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PWR Live: The SHAWdown! Review

Holy crap, we finally got to them.

Through the combined efforts (and billions of brain cells sacrificed) of the SGP community. I would like to believe that we have all made it possible for the Philippine Wrestling Revolution to finally see the light. A light shining through the immense obnoxiousness and disregard for human decency that pervades our deepest and darkest recesses. Lance, Buezzy, our time has begun.

We present to you, dear readers, the review for the first show of the PWR year,

Well, ladies and gents, the conclusion of Wrevolution X has brought about all things new in the PWR world.

New Venue.
New Beginnings.
New Breed.

The 500 Shaw Events Pavilion

It was a welcome change of scenery due to certain very valuable factors. First and foremost was the secure parking. Given that I arrived at 4pm and left at 11, I still only had to pay Php 40. Either Manong Guard was feeling generous that night or just downright lazy, it was a very small price to pay for ease of mind. Air conditioning was also present of course. We're not savages.

Also, and this is very important... THERE'S FOOD DOWNSTAIRS. SO MANY CHOICES THAT AREN'T CALLED MCDONALD'S (Not that there's anything wrong with that. It just gets really repetitive.) There's also this gem of a place that got tickled the marks in all of us

"Sir, kanin pa po kayo?"
"Yea-OHHHHH!"

The venue itself was very conducive to larger crowds, as the ring was highly visible from any spot. No pesky poles or support beams were there to block our view. There was an entrance ramp that was quite long but provided a pretty neat intro for the PWR Stars, although Rederick Mahaba wasn't much of a fan of it. The only real downside to it was that there was no 2nd floor. Idol will likely just have to jump off 4B from the top rope.

The Pre-Show

Vintendo opens up the event by addressing the crowd and introduces the first of the new debuting wrestlers of the night, the tag team named Delirium.

Iiiiiiiiit's... SHAWTIME!

As he welcomes the pair, good things rarely stay good for long as The Network (minus The Machine) comes in to establish their turf. Dubbing themselves as the "pre-show bullies", They boast of a perfect record on the pre-show, while noting that Vintendo has been on a slump as of late. As Idol deftly points out, there were three of them on each side, which makes perfect sense for an impromptu 3-on-3 basketball game, I mean match. With Mr. Sy no longer in charge, the wrestlers have taken over the matchmaking.

Vintendo and Delirium vs. The Network ( James "Idol" Martinez, "The Golden Boy" Chino Guinto, and "Mr. Big Bank" Bruno Bernardo)

With The Network in the match, you can definitely expect some shenanigans. From the continuous beat down in the opponents corner as the three members of The Network tagged in and out, and to Idol suddenly popping out from under the apron to pull an unsuspecting Vintendo from the ring down to the floor, they kept their comedic and playful nature intact. Vintendo had his highlight too, gorilla pressing and eventually hitting the High Score on Idol. However, it's not enough as The Golden Boy hits the Gold Digger. The Network then hits an assisted powerbomb and they keep their undefeated pre-show streak alive

Chino Guinto had a stellar performance, showcasing remarkable work in the match. You could definitely feed off of the energy from his facial expressions. Props definitely to him.....but he wore double shirts like a true douche. So no go. Fuck you, Chino.

Despite the efforts of The Golden Boy and Idol, the match was still riddled with its flaws. Some spots were sloppy, particularly those involving 4B and Vintendo. The backbreaker by 4B felt flat and the shoulder blocks that the two exchanged were quite messy. There was a spot wherein Vintendo ran in to save his partner and encountered 4B and they just.... went their separate ways with nary an interaction. You could barely see any intensity in his face.

Vintendo seems to be suffering the same problem that he has had for quite some time, a lack of a definitive storyline. It's getting harder to see a progression in his character, nor a relatable aspect to him. With the debut of Delirium, it's possible that this is the direction that they may end up taking. the Fighting Gamer with the New Breed taking on the Pre-Show Bullies. It's a new year, maybe it's time for a level up.

