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PWR Live: Trapik—The Official Smark Henry Review

PWR Live: Trapik

Welcome back, Smarks!

PWR Live: Trapik, the go-home show for PWR's granddaddy event, ties in the happenings of the wrestling season this year. Finally back at the 500 Shaw Zentrum after almost two years, it also marks the return of some of the PWR roster who debuted in this very building. Fond memories aside, it's time to take a look at how PWR leads its numerous storylines home.

Results Recap:

Pre-Show:

  • Brad Cruz def. Kapitan PWR (Lite) via Shaina Lock
  • Quatro def. McKata via Destino

Main Show:

  • John Sebastian (c) & Crystal (c) def. The Network (James "Idol" Martinez & Alexander Belmonte III) via Solemate-Killshot combo to retain the PWR Tag Team Championship
  • Main Maxx & The Apocalypse vs. The KakaiBros (Mh4rki3 & Kh3ndrick) resulted in a double countout
  • The Punk Dolls (Martivo & Robynn) def. Zayden Trudeau & Bolt via Twist of Fate/Big Ending to become #1 Contenders for the PWR Tag Team Championship. Trudeau and Bolt are forced to disband as a tag team.
  • Peter Versoza def. Revo Ranger via pinfall
  • The YoLo Twins def. TDTxECX via Filipino Leg Lock
  • GM John Sebastian halts the All Out War Championship between Vintendo and Vlad Sinnsyk (c) after the involvement of Peter Versoza, James "Idol" Martinez, Alexander Belmonte III, and Revo Ranger.
  • Ken Warren, Chris Panzer, & Miguel Rosales def. Mike Madrigal (c) & MTNH (Rederick Mahaba & Ralph Imabayashi (c)) via Eagle Splash

Tier System

In the spirit of traffic, the review system will be as follows:

Green = Great remarks, something to continue for the next show onwards, or was well-received
Yellow = Something to take notice. Not necessarily overly favorable nor unfavorable, but leaves the viewer curious.
Red = Needs massive improvement. Garners negative responses.

