The Wrestling 5&1 09.22.12: Maria vs. Velvet Sky!
Posted by Tony Acero on 09.22.2012
Maria Kanellis battles Velvet Sky in Vs, more Ryback and Brodus Clay are on the way, John Cena vs. CM Punk approaches epic levels, Annie Social is your “&1” Model of the Week and more!
Welcome to The Wrestling 5&1 101. We really hope you like Tony!
Listen while you read as we're joined by Beyond Wrestling and CZW star Drew Gulak, DeMarcettes Su Yung and Barbi Hayden and more!
BRING ON THE GIRLS!
Last Week: Maria Kanellis defeated Kaitlyn to win her second straight Battle of the Bang match-up. How far can Maria go? Well, she's got a tough competitor waiting.
Move over one more spot, Maria!
Future Versus Updates:
* Brooke Tessmacher has two wins, two away from a return engagement with the Hall of Bang...
* Candice Michelle has two wins, and will continue her own journey...
* Tiffany will receive a new opportunity at the Hall as soon as the opportunity is available...
This Week: With Hall of Bang wins over Kaitlyn and AJ Lee, Maria Kanellis looks to TNA Wrestling for her next challenge. At least, a former member of the TNA roster!
The Choice Is Yours!
MARIA vs. KAITLYN
Take your pick and vote in the poll below!
Remember, you can vote multiple times—once every 12 hours.
And you can track the results right here, too!
Due to time and space constraints, the comment responses will return next week!
The Sky's The Limit?
By Tony Acero
While watching RAW, I noticed something that although has been somewhat noticeable earlier this year, became glaringly obvious on Monday. Brodus Clay and Ryback have had, essentially, the same build, and it's a build that has done far too many times. The "unstoppable newbie" is nothing new, and you can look no further than Wade Barrett. True, he's not new, but just watch the coming weeks as he goes through competition like nothing until they figure out just what they're doing with him. Tensai did it, Cesaro did it, even Big E. Langston over on NXT is going through it. I've always considered it lazy, particularly since we see it so often, but even when they take the next step, it appears all too familiar.
This Monday, we saw Brodus Clay and Antonio Cesaro make hints towards a possible match for the United States title. After MONTHS of nonsensical squash matches, it appears that Brodus is moving up the ranks, at least temporarily. Very similarly, Ryback set his eyes on the Intercontinental Champ, and it appears there may very well be a match in the future. So we have both Brodus and Ryback take the slowest catapult ever towards the midcard, and although some can argue that this is how to build a superstar, I'd refute that argument with the fact that because of the numerous squash matches, it's almost an assurance that the titles are all but theirs. This isn't supposed to happen. This is slightly more true with Ryback, as he's done NOTHING but squash matches since coming onto our TV's as the Pink-Eyed Punshier. At the very least, Brodus has touched on other programs. Either way, both are SUPPOSED to win the matches, even though they are for the title. They have been built as such. Now if they don't win, there's a chance of causing damage to the characters they've spent many, many months on trying to build. The booking begs for them to be champion, but they're too one note to hold either title.
The point I'm trying to make here is that this push isn't solely the model of Brodus and Ryback, and it seems only natural that they'll use it once again. While I'm not saying they need to eradicate the model all together, there's really something to be said about the sometimes almost baffling laziness of the writing staff over there. It's troubling, truly.
You Decide: Are the Ryback and Brodus pushes working or were they a waste of time?
Is John Cena vs. CM Punk The Modern Day Ric Flair vs. Dusty Rhodes?
By Greg DeMarco
WWE's modern era of professional wrestling is one of rapid change and accelerated evolution. More than 12 pay-per-view events are promoted each year. The WWE and TNA present brand-new, live wrestling every single week, making rematches the norm and causing storylines to be rushed.
In the old days—the territorial era—professional wrestling stories were told in dimly-lit areas on Saturday morning television and in newsstand magazines. Feuds ran across multiple territories, giving time for the performers to sell a true hatred for one another.
Now, the wrestling business is pushed through live television and pay-per-view events versus house shows. Back then, there were no "house shows;" they were all big events.
Ric Flair vs. Dusty Rhodes was one of the most legendary feuds of the territorial era. They sold out every major city on the National Wrestling Alliance's circuit and did it multiple times. The promotion had one or two marquee events each year. Despite having more than 12 marquee events in 2012 alone, John Cena vs. CM Punk is developing into this era's Flair-Rhodes.
Reason 1: The Biggest Names in the Business
In 2012, the two biggest names in the WWE are John Cena and CM Punk. And no wrestling promotion matches the firepower of the WWE. Since winning his first world championship in 2005, John Cena has amassed a combined 12 WWE and World Heavyweight Championship reigns.
