Someone asked me how my blog and newspaper column came to be titled "Bleachers Brew". It's like this, it's an amalgam of sorts of two things: The bleachers area in the stadium/arena where I used to sit when I would watch baseball, football, and basketball games and Miles Davis' great jazz album Bitches Brew. That's how it got culled together. I originally planned on calling it "The View from the Big Chair" that is a nod to Tears For Fear's second album, Songs from the Big Chair. So there.

Monday, February 24, 2020

The Best Matches of PWR Love at First Fight

The Best Matches of PWR Love at First Fight
By Rick Olivares

Philippine Wrestling Revolution: Love at First Fight was another epic night in the local professional wrestling circuit’s history.

The promotion held at the Power Mac Center at the circuit Makati last Sunday, February 23 had the roaring crowd on the edge of their seats as challengers sought to take away championship belts while new chapters opened while others began to percolate to a boil

Here are our choices for the best fights of the matinee production.

Match of the Night: Quatro vs Jan Evander
Jan Evander, the Doctor of Professional Wrestling made it clear – and rightly so – that this was going to be a non-title fight. Should Quatro defeat him, then he would get a shot at the All-Out War title belt.

Boy, the doctor got more than he bargained for as Quatro matched him in athleticism and technique, countermoves, and then some. The challenger looked like he was going to get that shot he desired when Jake de Leon’s entrance music began playing. Distracted, Evander flattened Quatro for the win.

The Endgame rushed the stage and began to inflict more hurt on a fallen Quatro when 
The cavalry arrived in the form of JDL and PWOG partner, Ken Warren. After driving off the Endgame, JDL tried to explain to Quatro that he had nothing to do with the distraction that caused the latter his opportunity. Quatro would have none of it though.

Runner-Up: Chino Guinto vs. Mike Madrigal vs. Evan Carleaux
Now, this triple threat match got Love at First Fight going with the victor earning a title shot at the PWR title. Three dudes with the chops, cojones, and the following. Eventual winner Evan Carleaux might not have the stage magnetism that Chino and Mike have but he can get there when he gets his confidence going. And what a win. It looked like Guinto was on his way to a win when he matched up with Carleaux one-on-one with Madrigal out of the ring with the wind clearly knocked out of him. But Carleaux pulled the rug from under Guinto for the win.

And how cool was that for Guinto and Madrigal to lift Carleaux’s arms in triumph and recognition of his feat? Evan is getting a firm push.

Performance of the Night: Robbie Eagles versus PWR champion Chris Panzer
Was the Main Event between Robbie Eagles and Chris Panzer lacking? Not at all. This one had huge rallies, fabulous audience engagement, high-flying theatrics, and a dash of deviousness. Hell, the whole locker room emptied to watch this. 

Make no mistake, Panzer retained his title by the slimmest of margins (and with the help of Mr. Sy who always seems to be at the right place at the right time).  Panzer had the smack down laid on him by Fil-Australian Robbie Eagles who like TJ Perkins in PWR Homecoming showed his incredible technique, athleticism, smart, and power. Robbie must have felt like he was in his hometown of Australia. And why not? His family was in the audience. 

And it was pretty much a Robbie Eagles highlight reel all the way to the “Robbie Robbie Robbie… Oi! Oi! Oi!”

Most Entertaining Match: PWOGS vs The Naughty Boys
The PWOGs duo of Jake de Leon and Ken Warren supplied the power while the dysfunctional dup of Jhemherlhynn and Cali Nueva added a lot of spice to this bout. JML had the stuffing beaten out of her as the PWOGs didn’t go easy on her, but she gave as good as she got. Cali Nueva has always been one of the most entertaining in PWR’s locker room and there is obvious chemistry between him and JML even if they do not act like it. 

Lots of twists and turns and how JML survived those power bombs is anyone’s guess. 

When it looked like the PWOGs were going to wrap this up, Quatro made his most inopportune re-entrance. The distraction likewise cost PWOGS the match.

You think Quatro and JDL are even? This isn’t over. 

Runner-up: KakaiBros vs. MSG
The tag teams battled in a street match. It looked like it was going to be a long night for the KakaiBros -- Mh4rckie and Kh3ndrick – as they entered the house of pain of Sandata and Main Maxx. They got whipped by a belt, hammered by computer keyboards, and whacked by kendo sticks. They turned the tide when they managed to get ahold of those trays. But MSG aren’t tag team champs for nothing. They took control – but not before Main Maxx was suplexed on top of Lego toys – and they got Kh3ndrick to tap out. 

While all MSG champions retained their titles, they cannot say they haven’t been in a fight.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Fil-Aussie Robbie Eagles looks to take title from PWR champ Chris Panzer

Fil-Aussie Robbie Eagles looks to take title from PWR champ Chris Panzer
By Rick Olivares

When Filipino-Australian professional wrestler Robbie Eagles departs Manila after a few days in country, he hopes to pack in his bags the best pasalubong for his relatives Down Under – the Philippine Wrestling Revolution championship belt.

“When I take a trip away from Australia, I want to be able to bring something back,” boldly proclaimed Eagles. “A trophy I can put on my mantle piece. That’s what Feb 23rd is all about.”

