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    Thursday, February 9, 2017

    Can The Apocalypse Win The PWR Championship At Path of Gold?

    He’s the most destructive force Philippine wrestling has ever seen. He’s put past foes on the injured list with such devastating injuries as a lacerated eye and a torn pectoral muscle. His Death Bell sheer-drop fireman’s driver is one of the most feared finishers we’ve ever seen. He’s fearless, agile, impervious to pain, and a remarkably cunning in-ring strategist. He’s absolutely decimated men like Chris Panzer and Main Maxx, and has only fallen twice in one-on-one competition in his entire career.

    So why can’t The Apocalypse seem to win the PWR Championship?

    Long-time PWR fans know that the masked terror of PWR has challenged for the biggest prize in local pro wrestling twice already. Each time, he’s come up short, failing in his first attempt at Renaissance 2015, and again at PWR Live: Road to Vendetta 2016. With his 0-2 record at the highest level of competition, he's probably got just one more chance to prove his mystique isn’t just a sham.

    Will the third time be the charm?

    We’re going to find out at PWR: Path of Gold 2017 if the third time will be the charm for The Apocalypse as he gets his latest (and perhaps greatest) opportunity to claim gold when he squares off against the two biggest stars in Filipino wrestling today, reigning PWR Champion John Sebastian and two-time champ Jake De Leon, in a three-way All Out War PWR Championship match.

    Fans in attendance at last January’s PWR Live: Bagong Yugto will never forget how the Monster in Black, fresh off his dominating win against SANDATA earlier that evening, ran into JDL’s championship challenge against Sebastian and absolutely destroyed both men with successive Death Bells after initially teasing an alliance with the self-professed Wrestling Lord & Savior. 

    This challenge couldn’t come at a better time. On top of the Death Bells they fell to, De Leon is just three months removed from his concussion scare, while Sebastian’s left shoulder is still sure to be smarting after the multiple Inasal Locks he endured in the match.

    Jake De Leon falls to the Death Bell.
    Frankly, we're not sure why PWR General Manager Mr. Sy is stacking the cards so completely in Apocalypse's favor by putting it under his favorite match style. The rules of an All Out War are simply that there are no rules—anything goes, no count-outs, no disqualifications.

    Either John Sebastian is really mad or just really dumb for agreeing to this match type as well; the championship advantage is all but gone under these conditions, and he'll have to be at his golden best if he wants to hang on to his gold.

    Our analysis

    This is going to be an absolute barn-burner, Revo-Nation. We’re going to see a gorgeous intersection of different wrestling styles, with Apocalypse’s brutal, hardcore tactics going up against the springy, helter-skelter assault of Jake De Leon and the strong style-inspired offense of John Sebastian.

    The Apocalypse is by no means invincible though. He’s shown he can be outwrestled, as then-champion Ralph Imabayashi so thoroughly demonstrated with a top-rope Sonic Crusher early last year. He’s at his best in hardcore garbage matches, such as when he tore Chris Panzer’s back wide open at PWR Renaissance last year. Sebastian and De Leon can’t let him shoot his shot; they’ll need to forge an uneasy alliance and contain the match in the ring, where they can grind him down slowly in a thinking man’s match.

    We’re just not sure whether either man has the firepower to completely take The Apocalypse out of the match. JDL’s Inasal Lock chickenwing may be deadly, but just ask SANDATA how futile it is trying to get PWR’s resident monster to tap. Sebastian’s Killshot knee strike to the skull is a beast of a move, but just ask Main Maxx how much punishment Apocalypse can withstand.

    And that’s not even asking the obvious question: Can JDL and Sebastian actually let go of two years worth of animosity and team up to slay the beast? Both men are incredibly fierce warriors, and theirs is probably the best rivalry PWR has ever seen. Expect any cooperation between the two to be short-lived. You don’t get to be champ by having a small ego, and both men have too much pride to bury the hatchet, even for just one match.

    Our prediction

    We suppose the right question isn't whether Apocalypse can win the PWR Championship. It's what the hell are we going to do when he does?

    Darkness will fall on PWR as The Apocalypse finally succeeds in his chase for the PWR Championship, and reigns supreme over both John Sebastian and Jake De Leon.

    Winner AND NEW PWR Champion: The Apocalypse


    PWR: Path of Gold 2017 is happening on Sunday, February 26, at the Unilab Bayanihan Center on Pioneer Street, Mandaluyong City. Bell time is at 2 PM.

    P350 early bird tickets or P999 barkada trio packages can be availed of by messaging the Philippine Wrestling Revolution Facebook page. Alternatively, tickets can be purchased at the gate for the full price of P400.

    Photos by "Hefty" Hub Pacheco.
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