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    Monday, December 24, 2018

    31 Days of Wrestling (12/24/18): Ken Warren Walks the Path of Gold

    Welcome to the 31 Days of Wrestling, ladies and gentlemen. Once again, we're at that point where we take a look back at the past 11 months of pro wrestling (and as much as possible, the last month as well) and cherry-pick one match for each day of December from a list of bouts that defined the year in our beloved sport. Most matches will be good, while some may not be; what matters is that they helped build the perception and reputation of the kind of wrestling 2018 produced for us.

    For today’s entry, we’re going to go back to one of PWR’s earlier events this year, and one that set the tone moving forward—the 20-man Path of Gold match at PWR: Path of Gold.

    PWR’s take on a Royal Rumble-esque match has consistently evolved through the years, with each version having outdone the one that came before it. While these matches always end up being chaotic, they also often end up being great, and that was exactly the case with this year’s roller coaster of a match. With so many guys in the ring, we were bound to get a ton of storyline development and rivalries being furthered, and that’s exactly what we got.

    We may as well start with the guy who went the distance this year, and added a Path of Gold trophy to his list of accomplishments—the Social Media Sinister, Ken Warren. Fresh off a betrayal at the hands of the YOLO Twins at PWR Live: Holding Hands While Wrestling, Warren was raring to go out there and cause some problems for his former allies. Entering as the 13th man, he immediately ran in and went after Logan Ollores, who had entered the match one spot before him. Even with the introduction of Yohann Ollores a little later, Warren was able to power through and eliminate both twins, getting some payback and sending a strong message to the rest of the competition.

    With his immediate rivals taken care of, Warren made it all the way until the end, setting himself up against fellow veteran Jake De Leon. The atmosphere in those final moments was absolutely electric. JDL continued to demonstrate why he was the standard-bearer of Philippine wrestling, but Warren more than held his own. When Warren hit that last Wi-Fi and scored the elimination, the crowd celebrated and appreciated Warren’s moment of redemption. And in one swift move, he made his intentions clear afterwards—he wanted to reclaim the PHX Championship, returning the title to its original owner.

    Warren’s journey may have been the talking point afterwards, but all eyes were on ‘Ruthless’ Miguel Rosales heading into this match. Rosales had made his intentions to wrest the PWR Championship away from Ralph Imabayashi, but had the odds stacked against him by virtue of being the first entrant into the match. An early roadblock from Imabayashi’s (former :( ) partner Rederick Mahaba proved to be nothing more than a bump in the road, and for a long time it seemed that Rosales would pull off the historic feat and make it until the end. That is, until the PWR Champion himself showed up and laid waste to Rosales’ challenge.

    The PWR Championship and PHX Championship scenes were set after this match, but those weren’t the only things that happened. We got to witness Jake De Leon’s continued mission to elevate the local wrestling scene, making it all the way until the final two and staking his claim as the best in the country. We saw tensions flare between SANDATA and Dax Xaviera, who had been involved in several battles with JDL, when the former rolled up the latter for the surprise elimination. We saw QUATRO’s struggle with the Council of Trabajadores take a surprising turn, as the once-disabled Trabajador Supremo received a miracle of the shadow (SHADOW!) to distract their former ward from the match. We saw Jan Evander, Pw.D., make an impression in his debut, taking out Evan Carleaux in what would turn out to be a preview of the Naughty Boys-Endgame feud that took place later in the year. We even saw the All Out War Championship get involved, as Vintend0 and Vlad Sinnsyk’s chase led to multiple people in the match getting involved, setting up a multi-man match for the title down the line at PWR Wrevolution X 2018.

    All of these separate storylines were thrown together into the ring for the Path of Gold match, with everyone gunning for the same goal: to win a shot at the championship of his/her choosing. It’s this very reason that makes this match special. Whether it’s cheering for your favorite wrestlers to make it to the end, or popping when your favorite feud makes an impact in the match, there’s a little bit of everything for everyone.

    21. T•IT•A F•IG•HT (Meiko Satomura vs. Mercedes Martinez, Round 2 of 2018 Mae Young Classic)
    22. When Excellence Meets Assassin (Jake De Leon vs. Tengu, PWR Live: Homefront)
    23. Johnny Survivor (Johnny Mundo's Survivor: David vs. Goliath stint)
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    Item Reviewed: 31 Days of Wrestling (12/24/18): Ken Warren Walks the Path of Gold Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Anthony Cuello
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