The Wrestling 5&1 12.29.12: AJ and the Vs Royal Rumble!
Posted by Tony Acero on 12.29.2012
AJ Lee is your "& 1" Model of the Week, the Vs Battle Royal continues, ten bold predictions for 2013, an early look at the potential card for Wrestlemania 29 and more!
Last week, we had some good stuff and great responses. I expect this week to be just as spiffy.
But first... BRING ON THE GIRLS!
The Versus Royal Rumble
With Greg DeMarco
Eleven weeks long, the Versus Royal Rumble features the women who have come so close to the Hall of Bang—three time winners Mickie James (who did it twice), Stacy Keibler, Gail Kim, Lita and Christy Hemme. It also features two former hall members in Brooke Tessmacher and Taryn Terrell. Add in twenty three more women from the WWE, TNA, NXT, the indies, overseas, old school ladies and more!
The results are in, and three more women were eliminated in the sixth week of The Versus Rumble!
This week Sunny, Angelina Love and Gail Kim are all eliminated!
Now it's back to you—the reader—to pick three more women to eliminate. That's right, you are NOT voting for winner, you are voting for someone to get eliminated. Three to be exact. We'll narrow the field over the next eleven weeks until we get to the final two. At that point, a winner will be crowned!
At stake? Oh nothing, just a spot in the 411Mania Wrestling 5&1 Hall of Bang!
So who will win? We'll get there, but first we need to eliminate three more of these beautiful ladies. Here is the remaining field, and you can vote below. Vote for the three you want to send home, and vote often. You can vote once every 12 hours, and voting closes Tuesday night.
Ladies, gentlemen, and readers...
The poll expires Tuesday night, and you can vote once every 12 hours. Now get voting!
The Big Chair does make sense though. Assuming the same density of material and Big Show swung it with the same angular velocity he usually swings a chair with (i.e from upright to Sheamus's back in the same length of time), the extended length would mean that the end of the chair was traveling faster than the end of a regular one would (linear velocity around a circle increases in proportion to radius.) Hence, it would have more momentum, causing greater damage.
Also: it looks badass. So you have the psychological advantage too :) -mrwishart
Who am I to challenge physics! You sir, are
I would've rather had a Shield get a few matches in before beating Kane, DB, and Ryback.
If Ryback's angle with Punk was "too soon", then Shield's win over 2 former champions and a wrecking ball in their debut match is WAY too soon. All they needed was to hang with them to remain over. Have them lose and become more dangerous in their tactics. - KipSmithers
I think, in the way that the match worked, they did a GREAT job. Yes, Kane and Bryan are two former champs, but the match itself was sold so well on commentary by JBL. You see, it wasn't a numbers game, it was these three working as a cohesive unit, and in looking at Bryan and Kane, a relatively "fresh" team, siding with Ryback, a rookie, I supported the win. We also complain too often about new people not getting the proper rub. All in all, I thought it went over well, although I do get where you're coming from.
just like Ambrose said. The Shield aren't the nexus, if you want the NWO buy the DVD. stop comparing the shield to other groups. the shield are original and will be big time in the WWE. they already are.
as for my favorite diva Kaitlyn. Kaitlyn may beat Eve for the Divas title at the royal rumble and go on to feud with AJ Lee which would be actually good for a divas storyline since AJ Lee and Kaitlyn have major history with each other. -Sergio
I like your passion, kid. Really, I do, but sometimes….
Anyways, ANY group in ANY sport – real or fake – will be compared to one another. Without a litmus test of some sort, how can we label them as great? STFU Donnie hit it right on the button. Acknowledging those in the past not only gives them respect, but adds to the clout that any one group is being compared to.
Thank you Damien you've enlightened my dark ignorant mind.
Instead of Show/Sheamus they shouldve done Sheamus/Barret right out the gate feel it wouldve been a better match up and promo because Barret could carry some of Sheamus one dimensional personality. Hopefully we can end this Feud in time to put Barret in the wrestlemania mainevent against Sheamus...I mean come on it wouldve made a great TLC match their both considered brutal brawlers. - Cause_I_Can
Although I would LOVE an actual feud between Sheamus and Barrett, I've been pleasantly surprised by the matches Big Show and Sheamus have produced. True, the storyline is missing something, but they've been able to get by with just having good to great matches. It's only a matter of time before it ends, though. And if we're lucky, we may get that Sheamus/Barrett match come Mania.
