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    Thursday, March 14, 2019

    Ruthless Roundtable: PWR Path of Gold 2019

    It's T-minus three days until the first of PWR's biggest events of the year, PWR Path of Gold 2019, so the Smark Henry offices have commissioned the return of the Ruthless Roundtable to try and analyze the upcoming event and give our hot takes.

    PWR Path of Gold is PWR's staple event which officially kicks off the road to Wrevolution X. And just in case you forgot what the actual match is all about, here's a quick refresher taken from our 2017 write-up:

    "The Path of Gold match is probably the toughest crucible anyone on the PWR roster can face. The rules are simple:
    1. Two competitors start off in the ring.
    2. Every ninety seconds, a new competitor joins the fray.
    3. Eliminations can come only via pinfall or submission until a single wrestler is left standing.
    4. The sole survivor wins the Path of Gold trophy and has a guaranteed title shot of his or her choosing at PWR’s biggest show of the year, Wrevolution X."

    For this article, we're having a three-way dance by summoning a trio of Smark Henry writers to be a part of this mini-roundtable. Join me, NXT reviewer and #SGQ fashion po-po, The Migz, SmackDown Live nitpicker, Ricky Jay Publico (a.k.a. #NitPickRick), and PWR/MWF reviewer, Nico "The Pun-isher" Parungo, as we break down the card and give you our picks and predictions for PWR Path of Gold 2019.

    Are you ready? Let's do this! Smark Henry ASSEMBLE!

    Let's go straight to the show namesake, who's winning Path of Gold this year?

    Migz: I loved GCP's recent article and it has me convinced enough to pick Quatro to win this year. I'm sure a lot of people would agree with me as he's been PWR's go-to-guybeing matched up against most of our foreign guests. Plus I still remember very well that explosive reaction from last year's PWR Live: Homefront, when he almost won the PWR Championship from Ralph Imabayashi.

    Ricky: Screw the favorites. My pick is Mike Madrigal and no one else. The Kupal One will definitely raise hell and given that he’s guaranteed a good spot, there’s no way Madrigal is walking out the loser here. I’m ready to raise my middle finger once the dust has settled and hopefully, he continues to chase after the PWR Championship.

    Nico: Since he was screwed out of his last match with Ralph, I have to go for Quatro. He’s been the highlight of many PWR events and usually puts on one hell of a performance, whether it’s with other PWR talent or international superstars, as Migz points out. I’d really like to see the guy get his due at PWR Wrevolution X.

    What surprises are you expecting for this year's Path of Gold match?

    Migz: PWR did not hold back as they're bringing in Japanese stars Masa Takanashi and Emi Sakura to be part of the show. It might be safe to assume that they could easily bring out another foreign competitor like Andruew Tang or Emman The Kid to join the fray. Another possibility would be if someone from MWF joins in on the match.

    Ricky: Yes! More MWF talents, please. I'll bet my bottom dollar Robin Sane is the second entrant. Also, I heard Jorelle Liwanag’s pretty good, too.

    Nico: This is going to be a bit hard to predict, but I can definitely see some MWF talent making appearances. Maybe a surprise return from people we haven’t seen in a while like James "Idol" Martinez or Zayden Trudeau? It would also be neat to see some Singaporean talent like Doctor Gore or Ladykiller.

    Who’s your Path of Gold Ironman?

    Migz: I’ll go and say Chris Panzer. Watch as Panzer comes close to winning, only for Mr. Sy (with MSG in tow) to screw him over once again to continue their feud.

    Ricky: Since I didn’t pick him, I’ll instead predict Chino Guinto as this year’s Ironman. I will even go far as to say he’ll be the final pinfall for the eventual winner to end it all. I can see him picking an early spot and surviving until the end, only for his repaired knee to give out and cause his downfall.

    Nico: This pick might come out of left field, but I think Martivo could be the Ironman for this match. He had one hell of a 2018 and lasting a long time in the PoG Match would give him a lot of momentum in the future. Maybe it's enough momentum to earn a title shot for either the PHX Championship or All Out War Championship?

