MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Wrestling Revolution (PWR) made a final stop en route to Wrevolution X at PWR Live: Trapik on Sunday, April 22, and everybody wants in on the ride.
A six-man tag team match that capped Trapik pitted PWR Champion Ralph Imabayashi, Philippine Hybrid X (PHX) Champion Mike Madrigal, and Rederick Mahaba against Miguel Rosales, Path of Gold trophy holder Ken Warren, and Chris Panzer.
The massive main event at 500 Shaw Events Pavilion in Mandaluyong City saw Team Imabayashi isolating each member of the opposing team, hoping that one of them would crack, but the trio of Rosales, Panzer, and Warren persevered.
#CatchUpClip from #PWRLiveTrapik Sonic Crusher, splash, Spear! @RapplerSports pic.twitter.com/AVeole3I4m — Michael Bueza (@mikebueza) April 22, 2018
The ring couldn't contain Madrigal and Warren's hatred for one another; this led to both of them fighting all the way to backstage. In the ring, with Imabayashi sidelined, Rosales and Panzer finished off Mahaba to seal the victory.
After the match, a fired-up Rosales challenged Imabayashi to a PWR Championship match at Wrevolution X on May 20. The champion made Rosales sign a contract to make it official. Then, after the captain of Barangay Suplex hit a Spear on Imabayashi, PWR co-owner John Sebastian revealed a stipulation in the contract: Rosales' career will also be on the line!
Also at Wrevolution X, Ken Warren will challenge Mike Madrigal for the PHX Title, while Chris Panzer will fight Rederick Mahaba. Panzer, who rarely takes the mic, responded to Mahaba's tirades against him and the PWR crowd earlier in the show.
JDL's next challenge
"The Senyorito" Jake de Leon continued his crusade of "cleansing" PWR by battling both SANDATA and Dax Xaviera. The latter two each have a win against JDL.
Hurracanrana by SANDATA! #PWRLiveTrapik @RapplerSports pic.twitter.com/etzuPirR4D — Michael Bueza (@mikebueza) April 22, 2018
In the end, the Senyorito – who had ditched his broom "Walis Pempengco" in favor of going at it by himself – kicked SANDATA after the masked warrior hit a Kidlat high knee on Xaviera. JDL then made Dax tap out to Inasal Lock #2.
JDL takes out SANDATA, makes Dax Xaviera tap out to Inasal Lock #2 for the victory! #PWRLiveTrapik @RapplerSports pic.twitter.com/5ZaU4t7Zbq — Michael Bueza (@mikebueza) April 22, 2018
Post-match, JDL declared he's ready to take on new challengers, and dared anyone who wants to be "on his level" to face him at Wrevolution X. The brave soul who answered the call: Zayden Trudeau.
Tag team scene
Speaking of Trudeau, he and Bolt faced Punk Dolls, Robynn and Martivo, at Trapik. The winners will earn a PWR Tag Team Championship shot at Wrevolution X, while the losers will be forced to disband.
Zayden Trudeau suplexes Robynn on the apron! #PWRLiveTrapik @RapplerSports pic.twitter.com/LlnpmdEpL8 — Michael Bueza (@mikebueza) April 22, 2018
Robynn and Martivo prevail over Bolt and Zayden Trudeau to become the #1 contenders to the PWR Tag Team Championships. #PWRLiveTrapik @RapplerSports pic.twitter.com/ahad5mJLNr — Michael Bueza (@mikebueza) April 22, 2018
PWR Tag Team Champions John Sebastian and Crystal emerged to berate their new challengers, who responded in kind with an attack on Sebastian!
Earlier, at the Trapik opener, the tag champions retained against ex-titleholders Alexander Belmonte III and the returning James "Idol" Martinez of the Network, thanks to a distraction by Peter Versoza.
(We'll have more on Versoza's involvement in a bit.)
Peter Versoza distracts Idol with what looks like a “Flat Earth” shirt. John Sebastian and Crystal double-team AB3 (not the legal man) to retain the PWR Tag Team Titles at #PWRLiveTrapik. @RapplerSports pic.twitter.com/1DfeprPTMv — Michael Bueza (@mikebueza) April 22, 2018
MWF invasion 2.0
Local wrestling fans will witness another visit to PWR by the Manila Wrestling Federation (MWF). This time, at Wrevolution X, an MWF superstar will be competing in the ring.
This all began during a match at Trapik between TDTxECX (Trian dela Torre and Evan Carleaux) and The YOLO Twins (Yohann and Logan Ollores).
MWF wrestlers Frankie Thurteen, Robin Sane, Brother Jomar Liwanag, and Mr. Lucha, as well as commentator Tarek el Tayech were watching the tag match at ringside.
Dela Torre and Thurteen's online feud suddenly got real when TDT was shoved by one of the twins onto the injured Grunge Grappler. Things escalated when Frankie cost TDTxECX the match itself.
