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.

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!”

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