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Showing posts from July, 2016

Smark Hen-XT (7/27/16): A Dysfunctional Office

We have a busy show this week as a new number one contender for the NXT Championship is announced. We also have five matches on deck, including the NXT debut of Kota Ibushi.

Well, There Goes the Company Picnic
The main event for TakeOver: Back to Brooklyn is set after NXT GM William Regal announced early in the show that Shinsuke Nakamura is the number one contender to Samoa Joe’s NXT Championship. Man, that is going to be lit.

Before the announcement, though, the King of Strong Style got to strut his stuff when he took on Wesley Blake. There wasn’t really any question as to who was going to win this, but both guys did their best to keep it entertaining. Blake’s kisses and Nakamura’s over the top reactions were gold. Swagsuke won with the Kinshasa.

Later in the show, Samoa Joe is belatedly told of Regal’s decision, and an incensed NXT Champion utterly destroys the general manager on the mic. When Regal threatened to strip the Samoan Submission Machine of his NXT title, Joe reluctantl…

#FinisherFriday (7/29/16): Finished by Finn

Happy Friday Henrinites, it’s Gene here with another entry for #FinisherFriday and guess whose finisher we’ll be tackling today? None other than the number five overall pick of RAW and one of the newest additions to WWE’s main roster, Mr. Finn Bálor.

Casual fans might have been surprised to see the fresh face of Mr. Bálor, but let’s admit it, he’s been ripe for primetime ever since debuting on WWE’s NXT. In fact, Finn Balor has been around the wrestling circuit long enough that just like "The Phenomenal" AJ Styles, most fans were just waiting for him to conquer WWE.

Enter RAW Commissioner Stephanie McMahon and General Manage Mick Foley to introduce the new roster to the WWE Universe and set up an interesting way to crown a challenger for Seth Rollins in the inaugural WWE Universal Championship match come SummerSlam.

In a sea of such top-shelf talent as Roman Reigns, Chris Jericho, Sheamus, Rusev, Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, and Cesaro, all of whom had been selected to beat each…

WWE Cruiserweight Classic Review (7/27/16): The Boys Just Black Out, Better Tap Out

WWE will tell you that this “New Era” is just getting started with the new-look RAW and SmackDown we got this week, but to be quite honest, this “New Era” has been in effect for quite some time now. The very existence of this Cruiserweight Classic is a testament to it. And wouldn’t you know it, we’re already more than halfway through the first round as of today!

Episode 3 of the CWC gives us the WWE debut of one Zack Sabre Jr. against Canada’s Tyson Dux, Drew Gulak’s first-round bout against Harv Sihra of the Bollywood Boys, Tony Nese going toe-to-toe with Anthony Bennett, and the first chapter of Brian Kendrick’s redemption arc against Mexican Raul Mendoza.

Match #1: Zack Sabre Jr. (United Kingdom) def. Tyson Dux (Canada)
We get a great intro about Tyson Dux, whose backstory is explored. He apparently was affiliated with WWE during the Ruthless Aggression era, even wrestling on Velocity in 2004, where he would injure his ACL in a match against a young Mark Jindrak.

Meanwhile, Zack…

PWR Live: The ShawDown Preview - SANDATA vs. Classical Bryan Leo

PWR Live: The ShawDown not only brings with it a new venue, it brings fresh faces and matchups as well. As announced last week on the official Philippine Wrestling Revolution Facebook page, newly-dethroned PWR Champion "Classical" Bryan Leo looks set to get back on track as he faces the Southern enigma, SANDATA, in what is set to be a first-time meeting between the two.

Tale of the Tape
"Classical" Bryan Leo

Height: Unknown Weight: Unknown Hometown: A First World Country Championships & accomplishments: PWR Champion (2x) Win-loss record: 10-5
Streak: One-match losing streak Finishing moves: The Royal Flushdown (Belly-to-back hanging facebuster), numerous submission holds
"Classical" Bryan Leo is the true wrestler's wrestler. He may not be flashy or flamboyant in the ring, and you'll probably never see him whip out an imploding 450 or a triple-jump moonsault, but he will mesmerize you with his world-class submission game. It's almost hypnotic watc…

The Grapevine (7/28/16): Next Station, Viperville

Good morning, and this is your daily 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.

You heard Randy Orton shoot his shot at Battleground:

Randy Orton's highly hypocritical "no enhancements needed" line at the Highlight Reel was in the script. This is to allay rumors that it might have been an off-the-cuff line Orton threw in there. We say highly hypocritical because Orton has had two Wellness Policy violations for PEDs, which have been wiped off his slate for apparent good behavior. He faces Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam next month. (Source: Wrestling Observer Radio)
We say: That's Brock's punishment, we guess—but if that's the only response they have to Brock failing a third party drug test, then it's not a great look for the WWE. You mean to say they can joke about it if it's someone else's test, but not if it's theirs?


SmackDown RunDown Live (7/26/16): Let The Brand Wars Begin!

Buffalo… I’m here! Hold on to your tighty whities because another awesome edition of SmackDown RunDown Live is coming your way, with your bae Ricky in the driver’s seat. If you think this eventful week in WWE is over, think again. After Sunday’s exciting triple threat match and Finn Balor winning the right to face Seth Rollins for the first-ever WWE Universal Championship by the end of RAW, how will SmackDown respond? Enough with the babbling, let’s get down to it!

Is #TheStruggle Finally Over?

