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Showing posts from March, 2017

Ric Flair Just Got His Own Statue—But How Does It Compare Against Other WWE Hall of Famers?


Hot off the heels of global football icon Cristiano Ronaldo getting dubiously immortalized in bronze, two-time WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair just got his own commemorative statue as we enter the home stretch for WrestleMania. Unveiled before an appreciative audience at Axxess, including Flair himself, his daughter Charlotte, as well as both Triple H and Stephanie McMahon, it's a majestic life-sized masterpiece that captures Flair in his prime, complete with a painstakingly hand-sculpted robe decked in his trademark sequins and feathers. His Greek-god hair and features are spot-on, as well as the playful smirk he'd use to both woo the ladies and demoralise the dudes.

It's certainly a bad-ass creation by New York City-based sculptor Karen Atta, but it's by no means the first of its kind. Atta has immortalized four other WWE Hall of Famers in the past: Bruno Sammartino, Dusty Rhodes, the Ultimate Warrior, and Andre the Giant. How does the Nature Boy's statue co…

Smark Hen-XT (3/29/17): Off to the Happiest Place on Earth

IT’S PREDICTION TIME! With a couple of days left before TakeOver: Orlando, let’s take time this week to check out the card and set my expectations for each match. The pressure is on for the yellow brand to deliver a great show—it is kicking off WrestleMania weekend, after all—and with this being their home crowd, they’ll need to pull out all the stops. Let’s go through the card:

SAnitY vs. Tye Dillinger, Roderick Strong, No Way Jose, and Ruby Riot: PLEASE LET THIS BE THE END OF THIS. It probably won’t be, but a boy can dream, right? The inclusion of newcomer Riot is a bit out of the blue, but it adds another dimension to the match, as it gives Nikki Cross someone to tangle with. That said, I’m just over this feud. Give the babyface foursome the win, and let’s get the blow-off ASAP.

Andrade “Cien” Almas vs. Aleister Black: This is a head scratcher for me. El Ídolo doesn’t have the best record when it comes to TakeOver matches (he lost his last two), but it’s clear that Cien’s finding hi…

Live From The 205 (3/28/17): Roll It On Home

I expected 205 Live to be the very last show on mainstream WWE programming to be a little lackluster in their first WrestleMania go-home show, but here we are. The show didn't really end and head into WrestleMania weekend and their big title match with a whimper, but it was no bang either.

In hindsight, though, I won't blame them. Instead of an explosive build going into Sunday, Austin Aries and Neville decided to be a little more sublime about it. It'll be explosive if it ends up being explosive—and I'll blame the fact that it didn't on the crowd, which was probably expecting a giant cruiserweight-sized brawl. A brawl happened, but it wasn't nuclear.

The focus, for once, was on the words they were saying. Neville is out there again, doing his respectable mic work as a heel. Nothing mind-blowing, but it gets the job done. It's Austin Aries, the true veteran and consummate pro wrestling statesman, that elevates this segment—and as a result, this kickoff mat…

SmackDown RunDown Live (3/28/17): The Ultimate Thrill Ride (for Casuals)

Top of the morning to ya la… damn it, wrong intro again. Ola, amigos! It’s another edition of SmackDown RunDownLive and you’ll be forgiven if you’re not hyped about WrestleMania Rollercoaster which will go down, let’s see… this Monday (Manila Time)? Seriously? This week’s a go-home show? Enough babbling then, let’s get down to it!

Randy Orton plunges a crucifix into Sister Abigail’s grave… and nothing happens

In a very poetic way, the Orton vs. Wyatt build was indeed a thrill ride. From the epic arson of Sister Abigail’s grave to this week’s crucifix nonsense, watching this storyline develop is like riding a rollercoaster with only one loop. I had really high hopes for this rivalry. Remember when I used to crap on Orton’s espionage mission to destroy the Wyatt Family from within? SmackDown Live was doing something great until the past few weeks when they decided to fuck things up slowly but surely up to the point where we’re just watching a B-grade storyline. Why the WWE title is on the…

Meet the Stars of the Manila Wrestling Federation (Part 1)

For those of you who don't know, you should know—the Manila Wrestling Federation's first standalone show is less than two weeks away, and should be providing a completely unique pro wrestling experience.

Apart from the unusual "Manila Rules" format that breaks the traditional continuous-flow match format into sub-rounds, the characters who make up the roster will also present a flavour you won't find in any other local wrestling promotion.

While we know their A-list stars Mr. Lucha and Robin Sane will be competing in the main event of MWF Live on Saturday, April 8, at the Manila Square Arena, the promotion offers a diverse range of other signature athletes. MWF management promises we'll be getting a look at the rest of the roster in the days to come, but for now, let's check out the two who have officially been introduced via promo vignettes.

