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Showing posts from April, 2018

Smark Hen-XT (4/25/18): Black Heart

UGH T&^*#$@ MO TOMMASO CIAMPA!

Ugh. I just had to, again! When we all thought our favorite underdog Johnny Gargano was ready to move on to much better things like the NXT title, that monster, that snake Tommaso Ciampa comes at him fast. I was so angry! You were vanquished, Ciampa! YOU WERE FINISHED!


Okay, now that's out of my system, apologies are in order for missing this column last week because life came at me fast (Just like that damn Ciampa. I'm sorry Johnny), but we're here again with a seemingly new chapter of NXT TV post-TakeOver: New Orleans!

After sending Andrade "Cien" Almas and Zelina Vega to SmackDown Live with sore shoulders and necks courtesy of last week's debut match between Candice LeRae and Vega, it looked like Johnny Wrestling was ready for anything, including another NXT title opportunity. Gargano made a challenge to the newly-minted NXT Champion Aleister Black after Candice's match (which I still have not forgotten. You stole Ca…

Live From the 205 (4/24/18): The Real Infinity Gauntlet

The new 205 Live, under Triple H and Drake Maverick,understands that in order to distinguish yourself from the rest of the main roster programming, you've got to be bold as fuck. That's why when GMDM (I'm now no longer sure of the final order of the letters, thanks Percy) announced a Gauntlet to determine the #1 contender to the Cruiserweight Championship at the Greatest Royal Rumble, I knew that it was gonna be all night long or bust.

If you're a regular reader of this column, you already know that the former 205 Live tended to be pretty formulaic with its match order. You had your #2 feud to start the show, your #3 feud in the middle, and your main feud, well, main eventing the episode. That's how it always was, and it never changed—until now.

Besides, when you only have an hour, you've got no choice anyway but to make your gauntlet count.



In true 2018 fashion, each of the five guys running the gauntlet received some important exposure and advancement. TJP r…

The Grapevine (4/27/18): Here's To The Greatest (Greatest) Royal Rumble Match

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.

Some spoilers for tonight's Greatest Royal Rumble:
As always, there are surprise entrants for the 50-man Royal Rumble match, including Shawn Daivari and Hornswoggle. There are still 26 open spots for the match, so expect them to be filled by both unannounced roster members and other surprise entrants. (Source: PWInsider)We say: Let's hope they brought along some NXT guys too. Shawn Michaels turned down an offer to be a part of the Royal Rumble match. According to Sean Waltman on his podcast, there's a lot of money being offered to Superstars such as Chris Jericho in order to appear on the Saudi show. Shawn declined as he has no interest in competing anymore. (Source: X-Pac 1,2,360, Wrestling Inc)We say: A wise decision by the Heartbreak Kid. It's going to break some hearts…

PWR Live: Trapik—The Official Smark Henry Review

Welcome back, Smarks!

PWR Live: Trapik, the go-home show for PWR's granddaddy event, ties in the happenings of the wrestling season this year. Finally back at the 500 Shaw Zentrum after almost two years, it also marks the return of some of the PWR roster who debuted in this very building. Fond memories aside, it's time to take a look at how PWR leads its numerous storylines home.

Results Recap: Pre-Show:Brad Cruz def. Kapitan PWR (Lite) via Shaina LockQuatro def. McKata via Destino Main Show:John Sebastian (c) & Crystal (c) def. The Network (James "Idol" Martinez & Alexander Belmonte III) via Solemate-Killshot combo to retain the PWR Tag Team ChampionshipMain Maxx & The Apocalypse vs. The KakaiBros (Mh4rki3 & Kh3ndrick) resulted in a double countoutThe Punk Dolls (Martivo & Robynn) def. Zayden Trudeau & Bolt via Twist of Fate/Big Ending to become #1 Contenders for the PWR Tag Team Championship. Trudeau and Bolt are forced to disband as a tag t…

SmackDown RunDown Live (4/24/18): Shinsuke Nakamu-Rock!

For some reason, this week’s match between Randy Orton and Shelton Benjamin made me feel nostalgic. The fact that Jeff Hardy was also there cranked the nostalgia up to 11. I don’t know, maybe it’s the fact that these three men were already slugging it out during my first few years as a wrestling fan. Time sure flies, amirite?



Back in the day, Shelton Benjamin wowed me every time he did something uber-athletic and superhuman, while Randy Orton showed me how to be a calculating villain. And Jeff Hardy, well, let’s just say he inspired me to shove my face towel on the back pocket of my school pants whenever I get the chance. It looked stupid, but it felt awesome.
I just can’t help but appreciate how they’re all in the same brand and are currently involved in a TV storyline. And the fact that they’re showing signs of aging made me sad that they’ll probably retire years from now. But at the same time, it made me happy that the guys who made my childhood lasted long enough for me to mature an…

The Smark Henry RAW Report (4/23/18): Something We've Never Seen Before

This episode of Monday Night RAW was quite an eventful one: it paid tribute to the late Bruno Sammartino, and it was the go-home episode for The Greatest Royal Rumble happening this Saturday morning (Manila time) at Saudi Arabia. I honestly didn't think the latter was going to be such a big deal of a house show until they mentioned it about 352 times. This was also the episode after the Superstar Shakeup, which means enough introducing new characters, and now time to actually do something with them.


