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Brackets Officially Revealed For PHX Championship Tournament


The vacant PHX Championship picture is inching closer and closer to a resolution.

After the Philippine Wrestling Revolution's earlier announcement of the dirty dozen who'll be battling it out over the course of three days at this year's AsiaPOP Comicon Manila, the company has finally revealed perhaps the most important factor in deciding the winner: the actual tournament brackets.

Sports junkies know how a bad bracket can derail the hopes of even the best competitors; conversely, a good draw can open up a straight shot to the finals for a lucky contender. So after our earlier analysis on the respective odds of each contender when taken in a vacuum, we're here with an updated analysis based on the tournament setup.


As predicted, the AsiaPOP tournament will feature three rounds comprised of a total of ten matches. The PHX Championship itself will be decided in a Triple Threat finals. Note that the elimination round will be spread out across the first two days, while the semifinals and finals will be lumped into Day 3. But just looking at how the talent is assigned across three clusters, we can pretty much sense how things will play up if all the favorites hold serve throughout.

The Three Kings Are Spread Across the Board



In our full analysis, we listed Ken Warren, John Sebastian, and Jake De Leon as the odds-on favorites to square off in the finals, with JDL as our pick to take home the gold. It seems PWR bracketologists were listening, with each man scattered into their own respective sector.

That means we aren't seeing any possible confrontation between the three except in the finals.

The Senyorito Has The Group of Doom



In a tournament like this, we can't always expect perfect balance across sectors, and the big loser this time around looks to be Jake De Leon. Just look at the men in his third of the bracket—it's stacked!

If JDL hopes to make it to the finals, he needs to be able to dispatch the dangerous Vlad Sinnsyk in the first round—a man who's beaten top contenders in the past, don't forget—and a potential bruising encounter with "The Walking Death" Mike Madrigal in the semis.

Even if he does make it through to the end, he'll be battered and beaten well before he steps through the ropes. We're liking his chances a little less now, to be completely honest.

Ken Warren May Be In For A Cakewalk



Comparatively, the PHX division's inaugural champion could be in for an easy ride to the finals. The incredibly raw Bolt is lined up as his first round opponent, which should, in theory, be a cakewalk for the Social Media Sinister.

But hang on, he could be in for an interesting semifinal clash against the winner of the Rederick Mahaba—Dax Xaviera match. Whoever steps into the ring against him may be ripe for the picking, whether it's Xaviera trying to recover from the crushing offense of his 320-pound foe, or a Mahaba who's gassed from chasing the high-energy Xaviera around the ring.

We're pretty sure Warren wouldn't mind getting some revenge against Xaviera for the humiliating upset loss at Bakbakan sa Bayanihan, and he won't be caught napping this time around.

John Sebastian: Steady Lang



Our Wrestling Lord and Savior has probably the most balanced bracket among the three favorites; Martivo is going to stretch him a bit in the first round, but lacks the singles seasoning to upset the former PWR Champion. 

A second round matchup against SANDATA would be one hell of a fight between the two masters of knee-based finishers, even if the Pinoy Tecnico is right in the middle of a three-match losing skid. Don't forget, both men are contemporaries, having both graduated from Batch 2 of PWR's Bootcamp program way back in 2015 with a fair amount of history with each other—including a match at last year's APCC. They know each other well, and that should translate to some quality pro wrestling.

A Possible Cinderella Story: Dax Xaviera



Calling it now: If any of the underdogs has a shot at escaping through to the finals, it's gotta be PWR's resident "Sagisag ng Sigasig" Dax Xaviera. If he can find some way to pull off an upset against Rederick Mahaba, who may be suffering from ring rust after his recent suspension, he just might have a shot at pulling off a second straight upset win against Ken Warren.

And if he makes it to the finals against, say, Sebastian and De Leon? All he has to do is sit back and watch the sparks fly between the two old archrivals. The two men could legitimately end up destroying each other, allowing Xaviera to waltz in and sneak in a pinfall.

Potential Best Matches From Each Round



First round: JDL vs. Sinnsyk is going to be an intense brawl between two of PWR's most balanced competitors. SANDATA could possibly carry Carleaux to a decent match. But Trian Dela Torre vs. Madrigal could steal the show with their crowd-baiting antics and natural charisma.

Semifinals: SANDATA vs. Sebastian could be one hell of a encounter. Madrigal vs. JDL could also be a fascinating smashmouth battle between two men who can both take as well as they give.

Finals: We see Sebastian, Warren, and JDL all surviving all the way to the Day 3 Triple Threat, which would be a ridiculously good war between three of PWR's best veteran talents. If Xaviera can sneak on through to the finals, that would present an even more interesting texture, with his raw athleticism going up against the strategic cunning of Sebastian and the all-around greatness of the Senyorito.

Our Prediction: JDL reigns supreme



We're sticking to our guns and saying that Jake De Leon is taking the PHX Championship home. His bracket absolutely sucks balls, and he's going to be hurting all the way to the finals, but we're confident he knows what it will take to overcome any combination of Sebastian, Warren, or Xaviera.

*****

What are your own predictions, Revo-Nation? Who's making it to the Triple Threat finals? And who's going down in history as the sixth PHX Champion? Let us know in the comments, and we'll see you at AsiaPOP!

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The 2017 AsiaPOP Comicon Manila is happening on August 25-27 at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City. Tickets start at P600 for a one-day pass, and can be purchased exclusively through SM Tickets.

Photography courtesy of Hub Pacheco.

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