All roads on February 23rd, 2020 will lead to the Power Mac Center at the Circuit, Makati for PWR: Love at First Fight where Chris Panzer defends his newly won title against the ambitious  Fil-Aussie. 

Panzer took the title belt from Quatro and visiting Filipino-American Jeff Cobb in a riveting three-way match at PWR Homecoming last October 2019.

Eagles is nicknamed “the Sniper of the Skies” for his aerial game, but he dispels that it didn’t come easy. “I was always a smaller kid, and even once getting to the later stages of High School I was still shorter in stature than a lot of my class mates. Naturally I leaned more towards the high flying wrestlers on the TV wrestling I was watching, so it started with imitation. Even on trampolines in gymnastics classes I was emulating my favorite top rope moves. Eventually I was able to teach myself some basic tricking techniques like a simple back tuck and I realized this was something I could do. Throughout my career I’ve had to adapt my style, especially as I got older. “The Sniper of the Skies” embodies my current tactical style, where not only can I strike from the air, I’m very precise. Everything I do is accurate and aiming for pin-point precision to gain the victory.”

Although professional wrestling is on the huge upswing in Australia, Eagles has cast his gaze across the oceans in search of more challenges and glory. “Pro Wrestling in Australia is going through a very fun and exciting time,” said Eagles who counts Rey Mysterio and Sting as his inspirations for taking up the sport. “When I first began in 2008 it was a very different platform with not as many opportunity to perform on a regular basis. Flash forward to now, lots of wrestling events in the country are taking place in popular Live Entertainment venues renowned with worldly stars from music, to theatre and comedy etc. It is in a very strong growth stage but as it is all independent isn’t as big as I know it will be soon.”

“Since I had started my career, it was always a goal to go anywhere overseas. The main places are always the main countries synonymous with wrestling; Mexico, UK, USA, and Japan amongst others. Going to the USA for the first time I learned a lot as I was on my own, away from my coaches and peers I spent all my time with. So I had to keep up with the rest of the locker rooms and training spaces and make sure I soaked in as much knowledge as possible. My first trip to Japan was a 3 month stay I was lucky enough to win as part of a try-out process in Adelaide, South Australia. I was selected out of 5 people to go on this excursion, being put into the dojo of ZERO1 training almost every day as well as learning the Japanese style of Pro Wrestling. The biggest adjustment is starting from scratch. As much as my name became more well known in Australia, whenever I would compete anywhere else in the world, I was starting a new and had to show the audience who I was from the first ring of the bell to my last match in front of them. So you have to perform at your very best.”

And now, Eagles has a massive opportunity to make a splash in the ever-growing professional wrestling scene in Manila. However, more to that, it is also an opportunity to be in touch with his heritage. “I’ve always been aware of my heritage,” he related. “I was actually born in Australia but within my first year of existence went on a trip with my family to Manila to stay with family. I only really remember it from home movies and photos I still have. My mum is originally from Cebu. I’m still learning more and more about the Filipino culture, but from having relatives visit in Australia I’m familiar with a few things. I’m especially knowledgeable about food and I will not be trying balut! I have been paying attention to places like PWR for some time now, and I’ve seen reactions places like WWE have been given when touring the Philippines by the local fans. There definitely is a loyal and strong fan base for wrestling in the Philippines.”

And that fan base will be tested on February 23rd. Do they root for Panzer or the exciting high-flyer looking to steal a title belt?

Summed up Eagles, “Panzer is one of the guys particularly I’ve seen from the early days of PWR and I’ve kept my eye on. We actually crossed paths in New Jersey during April 2019 when he attended the Bullet Club Block Party which I was staring in. Not sure if Chris will want to get another photo with me after I beat him for his championship though!”

Monday, February 3, 2020

My Favorite NBA Player per Team

Okay…. finally wading in with this….

Name your favorite player of all-time from each NBA team 
Copy and repost for this challenge

1. Atlanta Hawks – Dominique Wilkins
2. Boston Celtics - Larry Bird
3. Brooklyn / New Jersey Nets – Jason Kidd
4. Charlotte Hornets - Glen Rice
5. Chicago Bulls - Michael Jordan 
6. Cleveland Cavaliers - LeBron James
7. Dallas Mavericks - Dirk Nowitzski
8. Denver Nuggets – Alex English
9. Detroit Pistons – Isiah Thomas
10. Golden State Warriors – Chris Mullin
11. Houston Rockets – Moses Malone
12. Indiana Pacers – Chuck Person
13. LA Clippers – Blake Griffin
14. LA Lakers – Kobe Bryant
15. Memphis Grizzlies – Pau Gasol
16. Miami Heat – Dwyane Wade
17. Milwaukee Bucks – Giannis Antetokounmpo
18. Minnesota Timberwolves - Kevin Garnett
19. New Orleans Pelicans – Anthony Davis
20. New York Knicks – John Starks
21. Oklahoma City Thunder – Russell Westbrook
22. Orlando Magic – Shaquille O’Neal
23. Philadelphia 76ers – Julius Erving
24. Phoenix Suns - Steve Nash
25. Portland Trail Blazers – Clyde Drexler
26. Sacramento Kings – Chris Webber
27. San Antonio Spurs - Manu Ginobili
28. Toronto Raptors - Vince Carter
29. Utah Jazz – John Stockton
30. Washington Wizards – John Wall