Green

  • Air-conditioning - Seriously, in this god-awful hellhole of a season, you can never have A/C that's too cold. Which was actually the case last Sunday. Eh, better chilly than sweating.
  • A culmination to the Trabajador Quatro saga(?) - It has definitely been a great story arc, one that has inspired the Revonation to catch the pre-show in every event. Now that it has been revealed that Trabajador Supremo is not just able to walk but is also a formidable force, this may very well serve as the final test for The Lightbringer.
PWR Live: Trapik
  • Alexander Belmonte III gets reunited with a fiery Idol - Idol Back! Too often, we've seen Idol play a more subdued role, being the wily leader letting his subordinates do all the heavy lifting. Not today, it seems. Idol was the hot tag, initiating an offense that was so unlike him. Just pure savagery. I loved it.
  • John Sebastian & Crystal's tag team finisher - That Solemate-Killshot combo works for me. Crystal's finisher sets up a stationary target for John Sebastian to put away. I love it. Hmmm... Stationary Target...
  • Mh4rkie - The KakaiBros, despite still being winless, are a fun tag team to watch. Behind all the antics and comedy are a team that is really dedicated to their gimmick. Special props goes to Mh4rkie for his performance last Sunday. From the "Oh, shit!" to running away as Apocalypse's theme played, to the multiple Uod attempts, this guy knows what his role is and carpe diem's the shit out of it. This is by no means a knock on Kh3ndrick. He still does great work. It was just that Mh4rkie took it a bit further that night.
  • Martivo, Robynn, & Zayden - With Martivo's return to where it all began, he brought out an especially good performance along with rookie Zayden Trudeau. New Breed vs. Newer Breed was a great way to start the match, as they managed to bring out each other's potential. Now that Trudeau is able to pursue a singles career, the Revo-nation can truly expect to see some great matches from him. Martivo, with his natural chemistry with Robynn, will be able to pursue this push in the tag team division. Oh... HOLYSWEETMOTHEROFCHEEZNUTS THAT SUPLEX ON THE APRON WAS BALLS OUT CRAZY!!!
    PWR Live: Trapik
  • John Sebastian's tirade on the #1 contenders for the Tag Team Championship - Man, when you want to really get heat in 2018, you're going to have to go places that hurt people bad. John Sebastian went full Judy Ann Santos in Ang Dalawang Mrs. Reyes. By the way, a great movie, guys. You really have to watch it.
  • Flat Earth Society (Idol & Peter Versoza) eventual involvement in the All Out War title match, and AB3 as a singles wrestler (updated) - With signs already pointing to a team up from the first tag match of the night, it looks like The Network is going through another change. The shakeup is intriguing, as it puts Versoza in a leadership role, Idol adopts a more aggressive style, and AB3 gets to shine on his own as we've come to see these past few shows. What better way then to make a show of force than to get back at the two men responsible for costing him his chance at PoG gold? The FES picked a fight with Vlad Sinnsyk and Vintendo, bringing all the drama they previously had with other wrestlers in a glorious mess that will undoubtedly see its repercussions even after Wrevolution X.
  • Jake De Leon, his descent into madness, and vs. Zayden Trudeau - As always, a great performance by Jake De Leon. CHEEZUS, he lifted both Dax and SANDATA at the same time for a Double Alipin Drop. This guy just keeps on giving us new ways to love him. Personally, I wouldn't mind seeing the three-way match at Wrevolution X, but this leaves Zayden without a dance partner. This match is still must-see as JDL will be able to bring out Trudeau's potential. So much flipping and hard-hitting balls to the walls action to be expected. Another thing to speculate on: is JDL fine? With all of his recent posts, the pressure of being Mr. Philippine Wrestling, the loss of his relationship with Walis Pempengco, it's not such a far cry to think that we're going to see another change in him. Taking a wild guess that it'll all hinge on his Wrevolution X match against Trudeau.
  • The Filipino Leg Lock - Logan finally has his own finisher. Not too much a fan of the name, but I do love the fact that there's a sense of individuality with the type of finisher that each twin uses. Hope to see it more often in the future.
  • MWFxPWR - This marks the first time that wrestlers from two local promotions join forces in a match. John Sebastian was the first to have an inter-promotion match, but this is a different kind of first. With the mystery partner for TDTxECX yet to be announced, there's now an even wider pool to choose from. How will Robin Sane fare against the next generation of PWR wrestlers? I'm excited to find out. Notable as well was Robin Sane not using his catchphrase, "Tara, let's go!". It shows his hesitation in getting involved in the personal affairs of his friends, even if it's in a wrestling sense. Damn, Frankie Thurteen, way to put your friend on the spotlight.
    PWR Live: Trapik
  • The Quality of Selling - There was some amazing selling done that night, not just from the veterans, but also from the new guys as well. Of particular note among the new guys are Quatro and Zayden Trudeau. Both guys are athletic as hell, which translates not just in how they dish out their attacks, but also on how they take it. As for the veterans, JDL as always, The YoLo Twins, Ken Warren especially whenever he gets punched, and Chris Panzer. Mad props, gentlemen.
  • A Six Man Tag Team Match with no weak links - Of the six men involved in the main event, the two wrestlers who were not current or former champions were no pushovers at all. Rederick Mahaba, a hulking massive force, is a scary opponent to have to face. Miguel Rosales, well known his penchant for bastusan, has beaten championship quality opponents on more than a few occasions. And all six men certainly delivered with some of the most ring-shaking action in the entire card. Admittedly, I was at a loss when taking down notes because it was just too damn hard not to watch it all unfold. From the first minute to the very end, it was a goddamn treat. And imagine: this is the event BEFORE the actual title matches next show. After setting such a high bar, the viewing public is sure to expect more in their respective matches at Wrevolution X.
  • Rosales Retirement Clause - One might think that such a clause could never actually come to pass because Rosales is sure to win, right? Well, the PWR Creative team has never been shy to keep its viewers guessing. They've conditioned the crowd that anything can truly happen. No win is set in stone unless it has actually happened in the ring.
  • Wrevolution X is going back to the iAcademy Auditorium - This marks the first time that PWR's granddaddy show has repeated venues. Sunday free parking in Makati, air-conditioning, arguably the fanciest chairs used in PWR history, and Mendokoro just a few streets away? I'm game.