    Let's do quick hitters for the rest of the matches:

    PWR Championship: Rederick Mahaba vs. Ralph Imabayashi (c)

    Migz: Ralph Imabayashi should retain. As much as I'd love to see a new champion, I'd like to make winning the Path of Gold Match even more meaningful by letting the winner challenge (and eventually win) the PWR Championship from the longest reigning champion.

    Ricky: Rederick Mahaba is my goddamn pick because it’s about goddamn time we give this man some goddamn respect by giving him the goddamn PWR Championship at this year’s goddamn Path of Gold event. Too much?

    Nico: Ralph Imabayashi. PWR Wrevolution X is almost here and it would feel like a bigger moment if the champ dropped the title in that event. Nothing against Rederick Mahaba. He has my goddamn respect, but I don’t see him winning, even though we know he’ll put on one hell of a fight.

    PWR Tag Team Championship: The YOLO Twins vs. The Naughty Boys (Trian Dela Torre and Evan Carleaux) (w/ GrabCamus, Jhemherlhynn, and Kapitan Juan Tutan) (c)

    Migz: While I don't want the Naughty Boys to lose, sadly, I pick The YOLO Twins. This new Naughty Boys alliance with the Kakaibros smells fishy to me. Whether through an accident or an official heel turn, I expect the Bros to cost the champs their gold.

    Ricky: I’m staying with the Naughty Boys and their new alliance with the KakaiBros because not everything is a setup for a heel turn, you know. I support their bid to continue their reign as the longest reigning tag team champions in PWR history. And it also helps that I’m a Jhemmh3ndrick stan so there’s that.

    Nico: I originally wanted to stick with The Naughty Boys, but since it was recently announced that they're now the longest-reigning PWR Tag Team Champions, I think they’ll be dropping the titles to The YOLO Twins (and their sick new theme song).

    PHX Championship: Ken Warren vs. John Sebastian (c)

    Migz: John Sebastian. Oh, hey, look at that new Sebastian look. It surely deserves a lengthier run, right? Seriously though, Ken Warren should move on from the PHX Championship. He needs to level up and chase after the PWR Championship instead.

    Ricky: John Sebastian can easily take this one. Sure, I’m disappointed Ken Warren’s convoluted title chase will end up like this and that they’ll probably never address his multiple claims for the title, but I’m glad this will clear up Vlad Sinnsyk’s path towards the PHX Championship. I’m with The Migz on this one. Warren should be gunning for a bigger, more golden belt.

    Nico: As much as I love Ken Warren, I have to go for John Sebastian. His run as PHX Champion continues to pick up steam and he should be champ for a good long while. Like Migz and Ricky pointed out, Ken needs to move on to bigger things. I still remember when he won Path of Gold last year and everyone was hoping he’d go for Ralph Imabayashi so this needs to become a reality.

    All Out War Championship: Robynn vs. Dax Xaviera (c)

    Migz: I think Robynn will become the first woman to hold a singles title in PWR. As much as I'm starting to enjoy Dax Xaviera, this could be the perfect time to pull the trigger on a Robynn championship run. It's unexpected, completely out of left field, and would surely be a surprising turn of events.

    Ricky: I like how easy it is to earn a title shot for the AOW Championship. Just attack the champion and voila, you get a title shot next month. Hey Revo Ranger, don’t bother winning the Path of Gold match. Just smack the champion in the head and you’re all set! Anyway, Dax Xaviera will probably retain. Sorry, Robynn.

    Nico: I see the slingblade addict Dax Xaviera retaining, though I’d like to be proven wrong. Seeing Robynn win would be super cool and all, but Xaviera’s heel character has been improving so I think he still has a few months left in him as the All Out War Champion.

    Path of Gold Qualifying Match: Eric Walker vs. Chris Panzer

    Migz: Relative to my response earlier, I picked Chris Panzer as the ironman, hence, he needs to win as I'm sure the Mr. Sy angle will bleed into the Path of Gold match.

    Ricky: Chris Panzer is an easy pick for me. I’m not even sure why he needs to qualify while the others don’t. The card’s pretty stacked as it is. Is Eric Walker that good that we have to see him now on a show already featuring two great Japanese talents? There’s always the next show, people. Also, does this mean Eric Walker is an MSG talent now?

