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Showing posts from February, 2018

The Smark Henry Pay-Per-Review: Elimination Chamber 2018

Roman Reigns is supposed to go to WrestleMania.
This much we know, because this much is true, for it has been prophesied for the past year. The outcome was never in doubt, even when Shinsuke Nakamura won the Royal Rumble. Even when Seth Rollins wrestled for an hour in an arbitrary gauntlet match. Even when Braun Strowman made a name for himself on RAW wrecking people and the set. Roman Reigns is supposed to go to WrestleMania, and we have had a year to accept the notion.
So when Roman won the Elimination Chamber match to get a WWE Universal Championship match, why dilute the moment you wanted us to accept?

All things considered, I liked the win. It wasn't one of those hokey finishes from Peak SuperCena in which he'd literally pick up a second whirlwind and dispatch his opponent as though nothing happened to him. Roman's a more solid worker than Cena was at that stage of his career, and he was in the match the whole time—I felt they earned the victory with his performance.…

Manila Wrestling Federation Invades QC This April With 'Kasaysayan'

Quezon City, mag-ingay!

Fresh off the Manila Wrestling Federation's thunderous 2018 kick-off/relaunch at MWF Open House: Level UP, the up-and-coming promotion is finally breaking free from the dingy Makati Square Arena to bring their unique brand of sports entertainment up north.

First up: their first full show for 2018, MWF Kasaysayan, scheduled on Sunday, April 8 at The Elements in Eton Centris Business Park, Quezon City. The show starts at 7 PM, and promises an intriguing look at MWF's blossoming roster in action.

Ticket prices have yet to be announced, but the company's fans—or mga kapa-FED, as MWF likes to call them—are sure to be salivating at the chance to see some scrappy professional wrestling up close.

Main-eventing the show will be an all-star tag match featuring the high-flying Robin Sane teaming up with Hong Kong-based star and former WWE/NXT talent Ho Ho Lun to take on the lumbering Mr. Lucha, who will be bolstered by the presence of Southeast Asian journeyma…

#ThemeSongTuesday: Five Ric Flair Shoutouts in Hip-Hop

This past Sunday, Ric Flair turned 69.

No, that's not a dirty joke at all. Ric Flair is actually 69 years old and he celebrated his birthday last Sunday, February 25.

In my work in radio, I've always longed to play songs that have references to pro wrestling. I never really got the chance to do that during my time at Mellow 94.7, but now that I'm with Wave 89.1—which is an urban music station—there's so much material to choose from. That's because there are a lot of Ric Flair references in hip-hop alone.

There is a reason for that. Damien McDuffie wrote an insightful piece on Complex last July entitled "How the Legendary Ric Flair Became Hip-Hop's Favorite Wrestler." In it, he identifies just what it is that rappers see in Naitch.

"His lifestyle has become the rapper blueprint and his name has become a metaphor for pageantry. In Ric Flair, rap artists have found the embodiment of their brashest selves, co-opting his character’s brand as a stand-…

WWE Elimination Chamber 2018 Results

Wasn't able to watch WWE Elimination Chamber live? As always: we got you covered.

Follow all the action in Smark Henry's live results, tweets and commentary below.

Quick Results* The Kickoff Show aired, with Renee Young, Booker T, Peter Rosenberg and David Otunga at the panel. *

* Kickoff Show: The Good Brothers (Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson) def. The Miztourage (Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel) via the Magic Killer
#GoodBrothers@LukeGallowsWWE & @KarlAndersonWWE took the MAGIC right out of #TheMiztourage as they defeat @RealCurtisAxel & @TheBoDallas on #WWEChamber#Kickoff! — WWE (@WWE) February 26, 2018

1. RAW Women's Championship - Elimination Chamber Match: Alexa Bliss def. Bayley, Mandy Rose, Sonya Deville, Mickie James and Sasha Banks to retain her title
- Deville and Bayley are the first 2 women
- Rose enters after the 5-minute mark, Banks at the 10-minute mark
- Rose is eliminated by Banks via the Bank Statement su…

Here's What Went Down At The 2018 Relaunch of the Manila Wrestling Federation

2017 may have been a feeling-out year for the fledgling Manila Wrestling Federation. But 2018 is going to be its hit-the-ground ascension to the next level with its aptly-named Year One relaunch, MWF Open House: Level UP, held on Sunday, February 25, at the UP Film Institute in the University of the Philippines—Diliman.

We've got all the updates from our on-ground correspondents to let all of you know what's up!

First major sign that the company means business: their own actual professional wrestling ring. Say goodbye to dodgy gigs in converted boxing training halls—MWF is finally free to take their show on the road to help saturate the country with their own take on sports entertainment!

It's a monochromatic beauty revolving around MWF's secondary colorway of a black-to-white gradient. We love the white turnbuckles with grey ropes—it feels very evocative of a SmackDown! ring, and certainly looks very polished and professional.

Two major things that differentiate this…

Live From The 205 (2/20/18): Prince Ali, Glorious Is He

If there's one thing this Cruiserweight Championship tournament is doing right, it's that deserving folks who went under the radar in the old regime are finally getting a little more of the spotlight and recognition.

