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    Monday, October 30, 2017

    #NoStoppingTheHungry: Can Mike Madrigal Escape With His PHX Championship at Vendetta?

    Remember, remember the 5th of November
    The wrestling treason and plot
    I know of no reason
    This PWR treason
    Should ever be forgot

    And with those lines, the most epic showdown in Philippine Wrestling Revolution history is going down this November 5, with their year-end show, Vendetta 2017, coming at y'all live from the Power Mac Center Spotlight in Circuit Makati and presented by Yellow Cab Pizza.

    The card features seven announced matches featuring nearly every wrestler on the roster. That's a lot to unpack in one go, so we'll be breaking down each contest in its own full piece.

    Coming off of last week's Ubusan Ng Lahi preview, let's talk about the big-ass PHX Championship defense we'll be seeing on Sunday.

    PHX Championship: Zayden Trudeau vs. Bolt vs. "The Walking Death" Mike Madrigal (c)

    If there is anything that rings true about the PHX Championship to this very day, it's that the title highlights the very definition of clashing styles within the confines of a pro wrestling ring.

    But these days, the title also represents opportunity for those yearning to reach the next level of their careers. Just ask Chino Guinto.

    How appropriate is it, then, that the final PHX Championship match of PWR's monster 2017 involves two young stars that have quickly risen through the ranks in a matter of months, and an asshole champion that clearly had the most surprising landmark year out of everyone else on the roster?

    In what will be the most refreshing championship match in PWR for the longest time, it will be "The Walking Death" Mike Madrigal defending his PHX Championship in a three-way bout against "The Anime-zing Fighter" Bolt, and "The Canadian Dragon" Zayden Trudeau. This will be a match built on mutual respect between the two young guns and a kupal with a title in between.

    Mutual Respect

    2017 has seen its fair share of debuting stars, and the way Bolt and Zayden have skyrocketed through the ranks is nothing short of impressive in a very competitive landscape.

    But it would be their first encounter at this year's AsiaPOP Comicon that would define their career with a highly competitive PHX Championship Tournament qualifier that saw Papa Zayzay pull off a huge win over the Wily Weeb. The match was so good, it prompted the only “fight forever” chants in the entire 3-day affair.

    This would lead to an eventual rematch between the two stars at PWR Live: Sugod!, where Bolt would get his revenge win over his fellow rookie, once again prompting “fight forever” chants—something of a revelation from these two stars at this point.

    Both men are tied at one win each when it comes to head-to-head records against each other, but it is clear as day that they both respect each other deeply for their in-ring prowess.

    The path to the PHX Championship contenders' circle would eventually become clear when Zayden pulled off a career-defining win by beating former PWR Champion Billy Suede and fellow Fil-Canadian in the latter's final match in PWR (for now), while Bolt scored a surprise upset over Mike Madrigal in a non-title one-on-one match that very same night.

    While the hubris of The Walking Death was his downfall, Bolt didn't get to leave unscathed as he got blasted with a belt shot to the head, causing a crimson mask. This led to Zayden helping out his friend against Madrigal, and both combatants eyeing the PHX Championship as they both have legitimate claim for a title opportunity.

    The Exact Opposite

    Whereas Zayden and Bolt both represent the virtues of respect and competitive sportsmanship as regards the PHX Division, Mike Madrigal is the exact opposite of said virtues.

    The first time Madrigal had a title opportunity, it was in a three-way match to determine the first PWR Tag Team Champions. But after this loss, and the succeeding one against the Punk Dolls at Renaissance, both Madrigal and Vlad Sinnsyk decided to end the Deadly Sinns partnership.

    But while one door may have closed, another one opened, as Madrigal plowed and cheated his way into winning the entire PHX Championship Tournament at PWRxAPCC after overcoming both Dax Xaviera and SANDATA in a hotly-contested finals. And while he currently dons the prestigious championship, his record isn't exactly clean as a whistle, as John Sebastian intervened on his behalf against SANDATA in his first championship defense, followed by his embarrassing defeat to Bolt at Oktoberplex. Now, PWR's resident Void of Virtue has no choice but to try and beat two rising stars in a match where he doesn't need to be pinned to lose his championship—a worst-case scenario for the first-time champ.

    While the odds are very much against Madrigal in a three-way match, he does have two significant advantages over the rookies: the power game and experience. Madrigal is, pound for pound, one of the strongest wrestler in the PWR roster today—and an experienced striker to boot! And when you consider his experience in big-time bouts, he has the ability to adapt in dire situations when the need arises.

    However, you can't sleep on either Trudeau or Bolt.

    Zayden has shown promise as a crisp and capable Canadian contender that, in many ways, mirrors current PWR Champion Chris Panzer back when he started. And when you beat a top-caliber competitor like Billy Suede fair and square, that speaks volumes.

    Let's not forget either how Bolt manages to improve every time he steps in the ring, becoming more confident as he racks up the XP needed to flourish as a big-fight star. And while he can put his opponents out with his trademark Otaku Driver, his biggest advantage thus far is being able to pull off flash pins out of nowhere, which both of his opponents are very familiar with.


    No doubt, this may very well steal the entire show as the last major "fight forever"-worthy match of 2017. And my, what a 2017 it has been. But as it stands, Madrigal may be the strongest and most experienced of the three, but he won't be above using every dirty trick in the book if it means leaving Vendetta with his championship intact.

    Just ask Dax Xaviera and SANDATA.

    It will be a competitive encounter all throughout, but in the end, it will come down to The Walking Death once again cheating his way to a victory, and entering 2018 as the Hybrid (Kupal) Champion of #PHXcellence.


    PWR Vendetta is happening on Sunday, November 5, at the Power Mac Center Spotlight in Circuit Lane Mall, Makati. Gates open at 2 PM. Tickets can be purchased at the gate for P400, or availed of via discounted pre-selling packages on the official PWR Facebook page. Additional details can be found on the event page.

    Directions to Power Mac Center Spotlight can be found here. Photos by "Halloween" Hub Pacheco, "Mrs. Ruthless" Jacky Rosales, and the Philippine Wrestling Revolution.

    Presented by Yellow Cab Pizza Co.

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    Item Reviewed: #NoStoppingTheHungry: Can Mike Madrigal Escape With His PHX Championship at Vendetta? Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Lance Tan Ong
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