Match Result: The Network wins via assisted Powerbomb by James "Idol" Martinez

The Main Show

Yohann Ollores vs. Mark D. Manalo

The crowd was in a meh sort of mood and in serious need of a pick me up. Good thing the Starbucks-sipping, spoiled brat of the PWR showed up, albeit minus his hoverboard. Following him was the champion of the people, the ever lovable crowd favourite, Mark D. Manalo with Kanto Terror accompanying him.

His Saturday night started early. Waaaaaay early.

YoLo begins by predicting the outcome because he, as he so eloquently states it, is a "future-teller". With him stating that he will be looking down at Mark D. Manalo, we can only assume that it is a sign of things to come.

I must say though, that this match made up for the shortcomings of the pre-show, and then some.
Now this, fellow smarks, is how you start the show. The action was amaaaaazing and well spaced out. You had MDM hitting the Blue Thunder, YoLo returning the favor with a Superkick to a vulnerable Manalo stuck on the top turnbuckle. And yet the best part would have to be the very douche-y twist in the end. I say douche-y because they took a page out of very ingenious playbook from none other than Kurt Angle. After Mark D. Manalo hit Yohann with the Stunner, he rolled himself out of the ring and under the apron. With Kanto Terror and Manalo distractedly looking for Yohann, he appears from the other side in no time and hits the Promdi with his One Night Stand. A 3-count later, and the prediction, I mean future-telling, comes true: Manalo lying down on the floor, and Yohann with his hand raised, looming over him.

Except it isn't Yohann, but his debuting twin brother, Logan. Goddamn that trickery. It was so good, just so.... damn annoyingly good, that you just can't help but say WTF? The action in the match set it up so well, The finish... just... thank you. That was damn good. You get props for that, YoLo twins.

"Double Douches, actually."- Not-Easily-Impressed-Kuya-Bouncer


Mark D. Manalo throws down the challenge after the match for a tag team bout between Beer Promdi and the YoLo Twins for PWR Renaissance. Since there's no GM available yet, the match is still pending to be made official. There seems to be a recurring theme here...

Match Result: Yohann (actually, Logan) Ollores wins via One Night Stand

Mahabang Usapan (ft. Jake De Leon)

Rederick Mahaba, as always, has an entertaining entrance. The "Best In The Bird", as he has recently dubbed himself, opens up his show by teasing the elephant in the room. Sadly, folks, Scarlett has retired, although she was never mentioned by Mahaba by name. Perhaps it was too painful, perhaps it was too shocking. But #ScarHab is now dead. Move on na, mga teh.

But let's get to the meat of the show.

First things first, any lingering doubts on whether or not JDL and Imabayashi have squashed their beef were addressed when Mahaba introduced The Fiery Underdog as his surprise guest. The current and former champion were asked to commemorate their renewed friendship in Mahaba-est way possible:


"Puso ko, b3h"

Of course, it wouldn't be a Mahabang Usapan without an interruption. This time, it came from none other than The Royal Flush...Lite. Absent Classical Bryan Leo, the three remaining members of the Royal Flush, "The Ace-Hole" John Sebastian, PHX Champion Main Maxx, and The Man Who Came From NSTP, Peter Versoza. Sebastian begins by declaring his intentions to take the belt away from The Senyorito. He once came close to a title shot but lost to Imabayashi in the No.1 contendership bout. After teasing a possible 3-on-3 match, the build up was diffused due to five of the six men already being booked in matches.Well... Mahabang Usapan actually finishes without a match interrupting it. New year, indeed. Oh, and JDL went full English in this segment. It was kind of unsettling.

Rederick Mahaba vs. Ken Warren

Ken Warren is wondering how everything came to this. He went from PHX Champion, losing that title to Bombay Suarez, losing to his bodyguard Joey Bax's brother, Miguel Rosales, and is now facing Rederick Mahaba. On the other hand, Mahaba just beat the man who has been giving him tons of grief the past year, James "Idol Martinez". He's looking for new and tougher competition. Warren happens to be that guy, and he is definitely not happy about it, The Horny Jollibee, as he puts it, is a major step down for a man of his stature and wrestling pedigree. He even asks, "Since when has it been cool to be obese?"...

