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The Smark Henry RAW Review (10/21/19): ¡RAW Es Carillo!¡

I like Mexican culture. By that, I mean I like the food (shout out to nachos and quesadillas), I like the people (shout out to Melissa Villaseñor, who will never get to read this but it's worth a shot), and I like the lucha libre. I am an Eddie Guerrero fan, after all, and I once broke up with my girlfriend in high school when she said Eddie was being an annoying dick. Shut your dirty mouth, Em. Eddie is my king. 
That said, it was fun seeing my favorite luchadors—Andrade, the legendary Rey Mysterio, and okay, sure, even Sin Cara—get their piece of the spotlight this week. To top that off, Humberto Carillo even had a match with the Universal Champion Seth Rollins in his RAW debut! All we need now is Angel Garza getting revealed as Maria Kanellis' baby daddy, so I can get that grinning pants-off charisma machine on my screen every week. Oooh, papi!

Rey Mysterio walking out to the ring to promote the WWE Champion Brock Lesnar vs. Cain Velasquez feud should feel a little weird b…
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#ThemeSongTuesday: Are You Ready For A Good Time?



Man, I never thought I'd hear AC/DC on WWE programming, but here we are.

With SmackDown having moved to FOX earlier this month, what was once the true A-show of WWE underwent a soft rebrand with a new logo, OBB, and theme song and Superstars but whatever nobody really cares about that. When I first watched the new OBB, I was too busy watching out for how it would present the Superstars and who'd be featured. But now that we're three episodes into this iteration of SmackDown, I've had enough time to process the presentation as a whole.

The verdict is, well... meh. I neither like it nor dislike it. It's just... there. I mean, it's way better than having SmackDown open to Green Day's "Know Your Enemy," that's for sure. But I long for the days of the old hip-hop theme or even Drowning Pool screaming the show's arrival into my eardrums.

Maybe it's because I'm not a huge fan of blues, which …

Live From the 205 (10/18/19): This Place Sure Looks A Lot Different

Hello, mga ka-205, if there are still any of you left. I'm back, and boy, do we have a lot of ground to cover since we last had a 205 Live review.

In the time that's gone by since the last review, the following happened:
The show moved to Friday nights, following SmackDownWe had a cancelled episodeDrew Gulak lost the WWE NXT Cruiserweight Championship to Lio Rush on an episode of NXTOh, the company also quietly changed the title's branding to NXTThe cruiserweight division is now cross-promoted on NXT and 205 LiveOver half of the current roster got sucked up into the void that is the main roster in some strange Rapture—Humberto Carrillo and Akira Tozawa were drafted to RAW, while Drew Gulak, Lucha House Party, and Drake Maverick were drafted to SmackDown (but Drake apparently retains his job as 205 Live General Manager) If that seems a lot to take in, don't worry—the gist of it all is that the division is now officially more of an NXT property than the main roster's…

SmackDown RunDown (10/18/19): Wrestling Sucks and Then You Die

Can someone tell MVP that you can openly criticize something you love? 

I really hate the notion that to love wrestling, you have to love every single aspect of it, no questions asked. And if you somehow find one little aspect you didn't like, you're instantly branded a hater, a keyboard warrior, a pathetic wanker who can't appreciate what others have worked hard for. Hell, I've been doing it for a couple of years now. And for all those years, I've learned one thing about the industry I love: wrestling is just one giant circlejerk. 

So yeah, here we are again. Another week of wrestling to review. Guess what, it's not going to be a glowing review. You have a problem with that, MVP? Of course you do. Everyone in the wrestling business does. I bet promoters wish people like me didn't exist. Just enjoy the product, clap your hands, cheer, boo, accept. Honestly, I'm sick of taking a stand. It's not like I'm going to change anything. The absence of fini…

The Grapevine (10/18/19): Rising in the East

Welcome to the Grapevine! This section of Smark Henry is where we round up all the founded and unfounded rumors abound the pro wrestling scene that you may have missed over the week. Remember to take everything with a grain of salt!

