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    Monday, April 24, 2017

    The Hitchhiker's Guide to PWR

    This Sunday, Philippine Wrestling Revolution is set to hold its third annual Wrevolution X. It's come a long way from the early shows, but their continued success is just proof that wrestling truly is alive and well in the Philippines.

    As PWR continues to grow, so does its fan base, and every now and then we have to welcome new members into the Revo-Nation. Whether you're a newbie catching your first PWR show this Sunday, a fan looking to get caught up after being unable to watch the past couple of shows, or just someone who wants to get a better idea of what PWR is, this guide is for you.

    So get a drink or two, sit back, and relax as we tell you what PWR is all about. Welcome to the Hitchhiker's Guide to PWR.


    What, exactly, is PWR?

    PWR is short for Philippine Wrestling Revolution, a professional wrestling promotion based in the Philippines. It started when a group of wrestling enthusiasts formed a Facebook group to find an avenue for them to train and practice wrestling. That group became the foundation of Philippine Wrestling Revolution, with some of those guys still playing an active role in the promotion today.

    2014 marked PWR's first shows, as they held Renaissance and Terminus in the latter part of the year at the Makati Square Arena. 2015 saw the company produce a total of six shows as more and more Filipinos started to hear that local Pinoy wrestling was alive. 2016 saw a continued increase in their shows, with ventures to more parts of the country such as Quezon province and Batanes.

    PWR has two current championships, with a third championship set to be established at Wrevolution X. The PWR Championship is their first title, and it's their big gold belt. The title is currently held by John Sebastian, who is set to defend it against Chris Panzer on Sunday. They also have the PHX (short for Philippine Hybrid X) Championship, which was introduced in 2015 to showcase the diverse, varied nature of Pinoy wrestling. Peter Versoza is the current champion, and he'll be defending it against longtime nemesis SANDATA and one more challenger that has yet to be determined. Finally, the PWR Tag Team Championship will be unveiled on Sunday, with the Fighters 4 Hire, Deadly Sinns, and the YOLO Twins squaring off to determine who goes down in history as PWR's first-ever tag team champions.

    At present, Mr. Sy is in his second run as the General Manager, having been reinstated late last year. You'll know it's him for his penchant of wearing suits to the shows (note: picture above depicts Alolan Form Mr. Sy.) He's a man who's always watching, his eyes and ears on every move the wrestlers of PWR make.


    Who are the wrestlers in PWR?

    Wrestlers have come and gone, but PWR has never come up short on colorful personalities, A couple of sentences aren't enough to describe each wrestler, so you might want to click on the links to their Facebook pages.

    John SebastianThe current PWR Champion, Sebastian is a brash, arrogant guy who has proclaimed himself as PWR's Wrestling Lord and Savior. He's a bit noisy and may not be the fairest fighter around, but he's proven that he's got what it takes to succeed in PWR. Sebastian will be defending the PWR Championship against Chris Panzer at Wrevolution X, a man he has a long history with.

    Signature Moves: Killshot (running knee)

    Peter VersozaVersoza is the reigning PHX Champion, hailing from the far north. He initially started out as a tag team with SANDATA called Dual Shock, before later joining the Royal Flush. He's also buddies with fellow champion John Sebastian, the two having worked together before in the Flush. Versoza will defend his championship in a three-way contest at Wrevolution X.

    Signature Moves: Karne Norte (gutbuster), Petegree (double underhook facebuster)

    Chris PanzerPanzer is a Fil-Am sensation hailing from Detroit, Michigan. Known for his good looks, his local commercials and the collective gasps of the audience every time his face gets hit, he's one of the more experienced guys on the roster. At Wrevolution X, Panzer tries to break his "curse" when he seeks to win his first championship in PWR against John Sebastian.

    Signature Moves: Panzerschreck (running kick), Eagle Splash

    Jake De Leon: JDL is a Bacolod-bred, inasal-fed Senyorito hailing from Hacienda De Leon in Negros Occidental. With a vast set of moves at his disposal, he's put on some of the most impressive displays out of anyone on the roster. JDL is also the inaugural PWR Champion, as well as the first-ever Path of Gold winner. At Wrevolution X, he's in for a different challenge when he takes on the visiting "Beautiful" Billy Suede, a well-traveled veteran from Canada.

