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Five Big Questions Heading Into PWR Mabuhay Ang Wrestling


New year, new RISLING! We're days away from PWR's first live event of 2020, PWR Mabuhay ang Wrestling. Right off the bat, PWR wants to start the new year with all the gold in the world. Just look at all the titles that are on the line! I’m already hyped for this show and to stir the spot even harder, let’s check out the big questions we’ll be answering this Sunday.

1. Is #MSGAllBelts a prophecy or a spoiler?


Whether you love 'em or hate 'em, there's no denying that Mr. Sy's band of troublemakers dominated PH wrestling last year. I'm pretty sure no other faction can ever claim that they captured the biggest prize in PWR other than the notorious MSG. And in 2020, they're looking to make #MSGAllBelts a reality. And they’re like two titles away from doing just that. 

Call it cheating, but recruiting a champion in the form of "El Guapo" Carlos Zamora did inch them closer to that reality. All they need to do is survive PWR Mabuhay ang Wrestling with their gold intact. By the looks of it, it's not going to be a walk in the park. Not when they have their centerpiece, PWR Champion Chris Panzer, facing two hungry opponents at the same time.

After winning the title at PWR Homecoming, Panzer will face QUATRO once again in a three-way, just swap Jeff Cobb out for Ken Warren. Will lightning strike twice for Panzer or can QUATRO regain his championship? Or maybe it’s Ken Warren time and we’re about to live  in the #THAT era? Sign me up for one hell of a main event. And it’s just January?



Meanwhile, MSG’s latest recruit “El Guapo” Carlos Zamora returns to PWR with gold on his handsome shoulders in the DPW Heavyweight Championship and standing in his way is the Kupal One, Mike Madrigal. The good news is that we’ll probably see more of El Guapo now because there’s no way this championship match will be placed on the pre-show.

The bad news is mainly just for "El Guapo" because he’ll be facing one of PWR’s toughest SOBs (or is it ANP?). But considering how he can pack so much in under five minutes, El Guapo can definitely go ten or twenty minutes with Madrigal and I'm all for it. Nothing to predict here, really. I’m just hyped to see "El Guapo" back in yet another hard-hitting encounter. Whoever wins gets my approval.

And then we have the tag team unit of MSG vying for the PWR Tag Team Championships. Main Maxx and SANDATA already gained the advantage after the "PWR Board" named Mr. Sy as the guest referee (oh, we’ll get to that later), but I won’t discount the KakaiBros just yet. There’s probably a way the champs can worm out of this situation with their gold still intact.

2. So much gold in the line! Who will end up elevating their respective titles?

Aside from the PWR Championship and the DPW Heavyweight Championship, all of PWR’s coveted prizes are also on the line. You might as well call this show PWR Night of Champions and you won’t hear any complaints. Where do we even begin? Let’s just start with the PHX Championship then.



Vlad Sinnsyk’s heel turn felt rushed and unearned that I find it hard to care for this storyline. They spent months building up Vlad into a beloved babyface only to throw us off the bandwagon by turning him bad again. It did earn him the PHX Championship so I guess that’s a plus. I don’t know, I guess I just want to see Vlad beat up annoying jabronis more, you know?

What excites me more is the stipulation itself—Vlad Sinnsyk and Chino Guinto will go all out in a Matira Matibay match. I’ve never seen one live, and you’re telling me I get to see this match on the first show of the year? Man, PWR is really going all out in 2020. You know what, I take back what I said earlier. I will allot a massive amount of care to this match alone.



Meanwhile, we have #Crystal2Belts defending one of her titles, the MyPW Wrestlecon Championship, against the former All Out War-la Champion, Martivo. I love how Martivo didn’t bother chasing the All Out War Championship and instead chose to go after a bigger prize. It feels like a rarity in wrestling to see someone not care about a title he lost. I dig that character trait. 

After all, he’s got nothing to cry about when he’s facing the equally feisty Crystal. I’ve been meaning to see these two slug it out just to see who can out-sass the other. 2020 is shaping up to be one of those shitty years, but at least we’re getting matches like this. Can Crystal keep her two belts after MAW or will Martivo start the decade with a new title? 

And how can we forget the All Out War Championship match pitting the champion Jan Evander against GrabCamus? The two standouts from the final show of 2019 will clash at PWR Mabuhay ang Wrestling to find out who will carry the momentum into the roaring ‘20s. Do I need to say more about this one? Just go read my breaking news piece from last week.

3. How high can Jaye Sera fly?


It doesn't look like it, but Jaye Sera is on a major roll. Despite competing in lackluster matches back-to-back, she did best three other women at PWR Homecoming to stake her claim as the top dog of the women's division. But what happens when the Angas One faces a joshi-wannabe in the form of Mr. Philippine Wrestling himself, Jake de Leon? An all-out brawl, I guess.

How will this match affect JDL's bid to recruit Jaye Sera to the #PWOG? The Senyorito has been campaigning for months and while this is the closest he'll ever get to Sera, I'm pretty sure violence isn't the best recruitment process. But hey, we've seen partnerships form from the most unusual places in wrestling. Who knows, maybe mutual respect after a hard-fought victory will do the trick. 

But real talk, this match is Jaye Sera's make-or-break moment. Of course, she'll have more great matches in the future. What I'm saying is that this match will determine if Sera is ready to hang with the heavy-hitters on a regular basis. And I know she already competed in a four-way with the best of the best, but she has yet to follow that up with a sequel to her great performance.