YOU PUNCH HIM IN THAT FILTHY MOUTH, MAHABA! YOU PUNCH HIM REEEEAAAAAL GOOD! NAGHAHANAP NG AWAY SI LOKO EHHHHHH

And now that I've recomposed myself, I have to say that the action matched my intensity for that question. Mahaba kept tossing Warren around like a rag doll, applying his offense and pressure non stop. There was no dull moment in that match, with Mahaba showing he deserved such competition.


However, after sensing that the Jaccolade is drawing near, The Social Media Sinister exits the ring and laments on how he's getting the raw end (ahehe) of the stick with how his matches are going. He loses via count out and Mahaba is left wondering what the fuck just happened.

Yes, at first it seems that we just got shafted out of a damn good finish to the match, but isn't that the whole point? The PWR landscape is in a bit of a jam. With no authority figure to enforce rules and govern the roster, there have been good and bad effects. Yes, there have been matches that are made on the spot, but there is also this incident. The Philippine Wrestling Revolution badly needs a GM. And it needs it quick, or else we'll have unfinished matches like these happening more often. Poor Mahaba, at least someone handed him a box of munchkins on the way back to the locker room.

Match Result: Rederick Mahaba wins via Count Out 

Mike Madrigal vs. Joey Bax

Hailing from Death Valle Verde, "The Walking Death" Mike Madrigal is set to face some very tough competition in the resident Tito of the PWR, Joey Bax.

The other other member of the Suicide Squad

What we have here is classic hardened veteran vs. energetic new guy match. Madrigal was out to prove he belonged in the PWR and prove it he did. He had a damn good match against an equally intense Bax, who responded well to the crowd growing love for the Fighter 4 Hire. As it drew to a close, Bax would hit a reverse Russian leg sweep to finally put away the eager competitor and notch another win for the old guards.

"Marami ka pang kakaining bigas." - Standard Tito Saying

However, Madrigal would show some reckless disregard for his...seni...elde....those who came before him as he brutally attacked our beloved Tito. What was to be a gesture of good sportsmanship from Bax turned into a surprise low blow and an undeserved beatdown after the bell. Finishing off with his version of the GTS, Madrigal sends a message to the PWR Roster that he's here to make waves.

"Mga kabataan talaga ngayon, wala nang galang" - Another standard Tito saying,

Madrigal brings that new energy well in this match. Debuting against an equally game Bax made for a great main roster debut for him. The feel that you had for this bout was definitely one of a no-holds-barred brawl. Both competitors shone in this match, and there was nary a dull moment at all. Can't wait to see how this match affects the future of these two wrestlers in the near foreseeable future. 

Match Result: Joey Bax wins via The Hit 

Vlad Sinnsyk vs. Ralph Imabayashi

We've got another member of the New Breed making his main show debut. The crazy, maniacal Vlad Sinnsyk will be going up against one of the few men to have held the PWR Championship belt, Ralph Imabayashi.

His smile says "Hiiii". But his eyes say, "Die, die die."

Sinnsyk has the size advantage here, with power to spare. However, Imabayashi was the man who beat the dreaded Apocalypse in singles faction. This is not gonna be an easy task nonetheless for either men. The action went back and forth, with both of them having their highlight moments, however, it would be Sinnsyk who prevails in the end with a powerful musclebuster to get the pin and the win,

He understands the meaning of "Muscle Spirit"

With the loss, Ralph Imabayashi continues his unfortunate streak. Since dropping the title back to Classical Bryan Leo, he has not managed to secure a single win in the events that followed. Of course, this did not go unnoticed,


It was none other than The Network that out and proposed an alliance with the Japanese Sensation. Noting the incredible coincidence that those who may have taken (voluntarily or involuntarily) Idol Supplement products have experienced success in their recent endeavors. For Imabayashi, they presented... the King Kong Kangkong. Yes really. It did not end well for them.

Guess he doesn't like veggies.

