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31 Days of Wrestling (12/25/19): Chino's Golden Adventure (PWR Live: Nice)


Welcome to the 31 Days of Wrestling, ladies, and gentlemen. Once again, we're at that point where we take a look back at the past 11 months of pro wrestling (and as much as possible, the last month as well) and cherry-pick one match for each day of December from a list of bouts that defined the year in our beloved sport. Most matches will be good, while some may not be; what matters is that they helped build the perception and reputation of the kind of wrestling 2019 produced for us.

At PWR Live: Bakbakan Sa Bayanihan, in what was one of the most heartbreaking moments in PWR’s 6-year history, then-PHX Champion Chino Guinto had to relinquish his championship due to a debilitating ACL injury and was forced to be put on the sidelines. This unfortunate accident would put a complete halt on his promising pro wrestling career for a total of 693 days, stealing from us and from the man himself a reign worthy of his grit, skill, and determination. To put it simply, it was a dark day for Philippine wrestling.

Injuries in any sport are undesirable professional job hazards whether we like it or not, moreso in an industry that has been called out in the past for their lack of healthcare support such as professional wrestling (which Last Week Tonight host John Oliver put best). With Chino’s injury (and Main Maxx’s months prior), 2017 became a year of uncertain firsts for the Philippine wrestling scene, where injuries of such gravity would be put in the spotlight. From the length of the injuries to the cost and logistics in dealing with said injuries for both promotions and wrestlers, there was a lot to learn from these situations.

In the case of the Golden Boy, it would take 693 days before he would be afforded the chance to retake control of his career, and that is exactly what he did upon his surprise return at PWR Live: New Year’s Wrestleution, where he made his presence felt again via video promo. It felt so long, but the fans have not forgotten how brimming with charisma he is, as evidenced by the reaction. Longtime fans of the Golden Boy went bananas upon his appearance, while newer fans would soon get to know why he is one of the most beloved champions in the company.


Just a few months after new PWR General Manager Poch set up a three-way match at Wrevolution X 2019 that included John Sebastian and Vlad Synnsyk, Chino rectified the wrong from almost two years ago and won back the title he never lost: the PHX Championship. From there, he went on to become the fighting Excellence Champion he was meant to be in the reign he should have had, taking on all comers that included John Sebastian, Chris Target, Cali Nueva, and even former PWR Champion “Beautiful” Billy Suede at the biggest show in PWR history thus far, Homecoming. He was even included in a three-way champion's showcase match at Championship Spirit between himself, PWR Champion QUATRO, and All Out War(la) Champion Martivo. To say that Chino was redeemed after the freak accident back in July of 2017 is a major understatement.

While he did lose the PHX Championship at PWR Vendetta against the vile Vlad Synnsyk after being revealed as the mysterious attacker that’s been haunting Chino for months, it should be noted that he once again did not get pinned or made to submit to lose the championship. This makes the Blessed One the only man in PWR history to have lost his championships due to circumstances outside the norm, solidifying the iconic grit of one of Philippine wrestling’s most beloved stars.

There is a lot to be said about Chino’s amazing comeback championship year. In a scene that is still in its infancy, it really is a wonder how a wrestler can deal with these kinds of setbacks, one that can not only affect their passion for wrestling, but their livelihoods as well. Hell, the Golden Boy even explained his endeavors himself in detail on the Wrestling-Wrestling Podcast. It is a challenge indeed to make a comeback of this magnitude after a devastating setback, but it is certainly not an impossible challenge to overcome. Main Maxx went through his own trials and tribulations after his injury, and not only came back to the applause of the fans, but is also this close to becoming a tag team champion come PWR Mabuhay Ang Wrestling next year. If they can make such an inspiring and emphatic comeback, then there is hope for a comeback for the likes of one of the most beloved stars in all of Philippine wrestling, the first MWF Champion, Robin Sane (we miss you, man).

It is these kinds of inspiring comeback stories that give hope for the future of the industry, those who are in the industry, and those who want to get involved in the industry. If there was one thing to be really thankful for this Christmas Day, it is the fact that hope is always alive and well, and Chino’s comeback story is proof of that.

*****

31 Days of Wrestling is Smark Henry's way of celebrating the matches that helped define wrestling in 2019. Read our previous entries:

1. The Man Stands Tall at WrestleMania (Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Ronda Rousey, WrestleMania 35)
2. The Game Changes (Chris Jericho vs. Kenny Omega, AEW Double or Nothing)
3. Still the Ace (Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Kenny Omega, Wrestle Kingdom 13)
4. #KofiMania (Kofi Kingston vs. Daniel Bryan, WrestleMania 35)
5. Starting With A Bang (The Premiere of AEW Dynamite)
6. Let's Start A War (The Premiere of NXT On The USA Network)
7. For You And Me! For All Of Us! (Jake De Leon vs. TJP, PWR Homecoming)
8. It Takes a Bird and a Villain (G1 Climax Finals: Kota Ibushi vs. Jay White)
9. The Fall of Bray Wyatt and the Rise of the Fiend
10. Johnny Champion (Adam Cole vs. Johnny Gargano, NXT TakeOver: New York)
11. Do You Wanna Yeet a Four-Man? (QUATRO vs. Chris Panzer vs. Jeff Cobb, PWR Homecoming)
12. From Purveyor Of Violence To Death Rider (Jon Moxley in NJPW)
13. We Will Rock You! (Crystal vs. Emi Sakura, PWR Path of Gold 2019)
14. Revolutionary (QUATRO vs. IMABAYASHI, PWR Wrevolution X 2019)
15. Manila Has Fallen (Ho Ho Lun vs. Robin Sane, MWF 10: Republika)
16. Saudi Na Natuto (WWE Crown Jewel 2019)
17. Hey Now, Hey Now, This Is What Dreams Are Made Of (Elimination Chamber for the WWE Women's Tag Team Championship, Elimination Chamber 2019)
18. A Different Evolution (Tessa Blanchard wins #1 Contendership Gauntlet, Impact Wrestling)

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