    Nico: Yeah, Chris Panzer. He needs to get one over MSG, though I’m also expecting them to cost him the Path of Gold Match. Nothing against Eric Walker, but Panzer needs this a bit more.

    Masa Takanashi vs. Vlad Sinnsyk

    Migz: Man, this is a tough one. From the last show, it seemed like they were building Vlad Sinnsyk up, but on the other hand, we have Masa Takanashiwhose extensive wrestling credentials you can read about here. Hmmm. I’ll go with Masa Takanashi on this one just because of the value he brings.

    Ricky: I’m inclined to believe that Vlad Sinnsyk losing will affect his momentum before the Path of Gold Match. On the other hand, I don’t want to see Masa Takanashi lose this match when we’re trying to introduce him to the fans who think he’s just a discount Shinsuke Nakamura. Ultimately, I’m picking Vlad Sinnsyk and will just hope for the best.

    Nico: I’m with Ricky and I'm picking Vlad Sinnsyk. The dude just beat Jake De Leon and he needs to get more momentum so another win feels necessary. I'm really looking forward to seeing Masa Takanashi in the match though.

    Emi Sakura vs. Crystal

    Migz: With these two ladies having some history, my winner pick will have to be Crystal for three reasons: (1) Crystal needs a win, which should (2) balance things out because if Masa-san wins his match, then Emi Sakura can lose here, and (3) Crystal needs the rubber match victory from their previous encounters.

    Ricky: This one’s easier for me. Emi Sakura can take this one since Crystal doesn’t need the win. It’s not like she’s a frontrunner to win the Path of Gold Match anyway. Sakura-san can easily give Crystal this match to prove to Filipino wrestling fans that she’s not a discount Asuka. And hey, if Crystal wins PoG, then that’s a welcome shocker.

    Nico: It would be sad if both Japanese talents lost here so I can see Emi Sakura getting the win. Granted, I’d like to see Crystal pick up a win soon, but that can wait.

    Jaye Sera vs. Jhemherlhynn

    Migz: Let's give Jhemherlynn the win so Jaye Sera can have her comeuppance and both ladies can move on to different storylines. Both of them have a bright future ahead and are entertaining as it stands so please don't turn this into a Brad Cruz vs. McKata predicament. This is, what, the third time they're facing each other in a span of three months?

    Ricky: Unlike the Brad Cruz vs. McKata predicament, this rivalry is actually compelling AF so I don’t mind seeing this rivalry extend until Wrevolution X. What I’m seeing is Jaye Sera will escape with a DQ win after Jhemmherlhyn fails to put her emotions in check.

    Nico: Giving this to Jhemherlynn so we can get the eventual rubber match. This has been a fun rivalry thus far and I wouldn’t want Jaye Sera to completely dominate The Naughty Boys’ stablemate. Their next match will probably be their last, so Jhem gets the win here, whether it’s by pinfall or Sera getting disqualified.

    Cali Nueva vs. Kapitan Tutan

    Migz: Similar to my previous logic with Jaye Sera/Jhemherlynn, Kapitan Tutan should go ahead and win this one. With the two talented individuals having an impressive showing from the previous matches, it's time to pit them against other people from the PWR roster. If the storyline moves forward, maybe give us GrabCamus vs. Cali Nueva next time.

    Ricky: I’d choose Cali Nueva because who leaves their phone along a hallway? As far as I’m concerned, GrabCamus had it coming.

    Nico: Since I chose Jhemherlynn in the last match, I see Cali Nueva winning this one. His agenda against The Naughty Boys has been fun and Kapitan Tutan losing can lead to a match against GrabCamus.


    And with that, we close off our Ruthless Roundtable. Did you agree with the group's predictions? Are you excited to watch the show? What matches are you looking forward to seeing? Tell us in the comments section down below.

    You can catch PWR Path of Gold 2019 on Sunday, March 17, 2019 at the Power Mac Center Spotlight. Details about ticket purchases can be found on the event page here.

    Photos from PWR


    Disclosure: Smark Henry is independently owned and managed by a group of Filipino pro wrestling fans, but includes members affiliated with the Philippine Wrestling Revolution.
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    Item Reviewed: Ruthless Roundtable: PWR Path of Gold 2019 Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Migz Llado
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