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    Thursday, June 1, 2017

    PWR Live: Resbak—The Official Smark Henry Review

    Hey, marks and smarks, GCP here with a review on the latest show held by the Philippine Wrestling Revolution, PWR Live: Resbak.

    Before anything else, I would just like to say:
    PUCHA, ANG INIT!!!!!!!!!!
    (Ah, glad to have gotten that out of the way. Actually, no. We'll be dealing with that a whole lot more later on in the review.)

    New Venue: Foton Showroom, Chino Roces Extension

    We've got a new venue once again, folks, thanks to the Bayanihan Center being fully booked for the next three months. Suffice it to say, this one did not leave a good first impression on the Revo-Nation.

    The Foton Showroom along Chino Roces Extension lost power along with the rest of the block 15 minutes prior to the gates opening. This resulted in a delay before the festivities could begin, and prevented any efforts of cooling down the place for the audience. As a fluffy guy, this did not bode well for me. It's a good thing the merch booth was right behind me, allowing me to get a change of clothes—which unfortunately was wet with sweat by the time the second half of the show rolled around.

    Yes, Mr. Sy. Ginusto ko 'to.

    Parking was quite a chore despite the parking lot right beside the venue, as there were vastly limited slots versus what we had come to enjoy at Bayanihan. Good thing there was food inside the venue, as choices outside were both scarce and far.

    What I can say though is that the lighting was great, which made for some great shots, as well as having a second floor once again. Still, these weren't enough to salvage how the audience felt about the place. Just goes to show though how dedicated the PWR faithful were in soldiering on despite the heat.

    Let's be frank. The heat was almost unbearable. It reminded me of the Makati Cinema Square days, complete with the same amount of fear for my personal safety when going outside. The big difference was that I expected a bit more from the Foton Showroom. We'll credit it to first-time venue adjustments.

    Hindsight is 20/20

    As such, it's only fitting that we base our show rankings on drinks that will quench that thirst, ranging from "OMG that hits that sweet spot of a glorious refreshing feeling" to "WHY WOULD YOU DRINK THAT," here is our tiered list for PWR Live: Resbak.

    Tier One: Ice-Cold Tea From Nihonbashitei

    You know that feeling when the waitress just leaves the pitcher of cold tea at your table? Pure. Thank you Chinese Jesus, bliss.

    Sweet baby Cheezus, when the Smark Henry staff went to Nihonbashitei after the show, all we could think about was getting some ice-cold tea first.

    For some reason, it quenches your thirst so much better than regular water. As soon as the tea hit the back of my throat, I wanted to thank my lucky stars for that night. As I'm writing this, I'm actually already brewing some tea. That's how much I love it. And that's also how much I love the three matches that fall under this list

    PWR Championship Rematch: John Sebastian vs. Chris Panzer (c), Best-of-Three Falls—New Belt, New Beginnings

    First things first, we've got a brand new belt, folks!

    The original PWR championship belt has been rightfully criticized with looking a lot less impressive than either the PHX Championship or the newly-revealed PWR Tag Team Championship belts. After all, it was the first belt to have been introduced, and this was way back in Wrevolution X 2015. Two years later...

    Ang ganda, bimb.

    How do you follow up a damn good Wrevolution X main event? This match was the perfect answer. There were no fancy entrances this time, but the action made up for it big time. There were false finishes galore, and each warrior had to fight dearly to score a fall apiece. Sebastian used a bucklebomb and an Impaler DDT to set up the Killshot for the first blood.

    Technically, hindi sa mukha. 

    Panzer came back from Sebastian's suffocating offense while battling the damage from the first fall. An uranage provided the perfect opportunity for him to lock in the Anaconda Vice to even it out, getting Sebastian to tap out for the first time in his PWR career. This was when the action kicked it up a few gears higher for the tiebreaking fall.

    In the end, it was a sitout piledriver and Eagle Splash combo that finally cemented Chris Panzer as PWR's true new ace in this rematch.

    This man is glistening.

    Under all these conditions, especially the tiring heat, it was a great enough performance to renew the energy levels of the crowd. And remember, this was a crowd suffering from poor ventilation and stifling heat. It speaks volumes on how exciting and engaging the two were to keep the Revo-Nation on their feet.

    This move... this move right here made me mark out so wild.

    It was a great match to cap off the 13-month war that's been brewing since last year's Wrevolution X. John Sebastian may have been an amazing champion, providing us with great matches and epic promos, but this is Chris Panzer's time now. And he's starting the new season off with a bang.

    Fighters 4 Hire vs The Deadly Sinns, All Out War—Baseball Bats, Legos, and Panny Serrano

    Coming into the second-ever tag team All Out War, there was much anticipation given the long-time hatred between the two teams and the possibilities of what all four no-fear individuals could bring. Adding a "bring your own weapon" element from the fans' end—the first time in PWR history—to the match amped that anticipation even more.


