving to be an exciting team to watch despite their losing ways. This match was a great way to pump up the crowd, and kudos to these guys.

    Notably, 4B has a knack for crowd psychology, as shown by his way of dealing with a rowdy member of the audience while IDOL attacks a Trajabador as the ref is distracted. That is a surprising amount of in-ring awareness for a guy who made his debut. And let’s face it, who knew Idol was gonna fly like that like there’s no tomorrow?

    Rating: 3.5/5

    Match 5—Triple Threat Match for the PHX Championship: Ken Warren vs. Main Maxx vs. Bombay Suarez (c)

    Bombay Suarez: Double champion, Bitch Killer. 

    It was originally going to be Suarez vs. Warren for the PHX Championship. However, the Royal Flush came out with Main Maxx’s lawyer, calling out Mr. Sy in the process. As per the lawyer, with Maxx’s issues from never having been properly eliminated at the Path of Gold Match at Terminus, he has the right to pursue legal intervention unless Mr. Sy put him in the PHX title match, making this a Triple Threat. As it was Suarez’s call, he decided to let it be in his own way, effectively changing the bout in the last minute.

    The Royal Flush knows how to bend the playing field their way. 

    When you have in one match a certified double champ Bitch Killer, a #Workhorse competitor, and the monstrous hybrid, you know sparks are going to fly in the South! The competitors made use of their respective strengths in the match, making for a very unique bout that had shades of the last Triple Threat PHX Championship match. And yes, Bombay brought back the Flaming Chop—this time for an overkill three times!


    The bout featured numerous close calls, including a monster Tower of Doom by Maxx to wipe out both Warren and Suarez.

    Main Maxx gets the 2-for-1 value meal. 

    In the end, it was a lucky break for Maxx as he capitalized on a desparation WiFi from K-Dub to the Bitch Killer, throwing the Sinister out, and landing a gargantuan Blitzkrieg Bomb on a woozy Suarez for the pin and the title win.

    Main Maxx blitzing his way to gold. 

    This win gave Ilocos Norte's "Big Rocket" his first ever championship reign, and gives the Royal Flush a monopoly on all the gold in the company. With the balance of power tilted heavily in their favor, how will the rest of PWR react?

    The Perfect Hybrid. 

    After the match, an angry Warren attacked Joey Bax for not helping him out in the match, leading to a surprise return by Miguel Rosales to save his partner from assault, reuniting the Fighters 4 Hire tag team after his concussion-induced hiatus from in-ring action.

    Reunited and it feels so good!
    As for the match, you know it’s going to be good when you have three A+ players in one surprise title bout. It was also refreshing to see Maxx and Warren interact, as their paths have previously never crossed. And with Maxx being on a roll as far as ring performance goes, it’s no doubt he deserves the chance to have a run with some championship gold, and in effect, an interesting position come Wrevolution X as he has no idea who he will compete against.

    Legal intervention was a good (and deliciously slimy) way to include Maxx in the championship scene, given how he never really got a resolution from his unexpected elimination, proving that continuity exists. And when you respect continuity, you get great results.

    The return of Rosales was a long time coming, and it seems as though the F4H has finally come together with an interesting rivalry against Warren, considering they were the ones who helped Warren become the first PHX champ in history in the first place. In related news, could tag team titles be impending?

    Rating: 4.5/5

    Match 6: The Apocalypse vs. Vintendo

    Death bells are ringing for Vintendo. 

    In a battle of behemoths, Vintendo attempted to get revenge on the man that injured him months back, The Apocalypse. Despite an aggressive start to the match by The Fighting Gamer, all it took was a Death Bell and a new neck submission called the D’Arche Choke for Apocalypse to make Vintendo submit for the victory.

    The Apocalypse just added a dangerous new twist to his arsenal. 

    After the match, Beer Promdi came out and tried to beat down the monster to no avail, as he also laid out the duo in the end.

    The match was designed to display the Apocalypse’s ferocity, which worked in spades. And it looks like the long-running saga between Beer Promdi and the Apocalypse may be finally be culminating in an all-out war in the near future.

