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    Thursday, October 26, 2017

    #NoStoppingTheHungry: Who Will Win Ubusan Ng Lahi At PWR 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 Lane Mall, Makati.

    Of course, the big news is that the country's own "yellow brand" just scored its first major sponsor in the form of Yellow Cab Pizza Co., who's put injured PWR head honcho Jake De Leon front-and-center in its new #NoStoppingTheHungry campaign.

    If there's anyone hungry, it's got to be the Revo-Nation, who are in for a glorious buffet of action that should cap a brilliant year for the local scene.

    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.

    First up is the Ubusan ng Lahi main event, the outcome of which could rock PWR to its very foundation.

    Ubusan Ng Lahi: Team Sebastian (John Sebastian, Peter Versoza, Ralph Imabayashi, Rederick Mahaba & ?????) vs. Stan's Sy-Men (Chris Panzer, SANDATA, Dax Xaviera, Miguel Rosales & Joey Bax)

    The long-running feud between PWR General Manager Mr. Sy and John Sebastian—who once cost Sy his job—hits new heights with this huge elimination match that brings together ten of the brightest stars in the company.

    This is not just a battle for pride, by the way. At stake is ultimate control of PWR, with Sebastian putting his ownership stake up against Mr. Sy's job.

    Sebastian recently outed himself as 50% owner of PWR after saving it from a bankruptcy scandal through an anonymous donation, thereby earning himself equal operating authority as his more-tenured rival. Sy, on the other hand, believes that giving the Wrestling Lord & Savior that much power will be catastrophic for the promotion, and refuses to cede control to his cocky nemesis.

    It's a tough call as to who's assembled a better team. But we figure the best way to do this is via a "tale of the tape"-type comparison between each team's matching parts.

    Let's get to it!

    Comparing Captains: John Sebastian (Team Sebastian) vs. Chris Panzer (Team Sy)

    Sebastian, of course, will be frontlining the hand-picked team he's declared "the biggest team of ass-kickers in PWR." Championing Mr. Sy's cause is two-time reigning Kampeon ng Pilipinas Chris Panzer.

    On paper, this seems like a mismatch. Despite Sebastian's lengthy reign as PWR Champion and certified main-eventer, he owns just one career win against Panzer way back at Wrevolution X 2016, when the Detroit-bred warrior was still struggling to break his "choke artist" reputation. Panzer, on the other hand, has pinned Sebastian thrice this year, including a pulsating title defense at PWR Live: Oktoberplex. 

    But let's not forget the intangibles. The one time that Sebastian successfully overcame Panzer was in a situation that—deja vu—saw Mr. Sy put his job in Panzer's hands. The pressure was too much for Papa P, falling to a low blow, some timely KC Montero interference, and a devastating Killshot to put Sy on the unemployment line.

    Sy is taking a huge risk by making Panzer accountable for his role in the company once more. Nobody has owned Sebastian's ass the way Panzer has. But at the same time, nobody has let Mr. Sy down in such a big way either.

    Our verdict: Draw

    Comparing Lieutenants: Peter Versoza (Team Sebastian) vs. SANDATA (Team Sy)

    Who would have thought that two years after Dual Shock imploded with Peter Versoza's betrayal of the flashy SANDATA, both men would be squaring off as key players in the main event of one of the company's biggest shows of the year?

    Versoza knows what it takes to defeat SANDATA. He's pinned the Pinoy Tecnico cleanly before, and has benefited from the coaching and mentoring of Sebastian during his run as the Jack of All Trades of the now-defunct Royal Flush. He's climbed the ranks of PWR to become a one-time PHX Champion, and has traded blows with some of the most promising talents in the company.

    Lately, however, "P to the V" has seen his star wane; he seems to have lost a step in the ring, and draws lackluster reactions to his matches. Physically, he may be in his prime, but his career could possibly have already peaked.

    SANDATA, on the other hand, is surging like never before. He may not boast the most stellar win-loss record in 2017, but has matched up against some top-notch competition that's forced him to shatter his limits and push into fifth gear. Just this year alone, he's battled neck-and-neck with former PWR Champion Billy Suede, made it to the finals of the PHX Championship Tournament, and owns a win over Sebastian in one-on-one competition. The SANDATA we're seeing today is him at his most confident and polished, and that could be enough to give him the edge.

    Our verdict: SANDATA nudges out Versoza

    Comparing Enforcers: MTNH—Rederick Mahaba & Ralph Imabayashi (Team Sebastian) vs. Fighters 4 Hire—Miguel Rosales & Joey Bax (Team Sy)

    Here's where things tip back in Team Sebastian's favor.