SmackDown Live kicked off its sophomore episode by announcing a massive 6-pack challenge to determine the next contender for the WWE Championship. Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan handpicked John Cena, Bray Wyatt, Dolph Ziggler, Baron Corbin, and AJ Styles while the last spot was taken later by Apollo Crews after winning a rather underwhelming battle royal. I have no complaints about the picks. I just wish they made the announcement without the SmackDown roster surrounding the ring so we won’t be r…

WWE SmackDown Live (7/26/16): Mixing It Up

Tuesday night in Buffalo, SmackDown Live just got more exciting, with fresh faces and valiant veterans mixing it up!

Ziggler survives 6-pack mayhem

Who will be WWE Champion Dean Ambrose's next opponent at SummerSlam? SmackDown commissioner Shane McMahon and GM Daniel Bryan handpicked John Cena, Bray Wyatt, Dolph Ziggler, AJ Styles, and Baron Corbin to fight for the opportunity.

A 6th man to join the fray was determined in a battle royal involving the rest of the SmackDown roster. It was Apollo Crews who grabbed the last spot, last eliminating Kane.

At the main event, it was Dolph Ziggler who seized the SummerSlam opportunity, pinning AJ Styles after a superkick! Can Ziggler prove once again that he can get out of the slump he has been in recent months?

Double RKO!

The Miz once again had himself as guest of MizTV, along with his wife Maryse. And the returning Randy Orton was having none it. 

Orton then challenged the Intercontinental Champion to a non-title match. Miz refused…

The Smark Henry RAW Review (7/26/16): Rebirth

The new era of the WWE is upon us, and the flagship show RAW takes the first roll of dice. With a logo change, a brand-spanking new intro and the return of the fabled red ring ropes, would all of this prove to be mere decorations, or enhancements to a new age? 

Two Fatal Four-Way matches were on the card to determine who among RAW's eight main-eventers would go on to face first overall draft pick Seth Rollins at SummerSlam. But it won't be a regular match, mind, but a bout for the new WWE Universal Championship. The new title belt has not yet been unveiled, but the name is a stark, eerie reminder of names gone by for tacky fantasy wrestling championships made by e-fed participants. A lack of intergalactic competitors is also startling considering the title's all-inclusive and progressive name.
We also witnessed three glorified squash matches, wherein Nia Jax, Braun Strowman and Neville crushed their respective competition. One is a debutante from NXT, one has a reinvented…

Shelton Benjamin Returns to SmackDown Live!

Minutes ago on SmackDown Live!, a surprising return was announced:

Ain't no stoppin' him! Shelton Benjamin is COMING SOON to @WWE SmackDown Live! @Sheltyb803#SDLive — WWE (@WWE) July 27, 2016
Yes, that's right—Shelton Benjamin returns to a WWE Ring for the first time since 2010!

Many fans will remember Benjamin as the athletic, highlight reel-worthy superstar known for his moments in the Money in the Bank ladder matches. Aside from that, he has held both singles and tag team titles in the WWE, and was involved in a number of memorable matches, such as when he beat Triple H in one of the most memorable upsets in wrestling history. Since leaving WWE in 2010, Benjamin has plied his craft in Japan as part of the Suzuki-gun stable in NJPW and Pro Wrestling NOAH.
It'll be interesting to see how Shelton fits into the SmackDown Live! scene moving forward, and just who he'll cross paths with. There's a mix of old and faces on the show, and we'…

#ThemeSongTuesday (7/26/16): There Ain't No Stopping Her Now

Thankfully on the losing end of a bet on this one, the one and only Bayley has debuted on the main roster via being chosen by former rival Sasha Banks as her mystery partner at WWE Battleground! In case you’re wondering: my Choc-Nut packs were on Nikki Bella. Now before I head to the supermarket to pay my new debt, let’s discuss Bayley’s memorable theme song and how, in this case, cookie cutter is good.

“Turn It Up”, Bayley’s third singles theme, is the musical embodiment of pure happiness without treading into New Day levels of ridiculous optimism. The second the vibrant instrumentals kick in, you’re transported to an endless field of perfectly cooked chicken fingers and sundaes that don’t melt. Bayley is zero traffic on a Monday morning. She’s the box of pizza your parents unexpectedly brought home. She’s the passing grade on an exam you didn’t get to study for.
Her theme is the score of your Happiest Day Ever™ that successfully leaves a good metaphorical taste in our metaphorical mou…

Big Show Hints Match With Shaq Is His Retirement Match

The Big Show hinted at retiring after next year's WrestleMania in Orlando during today's press conference at the Conrad Hotel Manila.

One of the last questions asked to the Big Show was about his challenge to NBA legend Shaquille O'Neal for a match at WrestleMania. Big Show had this to say:

"I’d take him [Shaq] on in a free throw contest. I would kick his ass in a free throw shooting contest. But at the ESPYs—which was hosted by John Cena—on the red carpet, I asked Shaq, “Let’s do it at WrestleMania,.” He said yes, so WrestleMania is in Orlando, Shaq’s hometown, we’ll have a Big Show vs. Shaq match. I think that’ll be a good one for me to retire on. So I’ve already done the sumos, football players; I think if I finish up with Shaq, I can peace out, and grow avocados in California or something.” If Big Show really is hanging his boots up after WrestleMania next year, then that'll add gravitas and importance to his match with Shaq beyond the requisite celebrity appe…