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Showing posts from August, 2018

Live From the 205 (8/28/18): Too Many Limes

Here's something I've noticed, especially after this week: 205 Live may actually have too many stars.

When I say "stars," I don't actually mean big names like Neville and Enzo Amore that could carry the show by reputation alone. While some of the guys are slowly getting there, that's not it. The show's actually done a good job of building up several possible contenders to Cedric Alexander's Cruiserweight Championship... and then promptly not putting everyone they built in the hunt, leaving them to wait until they could get a shot at the title.

This is what happens this week after Buddy Murphy beats Kalisto in—curiously—a one-on-one match. The culmination of the Nese/Murphy vs. Lucha House Party feud was not in last week's awesome tornado tag match, but instead in a singles match designed to get Murphy (not even Nese with him) over. Okay, fine, I guess I've got no choice but to let that slide. But what's next for Murphy?

So this singles ma…

#FinisherFriday (8/31/18): Straight Outta Biringan

Welcome to another episode of #FinisherFriday! This is Wreddit_Regal with an analysis of Ralph Imabayashi's newest submission.

Undoubtedly one of the many premier talents of Philippine Wrestling Revolution (PWR), the Filipino-Japanese wrestler has earned the stripe of being the longest-reigning PWR Champion with his heart, tactics, and a vast moveset.

He is known to finish matches with his Sonic Crusher (jumping cutter) and Senketsu piledriver, but during his match with Main Maxx at this year's PWR Renaissance, all of us were presented with the birth of a deadly submission combo.

Unnamed at first, Ralph has since revealed the new finisher's name on his Instagram account as the "Black City Lock":

I shall name it the "Black City Lock" named after the mythical Biringan City. Legend says that once you get in you can never get out. #PWRRenaissance #PWRChampionship #PhilippineWrestlingRevolution A post shared by Ralph Imabayashi (@rawedo) on Aug 29, 2018 at …

The Grapevine (8/31/18): KO Gone AWOL

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.

Where is Kevin Owens going?

There are many rumors surrounding Kevin Owens's quitting storyline. He proclaimed that he "quit" after his loss to Seth Rollins on RAW this week, and put his profile on their Alumni section. The different rumors claim that he may be returning to SmackDown or that he's getting paired up with Paul Heyman. As of today, none of these rumors is confirmed, although WWE is interested in keeping Paul on TV even without Brock Lesnar. (Source: WON)We say: This is getting really interesting, though, and the more we think about it, the more it sounds like Kevin Owens being a Paul Heyman Guy would be appealing. They'd have to book him the same way they did Lesnar, however, and a lot less like how they did Cesaro as a Heyman Guy. Bray Wyatt is r…

Smark Hen-XT (8/29/18): Whodunnit?

We've begun with the latest cycle of NXT episodes, and now, the Yellow Brand has doubled down on the mystery behind Aleister Black's assault. Truthfully, I have every reason to believe that this storyline will get hokier as we go along. But for some reason, NXT has managed to treat it with the right mix of comedy and gravitas for me to take it seriously, while simultaneously poking fun at it.

I get what NXT is trying to go for here. Aleister's going to be out for quite a while, so they might as well draw this story out and milk it for what it's worth as he recovers. But there are certain elements that are beginning to feel a little too silly, like the presence of Regal's legal aide and how the GM's office has become the de facto interrogation room.

Yes, I'll give credit where it's due. The interrogation segments helped in giving screen time to Superstars like Bianca Belair and Nikki Cross, whose interaction in their segment gave birth to a match schedu…

SmackDown RunDown Live (8/28/18): Don’t Go Full Saxton, You Bitch!

Before I start this week’s column, can I say something about this #BooBeckyLynch campaign? You’re goddamn right I ain’t done ranting about this clear trainwreck. This isn’t me trying to be cool and edgy; you already know I’m far from being the coolest dude in the room. But the entire argument that we should boo Becky so her heel turn can be successful is so absurd.

The campaign is basically saying we should just go with whatever narrative WWE is serving us. Be good boys, wag our tails, and play dead. If you don’t like it, don’t watch it. Congratulations, our overlords will love your loyalty. Why should we support a vision that’s clearly wrong? How about we continue giving her a positive reaction until we prove WWE wrong? Let's make them correct the narrative by doing Becky good. Now that's a fucking call to action. 

As stubborn as he is, it's not impossible to change Vince McMahon's mind. That's why we have the legend of Daniel Bryan in the first place. Remember when…

#PasokLahat: The Official Smark Henry Hitchhiker's Guide to All In

If you're any sort of wrestling fan on the internet who's interested in anything beyond the WWE—or you're just a wrestling fan who spends time looking up wrestling online—then you may have already heard of All In.

Many of us already know what the big independent wrestling event happening on Saturday, September 1 is, but we know that there's still a good number of you wondering what the hell this is all about and why we should support it. The quick answer is that it's a big indy event put together by Cody Rhodes and the Young Bucks to see if a wrestling company that isn't WWE could draw 10,000 people, but more on that later.

