PWR Live 2: The best of the best

Nissi Icasiano, Michael Bueza
PWR Live 2: The best of the best
Rappler’s resident wrestling writers list down awesome moments and outstanding performers at "PWR Live 2"

MANILA, Philippines – Before heading to its year-end affair in December, Philippine Wrestling Revolution catered a pre-Yuletide season treat with its 7th show dubbed “PWR Live 2” on Saturday, November 28 at the iAcademy Auditorium in Makati City, keeping its loyal followers on the edge of their seats with tremendous intensity as 2015 comes to a close.

PWR Live 2 did not only unfold in a new venue and a standard wrestling ring, but it also highlighted flashy debuts of new characters and heart-pumping title matches.

Rappler’s resident wrestling writers list down awesome moments and outstanding performers at PWR Live.

Quick results

  • Pre-show: The Machine defeated Lynch

  • Pre-show: The Fighters 4 Hire def. Los Trabahadores

  • Main Maxx def. Rederick Mahaba

  • The Apocalypse def. Vintendo

  • James “Idol” Martinez of The Network (w/ Bruno Bernardo) def. “The Senyorito” Jake de Leon

  • Ralph Imabayashi def. John Sebastian to become the No.1 contender for the PWR Championship

  • PHX Championship: Ken Warren def. Chris Panzer to retain his title

  • Peter Versoza def. SANDATA

  • PWR Championship Open Challenge: “Classical” Bryan Leo def. Mark D. Manalo to retain his title

Match of the Night

Nissi Icasiano: It is often said that third time is a charm. Ralph Imabayashi and John Sebastian proved that they have gone far in establishing themselves as babyface and heel.

The match’s smash mouth style concluded the rivalry in conspicuous fashion, and and added factor was their impeccable chemistry in the ring.

The intent of to catapult Imabayashi into headliner status was accomplished, while attainting to tone down Sebastian’s hype so as not to outshine his fellow Royal Flush stable members.

Honorable mention – Jake De Leon vs. James “The Idol” Martinez

Michael Bueza: Imabayashi vs. Sebastian lived up to expectations as a high-stakes bout, at least in my view. It was a solid match, with both men giving their all and busting out some crazy moves, from Sebastian’s Tombstone Piledriver to Imabayashi’s trusty Sonic Crusher outta nowhere for the victory, thus becoming PWR Champion Bryan Leo’s next opponent.

Honorable mentions – Bryan Leo vs. Mark D. Manalo, Ken Warren vs. Chris Panzer

Performer of the Night

Nissi: PWR Live 2 turned out to be a Ralph Imabayashi show, moving from a simple competitor on the midcard to an ultimate underdog, who could most likely be the next top stud that the fans would be rooting for. 

His 5-foot-5 frame did not impede him from dancing with the big guys, employing his pesky speed and mixing in hard-hitting martial arts strikes.

The recent show prepared him toward a good main-event platform. Obviously, he is ripe for the spot that was given to him.

This kid's got a big heart! Ralph Imabayashi sends his intentions to take that championship away from "CLASSICAL" Bryan Leo.See you all again in December for #PWRTerminus

Posted by Philippine Wrestling Revolution on Saturday, 28 November 2015

Honorable mention – Jake De Leon

Michael: I have two candidates for this one. I like John Sebastian’s mic skills and his in-ring capability. For me, he gets it. He knows how to annoy the crowd and his opponent; he knows how to run his mouth. Hell, to borrow Vince McMahon’s quote, he was the Ace of the Royal Flush all along!

And let’s not forget Rederick Mahaba. He was great on the mic, his interactions with the Royal Flush and with PWR fans were off-the-hook, and an impromptu match with Main Maxx (wherein if Mahaba wins, he scores a date with the Queen of the Royal Flush, Scarlett) showed that he could bring it.

Honorable mentions – Vintendo, James “Idol” Martinez

Move of the Night

Nissi: Peter Versoza proved to have various options in his skillset and could innovatively put together moves as needed. In his match against his former tag team partner SANDATA, he put the crowd on their feet with a 360-degree leg drop.

WALANG FOREVER. Peter Versoza finally gets his vengeance against former tag partner SANDATA. #PWRLIVE

Posted by Philippine Wrestling Revolution on Saturday, 28 November 2015

Submission of the Night

Nissi: “Classical” Bryan Leo is submission specialist in his own right. At Wrevolution X, Leo introduced “The Fold,” which is an inverted cloverleaf with body-scissors, to put Mayhem Brannigan into sleep.

Meanwhile, he rendered another opponent unconscious once again at PWR Live 1 by torturing “The Senyorito” Jake De Leon with the Royal Prison Lock 2,” a combination of a sleeper hold and an anaconda vise.

At PWR Live 2, Leo flaunted another submission flavor by making Mark D. Manalo tap with an ankle lock but twisting the legs analogous to a sharp shooter.

Mark D. Manalo taps out to the dominant Bryan Leo who retains his PWR Title. #PWRLIVE

Posted by Philippine Wrestling Revolution on Saturday, 28 November 2015

Top 5 OMG moments

5. SANDATA’s surprise attack and top-rope dive outside the ring

4. Main Maxx’s surprise interference

3. Mark D. Manalo answers Bryan Leo’s PWR championship open challenge

"CLASSICAL" Bryan Leo issues an open challenge for his PWR Championship, and guess who comes out… Mark D. Manalo, baby! #PWRLIVE

Posted by Philippine Wrestling Revolution on Saturday, 28 November 2015

2. Royal Flush’s triple punts to the head

Ralph Imabayashi takes the win and the contendership for the PWR Championship… But at what cost? #PWRLIVE

Posted by Philippine Wrestling Revolution on Saturday, 28 November 2015

1. Ralph Imabayashi gives every member of the Royal Flush a jumping cutter

Here come Jake De Leon, Bombay Suarez, and Ralph Imabayashi to the rescue! #PWRLIVE

Posted by Philippine Wrestling Revolution on Saturday, 28 November 2015

Overall verdict

Nissi: Now it can be told that PWR Live 2 was one unpredictable show from start to finish due to its smooth progression if it were told as a story. Little was said regarding its details but the take-home satisfaction was exceptional.

Michael: The PWR Live card was uniquely entertaining. Each match, even the pre-show face-offs, brought something new to the table. I give it 4 out of 5 stars. –

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Michael Bueza

Michael is a data curator under Rappler's Tech Team. He works on data about elections, governance, and the budget. He also follows the Philippine pro wrestling scene and the WWE. Michael is also part of the Laffler Talk podcast trio.