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Basic Smarkometrics (12/8/15): May Aircon Na, May PWR Power Rankings Pa!

It's been a week and a half since the smoke cleared at PWR Live, and with it, a shakeup in the Philippine Wrestling Revolution landscape. "Classical" Bryan Leo narrowly escaped with his PWR Championship against an unlikely challenger, new faces made their debuts onto the main roster, and old favorites remain knocked out of action with injuries.

Two months ago in our previous PWR Power Rankings, we declared the trio of Mayhem Brannigan, Bryan Leo, and the newly-promoted Ace of the Royal Flush, John Sebastian, as the top three wrestlers in the Philippines today. Could these three men retain their perch atop our updated rankings? Let's find out together, young Henrinites.

As always, we have a very specific Smarkometrics method to arrive at our definition of the best wrestler:

The best wrestler is the wrestler that fights only the best, and wins when he's expected to—and even when he's not.

In plain English, it means that we don't just look at absolute win-loss percentage; the quality of opponents a wrestler faces matters too. So a wrestler who wins just half of his matches against main-eventers is better than one who wins 100% of his matches against jabronis. Tag team and multi-man matches also count against a Superstar's record, since a truly great wrestler should be able to will his way to victory even beyond a one-on-one match. Pre-show matches don't count, however. Apologies in advance to all fans of the massive Mavericc Knight.

Sorry, Machine. 2-0 don't count when it's on the pre-show.
Sounds fair? Let's get to it.


Streaks and Standings

We know better than to obsess on absolute win-loss records in the comic world of pro wrestling; it's all one big telenovela for men, after all, and in an industry of predetermined outcomes and theatrical storytelling, individual match results aren't always an indication of who the biggest star is.

It's always an interesting exercise though to take a look at the "streakiness" of certain wrestlers. Who seems to be on a hot streak that could be moving into contention for championship consideration? Conversely, who's on a cold streak that could possible indicate a wrestler being built for a massive turnaround? As of today, here's how the overall win-loss standings of PWR shape up.

Green denotes a win, red denotes a loss.

When we speak of streaks, there's nothing more impressive in PWR history than "Classical" Bryan Leo's record-breaking run of five straight victories. It's been six months since he first seized (some say stole) the PWR Championship from the clutches of "The Senyorito" Jake De Leon, and he's been unbeatable since then. Whether defending his prized gold in one-on-one competition or in multi-man matches, the King of the Royal Flush has shown that his early 1-3 win-loss record was just him getting warmed up.

On the other hand of the spectrum, Jake De Leon is ice-cold. After roaring into history as the first PWR Champion on the books with a then-record four straight victories, he's dropped his last four decisions—twice to Bryan Leo in one-on-one title matches, once in a Triple Threat, and most recently, a stunning upset defeat against newcomer James "Idol" Martinez of The Network. JDL threw a massive tantrum after that particular loss, and the future seems cloudy for the Pride of Hacienda De Leon.

This is becoming a familiar feeling for the Senyorito.
And speaking of streaks, how about SANDATA? For all his philosophical musings and a promise to teach his former Dual Shock partner, Peter Versoza, a lesson at PWR Live, the masked grappler is still mired in a PWR-worst six-match losing streak, and remains winless in his young career.

Reigning PHX Champion Ken Warren is on a nice little winning run of his own, successfully climbing above the .500 mark after a third straight victory to help defend his white-and-gold belt. His latest victim (and long-time nemesis) Chris Panzer meanwhile had a small distinction seized from him with his loss; up until PWR Live, only he, Mayhem, and Ralph Imabayashi had been the only singles wrestlers never to lose consecutive matches. With his second straight loss, the Leader of the Panzer Army dips below the .500 mark for the first time since losing his debut match 15 months ago.

John Sebastian, meanwhile, saw his own three-match winning run snapped after falling short against the half-Japanese sensation Imabayashi, taking him back to a .500 slate.

Just focusing on winning percentages, here's how the PWR roster stands.

By virtue of his shocking win over JDL, James "Idol" Martinez owns the unique honor of being the only active member on the PWR roster who can claim he's undefeated. To be entirely fair, that's a bit of small sample size theater for you, and it remains to be seen if his dubious Idol Supplements can truly extend his winning ways in PWR.

Mayhem Brannigan still owns the highest winning percentage among all wrestlers with more than one match under their belts; his only defeat came at the hands of Bryan Leo, but otherwise, he's ridden his daredevil ways to wins over spirited competition. The Righteous One remains out of action with a broken nose and dislocated shoulder courtesy of the Fighters 4 Hire, and we have received no word on how his recovery process is going. Kanto Terror is hot on his heels, but has been out of action as well since August with injuries of his own to deal with.

