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    Tuesday, May 8, 2018

    Hot Takes: Our Reactions To PWR's Wrevolution X Card

    The Philippine Wrestling Revolution is bringing the heat in less than two weeks as its annual extravaganza, Wrevolution X, makes its long-awaited return to the iAcademy Auditorium in Makati City.

    We've received the official company press release for all the matches lined up—and while it's loaded with hyperbole, we've taken it as our journalistic duty to read between the lines, dive deep, and figure out whether this truly will be the best card in the Philippines this year.

    Let's begin with the opening paragraphs!

    The biggest stars in Philippine Wrestling are looking to shine bright in the country's biggest professional wrestling event of the year. Join us as we return to the iAcademy Auditorium at HV Dela Costa, Makati City on May 20, 2018 as Philippine Wrestling Revolution presents Wrevolution X. 
    Just what can you expect from this massive professional wrestling event? Get to see the biggest double main event in Philippine Wrestling history, all PWR titles on the line, a crossover between Philippine Wrestling Revolution & Manila Wrestling Federation plus a whole lot more professional wrestling action that you can only see at PWR.

    Okay, we have to admit this got us all excited for the following reasons:

    1. The double championship main events. The company has made it clear that the Philippine Hybrid X (PHX) Championship currently held by Mike Madrigal is by no means a "secondary" championship in the company. Kampeon ng Pilipinas Ralph Imabayashi may be lording it over the roster with his black-and-gold strap, but in terms of match quality and level of competition, both belts are equally prestigious. Here's the daring question: To cement this point, will PWR have the nerve to put on the PHX Championship match last?
    2. All PWR championships on the line. We know PWR isn't shy about pulling title switches on their secondary shows, but it's incredibly rare that every championship is on the line in a single show. All Out War Champion Vlad Sinnsyk and PWR Tag Team Champions John Sebastian & Crystal know all eyes will be on them, and are sure to be gunning for show-stealing performances in their respective matches.
    3. The crossover between PWR & MWF. We've seen impromptu appearances from the Philippines' top two promotions in the past—whether it's PWR's John Sebastian competing in a surprise MWF match, or MWF's Gus Queens and Rex Lawin doing mid-match interruptions, but this is the first time a competitor from another fed has been officially promoted ahead of a show. We're loving the synergies between the two companies, and can't help but wonder what a full crossover card would look like. #PasokLahat, anyone?
    4. A whole lot more professional wrestling action you can only see at PWR. If there's one thing PWR has in spades as its official calling card, it's the level of technical wrestling skill up and down the card. MWF may have the edge lately in production value, and Art of War Wrestling may have better physiques on their wrestlers, but if you want to watch some damn fine wrestling, PWR is the product for you, theatrical polish and six-packs be damned.
    Let's get to the matches!

    Headlining Matches

    PWR Championship Match (Title vs. Career): Miguel Rosales vs. Ralph Imabayashi (c)

    After failing to win the Ubusan ng Lahi match for his team and getting suspended from PWR, Miguel Rosales has been on a mission to claim the coveted PWR Championship but one man has thwarted his attempts every step of the way. That man is the reigning and defending PWR Champion, Ralph Imabayashi.
    For months, Rosales has been challenging Imabayashi at every turn for the PWR Title and every time, Imabayashi eludes him and refuses to put his championship on the line. That is until at PWR Live: Trapik, Imabayashi finally relented and had Rosales sign a contract for a title match at Wrevolution X. Little did Rosales know, the contract stipulates that should he lose the PWR championship match to Ralph Imabayashi at Wrevolution X, his professional wrestling career will be over.
    Will the ruthless Miguel Rosales finally be able to capture the PWR title or will Ralph Imabayashi end his career for good?

    We say: This intrigues us for so many reasons. Up until Kingdom Come last January, never in PWR history had a wrestler put his career on the line. And now, "Ruthless" Miguel Rosales is laying it all on the line a second time for one shot at wresting the PWR Championship from Ralph Imabayashi. That's how much this man cares.

    Quite frankly, we're terrified for Rosales. His meteoric rise to the top of the roster has been one of the best organic stories this far. His all-business intensity and raw passion resonate wildly with the Revo-Nation, and seeing him complete his arc with a championship win would be a genuine feel-good moment after seeing him lose his tag team partner, take the losing pinfall at Ubusan ng Lahi, and get screwed out of a Path of Gold win.