Frankie Thurteen of MWF distracts TDTxECX, costing them the match against the YOLO Twins! #PWRLiveTrapik @RapplerSports pic.twitter.com/sITON2NI9w — Michael Bueza (@mikebueza) April 22, 2018
Dela Torre and Carleaux then challenged Thurteen and the YOLO Twins to a Wrevolution X match. However, due to his arm injury, Frankie convinced fellow MWF star and PWR alumnus Robin Sane to take his spot instead.
TDTxECX, meanwhile, would have to find a third person, or it would be a 3-on-2 handicap match at Wrevolution X.
Robin Sane and the YOLO Twins wasn't the only unlikely team-up that day. James "Idol" Martinez also aligned himself with Peter Versoza and his "flat Earth" theory.
While Versoza got involved in the PWR Tag Team Championship match earlier, Idol returned the favor by counting the pinfall after a low blow by Peter on Revo-Ranger to set the "flat Earth versus round Earth" series to one win apiece.
The duo later emerged as one team during Vlad Sinnsyk's All Out War title defense against Vintendo. They interrupted Sinnsyk as he went for the finish.
This prompted Revo-Ranger and Alexander Belmonte III to head out as well. In the process, Idol seemed to end his affiliation with AB3 and The Network.
PWR co-owner Sebastian came up with a way to settle this pile-up: a huge 6-man All Out War Match for Sinnsyk's title.
Also at Trapik, Mr. Sy concocted a head-scratching team-up. In his client Main Maxx's quest to seek revenge against Kh3ndrick and Mh4rckie of the Kakaibros – who cost Maxx the PHX Championship at Path of Gold – Mr. Sy paired Maxx with The Apocalypse.
The "alliance" was rocky from the get-go, which the Kakaibros tried to take advantage of.
The two behemoths still took care of the pesky Kakaibros, but a blind tag by Maxx on Apocalypse sparked a brawl between themselves, ending the match with no clear winner.
Apocalypse goes for the win. Main Maxx makes blind tag. Apoc, Maxx beat each other up. Tag match vs Kakaibros end in double countout. #PWRLiveTrapik @RapplerSports pic.twitter.com/G8HP0QfUph — Michael Bueza (@mikebueza) April 22, 2018
At the pre-show, Brad Cruz awkwardly pinned Kapitan PWR to earn a victory.
Then, Quatro finally got his wish after dispatching McKata: he will face his ex-mentor and current tormentor Trabajador Supremo at Wrevolution X.
Supremo looked to have the upper hand this early, though, when he subdued Quatro in the middle of the ring.
The Shadow vs The Light-bringer Is this a preview of their match at #WrevolutionX? #PWRLiveTrapik preshow pic.twitter.com/bm75D2EDjZ — Michael Bueza (@mikebueza) April 22, 2018
It's expected that PWR would set everything up for Wrevolution X, but the first half of PWR Live: Trapik moved at a crawling pace like the horrendous daily Shaw Boulevard traffic. However, most of the second half coasted like it was on Shaw Boulevard during Holy Week break.
So much action took place on this show, it's overwhelming. So, instead of a review as long as the EDSA gridlock, here are some bullet points on the notable parts of Trapik:
- Match of the Night was the triple threat match among Jake de Leon, SANDATA, and Dax Xaviera. JDL was great once again in this outing. Plus, JDL's right about what he said post-match: his two opponents also stepped up their game. JDL vs Zayden Trudeau is an interesting match-up at Wrevolution X.
- In second place for Match of the Night is Punk Dolls versus Bolt/Trudeau. Everyone busted their butts off in this high-stakes tag match. Meanwhile, with Martivo and Robynn chasing the tag titles, and Zayden facing JDL, this leaves Bolt with nothing to do yet for Wrevolution X.
- The main event was a good send-off to Wrevolution X. All 6 men did their parts well, and the execution was textbook tag team strategy.
- A huge salute to Robynn who took a suplex on the hard ring apron, and to Vlad Sinnsyk who landed hard on the floor after a top-rope dive to the outside.
- The PWR-MWF crossover is a welcome development, especially in the local scene. This author, for one, hopes that a full "PWR vs MWF" card is in the works. Until then, keep an eye on Robin Sane's interaction with the YOLO Twins as a reluctant partner, as well as TDTxECX's search for a third man.
- The Idol-Peter alliance kicked off to a good start – heck, the apparent Network break-up was sad but inevitable. However, their involvement in the All Out War championship scene seemed off. A Wrevolution X match with Idol-Peter versus AB3-Ranger could have been another option to solidify the dynamics of this new partnership.
Overall, PWR Live: Trapik was a mixed bag of thrills and spills. Every outcome mattered for Wrevolution X but some of the action – notably during the first half – felt like a routine drive, unlike a handful of matches that took the audience on a crazy road trip. Rating: B+
Side note: PWR is very loaded right now. Trapik was a 4-hour show with a total of 10 matches on the pre-show and main card, and featured over 30 wrestlers all in all, plus an MWF crossover.
Kudos to PWR for booking the show with all these moving parts, but this author hopes they can sustain it, fend off audience burnout, and leave no wrestler behind.
– all photos by LeAnne Jazul/Rappler.com
Michael Bueza is a researcher and data curator under Rappler's Research 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.