We see a huge logjam of talent floating at the .500 mark, led by the monstrous Apocalypse, JDL, Sebastian, and the rugged Bombay Suarez. We aren't sure if this is due to ticky-tack 50-50 booking or because of the overall parity of competition, but let's see if anyone from this group can get some good momentum going.

And as we mentioned earlier, Chris Panzer is starting to slip from relevance as he sports just a .429 record in PWR. The man gets some of the biggest pops from the live audiences and is treated like a star, but let's face facts: for all his flashy offense, the dude is still one of the biggest underperformers in the company.

Strength of Schedule

Like we always say here in the Smark Henry offices, not all wins are equal. We respect wrestlers who consistently seek out tough competition instead of padding their record against a stream of tag specialists and floundering rookies. So before we get carried away with the winning percentages detailed above, let's see how strong the competitive schedule of each PWR talent has been.

This is a simple chart that aggregates the win-loss records of all wrestlers each competitor has faced into one number to give us a quantitative measure of how good his opponents have been.

Logically speaking, the stronger the opposition, the lower the chances of winning. And the weaker the opposition, the more you're expected to win.

The tank-like Main Maxx of the Royal Flush might be sporting a ho-hum .333 winning record, but there should be no discounting the fact that he's always chased out the toughest competition he can find. Collectively, his opponents sport a winning percentage above .600. That means, statistically speaking, he walks into each match with less than a 40% chance of winning. All of a sudden, we should give his courage a little bit more credit than his winning rate would suggest it deserves.

The Apocalypse is in a similar boat as well. In the previous chart, we discussed how his winning rate is just a middle-of-the-pack number, but when you realize that his opponents sport a collective winning percentage of .568, even being able to sniff .500 is a huge deal. Bravo, Apoc.

Kanto Terror's standing in our eyes as fans should take a huge fall after looking at this chart—for all his popularity, he's clearly been cherry-picking his opponents. It's not very impressive to be sporting a .750 winning record when you've been choosing to face men who barely win 20% of their matches. For shame, KT.

Segmenting the Superstars

With each PWR Superstar's winning percentage and strength of schedule in hand, we now have the opportunity to segment the roster into distinct classes to tell us what kind of men each one is. We like this simple model that divides the PWR roster into quadrants based on these two criteria.

As with last time, this shows us four distinct kinds of competitors:

  • Warriors: Winning record against elite competition. 
  • Big Fish In Small Ponds: Winning records earned by fighting mostly jabronis. 
  • Fighting Spirit Award: Losing records, but against generally strong competition. 
  • Underachievers: Losing records against soft competition—chokers, if you will.

After costly losses at PWR Live, both John Sebastian and Jake De Leon drop out of the Warrior quadrant, leaving "Classical" Bryan Leo as the last remaining member of this elite class. It won't take much though to return to this segment; one more win will be enough for either man, Bombay Suarez, or the Apocalypse to get promoted to this tier. Ken Warren and Mayhem Brannigan are hovering on the fringes too—just one more win against a +.500 opponent will automatically promote either wrestler into this high-pressure, high-stakes quadrant.

Kanto Terror is showing he's the ultimate Big Fish in a Small Pond, with his record firmly entrenching him in the heart of this quadrant. Ralph Imabayashi, on the other hand, makes the leap from being a near-underachiever to a member of the same segment. The Japanese Pocket Rocket needs to be careful though; while he's incredibly proud of having grabbed #1 contender status for Bryan Leo's PWR Championship, his record shows that he's never been truly tested against top-flight competition.

As we alluded to prior, Main Maxx is truly representative of what it means to claim a spot the Fighting Spirit Award segment. The Big Guy might not win very often—impressive submission victory against Rederick Mahaba notwithstanding—but he always lines up world-class opponents for himself. He can certainly afford to take things easy just a little bit and get some quality W's under his belt.

Unsurprisingly, it's Peter Versoza, SANDATA, and Chris Panzer who define what it means to be an Underachiever in PWR. All three men are young, flashy, and talented in the ring, but they just can't seem to pull it together and show what it means to be winners. The next 12 months will be critical to these two talents; will they be eaten up by their failures, or will they learn how to #RiseAboveDefeat?

Time will tell how things turn out for new talents Rederick Mahaba, James Martinez, and Vintendo. We'll pass first on casting them into specific quadrants and give them a bit more time to get more reps under their respective belts.