Looks like we've got ourselves a new development. Seeing as both of them have recently finished their respective feuds, with Idol losing to Mahaba and Imabayashi declaring himself done with chasing the PWR title for the meantime, it's high time for something new to come along. This could be the opportunity that Vintendo might need. Seeing as Japan IS the home of some of the greatest games ever made, maybe we could expect the Fighting Gamer to team up with the man who never backs down from a fight.

Match Result: Vlad Sinnsyk wins via Musclebuster

SANDATA vs Classical Bryan Leo

What was supposed to be a match between the Southern Tagalog Mandirigma and the First World Man did not come to pass. It was Chino Guinto, not CBL, who came out to the Royal Flush entrance theme. Great impression of The King, by the way. What followed was a challenge set forth by Chino as he blamed SANDATA for his recent losses, specifically for his chance at the PHX title.

"Ikaw na lang di nagpapalit ng mask, pre"

Of course, with two incredibly hot-blooded individuals coming together in the ring, tensions would run high and fists would come flying sooner or later. The Young Boys would try to break up the fight, but it wasn't soon enough as SANDATA had Guinto in an ankle lock.


The PWR has finally addressed the feud between the two. It's no secret that they've been the thorns on each others' side, and it would be interesting to see how this would pan out. With The Network gaining another enemy in the form of SANDATA, I'm gonna go on a limb and say that it would be interesting to see him join forces with Imabayashi (who is currently not pursuing the title), and Vintendo. After all, all three of them are some of the most aggressive wrestlers in the PWR. They all share a common theme as well: They love to fight.

Match Result: Classical Bryan Leo does not show up for mysterious reasons

Trabajadores Tres vs. Martivo

If there was any reason to wonder why Martivo's nickname is "The Man-Doll", here's a clue:

"Maaaar...tiii...VOOOOOO!!!"

What we have here is the debut of who I could best describe as.. fabulous. Complete with a rainbow flag entrance and a matching equally fabulous cheering section with him, you've got a New Breed who's got nothing to hide. Immediately, you could tell that the crowd is loving Martivo.

Never has a crowd of millenials and college students embraced PAK! GANERN! so fervently

And it doesn't stop there. Matching the energy of the crowd, Martivo put on a match against Trabajadores Tres that showed a very diverse moveset sprinkled with his own brand of playfulness. If we had Tito Joey, we certainly have Tita Martivo. Underlying all the theatrics though, was a crisp performance by arguably the most well-received New Breed debut.

Even the ref is in awe.

Match Result: Martivo wins via Grabe-tey

Crystal Addresses The PWR


Suffice to say, the PWR fanbase has been nothing short of shocked at the recent retirement of Scarlett, aka The Queen of Pain. Shortly after the announcement of a contract signing on PWR Live: The Shawdown for a match against Crystal, the news broke. As the only woman to have competed in the PWR ring, Crystal was not one bit pleased of how the inaugural women's match for Renaissance fizzled out. But she never really considered Scarlett to be the top woman in the locker room. As she pointed out, she was more relevant and more important in 7 months than Scarlett's 2 year tenure. Speaking of Royal Flush member positions...

The Royal Flush Lite came out with an offer for Crystal

"Have you accepted John Sebs as your new Wrestling God and Saviour?"

No, not that, but the position of Queen of Pain in the Royal Flush. It seems that they were quite impressed with her match against Peter Versoza. What better way to bolster their depleted ranks than to go recruit some worthy adversaries? But before we got to hear her answer, out comes Rederick Mahaba with an offer of his own. suffice to say, it deserves Line of The Night honors

Main Maxx was seen with his head on the turnbuckle. Di kinaya.

But no, Crystal decided that she wants to stand on her own two feet. After giving that "let's be friends" letdown (aray ko po...) to Mahaba, she explained that she didn't need a shining knight to protect her, of which he accepted gracefully/painfully. She also turned down the Royal Flush, which was not so easily taken by John Sebastian. The trio attack Crystal and Mahaba, with the Ace-Hole and Versoza hitting their finishers on the two.

Peter Versoza's outreach program to the Young Boys of the PWR.