    But hell, standing across him will be one of the most vicious talents we've seen in a local wrestling ring, the two-time PWR Champion Ralph Imabayashi—a man who's dispatched an all-star list of opponents in the past. Jake De Leon, "Classical" Bryan Leo, The Apocalypse, Bombay Suarez, and Chris Panzer have all fallen to either his Sonic Crusher or Senketsu piledriver in the past; you may as well call him the PWR Batch One killer. He calls himself "The Best Pure Wrestler" in the company and you'd be hard-pressed to argue with him. An Imabayashi match is a quality match, and whatever Rosales dishes out at him, he'll be ready to give back twice-fold.

    Our prediction: Our hearts desperately want a Miguel Rosales win, but count on Ralph Imabayashi to hang on to his gold by nefarious means.

    PHX Championship Match: Ken Warren vs. Mike Madrigal (c)

    The PHX Champion, Mike Madrigal, and the 2018 Path of Gold winner, Ken Warren, are two men who have had two completely different paths in PWR for the past year.
    After Mike Madrigal won the vacated PHX Championship at AsiaPop Comicon 2017, he has been on a complete tear turning away challengers left and right. Alternately, also at AsiaPop Comicon 2017, Ken Warren was injured with a concussion during the first day of the event and would not compete in the ring for the rest of 2017. After having very different endings to their 2017, these two men would meet in the ring on January where Mike Madrigal would almost send Ken Warren back to the injured list for good.
    Ken Warren would come roaring back strong at the Path of Gold event eventually winning the entire Path of Gold match and he would choose to face Mike Madrigal for the PHX Championship at Wrevolution X. This would be the first time a Path of Gold winner chose the PHX title after winning the rigorous match.
    With all the bad blood between these two competitors, we can expect that Ken Warren and Mike Madrigal’s match for the PHX Championship at Wrevolution X to be one filled with hard-hitting action and drama no one will want to miss.

    We say: When we think of the PHX Championship, the first man to come to mind is the man who won it all as the inaugural titleholder, the "Social Media Sinister" Ken Warren. The man was a red-hot world-beater as kingpin of the Hybrid Division, smashing aside a slew of top-shelf challengers during his maiden run. It would be only right to see the Circle of Life complete itself with Warren becoming the first two-time PHX Champion ever.

    Mike Madrigal has different plans, however. The one and only "King Kups" of local wrestling has been one of the most resilient champions we've seen to date, surviving wave after wave of grueling title defenses to close in on Main Maxx's record PHX Championship reign.

    Warren will be out for blood. He hasn't forgotten how close Madrigal came to re-injuring him after his surprise comeback, and would love to hand out a concussion of his own via his Wi-Fi superkick. We'll go with our gut this time and say Maxx's historic reign isn't going to be surpassed any time soon.

    Our prediction: Ken Warren wins the PHX Championship via Wi-Fi.

    PWR Tag Team Championship Match: The Punk Dolls (Martivo & Robynn) vs. John Sebastian & Crystal (c) 

    The PWR Tag Team Titles will be defended in a mixed tag team match for the ages! John Sebastian & Crystal made their mark as they became the first intergender tag team to win the tag team belts but their reign is in danger thanks to the Punk Dolls. Both teams have long-running issues with each other with Robynn and Crystal in particular always at each other’s throats for the better part of 2017.
    John Sebastian would insert himself into the equation by helping Crystal defeat Robynn in the first ever women’s All Out War match in PWR and Martivo would come to his beshie Robynn’s aid. Now these two teams’ path will finally cross at Wrevolution X.

    We say: Ever since revealing their real-life relationship, John Sebastian and Crystal have been marvelous as the reigning King and Queen of the scene, masterfully maneuvering their way to PWR Tag Team Championship gold. Their chemistry is one of a kind, and we absolutely dig their Solemate-Killshot dual finisher.

    Martivo and Robynn have nothing to lose, however. The grudge Robynn holds against Crystal is very real, and their recent All Out War match did nothing to to soothe bad feelings between the two. Martivo, on the other hand, is one of the most underrated talents in the company today, and is secretly one of the most fundamentally-sound wrestlers around if you get beneath all the theatrics.

    We just don't see the beloved Punk Dolls taking home the Tag Team Championship yet. We know how hard they can fight when faced with high stakes (see: their bout against Zayden Trudeau & Bolt Bert where the losing team must disband), but we see things pretty simply: Robynn and Crystal practically cancel each other out, but Martivo has never been able to get the job done against a man the calibre of John Sebastian—a former PWR Champion and long-time main-eventer. Sorry, Rainbow Nation. 

    Our prediction: John Sebastian & Crystal retain the PWR Tag Team Championship.

