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PWR Live Vendetta: Full results and review


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Blood feuds and grudges were put to rest at the Power Mac Center Spotlight in Circuit Makati with the shocking conclusion to PWR's last show of the year.

PWR Vendetta, presented by Yellow Cab, on Sunday tied up all loose ends from Oktoberplex and culled moments from the past year to set up twists and pay-off moments bugging the RevoNation for months in a tightly-packed card, beginning with:

The Ballad of the Trabajadores

Trabajador Tres was first tasked by the venerable Trabajador Supremo to show Quatro how to follow tradition, showing that the youngster is still being punished for daring to seek La Consejo De Trabajadores Worldwide LLC’s first win in Oktoberplex.

Quatro’s lesson was taught through Brad Cruz, who Tres easily outpaced; barring the fact that his mask slipped off at the start, Tres performed admirably, striking quickly and delivering a sick John Woo kick to get him into a winning situation like Quatro before willingly succumbing to a Dawn Zulueta from Brad Cruz.

Tres did what Quatro could not; he made use of the skills that could have gotten him the win to make Cruz shine brighter instead. Seeing this broke Quatro's spirit, and it took a few slaps from Kapitan PWR to remind him that he isn't satisfied with staying in the shadows.

Kapitan and Quatro fought again, and this time the Trabajador stepped up his game, creating impressive sequences with the luchador. Quatro ended things with, fittingly enough, a Destino to fulfill The Council prophecy of a Trabajador bringing them to light, though he and his would-be rescuer Kap immediately received comeuppance from La Consejo.

Thankfully, the villainy of The Council drew the RevoRanger out to rescue the two even as Supremo expelled Quatro from their ranks.

It is the strangest feeling knowing that who most would consider "joke characters" have one of the most engaging stories in PWR, though it is a great reminder that pro wrestling is meant to be larger than life, and isn’t a Saturday morning cartoon come to life a prime example of that?

Match #1, PWR Tag Team Championship: The Network (Alexander Belmonte III & James “Idol” Martinez) (C) v. TDTxECX (Trian Dela Torre & Evan Carleaux) v. KakaiBros (Kh3ndrick & Mh4rckie)

Considering that — barring Mh4rckie — TDTxECX and KakaiBros debuted individually this year, it's remarkable how they've built a small library of tag moves to complement The Network's in a short span of time. These moves formed the first half of the match, with Idol's blasé calls of "walang galingan" and ABIII goading the KakaiBros in the background, until The Network tagged in and really made it a three-way match.

And that made this a better outing than The Network and TDTxECX in Oktoberplex. By giving each team time to show off and integrating humor into the wrestling as opposed to taking time from it, the teams struck a good balance between comedy and tag team action.

TDTxECX's lingering grudge over the KakaiBros and The Network's disdain for them also made the pair the subject of double-teams and, begrudgingly, made KakaiBros contenders for performers of the night.

The KakaiBros drew the crowd's ire with questionable tactics (e.g. saliva-covered hands as facescrubs), took cross-team moves (Carleaux assisting ABIII for a Pay-In Deluxe and Trian helping Idol lock in the Tech Noir), like champs, and kept it up until they finally hit the Rapbeh.

Unfortunately for them, the unexpected cameo of Manila Wrestling Federation's Coach Gus Queens allowed The Network to hit the Pay-In Deluxe. Though TDTxECX hit Friendship Beats All (facebuster and stunner combo) at the same time, Rex Lawin and other MWF talents distracted them long enough for The Network to get the pin and retain the titles.

 

WINNER: The Network via pinfall

Match #2 Beshies No More: Crystal v. Martivo

Crystal claiming the title stolen from her and All Action Wrestling Women's Champion Alexis Lee at the Queen of Asia tournament last October saved her from turning into the aimless, whitemeat babyface she was seemingly doomed to become.

The empress’ crown so far sits perfectly on Crystal, whose turn seemed to revitalize her. Using this mean streak to diversify her tactics in the future would be great; it’s fun seeing her pin Martivo down with her signature moves, but it wouldn’t be amiss if she takes her newfound queendom to sadistic ends.

But for all her fierceness, Martivo still had her number and ended the match with a Grabe ‘Tey (double underhook cradle sitout inverted atomic drop). This only angered Crystal, who would return to strike him and Robynn with John Sebastian’s Singapore cane, fueling speculation as to her possible involvement in the Ubusan ng Lahi match later on.

Martivo, to his credit, showed a serious side that the crowd could stand to see more often. From wicked snapmares to a facebuster, having the self-proclaimed queen nipping at his heels seems to the Man Doll good. Hopefully, Robynn will show that fire in 2018 too.

