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Showing posts from January, 2018

The Smark Henry RAW Report (1/29/18): Sasha, Are You Okay?

It's the RAW after the Royal Rumble, and we're officially on the Road To WrestleMania! This episode in particular is always one to look forward to because it's usually the one where they expose the cats out of the bag from the night before. New storylines, new called-up NXT Superstars, as well as answers to burning questions are what people are anticipating, making this episode must-watch.

Unfortunately, I didn't see much of that in this slightly disappointing post-Rumble RAW, which took away a lot of the momentum from the amazing pay-per-view that we were blessed with just the preceding night. We did, however, get new graphics (yay?) and a not-so-new commentator, Johnathan Coachman! That's exciting, right?

The first half was boring as hell, with Stephanie McMahon opening the show, recapping the historic Women's Royal Rumble Match and quickly announced a women's Elimination Chamber match! Wait, what? Already?! I'm still trying to recover from the strok…

The Smark Henry Pay-Per-Review: Royal Rumble 2018

So when was the last time you were completely overjoyed by the Royal Rumble?
Maybe 2006, if you were a Rey Mysterio fan. 2004 if you were a Chris Benoit fan. But the sad truth is that the Royal Rumble, much like WrestleMania, has been reduced to a force that gets all its yearly attention from its spectacle. The spectacle of the countdown, the 30 men in the ring, the drama of people going over the top rope. Lately it's been a vehicle to try and get the people the institution wants over, as though merely outlasting 29 other men immediately makes one deserving. 
You're guaranteed to come for the surprises and the usual tropes, and as long as one foot's in the door then they can do whatever they want.
Which is why it was such a huge surprise that the WWE actually did go with a real crowd-pleaser. Shinsuke Nakamura may not have been utilized the best way on SmackDown so far, but any time anyone who isn't part of the WWE pantheon of guys they didn't manufacture—because …

#ThemeSongTuesday: Lovefurypassionenergy





From the moment the first chords hit, you know what you're about to get: a woman who won't conform because she marches to the beat of her own drum, societal norms be damned. Before Paige called herself the Anti-Diva on NXT, Lita was the anti-establishment female character who inspired a generation of boys and girls. For those who needed someone who wasn't just a former fitness model or a blonde with surgically-enhanced breasts hired as eye candy, they identified with Lita, whose punk and grunge influences translated in the ring into her high-flying, daredevil style.

Throughout her wrestling career, Lita has used several different entrance themes, mostly depending on whom she was aligned with or what her gimmick was at the time. But among all of the songs she's used, "Lovefurypassionenergy" stands out as her signature entrance theme. Need proof? When she made a…

The Smark Henry Pay-Per-Review: NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia

NXT Champion Andrade "Cien" Almas and our favorite underdog Johnny Gargano put up a 30-minute clinic on how title matches should be done, while cementing their status as two of the best workers in the company right now.

Almas and Gargano have impeccable chemistry, as evidenced by their two previous matches. It was an odd pairing for me back then, but they proved me wrong at TakeOver: Brooklyn III and on NXT TV. But surely, this match for the title is one of the best in NXT, heck maybe even one of the best in WWE in the past decade.

This was what we meant whenever we say that professional wrestling is an art form.

Everyone wanted Gargano to win badly. Who didn't? He's the modern-day Daniel Bryan: the beloved underdog who weathered the storm to prove the naysayers wrong. Except that this wasn't his time yet, and for all the right reasons.
There are still so many stories that should be told with a chasing Johnny Wrestling. There's still the looming threat of hi…

Shoot Henry: Here Comes Ms. Bad Reputation

In what was a momentous occasion for women's wrestling today in the WWE, Asuka became the inaugural winner of the first ever Women's Royal Rumble match. As she was about to choose which of the two Women's Champions from RAW and Smackdown Live she would take on, things got a little bit... Rowdy.

Yes, smarks, Ronda Rousey is finally in the WWE.
The former UFC women's bantamweight champion has revealed that she's headed to WrestleMania 34 against an unnamed opponent in a exclusive interview. This came after months of speculation and rumors on whether or not the deal would push through. After a successful stint in MMA, Rousey is finally chasing her dream of becoming a professional wrestler.

Fans have been predicting that she would appear in the Women's Royal Rumble match as a surprise entrant. But when the legendary Trish Stratus entered as the final participant, those rumors seemed to have been put to rest. But we all know what happened after that.
As a l…

WWE Royal Rumble 2018 Results

Wasn't able to watch WWE Royal Rumble live? Missed the viewing party at Skinny Mike's in BGC? Well, buddy, we got ya.

