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Live From the 205 (8/13/19): Everyone's Along For the Ride

I'll be honest: 205 Live's current direction isn't the most exciting, if only because it's still coming fresh off the usual cycle of the stories it's telling. Its biggest angles had just finished, and it's currently in the middle of building new ones.

There's a good thing I've noticed, though—between what I'm assuming is a Survivor Series match next week and a handful of developing tag team storylines, they're trying their hardest to get everyone as involved as possible. It might be too soon to tell, but they seem to be maximizing their deep roster more than ever before.

I mean, look at this episode's card, featuring three matches of decent length. Akira Tozawa (with Brian Kendrick) went up against Jack Gallagher. The Lucha House Party minus Gran Metallik, plus Humberto Carrillo faced the Singh Brothers and Ariya Daivari. There was a Cruiserweight Championship rematch between Drew Gulak and Oney Lorcan. Last week's main event was a six-…
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#FinisherFriday (8/16/19): Pumped-Up Kicks (In Order!)

Welcome to another edition of #FinisherFriday! This is Wreddit_Regal giving you my own tier list of kick-based finishers used in professional wrestling.

Strike-based finishers are arguably the easiest to execute. Your back won't hurt by lifting anybody up, your mind won't hurt thinking of a unique way to execute your suplex, and you won't need to have your opponent beaten-up enough before doing the move. You just need your strike to connect, and that's it. It's primarily the reason why some wrestlers prefer doing these moves as finishers, particularly kick-based finishers.

I will be basing my rankings on three aspects: accuracy, damage, and risk to self, which all equally contribute to the move's efficiency and effectiveness, as well as chances of exposing the performer to potential danger.

Without further ado, here is my top five list of kick-based finishers:
5. Masahiro Chono's Yakuza Kick

Mr. Black Jack was doing Test's big boot even before Test tho…

Smark Hen-XT (8/14/19): We're Going For Myles

This may be the first post-TakeOver show that I've enjoyed in quite a while. The decision to hold the finals of the NXT Breakout Tournament on this show instead of an already stacked NXT TakeOver: Toronto proved to be a good one. If they booked this on the PPV, it would've been overshadowed by the other bouts.

This isn't to say that the Cameron Grimes vs. Jordan Myles match was a stinker. On the contrary, it's because winning the tournament needs to be a prestigious moment for a rising star. On a show such as this, where it was the main event, the effect significantly increased because the focus was on this lone moment.

Jordan Myles was officially made an important Superstar in the NXT Universe because he and Grimes had the spotlight on this night. And true enough, this is actually how it should be. You can't hold an NXT Breakout Tournament without backing up the eventual winner 100 percent. 
Myles was a worthy choice to win. He's talented, charismatic, and kn…

The Grapevine (8/16/19): Clashing in the Ring

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!

Here's what we know about Clash of Champions:

Braun Strowman is rumored to be challenging Seth Rollins for the Universal Championship at Clash of Champions. No one is sure yet how he'll switch to Seth Rollins after challenging AJ Styles next week on RAW. Other plans include the King of the Ring finals, Sasha Banks versus Becky Lynch for the RAW Women's Championship, and the possible Ali versus Shinsuke Nakamura for the Intercontinental Championship. (Source: Wrestling Observer Radio, Wrestling Inc)We say: That's looking to be a solid card, and a good matchup for an underutilized Strowman. Buddy Murphy reportedly wasn't scripted to be visible in the original Roman Reigns attack segment. He just happened to be there, and WWE saw the fan sp…

Let Them In: "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt and The First WWE 2K20 Originals Pack Announced for WWE 2K20

YOWIE WOWIE! Imagine our surprise here at the Smark Henry offices when 2K announced the latest news about WWE 2K20. We will be getting "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt as a pre-order bonus! Good news, right? Well, part of the announcement also included the first entry of WWE 2K20 Originals which will be called WWE 2K20 Originals: Bump in the Night.
Let me be the first to tell you that I absolutely hate fantasy settings in my simulation games. With the move from THQ to 2K, the WWE video game series has slowly evolved from an arcade setting to a simulation one, hence, why I scratch my head at this inclusion. This feels like it actually belongs in the WWE Immortals game rather than the main series.

