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    Tuesday, May 28, 2019

    PWR Wrevolution X 2019: The Official Smark Henry Review

    It's a new day, yes it is!

    First off, I'd like to congratulate the Philippine Wrestling Revolution for Wrevolution X. It was a very successful showone fitting to cap off its fifth season. And just like any good season-ender, it had a boatload of twists, turns, and surprises that left everybody exceptionally emotional.

    Be sure to check the preview to this show and the review for PWR Live: Destino so you can brush up on a little history if you need a little refresher before reading this review. I'm The Migz and here's the official Smark Henry review for PWR's season finale, Wrevolution X 2019.

    Due to the sudden appearance of the MSG Choir, I've decided to rank each tier via my favorite SANDATA masks. You've seen SANDATA. You know how colorful (or drab) his masks can be. This makes perfect sense. So without further ado, here are your official match tiers.

    Tier 1: Red and Blue Mask

    One of the more recent ones, the Red and Blue SANDATA mask looks like the former Pinoy Tecnico spent on this specific one. There are two halves of the mask plus the other half is even shiny. And just like the matches we're going to rate, these are the ones which are definitely sulit bayad as the crowd would say, therefore, let's get to it.

    Nowhere To Run

    The PWR Championship main event match between Ralph Imabayashi and QUATRO was a 35-minute contest. Hold on to that thought. It was 35 minutes of pure wrestling, pure emotions, and everything in between. Everyone in the venue had their eyes glued to the bout and had their bodies moving to every near fall and every submission. That's how you know this was easily the best part of the nightquite possibly of the year if nothing tops it.

    The first time these two faced off, the Dusty finish had everyone at the edge of their seats. Fast forward to this show, everyone was actually on their feet, especially for the climax, which was truly surreal. Words aren't really enough to explain how epic it was for Ralph to be confronted by the ghosts of his past, so here's the clip.

    One thing worth mentioning is the waterboarding spot during the match. It felt a little off and uncharacteristic that the crowd booed QUATRO a bit. I'm not sure if this was shades of an evil persona showing itself from underneath or if it was just fatigue and frustration combined. I hope it's the latter because I've always believed QUATRO the character was the epitome of pure heart and hard work and this wasn't aligned with that.

    Regardless, QUATRO's rise to the main event has now been justified and the prize he holds is a testament to what he now stands for in the company. Even Ralph said it himself when he ended the show declaring the new champion as the best pure wrestler so it will be great to see where this brings the company moving forward.

    The Dick Pic Saga Concludes

    For a pre-show match, the Over-The-Top-Rope Battle Royale actually set the bar pretty high for the whole night. All-out action was present and most of the participantsfrom Rederick Mahaba to Bolt, Jaye Sera to Joey Baxhad their breakthrough moments. And that's just half of the story. A dominating debut and a dramatic return helped bring this battle royale to elevated heights. If the PWR Championship Match hadn't delivered, this would've been my pick as the match of the night for sure.

    Let me start off by saying that Cali Nueva is a star. This might be an unpopular opinion but the hipster has always impressed me and this performance might've even made me a believer. His Jaye Sera betrayal was very in-character as a sniveling weasel but it was his exchanges with the returning Zayden Trudeau that took the cake. They were on point and the 450 Splash face-off set a precedent for the whole night, where the crowd was chanting "450!" to all who dared climb the top rope.

    Another surprise was Revo Ranger. He brought out his A-game for this performance. I like that his default look is now the topless ranger. His exchanges with eventual winner Kapitan Tutan were top-notch, and, for a second, I actually believed he could've won the whole thing. If PWR doesn't capitalize on Ranger's improvement by getting a good high-profile match this year, I'd be pretty disappointed.

    Gatilyo was one of two people who made their debut on the show. His debut made a mark on me because of how menacing he was in-ring. If The Apocalypse already lost his fearsome façade from being a part of The Endgame, I'd like to nominate Gatilyo as the new official PWR monster. The Tubero/Slipknot look is one that I wouldn't want to come face-to-face with anywhere. Please build this guy as a squash-happy brawler. I don't mind if it's just a pre-show attraction. Please book it, PWR.

    To top it all off, Kapitan Tutan finally got his dick pic back. Tutan proved to everybody that the "Wrestling Lang Ang Iniisip Ko" mantra works and did so by finally one-upping and eliminating Nueva for the right to challenge for the All Out War Championship. I'm not sure how this opportunity affects his alliance with the Naughty Boys and if it will be a sign of his singles push but I'll be thrilled once he and Martivo face each other in what I'd bill as the Tita vs. T*te face-off.

    50 Shades of Dax

    Speaking of Martivo, the All Out War Championship match against Dax Xaviera was way more fun than what I foresaw. The champion did say he'd be making it more entertaining and more feminine, but damn, that was not what I expected.

    I had fun with the feather-tickling and the spots involving the weapons and that unexpected kiss that was planted. This was certainly unique and more unusual than past All Out War matches and I'm psyched to see more of his vision for the title and the match type, plus, in the short-term, what he plans to do to Kapitan Tutan once they face off.

    One major thought I have to put out there though is, should kids be allowed to watch these? I know wrestling nowadays is family-friendly but I couldn't help but notice that there were a few kids (toddlers and babies) held by their parents in the audience. I wouldn't have minded if it was a different match on the card, but the sheer brutality and violence of the All Out War wasn't really something I'd be comfortable for a youngster to see. I don't think it's a problem of the wrestling industry on its own, I mean, I know the parents could also be held accountable for this, but I hope in the future, everybody finds a safeguard for this.

    Budget WarGames

    Don't let the header fool you. It might be budget WarGames but this match went beyond expectations. From the elaborate costumes that The Naughty Boys (accompanied by GrabCamus) prepared to that sick new entrance theme by the KakaiBros (sick in an awesome way) and to the way the 3-Way turned out, everybody came to play hard for the PWR Tag Team Championship.

    As I guessed, it was mostly The YOLO Twins and The Naughty Boys that took center stage as the they beat the Bros down every chance they had. If it wasn't obvious yet, let me say that if The Naughty Boys are considered to be the most entertaining stable of performers right now, then The YOLO Twins are the best tag team locally hands-down. In fact, I feel this is a part of why both teams don't even need the titles anymore. They've both built names who can offer a showcase of their skills to any challenge they might face.

    For the KakaiBros, this was a good opportunity for them to represent the division and also get the recognition they deserve for being solid up-and-comers. I actually buy the KakaiBros as the new PWR Tag Team Champions, especially with how they've won over the crowd. Also, they didn't just win over the crowd, Kh3ndr1ck finally won Jhemherlynn's undivided attention—with the latter even appearing to assist the "Pfeymusz One" with stereo Spears on Logan and Yohann Ollores.

    This 1th championship reign was made even more special as Mh4rck1e proposed (non-kayfabe) to his girlfriend (now fiancée) after the match to make everybody a little teary-eyed. This feel-good moment of the show was pretty awesome and also made the celebration even grander.

    Tier 2: The Faceless Black Mask

    It's his classic mask. This one was worn during his earlier days. It's a good reliable look for him, but he has come to reinvent himself over the years and this one is sort of outdated. Likewise, these matches are those that I consider good, reliable, and safe. They were nice but I think they could do even better to add more flavor and character.

    Gwapo Pero Medyo Bad Boy

    MSG continued to steamroll over the competition as they gained another victory and added more members. Unofficially, there was the MSG choir, (clad in SANDATA masks) which the dashing Mr. Sy procured for their entrance—however, there was an even bigger acquisition that left fans everywhere stunned, surprised, and even angry.

    It's official, Chris Panzer has (re)joined the Mr. Sy Group of Talents by turning on gym selfie buddy Ken Warren during the match to hand the win to the dastardly group.

    I have to be honest, I didn't like the Gym Selfie Daddies one bit. I might not share the same enthusiasm or sentiments as my colleagues, at the Smark Henry offices but this partnership was borderline silly and cartoonish. As former champions, I feel they had no need to do the Macho Man/Ultimate Warrior/Hulk Hogan/70's/80's tribute (or is it a parody?). It might've been fun, but I don't think fun should be the right adjective that comes to mind when I see these two.

    From straight-cut, action-packed, mic-spewing superstars who have main-evented several events, I felt this was just so out of left-field and a step-down. I'm glad Panzer turned to the dark side. I just don't know how this story will unfold because of how they booked the previous angles. I'm sure Mr. Sy has a valid explanation because he always has something to say.

    There was a dull moment in the match wherein the legal and illegal men were lost in the shuffle and everything got a bit confusing. It was obvious and it killed the vibe down a bit.

    The whole Mr. Sy chase prior to the ending was magnificent though. You could literally see him running for his life just right before the whole Panzer swerve. I think his performance deserves to be acknowledged because he's just so darn punchable that when Ken Warren gives him his comeuppance, it'll be very satisfying.

    All in all, the match was pretty good. I'd also love to give mad props to Main Maxx. It looks like he's starting to regain his killer instinct. Actually, kudos to all those in the match, specifically because of how the end played out and the fact that we'll be seeing Bad Mr. Panzer as part of this new four-man MSG.

