On October 21st, it will be 9 months to the day since Ralph Imabayashi regained the title at PWR Live: Kingdom Come. The current Kampeon ng Pilipinas has had seven title matches against some of the most talented individuals in PWR which is quite an impressive feat in 2018. In each of his matches, Ralph has showcased why is considered one of the best technical wrestlers in PWR, adding new layers with every opportunity. He is more dangerous now than he was when the year began, but coming into defense number 8, Ralph will need to dig deep against a man who is more dangerous than he appears.
Enter: Mike Madrigal
An in-depth profile of The Walking Death is not necessary for anyone who has been paying attention to PWR for the past few years. After attacking Ralph Imabayashi at PWR Live: Homefront and declaring his intentions to challenge for the PWR Championship, Mike Madrigal is expected to take his brand of violence to the self-proclaimed Best Pure Wrestler in PWR.
Some were surprised by the kendo stick surprise attack he pulled, but can one really be surprised anymore by the former PHX Champion? To put it most plainly: he’s one crazy mother***ker. His aggression, brutality, and potty mouth are his calling cards, but that doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of how much Madrigal brings as he challenges Imabayashi. Madrigal is so unlike any of the recent PWR Championship contenders, making him the most dangerous challenge to Ralph’s reign of terror.
A Culture of Violence
To understand the mind of Mike Madrigal is not a simple task. You can try to psychoanalyze the man all you want, take apart his past motivations, and be left more confused than clear headed. What is clear however is his love of all things violent. His resumé is littered with some of the most painful matches in PWR history, pointing towards a penchant for never taking the merciful way out. Look no further than his match against The Fighters for Hire alongside former tag partner Vlad Sinnsyk for evidence of this.
Madrigal’s shown the ability to hit hard and hit fast in the past, but it’s his ability to take it to another gear that should set fear in Imabayashi’s heart. The man has a next gear for both his offense, but also his violent streak. Seeking sicker and sicker means of putting an opponent down is not something every wrestler possesses. Though this match will not be contested with weapons, we can see that Madrigal’s ingenuity and resourcefulness will be on full display at PWR Live: Shake Rassle and Roll. Expect some innovative offense that may just break the current champion’s bones.
A Kupal Factor (Beyond all of the Smack Talk)
Do not underestimate the vindictiveness of King Kupal as just another endearing quirk. Over the years, we have seen how Madrigal’s incessant trash talking has gotten him praise as an entertaining bit but this may just be the X factor to get past Ralph Imabayashi.
Being the resident jerk of PWR is a badge Madrigal wears with pride, but it is also a mindset that focuses his physical abilities. Every time Madrigal is hit, he remembers how hard the shot was, and looks to dish out receipts once he finds his opening. His hits are succinct and targeted, each with intent and purpose. Ralph may need to gameplan counter moves upon counter moves to keep up with the pain Mike is expected to dish out.
A Man with Motivation
With his recent training session with Danger Rex Lawin of MWF, Mike Madrigal shows just how mad he is. Frustration channeled into fury makes for a sound mental strategy coming into a match of this caliber. Getting in the gym is always a good sign, but going as far as bringing in Rex Lawin to round out his game shows that he means business.
A Championship Pedigree
If you haven’t been paying attention: Mike Madrigal has been a contender since his rookie year. In his tag team with Vlad, they were tag title contenders. When he went solo, he set his eyes on the PHX championship, winning it at APCC 2017. A 10 month long reign followed that saw him showcase just how excellent he could make the title, slaying contenders, and performing in marquee matches along the way. Bottomline is that Madrigal’s game is up there with the best of them. He can hang with the best because he is one of the best. The pedigree speaks for itself.
A Real Unpredictablity
Everything we’ve discussed so far comes from seeing King Kups in action, but allow us to delve into the realm of speculation now. Mike Madrigal can be a straight psycopath. If you didn’t know that about him, you probably haven’t been paying enough attention. His series of matches with Ken Warren showed Madrigal at his most sadistic, pulling out all the stops in their 3 Stages of Death match.
At this stage however, we don’t know what lengths he will go to to win the PWR Championship. This is quite possibly the biggest X factor coming into this match, with everyone asking just what will he pull this time?
A Problem for Ralph Imabayashi
All things considered: Mike Madrigal has all that it takes to make it to the pinnacle of PWR. What scares us here is how many tools he has at his disposal to take the throne from Ralph Imabayashi. Madrigal is unlike anyone Ralph has faced one-on-one in his title reign, having so many dimensions to his game.
Will he be the one to finally dethrone Imabayashi?
Witness this mammoth main event between Mike Madrigal and Ralph Imabayashi at Shake, Rassle, and Roll this Sunday, October 21, 2019 at 500 Shaw Events Pavillion at 2:00 PM. You can get early bird tickets via direct reservations at the PWR Facebook page or a direct email to PWR Ticketing. You can also tickets offline at our ticket partners Kramer : Toy Warden, Tavern at the Crossroads, and Pauline’s Printing. If you want to go high-tech, you can get your tickets through the Ticket2Me app from the Apple Store or Google Play.
Photos featured in this article © Hub Pacheco