MANILA, Philippines – There's no place like home, and there's no better place to perform and win than in front of a home crowd.
Both competitors showed the Philippine brand of wrestling athleticism for the fans watching the show produced by Philippine Wrestling Revolution (PWR) at the ABS-CBN Vertis Tent. They were also evenly matched, with TJP and JDL wiggling out of each other's signature moves.
De Leon – a two-time PWR Champion – proved to be a worthy opponent for TJP in this dream match.
JDL is on ! And so is TJP. #PWRHomecoming pic.twitter.com/2xJqhuid65 — Michael Bueza (@mikebueza) October 12, 2019 JDL avoids a corkscrew backflip, then hits TJP with a Samoan drop! #PWRHomecoming pic.twitter.com/9luFHb1chF — Michael Bueza (@mikebueza) October 12, 2019
In the end, TJP surprised De Leon with a pinfall while he was in JDL's Inasal Lock submission.
#PWRHomecoming : @MegaTJP pins @SenyoritoJDL while in a submission hold to win this dream match! @RapplerSports pic.twitter.com/aFth30tteC — Michael Bueza (@mikebueza) October 12, 2019
After the match, TJP delivered an impassioned speech about carrying the "3 stars and a sun" symbols of the Philippines when he performs all around the world, including when he was in World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE).
"You gave me one shot to make us mean something to the world, and I did it! We did it!" TJP said. He then listed other Fil-Am wrestlers as well as PWR's own superstars, and proclaimed that they can do it, too. (READ: Fil-Am pro wrestler TJ Perkins on Filipino pride, chasing your dreams)
Welcome home, @MegaTJP! @pwrofficial @RapplerSports pic.twitter.com/YAKFWFtGis — Michael Bueza (@mikebueza) October 12, 2019
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.