    The Network: Endgame

    The four-man group discussion leads us to another group which acquired their fourth man—The Endgame. Truth be told, Alexander Belmonte III didn't have much going on after losing the All Out War Championship. While the return of James "Idol" Martinez was a welcome arrival for nostalgia purposes, it was fun yet I felt it didn't help much in favor of AB3. I'm happy that The Endgame defeated The Network because as I mentioned in the preview, the acquisition of AB3 would allow the story to branch out into different possibilities.

    One has to wonder though if he's legit pissed at Chino Guinto or if he's just disappointed for losing the match. Whatever happens, it looks like AB3 is going to the side of evil now and I'm curious if Guinto will be his first feud or if The Endgame will use the newly acquired member to gun for the tag team gold yet again. With the end of this match, PWR now officially has three stables with more than three members in MSG, The Endgame and The Naughty Boys. Will a gang war play out soon?

    Also, let's discuss the debut of the new downline, Sam Baltazar. Baltazar was brought out by Chino Guinto as a late replacement for this match. The Baguio-based high-flyer was able to do little with the short stint he was given but he was able to pull off death-defying moves such as a Swanton Bomb, just to name one. It seems fair to believe that The Network lives on with Baltazar becoming Idol's new lackey effectively helping him blend in the roster. Don't forget, a certain Golden Boy once had this spot and look where he is now.

    Gold is Time

    No, you're not reading that incorrectly. Gold is, in fact, time because the Golden Boy has recaptured the PHX Championship after a long time away from the ring. After being sidestepped into a Network vs. Endgame feud when he returned, Chino Guinto finally got on track to reclaim the championship that he never lost and he did so by dishing out the most epic Curb Stomps I've ever seen.

    The match was a little sluggish for my liking but there were some fun moments which involved all three men. With Chino, Vlad Sinnsyk and John Sebastian trying to one-up each other, they exchanged some solid spots between them like vying for who would get to do John Cena's Five Moves of Doom. It's also great that, so far, every match involving Guinto—including this one—played on the fact that he had a bad leg from his previous injury. I appreciate the fact that the continuity is always there and this fact will always serve as Guinto's Kryptonite that others can prey upon.

    Sebastian played his usual heel role perfectly, even mocking Co-GM Poch for being the less sexy GM during the introductions. However, it has been a while since I've seen anything different from a Sebastian match. I hope that moving forward with Season 6, he has a few new tricks up his sleeve considering that there's a GM rivalry to be built from sharing authoritarian duties.

    As for Vlad, this loss sets him back a bit, especially because of how strongly he had been built previously. I hope he gets to bounce back and finds himself in contention again because the past few months would be for naught if he doesn't.

    Tier 3: Magikarp

    Nobody really likes the Magikarp mask right? It was a unique look and fun for the crowd to egg on but I would guess SANDATA wasn't really amused with how it looks like a fish Pokémon ate half of his face.

    The matches in this tier are those which weren't really bad. In fact, I think the average fan would still enjoy these ones, but for eagle-eyed viewers, these were the ones that left me wanting for a different outcome.

    JDL Is Here To Stay

    I'm sorry, Jake De Leon and Mike Madrigal. Maybe it's the other great matches that came before you or maybe because yours played out after the intermission break, but I didn't feel emotionally attached to this match. It was a good match, to be honest, and I appreciated the fact that Bombay Suarez was there in the flesh to add star power. Maybe it was hard for me to believe that this might be your last match in PWR, hence, I just felt less enthused.

    And it's a shame to say this because of how the whole build-up and the pre-match vignette was so well-produced. I even felt the finish (or the events that led to it) was poorly executed. I know it was supposed to be an "I did not quit" moment but it fell flat with such short time and a lot hanging in the balance. I wonder if this match could've been fleshed out even better if it was longer or put in the co-main event spot. With stakes so high, I found it crazy that it was put in a precarious position and not, as I mentioned, higher in the card.

    I Love It (Or So I Wanted To)

    It's always thrilling when wrestlers from another country or promotion make their way into a show that isn't native to them. It gets the crowd fired up and it also allows the fans to have a taste of what they can experience watching other products. Sadly, the match with Crystal and Alexis Lee suffered from a rough ending in which Crystal would win. A solid match can't break through if the finish feels off and this is one of those examples.

    I enjoyed Lee's persona of being a bitchy heel though. Her mocking of Crystal's poses and talking back to everybody was fun to watch. It made so much sense that she had this disdain for Crystal knowing that they've got so much history with one another. At some point, I'd like Lee to come back and give the local fans here a lengthier match. Maybe she can even come back with some back-up from her home promotion.

