PWR Renaissance 2017 — My First PWR Show
PWR Renaissance 2017

The first time I caught wind of Philippine Wrestling Revolution, it was Kanto Terror and Bombay Suarez’s flaming chop. I thought it had tremendous potential to revive the Pinoy wrestling scene, and it indeed did. Fast forward to now, I’m somewhat a part of that scene through my role as the ring announcer of Manila Wrestling Federation. Throughout that whole time, I had never attended a PWR show due to local wrestling having been merely a passing interest for me until this year.

PWR Renaissance 2017 is indeed my first PWR show, which may be seen as a bit of a travesty as I feel I’ve missed out on quite a lot of it. I liked what I saw, I took notes of what they did well that we in MWF (many of whom were in attendance as well) can make use of in our own shows, and I was just thoroughly entertained by the wrestling and the storylines.

DISCLAIMER: I’m Manila Wrestling Federation’s ring announcer, so this post is NOT an impartial review. Reader discretion is advised.

For a more thorough review of the event, please read this article on Smark Henry.

PWR Renaissance 2017 Main Card

I didn’t catch the pre-show, namely The Kakaibros vs. Dax Xaviera & Bolt and Vintendo vs. McKata, because we were still outside. We got seated once Rederick Mahaba and Ralph Imabayashi started their promo.

Rederick Mahaba vs. Zayden Trudeau

I like that his name is Trudeau and is nicknamed “The Canadian Dragon,” alluding to Daniel Bryan’s indie persona (not to mention CM Punk’s tights, but with maple leaves). Only thing missing was for him to use the Canadian Destroyer, but I don’t think he’d be able to attempt that on Mahaba.

Fairly competitive match, but only because Mahaba just took Trudeau too lightly. All it took was a mistake on the Canadian’s part and he was trapped in his submission, the Jaccolade (Eww.). While Mahaba did get the win, Imabayashi got in the ring and they both attacked Trudeau. Mahaba then got banned from ringside in the main event so he wouldn’t be able to help his comrade get the title.

Tag Team Match: The Deadly Sinns vs. The Punk Dolls

The Punk Dolls, especially Robynn, impressed me with a combination of fearlessness and visual appeal. The Deadly Sinns did good work in the ring as well, doing their best to undermine their opponents with intelligence and (necessarily) underhanded tactics. However, as with most “dirty” tag teams, they also took too much time playing the crowd (which is the point).

Pulling off such a match may seem textbook, but it’s all about timing. The drawing out of adversity, the hot tag, the spots, and the finish—it’s all about build-up and then getting the payoff just right. In this case, they did it pretty damn well, making the whole match thoroughly enjoyable, especially with Robynn as the lead.

John Sebastian vs. Brad Cruz

Semi-squash smash preceded by a pretty good heel promo, much like that of Rederick Mahaba’s. John Sebastian as the “savior of Pinoy wrestling” against Brad Cruz, a newcomer with “the looks.” Brad Cruz was definitely over once he introduced himself, thus painting him as a plucky underdog who was about to get sent to the pound anyway.

6-Man Tag Team Match: Ken Warren & The YOLO Twins vs. The Network

This gets plus points for the dynamic within The Network, or lack thereof. The storytelling was excellent and certainly memorable, and the payoff made everything right. It certainly put them in the tag team title picture and pushed Chino Guinto’s stock as PHX Champion.

On the other hand, Ken Warren and the YOLO Twins had a bit of an “Elite” vibe to them, although they did seem to get pushed into the background (at least from my perspective). I guess the conflict between Chino Guinto and James “Idol” Martinez took most of the spotlight here.

“Ruthless” Miguel Rosales (w/ Joey Bax) vs. Peter Versoza

I personally liked Peter Versoza’s moveset—I thought it suited his size and his look. As for “Ruthless” Miguel Rosales, I’m fairly amused with “Barangay Suplex” and his own amalgamation of two well-known gimmicks, despite his size. I can still get behind the Ruthless one for his valiant efforts to be that guy, but I ended up quite liking Peter Versoza a lot more after this match due to my own preferences.

Trian dela Torre vs. The Apocalypse

As an underdog, Trian Dela Torre is great, especially with him constantly reminding people of his winning streak. It’s easy for the crowd to root for him, and I hope to see how he proceeds with this role.

On the other hand, I’m still split on how I should feel about the Apocalypse. He seems to be PWR’s monster heel, but his moves and mic work seemingly stray from that archetype. Perhaps that’s just because I haven’t been attending more PWR shows, thus I’ll need to look more into him through videos of past shows and future live shows.

PWR Championship #1 Contender’s Match: “Beautiful” Billy Suede vs. SANDATA

This made me a fan of Billy Suede. I like that he’s trying to be the Pinoy Ric Flair in his own way, emulating a lot of the legend’s moves while still asserting his own identity. SANDATA was also pretty badass, and this match was quite intense. It was stiff and hard-hitting, which made it worthy of the co-main event spot.

Triple Threat Match for PWR Championship: Chris Panzer (c) vs. Ralph Imabayashi vs. Jake de Leon

I love triple threat matches that are done right, and I’m personally a fan of “The Senyorito” and his ring work. The alliances, the double-crosses, the high spots, and everything else in between were done quite well here, and I think Chris Panzer has done well with the strap thus far.

Other Comments

Pardon me for not getting into more detail with each match. As of the writing of this post script, I had already taken too long in writing about this event, thus needed to get it done with quickly before moving on to other things. I wasn’t totally prepared for this blog post, thus the brevity. I apologize.

This PWR show left a great first impression on me and I’d like to attend more. I actually met some friends attending the show, and they’re big PWR fans. They offered to help me get tickets, which I later accepted. You can expect me to be there in future shows.

Of course, I didn’t come in solely as a fan, but also as a member of a rival promotion. With PWR being more seasoned and experienced in the local wrestling scene, we were able to learn much from them. I particularly paid attention to their ring announcer and how he did things, and I’ll do my best to apply what I’ve learned in MWF’s upcoming show in September. He looked sharper, had cleaner delivery, and seemed more comfortable in his role.

I do hope all local promotions (namely Philippine Wrestling Revolution, Manila Wrestling Federation, and Art of War Wrestling) can breed a friendly learning environment instead of a hostile one so we can all grow the Pinoy wrestling scene. We may have our own ideas on how to do so, but that’s why we have to do our own thing. But as far as who gets the biggest piece of the pie, it’ll be much better if we instead work to make that pie bigger. We must all think about the long term or the second coming of Pinoy wrestling will go as the first one did.

This is not just marketing talk, but a genuine sentiment. Mark my words—if I see the scene rapidly sliding down the opposite direction without end in sight, I’ll take my ball and run. I can only help if everyone else is willing to help as well. If I can’t be of any more help, I’ll just go back to being an observer since I only joined to have fun with it.

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