WWE is still trying to make NXT Japan happen:

WWE has apparently been in the process of trying to acquire a Japanese promotion to serve as the foundation for NXT Japan, with Pro Wrestling NOAH being one of the more prominent targets. No deal was reached between the two companies. WWE is also trying to sign top Japanese talent to serve as trainers for a potential Performance Center in Japan. (Source: WON)We say: Bad idea for all involved, simply because any attempt by WWE to gain a foothold in Japan means taking some big-name stars and trying to mold them into Americanized WWE wrestlers. Whitewashing the rich, energetic, and unique Japanese wrestling style means getting rid of its original appeal, and we don't trust WWE to let them continue doing it how…

Smark Hen-XT (10/16/19): The Ciampa's Here

This week's big opening featured the official in-ring return of Tommaso Ciampa, and Angel Garza had the honor of being his first opponent. However, regardless of who was on the opposite end, I'm sure Ciampa wouldn't have had a hard time dispatching him. It does feel weird seeing him cheered because I've gotten used to the boos, but at this point, although I think he's being positioned to take a tweener role between Adam Cole and Finn Bálor.

The more important part of this opener is the fact that The Undisputed ERA quickly stormed the stage at the end of the bout. It looked like they were going to storm the stage but held off at the last second as Kyle O'Reilly handed Mauro Ranallo a flash drive—a drive that contained footage of Velveteen Dream being manhandled by the ERA.

This is one of the great aspects of NXT. They handle their stories fluidly, which then allows the rivalries to bleed into other feuds as well. While initially, most of their actions don't…

#FinisherFriday (10/18/19): Time Bomb

Welcome to another edition of #FinisherFriday! This is Wreddit_Regal giving a short review of our beloved Japanese eccentric's finisher.

Hiromu Takahashi is, by all accounts, the personification of a "ticking time bomb." Sometimes you can catch his caring side:

Often, his playful side:

But you don't want to see him once his fuse lights up...

...because this is a guy who is willing to put himself down if it means taking you down with him, using his reckless offense that has no regard for human safety:

To be fair, with this arsenal, Hiromu managed to win the CMLL World Lightweight Championshp and the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship, so he's got that going for him.

One notable part of his offense is his finisher (Was he named after the finisher or was the finisher named after him? We are yet to solve this mystery), called "Time Bomb":

In case your eyes can't catch up with the motions of the move, let me break it down into chunks:

Hiromu starts wit…

Reviewing the Elite (10/16/19): Tag Team Wrestling Playa!!!

Holla holla holla! Nico’s here to talk about some tag team matches playa!
Okay, bad Teddy Long impression, I know, but man this episode had a lot of tag team matches. No joke, AEW Dynamite Episode Three: The One Where Tag Teams Tag Team had four tag team contests and two singles bouts, both of which were title matches. You know what the amazing part was? They didn’t make the show feel repetitive at all. Some of them even progressed a couple of storylines, proving that AEW is all thriller and almost-no filler.
It’s almost like tag team wrestling can be just as vital in telling stories as singles matches and should be treated with importance, Vince. Moxley’s Got Moxy The moment AEW announced that PAC and Jon Moxley would be teaming up to take on Kenny Omega and Hangman Adam Page, we knew there was going to be some sort of angle. Moxley didn’t like how PAC interfered in his gentleman’s barbed wire duel with Omega last week and that Bastard got in their way again when the two rivals wante…

#ThemeSongTuesday: The Music of WWE 2K20

We're a week away from WWE 2K20 hitting the shelves and our wallets crying out a little (or a lot)!

I've been meaning to write this feature much earlier, but with all of the #PWRHomecoming preparations (and celebrating, heh), I haven't been able to find the time to really dig into the pre-release hype. But now that the Homecoming hysteria has begun to die down, I found myself listening to the entire WWE 2K20 soundtrack in one go just to get a feel of how the game itself will play out when I go through its different menus.

In-game soundtracks are more important to me than most people because I get extra OC about them. That's probably one of the side effects of being on radio for pretty much the last decade: I overthink music. I remember bitching so much about LeBron James' curated soundtrack for NBA 2K14 and or Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's own curated soundtrack for WWE 2K18 because there were songs that just didn't feel like tracks that would hype…

PWR Special: Homecoming—The Official Smark Henry Review

Photo from Hub Pacheco
WHOA! The past week has been a whirlwind and it all culminated in what will forever be known as "The Night That Philippine Wrestling Won." PWR Special: Homecoming was a success on all levels considering the bad weather and traffic surrounding Quezon City. Everybody made their way to a fully packed ABS-CBN Vertis Tent to be a part of history as we watched two big names from the global scene in Jeff Cobb and TJP wrestle in the Philippines for the first time.

Now, because this event was a special one-time event (at least, for the moment), I will break tradition and do away with tiers just for this review because I find it hard to categorize each match/segment. The review is simply ordered according to my enjoyment. That's not to say that I loved everything that happened, however—there were a few things that affected my appreciation of the product, but I am mostly all good vibes for this review.

Let's get it on!
Three-Time! Three-Time! Three-Time! …