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    Monday, January 9, 2017

    The Network In Singles Action at PWR Live: Bagong Yugto

    They're an infuriating bunch of unprincipled shills, but you can't deny that The Network is a pretty darn popular act in the Philippine Wrestling Revolution. And with that, for the first time ever, PWR fans will get to see all three current Network members in singles action this January 29 at PWR Live: Bagong Yugto.

    Just looking at the opponents lined up for them at the show, we can pretty much guess that the boys in green will be in for one hell of a night. Don't be surprised to see them go 0-3, based on the level of competition that PWR General Manager Mr. Sy and the rest of the board have hand-picked for James "Idol" Martinez, "The Golden Boy" Chino Guinto, and "Mr. Financially-Stable" Alexander Belmonte III.

    A Crystal-Clear Future For Idol

    James "Idol" Martinez is booked to face a resurgent Crystal, who finally picked up her first-ever PWR win at the expense of the ultra-talented Peter Versoza at last November's PWR show.

    Don't think for one second that this male-versus-female contest is going to be one-sided; Crystal has shown herself to be a versatile all-around talent, mixing 619s and top-rope dives with a very capable submission game. PWR's resident Bad-Ass Babe took Idol's fellow Network-mate Chino Guinto to the limit at the Wrevolution X PHX Championship gauntlet last year, dazzling him with such moves as a jaw-wrenching Shining Crystal kick to the head, and a Black Widow that had him howling in pain.

    But Idol is sure to be salivating over this match. The springy leader of the MLM crew is generally outweighed in all of his matches, so Crystal presents the first opportunity where he isn't hopelessly outsized. Expect Idol to unleash a side of his offense we haven't seen before, picking his opponent apart with some solid strikes and slams while waiting for an opportunity to divebomb her with his deadly Pay-In finisher.

    This should be a nice, equally-matched crowd-pleaser that's too close to call. The numbers game of the Network should be too much for Crystal to overcome, especially with the past tension between her and Guinto, who still hasn't forgiven her for the near-upset she delivered last time they met.

    Prediction: James "Idol" Martinez via Network shenanigans

    Mahaba-Habang Gabi For AB3

    PWR newcomer Alexander Belmonte III certainly has quite a bit of history with PWR's resident love guru, Rederick Mahaba. Not only did he cost the Intimate Warrior's best buddy Ralph Imabayashi a victory over Martinez at Renaissance 2016, he showed some big-time flashes of talent during his tag debut with Guinto against the Mahaba-Imabayashi pairing known as MTNH (Mahabang Tite Ng Hapon) at last November's Suplex Sunday.

    Now it's time to see what "Mr. Financially-Stable" has to offer in a one-on-one match without a partner to sub in and out with.

    AB3 could be a sleeper breakout star based on the little we've seen from him thus far. He's already showing signs of better mobility, power, and ring awareness than the recently-fired Bruno Bernardo did, and more than held his own against MTNH before falling to their combo cutter known as Fall of Ninja From Sakura Tree.

    Belmonte desperately wants a win to cement himself as a player in the increasingly-crowded PWR field, but Mahaba is no push-over. For all his size, he's evolved into a remarkably smooth performer, mixing in raw power moves like his famed spinning side slam known as It's More Slam In The Philippines with a surprisingly nimble aerial attack. AB3 is going to have his head on a swivel if he wants to emerge victorious from his baptism of fire. We know he's itching to land his Money Down wheelbarrow facebuster finish on Rederick Mahaba—but the big question is, can he?

    Prediction: Rederick Mahaba via pinfall

    Golden Boy, Rising Sun

    What could be the premier watch among the three Network bouts however could be the match-up between the fiercely-talented Chino Guinto and former PWR Champion Ralph Imabayashi.

    Everyone knows that Guinto can flat-out go in the ring. In his short in-ring career, he's already won an 8-wrestler gauntlet match to challenge Main Maxx for the PHX Championship, and taken the promising SANDATA to his absolute limit in a follow-up face-off to determine another #1 PHX Contender. But Imabayashi is going to be his fiercest opponent yet.

    While the Fil-Japanese Sensation's reign as PWR Champion was short-lived, don't forget the quality of competition he overcame to get there. He's one of only two men to have cleanly pinned "Classical" Bryan Leo in a one-on-one match, and dispatched the awe-inspiring Apocalypse in a succeeding title defense with a top-rope Sonic Crusher. He's pound-for-pound the best performer in PWR today, and a certified main eventer. Despite a long losing skid that took him through much of 2016, he's always a dangerous out.

    Can the Golden Boy stomp Imabayashi to defeat with his Gold Digger, or will he go down as another victim to Ralph's legendary Crusher? There's only one way to find out—but we're betting Chino Guinto won't like it.

    Prediction: Ralph Imabayashi via Sonic Crusher


    Which of these three Network singles matches has you most excited, Revo-Nation? Do you think the cunning trio can pull of a 3-0 sweep for the evening, or will it be a night of multi-level misery for PWR's resident Gang Green? Let us know your thoughts below!


    PWR Live: Bagong Yugto is happening on Sunday, January 29, 2017, at Venue 142 on Katipunan Road Extension in Quezon City. Bell time is at 5 PM. Tickets may be purchased at the gate for P400, but can be availed of with massive pre-selling discounts if you contact the company directly on its Facebook page, or drop by its official ticket partners, The Appraisery in Cubao Expo, and Playbook in BF Homes.
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    Item Reviewed: The Network In Singles Action at PWR Live: Bagong Yugto Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Unknown
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