'PWR Live: Resbak' review: Spoilin' for a fight
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Wrestling Revolution (PWR) was on fight mode Sunday, May 28, as it returned to Makati City for PWR Live: Resbak.
Just weeks after its annual extravaganza, Wrevolution X, PWR was on a roll with another hot show, featuring a whopping 9 matches on the main card plus two on the preshow.
Wrestling fans at the Foton Showroom along Chino Roces Avenue witnessed an epic main event, a shocking heel turn, successful title defenses, a crazy all-out war, and more!
Here's how PWR Live: Resbak unfolded in reverse order, from the main event to the undercard to the preshow.
PWR Championship - 2 out of 3 Falls: Chris Panzer defeated John Sebastian to retain the title
The Wrevolution X rematch between John Sebastian and PWR Champion Chris Panzer in a best-of-3-falls match was made sweeter with the new and improved PWR title belt.
The first fall went to Sebastian, after hitting a Bullet to the Head. The blow dazed Panzer but he recovered soon enough, forcing Sebastian to tap to an armbar submission for fall #2.
With the series up 1-1, both men stepped up the physicality. A piledriver and a Frogsplash later, Panzer holds on to the PWR Title.
Hot take: Panzer and Sebastian outdid themselves in this encounter. Yours truly enjoyed the flow of the match, from the false finishes until the final 3-count. The Three Stages of Hell match between Triple H and Shawn Michaels at WWE Armageddon 2002 comes to mind.
Also, Panzer would certainly feel prouder taking home the new PWR Championship belt. It definitely has a Filipino flavor: carabao and rooster icons on the side plates, plus the sun, stars and ethnic prints at the center plate. "Kampeon ng Pilipinas" indeed!
Ralph Imabayashi (w/ Rederick Mahaba) def. Jake de Leon
Mahaba, with baking pan in hand, explained that he'd stay at Imabayashi's corner to fend off possible run-ins and to make it a fair match.
And a fair match it was. As in their previous face-offs, the two ex-PWR champions ran a wrestling clinic.
After countering a Sonic Crusher, De Leon had Ralph on his shoulders but Imabayashi's feet hit the referee as they spun. Moments later, Ralph finally nailed the Sonic Crusher, but it was only good for 2.
A frustrated Imabayashi attacked the referee then snatched the baking pan from Mahaba, who immediately got it back. Rederick reminded Ralph that wasn't how to win the match.
This was how:
It was the shot heard 'round the Foton Showroom. Ralph did away with his patented Sonic Crusher and went instead for a crushing tombstone piledriver to seal the deal.
Post-match, Rederick said on the mic that both him and Ralph are sick and tired of pleasing the Revo-Nation and not getting the respect they deserve. From here on in, said Mahaba, they'll be out for themselves.
Hot take: Ralph's heel turn was a long time coming, but Rederick's turn came as a surprise. It would be interesting to see what happens next.
Meanwhile, JDL and Imabayashi continue to step up their in-ring game. Kudos to both of them!
Crystal def. Bolt
The blue-haired crowd favorites went toe-to-toe in this intergender match.
Roaring from the pre-show in previous events to near the top of the undercard at Resbak, Bolt gave his all, but Crystal ultimately stole Bolt's thunder with a Solemate.
Hot take: Some of their moves didn't land well, and their match lasted longer than expected. Nonetheless, a good effort by both wrestlers.
Trian dela Torre def. The Apocalypse
Trian's "war on kapres" resumed with an open challenge to any big man in PWR. When eerie piano music played, it dawned on the diminutive Dela Torre that he bit more than he could chew.
The Apocalypse answered Trian's open challenge. But the self-proclaimed midget wrestling champion eked out a win by rolling up Apocalypse out of nowhere. This annoyed the menacing monster, who then unleashed hell on Trian... and his midget wrestling "title belt"!
Hot take: Trian dela Torre is a heavyweight on the mic, no doubt about that. The upset victory and the post-match beatdown, however unfortunate for Trian, also made sense: Apocalypse remains PWR's fearsome behemoth, while Trian can continue to air his gripes on mean kapres.
Tag Team All-Out War: Fighters 4 Hire def. Deadly Sinns
Fighters 4 Hire and Deadly Sinns finally got to inflict punishment on each other in this chaotic All-Out War match.
PWR fans got in on the action too by contributing weapons, ranging from a plastic plant and a real plant (a bundle of sitaw) to a guitar and a shinai (Japanese sword). Thumbtacks and blocks of Legos later came into play in one wicked spot:
Even the Orocan drums that contained the weapons weren't spared:
In the end, Joey Bax (moments after he broke free from being handcuffed on the ropes) and tough-as-nails Miguel Rosales drove Mike Madrigal through a makeshift plywood table for the emphatic victory.
Hot take: This was a fun, crazy match. Creative juices were overflowing, from the fans who brought the weapons – including a pair of kamagong arnis sticks, care of yours truly – to both teams who dished out loads of unique offense.
Like this bowling practice by Vlad Sinnsyk:
Also, it would be nice for PWR to invest in some nice legit thin wood or plywood tables. PWR, get the tables!