Main Maxx takes the contract that was supposed to be signed by Scarlett and puts himself in the match instead for Renaissance against Crystal.

The only real concern I had with this segment was the pace that Crystal was delivering her lines. She really needed to slow it down a bit because what she had to say was gold. She's already proven that she deserves to be in the PWR ring with the rest of the roster. She proved critics wrong when she asked for a match with Peter Versoza and did exceptionally well. Is a match against Main Maxx a bit much? Maybe, but she's squashed our doubts before, so I'm eagerly waiting to see how this plays out.

Co-Main Event:
Chris Panzer vs. John Sebastian for the PWR Championship Title Shot

There was insistent demand by John Sebastian to change his match against, in his words, the choke artist, Chris Panzer. The PWR Board of Directors listened and agreed to change the parameters of the match... to a No DQ Three Way. And the third man to put vie for the title shot is not a man, but Evil Incarnate, The Apocalpyse.

Co-Main Event:
Chris Panzer vs. John Sebastian vs. The Apocalypse for the PWR Championship Title Shot

"Lecheng buhay naman to, o"

With all three men in the same ring, the strategy for the start seemed clear: gang up on Apocalypse. Even then, he proves to be a match for the combined efforts of Panzer and Sebastian. Of course, such a shaky alliance wouldn't last long with so much at stake. 



As The Ace-hole and Mr. Wag Sa Mukha exchanged blows outside the ring, The Apocalpyse went for a suicide dive to the two combatants that caused everyone to gasp in sheer terror. As he launched himself over the top rope, his foot caught just as he was about to clear it. It sent him nearly head first onto the floor below from our perspective and put the PWR ringside staff on alert. In just a few moments later, we see this.

Sweet baby Jesus, he's really undead.

As if that wasn't enough, Panzer followed it up with a dive of his own. Seemingly, it wasn't enough punishment for Apocalypse as Sebastian and Panzer teamed up again to slam him on the ramp before attacking each other again. Panzer would try to rally against Sebastian, but it would not be enough as Apocalypse returns into the fray, dishing out a fireman's carry to John Sebastian onto an already prone Panzer. Apocalypse followed that up with a curb stomp on Panzer and was already set to close out the match when Sebastian nails him with the Killshot. After he pushes Apocalypse out of the ring, he pins Panzer and gets the win and the title shot. Apocalypse takes out his frustrations on Chris Panzer via The Death Bell.

I'm thrilled to see John Sebastian finally get his chance at the belt. After losing the first opportunity to Ralph Imabayashi, he has been on a tear. He's shown that he can work in singles and tag matches. Honestly, he's up there among the best workers in the PWR roster. It's his time to shine.

On the other side of the spectrum, we really have to face the facts: Chris Panzer is the biggest choke artist at that level of competition. He has always come up short when it counts the most. The guy has the moves, the intensity, and an abundance of charisma. However, for quite some time, his main battle cry has been being the leader of The Panzer Army, and they're wondering what they're fighting for at the end of the day.

"Oh, ano na balak natin?"

The same goes for Apocalypse. He's been the perennial thorn on people's sides, appearing at random and taking out whoever encounters. He's had two shots at the belt, one during a Threeway against Classical Bryan Leo and Jake De Leon, and another one against Ralph Imabayashi prior to PWR: Vendetta 2015. He beats people in straight up matches, with only Imabayashi besting him in recent times. However, he's never been able to focus his attention on pursuing the belt. Actually, a focus on anything would be nice. He's had run ins with Vintendo, and Beer Promdi, the latter of which has taken up his time leading to Wrevolution X. Now that both parties have moved on, we're left to wonder what the new year has in store for The Apocalypse.

Main Event:
PHX Champion Main Maxx vs. PWR Champion Jake De Leon - Champion vs. Champion


During the mid-show break, a friend of mine approached me and asked about the main event. It was his first time to watch a PWR show, and he was liking it so far. Seeing the two men involved in the match during Mahabang Usapan, he wondered what kind of fight he should expect. I told him the simple truth,

"They're waaaaay more agile than they look. Expect to be blown away."