    Six-Way All Out War Championship Match: Vintendo vs. Peter Versoza vs. James “IDOL” Martinez vs. Alexander Belmonte III vs. Revo Ranger vs. Vlad Sinnsyk (c)

    Get ready for chaos to ensue as the current All Out War Champion Vlad Sinnsyk will look to take on Vintendo, Peter Versoza, James “Lodi” Martinez, Alexander Belmonte III, and Revo Ranger in what will be the biggest All Out War match in PWR history!
    The story all started when Vintendo stole Vlad Sinnsyk’s AOW title back at Path of Gold. Vlad would chase Vintendo all throughout the night until they would inadvertently cause Peter Versoza’s elimination in the Path of Gold match. Peter Versoza on the other hand has been continuing to spread his Flat Earth beliefs all while battling against Revo Ranger and successfully converting James “Lodi” Martinez into a flat-earther much to the dismay of IDOL’s partner and downline, Alexander Belmonte III.
    All these combustible elements will come to a head at Wrevolution X where all six men will be looking to settle their issues and become AOW Champion.

    We say: This match is going to be glorious clusterfuck, and that's the way we like it. Granted, there have been clunkers in the past—remember The Apocalypse vs. Trian Dela Torre?—but the All Out War match format is generally a crowd-pleaser full of foreign objects, high spots, and carnage galore.

    The real story here is "The Raging Gamer" Vintendo stealing Vlad Sinnsyk's hard-won belt and strutting it around even if he isn't actually the official All Out War Champion. The other four men are generally filler, with Alexander Belmonte III still raw about Martinez's coercion to Versoza's Flat Earth gospel, and the Revo Ranger determined to prove once and for all that the world is indeed round.

    Sinnsyk has cemented himself as one of the toughest SOBs you'll see in any ring around the world, but perhaps the AOW Championship needs yet another jumpstart with a new titleholder. Who better to be next in its lineage than AB3? This could set up a singles program against his former boss Lodi that we'd love to see. They tore the house down with their comic stylings in The Network; now's the time for them to really show off their wrestling chops.

    Our prediction: AND NEWWWWWWWW! AB3 for the all-out All Out War win!

    PWR x MWF Crossover: The YOLO Twins (Yohann & Logan Ollores) & Robin Sane vs. Trian Dela Torre, Evan Carleaux & ???

    It’s the Philippine wrestling crossover everyone has been waiting for! Manila Wrestling Federation’s own Robin Sane will be joining forces with the YOLO Twins to take on the team of Trian Dela Torre, Evan Carleaux (TDTxECX), and a 3rd partner yet to be decided.
    After being inadvertently hit during a match between the YOLO Twins and TDTxECX, MWF's Frankie Thurteen would cause a distraction that would lead to TDTxECX losing the bout. Furious after the match, TDTxECX would challenge The YOLO Twins and Frankie Thurteen to a match but the injured Frankie would be unable to compete and instead asked the help of his good friend Robin Sane.
    With the YOLO Twins and Robin Sane’s team completed, just who will TDTxECX find as their 3rd man for Wrevolution X?

    We say: Robin Sane is the heart and soul of the Manila Wrestling Federation, and now it's time to see him make his balikbayan return to the company that birthed his wrestling career. Quite frankly, he couldn't have chosen better company than the YOLO Twins. Yohann and Logan put on a credible reign as the first tag champs of PWR, and have defeated international talents in straight up matches too.

    We aren't the biggest fans of Dela Torre and Carleaux as a team; Carleaux is the real star of the tandem, and we'd love to see him on a singles run of his own. Hell, they don't even have their third man yet! Could Kap Tutan or GrabCamus finally be making their main roster debuts? We doubt it. With the Ollores twins bringing an MWF guy into the fold, TDTxECX will likely try to fight fire with fire, and who better than MWF's Mr. Lucha? We've seen him dish out a moonsault in training—what better counterweapon against the master of the 450 in Sane? He's also booked in a first round match-up against Sane the following weekend for the MWF Championship tournament, and probably wouldn't mind the opportunity to do some damage ahead of time.

    This is one of those matches where the storytelling creates more anticipation than the actual wrestling quality. We don't actually care who wins, we just want to see who the third man will be.

    P.S. It's Poch.

    Our prediction: TDTxECX import Mr. Lucha as their partner, who absolutely destroys Robin Sane for his team's win.