    Signature Moves: Alipin Drop (Samoan drop), Inasal Lock (crossface chickenwing)

    Ralph ImabayashiThis half-Japanese, half-Filipino dynamite is one of PWR’s most exciting wrestlers, often pulling off a variety of moves that would make your jaw drop. Look for his picture perfect Sonic Crusher, which is always a delight to watch. Imabayashi has had some tough luck recently and has begun to show an angrier, more aggressive side. He'll be facing off against the Network's Chino Guinto on Sunday, with the winner joining the PHX Championship match that already involves Peter Versoza and SANDATA.

    Signature Moves: Sonic Crusher (jumping cutter)

    Imabayashi's Sonic Crusher, easily one of the night's highlights.

    SANDATASANDATA is a masked warrior from the south who started out with Peter Versoza as the tag team Dual Shock. After starting with a long string of losses, he's managed to pick himself up and has since grown into one of PWR's fiercest competitors. He might look like your typical high flyer/luchador, but SANDATA also has a solid submission game, making him a dangerous foe on any night. Like Panzer, he'll be attempting to win his first championship (and get some payback) against former ally Versoza. Also, he may or may not be John Lloyd Cruz.

    Signature Moves: Pagbasag, Garrote (mounted cobra clutch), Ankle Lock

    The NetworkThe Network are a group of, well, networkers who have come to PWR in the hope of more downlines—and maybe a championship or two. They're mean, they're green (literally, not in terms of wrestling), and they've got some (scientifically questionable) products for everyone who signs up to be a downline.

    • James "Idol" Martinez: Idol is the man on top of the pyramid, having served as the leader of the Network since they debuted. He's a gifted talker who isn't afraid of fighting anyone, though of course he'd rather get you as a downline than have to fight you. Idol is a very crafty man, having won several matches through some of the wittiest ways you could imagine. Unfortunately, things haven't been going well in the Network lately, and Idol is set to take out his frustrations when he faces Martivo in singles action this Sunday. Signature Moves: Pay-In
    • "Golden Boy" Chino Guinto: Guinto is a Network downline who made his way to the top and is now one of their top earners. He may come across as arrogant, but he's proved his mettle in the ring through a string of solid performances. He's on rocky waters with the Network, but he's probably the most #BLESSED of them right now—the Golden Boy has a chance to win PHX gold should he get past Ralph Imabayashi this Sunday. Signature Moves: Gold Digger (curb stomp)
    • "Mr. Financially Stable" Alexander Belmonte III: The newest guy on the scene for the Network, AB3's towering presence makes him a formidable enforcer for the group. He's currently not set for a match at Wrevolution X, but has requested for one, so we'll see if PWR management decides to give him a chance to show off his skill. Otherwise, expect him to help out Idol in his match—even if things are rough for the group right now. Signature Moves: Money Down (wheelbarrow facebuster)

    Deadly Sinns (Mike Madrigal and Vlad Sinnsyk): Madrigal is PWR's resident kupal whose toxic attitude has earned him the ire of veterans such as the Fighters 4 Hire. Sinnsyk is a crazed, dangerous brawler whose loves nothing more than roughing his opponent up. Together, they make the perfect combination of bark and bite. They hope to write history by becoming the first PWR Tag Team Champions this Sunday.

    Signature Moves: Near Death Experience (Madrigal - flipping fisherman's buster), Muscle Buster (Sinnsyk), Sanus Mortem

    YOLO Twins (Yohann and Logan Ollores): Hailing from Katips, these twins are among the youngest in the PWR roster today. Chances are, you may have seen them at Laboracay, Valk, Ozone or wherever young 'uns hang around these days. They're also fond of getting their dad to sue people, so think twice before heckling these two at shows. They'll be involved in the PWR Tag Team Championship match at Wrevolution X.

    Signature Moves: Two Night Stand

    Fighters 4 Hire (Joey Bax and Miguel Rosales): Joey Bax and Miguel Rosales are tough as nails brawlers originally brought in by Mr. Sy as his bodyguards. They're ruthlessly efficient and are capable of putting a quick end to anyone's night, especially when Rosales gets going with his suplexes. They also have some scores to settle with the YOLO Twins and the Deadly Sinns, making the PWR Tag Team Championship match a unique opportunity to hit three birds with one stone.

    Signature Moves: The Hit (Bax), Castigo Brutal (F5 - Rosales), Death Warrant, Anti-Riot (double spinebuster)

    Main MaxxAptly called the Silent Rage, this 6’2”, 280 lbs. behemoth from Ilocos Norte towers over the rest of the PWR roster. Maxx is a former PHX Champion, proving that he's more than just your typical big lad when he went toe-to-toe with some of the most diverse wrestlers in PWR. Unfortunately, Main Maxx suffered an injury at the latest show, PWR Live: Mainit, and is presumably still out recovering.

