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Showing posts from September, 2017

Smark Hen-XT (9/27/17): New Era

I’m totally on board with the SAnitY-Undisputed Era feud. Eric Young, Alexander Wolfe, Killian Dain, and Nikki Cross are some of the most entertaining members of the NXT locker room, while the hype train for Adam Cole, Bobby Fish, and Kyle O’Reilly is still running at full speed. We’ve never had two big stables running around NXT at the same time before, so this gang war feels fresh and new.

While I’m completely sold on the SAnitY face turn, I’ll have to acknowledge that there are still some kinks to the execution. The pop they had when they came into the ring through the crowd was huge, but EY’s promo to start the episode felt a bit flat. Young’s a fine promo, but I feel like, at this point, he shouldn’t be dominating the group’s mic time when Wolfe’s proven himself to be captivating on the stick as well.

Compared to that, Adam Cole’s pre-match promo was great. He came off as arrogant and brash, which makes sense as a heel blue-chip signee. His branding game might be a bit off; “We …

Live From The 205 (9/26/17): Do You Know Your Enemy?

When something absolutely mind-boggling happens on a WWE show, I have to be The Guy that tells everyone to sit tight and see how things play out, no matter how bleak it looks. No matter how much my faith in the establishment is eroded, by all the trolling and manipulation and stubbornness that Vincent Kennedy McMahon has subjected us all to, I have to be that person.

Why the optimism, you ask? Simple: pro wrestling is a serial medium, especially at the highest levels. Literally nothing happens in a vacuum, because if it did, the whole industry would have died a long time ago. Our age of instant gratification and unlimited options has made us more prone than ever to out-of-proportion knee-jerk reactions, making us forget that there's always a thing that happens tomorrow, the next week, the next month. That means it's on whoever's telling the story to deliver.

Which is why when Enzo Amore won everything since showing up on 205 Live—the multi-man tag matches, the #1 contende…

The Grapevine (9/29/17): Too Salty

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.

Why did WWE threaten legal action over "Too Sweet," you ask?

WWE is claiming that the "Too Sweet" hand gesture is their intellectual property, after purchasing all of WCW's IPs. The WWE has actually registered ownership of the gesture back in 2015, during the bigger heyday of the Bullet Club in New Japan Pro Wrestling. A cease and desist letter was sent to the Young Bucks after the Bullet Club filmed a comedy skit for Being the Elite, in which they threatened to invade RAW this week at the Citizens Bank Arena in Ontario, California. It would be expensive for the Young Bucks to try and contest this in court, which led to them removing all references to it in their merchandise on and Pro Wrestling Tees. (Source: WON)We say: Unfortunately, no matt…

SmackDown RunDown Live (9/26/17): Happy Rusev Day!

It’s my jungle now! It’s time for another edition of SmackDown RunDown Live with your favorite rambling host #NitPickRick and this week, well, let’s just say things happened. Why do I have to hype the episode every time? You decide if it’s good or not. I don’t know, I’m just winging it as I go along. Let’s just get on with it, shall we?

Rusev Day is a master class of what great segments should be
Before we talk about the main event, can we address the awesome Rusev celebration? It wasn’t flashy or anything and it didn’t have major storyline implications, but it was entertaining as hell. This segment got everything right: a delusional heel boosting his ego (Rusev #1), an equally delusional and hilarious sidekick (Aiden English and his rendition of Orton’s theme), a perfect response from the babyface (RKOs framatanawere), and a satisfying ending to close the segment (again, RKOs frararanawar). It even had a dose of irony (Rusev saving the mayor who missed his cue to leave) and unintent…

The Smark Henry RAW Report (9/25/17): The One Where The Cruiserweights Closed The Show

Some controversies arose at No Mercy and they got me excited to catch the RAW episode the day after. The go-home show sucked to say the least, but I knew they’d bounce back at the pay-per-view itself.

A few questions I had in mind before watching:
Holy shit, is Cesaro going to be okay?Will we find out who the next contender for the Universal Championship will be?What happens next in the Cruiserweight division following Enzo Amore’s insane title win?Can somebody take away the RAW Women’s Championship from Alexa Bliss already?

God, that last segment to close the show was one of the best segments RAW has ever done with non-main eventers. The cruiserweight division came from being painfully stale to now being one of the most interesting storylines on the show.
I’ve read so much hate for Enzo Amore, with people screaming that he doesn’t deserve the win. Well, clearly not, and WWE knew that from the start—and that’s exactly why they gave it to him. For weeks, they gave him that “punishment”…

The Smark Henry Pay-Per-Review: No Mercy 2017

If you haven't already noticed, here's how we approach PPVs in WWE, whether they be RAW or SmackDown (but especially RAW). They start building the card, usually giving importance to and announcing the main event and upper midcard matches first in the next show after the last big event. They'll start building and building up; sometimes it might seem like they're forgetting the midcard.

Sometimes the build won't be anything hot at all, and when that Sunday comes we'll be tuning in out of obligation, a need to find out what happens in the story. We'll come in with no expectations, and then be blown away by how good the wrestling generally is. Why wouldn't we be? WWE's amassed a roster of the best wrestlers from around the world.

The only catch is sometimes, if we're lucky, we also get the results we want. Or, at least, the results we expect.