Yellow

  • Brad Cruz's new finisher, The Shaina Lock - So far, it's just a pin that, well.... sticks tight to the opponent. Let's see where this one eventually leads to. Hopefully not Medical City.
  • Quatro's real name revealed - Joseph Vivian Quatro. This info was three shows too late. Imagine all the "Vivian For Vendetta" chants that never materialized. :(
    PWR Live: Trapik
  • Flat Earther Peter Versoza - He's got a good gimmick going, partly because he finally has his own instead of having a shared identity with a group as a filler. Curious to see how he takes this to the next level.
  • Apocalypse vs. Main Maxx - Sort of on the fence for this one, to be honest. On one hand, there's some nostalgic vibe to a Wrevolution X 2015 rematch. But at the same time, it was actually refreshing to have thought of a tag team comprising of two of PWR's hardest hitters. Nothing has been set in stone just yet, so this still falls under this category.
    PWR Live: Trapik
  • Chris Panzer vs. Rederick Mahaba Wrevolution X match tease - As of writing, no PWR Aftershock episode has brought up an update on the status of the match. As the other participants of the 6-man tag match have all been formally booked for Wrevolution X, I was hoping for a formal announcement regarding this particular matchup.
    PWR Live: Trapik
  • Bolt as a singles wrestler - With the disbanding of the Canadian Weightlifting Team, the pressure is now on Bolt as he once again has to prove his mettle on his own. As he hasn't exactly been stellar in his previous singles matches, it wouldn't be fair to outright dismiss him. Who knows, maybe he'll finally show he's jounin-quality. That prank by Trudeau at the end though...
  • Dax Xaviera vs. SANDATA(?) - It's now clear that Dax fully understands what it means when it's every man for himself. After all, he's no stranger to facing teammates. If this doesn't lead to a match between the two for Wrevolution X, be it as a grudge match or to beat the grievances out of their tag team, then it would be a wasted chance.
    PWR Live: Trapik
  • TDTxECX vs. The YoLo Twins - fell a wee bit short from being a top tier match, primarily from the spots that involved ECX and the Twins. There were noticeable pauses wherein one of the Twins would be left waiting for ECX to finish on beating up the other one. Other than that, it was a good match, especially with the new finisher.
  • Who's going Oprah on the Slingblade? Add Evan Carleaux and Miguel Rosales (with Mike Madrigal attempting one as well) to the growing list of Filipino pro wrestlers who have added that move to their arsenal. Someone contact the NHC so we can make it official as the national pro wrestling move.
  • Ken Warren's polo - Seriously, where can we find clothes that sturdy? A six-man tag team match and not even a rip.
    PWR Live: Trapik
  • Ralph Imabayashi's penchant for submissions - As some fellow fans have pointed out, Imabayashi has seemingly changed up his style for the match, preferring to go for more submissions whenever given the chance. Not yet completely sold on it, as it wasn't yet super prevalent, but worth focusing on in the future. Is this him potentially adding a submission finisher in the future? I hope so.