Ahh... I miss Nexus. I really enjoyed that gimmick and I was so sad to see it go. I love what they're doing with the Shield right now and I see a lot of promise for all three of those guys. So far Roman Reigns is the one who stands out the most to me, but I really like all three of them. I can't wait to see what happens.
The Rock has so many freaking movies coming out that I'm surprised he even has time to do anything with WWE next year. I'm sure it'll be short lived and with few spots in-between, but I keep getting excited at the idea of him showing up and interrupting one of Punk's promos some night. Now I know when that'll be... but I'm still excited at the idea of it. Like you said, wrestling is about being fun. - Ken Wood
Ken, I'm on board with you. I highly anticipate The Rock doing what he does best, and with Punk on the other side, I see a forced stepping up of The Rock's game. I still stand by not liking the build to Cena v Rock in its entirety, and wished for The Rock to just go postal on Cena, but he didn't and it came off looking week. I can only hope that we're in for a treat of treats very soon.
"On top of that, the promos will consist of more than homophobic name
calling even a 6th grader would roll their eyes at, and *hopefully* less
attempts at starting new hash-tags, but I doubt that"
That shit was 90% Rock though, which is one of the many reasons I think Cena destroyed him on the mic in their feud. If he keeps that up against Punk it's going to be UGLY. - scott
Completely agree. John Cena is a cartoon character that had The Rock as a cartoon foil. The Punk is as real a character as they got, and no "Fruity Pebbles" chant is going to be able to take him down. We've seen The Rock toe the line of reality before, though, and I have tons of faith that this is going to be a hell of a treat for us all.
I'm a cynical prick and I'm a very infrequent watcher of wrestling these days...but The Shield vs.Ryback, Bryan, and Kane was one of the best matches I've seen in a long time and the best I've seen this year. I have no clue if it was match of the year or not, but I thought it was excellent. My only complaint...it needed Jim Ross to give it the proper vibe. The lame attempts to be clever and Lawler laughing at Ambrose selling, just annoyed me. This was a serious match, the first one I can remember in forever and the clownish announcers just put a damper on it.
I am so high on Ambrose and Reigns (I know it might be unpopular, but Rollins doesn't fit in my eyes and should be the guy to do the jobs for the group). I read the hype for The Shield and rolled my eyes, assuming it to be more blind IWC hype so frequent these days. Normally when I check out the object of hype, I change the channel. But Ambrose and Reigns are phenomenal. I can only hope the powers that be in WWE recognize what they have in these two and keep the heat on them.
Truth be told, in my opinion, I think WWE would be wise to bet more of the future on Ambrose and Reigns, rather than Ryback. I understand if he has to beat them, just make him work to do it. Goldberg and Warrior eventually had to work, so Ryback should start now. - Bobsky
We welcome cynical pricks with open arms…wait. Anyways, I wanted to pinpoint the issue with the announcers. Having JBL back is a godsend, but I really think he's lost a step in his jig. The King has always bothered me, and no heart attack sympathetic pull will make me say any different. He is a caricature of a caricature and a horrible foil to Cole. I agree that having JR commentate this match would have added something to an already stellar moment in wrestling.
Bold Predictions for 2013: Greg DeMarco
5. A major talent will miss WrestleMania - Someone will miss the WWE's biggest event of the year. It could be John Cena, who is reportedly very banged up. It could be CM Punk, who recently had surgery and has had his return date changed twice. Brock Lesnar could have a "Brock moment" and pull out. The Undertaker could have a set back during his training. Someone is going to throw a monkey wrench into the plans of the WWE and change WrestleMania 29.
4. A "name" will join TNA - Someone from the WWE will leave at the end of their contract and will show up in TNA. It won't be for more money, as TNA doesn't have the ability to promise that. But a reduced schedule and a promised push will lead a mid-carder to join TNA and work towards the world title level.