Ninja Ryujin
What do you get when you cross a fascination for parkour with MMA stylings and a Filipino street-sty…

#WTFWednesday (3/29/17): Bad Luck Imabayashi

Let's be blunt about things: Ralph Imabayashi is having a terrible year as of late. Actually, it's been way more than a year. It's not that he's been having poor performances. Far from it. He's been chugging on at full steam ever since he lost his PWR title to "Classical" Bryan Leo (pucha siya). In fact, at the pace he's going, every single mishap has been one step closer for him derailing out of control.

Some people have lucky streaks. Imabayashi's been having an unlucky everything. Each time shit happens in his matches, his fans (more on that later) fear he may finally embrace his dark side.

Nobody can have that much bad juju following him around, you might say. Well folks, since it is Wednesday, we might as well list the chronological order of the sick game life has been playing on him.

Royally Flushed
I want to say that losing the belt is the start of where it all started to go to shit, but in reality, the seeds were planted during the previo…

2012-2013 NXT Has Low-Key Been Added To The WWE Network

We won't blame you if you didn't know, but the WWE sneakily added old NXT episodes back to the Network. It's a bit of news that only really got around by word-of-mouth; the official Network newsletter didn't even announce it.
For the longest time, the NXT archive on the WWE Network was missing the early years of the 2012 reboot—you know, the true glory days of the developmental show, featuring current young main eventers like Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose, Bray Wyatt, and Roman Reigns. You get to see them in their younger, fresher, and rougher selves. Soon after, they get joined by big indy names like Sami Zayn and Neville.
Check out a sample of the people you get to watch in those eps:

it's interesting seeing who's on the first episode of the relaunched NXT from 2012 — Maffew going to WM (@Maffewgregg) March 26, 2017
Yep, all of them you see on current WWE main show TV. I'll even argue that Bo Dallas wasn't as terrible as peopl…

The Grapevine (3/28/17): No Red Everything

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.

We have word on a certain All Red Everything's wrestling future:

Eva Marie seems to be done with WWE and pro wrestling. For anyone who may have noticed her posts on Instagram, other than dying her hair completely black again, she is hardly talking about her wrestling career. She's removed mentions of her WWE career on most of her social media accounts, although she is listed as a WWE Superstar in her Instagram profile. She was kept off TV after an apparent WWE Wellness Policy suspension last year. (Source: WrestlingInc)
We say: Well, that would make a lot of fans happy. That's one less woman on the SmackDown Live women's division, though.

Asuka has been added to SmackDown house shows last weekend, which may feed speculation that she's going to the blue brand when…

#MustWatchMonday (3/27/17): RPG Vice vs. The Broken Hardys vs. The Young Bucks (ROH 15th Anniversary)

On March 10, 2017, Ring of Honor held its 15th Anniversary show in Las Vegas, Nevada. The show featured Christopher Daniels, one of the ROH Founding Fathers, finally winning the ROH World Championship for the first time.
Despite the feel-good moment however (and the good match that came along with it), the match of the night went to a three-way tag match for the ROH World Tag Team Championships. The Young Bucks and the Hardys have had beef for several months now, and RPG Vice got into this match by winning a tag team gauntlet to determine the number one contender for the titles.
A disclaimer by the way: If you are not a fan of car crashes and train wrecks, then this match isn't for you. This match was contested under Las Vegas Street Fight rules, and these teams made the most out of it. Everyone knows what to expect out of the Hardys and the Bucks when it comes to these kinds of matches. They will put their bodies on the line for our entertainment. The real surprise, however, cam…

Main Event Announced for Manila Wrestling Federation Debut Show

No, really, they're not just vaporware.

After almost one year of teasing fans with their sporadic, unpredictable appearances and will-they-or-won't-they promises the talents behind the Manila Wrestling Federation (MWF) are putting their money where their mouths are with their debut show, MWF Live at MCS, for Saturday, April 08, 2017, live from the Makati Square Arena in Makati City.
The Manila Wrestling Federation is a new and completely welcome addition to the already-budding Filipino pro wrestling scene. With a colorful cast of wrestlers balanced with competitive and athletic wrestling, the MWF offers a family-friendly product entirely different from what most mainstream fans have seen.

Judging from the characters already revealed, the product looks to showcase a larger-than-life, comic book-influenced flavor harkening back to 1980s pro wrestling that fans Southpaw Regional Wrestling fans will most likely enjoy.
Main Event: Mr. Lucha vs. Robin Sane (Manila Rules)
Already sc…