CM Punk first cashed in his Money in the Bank contract in 2008, winning the World Heavyweight Championship. He would cash in a second time and has since compiled a combined five WWE and World Heavyweight Championship reigns.
Dusty Rhodes won his first NWA World's Championship from Harley Race in 1979 and would capture his third (and final) world championship in from Ric Flair in 1986—seven years later.
And Ric Flair is simply the most decorated world champion of all-time. Flair boasts 16 officially recognized reigns, although Flair himself puts that number at 21.
In the early 80s, there were no bigger names than Dusty Rhodes. In 2012, no WWE Superstars are more recognizable than CM Punk and John Cena.
Reason 2: Feud Length
Ric Flair defeated Dusty Rhodes to capture his first world championship in 1981. In 1985, The Four Horsemen were formed, and an early target was Dusty Rhodes. Rhodes and Flair traded the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship again in 1986, a full five years after Flair's first title win over Rhodes.
CM Punk first attacked John Cena in December 2010, causing him to abandon his post at the commentary table. The men would briefly feud through the Royal Rumble, where Cena exacted his revenge by eliminating the Straight Edge Superstar.
Their issue was rekindled in the build to Money in the Bank 2011 and continued through the Hell in a Cell event of the same year. Both men would stay separated as the top faces in the WWE until CM Punk's heel turn at Raw 1,000. The feud continued through the 2012 Night of Champions and is showing no signs of slowing down until 2013's Road to WrestleMania.
Reason 3: Signature Wins
Ric Flair is officially recognized as a 16-time world champion, but the most important reign is the first. On September 17, 1981, Flair defeated Dusty Rhodes for the NWA World's Heavyweight Championship, the first page of a legendary legacy.
Flair would hold the title through 1983, but Rhodes wouldn't see the gold again until 1986, when he beat Ric Flair inside a steel cage in Greensboro, NC as part of the Great American Bash tour.
While CM Punk entered the match a three-time world champion, his victory over John Cena at WWE's 2011 Money in the Bank pay-per-view event in Chicago remains CM Punk's signature win. John Cena was pegged as the man representing the WWE against CM Punk, the man who was going to walk out of the company with the championship if he won. Punk's win started his ascension, one that allows Punk to join John Cena as one of the two most recognizable superstars in the WWE today.
Reason 4: Polarizing Figures
For a feud to have longevity, the fans need to feel divided among the competitors. When Ric Flair formed the Four Horsemen with Tully Blanchard and Arn and Ole Anderson, there was a segment of fans that immediately sided with the heel stable.
Among those sold-out arenas, Flair had his own fans right alongside Dusty's supporters. While Ric Flair was a heel, he was a man that some fans hated, some loved and some loved to hate.
John Cena and CM Punk are not two of the most polarizing figures in wrestling today, but in history. From city to city, John Cena might be met with a rousing ovation or a chorus of boos. Many cities greet him with a mixture of both. Dueling chants of "Let's Go Cena!" and "Cena Sucks!" are heard on over half of the Monday Night Raw broadcasts each year, and the WWE has begun to capitalize on that phenomenon over the past twelve months.
CM Punk has been a magnetic superstar since the early days of career. The manner in which he speaks, wrestles and carries himself draws fans in, and they get hooked on his character. He was treated as a hero by the fans while walking out on them, taking the most prized championship with him. He turned heel on Raw 1,000, and the fans still cheered.
At Night of Champions, CM Punk wore New York Yankee-inspired gear in Boston to face local hero John Cena and only received a mixed reaction.
The Other Side
John Cena vs. CM Punk is the hottest feud in professional wrestling today. In the early-to-mid-80s, no feud could capture the imagination of fans quite like Ric Flair vs. Dusty Rhodes.
Today, Ric Flair and Dusty Rhodes find their in-ring days behind them. They established themselves as legends in a very tough business and did so before the days of multi-million dollar marketing pushes and multiple channels of distribution.
John Cena and CM Punk have benefited by what is often termed "the WWE machine." With this machine behind them, they are marketed into social icons, not just wrestling icons. Their faces appear in television commercials and on digital billboards in the country's largest cities on a regular basis. They make mainstream television and radio appearances. Their climb to prominence has been an easier one.
But will we remember it? Time has given us the opportunity to remember Ric Flair vs. Dusty Rhodes. We have the ability to look back 25 years and recount the many actions each man took during their heated feud.
Can we say the same for CM Punk and John Cena? Or in 25 years, will the very same machine that pushed them to the forefront be the cause of our lack of attachment to the magic they are creating today?
You Decide: Is this the modern day Flair vs. Dusty?
