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Showing posts from December, 2019

31 Days of Wrestling (12/31/19): The Wrong Card (Monday Night RAW, May 6, 2019)

Welcome to the 31 Days of Wrestling, ladies, and gentlemen. Once again, we're at that point where we take a look back at the past 11 months of pro wrestling (and as much as possible, the last month as well) and cherry-pick one match for each day of December from a list of bouts that defined the year in our beloved sport. Most matches will be good, while some may not be; what matters is that they helped build the perception and reputation of the kind of wrestling 2019 produced for us.

Since the brand split was resurrected back in 2016, the back half of WWE's decade turned out to be pretty solid and watchable. While it wasn't always perfect, the separate identities of RAW and SmackDown kept some semblance of order in the chaotic expanse of the then-main roster—both brands had their distinct rosters, storylines, and status quo.

Never mind that the monthly single-brand PPVs ended up being unsustainable; what mattered was wrestlers got their opportunities in their respective tote…

Live From the 205 (12/27/19): Where We Are, So Far

How's it hanging, mga ka-205? For all my fellow cruiserweight division fans, I thought it would be a good time to take a look back at where our favorite purple brand is standing after both a year and its three years of existence, as the show itself takes a break to bring everyone else 2019's best bouts. There's certainly quite a bit to discuss as this year has been the most volatile period of time the cruiserweight division itself has ever seen.


One of the biggest issues the division's always had to contend with, in its first few years of existence, was the complete lack of effort on the company's part to put them somewhere in the ecosystem. The original cruiserweight division was very clearly a product of the SmackDownbrand, and while they certainly tried to do the same for this new iteration (but with RAW), the existence of the 205 Live show held some unclear implications toward where these wrestlers really fit in on episodes of RAW. It felt like because they ha…

31 Days of Wrestling (12/30/19): The NXT Invasion of SmackDown (SmackDown Live, November 1, 2019)

Welcome to the 31 Days of Wrestling, ladies, and gentlemen. Once again, we're at that point where we take a look back at the past 11 months of pro wrestling (and as much as possible, the last month as well) and cherry-pick one match for each day of December from a list of bouts that defined the year in our beloved sport. Most matches will be good, while some may not be; what matters is that they helped build the perception and reputation of the kind of wrestling 2019 produced for us.

When NXT first debuted under its original reality show format in 2010, it seemed farfetched to imagine it as the brand it would come to be today. While that original season featured the likes of Daniel Bryan, Stu Bennett (fka Wade Barrett), Heath Slater, PJ Black (fka Justin Gabriel), Darren Young, Ryback, David Otunga, and Michael Tarver, the way that these talents were handled on TV prior to their main roster debuts as The Nexus made them look like "future endeavors" candidates in the makin…

31 Days of Wrestling (12/29/19): Raising the Glass Ceiling (TAJIRI vs. Fabio Makisig, MWF 8: Halalan Special 2K19)

Welcome to the 31 Days of Wrestling, ladies, and gentlemen. Once again, we're at that point where we take a look back at the past 11 months of pro wrestling (and as much as possible, the last month as well) and cherry-pick one match for each day of December from a list of bouts that defined the year in our beloved sport. Most matches will be good, while some may not be; what matters is that they helped build the perception and reputation of the kind of wrestling 2019 produced for us.

As part of the promotion for MWF 8: Halalan back in May, legendary international wrestler Yoshihiro Tajiri would arrive several days early to do some press tours and interact with Filipino culture. I follow MWF Senior Analyst Tarek El Tayech's socials, so I was more exposed with the latter. There's something endearing about watching foreigners maneuver our food scene, in particular: Tajiri bought street food with the familiarity of a frequent visitor, and he sang praises of Jollibee palabok. B…

31 Days of Wrestling (12/28/19): Die Matte Ist Heilig (Tyler Bate vs. WALTER, NXT UK TakeOver: Cardiff)

Welcome to the 31 Days of Wrestling, ladies, and gentlemen. Once again, we're at that point where we take a look back at the past 11 months of pro wrestling (and as much as possible, the last month as well) and cherry-pick one match for each day of December from a list of bouts that defined the year in our beloved sport. Most matches will be good, while some may not be; what matters is that they helped build the perception and reputation of the kind of wrestling 2019 produced for us.

It was a fine year for professional wrestling. After years—if not decades—of formulaic wrestling that spans everything from spotfests to snoozefests, 2019 has brought us the kind of refreshing and exciting wrestling that was to set the tone for years to come. Yet in a year full of Match of the Year candidates and instant classics, it's hard to argue against one match in particular: Tyler Bate vs. WALTER for the WWE NXT Championship, at NXT TakeOver: Cardiff.




The very best of professional wrestling …

31 Days of Wrestling (12/27/19): A Divine Comedy (Seth Rollins vs. the Fiend, Hell in a Cell)

Welcome to the 31 Days of Wrestling, ladies, and gentlemen. Once again, we're at that point where we take a look back at the past 11 months of pro wrestling (and as much as possible, the last month as well) and cherry-pick one match for each day of December from a list of bouts that defined the year in our beloved sport. Most matches will be good, while some may not be; what matters is that they helped build the perception and reputation of the kind of wrestling 2019 produced for us.

When Bray Wyatt introduced the Fiend, no one was ever sure what kind of career trajectory both characters would go on.

Would it be like the original Undertaker, where he would assert the supernatural horror aspect of the character over random characters? Would it be like mid-2000s Kane after the unmasking reboot, where he would go after somewhat high-profile targets? Or would he just be a part of the machine, interacting with the system around him like he was nothing too special?
By the time we got to …

#FinisherFriday (12/27/19): Berkocet

Welcome to another episode of #FinisherFriday! This is Wreddit_Regal bringing you an analysis of the last finisher that I'll cover for the decade.

Nick Berk may not be a household name in the world of professional wrestling, but he sure caught my eye with his mind-boggling finisher (admittedly, I'm a sucker for any finisher with some spinny stuff going on), which has both the aesthetics and mechanics of a deadly weapon.

Everyone, behold the Berkocet:


Bah gawd, the move's snap rivals that of the Cross Rhodes to Kenny Omega!



You can watch it a couple of times and still wonder how the hell does he do it. Let me break the move down into chunks:

The attacker starts in your standard double underhook, but without the opponent's head tucked between the attacker's thighs.The attacker swings his right arm upwards, leans forward, and proceeds to spin his whole upper body towards the right side. As a result, the underhooked opponent is forced to spin with him.When the attacker…

31 Days of Wrestling (12/26/19): Who Did This (to Roman Reigns)?

Welcome to the 31 Days of Wrestling, ladies, and gentlemen. Once again, we're at that point where we take a look back at the past 11 months of pro wrestling (and as much as possible, the last month as well) and cherry-pick one match for each day of December from a list of bouts that defined the year in our beloved sport. Most matches will be good, while some may not be; what matters is that they helped build the perception and reputation of the kind of wrestling 2019 produced for us.

In 2019, Roman Reigns almost died—not because of leukemia, but because of a very inefficient assassin.

I honestly forgot about this crazy storyline until the Smark Henry office started gathering the most memorable storylines of the year. Of course, how can we forget about the time someone tried to literally murder Roman Reigns... twice? I’m actually wondering because I’m sure this was a relatively recent storyline. I’m too lazy to google it but I’m pretty sure I’m right. Anyway, I guess we should also t…