    When you put these elements together, you get what was possibly the best All Out War match in company history. And it feels weird saying that given this match format as the signature bout of The Apocalypse, but the results speak for themselves.

    When you wish they just used weapons instead.

    All four men brought everything they had and went an extra creative gear with the makeshift weapons from the fans, including a shinai, a bowling ball, a (real) guitar, a pan with a face on it (seriously, it even had a name: Panny Serrano), and even LEGO.

    As if these weren't enough, thumbtacks and table spots were involved, cranking up the brutality levels even more.

    Wrestling is absolutely fake.

    The match ended mercifully with an Anti-Riot double spinebuster from the F4H to Madrigal, the man that started the animosity with Joey Bax back at 2016's Shawdown in what was a symbolic end to one of PWR's most heated rivalries. If any match deserved to main-event any show not involving a title, this was it.


    There was no doubt that this was the match of the night, if fan reactions were any indication. This may very well be the new standard of All Out War, the benchmark for all versions to try and outdo.

    Ralph Imabayashi (w/ Rederick Mahaba) vs. Jake De Leon—Saddest Reaccs Only

    Bet ko for #JacketWars. Also, not technically a jacket, pero "symbol" siya.

    There are only a few certainties in pro wrestling: Kofi Kingston will find a way to save himself during the Royal Rumble, Brock Lesnar will suplex his opponent, and any match involving Ralph Imabayashi and Jake De Leon is a must watch.


    But we're not here to discuss how amaaaaazing the match was. That's already been established. What we need to talk about is this:

    A sure three-count from a Sonic Crusher thwarted once again because the referee was still out became the final straw for Ralph Imabayashi's slow-burn turn to the dark side. As he grabbed the baking pan that his partner Rederick Mahaba brought to the ring, the King of Schlong Style took it away, seemlingly looking to bring his friend to his senses. But then...

    Yes, PWR faithful, MTNH has turned heel. As self proclaimed true lovers of wrestling, the duo let the entire Revo-Nation know that they have all tarnished the sacred art through their incessant actions.

    Like an SGP Podcast shoot episode. But more live than FB Live. 

    Ralph turning heel was a long time coming. The man has been on one of the longest losing streaks in the company. And to be honest, a lot of those were not even his fault. It was only reasonable for any man to break at that point.

    But Rederick Mahaba going along for the ride? That was unexpected. A quick look at his record shows a fairly even win rate. Not to the extent that it would cause him to lash out. However, win-loss slates aren't everything. He really does love wrestling, no doubt about it. But insisting that his language of love is the only true way makes for a very skewed perspective of love.

    Love and respect, bitches.

    You can't love something without respecting it. That's how it seems to work that the two would turn heel at the same time. In their twisted world view, they are the true last bastions of respecting the art of wrestling, and it is only them that can love it the way that it deserves. And I love it.

    #RespectProWrestling, sure.

    But #ScrewRalphAndRed.

    Tier Two: Iced Tea for Php 12 At The Venue

    Artist's rendition of what refreshing looks like.

    One of the members of the Smark Gilas Pilipinas Facebook group was selling food and refreshments, complete with a large container of iced tea. For 12 pesos, it wasn't exactly the best iced tea in the world, but right then and there, it was heaven-sent. We've all had better tasting iced teas, but when the heat is bearing down on you, it made it taste waaaaay better.

    His siomai, though... damn, I wish he sold rice too.

    PHX Championship: Peter Versoza vs. Chino Guinto (c)—Trouble In Their Ranks

    Kh3ndrick has MSG. Chino's got Bullet Club Shirt Girl.

    There's been a general consensus that this may have been the best Peter Versoza match in a long time. Yes, there may have been a few sloppy mishaps here and there, but it was still one that had the audience engaged. Truthfully, that was what we've been looking for from him: a reason to care. We like your moves na nga eh, make us feel something too.

    Feel me more...wait, that didn't sound right.

    It seemed that Chino Guinto had to sell his moves a little more than usual to make up for Peter Versoza's in-ring fumbles. Guinto has some of the best facial reactions on the roster. If he wants to show he's in pain, prepare for his comeback, or get angry, you'll see it, even from the back rows. But sometimes, it did feel a tad bit excessive. 

    With his new sunset flip powerbomb finisher called Code Red, Chino Guinto retained his PHX Championship. What happened after will most likely define the rest of 2017 to come: Ken Warren and Kids—I mean the YOLO Twins—attacked him.

    Jabarin sana kayo.

    As the three were preparing their superkick party on Guinto, out came his Network mentor James "Idol" Martinez with a freaking downline army.

    The Network General Assembly, actually. Picture-picture sa mga kotse mamaya daw.