3. Ring of Honor will have a slow but productive year - The end of 2012 saw two major improvements for ROH—Jim Cornette departs the promotion, and they sign on with OoYala as a content distribution partner for digital content. The biggest gains to come out of this address the biggest issues with the promotion in 2012—iPPV quality and bad booking. They will have a stronger schedule in 2013, and it will go down as a building year that sets them up for a bigger 2014.
2. A major promotion will close in Japan, and a big independent will close in the US - I am of the belief that we are inching closer to the next big era in pro wrestling, but it has to get worse before it gets better. Thus, one of the following will close in Japan: New Japan, All Japan, NOAH or Dragon Gate. In the US, I see one of these promotions closing shop in 2013: Chikara, PWG, DGUSA/Evolve, PWS, Shimmer or Shine. We won't be happy about it, but it's a growing pain on the way to wrestling's next surge.
1. Triple H's influence will continue to grow - Triple H has slowly proven to be what's best for the WWE. Vince McMahon isn't going anywhere, but Triple H is slowly taking over certain aspects in a very good way. He's changing the face of WWE developmental, bringing in better talent that will have a big impact 3-4 years down the line. He's pushing through longer title reigns, including those for the mid-card titles, raising their prestige. And he's going to continue to make positive changes in 2013.
You Decide: What do you think will happen in 2013?
Bold Predictions for 2013: Tony Acero
5. AJ's Incessant Playgirl Antics Will Lead Her Into My Arms - In 2012 alone, AJ has had a relationship with Daniel Bryan, CM Punk, John Cena, Kane, and now Dolph Ziggler. The hierarchy of douchery is obviously very blatant. She started off hot with Daniel Bryan, a man who will continue onward in 2013 to grab the big belt one more time, I'm sure. She then relegated herself to the uber-cool CM Punk who will, no doubt, take some time off after Mania only to come back with a vengeance. She then had a taste of the bad side with Kane and decided she didn't enjoy it at all. After that snafu, she had a hell of a hiccup with the man who will violate Wellness for the first time next year, John Cena. Thankfully, she came to her senses and ditched the do-do. She currently is helping Dolph get to the next level, which he will next year. Soon, though….very soon, she'll rid herself of all inhibitions and jump upon the Tony-train. Maximum Occupancy: 1.
4. John Cena Will Fail a Wellness Test Once - I imagine someone will come snooping around Vince's office come next year, wondering if that wrassling wellness policy is up to snuff. In a harsh effort to assure its effectiveness and legitimacy, Vince will put his star player on the roaster. In an effort to continue to be the company man, John Cena will fall on the bullet. He'll take an arrow to the knee. He'll effectively save the WWE's face for Wellness, and add yet another feather to his cap of the Superman of the WWE.
3.The Undertaker will retire - The Undertaker's last match against Triple H was nothing short of amazing. Seriously, it had ethos, pathos and HBKhos, what more could you ask for? While I think The Undertaker still has it in him for another match, there is always seemingly going to be talk about ending the streak, and I'm tired of it. I don't want the Streak to go anywhere, and I think it would hurt more than it would help any one person. In an effort to release us IWC writers and readers from having to speak of the Streak again, The Undertaker and I will go on a business lunch where we talk about a profitable future in Yoga. We'll stalk DDP wearing ski masks and steal his layout and format, then team up with Trish Stratus to take over the Yoga industry.
2. Mark Henry will return to splittin wigs - This is more of a wishful thinking idea, as there are continuous reports of Henry stalling his return. Both myself and Andy Critchell, however, feel that the big man will be back sooner rather than later, and in doing so, he'll continue his rampage of dropping metaphorical machetes across the domes of erryone up in the hizzouse, ja feeeeeel?!
1. The Divas division will be revamped - This is a must in the WWE world, because damn..it lacks any redeemable qualities. There was once a time when you could expect matches in a pool full of gravy, creating a feeling of apathy towards whether or not these females could wrestle. Then someone got real serious about the ladies in the ring and started adding some training and proper motivation (Thanks, Finlay!) It's a shame, however, that the same man had to leave and in doing so, left a gaping hole of WHAT THE FUCK ARE WE DOING in the ladies locker room. After some of the Divas opted for greener pastures (and darker hair), we're left with ladies that try really hard but don't do too well. It's truly only a matter of time before they drop the butterfly, bring back the Women's belt, and build something serious around it.