The truth is great wrestling can forgive a multitude of sins, but it can't get you all the way to where…

#ThemeSongTuesday: All About Me

The best theme songs are the ones that can explain to you a wrestler's character in one go. "Sexy Boy" is a great example of this because it captured the narcissism of 90's Shawn Michaels, with the added of bonus of HBK singing his own theme himself. "Voices" also does a very good job of easily painting a picture of Randy Orton and the many voices in his head. And then there was "Cult of Personality," which ably described CM Punk's magnetic ability to convert audiences into fans of his in an instant.

Emma's new theme, which debuted on September 4, summarizes her gimmick in the hook alone: it's all about me. Well, technically her, but you get the idea.

Where this theme falls flat is in the fact that it just doesn't sound like a song that matches Emma's mannerisms when she does her entrance. Unlike Emma's previous theme, "Real Deal," which was perfectly suited to how Emma poses and struts on the stage and in the ri…

Good Lucha Things (9/20/17): The Calm Before Ultima Lucha Tres

Welcome to the go home edition of Good Lucha Things!

Before we proceed to the latest episode, let me give a quick recap of the 100th episode, which we unfortunately missed out on reviewing. The Worldwide Underground did Worldwide Underground things to win their atomicos match against Prince Puma’s team. Dario Cueto now holds the mysterious gauntlet after Cage, Mil Muertes and Jeremiah Crane were too busy fighting over it. Pentagon Dark won the seventh and final Aztec Medallion, and Rey got pretty much killed by Matanza in the main event. It was a jam-packed century episode, and I definitely recommend watching that if you haven’t.

Now, on to this week’s episode!

The Debut We've All Been Waiting For

We’re at the very last point before Ultima Lucha Tres, and we still have a debut to talk about!

Melissa’s first-ever match was just fine—it wasn’t a total mess, and she played her role well for the most part. She didn’t do a whole lot in the match, but that was to be expected of someone …

#MustWatchMonday: Will Ospreay vs. Rey Mysterio (WCPW)

Now I don't exactly pay too much attention to WhatCulture Pro Wrestling. Part of it is because I can't pay attention to all the promotions out there; and part of it is because I have some irrational dislike for the WhatCulture fellas. In my limited viewing of this promotion, I mostly got the idea that these were just a bunch of dudes with money fantasy booking their own promotion—playing with real life action figures if you will.

Despite this, I do acknowledge that WCPW is the reason why we get some of the more interesting matchups we normally wouldn't see anywhere else. The match below is a great example of this.

Late last month, WCPW held their 2017 Pro Wrestling World Cup, which is basically a single knockout tournament featuring wrestlers from all around the world. Participants included familiar names such as Ricochet, KUSHIDA, Hiromu Takahashi, and Penta El Zero M (Pentagon Dark).

During the Round of 16, one of the matchups held was a match I'd thought we'd n…

WWE No Mercy 2017 Results

Wasn't able to watch WWE No Mercy live? Follow all the action in Smark Henry's live results, tweets, and commentary below.
Quick Results* The Kickoff Show airs, with Renee Young, Jerry Lawler, Sam Roberts, and David Otunga at the panel.

* RAW GM Kurt Angle joined the panel, temporarily replacing Otunga. Intercontinental Champion The Miz then interrupted, taunting Angle and his son Jason Jordan, who will face Miz for the title later.

* Finn Balor, Cruiserweight Champion Neville, and Paul Heyman were interviewed backstage in separate segments. RAW Women's Champion Alexa Bliss was the guest at the Social Media Lounge with Charly Caruso.

* It was announced that former NXT Women's Champion Asuka will make her RAW roster debut at WWE TLC on October 22!

-- Kickoff Show: Elias defeated Apollo Crews (w/ Titus O'Neil) with a Drift Away
.@IAmEliasWWE ends his match on a high note as he puts away #TitusWorldwide's @ApolloCrews in #WWENoMercy#Kickoff!…

Shoot Henry (9/23/17): Bow Down to the Queen

Filipino-Japanese joshi and mixed martial artist Syuri Kondo made her UFC debut this morning with a split decision win over Chan-Mi Jeon at UFC Fight Night 117 in the Saitama Arena. You'll remember Syuri as the headliner for Joshi+Jam Manila, the wrestling show Japanese promotion REINA staged here for the benefit of Typhoon Yolanda victims.

Syuri's win in the strawweight bout, the sixth in her career, extended her undefeated record of 6-0 with all but one going the distance. This also contributed to a sweep of the preliminary matches by the Japanese fighters. Syuri made her MMA debut in Pancrase on April 2016, but still takes pro wrestling bookings as a freelancer here and there.

Nice right hand from @Syuri_WV3S lands! — UFC (@ufc) September 23, 2017
In the same card, the lone Filipino fighter, Rolando Gabriel Dy, lost by unanimous decision to Teruto Ishihara. A left straight from Ishihara punished a roundhouse kick attempt by Dy and gave th…

Live From The 205 (9/22/17): A Bonafide Dud

So I'm sitting here, ready to type a whole review, but I must admit I still don't know what I could tell you about Enzo Amore.

This feud has certainly been something. For all the talk of wanting characters that aren't just clean-cut, black-and-white good guy and bad guy, Enzo's booking reaches a completely new gray area that no one knows what to make of. He's an underdog, but he doesn't know how to fight; he competes in a way that nobody really wants to see, but people still chant his catchphrases along with him. We've already discussed this, and the company's hate-booking isn't doing anyone any favors at all.

I wish Enzo's mic skills were on someone else entirely, because this is the only thing that's got a shot at saving this entire feud. But even then, it doesn't really do much; Enzo passionately delivers talking points that Neville (or any other textbook pro wrestling heel) easily shoots down, so those promos full of heart are all n…