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    Wednesday, March 15, 2017

    Is It Time To Believe in Chris Panzer?

    Choke artist.

    Chris Panzer may be one of the Philippine Wrestling Revolution's most beloved fan favourites, but that's the one label he just can't seem to shake. For all his crowd-pleasing moments and commercial model good looks, his career narrative to date is marked more by his failures than his successes.

    That time he flamed out in the PWR Championship Tournament semifinals.

    That time he couldn't beat Ken Warren when it counted for the PHX Championship.

    That time he cost PWR General Manager Mr. Sy his job by losing to John Sebastian.

    That time he represented the Philippines in a battle for the Malaysia Pro Wrestling World-to-Regional Championship, but came up short.

    That time he talked a big game against The Apocalypse in an All Out War match, but ended the night with his back torn up like hamburger meat.

    Choking away shots at the big time over and over again—that may be Chris Panzer's legacy in PWR, his massive win at PWR: Path of Gold 2017 notwithstanding.

    And that's the scariest part of being a Chris Panzer fan—he makes you want to believe in him. There's probably no more complete package in the local wrestling scene than the Detroit-bred warrior. Unfortunately, nobody has pissed away more chances to break through than he has. So while he may be on his way to a PWR Championship shot against John Sebastian at Wrevolution X, one can't help but think this is just one more chance he'll choke away. Again.

    No wonder Jake De Leon wants a piece of him at PWR Live: Mainit this Sunday, March 19, at the Unilab Bayanihan Centre.

    When you want to talk about success in PWR, there's no better choice than "The Senyorito." Not only is he a two-time former PWR Champion, he also happens to be the inaugural Path of Gold winner. And while he may have had a tough stretch in early 2016, he's proven he has the capability to beat PWR's top stars and rise to the occasion. Let's not forget he's the only man in history to have beaten six out of the seven wrestlers to have held a championship in the company—John Sebastian, Ralph Imabayashi, "Classical" Bryan Leo, Ken Warren, Bombay Suarez, and Main Maxx have all fallen to the hard-fighting Son of a Haciendero. That's a milestone all his own.

    Let's not beat around the bush, Revo-Nation. JDL is going to be the toughest competitor Panzer has ever faced. It's been just a little over two years since the two men wrestled in their only match to date at Vendetta 2015, which Panzer lost despite wrestling the match of his life.

    Not many people know that De Leon played an instrumental role in bringing up Panzer through PWR's developmental system. Despite being out-athleted by the Leader of the Panzer Army, JDL's superior ring awareness, durability, and strategy proved to be enough to get his shoulders down for the three-count. You'll probably never see JDL's hefty frame on the cover of Muscle & Fitness magazine, but that didn't stop him from out-wrestling his Fil-Am foe by a wide margin.

    That's why the stakes are at their highest for Chris Panzer. At PWR Live: Mainit, it isn't just a match victory at stake. It's his reputation, his credibility, and his legacy all on the line. A win over De Leon in a straight-up one-on-one match proves he's the real deal, and ultimately deserving of his championship shot at Wrevolution X. If he loses, he's giving all his critics one more bullet in their barrels, and reinforcing his choke artist label.

    We want to believe in Chris Panzer, we really do. At PWR Live: Mainit, his legacy lies in the hands of "The Senyorito" Jake De Leon. Until he can kick JDL's ass in a decisive manner, we're not going all in on the Panzer bandwagon.

    Who do you think is winning this sure-to-be match of the night this Sunday, Revo-Nation? Will Panzer re-write his legacy as PWR's premier choke artist, or will the Senyorito show that he's the man most deserving of the PWR Championship shot? Let us know your thoughts, and we'll see you at the show!


    PWR Live: Mainit is happening on Sunday, March 19, at the Unilab Bayanihan Center. Gates open at 2 PM. Pre-selling for tickets is ongoing via email or the official PWR Facebook page.

    Photos are by "Huggable" Hub Pacheco and Noel Salazar.
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