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Showing posts from May, 2017

The Smark Henry RAW Report (5/29/17): Back To High School

Why, hello there! I'm Nicole Le Saux—you've probably heard of me as the first female co-host of FOX Philippines' The Wrestling Gods. From now on, you'll be seeing my name on here weekly as I'll be taking over Stan Sy's RAW review column! Yay!

So let's get it started.

First of all, who would’ve thought that this was the go-home show for Extreme Rules? Who would’ve thought this was even an episode of Monday Night RAW? Man, it sure didn’t feel like it.

The show started out with its regular formula. You know, the one we’ve been seeing every week: an interrupted talk show for the opening segment, followed by some tag team action, then stuff that no one really cares about, Cruiserweights, a Women’s segment and/or match that won’t make too much sense, more Cruiserweights, more stuff no one really cares about, then closing with either a pretty awesome main event match that has been hyped all throughout the show, or a buzzworthy segment.
That said, there were no surpris…

#SGQ: The Great Jacket Wars of 2017

Welcome to another catwalkin', Fashion Police stalkin', style-critiquing, savagely-nitpicking edition of #SGQ, our semi-irregular column here at Smark Henry where we cast a side-eye on anything to do with fashion and aesthetics in the pro wrestling world.

We're coming off of a ridiculously-fun show by the Philippine Wrestling Revolution last Sunday, and for whatever the show venue was lacking in ventilation, it more than made up for in in-ring action. But even more exciting for the Smark Henry style editors? All the crazy new jackets on parade, that's what!

Jackets are pretty much a staple of a wrestler's entrance gear—can anyone imagine Bret Hart without his trademark leather-and-epaulet jacket, for instance, or Chris Jericho without his crazy light-up piece-de-resistance? They're a fun way to add dimension to a wrestler's character, and allows them to make a statement without having to spend $15,000 on a feathered robe like Ric Flair's.

Funnily enoug…

Good Lucha Things (5/30/17): Welcome Back to Slamtown

Lucha Underground returns this week, and it’s about time for everyone to get hyped because the finest hour of wrestling is back. Now, it isn’t as if we’ve been starved of good wrestling in its absence—NJPW’s Best of the Super Juniors is absolutely great right now, and the WWE has had some amazing moments (JINDER!) lately—but the ace is back in town. It’s like the NBA Playoffs—these Washington Wizards and Utah Jazz games are fun and all, but they’re just appetizers to the main course. At the end of the day it’s all about LeBron James, Steph Curry, and the Warriors-Cavaliers rivalry. Only instead of the Oracle Arena/Quicken Loans Arena we’ve got the Temple, instead of the Splash Brothers we’ve got the Cueto brothers, and instead of Uncle Drew we’ve got Uncle Rey schooling all the young kids.

Hey, both of them even have a history of knee injuries!
But we’re not here to talk about the NBA, we’re all about good lucha things in this column. It’s been a while since we last saw an episode of L…

#ThemeSongTuesday: Judas

You didn't actually think this was about Lady Gaga's "Judas," did you?

This week on #TST, we're featuring the music of Fozzy, Chris Jericho's heavy metal band, which has been active for 18 years and is about to release their seventh studio album. Not bad for what was once a cover band named after Ozzy Osbourne with a vocalist named Moongoose McQueen.

In many ways, Fozzy and its music has evolved much like Jericho's characters in WWE. Over the years, Fozzy's sound has become more polished and put-together, something a band can only really accomplish after multiple years of making music and working on their craft as a unit. In fact, when you listen to some of their more recent releases, it's easy to forget that they once sounded like this:

If that was the Gift of Jericho, I'd send it back, maaaaaaaan.

That video's from the August 19, 2002 episode of Monday Night RAW, when Jericho sounded like he was still just getting by on being a former w…

Third Filipino Pro Wrestling Promotion In The Works?

And then there were three.

Just when you thought the young Philippine wrestling scene couldn't get any hotter, we may be seeing the impending arrival of yet another player in the increasingly-crowded field, Art of War Wrestling.

Little is known about the bombastic new company, but from the scant details we've seen on their Facebook page, they're shaping up to be a potential big-time player.

