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Showing posts from November, 2017

SmackDown RunDown Live (11/28/17): On Changing Landscapes

The answer is hell no! It’s another edition of SmackDown RunDown Live and since you’re probably reading this on Bonifacio Day, let’s all kick back and dissect what happened on this week’s episode of SmackDown Live. Let’s get down to it before they add another ‘T’ to Ruby Riott’s name.
The tension between Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan intensifies
In place of a potential disgruntled employees storyline for Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn, we seem to be getting a power dispute angle between SmackDown Live’s authority figures instead. And you know what, I kinda like it. I normally don’t enjoy managers and commissioners getting the spotlight—it’s all about the wrestlers, dammit!—but this one I can excuse, particularly due to its interesting implications. For one, we don’t really know who among the two will turn heel: the well-meaning but impulsive Commissioner or the level-headed yes man (you know what I mean) General Manager.

Judging by D-Bry’s actions last week and his defiance this week, it’s s…

The NXT Grapevine: December 2017

After an insane NXT TakeOver: WarGames, NXT returned to Full Sail University earlier for one more round of tapings that'll close out the year. With a new NXT Champion, a new NXT Women's Champion, and the main roster debut of several female talents, things are bound to be shaken up once again.
As is the norm, we'll put our usual SPOILER WARNING here. The matches you'll see below have yet to be aired, so don't scroll down if you don't want to be spoiled. Also, these tapings sometimes go through heavy changes before the on-air product is released, so there may be matches and segments that won't be seen.


Airing December 6:
An announcement confirms that Drew McIntyre will be unable to compete for the NXT Championship at NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia due to injury, and that a new #1 contender will be determined through four qualifying matches leading into a Fatal 4 Way.New NXT Champion Andrade 'Cien' Almas and Zelina Vega come out. Veg…

The Grapevine (11/30/17): The Awokening

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.

Here's what we know about Matt Hardy's... #awokening:

While he started teasing his #BROKEN character in this week's episode of RAW, Matt Hardy isn't quite using the same gimmick. It's rumored that WWE will be creating a similar version of it, using #AWOKEN instead of #BROKEN. There have apparently been no new talks with Anthem and Matt Hardy or WWE, but in a statement to Sports Illustrated, Anthem's Ed Nordholm says they are trying to allow current and former Impact talents to use their characters after they leave the company. (Source: Sports Illustrated)We say: Honestly, the only thing saving this after being months too late is Anthem's cooperation. The relatively weak reaction to the segment this Monday means they have a lot of work to do to pick it up, and …

The Smark Henry RAW Report (11/27/17): Absolution Is A Mystery

I’ll say it straight up—this episode of RAW wasn’t a good one in particular, albeit an eventful one. Brand new and exciting storylines arose; and Paige continued to dominate the women’s locker room with the help of her new friends. But without Triple H, Brock Lesnar, The Miz, Dean Ambrose and Sheamus, I found it difficult to keep myself from falling asleep while watching. Good thing my real-life, human alarm clock of a boyfriend was kind enough to shout “hey!” every time I started to doze off. “Fuck, that’s right, I’m not allowed to fall asleep, I have an article to write!”

Paige, Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville caused trouble again as they attacked Bayley and Mickie James before the supposed 6-woman tag match, leaving their partner, Sasha Banks, all alone in the ring. Paige and friends all cut the most boring promo ever—I honestly couldn’t care less about what the other two had to say, and they worsened it by dragging it out for way too long. I just wanted the camera to stay still on P…

#ThemeSongTuesday: The SAnitY Series

It's been a little bit over a year since SAnitY debuted on NXT, and in the time since, they've been one of the more enjoyable acts down at Full Sail.

Much of it is because of their character work—something the group has nailed down pat and improved on as they've gone along. Eric Young, Alexander Wolfe, Nikki Cross, and Sawyer Fulton Killian Dain are your post-apocalyptic harbingers of chaos. They thrive where there are no rules. They bring the anarchy and the crazy, and it has been so much fun watching them wreak havoc whether as faces or as heels.