After the bell rung ten times for Bruno, the arena was calm, until boom! Brock Lesnar's music hit. This was the first time he showed up after WrestleMania, so I was already getting used to not seeing him around. Again.

Paul Heyman went on and on, as usual, and even promoted The Greatest Royal Rumble, which Lesnar would be a part of. After what almost felt like an entire 15 minutes of talking, Roman Reigns finally came out to interrupt, and disappointingly said only a couple of wor…

#ThemeSongTuesday: The One and Only King of Flight

Whenever the nickname "Human Highlight Reel" gets brought up, I think of Dominique Wilkins. He was the OG Human Highlight Reel as the scoring machine who led the Atlanta Hawks through the 1980s. But in wrestling, that moniker has been passed around through the years. You may have heard it used to describe Sabu in his prime or Peak Rey Mysterio. However, for this generation, I wouldn't be surprised if Ricochet takes that nickname all for himself.

I've been a fan of his since I first started watching him on Lucha Underground as Prince Puma. Just when I thought I'd been jaded as a wrestling fan that highflyers don't impress me as much as they used to, this guy came along and proved me wrong. His unique blend of quickness, agility, and hang time made every match of his must-watch. For those of you who didn't follow his adventures on LU or NJPW, you're in for a treat as the NXT chapter of his career takes flight.

Ricochet has been treated as a big deal in…

Local Pro Wrestling Scene Heats Up This Summer: PWR & MWF Announce May Shows

Too much pro wrestling? No such thing.

The summer of 2018 could very well turn out to be the hottest its been for the Philippine pro wrestling scene with the top two promotions, the Philippine Wrestling Revolution (PWR) and Manila Wrestling Federation (MWF), announcing the dates and venues for their respective May offerings.

First up: PWR's annual WrestleMania counterpart, Wrevolution X. The show will be happening on Sunday, May 20, at the iAcademy Auditorium in Salcedo Village, Makati.


The Sunday matinee is going to be jam-packed with high-stake matches. The complete card has yet to be officially announced, but expect it to feature the following confrontations:

PWR Championship Match: Miguel Rosales vs. Ralph Imabayashi (c). As an added kicker, if Rosales fails to win the gold, he will be fired from PWR.PHX Championship Match: Ken Warren vs. Mike Madrigal (c).PWR Tag Team Championship Match: The Punk Dolls (Robynn & Martivo) vs. John Sebastian & Crystal (c).All Out War Ch…

[FULL RESULTS] PWR Live: Trapik

The Philippine Wrestling Revolution came to a screeching stop at its last show before Wrevolution X 2018 with PWR Live: Trapik. Coming from the spacious 500 Shaw Zentrum Events Pavilion in Mandaluyong, the event was fraught with repercussions for PWR's biggest show of the year on May 20th.

In case you couldn't make it, we've got full results for you here.

Pre-Show
Match #1: Brad Cruz vs. Kapitan PWR
Brad Cruz unveiled a new move called the Shaina Lock (don't ask) to derail the hard-fighting Kapitan PWR.

Winner: Brad Cruz via pinfall


Match #2: Quatro vs. McKata

Quatro continues to amaze fans with his hard-hitting offense, including a gorgeous counter of a corner charge by McKata into a Backstabber. A soaring Destino gave him the win.

.@QuatroPWR won via Destinooooo...#PWRLivepic.twitter.com/63oWddMII8 — Smark Henry (@SmarkHenryPH) April 22, 2018
Trabajador Supremo confronted Quatro after the match to challenge him to battle at Wrevolution X, completing the miraculous re…

The Smark Henry Hip Toast: Main Maxx

Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to the Smark Henry Hip Toast—our happy place where we interview various personalities in pro wrestling, shoot from the hip, and raise them a toast. We will be looking at the men behind the personas and giving you an intimate look at the wrestlers who are helping build this wonderful sport and turn it into something really special in this country.


Today, we take a look at local professional wrestling's biggest comeback story by far, and for the first time ever, Main Maxx tells us of the year that was and what his future holds.

*****
To say that Main Maxx has had a successful wrestling career in a blossoming industry thus far is an understatement.
Since his debut in Renaissance 2014, he has carved a path of Maxxcellence en route to becoming the third ever PHX Champion, and redefining what it means to be a champion in the division of hybrid workhorses with his natural strength and God-given athleticism. In the process, he has also become a marquee player…