    Signature Moves: Blitzkreig (choke bomb), Maxximum Mutilation (bridging double chickenwing)

    Crystal: Initially a ring announcer and an interviewer for PWR, Crystal shocked many when she stepped up to the challenge of fighting in the ring. She took on Peter Versoza in the first intergender match in PWR history, and managed to put any doubts surrounding her to rest. Her aerial moveset and willingness to face guys bigger than her has made her an instant favorite. At Wrevolution X, she'll be writing history once again when she faces Robynn in PWR's first-ever women's match.

    Signature Moves: Solemate (inverted stomp facebreaker), Shining Crystal (shining wizard)

    Rederick MahabaBasta wrestler, sweet lover. With top-notch mic work and great heavyweight skills, the Intimate Warrior has become one of the most entertaining stars in the company. His mission is two-fold: to spread the message of love to the fans, and to place his foes in a Jaccolade. He'll be heading into an All-Out War match against the hateful Apocalypse this Sunday, his toughest test to date.

    Signature Moves: Jaccolade (reverse camel clutch), It's More Slam in the Philippines (cradle side slam)

    The Apocalypse: This walking nightmare is PWR’s most brutal wrestler. He’s the cause of some of PWR's most brutal incidents, from lacerating Kanto Terror's eye to smashing some light tubes over Chris Panzer. At Wrevolution X, he hopes to overpower Rederick Mahaba's love with sheer destruction.

    Signature Moves: Death Bell (modified Celtic Cross), D'Arche Choke

    Bombay Suarez: Suarez is one of PWR's veteran fighters, having been responsible for training a number of today's stars in PWR. He competed in the first match for the PWR Championship, is a former PHX Champion, and even won gold abroad when he became Malaysia Pro Wrestling's (MyPWR) Extreme Division Champion. He'll be returning to the ring this Sunday when he faces Ken Warren, a man he knows very well.

    Signature Moves: KOTD, Bomb Shelter (spinning side slam), flaming chop

    Ken WarrenThe Social Media Seinister is an arrogant, self-centered young man who spends most of his time browsing social media on his phone. He's the inaugural PHX Champion, but things haven't gone well for him this year after he spent some time away. Warren looks to get his head back in the game as he seeks a win over Bombay Suarez.

    Signature Moves: Wi-Fi (superkick), Caps Lock

    The Punk Dolls (Robynn and "The Man-Doll" Martivo): Robynn and Martivo are a dynamic tag team who bring their own unique style to the ring. Both made their debut at PWR Live: The ShawDown last year, and have since been fan favorites. They'll be in singles action at Wrevolution X—Martivo faces James "Idol" Martinez, while Robynn goes toe-to-toe with Crystal.

    Signature Moves: Bahala Na Si Batman (Robynn - suicide dive)

    Delirium (Dax Xaviera and Dan Ericson): Delirium is one of PWR's newer tag teams, bringing with them an intense and energetic style of tag team wrestling. After losing in the first round of the PWR Tag Team Championship tournament, they look to start some winning ways against Evan Carleaux and McKata at Wrevolution X.

    Evan Carleaux: Carleaux is one of PWR's newest competitors, having debuted only this year. He's the self-proclaimed future of PWR, and has managed to do well so far having won his first two matches. Alseaux, he's feauxnd eauxf spelling things like this. Carleaux will be in tag team action this Sunday against Delirium.

    Signature Moves: Tech Noir (headscissors crucifix choke)

    Trian Dela Torre: Trian Dela Torre shows that it's not the size of the dog in a fight, but the size of the fight in a dog. Don't let his small stature fool you. The midget wrestling champion is more than ready to cut you down to an even playing ground. He'll be teaming up with Evan Carleaux this Sunday to take on Delirium in a tag team match.

    McKata: McKata is a big guy who's fond of dressing in a hip style. There isn't a whole lot we know about McKata since he just made his debut this year, to be honest. But he's got the size that can give him an advantage in the ring, so we'll just have to wait and see if he can attain success in PWR.

    Kanto Terror: Kanto Terror is PWR's resident drunken brawler. When he's not drinking, he's probably thinking of how or where he can get a can of beer, which doesn't really sound like a recipe for success in wrestling. He's managed to pick up some wins here and there, though, meaning that his opponents still need to take caution when facing him.