    Other matches

    Grudge Match: Jake De Leon vs. Zayden Trudeau

    What is it with Jake De Leon and Canadians at Wrevolution X? After dispatching both Dax Xaviera and SANDATA the last time out in a Triple Threat match thanks to his newly-debuted Inasal Lock #2, JDL is going to measure if "The Canadian Dragon" Zayden Trudeau is on "The JDL Level."

    Our prediction: Both men have defeated Fil-Canadian former PWR Champion Billy Suede, which shows the skill level on both sides. JDL's veteran savvy will be enough to take the win after snatching Trudeau out of the air on an Air Canada springboard dropkick attempt, and clamping on Inasal Lock #2.

    Grudge Match: Chris Panzer vs. Rederick Mahaba

    Rederick Mahaba has cost Chris Panzer both his pride and his health on countless occasions, and it's time for him to get his comeuppance against the Detroit-bred native. The big man has yet to pick up a signature singles win, and we don't think he's got what it takes to derail a two-time Kampeon ng Pilipinas.

    Our prediction: Chris Panzer via Eagle Splash.

    Grudge Match: SANDATA vs. Dax Xaviera

    We're trying really hard to get excited about this match, but just haven't found the magic in the match-up yet. Xaviera and SANDATA have had their friendship tested on multiple occasions in the past thanks to multiple in-ring mishaps, whether as a slapdash tag team or against each other. Now's the time for them to bury the hatchet and finally let some steam off.

    Our prediction: SANDATA wins this with his Kidlat knee strike, but not before Xaviera gets to throw out some SLINGBLADE~

    Grudge Match: Trabajador Supremo vs. Quatro

    Don't look now, but the saga of Quatro has secretly been one of the most over story arcs in PWR the past few months, and his dazzling showings against the likes of Kapitan PWR have cemented him as an up-and-coming fan favorite. We're betting on him to finally break free of the shadow (SHADOW!) of La Conseja de Trabajadores by overcoming the mammoth Trabajador Supremo with a glorious soaring Destino.

    Our prediction: Quatro finally breaks free once and for all.

    Tornado Tag Team Match: The KakaiBros (Kh3Ndrick & Mh4rckie) vs. Main Maxx & The Apocalypse (with Mr. Sy)

    We love the KakaiBros and we love Main Maxx, but this is just one more match we aren't feeling just yet. The true narrative here is whether Mr. Sy can keep both his cocks under control and steer Main Maxx and Apocalypse to victory.

    Spoiler: He can't.

    Our prediction: KakaiBros finally pick up their 1th win after Team Sy implodes in destructive fashion.

    Notable Absences

    Even with ten matches booked (!!!), not everyone on the roster has an announced match yet.

    • Chino Guinto is still out with his ACL/MCL tear from last year.
    • Bolt is out with a tricep strain after getting blindsided backstage by Jake De Leon.
    • McKata has been making sporadic appearances lately, and is mostly relegated to pre-show matches.
    • Brad Cruz has yet to be involved in a full program on the main roster.
    • Jan Evander, PwD has been teased in vignettes, but no word yet on his in-ring debut.
    • Joey Bax remains on indefinite suspension, although his spirit lives on in the form of the Slingblade the rest of the roster uses to pay tribute to him.
    • Dan Ericson is still out of action after the assault on him last year in training by the KakaiBros.
    • Bombay Suarez is a special attraction at this stage of his career who comes and goes as he pleases. If the Bitchkiller wants to fight, he'll fight!
    • Kanto Terror hasn't been booked since Path of Gold 2017—15 whole months ago. To be honest, we have no idea what his company status is.


    You can catch all of this high-octane professional wrestling action and more at Wrevolution X coming to you on May 20, 2018 at the iAcademy Auditorium located in HV Dela Costa in Makati City! Advance and discounted tickets are now available. To order, send us a Facebook message or e-mail us at pwr.tickets@gmail.com or visit our partner ticket sellers: Tavern at the Crossroads in Cubao Expo, Kramer Toy Warden, or Pauline’s Printing.

    Ticket Prices

    • Earlybird Tickets (until May 19th): P350 each
    • Barkada Bundle (until May 19th): P999 for three tickets
    • Wrevo X BIG Barkada Bundle (until May 19th, exclusively at partner sellers): P1,500 for five tickets
    • Regular Tickets (May 20th, at the venue): P400 each

    Disclosure: Smark Henry is owned and operated by a group of independent Filipino pro wrestling fans, but includes members affiliated with the Philippine Wrestling Revolution.
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    Item Reviewed: Hot Takes: Our Reactions To PWR's Wrevolution X Card Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Smark Henry
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