The TNA Experiment
By Tony Acero
Oh, TNA, you get such a bad rep. I'd like to think it's mostly Wes Kirk's fault, but in truth there are a variety of different reasons why this organization gets no love and a lot of it has to do with its past. When people ask me why I don't watch TNA, I simply answer that I don't have the time. I truly don't have the time, but in the interest of this column – and just the fact that I write for a wrestling website – I told myself I'd make a serious effort to get back into the swing of things. This will be my TNA experiment. I won't be watching to have them prove anything to me, and I won't be overly critical of the shows. I asked Greg when would be a good starting point for me to hop back into TNA, and he said Destination X would most likely be the best time. Considering this was in July, that gives me roughly two and a half months to cover, and what better way to do so than to cover it here in the 5&1?!
According to Greg, and many of the readers, the past few months have been filled with great wrestling and great storytelling over on the Impact side of the wrestling world, and both for this column as well as for myself, I think it's time to dive in head first and enjoy what this company has to offer. Along with watching each episode, I'll have a bit of an analysis. I think this could be fun, especially considering how little I know about where the current storylines are. In essence, you guys will already know way more than I do, so can help me along the way, or laugh at my assumptions that will most likely be incorrect. Eventually, I'll be caught up enough to watch alongside everyone, but until then….let's experiment.
You Decide: Is Destination X a good starting point for the TNA Experiment?
This Truly Was a Night...Of Champions
By Tony Acero
So, there was a PPV this weekend and it was pretty bad ass, from where I sit. As per usual, the PPV divided the fans. Some loved it, some hated it, some said I should find out what ROH is, and no it's not a type of soap. At any rate, we've got the results here, and I've got some opining afterwards, because that's why you clicked, right? To....READ! ME! MORE!!
Battle Royal for Number One Contendership to the United States Championship
Winner: Zack Ryder (*)
About as good a choice as any, consdering how hot a commodity he still is with the fans. He's just fun to like, and there was really no one else in that battle royal that people wanted to see go against Cesaro. Even with Tyson Kidd in the ring, he was a more personal choice than anything.
Intercontinental Championship Match:
The Miz vs. Rey Mysterio vs Sin Cara vs Cody Rhodes
Winner: The Miz (***)
I'm ok with the Miz holding onto the belt, considering he just got it. If I had a choice, I'd choose Cody, but it appears there's some more story to tell regarding The Miz, and let's hope that Cody has a program soon, away from the Intercontinental Title and more towards the bigger belt. As for Rey and Sin Cara, was it me or did both of them seem lacking in terms of high flying, or even flashy moves? I know the WWE style requires a more stunted approach to the high flying, but they actually seemed...generic at times. Maybe they're saving the pow for their eventual match against each other, or maybe Rey is old and Sin Cara is WWE-ized, finally.
WWE Tag Team Championship Match:
Kane and Daniel Bryan vs. R-Truth and Kofi Kingston
Winners: Kane and Daniel Bryan (**1/2)
While the match was alright, the winners were never in question. The moment Kane fell atop the tag team champs, I knew where we were headed and was bothered by the decision. I have since changed my mind, and that's due a lot to RAW. My immediate fear was that the titles were going to be shunned for the humor of Kane and Bryan. I really thought they'd be pushed aside and used as props, as they so often are, but with Kofi and Truth getting a rematch and the Prime Time Players still being involved, as well as Rey and Cara going against Primo and Epico earlier in the show, it seems to me that the tag team division is still alive and may very well live on.
United States Championship Match:
Antonio Cesaro vs. Zack Ryder
Winner: Antonio Cesaro (**)
A nice pay per view win for Cesaro that lasted longer than five minutes. I always say that a match with a newcomer against an established superstar that last longer than five minutes is tons more impactful than a one minute squash match ala Brodus and Ryback.
Randy Orton vs. Dolph Ziggler
Winner: Randy Orton (***3/4)
These guys always impress me in their own separate respective matches, so it's no surprise that I enjoyed them two going head to head here. It seemed a little tacked on in terms of the PPV as a whole, but it was a happy addition, as I'd take this over any filler with Brodus and Ryback any day. The fact that they have gone one-on-one many times before and yet still were able to make it fresh is a testament to their skills. A nice, enjoyable match to get us ready for the main events. I due really think that Ziggler needs a win sooner or later, though.
Divas Championship Match:
Layla vs. Kaitlyn Eve Torres
Winner: Eve Torres (**)
I talked about this a bit in the Rs for RAW, but a Divas match that was given time set out to impress, and it did just that. It wasn't breathtaking, and it was groundbreaking, but it was far more than anyone has expected of the ladies, lately. The match also lent itself to a storyline that is progressing slowly, an almost unheard of attribute of a female storyline in the WWE. Kudos to them for giving the ladies their just due.