PHX Championship: Chino Guinto def. Peter Versoza to retain the title
Chino Guinto's first PHX title defense was against the previous titleholder, Peter Versoza.
Versoza had control of the match early on, preventing the Golden Boy from picking up steam. But Chino persevered, mounting a flurry of offense, countering a Pete-gree, and ending the match with a unique roll-slam (his version of Code Red) to retain the title.
After the match, Ken Warren and The YOLO Twins attacked the champ, until a bunch of green-shirted downlines stormed the ring to protect Guinto!
Suddenly, a downline snatched the PHX Title away from Chino, and handed it to Network honcho James "Idol" Martinez on the mezzanine. Martinez returned the belt to Chino minutes later, but Idol's message was clear: You're still my downline, Chino.
Hot take: Nice showing by Chino and Peter. The uneasy relationship between Idol and Chino continues to unravel. Meanwhile, Chino has a big target on his back, with his own boss James "Idol" Martinez and Ken Warren seeking to own the PHX Title for themselves.
The Network def. Delirium
Speaking of Idol, he was in a tag team match with Alexander Belmonte III against Delirium (Dax Xaviera and Dan Ericson).
Idol appeared to have AB3 take all the beating, then gloat when The Network had the upper hand. AB3 seemed to get tired of this and walked out on Idol, but he later had second thoughts. Belmonte returned to his corner and begrudgingly took one for the team once again.
Hot take: The Idol-AB3 interaction was intriguing. Will Mr. Financially Stable break away, or will his loyalty to Idol matter more? The match ending was confusing, though.
Ken Warren def. Koto Hiro
After the shenanigans in the previous match (see below), it's Ken Warren's turn to get in the ring. His opponent: visiting international wrestler Koto Hiro!
Ken and Koto went back and forth, until the twins returned the earlier favor by interfering in Ken's match. Warren then hit the Wi-Fi kick on the back of Koto's head to pick up the win.
Hot take: Decent exhibition by both men. Koto Hiro was edgy and entertaining, while Ken Warren grounded the masked Japanese wrestler.
PWR Tag Team Championship: The YOLO Twins def. Punk Dolls to retain the titles
The main show kicked off with The R&C Show, hosted by the PWR Tag Team Champions, Yohann and Logan Ollores.
The YOLO Twins bullied ring announcer Pocholo Estrada and ripped a fan-made poster before shrieking their throats out to drown out the crowd's boos.
The champions then introduced their guest, "The Social Media Sinister" Ken Warren. He got a new jacket as a gift from the twins, seemingly making their still-unnamed trio official.
Warren also had some words for PHX Champion Chino Guinto, calling him "boring" and "not as good as him." PWR GM Mr. Sy had enough of the talk, and booked the twins in a match for the PWR Tag Titles against the Punk Dolls, Robynn and Martivo.
Robynn was closing in on one of the YOLO Twins, when the other brother pulled the referee out of the ring. Ken Warren then snuck in to hit Robynn with one of the PWR Tag Team Titles!
After the match, the trio added insult to injury by hitting a triple superkick on Robynn!
Hot take: Bring earbuds when the YOLO Twins have the mic, because that YOLO scream is irritating. Nonetheless, the twins continue to be annoying and cocky as heck, and this author think it's great. Add Ken Warren to the mix, and you have a formidable trio.
Pre-show: SANDATA def. Kh3nNdrick
One big "groufie". One flying knee. One, two, three.
SANDATA was originally scheduled to face Fil-Canadian wrestler Billy Suede, but Mr. Sy banned Suede after the latter attacked Mr. Sy and SANDATA days before Resbak.
Hot take: SANDATA's Busaiku knee had quite a serious hang time there. This author knew the finish was coming: It was similar to Daniel Bryan's 18-second World Title loss at WWE WrestleMania 28.
Here's hoping that Kh3Ndrick would smarten up next time. (He could start with the spelling of his name. Haha.) Here's also hoping Billy Suede got SANDATA's message.
Pre-show: Zayden Trudeau def. Vintendo
Vintendo kicked off the preshow, his first PWR appearance since PWR Live: Suplex Sunday last November 2016. His opponent was a debuting Fil-Canadian bootcamper, Zayden Trudeau.
Going toe-to-toe with PWR's resident gamer, "The Canadian Dragon" ended the match with a Desolé, his version of Seth Rollins' jumping high knee finisher, on Vintendo for the victory.
Hot take: Good to see Vintendo back in action. Trudeau also showed guts and promise in his first-ever match. A solid start to the preshow.
Over-all verdict: The show was fully loaded and the venue literally heated, but the in-ring action made up for it. The last 2 matches – Ralph Imabayashi vs. Jake de Leon and the PWR Title main event – were especially well-done that it kept the audience on their feet until the end. A "Foton finish," if you will.
The Tag Team All-out War also made its mark, while the trifecta of Ken Warren and the YOLO Twins plus an apparent infighting in The Network are must-watch in PWR's next shows.
For continuing the momentum after a thrilling Wrevolution X, and for bringing the fight at the Foton Showroom, PWR Live: Resbak gets an A- rating. – Rappler.com