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A Universal Homecoming?: SummerSlam 2018 Predictions (Please)

You’re probably sick of this cliche, but it’s mandatory for us at Smark Henry to ask: Are you ready for the Biggest Party of the Summer? Back at it again with another clash of predictions are our weekly reviewers—Kevin Owens’ best friend in the whole wide world and RAW expert Jofer Serapio and AJ Styles’ unofficial hypeman and SmackDown Live bonehead Ricky Publico. Get ready for some hot takes and controversial opinions, starting now!
WWE Universal Championship Match: Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar (c)
Jofer’s Pick: Roman Reigns.I think it’s time for the Universal title to come home to Monday Nights. Reigns might not be my top pick to be The Guy to slay The Beast but, well, he’s what we have at the moment. At the very least, we may get a heel turn if Paul Heyman pulls another swerve to counteract last week’s swerve. That or my best friend in the whole wide world, Kevin Owens, cashes in on Reigns as Heyman’s Plan B. Hey, just because Lesnar might be leaving doesn’t mean Heyman should.

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Live From the 205 (8/14/18): For A Better 205 Live In Brooklyn

Sorry for missing last week, everyone; ya boy came down with an illness and I could barely write. I'm all caught up with 205 Live now, a few days before the Cruiserweight Championship is defended at SummerSlam.

So if we're going to believe traditional wrestling logic, then I'm gonna say that I'm afraid for Drew Gulak's chances on Sunday. I thought we were going to end this week's episode with Cedric Alexander barely fending off Jack Gallagher and Brian Kendrick, but Gulak manages to sneak in the GuLock and force Cedric to pass out. That he looked strong means Cedric may be getting his heat back at the PPV.

If anything, I do hope they take the risk and give Cedric the loss at SummerSlam. If the facts are correct, he's been undefeated so far this year, and I think he needs another hero's journey to refocus his character. The only snag I can see with this move is that Mustafa Ali has been written out as well due to injury (kayfabe or otherwise), so if Ced…

#FinisherFriday (8/17/18): This Will Get Pretty Gory

"Viva La Raza!"

Hola amigos, this is your resident analista de lucha libre, Wreddit_Regal for another ediciĆ³n of #FinisherFriday!

This week, we will talk about one of many finishers of the legendary patriarch of the Guerrero wrestling family, Gory Guerrero. As history tells us, Gory's career path was marked with numerous successes in different promotions. And along the way, he has innovated some of the most iconic maneuvers, such as the Camel Clutch (originally called El Caballo, or the horse) and the Gory Special.

This unique submission hold branches out to two possible additional moves:

a) The Widow's Peak

b) the subject of our article for today, the Gory Bomb.

Why did I choose the Gory Bomb over the Widow's Peak, you ask? Because I think it's underrated and seldom used (although this has become a staple of CCK in their "Inkbomb" maneuver). To better understand the mechanics of the Gory Bomb, let's break it down into small steps:

Attacker stand…

The Grapevine (8/17/18): The Decision

Good morning, and this is 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 evening.

The closer we draw to Daniel Bryan's contract running out, the more updates we get:

Daniel Bryan says he is "likely to re-sign with the WWE." While he hasn't signed a new contract yet, he revealed on the Sam Roberts Wrestling Podcast that he's close, and may be signing the new deal this week. WWE 2K19's 2K Showcase mode heavily features Bryan, and while that may have been a sign he was renewing his contract, the decision to feature him in the mode was made a long time ago. Bryan is still pushing for a limited wrestling schedule with WWE. (Source: Wrestling Inc, Sam Roberts Wrestling Podcast)We say: Looks like we'll have to put away our Bryan Danielson-to-NJPW dreams for now, but this is excellent news. Bryan hasn't explored everything he could do in WWE …

The Smark Henry G1 Climax 28 Roundup: The Finals, and Looking Forward

Phew, what a month of wrestling that was.

After 19 gruelling shows (and bucketfuls of tears, in my case), New Japan Pro Wrestling’s G1 Climax tournament has finally ended (insert sad face). Hiroshi Tanahashi survived—operative word survived because heck, it is the G1 freaking Climax—his field of 10 in the A block and overcame B block’s best, Kota Ibushi, in another G1 Climax Finals classic. In the process, he reclaimed his spot on top of Shin Nihon’s food chain and on the main event of NJPW’s biggest show of the year, Wrestle Kingdom 13.

