The Week That Was in Pro Wrestling: expanding horizons

By JP Abcede

Two major events in the pro wrestling world occurred this week. First is IMPACT! Wrestling's continuous working relationship with Lucha Underground producing the Redemption event. Second is the much ballyhooed Greatest Royal Rumble undertaking of World Wrestling Entertainment in Saudi Arabia.

It is nice to know that IMPACT! is starting to clean up its act. And one way of them doing it is by reaching out to other wrestling promotions for cross-branding. Right now, LU is in their 'offseason' with the fourth season to start airing in June, which means that storyline-wise, their wrestlers have a free schedule.

Meanwhile, the Greatest Royal Rumble opened boundaries, much like Kim Jong Un crossing the Korean DMZ to become the first North Korean leader since the Korean War to step foot on South Korea (coincidentally happening on the same day) but in a smaller scale. Still, it presented an opportunity for WWE to expand its reach and for KSA to showcase to the rest of the world of how they are gradually loosening their tightly-held customs to present a more inclusive society.

Here is Dugout Philippines' recap of these two landmark events.

Strowman wins 50-man Rumble; reigning champs hold serve

Finally, a big guy won a Rumble match with Braun Strowman, eliminating 13 men in the process. That is not to say that a monster has never won since Big John Studd, Yokozuna, and Brock Lesnar all have one under their respective belts. But it is something worth pointing out when guys with a natural advantage like André the Giant, Big Show, and Mark Henry do not last long enough in these kind of stipulation matches and that wrestlers with similar stature only win a Rumble once a decade.

As for the rest of the card, WWE booking played it safe with all incumbent champions holding on to their titles as the gang heads to the next big event in Backlash, the only development in the five-hour basg being the Woken family of Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt claiming the Raw tag team diadem for the first time as partners. Oh yeah, there is also Rusev Day getting buried by The Undertaker figuratively in a casket match.

It is understandable that at the end of the night, everything is practically status quo, and I do not think Braun Strowman is required to defend the Greatest Royal Rumble championship. After all, this was just a house show... a glorified and hyped up house show at that.

LU wrestler wins IMPACT! championship

Such is the dynamic between two of the next tier wrestling promotions in the US when Pentagón Jr. finds himself with IMPACT!'s biggest title, overcoming deposed champ Austin Aries and brother Fenix in the main event of the show. Another belt changed hands when Eli Drake and Scott Steiner beat the distracted Latin American Xchange, whose leader Konnan was assaulted and found missing at the day of the event.

Those who retained their championships are X division top dog Matt Sydal, after he defeated Petey Williams, and Knockouts titleholder Allie, who won against Su Yung.

Finally, Eddie Edwards is going towards the dark side after his team of Moose and Tommy Dreamer lost to Ohio Versus Everything.

PWR makes last stop before Wrevolution X

Over at the local scene, Philippine Wrestling Revolution squeezed in one more event before Wrevolution X with PWR Live: Trapik. In the main event, title challengers Miguel Rosales and Ken Warren, together with Chris Panzer, beat PWR champion Mike Imabayashi, PHX titlist Mike Madrigal, and Rederick Mahaba.

Speaking of Panzer, he will in Singapore on May 11 for Grapple MAX, as he will be going up against The Ladykiller in a Rock Bottom match for the Wrestle Square/KWF cruiserweight championship. 

Meanwhile, Vlad Sinnsyk and Vintendø's all-out war match for the All Out War championship was declared a no contest after Peter Versoza and James "Idol" Martinez joined in the fray.

John Sebastian and Crystal also kept hold of the PWR tag team belts after winning over The Network. Up next for the "Wrestling Lord and Savior" and the self-proclaimed "Philippines' Queen of Wrestling" will be the Punk Dolls at Wrevolution X.