Follow all the action in the live tweets and commentary below.
Live Tweets

Quick Results* The Kickoff Show aired, with Renee Young, Peter Rosenberg, David Otunga, and Jerry Lawler opening the panel. RAW Women's Champion Alexa Bliss, SmackDown Women's Champion Charlotte FlairJohn Bradshaw Layfield, Alundra Blayze and Ric Flair visited the panel. Shelton Benjamin, Chad Gable and RAW Tag Team Champion Jason Jordan, and Rusev and Aiden English were in separate backstage segments. Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens answered social media questions.

* Kickoff Show: Kalisto, Gran Metalik, and Lince Dorado def. TJP, Drew Gulak, and Jack Gallagher
SALIDA DEL SOL spells the end for @MegaTJP as @KalistoWWE@WWEGranMetalik & @LuchadorLD pick up the win on #RoyalRumble Kickoff! — WWE (@WWE) January 28, 2018* Kickoff Show…

The Smark Henry Royal Rumble 2018 Predictions

We’re just days away from WWE’s most exciting and unpredictable show of the year: the Royal Rumble match! And this year’s a big one, because we’re not just getting one, but TWO Rumble matches! That’s right, 30 female Superstars will also brawl it out for a Women’s Title of their choice at WrestleMania. If this isn’t worth getting excited for, we don’t know what is.

Plus, Brock Lesnar will defend his WWE Universal Championship against two of WWE’s formidable monsters, Braun Strowman and Kane. AJ Styles also has his hands full as he will face Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn in a handicap match for the WWE Championship. How will that even work?

Your resident weekly reviewers, RAW nerd Nicole and SmackDown Live simpleton Ricky, will help you answer the burning questions for this year’s Royal Rumble. Who’s going to win the Rumble matches? Who will return? What should Kofi Kingston do this year?

Let’s all answer these questions in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, *buzzer*!

Who’s winning this year’s Men's Royal Rum…

Smark Hen-XT (1/24/18): TakeOver: Philadelphia Predictions

Prep your cheesesteak sandwiches and your predictions, because NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia is upon us! Let’s go through the card and see what is in store for us on Sunday morning, Manila time.

Kassius Ohno vs. Velveteen Dream This may look like it came out of nowhere, but this was actually bound to happen. If you recall Velveteen Dream's promo on Johnny Gargano some few weeks ago, he mentioned that Gargano only beat a man—not a Superstar, because he doesn't look like one—named Kassius Ohno.

Fast forward to this week's episode, Ohno talked to a defeated Dream and chastised him for thinking lowly of Gargano.

Perhaps I have finally come to terms with Ohno 2.0's role in NXT as a gatekeeper. It's been established that Ohno is a solid worker, but VelveteenDream is quickly catching up, so it's no doubt he's going over. Dream isn't quite there yet, but with this pairing, I'm personally expecting a solid opener from these two.

NXT Tag Team Championship: Undisp…

Live From the 205 (1/23/18): This Train Don't Stop Here Anymore

So who knew that all you had to do to make 205 Live better again was to get rid of Enzo Amore?

Not because Enzo was terrible, per se—he is, but that's not the point—but because whoever's in charge of writing the show tended to use him and his charisma as a crutch, piggybacking on his magnetism and focusing the whole proceedings around what he did and didn't do. The whole Enzo experiment could have been better and much more hardworking.

But it wasn't, and now they don't have him they suddenly remembered that they had other cruiserweights in the division.

So there's a power vacuum at the top, both in the Cruiserweight Championship picture and a new General Manager for 205 Live coming next week. There's a whole bunch of ways they can go about this.

First, let's address the need for a GM. It didn't have to be a new guy, but I did want an authority figure running the show to have a sense of structure. Some will argue that the show doesn't exactly ne…

SmarkDown RunDown Live (1/23/18): Ready to Rumble...I Guess

I feel like WWE focused their efforts promoting the RAW 25 nostalgia show more than the Royal Rumble itself. This year’s over-the-top-rope spectacle should be the most exciting one to date for its historical significance alone, right? Why do I feel like it’s just another PPV on the calendar? Every entrant declared their participation and that’s about it. No underlying mini-feuds, no budding storylines, no nothing (except maybe for Elias and John Cena, but c’mon, that’s just one). We’re just getting it over with so Roman Reigns can main event WrestleMania for the nth time?

Royal Rumble Hype: Sami Zayn pins the champ, RKOs for everyone

The management drama had to step back a little bit to highlight the guys who are actually scheduled to compete at the Royal Rumble and you know what, they should’ve done this two weeks ago. I’d like to take back the praise I gave Creative for giving the Shane McMahon/Daniel Bryan saga a slow burn. Maybe burn it faster? Because all they’re doing right now i…