WINNER: Martivo via pinfall

Match # 3 International Tag Team Showcase: The YOLO Twins (Logan & Yohann Ollores) v. The Regime (Dr. Hertz & Tengu)

With two years of experience in active competition between them, it is outstanding how The YOLO Twins and The Regime performed in this showcase. It’s palpable how this was a learning experience as much as it was a demonstration of both their skills as individuals and as teams, and seeing it all come together as well as it did was impressive.

As disagreeable as their performance was in Oktoberplex, The YOLO Twins were absolutely the perfect team to face The Regime. The teams had great chemistry, bounced back on missteps, — Hurtz turned what looked like an attempt at an airplane spin to a boston crab, Tengu and Yohann shifted when their heads nearly collided after the crab sequence — and kept the crowd on their feet with moves they’ve never seen in person before.

The match came to a stop when Ken Warren, dressed as the Rick to the twins’ Morty and Evil Morty, broke up a sure pin after Tengu and Dr. Hertz executed an electric chair-lungblower combo, allowing the YOLO Twins to throw Hertz out and finish off Tengu with a Two Night Stand.

Special mention goes out to Yohann, who poured his heart into this match. Having the most time in the ring, Yohann’s quest for perfection stalled the action at times yet his struggle to tag Logan worked to their advantage; it also, perhaps for the first time in their run, got them some babyface cheers. Tengu must also be acknowledged for his timing, light-footedness, preternaturally strong neck, and that absolutely bonkers standing shooting star press.

WINNER: The YOLO Twins via pinfall

Match # 4 All Out War Championship: The Apocalypse (C) v. Vlad Sinnsyk

All Out War used to signal the end of conflicts, but with Sinnsyk winning against the Apocalypse in this surprisingly well-paced match, it seems like there’s something left for these two.

Sinnsyk winning is almost secondary to how well AOW concealed their weaknesses. It made these two look intimidating and shifting from one weapon to the next, Hello Kitty alarm clocks to kendo sticks and keyboards, masked their unhurried pace.

Fifteen minutes into the fight, the chair-and-plywood structure set up by Apocalypse backfired on him when Sinnsyk slammed him through it. This was honestly a great punctuation to the brawl, and its impact made Apocalypse seem tougher as he still managed to counter a Muscle Buster and attempt a Six Feet Under after the fact.

Still, Sinnsyk dodged Apocalypse’s comeback and set him up for another Muscle Buster, allowing him to win the match and become the new All Our War Champion.

 

WINNER and NEW AOW Champion: Vlad Sinnsyk via pinfall

P.S.: Shoutout to the referee, who was Very Concerned throughout the entire proceedings.

Match # 5 PHX Championship: Mike Madrigal (C) v. Zayden Trudeau v. Bolt

As mentioned in the Trabajadores matches, it takes great skill to win and make others look like a winner, and Madrigal proved that he could do both. His motormouth to filled the void left by Bolt and Trudeau’s similar plain, “fiery newcomer” vibe, and kept things lively with stunts like stopping the referee mid-count by grabbing his hand and taking advantage of his opponents’ distraction.

Bolt and Trudeau were no slouches either. Whenever they’re not wailing on Madrigal, the two landed flashy dives, kicks, and references to recent wrestling moments to show off how far they made it since their debut.

Aside from living up to the PHX Championship’s promise of showing off hybrid wrestling, this match will hopefully leave a mark on Bolt and Trudeau. For all their in-ring wizardry, Bolt and Trudeau do need to project their character more, and Madrigal is one of the best to learn that from.

Madrigal distinguished himself from his former partner Sinnysk for most of 2017 with his irritatingly funny and irreverent attitude, to the point that Madrigal turned into the kind of bad guy one can’t root for: He’s so good at being contemptible that it’s a shame not to boo him. It wouldn’t be too bad if this three-way rivalry continued, if only to help Bolt and Trudeau along.

The most glaring flaw of the match was the referee failing to explain why he din’t call for the bell when Madrigal tapped to Bolt’s headlock and Trudeau’s sharpshooter at the same time. Despite this, the match ended satisfactorily, with Madrigal taking advantage of its no disqualification rule to hit his opponents with the title before nailing Trudeau with the GTS to retain.

In the end, the match felt like a showcase for Bolt and Trudeau and a way to further cement Madrigal’s reign.

WINNER: Mike Madrigal via pinfall

Match # 6: Vintendo v. McKata

From pre-shows dating back to Renaissance to the spot before the main event, Vintendo and McKata have gone a long way. Their match in Vendetta was easily the best and showed their growth the most.

McKata and Vintendo’s willingness to use their full weight to create impact engaged the crowd, and McKata’s deceptive speed — and out-of-nowhere pelé kick — made a good counterpart to Vintendo’s strength.