    What was a tense standoff between the two groups eventually ended up with the Social Media Millenials backing down. The PHX Championship belt snatched by Ken Warren was then brought not to "The Golden Boy", but to Idol, with Guinto madly protesting. Thankfully, it ended up being returned to its owner. There was an aura of rebellion surrounding Guinto, because this may very well be the last stretch we see him as part of The Network.

    Okay, there's so much to glean from here. One, it seems that Ken Warren has set his sights on the PHX Championship. After all, he was the division's inaugural titleholder. With the YOLO Twins being the inaugural tag champions themselves, it does make sense that he should try to take back what was originally his.

    Two, The Network will never be the same. That has been the story with the stable though. Two members have already left its ranks: one kicked out, the other went AOW, I mean AWOL. Idol has had trouble keeping his house in order. Now, he's making a huge mistake by trying to steal credit from his number one downline. Guinto will not simply let his boss get away with this. Expect things to get physical real soon.

    Ken Warren vs. Koto Hiro/ PWR Tag Team Championship Match: Punk Dolls (Martivo & Robynn) vs. The YOLO Twins (Yohann & Logan Ollores, c)—#Teamwork

    Why are these two matches filed under one segment? You could argue that I'm being lazy with the review, trying to avoid the Smark Henry Nihonbashitei punishment in case I miss my deadline.

    Gohan for everyone!

    Maaaaaaybe, but let's be honest: whatever match went on, it was destined to be their opponent against the entire #FirstSquad.

    Yes, I'm trying to make it a thing.

    With their individual matches, they were already up against tough opponents. The tag team champs were up against a team that already took a win against them a few months back. Ken Warren was facing Koto Hiro, an international talent who was ready to make waves in our shores after getting lost here.

    Yes, their opponents were quite formidable, but as they've shown since Wrevolution X, the three work as a cohesive unit to take down any and all who stand in their way. I really like how this adds a whole new dimension to Ken Warren, as he finally has a complete squad to roll with. Joey Bax was great as a bodyguard, but without Kuya Migs, he was still lacking.

    Koto Hiro brought out a whole different game from Ken Warren, as have other international talent in the past. Their exchanges were a thing of beauty, especially that hiptoss countered into an armdrag. From what I gathered, this likely won't be the last we'll see of Hiro. It's always great to see international talent willing to put local guys over and help them improve their craft.

    This move right here...

    I thoroughly enjoyed both matches, as they were a great way of telling the Revo-Nation, as well as the entire roster, that Ken Warren and the YOLO Twins don't roll alone anymore. It's always going to be the three of them in the ring at any given time.

    Tier Three: Bagong-Lagay Na Bottled Water

    There's nothing incredibly special about a bottle of water, especially one that's lukewarm. It has one simple task: quench your thirst. And it gets the job done. Same as with these next few matches—nothing extraordinary that we needed from them, but they delivered just enough to hit the spot.

    Pre-Show Matches (Vintendo vs. Zayden Trudeau, SANDATA vs. Kh3ndrick)—Here Come Some New Challengers

    Looks like we have two new faces at the start of the new season, as well as the return of a fan favourite, Vintendo. SANDATA on the pre-show came as quite a shock though, considering how he's been competing in top contendership matches the last few months. Blame that on Billy Suede, his originally-scheduled opponent who ended up getting banned from Resbak for a backstage assault on both PWR General Manager Mr. Sy and SANDATA.

    We will always miss you, Jacket.

    Zayden Trudeau had an impressive debut, a little rough around the edges, but showing some promise. He finished off Vintendo with a short-arm wrist-clutch high knee he calls the Desolé.

    Healthcare, nerd.

    Vintendo seemed a lot sharper than when we last saw him. His time away from the ring and more into training has paid off. What the future holds for him is still unclear, but finally getting to step back in the ring and compete is undoubtedly a good first step.

    Namiss namin yung "Get over here" mo.

    Marlou—I mean Kh3ndrick—seems to be another character taken straight out of the local social media scene. He gives off the #Hasht5 vibes that has mall shows outside the metro. Is that a bad thing? Hell no. But it was still quite satisfying to see SANDATA hit him smack in the face with Ang Huling Bala for an instant three-count. Man, this guy loves his knee finishers.

    If your SO doesn't look at you like Martivo Shirt Guy looks at Kh3ndrick, you need to talk.

    Hopefully, the matchup between Billy Suede and SANDATA happens soon, as tempers will surely flare up even more with how the match fell through. We'll have to wait for the next event.

    Selfies are dangerous for your health.

    The Network vs. Delirium—Sisig Rice

    There was nothing particularly special about this match, apart from the clear absence of Chino Guinto from ringside. Before, the trio would always come in as a group. But since the tense confrontation between the Guinto and Idol over the PHX Championship, the rift seems to be getting stronger between the two. That's probably why Idol had a pained expression on his face as he entered the ring and throughout the match. As we would later find out that same afternoon, the Golden Boy and the rest of The Network would butt heads.

