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Showing posts from January, 2020

Reviewing the Elite (1/29/20): Waiting For a Revolution

One week after the Jericho Cruise and we’re back to the usual AEW Dynamite formula, for better or worse. This isn’t a problem for fans since the show remains consistent with its story progression. Jon Moxley wants to take the AEW World Championship from Chris Jericho, Kenny Omega is forced to play peacekeeper between The Young Bucks and his partner “Hangman” Adam Page, The Dark Order are mad at SCU’s Christopher Daniels, all of these stories get time to grow.
However, it’s hard to shake the feeling that Dynamite is on a bit of a holding pattern right now, waiting for Revolution in February before they can do more cool things. Moxley even pointed out how he’s gonna have to try surviving against The Inner Circle for a few weeks, essentially telling viewers that things are gonna start feeling a bit same-y until the pay-per-view comes along.
Admittedly, this is something that all wrestling companies do and we can’t fault them for that. They have to build up these rivalries so that each p…

Smark Hen-XT (1/29/20): BROOOOOOOOOO!

We're one week removed from Worlds Collide and the Royal Rumble but there seems to be little acknowledgment from those PPVs on this week's episode. This is very uncharacteristic (and somewhat of a missed opportunity) considering that a few things stuck out from those PPVs that would've benefited the NXT Universe.

Things like Shayna Baszler almost winning the Royal Rumble match, Matt Riddle being eliminated early on, Bianca Belair (and Shayna) setting a record for most eliminations in the Women's Rumble and Keith Lee holding his own against Brock Lesnar were not even mentioned, which is ridiculous because those were big feats on their own. Instead, the card went on like the two PPVs were (almost) non-existent, which is a little weird for me.

With that in mind, it's time to move on to the meat of the show.

This week's focus was the finals of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. As I've said over the past few weeks, the pairing of Riddle and Pete Dunne was a su…

#FinisherFriday (1/31/2020): When the Knight Falls

Welcome to another edition of #FinisherFriday! This is Wreddit_Regal bringing you my take on probably the most savage non-top-rope finisher to grace the squared circle.

What's the greatest backbreaker that you've seen in your entire life? Was it Cedric Alexander's Lumbar Check?

Was it Tommaso Ciampa's Project Ciampa?

Or was it Roderick Strong's End of Heartache?

As aesthetically sound as these finishers are, none could hold a candle to a backbreaker that emanates hellish strength and plain brutality from its performer. What I'm talking about is none other than Bane's move that broke Batman's back:

"But that's in comic books or movies; there's no way in hell that move could be brought over to professional wrestling!" you might say. For a long time, I thought so too, until a certain someone actually did the unthinkable and started to make it his main match-ender.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you, Stu Grayson's Knightfall, forme…

The Smark Henry RAW Review (1/27/20): Here Comes A New Challenger

The Road To WrestleMania has officially begun, and wouldn't you know it, RAW is actually off to a decent start. We've already got Drew McIntyre and Brock Lesnar on a collision course towards one another and the Randy Orton/Edge feud we never got a decade ago. Plus, there's Charlotte Flair seemingly turning heel for the nth time and teasing us by not revealing which champion she's going after as the Women's Royal Rumble winner.

Let me start with the best part: Drew McIntyre is challenging Brock Lesnar for the WWE Championship. This was something fans have been speculating about for a while, but it didn't seem like it was in the cards given how unpredictable the Royal Rumble matches were heading into the big show over the weekend. Fast forward to today and WWE has managed to build Drew up as a credible star and Rumble winner. Hell, I'm even more invested in this knowing what McIntyre's meta-narrative is and having seen him go through that journey through…

The Smark Henry Pay-Per-Review: Royal Rumble 2020

When we first saw him on our screens in 2009, Drew McIntyre was introduced to us as the "Chosen One"—the guy Vince McMahon said he personally signed to become a future world champion. Back then, however, this Drew McIntyre was still fresh from developmental, so the gimmick wouldn't take. He would just be a good-looking body with a great theme song, and not much more.