So who's the best?

So going back to our original definition of what it means to be the "best wrestler," we now have all the numbers we need to name which wrestlers have truly risen to the top of their fields.

We've come up with a nifty little mathematical expression to arrive at a number we call our Winning Factor, or a wrestler's ability to consistently outperform expectations against quality competition. Here's how it looks, for you math nerds out there.

And based on that, here's how the computations played out.

Honorable Mention:

"The Senyorito" Jake De Leon slides out of our PWR Power Rankings for the first time since its inception. With his fourth straight loss, his massive choke job against Martinez, and multiple failed attempts to reclaim the PWR Championship, the master of "Minimum Wage, Maximum Wage" is at a career crossroads.

The Top Five:

At #5, sliding two spots down from our previous Power Rankings, it's John Sebastian.

Win-Loss Record: 3-3 (.500)
Strength of Schedule: .550
Streak: Lost 1
Winning Factor: +11%
Notable Wins: Bombay Suarez, Ralph Imabayashi

Sebastian had a hot-and-cold night at PWR Live, getting promoted to Ace of the Royal Flush to open the evening, but ending the night flat on his back for a three-count loss against Ralph Imabayashi. "Classical" Bryan Leo has proclaimed Sebastian to be the "future of PWR," but until he learns to string some consistency together, he's just another loudmouth with a big stick Singapore cane.

Moving up one spot to #4 is reigning PHX Champion, Ken Warren.

Win-Loss Record: 4-3 (.571)
Strength of Schedule: .550
Streak: Won 3
Winning Factor: +14%
Notable Wins: Chris Panzer, Ralph Imabayashi, Joey Bax

Warren impressed us all with a quality title defense against Chris Panzer at PWR Live, and has us all believing that the old K-Dub who choked away three straight wins early on in his career is a thing of the past. With the mercenary Fighters 4 Hire by his side, the sky's the limit for the "Social Media Sinister."

Shooting up four massive spots to break into the top five is The Apocalypse.

Win-Loss Record: 3-3 (.500)
Strength of Schedule: .568
Streak: Won 1
Winning Factor: +16%
Notable Wins: Main Maxx, Vintendo

Apocalypse dismantled Vintendo in convincing manner his last time out, showing that even with his failed attempt to win PWR gold at PWR Renaissance, he's still a dangerous force to watch out for in the Philippine pro wrestling scene. What the numbers don't reveal is the destruction he's left in his wake; he's laid out enough people with his trademark Death Bell to fill an Urban. Never let your guard down when the masked monster is on the loose.

Staying true at #2 is your PWR Champion and King of the Royal Flush, "Classical" Bryan Leo.

Win-Loss Record: 6-3 (.667)
Strength of Schedule: .563
Streak: Won 5
Winning Factor: +52%
Notable Wins: Jake De Leon, Mayhem Brannigan, The Apocalypse

The Classical One looked shaky in his recent title defense against the lightly-regarded Mark D. Manalo, but that's not the point. There is no better big game player in PWR than the Man From The First World, and no matter what PWR General Manager Mr. Sy throws at him, he keeps finding new ways to win time and time again. With the longest winning streak in PWR history to go with his six-month championship reign and backup from the most feared stable in play today, don't expect Bryan Leo to fall any time soon.

And still at #1, despite missing out on recent action, is Mayhem Brannigan.

Win-Loss Record: 5-1 (.833)
Strength of Schedule: .500
Streak: Won 2
Winning Factor: +67%
Notable Wins: Chris Panzer, The Apocalypse, Miguel Rosales

While still lacking a signature win in his PWR career, the leader of the Ryot Squad has a highlight reel of signature moments longer than Scarlett's makeup routine. From second floor balcony dives to top rope sentons, Mrs. Brannigan's baby boy has been chaos personified from day one. While you may argue about the quality of opponents he's faced (does the name Robin Sane ring a bell?), it's hard to argue against his .833 winning percentage, his indomitable spirit, or the massive spots he's seared into our collective minds. Watching Mayhem wrestle is like watching a car crash unfold, and for now, that's enough to keep him rooted atop the PWR Power Rankings.


That's it for this edition of the PWR Power Rankings. How do you feel about how they turned up? Are you bummed that JDL is nowhere to be found, or do you think the Apocalypse deserves to finally break into the top five? Leave us your thoughts, and we'll see you all after PWR Terminus in less than two weeks.


All photos are courtesy of the scintillating Hub Pacheco.

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