    And the lingering question now: What’s next for Vintendo? For a man with his potential, it would be a shame for his talents to be wasted somehow, especially nearing PWR’s biggest show.

    Rating: 2/5

    Match 7: Six-Man Tag Team Main Event

    The most dominant faction in PWR history has arrived. 

    What better way to end the night than with a hot six-man tag match featuring the Royal Flush’s PWR Champion "Classical" Bryan Leo, John Sebastian, and Peter Versoza taking on the number one contender to the PWR Champion "The Senyorito" Jake de Leon, backed up by another former PWR Champion in Ralph Imabayashi and the fiery Chris Panzer?

    Chris Panzer stands tall. 

    With so much going on and with many different personalities, it was an explosive bout from start to end, with dives and high impact moves all around.

    Flying high, Senyorito style. 

    Notably, the main story of the match was the continued animosity between De Leon and Imabayashi, with the latter tapping into an aggressive side that allowed him to dish as hard as he received.

    Could Imabayashi and De Leon function as a team? 

    Case in point: the beating he gave Sebastian during the match, where he continued to deliver kicks and forearms all around the ring. In a way, he may have finally found his identity, that one aspect to make him a complete character all around and set him apart from the rest.

    And while everyone dished out their finest moves towards the end, it was a Sonic Crusher by a frustrated Imabayashi on an unsuspecting JDL that finally did the team in, as months worth of bad blood finally reached a boiling point.

    Peter Versoza capitalized on the dissent to hit a Petegree on Imabayashi for the win, surely sending a message to the MyPW Regional Champion, Shaukat.

    Post-match, Mr. Sy made an appearance once more, saying that since Ralph had really never gotten his rematch for the PWR Championship, and still has some unresolved issues with the Senyorito, would be entering the PWR Championship Match at Wrevolution X in a Triple Threat, instantly reshaping PWR's main event picture to the core. This did not stop the Flush in laying the beatdown on The Classical One’s dual challengers, attempting to weaken the fan favorites weeks prior to the big event.

    Leo dropped JDL with the same crushing move that earned him his first career victory over the Senyorito back in 2014, the Royal Flushdown.

    JDL's pride may just have gotten flushed down. 

    Meanwhile, Ralph Imabayashi was on the receiving end of the Royal Flush's feared super-finisher, the Dead Man's Hand.

    Imabayashi gets his head kicked in four ways. 

    The multi-man tag bout was meant to serve as a preview of the big matches taking place at Wrevolution X, and it accomplished its objectives given the nature of the match. It highlighted the respective animosity between JDL and Imabayashi, Sebastian and Panzer, and Versoza's chances against Shaukat, all within the tag match while exciting fans in a high impact main event.

    With a performance like that, we're betting on a full house for Wrevolution X come May 28.

    Rating: 4/5

    Chant: (Incoherent sounds at Sebastian)

    Match of the Night: PHX 3-Way

    What's up, PHX Division? 

    Was there any question that this was the match of the night, given the competitors involved? These are the kinds of matches that would cement the PHX Championship as a top-shelf prize in Philippine wrestling, and with the impending PHX Gauntlet and Championship Match at Wrevolution X, this only highlighted the kind of depth PWR has in the Philippine Hybrid X division.

    Tl;dr: Mission accomplished.

    Most Improved Stars of the Night: Chino Guinto and SANDATA

    Future main eventers of PWR? 

    If we are going to be honest, in the entire card, this was the most randomly put together since SANDATA vs. Apocalypse.

    Yet somehow, despite the lack of a back story, the two pulled off a fantastic singles bout that benefitted from great chemistry between the two warriors. When two guys have such a surprisingly good match, it can only lead to an encouraging chain reaction where the rest of the wrestlers on the roster will be challenged to do their best under any circumstances. And by the end of the day, that will be the best for the company as a whole.

    Star of the Night: Rederick Mahaba

    The Afrodisiac is emerging as a legitimate warrior. 

    This man has gone a long way since the first iAcademy show.