You Decide: What do you think will happen in 2013?
Biggest Needs for 2013: Greg DeMarco
5. The Shield needs to stay strong - The Shield is a very exciting part of the end of 2012, and a very exciting development in 2013. They need to remain strong. I assume that Rollins will be the first to exit—and that's fine. Replace him with Brad Maddox. Maybe bring up one more NXT talent.
But they can't job out—at least not often. The buzz and reaction seen from The Shield is unmatched for a group so unknown by the casual fans. It's needed.
4. John Cena needs to take an extended absence - We need a break. Cena obviously needs a break. And the WWE could benefit from a break.
Imagine a WrestleMania 29 build with no John Cena. Who could they elevate? Who could take over the top of the card? A WWE without John Cena could finally see the rise of newer stars. And when he comes back, they need to be equals. Super Cena needs to be human again. If that means he has to be a heel, so be it.
But the only way someone is going to break through is if Cena isn't around for 4-6 months.
3. TNA needs to clean house - The WWE has more TV time than they can seemingly handle. TNA has far less than they could fill. They have too many guys on the roster, and the time is here to trim the fat. But I'm not talking about the Robbie E's of the bunch, I'm talking about guys like Rob Van Dam, Eric Young, Devon (yes I said it), and even Hulk Hogan.
I know this won't happen—but it needs to. Let the core talent shine. Keep Jeff Hardy if you want—he can put on great matches with Austin Aries, James Storm and Bobby Roode. But you can't have everyone anymore.
2. We need some women! - The WWE needs to do something with the Divas division. They have six hours of television to put out each week, and the Divas are suffering. There's some great talent in NXT—people like Emma, Paige, Audrey Marie, Skyler Moon and more. There's no reason why 2013 can't see a big influx of talent. Plus, with recent signings like Charlotte, Sasha Banks and Davina Rose, they can easily replenish the developmental league. The time is now, WWE!
1. Dolph Ziggler needs to be world champion - Dolph needs a legitimate run as world champion. I really like the idea of him cashing in at WrestleMania, then continuing the year as World Heavyweight Champion. All the pieces are there—he's paired with the most over woman on the roster, he has a bodyguard, and he's normally the best wrestler in the ring each time he steps through the ropes. 2013 must be Dolph's year.
You Decide: What do you think must happen in 2013?
Biggest Needs for 2013: Tony Acero
5. MORE AJ - I know, I know, some of you may have already tired of my minute miss, the only redeemable thing to come out of Jersey, AJ. But the truth is, I haven't. What I need in my life, and what I think you all need is more AJ. Now, she's more of a character, but I am hoping for 2013 to bring about a revamp to the Divas Division, and by proxy, a proper introduction to AJ in the ring. For all of 2012, the only time she was in the ring was when she got a ‘lucky' win after having her ass handed to her for the bulk of the match. No, we need AJ in the ring and actually wrestling like I know she can. She's a little firecracker of energy, and I feel they could really build around her and some of the ladies in developmental.
4. LESS CENA - Although Greg mentioned this already, I have to double up on it. Greg's point about Cena being gone requiring some new stars is so spot on. I will readily admit that the number one argument against this is that 2012 saw Cena away from the title the entire year. That may be true, but the spotlight was still on him for a bulk of that year. John Cena sells shit, we know that, but with reports of him possibly not wanting to go on for too long, and his character being more stale than the half eaten pop-tart between your cushions (seriously, check…), there needs to be a break. Do you recall the massive pop Cena got when he came out during the 2008 Royal Rumble? It was pop-city up in the house! I imagine that same reaction would welcome him back if he bounced for a few months. And hopefully, when/if he does return, there will be an added fold to his character other than a newfound love for Santa.
