Pro wrestling makes a comeback in PH through PWR

Jake De Leon, Mark D. Manalo, and Chris Panzer are just some
of the wrestlers of PWR. Ivan Saldajeno
By Ivan Saldajeno

QUEZON CITY--Pro wrestling is back in the Philippines!

Twenty-five years after Pinoy Wrestling went off-air, a group of wrestling enthusiasts teamed up to form the Philippine Wrestling Revolution or simply PWR.

"PWR started about a year ago. PWR came about from a bunch of friends who wanted to start becoming professional wrestlers," said Raf Camus, the ringside announcer for all the PWR events. "[Mayhem Brannigan, Bryan Leo, Jake De Leon, and Bombay Suarez] formed an online group, and from there, they signed up."

The co-founders and even the new talents look up to Suarez as a mentor.

"They learned close to 80 percent of what they know today from Bombay," Camus continued.

On the other hand, Camus admitted that he was surprised that the videos of PWR's previous event, Vendetta, were streamed on-demand at

"I found out the same way everyone else found out. Bigla na lang may nakikita kami sa Facebook. 'Oh my God! We're on TV5," he revealed.

However, he found the "surprise" streaming on the said website beneficial for the promotion.

"At the end of the day, nakakataba siya ng puso," Camus said. "We've done four shows, and then we're getting picked up by mainstream media. Even if it's their internet counterpart, it's a big deal. If TV5 takes us up eventually, it's a big deal for us."

Videos of the said matches are also available on PWR's Youtube channel.

Meanwhile, he also revealed that the Vendetta event last February drew much crowd that the promotion's management, led by its general manager, radio DJ Stan Sy, decided to stop selling tickets at the Makati Cinema Square as a safety measure.

"For Vendetta, ang laking bagay na nag-sell out kami. We even had to say, 'Oh my God! We have to stop letting people in because we hit standing room and it's a fire hazard already," Camus recalled.

With the huge crowd turnout at Vendetta, which will likely be expected at the promotion's next event, WRevolution X on May 23, Camus mulled at possibly bringing PWR events to larger arenas.

"Eventually, we do want to look at larger venues," Camus bared.

In spite of it, Camus still calls MCS home.

"MCS is home to us. We've done great shows there. MCS is a strategic place for us," he continued.

Camus later vowed that he wants PWR to be distinguished than the other wrestling promotions.

He said, "It's a unique product. We're not out there to be WWE. We're not out there to be ECW. We're not out there to be New Japan [Pro Wrestling]. What we're doing is that we're building our own brand."

On the other hand, the fact that more Filipinos these days prefer the realness of MMA than pro wrestling's scripted results hardly mattered for the founding of PWR according to Camus. In fact, he did not want PWR to be compared to the MMA promotions too.

"MMA is MMA. Pro wrestling is pro wrestling. Everyone makes a distinction. One is sports-entertainment. One is combat sport. We don't compete with each other. We don't play in the same game. At the end of the day, we're pro wrestling. It's a completely different thing," he distinguished the two.

Camus added, "We're not out there to gain MMA fans and convert them. We're here for Philippine wrestling fans. That's the market we're catering for."

He, however, said that training in professional wrestling, just like MMA, is also rigorous.

"Pro wrestling is not a joke," Camus said, revealing that there are some people who enlisted for the PWR Boot Camp that eventually backed out after just one session.

He later admitted that MMA has helped some of PWR's talents in their training.

"Some of our guys like Ken Warren do train MMA. Some of our guys have backgrounds in mixed martial arts. It comes out in their matches. If you'll watch closely enough, you can see some of it."

Curiously, the WRevolution X fight card, which will have Suarez and De Leon battling for the first PWR championship and Warren taking on Chris Panzer in an earlier match, will take place exactly a week after UFC will have an event at the Mall of Asia Arena. On the other hand, the pre-fight press conference took place a week after One Championship's event at the same Pasay venue. Also, TV5 was the Philippine coveror of PXC.

So what really makes PWR unique?

Camus answered, "It's sports-entertainment. We have storylines to tell. We're doing this for wrestling fans."

The PWR WRevolution X will take place on May 23 at the Makati Cinema Square.