Perhaps this is that sequel we’ve been waiting for. Whether she wins or loses, all she has to do is to deliver the match of her life because at this point, there's no place for Jaye Sera to go but up. When you have the Revo-Nation gasping for air when your match is announced, you know you have a real star on your hands. JDL won't make it easy for her, but it's now or never.

4. Who will make a major statement at PWR Mabuhay ang Wrestling?


It’s a new year, yes, it is! So expect most of the PWR roster to make some major statements about 2020 being their time. It’s just a matter of who and how. So for the fun of it, let’s speculate who these guys will be and how exactly will they do it:
  • Will it be MTNH? The reunited IMABAYASHI and Rederick Mahaba also ended 2019 strong with a win over the YOLO Twins, possibly luring them to the good side. Can they carry over the momentum this year against The Naughty Boys' Cali Nueva and Jhemherlhynn? I mean, they already won 2020 with this funny promo.  
  • Will it be the Naughty Boys? Speaking of the Naughty Boys who also had an eventful 2019, can they also survive the year with their new family member, Cali Nueva? And what’s up with Trian dela Torre booking matches now for his teammates? Is this him transitioning into a manager role? Not too bad of an idea, if you ask me. 
  • Will it be Kapitan Tutan? In a breakup, there’s always the other side. And in the case of Kapitan Tutan, his side involved getting his ass handed to him by his former employers, despite enlisting the help of formidable teammates. Can he bounce back and continue thinking about wrestling in 2020? We will find out once he beats the hapless soul who accepts his challenge. 
  • Will it be the YOLO Twins? After sharing a friendly handshake with MTNH, it seems like the YOLO Twins are turning a new leaf in 2020. Are we ready to see the twins as good guys? I’m all for it, as long as they keep their frantic energy in check. I can’t wait to see them kick the butts of Dax Xaviera and my number one favorite PWR wrestler of all time, Gatilyo.

5. Will Poch ever step up as an authority figure?


I love Poch as much as the next guy, but it's time to turn my attention to PWR's supposed authority figure. As much as it pains me to say this, it has to be said nonetheless: Poch is a terrible GM, even worse than the former GM John Sebastian. Obviously, it’s not his fault, it’s just that Creative has yet to treat his character as the authority figure he actually is.

I can barely remember him acting like a GM from the moment he announced his promotion via FaceTime. Sure, he did set up some matches here and there, but he’s not really involved in setting up matches and being a company leader in general. Oh, he also uncovered the Rederick Mahaba brainwashing by the YOLO Twins, which is great, I guess. 

The reason I’m suddenly complaining about this is because of the ridiculously stupid stipulation for the PWR Tag Team Championship match: Mr. Sy being the special guest referee for his team’s match. This decision is so problematic that they ultimately made Poch useless and tarnished the kayfabe reputation of PWR as a company.

And the deeper you think about it, the less it makes sense. For one, if Mr. Sy could have pulled these strings all this time, why didn’t he just ask for his old GM job back? Isn’t that more advantageous for his stable than just asking to be a guest referee? He can make PWR MSG’s playground and the stupid “Board” will be okay with it, I would assume.



After all, any reasonable group of people knows what conflict of interest is. If they are saying that the “Board” really allowed this to happen, can we even trust them with future decisions? And what happens to Poch now that we know anyone can go behind his back? He’s so powerless that he still moonlights as an announcer, probably because the “Board” didn’t give him a raise.
     
Ultimately, PWR needs to decide if they really want to take the GM role seriously in the long run. They can just abolish it and let the “Board” or whoever set the matches. After all, they already established the “Board” as corruptible instead of a neutral and reasonable entity. Literally anyone can come up to them and get exactly what they desire. Next thing we know, someone becomes champion just because he or she asked the almighty “Board” for it.    

Or if they do want to keep Poch the GM, remove him as the announcer and shoot more segments with him booking matches, mediating in wrestler scuffles, getting interrupted by wrestlers while he’s doing mundane things—the whole shebang. Minimize the presence of the “Board” and let the appointed general manager have the final say for everything. It’s that easy. 

And since they’re really going with this stipulation and they haven’t released an erratum to correct it, I have to assume they have a plan to make sense of all of these. It’s their funeral so they better blow everyone’s expectations and give us a satisfying conclusion. I honestly don’t care if #MSGAllBelts happens or not. I just want it to follow proper wrestling logic. 


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That’s it for the five big questions that need answering at PWR Mabuhay ang Wrestling. You have reached the part where I shill the show itself and tell you about these amazing offers. Get a limited edition PWR Mabuhay ang Wrestling shirt together with a ticket for only PhP 850. Just look at that design and tell me it doesn’t give you the Larry Alcala's Slice of Life vibes.



But if you’re still recovering from the holiday expenses or if you just hate good shirts somehow, just enjoy the wrestling with these ticket bundles. You can get your tickets here or at any of PWR's partner establishments: Pauline's Printing, Kramer:Toy Warden, and Tavern at the Crossroads. See you there, Revo-Nation!



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

All images from Philippine Wrestling Revolution


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Ricky Publico (@TeetotaleRicky) is Smark Henry's resident SmackDown reviewer... for better or worse. A known lover of wrestling tournaments, he's a sucker for well-executed promos and fast-paced matches. While he enjoys nitpicking shows, he now prefers enjoying wrestling for what it is instead of stressing himself over things he can't control. He just bought an Android phone and he couldn't be more delighted.

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