    Signature Moves: Lakas Tama (rolling elbow)

    Vintend0: The Fighting Gamer is in PWR to take on all challengers, and level up in the process Fans easily flock to his video game-inspired moves and persona. Despite that, he hasn't had the best of times so far in PWR, and hasn't been on the recent shows. You'll have to ditch your PS4s to find out if he returns at Wrevolution X.

    Signature Moves: The High Score (chokeslam)

    Los Trabajadores (Trabajadors Uno, Dos and Tres, Trabajador Maximo, and Trabajador Supremo): There isn't much information on the Trabajadors, but apparently they're a mysterious cabal of masked men with numbers we can only fathom. They've yet to win a match in PWR, often falling short against the guys and girls listed above. No one stays insignificant for long, though, and in the future we may be telling stories of how this masked group left their mark in Philippine wrestling history.


    What can I expect from a PWR show? 

    PWR's show setup is very simple to understand. You have big shows such as Wrevolution XPath of Gold and Renaissance spaced throughout the year, interspersed with PWR Live events that set up feuds and matches for the big shows. PWR also holds house shows every now and then, such as the provincial shows mentioned and even a show at last year's AsiaPOP Comic Con.

    The company moves around every now and then, though it has often had a "home" where it holds shows regularly. Originally, they began at the Makati Square Arena, but moved to the iAcademy Auditorium at the end of 2015. Since October of last year, shows are now held at the Unilab Bayanihan Center along Pioneer street in Mandaluyong. It's an indoor, air-conditioned venue that can comfortably squeeze in around 350-400 people, a wrestling ring, and merchandise booths, while leaving enough room for the wrestlers to go around and do their own thing.

    The atmosphere at a PWR show is often electric. Fan chants spread like wildfire, combining traditional wrestling chants (such as "this is awesome!" and "holy shit!") with our own local twists. Certain wrestlers have their own followings and some seem to be bigger favorites than others—you'll find out who these are when you see who gets the loudest chants. Heckling is also done here and there, so don't be surprised when you hear something that might seem a little mean. Impressive feats of strength and skill are often given the recognition it deserves.

    Like this one time when fans started a "FIFTY SHADES!" chant, because well, there were chains.

    Another thing that's worth mentioning is that PWR goes to great lengths to involve the fans. Aside from the usual handshakes from faces and insults from heels, there's a lot of interaction going on that really makes you feel as if you're part of it. Wrestlers might sit beside you as they take a moment to catch their breath, or if they're watching a friend or a foe having a match. There's a good chance that wrestlers will start brawling right in front of you in the audience area, at which point it is very much okay to mark the fuck out. Wrestlers are also very nice, often hanging out after the show so you can take pictures with them. It's a very immersive fan experience to be at a PWR show, and this is what makes it easy for fans to keep coming back.

    Of course, what's a wrestling show without any merchandise? Make sure to bring your wallets, folks, because there's sure to be something that catches your fancy. Wrestler shirts and other collectibles, merchandise from partner organizations and food and drinks are easily available. Posters and shirts are easy things to have the wrestlers sign at the show, and if you keep at it you might even get the entire roster to sign in one night!


    Are there any PWR videos I can look at?

    Of course! PWR has an official YouTube account that regularly posts videos, including backstage interviews and match highlights. Here's a highlight video from one of their recent shows, PWR Live: Bagong Yugto.

    If you're on the lookout for more PWR-related content, we also have a slew of them leading up towards the show as well as afterwards, so be sure to check back on this website. You can also check out the official PWR site, PWR Central, or the official PWR Facebook page.


    Alright, I'm sold! Where can I get tickets to Wrevolution X?

    Tickets are currently available at Kramer: Toy Warden, The Appraisery, Wingman and Pauline's Printing. If that's out of your way, you can also shoot the PWR Facebook page a message and order tickets online, and you can pick them up right before the show itself. You can also just show up there and buy on-site, but we've heard that lines tend to get long before the show. If you want to be at the front of the line and get those good seats, we highly recommend that you order in advance.

    For any announcements and/or questions, it's also best if you follow the PWR Wrevolution X event page. They often make announcements regarding the show there, so that's the best place to check for the latest news and updates regarding the show.


    Like always, we here at Smark Henry will be covering the show! We'll be posting results soon after Wrevolution X ends, and a review of the show not too long after that. There'll also be some more PWR-related content in the next couple of days as we start to hype up Sunday's matches, so check back often to see if we'll be talking about your favorite wrestler!

    See you on Sunday, April 30 at Wrevolution X!

    Photos taken by Hub Pacheco
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    Item Reviewed: The Hitchhiker's Guide to PWR Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Anthony Cuello
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