After Bagong Yugto: Reflections with PWR
“A NEW YEAR. A NEW CHAPTER” was the bold claim of Philippine Wrestling Revolution, the first professional wrestling promotion in the Philippines. PWR Live: Bagong Yugto was the first live show of PWR for 2017 and it turned out to be a night of hard hitting, high flying, and groundbreaking action and drama in a way only wrestlers can deliver.
Before the show, What’s A Geek got a chance to correspond with these talented athletes. It was a great opportunity to reflect on 2016 and to plan for this year. We even got to ask our local talent to give their two cents on who would win the once a year extravaganza known as the Royal Rumble (Hint: No one picked Roman Reigns). Read on for the first segment of our interview and stay tuned for the next chapter soon!
What were the highlights of 2016 for you and PWR as a whole?
Main Maxx: “I can say that the highlight of Main Maxx and PWR as a whole was putting the Philippine Hybrid (PHX) Division in another level. I’ve had the opportunity to have great matches with some great wrestlers in their particular styles. Those matches lived up to the name of Philippine Hybrid X because it’s all about the clash of styles.
“For me, the highlight of 2016 was definitely being the King of PHX, after defeating some great wrestlers such as Bombay Suarez, Ken Warren, Chino Guinto, Martivo, Chris Panzer, Crystal, and SANDATA. All these people with different styles have tried. But all of them were unsuccessful in dethroning the King of PHX . 2016 has been the Year of Main Maxx and, hopefully, 2017 will be even better!”
John “Idol” Martinez: “My loss or, rather, my MATCH against Rederick Mahaba at Wrevolution X 2016. He told me [that] I shared the same passion for wrestling as him when we both went all out for that match.
“I may have lost that match, but I got my highlight when I jumped off from the mezzanine floor of iAcademy’s auditorium. Who cares about my win-loss record when I got the people talking about me all over the place. As long as I’m popular, I’m fine.
“PWR as a whole? Pretty much like mine. The company went through a lot of ups and downs. But, as long as we can do shows regularly, we’re good. It’s not only up to us, but it’s up to the fans as well. Their undying support keeps us motivated for each and every show. It’s a mutual relationship and I am thankful for that relationship.
“This coming year, I’m expecting fewer downs and more ups, this time starting from correcting my name. It’s JAMES “IDOL” MARTINEZ not John “Idol” Martinez. Who the hell is that?”
What were the challenges of 2016 for you and PWR as a whole?
Ralph Imabayashi: “At the tail end 2015, I proved I was the man by winning the PWR Championship. In 2016, I had to prove whether I could remain champion or not. I did successfully retain it for 2 months until my reign abruptly ended. The next few months I challenged myself if I could become champion again; I didn’t. The first few months were bumpy, but, maybe, my priorities were wrong.
“I now realized pro-wrestling is for the fans, especially the little kids out there. It was never about me. Now, the only challenge I have for myself is to make sure people leave the building satisfied and make them happier than when they arrived. Give them a story to tell other people about the show. But, this doesn’t mean I’ve gone soft. When you love something, you give 100% and I love pro wrestling. Anyone who stands across the ring against me should know I’m giving it my all in there.
“The challenge for PWR is whether we can retain the momentum and audience we have. Every show is a brand-new audience. It’s always an uphill battle when it comes to making them come back for the next one. We are not as big as WWE; we don’t have “see you next week” fans. We always must keep the show interesting enough to entice them to return. We should promote the show hard, so we don’t fall from the public eye. [PWR Live: Bagong Yugto was] our first show of 2017 and we’re here to make sure PWR goes nowhere but up starting with this show.”