The indies are important, now more than ever for professional wrestling. The WWE is globally growing so dramatically; more determined to search for talents across the land, with tournaments such as the Cruiserweight Classic (CWC), UK Championship, and the upcoming Women’s classic. Watching people in the CWC like Ho Ho Lun (Hong Kong) and Alejandro Saez (Chile), made me realize that pro wrestling is indeed expanding.
Dave Batista, TJ Perkins, DJZ (Michael Paris), and B-Boy (Benito Cuntapay) all have ethnic ties to the Philippines. Hopefully, one day, we get to see more Filipinos recognized worldwide. Philippine Wrestling Revolution could be one of those instruments to make it a reality. Take a look at this highlight video:
I got the chance to interview Mark Javellana, the president of Philippine Wrestling Revolution:
Tell us your story, Mark. How did Mark Javellana get into the pro wrestling business? What were your inspirations?
The way I got into the pro wrestling business was pretty interesting. Philippine Wrestling Revolution (PWR) around 2-3 years ago was pretty much the only thing related to pro wrestling that existed in the country and it started out as a Facebook page. So, I joined that Facebook page, started training with the first set of guys and the rest pretty much went off from there. My inspirations in wrestling would have to be AJ Styles and Dusty Rhodes.
How long has Philippine Wrestling Revolution (PWR) been in existence? Please tell us a little bit of its history? How hard was it to get the pro wrestling fever into the Philippines?
PWR has been around for around 2-3 years now. Like I said earlier, PWR started as a Facebook group with a collection of like-minded fans that would just keep on fantasy booking online. It wasn’t until a group of guys from that group got together to meet up and actually plan on making their own promotion here until things started rolling. Our first crew of pro wrestlers started training on January in 2014 all under the heart and soul of PWR, Bombay Suarez. Bombay is the guy who trained a lot of the guys you see in PWR now so he is the guy we attribute with lighting the spark. Along the way, we also got trained by wrestlers from America and London which really helped hone our craft. So after about 9 months of training, we had our first legitimate show on September 2015 and the rest is history.
With regards to getting the pro wrestling fever into the Philippines, I honestly believe that the fever was there since the beginning. A lot of Filipinos are actually huge wrestling fans but our country experienced a drought for a while when the WWE wasn’t having their tours here along with the absence of our own promotion. When PWR came up, that thirst and hunger for professional wrestling in the Philippines was finally satisfied.
I’ve watched some of your video highlights. For a wrestling promotion that’s pretty much still in its infancy, you guys have pretty awesome in-ring skills and spots. Where did the wrestlers and referees get their training? Are there any medical staff nearby whenever you would have events held?
The earlier wrestlers and referees got their training from our very first head trainer, the heart and soul of PWR, Bombay Suarez. We started off training by watching a lot of wrestling seminars we found online and used that as a base. We really got the ball rolling once wrestlers like Josh Bauserman, So Sai King, Casey Platinum and Chilly Willy came to the country and helped give us some tips on training and how to become a pro wrestler. We took anything and everything we could learn from them and developed into the wrestlers we are today. Right now, a few other promotions in the country are trying to come up also and I’d like to think it’s all thanks to PWR.
We always make sure to have a medic nearby whenever we have events.
The characters of PWR have gimmicks just like any professional wrestler. Most seem to specifically cater to the Filipino taste. I’ve lived in the Philippines for most of my childhood and adult life before coming back to the United States. Rederick Mahaba always gives me the chuckles. I hope in the future, you would be able to put English subtitles (Lucha Underground-style) in your Tagalog promos, that way, non-Tagalog speaking Filipinos can understand it. Do you guys hire writers? Or you just basically brainstorm by yourselves?
We don’t hire writers. We do have a small booking team but a lot of the ideas for our feuds and storylines actually come from the wrestlers themselves. So, yes, we just basically brainstorm by ourselves.
Please talk about your main event scene. How would you describe Jake de Leon and John Sebastian? Any other wrestlers we should watch out for?
The main event scene right now is pretty interesting. “The Senyorito” Jake De Leon has been pretty much PWR’s top good guy for the better part of its existence and he’s a man of the people. He became the company’s first champion back in 2015 but his reign lasted all about 4 minutes until someone “cashed-in” an opportunity right after his championship match so he went on a year-long hunt for the title and finally won it back in 2016 and cemented himself as the people’s champion. John Sebastian, on the other hand, is the complete opposite of Jake De Leon. He’s brash, arrogant, cocky, takes shortcuts, and pretty much hates everyone. He made it his mission to ruin Jake De Leon’s life for ruining his PWR debut and he ruined it by taking away the PWR championship from Jake De Leon. Now, Jake De Leon is back on the hunt with John Sebastian, the self-proclaimed Wrestling Lord and Savior, on top of PWR.
As for other wrestlers to watch out, there’s definitely a lot. The main event scene may have been Jake De Leon and John Sebastian recently but at any point in time, there could be a PWR wrestler that takes the spotlight. Guys like Ralph Imabayashi, Chris Panzer, Peter Versoza, Main Maxx, The Network, Rederick Mahaba, and Crystal all have what it takes to be top guys in PWR.
There are Filipinos around the world who happen to be professional wrestling fans as well. I know you upload YouTube videos of your matches. But would there be a point where we would be able to see Facebook live streams of some of your matches? Any plans for DVD’s and other media?
We have a lot of plans for those but their still in the planning phase as of now. I hope our fans keep an eye out in case we announce anything.
Would road tours be a possibility in the future? Maybe during fiestas, you would go to places like Bicol, Cebu, Davao, etc.?
Road tours are always a possibility with us. We’ve had a few in the past albeit not in the most favorable circumstances but they were fun shows to wrestle in. We’re hoping things look better in 2017.
Any indie promotion wherever around the world, even here in the US has some financial constraints of some sort? I remember when ECW needed some financial uplifting back in the day, they relied on their merchandise. How do you guys cope with such challenges?
Simply put, we cope through passion and hard work. We know this wasn’t going to be easy and everyone in this company works their asses off to put on the best show for our fans and thankfully enough, we make enough to get by and keep doing what we love.
We all know that the Philippines is still a pretty conservative country. Have you received any backlash from the government or church leaders regarding PWR’s activities?
No, thankfully. PWR is all about fun and good times.
Anything more you would like to say? A message for our readers?
To everyone reading this and are fans of professional wrestling, PWR puts a Filipino twist to it and it’s a whole lot of fun. So, please continue to support us. Like us on Facebook “Philippine Wrestling Revolution – PWR”, follow us on Twitter & Instagram “@pwrofficial”, visit our website pwrcentral.com, and spread the word about us!
I’d also just like to promote to the Filipino wrestling fans out there that we’ll be having a show on Sunday, January 29, 2017 (Philippine time) named “PWR Live: Bagong Yugto”. It will be happening at Venue 142 Roofdeck along Katipunan Avenue in Quezon City. Please message the PWR Facebook page for tickets! Thank you and we hope you guys continue to support PWR and Philippine Wrestling.
Thank you Mark for your time. Here are more videos from PWR:
…and this is their version of the Royal Rumble: