PWR Wrevolution X 2016 review: Blood, sweat, tears of joy
MANILA, Philippines - It was a moment one year in the making. Or rather, remaking.
"The Senyorito" Jake de Leon had been at the top of the mountain. At last year’s Wrevolution X, he defeated Bombay Suarez in a tournament to become the inaugural Philippine Wrestling Revolution (PWR) champion. But that moment was stolen from him by "Classical" Bryan Leo, who cashed in the title opportunity he earned earlier that night.
For the next 12 months, JDL was on a mission. He stood up against Leo’s Royal Flush stable, fended off bold up-and-comers, and soon won the Path of Gold trophy for another shot at the gold that he had held for only a few minutes.
On Saturday, at the 2nd annual Wrevolution X – PWR’s answer to WWE’s WrestleMania – JDL laid it all on the line, but not only against defending champion Bryan Leo. Ex-champion Ralph Imabayashi was also in the mix, making it a triple threat match.
JDL’s friendship with Ralph got bruised during their title hunts, and it was close to imploding during the 3-way fight. That was nothing, though, compared to the pain they both inflicted on Leo. Exhibit A:
But only one winner could emerge that night.
Alipin Drop. Three-count. Streamers. Ovation. Handshake. Championship. Task complete, filed under Mission Report: May 29, 2016. "The Senyorito" Jake de Leon complied, and this time, he literally got to take home his reward: the PWR Title.
What’s next for JDL and PWR? Only they can tell, as they usher in another exciting year and keep the banner flying in this new era in Pinoy wrestling.
••• The triple threat main event for PWR’s top prize was perfectly executed. It’s both our pick for match of the night.
When you have 3 men inside the ring, it is often difficult to capture every detail. But in this match, everything was crystal clear. Jake de Leon, Ralph Imabayashi and Bryan Leo made the story easy to digest, and allowed each other to shine.
PWR fans saw Imabayashi’s desire – and desperation – to regain the PWR Championship from Bryan Leo, the man who cheated his way to his second reign.
Meanwhile, Leo proved that he is not your typical sniveling villain. "The Classical One" showcased his innovative submissions as well, along with his legendary mic skills.
Finally, it was just right to bestow a Wrevolution X moment to "The Senyorito" after all the shenanigans he had to endure. It was an arduous one-year journey to the Promised Land, and the best way to cap it off was with a feel-good moment: having the best Pinoy wrestler today to bring home the bacon... or in JDL's case, the inasal.
••• With jobs on the line, Chris Panzer vs John Sebastian was a red-hot match. But it wasn't either wrestlers’ livelihood at stake. Panzer represented PWR general manager Mr Sy, while Sebastian represented FOX host KC Montero. If Panzer wins, KC would be out of The G.O.A.T. TV show and out of FOX; if Sebastian wins, Mr Sy would be fired as PWR GM.
Panzer and Sebastian reignited their animosity in the ring, but the action extended at ringside, where Mr Sy and KC eventually came to blows.
Everybody turned the dial up to eleven in this match. All eyes were on Panzer and Sebastian's every move, waiting for the one that would seal either KC or Mr Sy's fate. KC was cool and game enough to hang with the boys and it contributed to the match's big-fight feel. He could even pass as a wrestler himself, with his brawny physique.
••• For its opening contest, Wrevolution X featured an entertaining showdown between two well-loved PWR characters: Rederick Mahaba and James "Idol" Martinez of The Network.
Admittedly, a lot were surprised to see Rederick go over Idol, as some were expecting to prolong The Intimate Warrior’s rift with The Network. Had he lost, Mahaba would be forced to don The Network's green-collared shirt as a downline.
Nevertheless, the match did not disappoint. Both even had a mini-"flying contest" that the crowd enjoyed whole-heartedly. See who did it better:
The clincher was when Mahaba forced Martinez to tap out with a reverse camel clutch dubbed as the "Jaccolade." The bout is a strong contender to take the 3rd (or even 2nd) best match of the night.
••• The shock factor continued in the next match when former PHX Champion Ken Warren faced Miguel Rosales in a grudge match. If you're going to look at KW's curriculum vitae, it seems impossible for Miguel Rosales to get the 1-2-3. But it happened as Rosales evaded Warren’s Wi-Fi to hit the F5.
Rosales was impressive throughout the bout, with his feats of strength and bursts of devastating offense. Meanwhile Ken Warren was still his brash, cocky self, slowing the pace of the match in his favor.
With Miguel seemingly receiving a major push, Fighters 4 Hire’s future is up in the air. His tag team partner Joey Bax needs to make a huge impact. If they want to, they could re-emerge as PWR's most dominant tag team.
••• It’s blood they wanted, and it’s blood they got! Bombay Suarez and Peter Versoza faced off in a First Blood Match that started slow but ended with a bang.