Their entrance theme was one of the first layers to the characters we were introduced to; and it rightfully set the tone for what type of characters EY and his band of anarchists were going to be. "Controlled Chaos" starts off with the sound of a chopper, along with the sound of radio comms—much like that of The Shield's theme. The difference is that SAnitY's sounds like there are cops or soldiers going after …

Asian Wrestling Super-Promotion AWE Announced

And just like that, the entire Asian pro wrestling industry looks like it could be entering a true renaissance.

Rumors have been buzzing the last few months about a super-promotion in the works that would unite the various scenes across the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and Hong Kong with truly global stars from such markets as the USA, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Japan. And now, with the birth of Asia Wrestling Entertainment (AWE), the gossip has come to fruition.

AWE looks about as legit as it gets, with a top-shelf roster of Day 1 talents, stunning production values, regional talent scouting tours, official merchandise, and a massive kick-off show already announced.

There's a lot to unpack, so let's get to it.

Who's in Asia Wrestling Entertainment?
We're glad you asked, grasshopper. It's a diverse mix of familiar faces from across the Southeast Asian scene, but let's start with the truly huge names.

Stand back, there's a hurricane comi…

Live From the 205 (11/21/17): A Very Zo Train Thanksgiving

So 205 Live was the only show on WWE programming that really decided to celebrate Thanksgiving this week.

That's cool and all, because they do it every year and it's usually terrible as holiday episodes tend to be, but they worked a little hard. What I really did like about the show is they had their own little Survivor Series action going on, because they never got their cruiserweights elimination match. The Good Guys went up against the Zo Train all night, and they kept their own score.

It's a nice little bit of big-picture storytelling, but what I found striking after a week away from the show is how different it really looks from three months ago. The absence of guys like Neville and Austin Aries, and even the diminishing of people who aren't as popular, like TJP and Akira Tozawa, paint the show differently. It feels like the show's lost a big chunk of its soul—the spark of heroes who brought something that looked a little different from how the WWE conducts i…

MWF Noche Buena Officially Announced For December 9

The Filipino wrestling community is going to be in for some happy Ho-Ho-holidays this December with the Manila Wrestling Federation's official announcement of its go-home show for 2017, MWF Noche Buena.

This wrestling extravaganza will be happening on Saturday, December 9, at Makati Cinema Square on Chino Roces Avenue, Makati. Ticket prices start at P350, with barkada bundles also in place for anyone who wants to turn this into a social gathering.

Gates will open at 1 PM, with the actual show starting at 2 PM.

Main Event: Will #PinoyPride Shine Through?

What's going to make this show such a feast for the senses and a worthy close to the most prolific year in Philippine wrestling history? None other than former WWE Cruiserweight Classic competitor and NXT talent Ho Ho Lun, who will be taking on MWF's high-flying daredevil Robin Sane in the main event.

Pride is going to be on the line, but can Sane deliver?

MWF's resident "Tracer, Trailblazer, Speed Chaser" i…

SmackDown RunDown Live (11/21/17): If Logan Livs, We Riot!

Do you realize how stupid that sounds? It’s the aftermath of the hot mess we all know as Survivor Series and this week, they tried to clean up the shit that goddamn main event made with explosive debuts and reprimands. Let’s get down to it before Jinder Mahal points at the camera again.
Ruby Riot, Sarah Logan, Liv Morgan knocks out the women’s division
I’ll start with the NXT invasion first because I got bored with whatever storyline Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn are currently in. Let’s get the pleasantries out of the way first. Is it safe to call this a Women’s Revolution 2.0? The expansion of the women’s division finally happened and I’m all for it. Sarah Logan was one of my early favorites in this year’s Mae Young Classic and I’m glad she’s the first competitor to make it to the main roster. Liv Morgan’s call-up was long overdue, I actually thought she’ll be called up during last year’s draft. And Ruby Riot, well, she’s clearly ready for a bigger spotlight. Welcome ladies, and thank you …