We've got guys like Cedric Alexander, Drew Gulak, and Tony Nese continuing their good work in earlier matches of the first round, but no one's needed the shine more than this week's main eventers, Mustafa Ali and Gentleman Jack Gallagher, two talented OGs who've been somewhat lost in the shuffle. Granted, they were lost in the shuffle because everyone in the division's been so talented and it's a shame only a few get to shine at any given time; the tourney at least gives them the platform to remind everyone why they were signed in the first place.

Ali's been a star in the making ever since he won his long feud with Drew Gulak over the No Fly Zone, and it's a damn shame that they've been underusing him since then. The guy's …

Smark Hen-XT (2/21/18): Thank You, Johnny Wrestling


Okay, phew, now that that's out of my system, I have to break it to everyone: our favorite underdog, Johnny Gargano, is gone from NXT.

I have read the spoilers from a month ago and I have seen the match twice; and it's still hard for me to talk about this. But for the sake of this column, I'm going to try my hardest, dammit.

Given that this was a Johnny Gargano and Andrade "Cien" Almas match, it was expected that this was going to be really good. Not TakeOver kind of a banger, but it was a notch higher than their previous match on NXT TV. There were a lot of callbacks to their five-star barn burner in TakeOver: Philadelphia that made it a good sequel.

With Zelina Vega out early from the match due to a Candice LeRae beatdown after trying to interfere, the finish saw Almas accidentally knocking out the referee with his back elbow after Gargano avoided it. Gargano took advantage and applied the Gargano Escape on the ch…

NJPW: New Japan Fallout Down Under Sydney: Kinda a Review, But Not Really

This isn't my usual #MWM post, instead, it's a bit about my experiences at an NJPW house show in Australia.

Despite becoming a pretty hardcore wrestling fan in 2012, I never really got around to going to a live wrestling show. Going to a WWE main roster show never really appealed to me, and I had missed a chance to go to an NXT show (the venue was pretty far, and I wasn't too keen on dealing with the size of crowd that that was going to bring). So when I was told that New Japan was about to tour Australia for the first time, I was extremely excited and immediately pounced at the opportunity (context: I live in Australia).

For the Sydney leg of the tour, the event was held over at the Quaycentre in the Sydney Olympic Park. The turnout was pretty good, with probably about 2,900 people in attendance by my estimation. I wasn't quite prepared to take notes for this event to be perfectly honest, so I hope to be able to relay my experiences with photos.

KUSHIDA vs. Rocky Rome…

The MMC With Smark Henry: Finally, The Last Of Round 1

Hello, and welcome to the MMC With Smark Henry. If you've stuck with the Mixed Match Challenge 'til now, congratulations, we're finally done with the first round.

Like most things the WWE touches, the whole thing started out so well (if a little groundbreaking with the whole idea of an intergender tag team tournament), but it didn't take long for it to devolve into a more character-driven chore. As I've already mentioned in the first episode's review, a lot of the bite is taken away by the WWE's refusal to allow the women wrestle the men, limiting physical interactions to pin breakups and the occasional slap from the apron.

Anyway, this week's episode—featuring the Robe Warriors (Bobby Roode and Charlotte Flair, the only dual-champ team so far) versus Titus Worldwide Nia Jax and Apollo Crews—was pretty much just filler to get Roode and Charlotte to the next round.

There were really just two major plot points in this match: Bobby Roode learning how to be…

The Grapevine (2/23/18): Double J and Triple H

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.

We reported the possible Jeff Jarrett Hall of Fame induction, but didn't know it was going to be true:

Triple H is the man behind Jeff Jarrett's WWE Hall of Fame induction. The TNA co-founder is close to Kevin Nash and Scott Hall, who are obviously close to Triple H. It's also likely that former TNA stars AJ Styles and Bobby Roode helped push for it. It's also possible that Triple H could recruit Jarrett to work on NXT, but there's no word yet on any plans for that. As previously reported, Jarrett recently finished a stint in WWE-sponsored alcohol rehabilitation. (Source: Sports Illustrated)We say: Triple H really trying to make things happen in the wrestling world, but this is such an interesting development. We wonder if Jarrett would eventually make his presence fe…

SmackDown RunDown Live (2/20/18): Stay For The Wrestling

Is it just me or is watching SmackDown Live slowly becoming a chore? Since they added Live to its name, the Blue Brand became a must-watch weekly spectacle on WWE weekly programming, even besting the flagship show at one point. What they lacked in star power, they made up for in superb storytelling. Now, I can’t even name a storyline worth tuning in to every week, aside maybe from AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura, and it hasn’t even started yet.

Creative completely ruined the momentum of the Shane O’Mac/Daniel Bryan storyline, the women’s division has nothing going on, and the midcard scene’s not looking good under Bobby Roode’s reign. They even started this nonsensical Top 10 System that they’re not even sure how to use. Top it all off with crappy personal message promos and questionable graphic changes and, voila, you’ve got the shadow of a once great wrestling show.

The Pinnacle of Storytelling No More

“I didn’t expect this Top 10 List would cause this much controversy,” said Daniel Br…