In terms of brutality, PWR took it a notch higher. Versoza busted Suarez’s forehead wide open by slumping Bombay face-first on a barbed wire baseball bat via the Petegree!
••• The 8-person gauntlet was a mixed bag. But of course, it’s the Philippine Hybrid X (PHX) division, where anything goes!
It had lots of bright spots and interesting match-ups, like Crystal’s usual gutsy performance against eventual winner Chino Guinto, Yohann Ollores’ hoverboard-riding Starbucks-drinking entitled party brat demeanor, Mark D. Manalo Facebook Live-ing his way to the ring, and SANDATA’s vicious lucha moves.
But a big kudos to Chino Guinto is in order here. He was the night's "iron man," facing 3 opponents in 1 night (SANDATA, Crystal, then Main Maxx for the title) then assisting his upline "Idol" Martinez in the night's opening match.
Chino can draw heat and play the crowd good enough for them to shout expletives at him... and he'll just take it all in. We think The Golden Boy can be a standalone heel in the near future.
••• While no match flopped completely on Saturday, some spots did, and fans quickly took notice. For instance, the first pre-show match featured two new tag teams – the rebellious Chaos and Mike Madrigal, and the nimble Delirium – and while it was a decent match, the multiple botches affected fans’ first impressions of them.
But hey, there’s always room for improvement, and both teams could do better as they move up the card. Also, the time is ripe for PWR to start building a solid tag team division. While we wait for that, look at this impressive double-team move by Chaos and Mike:
••• Instrumental rock music started playing to open the second pre-show match, but nobody was coming out. Many thought it was a miscue, but PWR fans exploded when Stanley Chi and Ramon Bautista made their way to the ring as the Double Dragons for their pro wrestling "debuts"!
When they found out their opponents would be the menacing Mavericc Knight and burly Bruno Bernardo, Stanley Chi cited "bad feng shui" and begged off, opting to stay at ringside. Ramon then "crowdsourced" a new partner to start the match, but quickly tagged out, leaving the poor audience member at the mercy of the two behemoths.
Bruno demanded real competition, and Los Trabajadores answered the call. Unfortunately, Machine made quick work of them. It was a downer that Stanley and Ramon left early, but a Machine-Bruno team-up sure is intimidating.
••• The PHX Championship match that immediately followed the 8-person gauntlet could have made more impact. It was a heel vs heel bout, and champion Main Maxx could have upped the ante by being meaner and badder than Chino Guinto.
••• The All-out War Match was indeed a war, but it missed out on the "all-out" part. The Apocalypse and Kanto Terror can undoubtedly dish out punishment on each other, but all we got on Saturday were a hanger, beer cans, a beer bucket (courtesy of Mark D. Manalo), a monobloc, an arnis stick, and a pesticide spray.
But still, cheers to both men and MDM... and to Apocalypse's cool new mask! Wait, did anybody say cheers?
Wrevolution X 2016 Results
• Pre-show: Delirium defeated Chaos and Mike Madrigal
• Pre-show: “The Machine” Mavericc Knight and Bruno Bernardo of The Network def. Ramon Bautista (w/ Stanley Chi) and a random audience member
• Pre-show: “The Machine” Mavericc Knight and Bruno Bernardo of The Network def. Los Trabajadores (Uno and Dos)
1. No Countout Match: Rederick Mahaba def. James “Idol” Martinez (w/ Chino Guinto and Bruno Bernardo) via submission
– If Mahaba had lost, he would have been forced to join The Network as a downline.
– The match was restarted by PWR GM Mr. Sy when it earlier ended in a countout.
2. Miguel Rosales (w/ Joey Bax) def. Ken Warren via the F5
3. 8-Person Gauntlet Match: Chino Guinto last eliminated Crystal to become the #1 contender to the PHX Championship
– Order of elimination: Yohann Ollores pinned Vintendo; Mark D. Manalo pinned Ollores; Joey Bax pinned Manalo; SANDATA forced Bax to submit; SANDATA pinned Trabajador Uno; Guinto pinned SANDATA; Guinto pinned Crystal
4. PHX Championship: Main Maxx (w/ Scarlett) def. Chino Guinto to retain his title
5. All-out War: The Apocalypse def. Kanto Terror (w/ Mark D. Manalo)
6. First Blood Match: Peter Versoza (w/ Scarlett) def. Bombay Suarez via a Petegree on a barbed wire baseball bat
7. John Sebastian (w/ KC Montero) def. Chris Panzer (w/ Mr. Sy)
– As a result, Mr. Sy was fired as PWR General Manager
8. PWR Championship – Triple Threat Match: "The Senyorito" Jake de Leon def. "Classical" Bryan Leo (w/ Scarlett) and Ralph Imabayashi to become the new champion (JDL pinned Leo after an Alipin Drop) – Rappler.com
Check out more Wrevolution X photos at Hub Pacheco's Facebook page.