That's why we put together this quick guide to not only explain everything about the show, but also try and hype you up on it. Let's not waste any more time—let's begin!
So what is All In?
As mentioned earlier, All In happened as a result of an implicit challenge posed by Dave Meltzer on Twitter after a fan asked him if Ring of …

The Smark Henry RAW Review (8/28/18): Ripe and Ready for Slaughter

Remember how Braun Strowman and Universal Champion Roman Reigns used to want to murder each other way back when? Well, they opened this week's RAW by shaking hands like a couple of gentlemen. I guess time truly heals all homicidal wounds.

Reigns did his usual schtick about being The Guy, while Braun complained about Roman's Shield brothers—Dean Ambrose and Intercontinental Champion Seth Rollins—coming to his aid last week. It's not like Braun's numerous attempts on the life of my best friend in the whole wide world, Kevin Owens, do not warrant such contingency. You're a monster, Braun. You don't have time to whine about three guys ganging up on you. Just throw one of them in a porta-potty before pushing that porta-potty off the ramp, then throw one of them off a giant ladder to send them crashing through tables, and throw the remaining guy off the top of a cage. Easy peasy.

Immediately after the handshake, though, former Intercontinental Champion Dolph Ziggler…

#ThemeSongTuesday: The Music of Mainstream Mahaba

With the local wrestling scene being very young, there aren't a lot of entrance themes that fans easily recognize. Yes, there are those that have already taken on a life (and presence) of their own like Ralph Imabayashi's, Jake De Leon's, and—God forbid someone actually records the crowd's sing-along version of it—The Apocalypse's. 
And then there's Rederick Mahaba, whose entrance theme has emerged as one of the best in the local industry because of the simple fact that it stands out. Mahaba comes out to "Agos," a ballad by singer-songwriter Hans Dimayuga. 
"'Agos' is a song about getting carried away into things," shares Dimayuga, "that might not be necessarily healthy for you anymore. But you still go with it because you love going with the flow, because your naïve and stupid, because you’re addicted. Why is she staying with you yet pushing you away? Why is this okay with you?"

Unlike most wrestling themes, which are lou…

#MustWatchMonday (8/27/18): Hero Versus Villain

Hello, everyone. Been a minute since we did #MustWatchMonday as we tried to give way to the G1 Climax finals. But we're back, and we got something good for you.

Here's some news for those who aren't aware: The Hurricane's signed to Ring of Honor as of June this year, following a surprise appearance at the Royal Rumble this January. While a longtime fan may not figure Shane Helms as the kind of wrestler that would fit in ROH's fast-paced, highly-technical atmosphere, the 27-year (!) veteran can prove that he's got the skills to pay them bills.

I mean, look no further than this match against "The Villain" himself, Marty Scurll.

Looking at the Hurricane, we couldn't blame you if all you'd expect from him are comedy spots. After all, he did get eliminated quickly from the Rumble by John Cena. But those who know their mid-to-late 2000s WWE know that outside of the green-and-black tights and mask, Helms is one hell of a wrestler, even carrying the …

PWR Reaches The First Milestone of Season 5 With Renaissance 2018

It’s the second half of the month, and you know what time it is—it's time for some local wrasslin'! The stars of Philippine Wrestling Revolution wage war once again at this year's PWR Renaissance! Let's run down the biggest stories of the first of PWR's big events this season!

It's a clash between PWR veterans for the PWR Championship Ralph Imabayashi's on a roll with some incredible successful PWR Championship defenses, but is he prepared for his biggest, most challenging opponent yet? Main Maxx, his challenger, is no slouch: after all, he's the longest-reigning Philippine Excellence Champion in PWR history, and one important detail—he’s also never been defeated by Ralph.

But after suffering a career-threatening ACL tear injury in March 2017, Main Maxx had to sit on
the sidelines, forgoing his wrestling dreams for a whole year. Since returning last March at Path of Gold, Maxx has signed with former PWR general manager-turned-agent Mr. Sy, who has led …

Smark Hen-XT (8/22/18): TakeOver Hangover

I don't normally look forward to NXT episodes immediately following TakeOver live specials. For the most part, they're just glorified recaps of TakeOver, peppered in with backstage interviews from the Superstars who competed at the show. And then you'll get two matches, which were basically on the pre-show on that night. It's mostly a chore to watch, and prior to my stint as NXT reviewer, there would be times when I'd skip this episode altogether.

This episode is not one of those skip-worthy ones, mostly thanks to the United Kingdom Championship rematch between Pete Dunne and Zack Gibson. This was a rematch of the finale of the U.K. Championship Tournament from a couple of months ago, so there was a bit of a backstory heading into this one. It wasn't as long as that match, either, but the story that both Dunne and Gibson told seemed tight and compact enough, that it didn't feel rushed nor bitin.

I'm enjoying Gibson's work more and more and seeing h…