Built around a simple manifesto to "restore Philippine wrestling" from the fragmentation, in-fighting, and politics keen insiders claim to have observed within certain other entities, we imagine a more purist flavor to AoW's in-ring product, as compared to the populist Philippine Wrestling Revolution or the Chikara-influenced Manila Wrestling Federation.

Flashy new logo and stellar production values aside, the ambitious new company poses an intriguing sales pitch as the only "real" pro wrestling company in the country, leveraged on the credentials of ECW Origina…

#MustWatchMonday: Masaaki Mochizuki vs. Shingo Takagi (Dragon Gate King of Gate Tournament 2017)

While NJPW has been holding their annual Best of the Super Juniors tournament for the past couple of weeks, Dragon Gate's tournament, the King of Gate, has been happening for the past month or so. The format of the tournament isn't too different to the G1 Climax or the BOSJ; wrestlers are split into blocks and go round robin in order to score points. While NJPW's tournaments only have two blocks, Dragon Gate has four. The semifinals has the winners of A and B going against each other, and the same for the C and D blocks. This is done most likely to prevent too many intra-stable matches from occurring. The winners of the semifinals then fight for the right to be called the winner of the tournament, who will get to challenge for the Open the Dream Gate Championship at Dragon Gate's Kobe World PPV.

The participants in this tournament range from established veterans like CIMA or Don Fujii, who are always out to show that they can still hold their own (and they really do),…

MWF Republika: Full Card Shaping Up For June 10 Show

What's more indie than Independence Day? Some good old-fashioned indie wrestling, that's what.
Two months after the Manila Wrestling Federation formally made its promising debut, Commissioner Mike Shannon's gang of feisty upstarts has its sights locked onto the Independence Day weekend with its second show announced for June 10.
Dubbed MWF Republika, it's another five-match card starring the company's lean but capable roster in a variety of confrontations.
Let's go through the announced match-ups one by one.

Ang Hamon Ni Gigz Stryker (1-0)
Hot off his scintillating career-opening victory at MWF Live, the charismatic throwback Gigz Stryker has his sights set on some slightly better talent than the slow-witted goon dispatched against him by MWF's smarmy CFO Gus Queens in his maiden outing.

On the one hand, he's got the high-flying daredevil Robin Sane, owner of one of the country's prettiest aerial offenses, and the only wrestler to have pulled off a …

Tanghalan Ng Kampeon: Brand-New PWR Championship Belt Officially Unveiled

The rumors were true.

Hot off the heels of a pair of cryptic tweets posted by PWR President Jake De Leon on social media last night, the pioneering brand behind the country's pro wrestling revival officially unveiled a completely new refresh of the iconic PWR Championship at PWR Live: Resbak.

Currently worn by the popular Fil-Am warrior Chris Panzer, the entirely new belt design marks a clear signpost in the ongoing resurgence set off by Bagong Yugto earlier in 2017.

"The belt represents the next step of PWR's evolution as we continue to leave our mark as the country's premier wrestling promotion," stated PWR General Manager Mr. Sy, in an exclusive interview with Smark Henry. "The PWR Championship symbolizes the best our country has to offer, so it's only right that it be reflected in the title."

Sporting some intricate detailing paying homage to various Filipino cultural tropes, the new PWR Championship is both elegant and masculine. Its powerful …


The Filipino #SummerOfWrestling just won't quit, and for everyone who couldn't make it to the Philippine Wrestling Revolution's latest outing, PWR Live: Resbak, we've got full results for y'all.

Match #1: "The Canadian Dragon" Zayden Trudeau vs. "The Fighting Gamer" Vintend∅
Canadian newcomer Zayden Trudeau took on the reformatted, rebooted, returning Vintend∅, who looks to have lost tons of weight and appears more streamlined in the ring.

"The Canadian Dragon" took home his maiden win with Desolé, a spin-out wrist-trapped waistlock into a vicious high knee.

Winner: Zayden Trudeau via pinfall

Match #2: SANDATA vs. "The Kakaibro" Kh3Ndrick

The rookie parade continued, with the selfie-obsessed Kh3Ndrick facing a baptism of fire against the fiery veteran SANDATA.

Over-confidence spelled doom for "The Kakaibro," with his groupie-focused antics leading to Ang Huling Bala—a Busaiku Knee—from the masked Huling Man…