    As for Delirium, Dax Xaviera is clearly the energetic one of the group. He's the more proactive one. He gets the crowd going. He's engaging everybody. That's why he gets to be our Sagisag ng Sigasig Sisig.

    Dan Ericson, on the other hand. seems lackadaisical. There's barely any enthusiasm in him. Being beside Xaviera, it becomes even more obvious. This is probably why he gets to be the White Rice. Come on, man. We enjoy rooting for Delirium. Pahawa ka naman sa partner mo.

    Trian Dela Torre Kapre Challenge vs. The Apocalypse—The Dwarf Knight

    Trian Dela Torre is a freaking godsend on the mic. I stand by my earlier claim that he is the New Breed's Rederick Mahaba, a savant on the mic with how much he embraces his gimmick.

    With his surprising win over The Apocalypse (via small package, naturally), he showed that anyone with enough craftiness and prep time can defeat a supernaturally powered foe. 

    Apocalypse looks like he's about to break someone's back, er, I mean belt.

    The seemingly dark end to this match, seeing Apocalypse shatter Dela Torre's belt and attack him afterwards, could actually set up another match down the road. The Miniature Boy has a bone to pick with The Apocalypse over the loss of his precious belt. The Apocalypse has been a hard gimmick to legitimately book outside of All Out War matches. I'm just saying, The Dwarf Knight facing Apocalypse could be that light-hearted storyline that has gotten exceedingly scarce with what transpired during the rest of the event.

    But hey, I don't want to push the whole Dwarf Knight thing too mu...

    After being confined in the hospital for four days, The Dwarf Knight Rises!
    I am giving Trian Dela Torre a piggyback ride home as we speak.

    Hot Coffee

    Whyyyyyyy would anyone want to drink hot coffee inside a sweltering oven? We don't get it. This is why it ranks the lowest among the most refreshing drinks listed here.

    And just like coffee, these last two—a segment and a match—left us scratching our heads, and weren't exactly the most exciting parts of the show.

    Crystal vs. Bolt—Student vs. Teacher

    First off, I was impressed that Bolt was suddenly promoted to the second half of the main card. I wouldn't have been too surprised if he made his main card debut as the opener, but to jump to that high up in the order means someone had faith in him and in Crystal to set up the match.

    However, even though the energy was there, there seemed to be a great loss of enthusiasm whenever the two wrestlers would collide. Both of them are already on the light side, so it doesn't really help when there doesn't seem to be any impact.

    The match started slow, which was fine, but when it needed to pick up the intensity, it only went probably a quarter of the needed energy to keep the audience engaged.

    Right now, the two seem to work best when someone carries them. With Bolt's case, he needs to have someone who he can actually hit a bit harder to showcase his speed. The biggest wrestler he's faced was Evan Carleaux, and he actually had quite a decent match. What more if he was facing a veteran in PWR. Crystal's shine may have faded somewhat, and she probably wasn't the best person to help showcase the promising new Weeaboo Warrior.


    My ears start to ring when I remember this.

    If the objective of the show was to make fans annoyed with the likes of the YOLO Twins and Ken Warren, they've succeeded. However, it did come at the cost of the whole segment just dragging. We did find out that Ken Warren had some choice words for Chino Guinto, but that was pretty much it.

    And yes, it would seem to dovetail with his actions later on in the show that the PHX Championship was what was in his sights. However, the draining heat coupled with the temper tantrum screech made the audience wish for the segment just to stop.

    This is me. And the other people beside me


    Unfortunate venue aside, this was a good start for the new season.

    Some storylines have come to a close, while other storylines have finally sprouted after much speculation. Almost everyone has shown some new additions to their skill sets, which we can credit to the amazing set of trainers, both in-house and the visiting talents. I'm truly excited for what the future events have in store for this brand new season.

    (Also, please, sana may aircon na next time.)

    Post-Event Awards

    • Wrestler of the Night: Ralph Imabayashi—Finally breaking his losing streak and embracing his true self.
    • Match of the Night: All Out War—Just amazed that nobody had lasting injuries after that one.
    • Promo of the Night: Rederick Mahaba—Told us how he really feels. *wipes tear*


    What did you think of PWR Live: Resbak, Revo-Nation? Are you finally sold on Chris Panzer as the PWR Champion? Where do you think the Chino Guinto/Ken Warren/James Martinez saga is going? And what was your absolute favorite match of the night? Let us know in the comments, and we'll see you at the next show!


    Photos by "The NihonbashiBae" Hub Pacheco
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    Item Reviewed: PWR Live: Resbak—The Official Smark Henry Review Rating: 5 Reviewed By: George Carlos Pastor
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