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Showing posts from June, 2019

Live From the 205 (6/25/19): Hit the Ground Running

Nowadays, it usually takes a couple of weeks for 205 Live to set its next PPV storyline. They'll hem and haw for a little bit, showcase the other talents that aren't getting that PPV spot and climax their storylines, and then lock in the title match a couple of weeks before that Sunday.

This time, however, they've wasted no time establishing the title match for Extreme Rules next month. I mean, it was obvious that former champion Tony Nese was going to get his shot at new champ Drew Gulak again, but I appreciate that they took the extra time to make the rematch make sense, especially in light of automatic clauses not being a thing in 2019 WWE. That's certainly saying much more than RAW and SmackDown.




I just found it a little strange that they focused back on Nese's wish to have this original match against Tozawa, which shouldn't be that high up in his list of priorities now that he's lost the title. I will, say, though, that this bout is the best the Premie…

Smark Hen-XT (6/26/19): A Breakout, A Big Break, And A Breakup

NXT delivered yet another jam-packed episode this week by giving us not one, not two, but four matches. These weren't throwaway matches too—well, except for one. The night's card involved big names and big stories that I definitely appreciated. As the title says, there was a Breakout (Tournament), a big break for a certain tag team and a break-up between a short-lived alliance.



We had our first look at the NXT Breakouts when Angel Garza (formerly Garza Jr.) faced off against Joaquin Wilde (formerly DJZ) in a fast-paced match which Garza won via today's #FinisherFriday subject, the L-Bomb.


The two "rookies" were impressive in the ring, however, I can't quite put to words why I felt slightly unsatisfied during the match. Maybe WWE does have a different style of presentation or maybe it's the way they sold their moves. Either way, it felt a little off even if I enjoyed the exchanges between the two. Maybe the next set of matches in the tournament will get me…

The SGP Podcast (6/28/19): Cali Nueva, Wrestling Twitter Beef, Stomping Grounds, Bischoff and Heyman

Photo by Hub Pacheco

The Grapevine (6/28/19): The '90s All Over Again

Welcome to 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 week. Remember to take everything with a grain of salt!

By now you've already heard of Eric Bischoff and Paul Heyman running shows again:

Paul Heyman and Eric Bischoff have been named Executive Directors of RAW and SmackDown, respectively. As far as anyone knows, these are 100% behind-the-scenes roles that largely have to do with running each brand and reporting to Vince McMahon, who will still have the final say on all storylines. There is no update yet on where Triple H fits into all of this.

Heyman had been working on some storylines for RAW prior to this official hiring, but there was word that FOX wanted to work with him when SmackDown moves to the network this fall. Meanwhile, Bischoff's TV work prior to this is what got him the job. (Source: SI.com, Wrestling Observer Radio)We say: Talk about a pa…

#FinisherFriday (6/29/19): The L-Bomb

Welcome to another edition of #FinisherFriday! This is Wreddit_Regal giving an analysis of another weird finisher in the WWE books.

I've seen my fair share of odd maneuvers that seem to do their purpose in matches, from the notorious Saxtonation to the Rear View. Surely it doesn't seem visually appealing to most, but when you closely examine the physics and anatomy behind those moves, then you would come to realize that a move doesn't really need to be flashy to achieve results.

As such, a certain move has caught my attention earlier while browsing Wreddit. On the NXT June 27 episode, a match occurred between Joaquin Wilde (formerly known as DJZ) and Angel Garza. "Garza, as in Hector Garza?" you might ask. Yes, the lad is Hector Garza's nephew, which meant that the illustrious Segura (El Ninja) and Garza wrestling blood flowed in his veins. True enough, he showed it in his debut match, giving the audience a glimpse of who could carry NXT in the future.

The m…

SmackDown RunDown Live (6/25/19): Give The Champ Some Rest!

Man, WWE is pulling me back to my old nitpicking ways.

Samoa Joe is the new contender for the WWE Championship. I should be happy, right? I mean, of course, I am. That's my man, Samoa Joe. But at the same time, I can't help but call them out for the uncreative way he got the title shot. See, Joe attacked Kofi Kingston on RAW, right? And that's it. Title shot, just like that. Don't get me wrong: Samoa Joe, or any other Superstar, attacking the champion to put themselves in front of the line is fine. It shouldn't be a surefire ticket to title contendership though. As No Way Jose once pointed out, it shouldn't be that easy.



I get it. Dolph Ziggler pretty much used the same tactic. The difference is that at least they made it clear in the storyline that the attack was a legitimate challenge and that Kofi, being the fighting champion that he is, happily obliged. You shouldn't copy what the last guy just did, even if you're someone with the caliber of Samoa Joe…

The Smark Henry RAW Review (6/24/19): The Legion of Depression

This week on RAW, The Undertaker returned to save the Big Dog that retired him (sort of), United States Champion Ricochet and AJ Styles owned the main event (no duh?!), and we even crowned a bunch of 24/7 Champions including Heath Slater and EC3 before R-Truth won the title back for the nth time.

