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Showing posts from January, 2019

SmackDown RunDown Live (1/29/19): 420 Live

SmackDown Live may not have a Royal Rumble winner fighting for their top titles, but that doesn’t mean their Road to WrestleMania hit a roadblock. The Blue Brand will have to drum up a lot of attention because RAW just got the top main events for themselves. Quick, what do we have? A new WWE Championship strap? Well shit, my nibba, that’s all you had to say.

Leave it to our vegan friend Daniel Bryan to steal the spotlight from the huge WrestleMania announcements. Those matchups were already predicted anyway. Did you predict Bryan would unveil an environment-friendly world title this week? No you didn’t, stop lying! He did tease the new belt last month at TLC, but still, you didn’t know he’d drop it this week. And you also didn’t know that the new WWE Championship would look this fly.

Just look at it. I know I’m supposed to hate it because shiny things are pretty, but damn, this belt’s sexy as hell! And while we’re at it, let’s talk about Bryan’s other acquisition, Rowan. I’m a bit disap…

#SGQ: The New Daniel Bryan's New WWE Hempionship

On this week's episode of SmackDown Live, Daniel Bryan unveiled this beautiful piece of craftsmanship: the WWE Championship, but with 100% organic and sustainable materials. It will, for all intents and purposes, now be referred to as the Hemp Belt, because that's exactly what it's made of.

As you can see in the image above and following video, the Hemp Belt is pretty much the exact same design as the WWE Championship (and, by that same mold, the WWE Universal Championship). It's just... very brown. And clothy.

According to (and the man himself), the Hemp Belt's strap is made of 100% sustainable organic hemp, replacing the usual leather that may or may not be genuine (read: an actual tanned animal skin). And just when you start thinking, "Hey, isn't logging destructive to the environment, too?" the plates are carved (robotically, it appears) from the wood of a naturally-fallen oak tree. 
The diamond gemstones that frame each plate are replace…

The Smark Henry RAW Review (1/28/19): Twice The Man

Remember when Seth Rollins used to call himself The Man? Well, that The Man won the Men's Royal Rumble match this year and confronted a former UFC Champion, who is currently the Universal Champion, and got himself a WrestleMania title shot. Another The Man won the Women's Royal Rumble match this year, too, and also chose to challenge a former UFC Champion for the RAW Women's Championship at WrestleMania. That's a lot of The Mans and a lot of former UFC Champions duking it out for WWE gold. That is, of course, unless something happens at Elimination Chamber and I get my Kingslayer versus Demon King match-up that I will never ever shut up about. Long shot? Worth a try.

That's probably the same sentiment Dean Ambrose had when he interrupted the opening segment that saw Seth Rollins try to celebrate his Royal Rumble victory, only for NXT Daddy Triple H to bug him about the identity of the champion he'll be challenging at WrestleMania
Would it be The Beast Incarn…

PWR Live: New Year's Wrestle-ution - The Official Smark Henry Review

January is an exciting month for wrestling fans. There’s a lot going on, but the main highlight is obviously the Royal Rumble Match. It’s my favorite annual event, with the traditional Survivor Series Elimination Matches being a close second. So imagine my delight when PWR slated their first show of 2019 right before the Royal Rumble PPV, officially kicking off a weekend of nothing but pure wrestling goodness. God, I love wrestling.

And imagine my surprise when I was once again tapped to write a review for PWR Live: New Year's Wrestle-ution, probably because I’m the best (and also very available). So wouldn’t you know it, PWR’s going to receive the #NitPickRick treatment, whether you hate it or really hate it. Let’s get started with this mofo because we have a lot to unpack.
Tier 1: “Mag-iipon na talaga ako, pramis.”Our tier system should be self-explanatory by now. This new year’s resolution is relatively common and easy to follow through. Besides, it’s a great first step in making…

#ThemeSongTuesday: Real-Life Aggretsuko

Over the years, we've seen WWE use songs from different artists as PPV theme songs. From metal bands like Fozzy to post-grunge acts like Alter Bridge, pop acts like Fifth Harmony and Demi Lovato to pop rappers like Tinie Tempah. Every so often, a WWE fan who just happens to be a musician like Nita Strauss gets to have their song featured on a WWE Network special, too.

And then there's Poppy, one of the more... off-kilter acts that WWE has tapped for a live PPV's theme song. Her song, "X," was one of the theme songs for this past weekend's NXT TakeOver: Phoenix, and it's quite the trip. Before we do a little deep dive on Poppy and her music, here's the song in all its gory glory.

Poppy is a 24-year-old artist who rose to fame on YouTube by covers, which has become a pretty common way of jumpstarting a career these days. What makes her stand out is her aesthetic and presentation. Imagine a human Barbie doll, all prim and proper, trying to fit into ever…

The Smark Henry Pay-Per-Review: Royal Rumble 2019

There's an important reason the Royal Rumble is always the second-best show to put a viewing party on for: the main attraction, the Royal Rumble match itself, is casual-friendly.

The men's Royal Rumble match (and in last year's case, the women's too) has traditionally always had something for everyone. The whole affair's prestige is derived from the implied fact that it's open to everyone, and they mean everyone. Legends are welcome. Wrestlers returning from injury are welcome. Returning free agents are welcome. New free agents are welcome. You don't have to know everything there is to know about the WWE at any point when you go into the Royal Rumble, which is how it's managed to keep itself so accessible.

Both this year's Rumble matches, however, turned that formula on its head.

Only a shocking Jeff Jarrett comeback was the real non-WWE surprise for both matches. The actual surprises, however, came in the form of more than a few token NXT appearan…

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

Is it time for #DIY to own NXT, albeit on the other side of the fence now?

If you told me a few months ago that in less than one year, Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa would be standing side by side, titles in hand to end the first TakeOver of 2019, I would've just said you were lying. Lo and behold, here they were in all their glory, acting like the last year and a half didn't happen. But see, here's how this all came to be.

Tommaso Ciampa and Aleister Black was a grudge match waiting to happen since the latter was literally on the edge with the champion. You could tell from the pre-match vignettes to the actual showdown itself that this one was, as good ol' J.R. would say, a slobberknocker.

Both men gave everything they had as they exchanged flurries of punches and kicks which felt stiff as hell. You could literally hear every hit as they bounced off each other's skin. This was one of those matches where you could actually feel that they'd do anything just …