Vintendo scoring the quick win with a High Score choke slam off the top turnbuckles after taking a Throwback seemed abrupt but fitting. Still, their match lacked a certain something; if it had gone on a minute longer, it would feel too much, but as it is, it feels like it had another level to it could reach. Hopefully, this match means they could go on to bigger things.

WINNER: Vintendo via pinfall

Match# 7 Ubusan ng Lahi 5-on-5 elimination match: Team Sy (Chris Panzer, SANDATA, Miguel Rosales, Joey Bax, Dax Xaviera) v. Team Sebastian (John Sebastian, Peter Versoza, Rederick Mahaba, Ralph Imabayashi, Jake De Leon)

Jake De Leon taking up the last spot on Team Sebastian rightfully shocked the entire Revonation. Who would’ve thought that one of their biggest heroes would help the designated villains, or help Sebastian, who took his championship away from him at Suplex Sunday last year?

Thankfully, JDL explained his motive in simple, screaming terms to Mr. Sy: he worked hard as the champion and representative of PWR to help the company get back on its feet after it almost went bankrupt in 2016, and he won’t let the general manager send it back to the dark ages.

At first pass, it seems illogical for JDL to say that when 2017, the year he didn’t have the title, the year he wasn’t the face of the company is its strongest year to date. But when it comes to the first PWR Champion, having the title on JDL is almost inconsequential, because to many he is Mr. PWR.

Under this light, JDL’s motive seems pretty reasonable, but given that he’s only won thrice since Suplex Sunday, he’s got the losing streak to match his teammates and color this noble statement.

Regardless, the crowd quickly got over their shock after nearly four minutes of action between Panzer and Sebastian culminated in dives and Team Sy running a Taguchi Japan-esque train on Sebastian, and JDL drawing first blood by taking Bax out with an Inasal Lock out of nowhere.

The subsequent eliminations were partitioned by a fair amount of action. Every competitor was able to pull off at least a single signature, and contributed unique moments of their own. Notable moments include Mahaba’s insistence at being shown “some g_dd____d respect”; Versoza catching SANDATA in a questionable pin during the brief Dualshock reunion before bowing out to a Kidlat; Mr. Sy actually launching himself off the top rope; and Imabayashi catching Panzer, who mistook Sebastian as the legal man, unawares with a sonic cutter in a shocking elimination.

After a Killshot from Sebastian eliminated Xaviera moments later, Rosales was left as the sole member of Team Sy. At that point, the match was already 30 minutes long, but it only felt like 10 minutes had passed. The crowd also remained charged; though the audience cycled from complete silence to cheers, they did so not out of boredom but anticipation for the next move, a sign of how well the action and eliminations were spread.

Rosales and Imabayashi must be commended for holding down the fort. They delivered with lung-blowing strikes and two-way trips to Suplex City, but what really took the cake was Rosales countering a One-Winged Angel from Imabayashi into a destructive Jackhammer.

However, Imabayashi would be saved by his teammates, whose attack on Rosales was halted by Team Sy returning. Ultimately, Mr. Sy’s efforts to help his last team member failed as Imabayashi hit the Senketsu for the win, removing Mr. Sy from his position and leaving his team in the mercy of John Sebastian.

 

WINNER: Team Sebastian via pinfall

While Team Sebastian is happy kicking Mr. Sy out enough to take victory selfies, JDL’s fixation with keeping PWR in the state he’s accustomed to seeing it may end the honeymoon sooner than later.

Going back to that C.S. Lewis reference, the full quote goes: “A proud man is always looking down on things and people: and, of course, as long as you are looking down, you cannot see something that is above you.”

Eschewing context for a hot minute, JDL at the moment may be blind to the full implications of Sebastian being given full control of PWR. They may see eye to eye now, but proud men crave power the most; with power being the first and foremost reason for Sebastian’s rebellion, his pride and ego may clash with JDL’s vision for the company.

(God, what a stretch.)

There’s no telling how things will play out with Team Sebastian yet; it’s all speculation at this point, and the only thing the Revonation can be certain of is that the remnants of Team Sy will face grave consequences for siding against the self-proclaimed Wrestling Lord and Savior come January.

***

As the finale for PWR's 2017, Vendetta delivered with a solid card that rivaled Renaissance and Wrevolution X in terms of weightiness and match quality, barring a few hiccups. It paid off stories that took a year to build and served as a final defense to some who either debuted this year or had a change of heart.

2017 in general was a star-making year for the company, with shows every month that did more than bounce the company back from near-bankruptcy in 2016. The year saw PWR build links with talent from Canada, U.S., U.K. and ASEAN countries as well as hook enough eyeballs on its shows to get more TV time and earn a sponsorship deal with Yellow Cab.

Only time will tell if 2018 will bring PWR to new heights, but it's quite implausible for the biggest pro wrestling promotion in the country to falter in its ascent.

—LBG, GMA News

Tags: pwrlive, vendetta
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