PWR overcomes hard times to get on the 'Path of Gold'
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Wrestling Revolution has learned many difficult lessons in trying to build a business from the ground up. Nearly two years after they first packed 120 fans into a boxing gym on word of mouth, the company was finding it hard to sustain their momentum towards the end of last year.
The company, comprised of mostly young adults in their early-to-mid 20s, had split acrimoniously with their former president and champion, who portrayed the “Classical” Bryan Leo character, and needed to hold fundraisers to, well, raise funds to continue doing shows. It was, as Dusty Rhodes would say, hard times for the wrestling promotion.
“There were a lot of times there, I was thinking, PWR might be in trouble,” said Mark Javellana, a 24-year-old who wrestles as Jake De Leon and also serves as the promotion’s president.
“But a lot of our guys due to our passion and our hard work, we knew it was in trouble but we weren’t gonna let it die down.”
A credit to their resilience, the company made it through to 2017, and will host their second event this year, “PWR: Path of Gold 2017,” this Sunday, February 26 at 2 pm. The venue is the Bayanihan Center on Pioneer Street in Kapitolyo, Pasig City, the same venue which hosts Komikon.
The show will feature PWR champion John Sebastian in a triple-threat match against Jake De Leon and The Apocalypse, PHX champion Peter Versoza against Main Maxx, plus a 20-man Path of Gold match, which is similar to a battle royal except that the only way to be eliminated is by pinfall or submission, with the winner getting a crack at either the PWR or PHX title at their Wrevolution X show, which has yet to be scheduled.
Also scheduled is a qualifier for the Path of Gold match between Rederick Mahaba (whose other nickname is The King of Schlong Style) and Alexander Belmonte, plus a special attraction between Filipino-Canadian “Beautiful” Billy Suede and “Blackzilla.”
The wrestlers should be running on a confidence high after their show last month in January, when they performed in front of two World Wrestling Entertainment executives, WWE's Senior Director of Talent Development Canyon Ceman and WWE Asia Pacific general manager Chris Marsh.
Marsh was among the scouts who had made stops at local shows in Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore and the Philippines to check out local talent. Ceman explained to HubSports 360 in Singapore what his goal was. ”I'm here in Southeast Asia for the weekend to see 3 different countries,” adding “My goal is to bring back the best."
“It was a huge boost of being nervous,” said Javellana of the PWR Live: Bagong Yugto show, which drew an estimate 300 people in Quezon City.
“It was a really huge boost of confidence, we wanted to put on the best show for them and also all the fans there. On that show everyone delivered, everyone had a good match. The WWE guys told us they liked us, they just told us we have to work on a few things here and there but overall they liked the energy of our crowd.”
Whether one of their guys gets the call to report to the WWE Performance Center or not, only time will tell. And what about the possibility of expanding their own reach beyond Metro Manila? Can't hurt to dream.
“That would be a great goal, to be the WWE of the Philippines. But our short-term goal right now is to make sure that Philippine wrestling is well known and PWR is at the forefront of it,” said Javellana.
Advanced tickets can be purchased through firstname.lastname@example.org for P350 each and P400 each at the door. A “barkada bundle” of 3 can be bought for P999. – Rappler.com