I'm not going to lie—I found the 24/7 title shenanigans very entertaining this week, including Drake Maverick's wedding woes but excluding Drake Maverick getting squashed in lightning-quick fashion. The latter was expected but it just seemed too lackluster for me.

I was less entertained by The Undertaker's shock return because his awful match with Goldberg is still very fresh in my mind. I also wasn't sure why he returned to specifically save Roman Reigns from Shane McMahon. I mean, storywise, of course, because money is always a great incentive. After all, if we're being honest here, it's the best incentive.


The Miz is still playing a face, apparently, as he had 24/7…

The Smark Henry Pay-Per-Review: Stomping Grounds

It's PPV time once again in the WWE Universe, so that means it's also time to play that familiar game. Stop me if you've heard this one before: the main roster TV shows are so dreadful that when the PPV comes around, we totally forget that the Superstars of the WWE are some of the best pros in the game, and they could actually put on a good show. (Sorry, Seth, everyone's a winner in my world.)

Stomping Grounds is no different from the usual cycle we fans experience with the modern WWE. I don't think you could find a lot of people who were that excited with the card, given how things were going on RAW and SmackDown, but out of habit, we tuned in anyway... and we were pleasantly surprised.

At this point, though, should you really be surprised? Have we forgotten that the current WWE roster is largely made up of the best of the best, plucked out from a legendary generation of independent (read: non-WWE) wrestlers?

I don't say this to downplay their skill, not at al…

#ThemeSongTuesday: KAKAIBROS! YEYEYEYE BROBROBROBROBROS! KAKAIBROS!

KAKAIBROS! YEYEYEYE BROBROBROBROBROS! KAKAIBROS!
Yes, this earworm is also giving us LSS here at the Smark Henry offices that this #ThemeSongTuesday feature is long overdue. With the KakaiBros set to defend their newly-won PWR Tag Team Championships against the YOLO Twins at PWR Live: Pak! Ganern! this Sunday, it's as good a time as any to dig deep into their brand-spanking-new entrance theme. 
If you already love it, you might sing along to it even louder at the show. If you don't like it (yet), then you might learn to love it like a veggie-hating kid grows up to like ampalaya.

The track is aptly named "KakaiBr0s" and was written and recorded by Tondo-based recording artist Tipsy Kidd. Yes, he was the dude who came out with the KakaiBros during their Wrevolution X entrance and rapped the theme live. Tipsy Kidd is a real-life friend of Mh4rckie, both of whom actually live in Tondo. Mh4rckie wanted to update the KakaiBros' entrance theme in time for the biggest p…

The Smark Henry Hip Toast: Poch

Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to Smark Henry's recurring series, a little something we call 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 and women behind the personas and giving you an intimate look at the people who are helping build this wonderful sport and turning it into something really special in this country.

Fresh from his successful debut as PWR Co-General Manager at Wrevolution X, the man who's #RunningTheShow, Poch, joins us for this month's installment!



*****
For as long as PWR has been around, fans can probably think of some constants in the five-yea-rold promotion.

Jake de Leon rarely ever has a bad match, if at all.

Chris Panzer will always be a papa in our hearts, even if he did become the devil incarnate.

Crystal will always be a revolutionary force in the rise of women's wrestling in PWR and the Philippine wrestling scene.

Live From the 205 (6/18/19): Still For A Better 205 Live

I'll be that dick and claim it: you know 205 Live is in its groove when I can call at least half of what's going on with the Cruiserweight Championship picture. Like I wished for last week, Tony Nese is defending at Stomping Grounds against both Akira Tozawa and Drew Gulak.

Not that it's predictable; it's really just more of what has to be done. Predictability isn't exactly a bad thing, anyway, as long as the trajectory is a good one. Now that we're here in this spot, however, allow me to make one more bold prediction, and it's an obvious one: Drew Gulak gotta win tomorrow morning.

If we're following Wrestling Logic, the fact that his promo went on last doesn't bode well for his championship chances. (For those who can't follow, he looked best out of the three.) But the way they've been prepping him over the past few weeks, with a small story arc where he goes away and comes back as a badass motherfucker, has to all go somewhere, and that s…

Smark Hen-XT (6/19/19): The Start of A New ERA In NXT

It may truly be a new era in NXT now with the way this week's show played out. It's amazing how Tommaso Ciampa's unexpected injury may have changed booking plans and eventually led to Johnny Gargano's and Adam Cole's NXT Championship runs.

Looking back to a few months ago, Roderick Strong and Adam Cole were slowly heading into break-up territory before Ciampa's injury indirectly put Cole in the main event spot for a championship match to crown the new NXT Champion. Fast forward to today and we've got the Undisputed ERA riding high with Cole as the champ and Roddy as a very credible and integral part of the ERA.


The ERA's antics, especially for this episode, were funny and entertaining—props to that edited version of the NXT intro consisting of just their highlights. In a way, they may be right and their contributions as performers on the brand may be unparalleled. The Undisputed ERA truly is the hottest thing going on in NXT right now and Adam Cole and…