World Heavyweight Championship Match:
Sheamus vs. Alberto Del Rio
Winner: Sheamus (***1/2)
Both of these guys get a lot of shit, and I don't fully understand it. I also don't understand the banning of the Brogue kick only to reinstate it before the match. I think it would have been pretty interesting to see Sheamus have to use something else, as it would have added a lot to the story of the match. It wasn't a stinker by any means, and I won't agree with anyone that says so. It was a fun match, and Del Rio nearly looked like he was going to win (even if we didn't believe it was truly going to happen).
WWE Championship Match:
John Cena vs CM Punk
Winner: DRAW (****)
And so we come to the main event, and for the first time in a while, it felt like a main event. This match was amazing, seriously. Immediately, I wanted to complain about the finish, and I believe I did just thereafter. But after much consideration and a lot of thought into it, I can both understand why the match ended the way it did AND feel it was the right decision. This continues the story between the two, and if we get another match like this out of them, then I simply cannot complain. A hell of a main event.
I thought this was a strong showing from the WWE and an even stronger effort from the wrestlers. There was one thing missing from this pay per view, and not only was it noticeable, but it was welcomed. Filler was nowhere to be found. There was no impromptu squash, no nonsensical backstage elements, nothing that would make me say, "that doesn't belong on a PPV," and although I don't know if they did that on purpose, I'd say that it just goes to show how unnecessary shit like that really is. Great PPV, I thought.
You Decide: Did you enjoy WWE's Night of Champions?
It's time for a DeMarcette update!
By Greg DeMarco
The DeMarcettes continue to prove me right. Buggy is in Florida, Su Yung is wrestling for Shine 3 this very weekend, Barbi is going back to recapture her MLW Championship (after going to Aruba, apparently), Terra is in the midst of a reinvention...and two more great developments took place this week...
Veda Scott joined Shane Helms's weekly videocast titled "Highway To Helms." This role is on top of her already impressive resume that includes a law degree and being the backstage interviewer for Ring of Honor.
Scarlett Bordeaux joins Chikara Pro was the brand new hostess of Chikara's Throwdown Lowdown! Check out this picture, to the left, of Scarlett on the job!
And here she is hosting!
Damn it feels good to be a gangasta.
Beyond Wrestling's Drew Gulak and DeMarcette Su Yung join the program!
The Greg DeMarco Show with Greg DeMarco and Patrick O'Dowd, presented by 411Mania.com/Wrestling, aired Monday night at 11:00 PM eastern and streams Saturday and Sunday at VOCNation.com.
Listen as Greg, Patrick and Andy Critchell share their immediate thoughts on Monday's RAW including the return of JBL to live television!
Special guest Drew Gulak joins the show courtesy of Beyond Wrestling. Drew talks about his training with CZW and Chikara, his career so far and his efforts "For A Better CZW." Patrick recalls seeing Drew in 2006 wrestling in a high school singlet and headgear, a thought that makes Drew audibly cringe. Drew also talks about why he hasn't worked in promotions like Ring of Honor and PWG, and his thoughts on competing for Beyond Wrestling.
DeMarcette Su Yung joins the show to talk about her tag team match at the weekend's Shine Wrestling iPPV event, and call Patrick O'Dowd a baby. And she is interrupted by a surprise call from fellow DeMarcette Barbi Hayden!
Greg and Patrick review WWE's Night of Champions pay-per-view event and talk about internet wrestling fans' strange desire for clean finishes and strong heels. And Tony shares his weekend experience of being questioned by police for a college assignment he submitted.
About The Greg DeMarco Show:
Discussing current events in professional wrestling including WWE RAW, Smackdown, TNA Impact Wrestling, Ring of Honor and many US independent promotions and regularly featuring guests from Ring of Honor, Chikara, Extreme Reunion and countless other promotions, Greg DeMarco and Patrick O'Dowd present opinionated analysis on the wrestling world that remains rooted in a love, passion and respect for the industry. The show is presented live each week by 411Mania at http://www.411mania.com/wrestling and streams worldwide each weekend via Bruce Wirt's Voice of Choice Nation at http://www.vocnation.com. You can reach the show via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, Facebook by searching for "Greg DeMarco Show" or Twitter @gregdemarcoshow.
Our friend Darin Corbin (not to be confused with poser WWE developmental talent Baron Corbin) recently came back with another edition episode 7 of Darin Corbin's W.R.E.S.T.L.I.N.G Reflections: Creeped Out...
Hit up the ‘Mania on the TWITTER (so Ashish will like me, okay?)
Plenty to talk about in the comments!
How about those pushes for Ryback and Brodus?
What level is the Cena-Punk feud on?
Would you conduct your own TNA experiment?
Thoughts on Night of Champions?
How about those DeMarcettes?
And this week's Versus Battle of the Bang—Maria vs. Velvet—You Make the Call!