Either way, I'm a little glad that additional content is open for those who might want it. I've always been an advocate of having a lot of options so that everybody feels satisfied with their games. I'm hoping you can turn these fantasy features off if you feel they aren't nec…

Sheamus in Manila: Setting the Bar At A Sports Bar

WWE returns to Manila on September 20 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum and it's an understatement to say that we're all very excited for this show. As a way of promoting the event, four-time WWE World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus was in town to have a meet & greet with the WWE Universe in the Philippines, along with a Q&A session with members of the media at Skinny Mike's in BGC, Taguig.

Photo from WWE
The big question on everybody's mind is his in-ring status. While he couldn't give a concrete answer regarding his return to the ring, he did have an open response about retirement. When asked if he was officially retired, he just quipped "I'm retired?" while saying that he was dealing with injuries at the moment.

The Celtic Warrior went through a broad range of topics during the Q&A session including his love of video games to his love of football and Liverpool FC and even his usage of social media as a tool to remain relevant.

He was very com…

SmackDown RunDown Live (8/13/19): Roman Reigns’ Scooby Doo Mystery

At the risk of sounding like a broken parrot, let's continue beating the dead horse that is the mystery of Roman Reigns’ attacker. For some reason, WWE wants everyone to act like it’s a big deal. But they pretty much forgot one factor that makes a murder mystery compelling: the supposed victim is alive and well. It’s like the writers didn’t watch Tagalized episodes of Detective Conan when they were young or something. 

In fact, all they had to do was refer to a fairly recent whodunit storyline that actually makes sense and made everyone care about it. Before Aleister Black begged everyone to pick a fight with him on SmackDown Live, he was laying flat on his back in a parking lot, supposedly after a vicious attack. Black was written off NXT TV for weeks as William Regal took his sweet time searching for the attacker. Everyone was invested, if not bored by Regal’s slow brand of justice.

Everyone who’s anyone got blamed for it: Tommaso Ciampa, Velveteen Dream, Adam Cole, even Nikki Cro…

The Smark Henry RAW Review (8/12/19): What Time Is It?

Fresh out of SummerSlam, this week's RAW tried its best to maintain that momentum, if not surpass it. To do that, new champions were welcomed and old faces returned. With Seth Rollins regaining the WWE Universal Championship at SummerSlam, I was genuinely curious at what was going to happen next. We never expected Brock to lose, and I sure as hell never expected for someone to return to the WWE this week. Who was it? You probably already know. It's Boss Time.

The Revival versus The Lucha House Party ended up being a part of the 24/7 Championship shenanigans—because of course it did—though this week's story also led to history being made when The Revival became the first 24/7 Co-Champions. Then R-Truth pinned one of them to get the title back, no thanks to Carmella, becoming a billionth-time 24/7 Champion. Unfortunately for Truth—and I suppose this is just the fate of most 24/7 champions—his reign was not meant for long, as lurking in the shadows was an angry Elias with a …

The Smark Henry Pay-Per-Review: SummerSlam 2019

For all intents and purposes, this year's SummerSlam had immense pressure on it to do great. There's the usual pedigree; like recent previous SummerSlams, it's been positioned as a huge party, what with NXT Takeover happening a day prior, and all the wrestling hoopla surrounding Toronto as the WWE came to the city. There's also the fact that it went up against the finals of this year's G1 Climax, the arguable elite level of the industry today.

That's why it's strange to see WWE, with all its marketing, come out with an event that merely pantomimed WrestleMania. SummerSlam pretended like it's a big deal—and it is, it should be—but it really felt like pretend.

Don't get me wrong; this SummerSlam isn't terrible by any stretch of the imagination. It simply feels like it didn't end up being as big as it was supposed to feel, considering how much the company poured into its marketing.

Perhaps the biggest culprit is the lack of variety on this car…

#ThemeSongTuesday: Let Him In

We're really glad that you're our friend. And this is a friendship that'll never ever end.

The ditty's infectious joy fills you with warmth as you step inside the Firefly Fun House. Upon entering, you see Rambling Rabbit flailing and running around, trying not to get eaten by Mercy the Buzzard. The bright colors and hypnotic music enthrall you that you barely notice Abby the Witch by the corner. 

Suddenly, a gloved hand puts a bit of weight on your right shoulder.

"Hi there! I didn't see you come through the door!"

It's Bray Wyatt. 

The word "HEAL" stands out on his left glove, enveloping his massive hand whose grip remains on your shoulder. 

"The Firefly Fun House has always been a... safe space for everyone. But since you're here, that means you've fulfilled the one thing I ask of you.

After all, as I always say, all you have to do is...

Let me in."

Fuck. Even I had to snap out of that trance.

Needless to say, The Fiend has us al…