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Showing posts from April, 2015

We've Got A New King of the Ring

For those hoping that one of the good guys, the oppressed underdogs would take home this year's outta-nowhere King of the Ring tournament, I'm afraid I've got some bad news.

That's right: Bad News Barrett beat Neville to become the 2015 King of the Ring in today's WWE Network-only live special.
The bareknuckle brawler withstood another impressive barrage of offense from the Man That Gravity Forgot in what was also a hot rematch of their bout from last Sunday's Extreme Rules kickoff. Barrett worked on Neville's midsection, hurt earlier in his semifinal match against Sheamus. Neville had Barrett in position for the Red Arrow, but Barrett managed to evade it and stick a particularly ferocious Bullhammer on Neville.
Barrett also defeated Dolph Ziggler and R-Truth to make it to the finals, while Neville defeated Luke Harper and Sheamus, with a little help from Ziggler.
Here's to hoping that this signals a true renaissance for Barrett, who's been held ba…

Remembering Verne Gagne (1926-2015)

The long and storied history of professional wrestling cannot be told without mentioning Verne Gagne.
In the 1950s, Gagne took his athletic prowess from the gridiron to the squared circle, and began one of the most legendary careers in the business. Gagne's career was defined by his great battleground: the American Wrestling Association.
Gagne was one of the most decorated professional wrestlers of his era. He held the AWA World Heavyweight Championship 10 times, in a golden reign that lasted over 20 years. The 14-year championship rivalry between Gagne and Nick Bockwinkel set a template for many storyline rivalries to follow.
Verne Gagne was also a promoter - the sole owner of the AWA - had a hand in shaping and training some of the greatest legends that would set the course of pro wrestling for years to come: Jesse Ventura, the Legion of Doom, Shawn Michaels, Pat Patterson, Scott Hall, Curt Hennig, and so on. Gagne’s influence on pro wrestling was so strong that the AWA became one …

The Smark Henry RAW Report (4/27/15): Shuffling the Deck

One of my biggest takeaways from listening to last week’s episode of Grantland’s Cheap Heat podcast is that episodes of Monday Night RAW during the Attitude Era opened and closed with different segments involving different wrestlers. It’s very much unlike the current era, where every episode must start and end with either the Authority or the current World Champion and whoever he’s feuding with. That’s something I never really thought about since I’d become so accustomed to seeing the top dogs on the roster in the opening and closing segments on every damn episode every since I started watching wrestling religiously again in 2010. Seeing the same guys in the same spots over and over again leads to viewer fatigue. This is the reason why John Cena became so polarizing throughout much of his run as WWE’s franchise player. I guess this is also the reason why–as much as I love him–I will eventually get tired of Seth Rollins and J&J Security, and Randy Orton (who’s become boring agai…

Extreme Close-up (4/26/15): Reviewing Extreme Rules 2015

My name is Stan Sy and I’d like to officially welcome you to the Smark Henry pay-per-view review column. Being a Filipino wrestling fan is not easy, especially when you want to catch PPVs without being spoiled. Both social media and the time difference make it much more difficult to avoid spoilers, so I’m fortunate to have a schedule that allows me to catch PPVs live every month.
For those of you who may not know me outside of wrestling, I’m also a radio DJ and an events host. One of the things I pride myself on as a host is my attention to detail. This pays off whenever I host events for clients who are as particular about the tiniest of details as I am.
It’s because of this that I’m extremely appreciative whenever other performers – particularly those that take part in performance-based storytelling like wrestling – pay attention to detail like I would. And wouldn’t you know it, the little details were a recurring theme in this year’s Extreme Rules pay-per-view. I’ll get right into …