Red

  • The strobe lights - easily the heel of the night. Two matches in, and you could definitely see how physically uncomfortable people felt about it.
  • Mr. Sy's poor talent/team management - Mr. Sy has a very bad track record when being associated with anyone. From an authority figure to his role as a manager, it seems like the guy just can't catch a break when personally handling talent. Give his wards a reason to stay with him, lest they get that Panzer choker tag from back then.
  • Audio miscues/delays - There were moments wherein the entrance theme would be delayed by a few seconds. Poch would be seen pointing at the entrance while waiting for the music to hit. Also, the microphone's quality left people with higher tones of voice with a screeching, piercing quality.
  • No visuals - PWR has great entrance videos for its wrestlers. It's always a damn shame when space does not permit for those to be shown.
  • Low blows for everyone - What is it with Trapik and people wanting to hit people in the nuts? So many low blows in this event. When every other match has them, you sort of start expecting it.
  • The Topé Curse of 500 Shaw Zentrum - That's two shows where someone clips the top rope in this building. Both times were scary AF too. I don't know what voodoo cleansing rituals are needed for that venue, but it better get done.
    PWR Live: Trapik

Announced Matches for Wrevolution X

Title Matches:

  • Miguel Rosales vs. Ralph Imabayashi (c) for the PWR Kampeon ng Pilipinas Championship. If Rosales loses, he will have to retire.
    PWR Live: Trapik
  • Ken Warren vs. Mike Madrigal (c) for the PHX Championship
  • The Punk Dolls (Martivo & Robynn) vs. John Sebastian & Crystal (c) for the PWR Tag Team Championship
  • Revo Ranger, Alexander Belmonte III, James "Idol" Martinez. Peter Versoza, Vintendo and Vlad Sinnsyk  (c) in a Six Man Match for the All Out War Championship


Non-Title Matches:

  • The YoLo Twins & Robin Sane vs. TDTxECX & a Mystery Partner
  • Zayden Trudeau vs. Jake De Leon
    PWR Live: Trapik
  • Joseph Vivian Quatro vs. Trabajador Supremo


Speculated Matches

  • Main Maxx vs. Apocalypse - due to the altercation between the two during their tag team match against the KakaiBros.
  • Rederick Mahaba vs. Chris Panzer - Panzer issued the challenge during Mahaba's promo.
  • SANDATA vs. Dax Xaviera - The two have once again come to blows (during a sanctioned match). If they plan to continue as a tag team, they'll need to air out their personal grievances.
    PWR Live: Trapik

Event Grade and Awards

  • Match of the Night: The 6 Man Tag Team Match (Chris Panzer, Ken Warren & Miguel Rosales vs Rederick Mahaba, Mike Madrigal & Ralph Imabayashi)
  • Wrestler of the Night: This is actually so goddamn hard. Chris Panzer beats out the rest of his main event counterparts by the smallest of margins.
  • Please Don't Die Award: Robynn & Vlad Sinnsyk
  • Event Grade: 3.25/5
    • Wrestling quality - 4/5
    • Storytelling and Creative 4/5
    • Production Values 2/5
    • Audience impact 3/5

Final Words:

Honestly, the first half of the show didn't do enough to entice the crowd. There were some moments of hype, but generally a quiet crowd during that time. The strobe lights were a real pain, and contributed to this grade. Let's face it, the first half was just not enough to wake up the crowd. The second half made us forget about the first, but that shouldn't be the case. Yes, the second half got the crowd pumped up, but that isn't the purpose of it. When the atmosphere seemed energetic, it would fizzle out, not sustained enough to get the audience going. Come on, excite us.

There were still some great matches, however, as well as the aforementioned changes above with certain wrestlers. It was a great welcome back for many of the wrestlers who debuted here, all of them having stellar performances.

The implications for Wrevolution X were a great way to bring it all together. Mad props to everyone, can't wait for May 20. It's time to go back home.


*****

Wrevolution X has been announced for May 20, 2018 at the iAcademy Auditorium. Tickets are now on sale. Enjoy early bird discounts and barkada bundle deals when you pre-order your tickets. 

Disclosure: Smark Henry is independently owned and managed by a group of Filipino pro wrestling fans, but includes members affiliated with the Philippine Wrestling Revolution.

All photos from The Slickmaster Files. Full album can be found here. Tweets and gifs from Meanne Bruan

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