The man would then be sent to undercard hell until he went on to form the infamous 3MB with Heath Slater and Jinder Mahal. After a while of this, he would leave for the indies to find himself. Luckily, he did find himself, then he returned to NXT and WWE seemingly having no memory of the past.

So when he won the Royal Rumble—off the insane momentum of being the one to eliminate a Brock Lesnar who completely dominated the match—it felt like he was finally redeemed. Sure, he's still supposed to beat Brock for the WWE Championship, but that already feels like a foregone conclusion.

There's no better pe…

The Smark Henry Pay-Per-Review: Worlds Collide 2020

This year's Worlds Collide felt more streamlined because it took the original format and simply advertised it asNXT vs. NXT UK. Okay, maybe chalk that one up due to the way the rosters are now set up, because 205 Live was included as part of the tagline during the previous iterations.

TakeOver shows were what I would call God's gift to the WWE Universe. Worlds Collide followed that formula by giving us bouts that would definitely blow the roof off any house. Admittedly, it's a show comprised of NXTSuperstars (also meaning NXT UKSuperstars) so the parallels are already there. It's basically a TakeOver show made to look like a Bragging Rights kind of PPV.

I'll just skim by this review and give my quick thoughts because, honestly, I've never had a bad experience with NXT PPVs. Heck, even Survivor Series became so enjoyable because of the black-and-gold's inclusion in the battle for supremacy.

Let's start at the main event. This is a match that I thought wo…

PWR Mabuhay ang Wrestling: The Official Smark Henry Review

Mabuhay ang wrestling, indeed. 

Hey guys, #NitPickRick here. How's your 2020 so far? Yeah, it's not that great, but we did get a fun PWR show to end what has been a chaotic month. PWR Mabuhay ang Wrestling is now in the record books and the time has come to put it under a microscope and dissect the show. And yeah, I know you're not glad that I'm the one doing it, but look at the month we've had so far. Is me reviewing a PWR show the worst thing that could happen right now?

As an olive branch, let me say this right off the bat: PWR Mabuhay ang Wrestling is a pacing masterpiece. They took all the lessons they learned from PWR Live: Championship Spirit and perfected the art of producing a high-octane show that doesn't leave the crowd flabbergasted. Every match delivered in one way or another that I'm inclined to cancel the tier system because no one really deserved to be under the second or third tier. 

I wish I could just go ahead and call this show the best one…

The Grapevine (1/27/20): On This Day, We See Clearly

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!

What a Royal Rumble, huh?
Edge's return to wrestling is not a one-off. The Rated-R Superstar, who was a surprise entrant in this year's men's Royal Rumble match, reportedly signed a three-year contract with WWE worth a lot of money, although there are no rumors yet on what the company has planned for him moving forward. There are also no updates yet on his health and the status of his spinal stenosis. (Source: Wrestling Inc, @Wrestlevotes on Twitter)We say: We're still reeling. The assumption must be he's either cured or the condition isn't too bad enough to keep him away from the ring. It's not one of those lame-duck legends signings, too, as Edge is in even better shape now than he was when he retired. We can't wait to see…

Reviewing the Elite (1/22/20): B.O.A.T.

You’d think putting dynamite on a boat would be explosive in a bad way but this week’s AEW Dynamite went BANG in a good way. And it didn’t even have DDP!
First, let’s talk about the setting since seeing a wrestling ring on a cruise ship was awesome. It helped create a unique environment, not just for all the fans in attendance but for the wrestlers. Due to the placement of the ring, the wrestlers had to do more “proper” wrestling rather than go crazy with dives. That seemed like an obstacle on observation but the AEW roster was up to the task and exceeded expectations.
It also helped that this episode had the first title change in AEW history and a couple of fun matches to boot. If you have yet to check out an episode of AEW, tune into this episode, even if it's just to see the cool visual of wrestlers wrestling on a ship.
Wrestling (and Drinking) Away My Insecurities

Having Kenny Omega and “Hangman” Adam Page win the AEW World Tag Team Championships from SCU was a ballsy move, bu…