    He has improved from the past number of events, owned his character like it was an extension of himself, and gained a lot of fans in the process. And then you have the impassioned promo he did later in the night, especially when challenging James "Idol" Martinez to one last match at Wrevolution X. It's wonderful seeing how Mahaba built himself up from what some fans assumed would be a minor comedy player from the ground up to become one of the most endearing competitors PWR has ever seen in such a short amount of time. You can tell how popular it is from the number of "Basted Club" shirts worn by the fans.

    He is proof that charisma is what helps make a wrestler, and that’s what makes fans emotionally invested in their struggles.

    Spot of the Night: the Idol hangtime

    Journey to excellence. 

    Is there any need to explain this?


    PWR’s first trip to the event was a successful venture, introducing first-time fans from the South on what they have to offer with much hype, and this is the kind of momentum that they need going into the biggest show of the year.

    Fans of the Philippine Wrestling Revolution now have the following top-flight questions to be addressed in the coming months, all of which should culminate in amazing matches of different types:

    • "Classical" Bryan Leo might have thought he was making a statement against his upcoming challenges at Wrevolution X, but the reigning PWR Champion might have bitten off more than he can chew. With Ralph Imabayashi's continued evolution into a fascinating, temperamental aggressor and the simpatico Jake De Leon simmering over his partner's betrayal, he may be in for the toughest title defense yet.
    • Main Maxx may have justified his lofty #3 ranking in our official PWR Power Rankings with his PHX Championship win, but what kind of advantage can the Royal Flush's Perfect 10 have at Wrevolution X when he has no idea which foe he has to prepare for?
    • Will we finally be seeing the birth of PWR's Women's Division, with the confrontation between Crystal and Scarlett? And with the reformation of Fighters 4 Hire and Beer Promdi, the recent debut of Los Trabajadores, and the ongoing dominance being demonstrated by both the Royal Flush and the Network, could a Tag Team Championship be in the works?
    • What's in the cards for Rederick Mahaba? The Network has been a thorn in his side for far too long, and it looks like it's time for James "Idol" Martinez to get some comeuppance. But with the debut of "Big Bank" Bruno Bernardo, Mahaba may finally get to face a foe who matches him in sheer mass and ferocity.
    • Will Beer Promdi and The Apocalypse finally resolve their months-long blood feud? With all the sneak attacks, run-ins, ambushes, and brutal spots over the past few shows, this is a war that needs to be settled decisively once and for all, and who knows who'll be left standing when the dust clears?
    • What is "The Machine" Mavericc Knight's real agenda here in PWR? We've seen him come to aid The Network on multiple occasions, but is there more to the man than money and mercenary work?
    • Ken Warren has now dropped two straight matches after rattling off five straight wins. Will he be recruiting new help to overcome his brewing problem with the Fighters 4 Hire?
    • Chris Panzer has got to be furious after getting upstaged by John Sebastian; how far is he willing to go to slay the Ace-hole of the Royal Flush at Wrevolution X?
    • Malaysia Pro Wrestling's Shaukat is a formidable talent; how is Peter Versoza going to come out on top against a man who matches—or possibly even outdoes—him in skill, power, speed, and agility? This should be a highly-entertaining battle, no matter what the outcome.
    • After stinging losses, where do SANDATA and Yohann Ollores go from here? Both men are great hands in the ring, but neither has a clear purpose in life. Let's see what kind of stories come up for the two in the coming months.

    What did you think of this month's edition of PWR Live, Revo-Nation? Which match did you enjoy the most? Let us know your thoughts below, and we'll see you all at Wrevolution X in a matter of weeks.


    The Philippine Wrestling Revolution is the Philippines only wrestling promotion today. To learn more, click on over to their official website for wrestler bios, show schedules, and merchandise.

    Their next show, Wrevolution X, will be happening on Saturday, May 28. Details have yet to be announced, but keep checking their official Facebook page for news and updates. 

    All photos are by the magnificent Hub Pacheco.
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    Item Reviewed: The Road to Wrevolution X: The Official Smark Henry Review Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Unknown
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