    On the other hand, we have Crystal who, whether winning or losing, has shown she can be great when given time. I just hope this match won't set her back one bit. One thing I'd like to ask though is, what's next for Crystal? Storyline-wise, she doesn't really have anything going on. With the women's roster steadily growing in PWR, maybe it's time they introduce a Women's Championship?

    Not A Good Night For The Ladies

    I feel that the Robynn vs. Jhemherlhynn match suffered from crowd burnout and that's a little disappointing considering this was the first official match of the night. It came after the Over-The-Top Battle Royale and judging from what I wrote above, the pre-show was already a 5-star quality spectacle.

    This isn't really a knock on both women. They tried their best to hype the crowd up, but sadly, it wasn't able to carry the momentum forward from what it followed.

    I do think that Robynn's new entrance music, along with her demeanor, was a good starting point for her future as a heel. Jhemherlhynn, on the other hand, surprised us with her set of submissions moves. Her focus on the ground game is impressive and it's quite a mystery how she developed her moveset since most of her Naughty Boys cohorts differ in fighting style, save for Evan Carleaux's Tech Noir finisher.

    Some awkward spots by both ladies blew the momentum a little, but with women's wrestling being in an evolutionary phase locally, I think this was still a good showing. Robynn has shown she can walk the walk and Jhemherlhynn knows how to work the crowd to elicit great reactions. Give these two a few more months and matchups with the rest of the roster and I'm sure they can regain the groove and blow us out of the water.

    Overall Thoughts

    I know it's hard booking an eventespecially one trying to build on top of the successes of the previous ones. For us reviewers, it's also hard to rank matches because we know it takes time and effort to be able to put up a show such as this and, sadly, while we do mention which ones are on top, there will definitely be ones that will be on the lower end.

    I believe I've mentioned this before but, the lower tiers aren't there to mean that the matches presented were bad. In fact, they're there so that we can express how we felt they could've done better. On that note, while this isn't an S-ranked show like PWR Path of Gold 2019, it does come close and is one for the history books. In the end, some new opportunities were presented, some stories were closed, and I expect that the new chapter and season of PWR will be even better now that things have changed.

    Congratulations PWR for a great show and a great season and good luck on season 6!

    Grade: A-


    Match of the Night: QUATRO vs. Ralph Imabayashi
    Star of the Night: QUATRO
    Breakthrough Performance of the Night: Cali Nueva
    Promo of the Night: QUATRO/Ralph Imabayashi pre-match vignette
    Surprise of the Night: Chris Panzer's heel turn
    Best Cheer: Nandito na si Super... Vintendo! Tooooooooot!
    Best Entrance: KakaiBros
    Best Dressed: The Naughty Boys
    "Oh Shit! OMG" Moment: Evan Carleaux's outside dive

      Quick Hitters:

      • PWR really pulled out all the stops in terms of production value. The pre-match vignettes look great and add value to the show.
      • Super P made an appearance in one of the videos reminding us of viewer etiquette. When will we see this mysterious superheroine in the ring?
      • It looks like everybody spent on their attires for this specific show to look their best. #SGQ is incoming, so wait for it.
      • I'm honestly looking forward to more GrabCamus skits. He adds substance to the Naughty Boys' wackiness especially now that Kapitan Tutan and Jhemherlhynn are fending for themselves.
      • Ralph Imabayashi is a complicated character. I can sense he harbors some deep resentment inside yet I feel he knows he's partly responsible for everyone leaving him. I'm not sure if he can redeem himself that easily but he did show subtle babyface tendencies during the match. 
      • Speaking of Ralph and the pre-match vignettes, his special entrance for this show was tremendous. The dramatic part of his entrance was used to highlight his victories and defenses and it made his reign look more significant and dramatic.


      Do you agree with our review? What was your favorite moment of the night? What are you expecting now that Season 5 has concluded and Season 6 of PWR is about to begin? Hit us up in the comments section below.

      Photos and videos from PWR, Hub Pacheco, and Racine Ann Castro.

      Disclosure: Smark Henry is independently managed and operated by a group of local wrestling fans, but includes members affiliated with the Philippine Wrestling Revolution.


      Miguel “The Migz” Llado is your supposed style icon and NXT reviewer at the Smark Henry offices. A lover of everything music, wrestling, videogames, and food, he lives his life tweeting his mind off (@the_migz) and ‘gramming random food items and locations (@tha_migz) as he sets on his journey to completely do things spontaneously. You can also add him on PSN (MigzLlado) to show your WWE2K19 (or any PS4) skills. When not being a smark, he lives his life being (and trying to be) an awesome architect, musician extraordinaire and armchair fantasy booker.
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      Item Reviewed: PWR Wrevolution X 2019: The Official Smark Henry Review Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Migz Llado
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