3. New writers - Or at least a new way of writing. For whatever reason, these guys know how to start GREAT stories, but with too many cooks in the kitchen, it turns into a soggy bowl of cereal instead of a bad ass Tartar of Kobe beef with Imperial Beluga caviar and Belons oyster (apparently, it's the tits). What I'm trying to say is that their "tried and true" method is now "tired and untrue." Something starts off strong, then fizzles off into nothingness like a fart in the wind. As a fan and as a writer, it's both mind-numbing and boggling. But it's also disappointing. Each of us has those booking moments where we toss our pizza at the TV knowing damned well we could write something better, and maybe we could, but the bigger point is that even if the greatest mind entered their world, there are so many other influences that factor into the final product. That great mind would be hindered, and it's not just by Vince. Get five of your friends and build ONE show, and see how quickly issues arise. The system is broken, and they need to fix it.
2. A New Face - John Cena seems like a cool guy. I'd drink a beer with him, sure. But who is in line after him? We have NO idea. Every time we think it could be Orton, he slams his fist too hard and gets injured. We need someone fresh and big time. Someone that sneezes at Cena like Ivan Drago would. This new dude will take Cena's spot as the new face of the WWE. Not Face of the WWE, although I'm sure he'll end up that as well. The problem is that they've made it a point to assure that everyone is BELOW Cena. It's Cena then everyone else. No one is on his level. The Rock and Stone Cold were equals. Sure, we may have liked one over the other, but they were the two stars with a bunch of minor shimmering suns below them. Today's WWE, there is John Cena as the Sun, and everyone else just insignificant balls of gas, waiting to have a boost of shine.
Geez….that metaphor took a turn into rainbow city…
1. Less TV Time - Do you know how hard it is to catch up to WWE programming when it's somewhat of a necessity? There are far too many hours of wrestling on television per week and it causes problems.
Problem 99: Exhaustion – We already know that these guys are on the road for like 80% of the year, don't you think they get a bit tired? What this exhaustion leads to is them probably wanting shorter matches. What shorter matches equates to is formulaic matches, and that that leads to is boring television. So now we have all this extra time to fill, and must fill it with…FILLER. No one likes filler.
Problem 98: Viewer fatigue – Ask yourself how much wrestling do you watch? If you read this site, it probably ranks in at 8 hours a week, minimum. That's an entire days' worth of work. That's eight hours of our life that we could be doing something else, but we invest our time into this product only for it to piss us off. It's truly a love/hate issue, but how many of us simply drop a show or two because the return is no longer there. We grow tired of the monotony, and leave. With so many hours of wrestling on television, we have little to no urge to stick around. We'll watch it eventually, right?
Problem 97: Watching becomes a chore – I told Csonka earlier this year that when RAW went to three hours, I couldn't recap it anymore. It was difficult enough doing two hours, then they go and add another to the show. Sometimes, sitting through a RAW makes me feel guilty, like I should be making my bed instead of vegging out for THREE hours. Especially, when the show is average or below. I know I need a break from wrestling when I feel I am only doing it so that I can do the Rs. It's that feeling that I wish I didn't have, because I want to be a fan. But a three hour RAW….it makes it difficult most of the time.
Problem 96: ….what, you think I really got 96 more in me? (BUT A BITCH AIN'T ONE!)
You Decide: What do you think must happen in 2013?
WrestleMania 29: An Early Look
By Greg DeMarco
Plans are already in motion for WrestleMania 29, as the WWE always plans this event far in advance. I know we all complain about the short-sightedness of the booking, but WrestleMania is Vince McMahon's baby. He thinks about it (and plans for it) all year long.
That said, I am actually quite late on this compared to past years. It's time to take a look forward to what I feel like is the likely WrestleMania 29 card, assuming things continue to progress the way they are now.
Projected Card for WrestleMania 29
April 7, 2013, Met Life Stadium, Meadowlands, NJ
Main Event – WWE Championship: The Rock (champion) vs. John Cena
I don't care what anyone says, this will part 2 of the Cena-Rock trilogy. Rocky won the first encounter, and Cena will win the WWE Championship here. I fully expect their third match-up to happen at WrestleMania 30, rumored for New Orleans.
