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    Monday, October 15, 2018

    The MMC With Smark Henry (10/9/18): One Step Backward

    If you are a betting person, wagering on who would win in this week's set of Mixed Match Challenge bouts would be easier than hitting the one billion-peso lotto jackpot. That said, my money might have been with Monster Eclipse and Fenomenal Flair, but my heart was with B'n'B and Fabulous Truth.

    What I'm saying is, why can't the more fun teams win? Also, why can't the fresher duo that wasn't involved in the program earlier the evening garner the W, and help preserve kayfabe at the same time no matter how obsolete it already has become?

    Guys. Charlotte Flair was not at a hundred percent after she was speared by Becky Lynch towards the LED monitors on the ramp, and AJ Styles had a grueling clash with Shelton Benjamin. Despite those, they still somehow managed to eke out a victory over the well-rested partnership of Carmella and R-Truth.

    Are you trying to say that if this was WWE 2K19, we are on Play mode and not, for the sake of continuity, on Gauntlet Tower mode instead? Is Charlotte's rating so high that she can beat Money Mella -- a recent former WWE Women's Champion, mind you -- with only one arm? How can I suspend disbelief when I have thoughts like these at the back of my mind?

    Yeah, sure. Michael Jordan (and Dirk Nowitzki) had his "flu game", Willis Reed limped to the court to start for the New York Knicks in that playoff series to rally his team to victory, and Paul Pierce returned to action moments after being sent to the locker using a wheelchair.

    For my counterpoint, OG Ronaldo played with a fever and Brazil lost to France in the 1998 FIFA World Cup championship match; Brock Lesnar was defeated by Cain Velasquez and was discovered to be suffering from diverticulitis; and Manny Pacquiao has a ready-made excuse for his every loss (bad socks, injured shoulder, blind judge, etc.), some real, some imagined. My point is this: someone who is handicapped and not in peak form, more often than not, gets the short end of the stick.

    I'm pissed. Whatever progress that has been made to legitimize the MMC hit a roadblock this week. It may sound or feel like hyperbole, but that's how I feel.

    In my original draft, I zeroed in on the Styles-Flair win and why I considered it bad for business, which then spiraled to a deep and dark hole. But the Mixed Match Challenge being a fun show, I decided to rewrite Act Two and instead focus on the positives, particularly in the Braun Strowman-Ember Moon versus Finn Bálor-Bayley matchup.

    The Raw group tussle is the most competitive outing this season to date. One reason why it was, it seems, is that Braun let Ember have more playing time. He was heard saying to Moon after the fight, "You told me you had her."

    This pair is more believable to be OP than the SmackDown Live winners. At least for this night.

    Mixes and Matches

    • Watching the preshow while SmackDown is playing in another tab: It's a test of one's multitasking skills and ISP performance.
    • Is Braun Strowman's temperament rubbing on Ember Moon and she's beginning to demonstrate heel-like tendencies or am I just reading into them too much?
    • Bayley's "I'm taller than you" burn is applicable to either Ember or Alexa Bliss. It's as if it's Team Little Big in the other corner. Nice.
    • Are you telling me Truth arrived in the venue ten minutes after SD Live went off the air?
    • Drinking game or pro wrestling advanced stat: Strowman has pulled a prone Ember, either out of a pin or to tag himself in, for the second consecutive bout.
    • "Fabulous" Mella: valet/hype woman/former women's champion. Add to that rapper.
    • "(They're) like Rihanna and Drake". No, Renee Young, I don't want that mental image with Mella and Truth. It's because I have a dirty mind.
    • If only dance offs count, Fabulous Truth would have won this in squash fashion. Even if Styles attempted a Spinnerooni after the match.
    • Spot of the night goes to the former SmackDown Live Women's Champion with her huracanrana on the current WWE World Champion.
    • Flair slaps using her injured arm. Are you trying to tell me that her injury is a work or that she is indeed rated 99? No wonder she is being derisively called "Woman Reigns."
    • Carmella and Charlotte in a cat-and-mouse chase around the ring that went for three or so laps: time stretch or audible due to the latter's injury? Could be either.
    • Natalya's Team Pawz mate, Kevin Owens, is injured and she is in need of another co-tandem. What a way to eliminate your competition, eh, Country Dominance?

    Images and video courtesy of WWE


    JP Abcede, CIS, has an ongoing love-hate relationship with the WWE, depending on what Bret Hart's mood for the day is. A financial adviser and Certified Investment Solicitor (that is what the CIS stands for after his name) by profession, he catches up on his weekly dose of pro wrestling by streaming shows and using them as background noise while he is doing something else. This way, he is able to zone out the boring parts while remaining productive.
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    Item Reviewed: The MMC With Smark Henry (10/9/18): One Step Backward Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Unknown
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