I'm glad to have been proven right by these two well-deserving title holders. Two men who make the ring a battleground that should be thankful it was used by them. These two were meant for that ring.

First off, Jake De Leon cartwheeled from the apron to the floor to evade a clothesline like it ain't no thang. He has it down pat. Main Maxx would hit him with a triple gutwrench suplex to even the score.


Maxx would then climb the ropes, blow a middle finger to a heckler, fakes a jump as JDL rolls to safety and hits him with s splash. He continued that assault with a vertical suplex which he rolled into for a guillotine choke. De Leon would try to rally with his Senyorito Kick, but Main Maxx had one of his own.



Main Maxx would then try to nail Jake De Leon with the finishers of each of the members of The Royal Flush, the Killshot, the Petegree, the Royal Flushdown, before finally hitting the Blitzkrieg. Seemingly frustrated on how resilient the Senyorito is, Maxx attempts to hit him with the belt, only to be countered with an Alipin Drop.



It was at that moment though, that the Royal Flush Lite rushed the ring and laid out the Haciendero with multiple chair shots to the head. John Sebastian made sure that JDL got the message loud and clear: He was out to get the title around JDL's waist. With the PWR Champion lying face down with a steel chair propped over him, the Ace-Hole left a strong impression on the PWR fanbase present there.


The ending of the match was greatly planned out, to be honest. As I mentioned before, both champions are deserving of their titles, and they put on a match worthy of being the main event. We've seen them in the ring in action before, and they always put on a good show. What I would like to focus on is what happened after though.

John Sebastian is setting the tone for the new PWR year. After seemingly taking control of The Royal Flush (more on that later), he wants to kick off his new role by taking for himself the title that his predecessor once held. With a win over JDL and becoming the new PWR Champion, he would put into fruition the effort and hard work that he poured into the previous year. Could this be a new beginning in the championship's history when it was just so recently returned to The Senyorito? We'll see how it all plays out at PWR: Renaissance.

Talking Points
  • The New Breed made a decent showing tonight, with some shining waaaay better than others. They're quite an interesting batch, who seem to jump right in and get into the thick of things. It's just the start of the year, but I already have high hopes for them.
  • The PWR landscape is badly in need of a GM. With the roster pretty much doing what it pleases, it has both positive and negative results. Whoever the new GM may be, he's got his hands full with the current situation of the PWR.
  • Vintendo and Panzer are in need of real character progression. Being The Fighting Gamer and The Leader of The Panzer Army doesn't seem to cut it anymore in the new year. 
  • The Network seems to be gathering enemies at the moment, and in need of someone who can keep them in check. So far, they've interfered or interacted with Vintendo, Imabayashi and SANDATA. Could this be a call to get them all battling each other together in the ring? Let's hope so.
  • Mahaba was in a number of segments during the show, Did it over saturate him to the public? I don't think so. He fitted well with how the segments ran.
  • John Sebastian seems to be the new leader of the Royal Flush after releasing a clip showing the First World Man laid out with a chair shot to the head.
  • Martivo's Pak! Ganern!
Performance Awards for PWR Live: The SHAWdown!

Top 3 Wrestlers of the Night
  1. "The Senyorito" Jake De Leon
  2. "The Golden Boy" Chino Guinto
  3. "The Man-Doll" Martivo
Match of the Night
  • PWR Champion Jake De Leon vs PHX Champion Main Maxx - Champion vs. Champion Match
OMGWTF Moment of The Night
  • Apocalpyse's suicide dive that scared the crap out of everyone. Probably except him.

Conclusion

So that concludes the first event of the year, and what a bar was set that night. There were hits and misses during the show, but the former definitely outnumbered the latter. The seeds have been planted for what the upcoming events have in store for the PWR landscape, and we can only expect that the roster continues to outdo itself as it did in the previous years. Stay tuned, because there's always something new brewing at the next PWR show.



Photo Credits go to "The Animal" Hub Pacheco 
*******

George Pastor writes our weekly #WTFWednesday column. He got into judo because it was the closest sport available where it was perfectly fine to slam someone without getting expelled.

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