    The bruising, brawling F4H own a chemistry and synchronicity that's unmatched in the company. Miguel Rosales' Barangay Suplex offense complements Joey Bax's fearsome ground-and-pound game flawlessly. They've been through wars together, and refuse to be intimated by anyone.

    Too bad for them MTNH has the potential to be the most dominating tag team in PWR history. The 300-pound Rederick Mahaba stands as the company's biggest behemoth, and the credentials of Ralph Imabayashi as a former PWR Champion who's taken down such A-grade foes in the past as "Classical" Bryan Leo and The Apocalypse are impeccable.

    And that's even before we take recent history into consideration. Both teams went into direct confrontation at Oktoberplex, and despite a wild brawl that saw both teams dish out their best offense, MTNH stood supreme after taking out Bax with a brutal Sonic Crusher-big splash combination. Sure, foreign objects and tons of distractions came into play, but all that matters is the result.

    Rosales is a genuinely gifted athlete who could shine in the singles division if given a consistent shot, and probably matches up fairly with Imabayashi. But Joey Bax could be the weak link in this face-off, especially against the gargantuan Mahaba.

    Our verdict: MTNH outshines F4H.

    Comparing Wild Cards: ????? (Team Sebastian) vs. Dax Xaviera (Team Sy)

    With both teams tied so far in our analysis, the fate of PWR literally lies in who John Sebastian reveals as his fifth member.

    It's only this year that we've gotten to see a full glimpse of Dax Xaviera's potential in singles competition. Now that he's stripped of the baggage of his deadweight former Delirium partner, he's been turning heads in a big way.

    Just in the past few months, he's upset two former PHX Champions in Ken Warren and Peter Versoza, and won the support of his Sisig (Hooray!) Nation despite being mocked by Sebastian as the Badjao member of Team Sy. His ring skills are finally maturing to match his hunger for competition, and he could feasibly turn out to be the biggest star of his PWR Boot Camp batch.

    He's not perfect though. Like most young thoroughbreds, Xaviera wrestles at a single high gear that could leave him weary and gasping for breath in extended matches. His ring instincts and feel for the game are still incredibly raw. Unlike crafty veterans like Jake De Leon or Bombay Suarez, he doesn't know how to control the pace of his matches and get his opponents to wrestle to their weaknesses. For all his enthusiasm, he can be outwitted by a decent strategist.

    We still have no idea who Team Sebastian's mystery man is, but we do know what kind of guy he should be: a cunning ring veteran who wrestles a counterpunch style, and has the physical gifts to both keep up with Xaviera's pedal-to-the-metal style and overwhelm him with raw strength and skill.

    We've pitched our guess before, and we'll say it again: John Sebastian needs his fifth guy to be Main Maxx.

    If the massive former PHX Champion has indeed fully recovered from his April knee injury as whispers suggest, then he could single-handedly tip the match in his favor. He's the OG PHX standard-bearer who truly moves like a cruiserweight and hits like a heavyweight. He's aligned himself with John Sebastian in the past, and can carry out orders of destruction like nobody else on the roster.

    And after all, Sebastian did reach out to his trusted hoss on social media.

    Bring Maxx into the conversation, and Xaviera will be overwhelmed on all fronts.

    Our verdict: Main Maxx is revealed as the fifth man, taking Xaviera out of the equation

    Match Prediction

    Team Sebastian will have Team Sy on their heels early on, taking out the chaff early on with pure firepower, and applying Sebastian's ring generalship to wear down the big stars as the match advances. Panzer and company will put up a good fight, but Mr. Sy will find himself out of a job a second time.

    We could imagine the match going this way:

    • Main Maxx eliminates Dax Xaviera
    • Rederick Mahaba eliminates Joey Bax
    • Miguel Rosales eliminates Rederick Mahaba
    • SANDATA eliminates Peter Versoza
    • John Sebastian eliminates SANDATA
    • Panzer eliminates Ralph Imabayashi
    • Maxx eliminates Miguel Rosales
    • Panzer eliminates Main Maxx
    • Sebastian eliminates Panzer

    Winner: Team Sebastian—John Sebastian is the sole survivor, and becomes new controller of PWR.


    What do you think of our analysis and prediction, mga ka-smarkada? Think it's time for Mr. Sy to finally get payback against the man who's been the biggest thorn in his side almost from the start? Or will the Wrestling Lord & Savior humiliate the man he disses as "Siopao Stan" yet again? And who do you think the fifth wheel for Team Sebastian will be? Let us know your thoughts, and we'll see you at the show!

    Remember: There's no stopping the hungry.


    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 "Hawaiian" Hub Pacheco.

    Presented by Yellow Cab Pizza Co.

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    Item Reviewed: #NoStoppingTheHungry: Who Will Win Ubusan Ng Lahi At PWR Vendetta? Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Smark Henry
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