Let’s take a look at the final standings.

A Block Final StandingsHiroshi Tanahashi - 15 (A Block and G1 Climax 28 winner)
Kazuchika Okada - 13
Jay White - 12
Minoru Suzuki - 10
EVIL - 10
Michael Elgin - 6
Togi Makabe - 6
Hangman Page - 6
Bad Luck Fale - 6

B Block Final StandingsKota Ibushi - 12 (B Block winner)
Kenny Omega - 12
Zack Sabre Jr. - 12
Tetsuya Naito - 12
Tomohiro Ishii - 10
Juice Robinson - 6
Hirooki Goto - 6

Smark Hen-XT (8/15/18): Bound For Brooklyn


Sorry, I just can't help but remember Cryme Tyme whenever I see the word, "Brooklyn." But since I mentioned the city that will be hosting TakeOver this weekend, I might as well remind you that we are literally days away from another NXT live special that is sure to blow our brains off our heads, like they always do.

The excitement was palpable throughout this episode of NXT, which was littered with vignettes and promos, much more than your usual serving of the Yellow Brand. We had three matches, but none of them were the type to steal the thunder of the upcoming TakeOver special.

The Street Profits got to advance their feud against The Mighty by picking up a win over the Aussies via the same grab-the-tights shenanigans that they were previously victims to. On that note, I honestly have never been a fan of the commentators' double standards towards dirty tactics over the years. I get why they ought to condemn heels for doing this. But shouldn'…

SmackDown RunDown Live (8/14/18): Well, They Were Professional

I thoroughly enjoyed SmackDown Live’s four-week build for this year’s SummerSlam. It was a master class of balancing the right amount of storytelling and wrestling to produce solid episodes while hyping an upcoming PPV. Every storyline was well taken care of. Even the kick-off rivalry was given enough airtime to develop. I mean, why bother, right?

But they still did because that’s what SmackDown Live does best—they freaking care. I know I sound like a broken record, but whatever, it’s the truth anyway.

SummerSlam Hype: Build, Build, Build

The highest praise obviously has to go to their treatment of the AJ Styles vs. Samoa Joe storyline. It’s a huge dream match anyway, so they chose to keep it simple by keeping them away from each other and letting them trade verbal jabs at each other’s families. It’s a genius setup because it advanced their storyline without needing any physicality from the two, so all hell can break loose come SummerSlam.
And finally, their storyline got a main event t…

2K Announces A Very Solid A+ Daniel Bryan-centric Showcase Mode for WWE 2K19

As we draw closer to SummerSlam weekend, we get more hints and teasers for WWE 2K19 and what better way is there to top the announcement of the return of this year’s Showcase Modethan the in-game inclusion of arguably the best comeback story of this decade in Daniel Bryan’s WWE journey.
2K had already hinted for days at an announcement involving Daniel Bryan and it was, as many speculated, a full Showcase Mode highlighting Bryan’s career within the WWE. They’re dubbing the showcase, "The Return of Daniel Bryan"—a title very timely due to the Yes Man’s return to action at this year's WrestleMania.

This story will focus on Bryan’s career via a carefully selected 12 matches (2K hints that the 12th match is a surprise), interspersing gameplay with interviews, video clips, and match moments—all of which are told in his own words.
In what could possibly be a surprise turn of events, the mode acknowledges Bryan’s very first stint in the company by including a 2003 match betwee…

The Smark Henry RAW Review (8/14/18): Reunited and It Feels So Good

This week's RAW was preceded by the sudden and unexpected death of WWE Legend Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart. The Anvil passed away at the age of 63 just mere hours before this week's show. Smark Henry's Marck Rimorin wrote an obituary about The Anvil, which you can read here: Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart (1955-2018). As a huge fan of the Hart Foundation, most of the Hart family, and of the color pink, I was hit by this piece of depressing news really hard. Watching WWE's video tribute on The Anvil made me realize how much I loved him growing up, how he was such a personal inspiration, and how he and Bret Hart were a great tag team. My first create-a-wrestler in a WWE video game even used their gimmick, going as far as calling himself a Hart. Our condolences go out to Natalya and the entire Hart family.

"Rowdy" Ronda Rousey came out to open this week's show, delivering a pretty touching promo on Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart and his daughte…