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Showing posts from June, 2017

Smark Hen-XT (6/28/17): Kill Your Darlings

For the third day in a row, the women close out their respective shows with a great match as NXT Women's Champion Asuka defended her title against SAnitY’s Nikki Cross in a Last Woman Standing match. This had been a feud almost half a year in the making, and finally getting to see them work one-on-one is brilliant.

The stipulation brought out the best of both women. Cross thrived in the chaos; she delivered one of the best hardcore performances in WWE in ages. But it wasn’t just the spots—her character work was brilliant here. That deranged smile of hers makes her one of the best characters in the division, and it was on full display here, even in her loss. You can see the honest glee every time she got to do something totally insane. And even as she was getting her ass handed to her by the champion, she was smiling and biding her time before she can smash her way back into the match. (Also, much props to CFO$ for giving Cross her own SAnitY theme remix. I dig the techno-horror v…

Live From The 205 (6/27/17): Where Did All The Cool Guys Go

Hey, everyone. Good news and bad news.

The good news is that the cruiserweight division is pretty deep that 205 Live is willing to commit to building up a lot of people right now, most probably after they realized that they can't always rely on an Austin Aries (and Neville) to hold down the show every week.

The bad news is that the cruiserweight division is so deep, 205 Live can't always give airtime to everyone. Even worse news is that 205 Live can't seem to give consistent airtime to those who need it most.

This week's episode, while valiant in its effort to get the rest of the cruiserweight midcard some more exposure, suffered from a disturbing lack of TJP, Rich Swann, Tony Nese, and Austin Aries. You theoretically can't go on without two of your most dynamic headliners doing something on the show, even if the focus of the title is now officially on Neville and Akira Tozawa. Nese can't afford what little momentum he has to be derailed, and Aries is always n…

The Grapevine (6/30/17): Reigning in Summer

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 plans for SummerSlam and WrestleMania have been changed again:

Instead of Brock Lesnar vs. Braun Strowman as previously reported, the SummerSlam plans have been apparently changed to Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns for the Universal Championship after Reigns announced his intentions to challenge for the title last week. These plans may be pointing to Reigns winning at SummerSlam and then having the main event for WrestleMania could either be a rematch, or a brand new match featuring Reigns vs. John Cena, which may be the reason Cena is coming back to WWE TV as a free agent. With over a month left until SummerSlam, though, these plans can still change, and apparently things are still up in the air. (Source: WON)
We say: There's a lot to unpack here.
First, we're okay with the Les…

PWR Renaissance 2017—The Official Smark Henry Review

It's very appropriate that one of Philippine Wrestling Revolution's biggest annual shows (and what is now considered both their anniversary marker and new season premiere) is called Renaissance. And for good reason.

Since its inception, PWR has triggered a revelation: that there is indeed not only a market for wrestling in the local landscape, but that it could also help kick-start a growing wrestling scene in the country. And over time, we've witnessed wrestlers improve into the stars they are today, most of them now having made an impression on the blossoming industry.

How appropriate it is that their fourth anniversary show would continue an already-impressive string of fantastic showings thus far—a renaissance of sorts for the company, if you will. You could say it was one of the most enjoyable shows they've ever put out, even! And take note, 2017 has already had quite the string of amazing shows, so that in itself is impressive in its own right.

So how do we revi…

SmackDown RunDown Live (6/27/17): History Re-Written

We’re coming for you, ni-USOS! It’s another timid edition of SmackDown RunDown Live and man, this week’s episode was stacked. I can’t believe they were able to use all 2 hours of their airtime to advance storylines and deliver great matches. So yeah, let’s get down to it before my brain activity expires or something.
Carmella regains the MITB briefcase the only logical way possible

Well, that wasn’t too hard, was it?
The second-ever MITB ladder match took the marquee home this week with a satisfying conclusion that calmed down the outrage and crowned a new star in the form of a Staten Island princess. Sure, the prestige is already gone and it’s a free TV match, but Carmella winning for the second time retained that lost prestige a little bit. If anything, this match solidified her ticket to the top as the uncrowned women’s champion of SmackDown Live. She may have lost some heat, but at least she was portrayed as the intelligent and calculating heel by using a steel chair, which is compl…

The Smark Henry RAW Report (6/26/17): Going Hollywood

I don’t know about you, but the Great Balls Of Fire pay-per-view name grew on me. They really pushed through with the retro theme which then gives the name much more sense and makes it more acceptable. I guess. Their vignettes are my favorite, with the vintage cars and the theme song! Though I’m not sure who’s in charge of creating their banners and match card visuals, but I’m sure that person’s having a blast getting paid to Photoshop a pair of balls right next to wrestlers’ faces.

Moving on, coming from a dramatic episode of RAW last week, I was excited to see the continuation of these stories. Most were addressed, but some in a way that felt unsatisfyingly lacking. The show was live at Los Angeles, California so, as expected, there were more celebrity guests than usual. Boo. The episode’s inconsistency made it a bad idea for me to watch it at two in the morning with the risk of dozing off every minute. It certainly did, however, have its exciting and controversial takeaways, like R…

Bakbakan Sa Bayanihan: PWR Announces July Show

Who's a good boy? The Philippine Wrestling Revolution is, that's for sure.

Hot off its midyear spectacle, Renaissance, held last June 25 at Fisher Mall in Quezon City, the country's premier pro wrestling promotion makes its hotly-anticipated return to the Unilab Bayanihan Center to kick off the second half of 2017.

Called PWR Live: Bakbakan Sa Bayanihan, their next show is gearing up to be a monster rife with implications from the previous one.

The full card has yet to be announced, but this Sunday matinee falling on July 23 should likely pick up the following storylines:

Trian Dela Torre might think he's "Inch For Inch The Best Wrestler In The World" after going 2-0 against the mighty Apocalypse, but he just may bitten off more than he can chew with this latest chapter in their trilogy: All Out War against PWR's Pinoy Nightmare."Beautiful" Billy Suede has locked up the #1 contender spot for Chris Panzer's PWR Championship, but how does he ho…

#ThemeSongTuesday: True Love

Ladies and gentlemen, say hello to your frontrunner for 2017 Wrestling Entrance Theme of the Year.

Let me preface this by saying outright that I am a sucker for power ballads, especially those from the 80s and 90s. If I'm on my way home at night in a cab or in an Uber/Grab, nothing would make me happier than hearing songs like Def Leppard's "When Love and Hate Collide" or Air Supply's "Making Love Out Of Nothing At All." We here at the Smark Henry Offices love songs like this so much we made an entire Spotify playlist out of it so we can take the taxi experience with us wherever we are!

But going back to "True Love," the vocals immediately stand out because they remind me of former Journey frontman Steve Perry. At the same time, the way the song is being sung also sounds a lot like Kevin Cronin of REO Speedwagon. Whoever CFO$ got to sing this song could easily belt out "Can't Fight This Feeling" at a random karaoke bar and I wou…