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#1 Contender For PHX Championship To Be Crowned At PWR Live: Mainit


As the old saying goes, "when one door closes, another one opens." And for former PWR Champion Ralph Imabayashi, while he can no longer contend for the inaugural PWR Tag Team Championships, he will get a chance to contend for the PHX Title in a match to determine the next challenger for the suddenly-surging Peter Versoza. Catch is, he will have to earn that contendership against a man who has clawed his way into the title picture not so long ago, the Pinoy Tecnico of PWR, SANDATA

Fresh off his failed Path of Gold campaign at the last show (having been bested by eventual winner Chris Panzer as the last man eliminated), it seemed as though Imabayashi would get a chance to share title glory with his friend, Rederick Mahaba, as part of the MTNH tag team. But due to the Apocalypse's crowbar attack on the Intimate One, he is suddenly left without a partner. Thankfully, Mr. Sy gave the red-hot rocket a chance to contend for a belt he has never won, the PHX Title. To get that chance though, he needs to win against a man who has a ton of history with current champion, Peter Versoza.


For those new to the PWR product, SANDATA and Versoza used to be in a tag team called Dual Shock in the early days. Despite being crowd favorites with their soaring aerial arsenal, the duo owned a nil success record, losing all six of their matches as a pair. This led to P to the V directly attacking SANDATA, signaling the end of their tandem. Ironically, it was only after their breakup that things looked up for them, with SANDATA becoming a top contender and Versoza winning the PHX Championship from Main Maxx at Bagong Yugto. A SANDATA win will bring these former partners full circle, and perhaps give the masked warrior a chance for retribution for Versoza's betrayal.


But there may be clouds on the horizon for Imabayashi even beyond this match.

While a singles battle between Ralph and SANDATA is a top caliber encounter in any PWR show, the Japanese pitbull's focus may not be in the right state, given his problems with The Network the past few months. Chino Guinto's continued badgering towards the Fil-Jap Sensation, and the boos he got earned at the Path of Gold match after eliminating The Golden Boy form some outside drama that could affect his planning. Guinto is pissed that Ralph is getting this shot and not him—even after pinning Imabayashi at the January show.


The Network notwithstanding, Ralph is going to have to focus on SANDATA, lest he ends up on the receiving end of a Garrote or his feared ankle lock.

Will Ralph's aggression be the difference-maker to get another chance at championship gold, or will SANDATA's technical prowess net him a title showdown with a former partner at PWR's biggest show? Is a still-peeved Chino Guinto going to find a way to affect the match? Sound off in the comments!

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PWR Live: Mainit is happening on Sunday, March 19, at the Unilab Bayanihan Center. Gates open at 2 PM. Pre-selling for tickets is ongoing via email or the official PWR Facebook page.

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