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Showing posts from July, 2019

The Smark Henry RAW Review (7/28/19): All Mothers Are 24/7 Champions

Welcome to Paul Heyman's Monday Night RAW! Yes, this episode reportedly had Heyman in full control of RAW, and the result was just spectacular. I was surprisingly excited from start to finish, and no, that wasn't because someone from NXT was fighting someone else from NXT.

It was mostly because of the writing and the action that this show managed to do really well, if not better than recent memory. From the 24/7 Championship shenanigans, which ended up in a very unexpected and interesting turn, by the way, to the main event that didn't really have a match, this was by far my favorite RAW episode in a long, long while.

First thing's first: The OC is still a weird name for this stable. AJ Styles is already the reigning, defending United States Champion, so I wasn't sold on Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows winning the RAW Tag Team titles from The Revival in the Triple Threat Tag Team match that also involved The Usos. It doesn't help that the Good Brothers haven…

PWR Live: Championship Spirit—The Official Smark Henry Review

Streamers for everyone! Another month, another explosive offering from the country's premiere wrestling promotion, PWR. Which means it's also time for yet another review from yours truly, #NitPickRick. And this time, we're dissecting everything that went down last Sunday at PWR Live: Championship Spirit. No time for another rambling intro, let's just get down to business. Trust me, this show's a doozy.
Tier 1: Raptors Trade for Kawhi Leonard and a Ticket to VictoryFor our tier system, it's only appropriate to revisit some of the most notable trades in NBA history. The top tier goes to one of the most successful trades in NBA history, Kawhi Leonard moving to Toronto last year. Despite trading one of their best players in DeMar DeRozan, the risk Raptors took bagged them their first NBA title ever in 2019.

And you should all know it by now—the top tier always goes to the best of the best. These were the matches and segments that made everyone cheer, gasp, boo, and l…

MWF 10: Republika—The Official Smark Henry Review

It's been a great weekend for local pro-wrestling, and the first of two shows occurred in Lucky Chinatown Mall in Binondo, within Manila proper. In what is perhaps the best show that the Manila Wrestling Federation has produced so far, the promotion has once again leaned heavily into our cultural anxieties. This time, the foreigner heels leaned heavily into their own perspective of Filipino stereotypes to mock us, and while we jeered them before, it cannot be denied that Republika as an event was a Chinese victory, overall.

Let's dive right in!
Quick Match Results and Verdict
Shaukat defeats Rex Lawin via pinfall in a highly physical matchup. Bitman and Michael Su arrive post-match to beat up both competitors. Verdict: LikeFabio Makisig and Khayl Sison defeat Bitman and Michael Su after a low blow and Buzzsaw Kick combination from Khayl and Fabio, respectively. Verdict: LikeFrankie versus Jomar ends in a no-contestafter Morgan Vaughn and Moises Liwanag both interfere. Verdict:…

#ThemeSongTuesday: ANGAS!

If there's one name from the local scene that everyone should keep their eyes on following PWR Live: Championship Spirit, it has to be Jaye Sera. The first-year pro put on a performance worth remembering in her first main event, competing for the Queen of Asia Championship against defending champion—and All Elite Wrestling/Stardom sensation Riho, Gatoh Move star Jibzy, and fellow homegrown star Crystal.

In the months leading up to Championship Spirit, Jaye Sera had already built up quite a bit of a following as the no-nonsense angas girl who feuded with Jhemherlhynn through both of their respective debuts.

But after last Sunday, Jaye Sera has proven that she's a star on the rise and that she's ready to start kicking ass and taking names. That's why it's only fitting that we feature her and her entrance music on this week's #TST.

Jaye Sera's entrance theme is a trap and EDM track called "Stay" by a 16-year-old DJ named Despotem, with vocals from D…

SmackDown RunDown Live (7/23/19): You Want It? You Got It!

For the first time since WrestleMania, the WWE Championship is the hottest storyline in all of the land. Not that I’m blaming Kofi Kingston for it, since WWE recently suffered from a creative drought. Now that Eric Bischoff is running the show, SmackDown Live finally got the cojones to tell better stories; it started with Kevin Owens and Shane McMahon, and now it’s reaching Kofi Kingston and Randy Orton in a rivalry ten years in the making. 

It’s rare to see a real-life semi-confirmed urban legend to turn into a kayfabe storyline, and I’m glad I got to witness one in my lifetime. From Kofi Kingston copying Bayley’s playbook by choosing his own challenger to Randy Orton finally admitting to the great sabotage of Kofi’s initial rise in 2009, this storyline is like a kettle boiling to spill the hottest of tea. I’m so hyped for this match and they can’t possibly fuck up a story that writes itself. 

Except, of course, when they add Samoa Joe to the mix. Can we please not add Joe to this equa…

Smark Hen-XT (7/24/19): Priest Be With You

Damian Priest is getting a strong push in NXT and I'm not sure how I feel about it.

It's not because he lost to Matt Riddle during his initial and only appearance as Punishment Martinez. It isn't because he gives me the "generic big man who hits hard" vibes. It isn't even because of how I feel about his finisher. There are about two things that bother me with this push that I'd like to talk about right now.

First off, this push feels like Dominik Dijakovic's original run prior to his injury. I remember when Dijakovic would steamroll over competition only to run into a face-off set-up with another hard-hitting up-and-coming Superstar. This was how Dijakovic and Keith Lee ended up in a feud that was abruptly put on hold. This is also how Priest's run has been so far⁠—only in a condensed version⁠—eventually facing off with the same man, Keith Lee. It's another case of "The Irresistible Force" versus "The Immovable Object."


MWF 10: Republika: The Official Smark Henry Preview

Local author Dean Alfar mentions that now is the time for ultra unreal realism—realist fiction that underscores the absurdity and excesses of our situation. Filipinos need to remaster the art of satire, for somewhere in between Jose Rizal's works and the news-looking blog absurdities that fathered fake news, we somehow lost the appetite for it.

MWF seems to understand this, and in the aptly named MWF 10: Republika, it reaches ever deeper into the well of satire to tell their stories. Will MWF's storytelling allow us to identify and counter the absurdities of today's social climate, or will it further desensitize us from it?
I Own MWF, I'm Just Letting HoHo Lun be Champion At the top of the card, Robin Sane is being challenged by the international wrestling star from Hong Kong Mainland China, HoHo Lun. At this point, HoHo Lun is the archrival of our MWF champion—not Mr. Lucha or Rex Lawin, not Fabio Makisig, and not anyone from PWR. But this time, the stakes are perhap…