World Heavyweight Championship: Sheamus (champion) vs. Randy Orton
Orton vs. Sheamus appears to be in the cards for WrestleMania (depending on who you read and who you believe). And it appears that it will be for the World Heavyweight Championship as well. While I think Orton is a better opponent for The Undertaker or Triple H, they will play other roles on the show (in my opinion).
This also leaves the role of Dolph Ziggler in question. I think the WrestleMania build could see a major focus being set on Ziggler, but not in a match. Using revisionist history, the WWE will put the deadline on Ziggler's Money in the Bank contract as WrestleMania (and not a calendar year). Thus, he must cash in on the show, and opportunity will in fact present itself after an Orton punt to Sheamus.
The Streak Is On The Line: The Undertaker vs. CM Punk
I know some think ‘Taker doesn't want to wrestle Punk at WrestleMania, but he really is the best opponent. CM Punk is a heat machine, and he'd make the best foil for The Deadman headed into the big event.
The biggest benefit to having Punk as the opponent is his ability to build the match on his own if needed, depending on Undertaker's schedule headed into ‘Mania.
Don't expect The Streak to end here, however.
Ryback's First WrestleMania Moment: Ryback vs. The Big Show
The Big Show is a huge man, and that size alone presents plenty of opportunity for a WrestleMania moment for Ryback. My friend Jay Alleto (of Pro Wrestling Powerhouse) has opined that Ryback will eliminate Show from his Elimination Chamber match, but Ryback himself won't win the bout. This will lead to their WrestleMania match.
Also interesting of note is that Ryback has never competed at WrestleMania, meaning he's never lost. Could a new streak be born? I'm not calling it now, but the opportunity is there if Vince wants to do it.
Redemption for The COO: Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar
In a widely reported WrestleMania match-up, Triple H could get another shot at Brock Lesnar. This would be a rematch from their SummerSlam encounter, which saw Brock Lesnar pick up the win.
Regardless of Brock's contract status, I see Triple H picking up the win here, in what will likely be his last WrestleMania victory.
The New World Record: Rey Mysterio vs. Sin Cara
The WWE reportedly has the big idea that they want to break a Guinness World Record for having the largest population of people wearing a mask in one location for this match. If so, great. It'll give Rey Mysterio another highlight along his Hall of Fame career. And I'm sure it'll be really nice for Cara as well.
The Shield At War: The Shield of Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns vs. Alberto Del Rio, The Miz & Mark Henry
The guessing game starts here, but I think The Shield will be a part of WrestleMania in this fashion. The faces are set by default—I simply had no other options. I think Mark Henry will return, and he'll be a face when he does.
I also think this will be the beginning of the end for Seth Rollins in The Shield. He's not as out of place as some seem to think, but he is better off on his own as a face. I think he takes the fall here, and is ousted from the group on Monday's Raw. Given their place on the card and how they're used, this could be their first loss.
I also suspect that Brad Maddox could accompany The Shield in this match, and replace Rollins as the third member once he's ousted. This match could also feature Maddox in a position as the fourth member of The Shield, with someone else on the face side.
Divas Battle Royal
I fully expect the Divas division to get its reboot at WrestleMania, and I think we see several debuts as part of this match. So if you're begging for Paige, Emma and Skyler Moon to make their WWE debut, take a close look at April 7, 2013.
Eight matches in and names like current WWE Tag Team Champions Kane & Daniel Bryan (Team Hell No), Wade Barrett, current Intercontinental Champion Kofi Kingston, current United States Champion Antonio Cesaro, R-Truth, Damian Sandow, Cody Rhodes and more are missing from the card. That doesn't mean they won't be involved.
I could easily see a tag team title match added, with anywhere from one to four teams. As for the other titles, I'd like to think that Triple H's efforts to elevate those championships means they'll be on the card. If so, we're up to 10 matches. That seems like a lot to me, since this event has sat at eight matches for three of the past four years.
The WWE will be a very crowded place come WrestleMania time. The Rock, Brock Lesnar, Triple H and The Undertaker will occupy spots on the card that are normally open throughout the year. Plus, Ryback has ascended up the card rather quickly, taking a major spot away from someone else.
"The Wildcard" isn't just one factor, but my belief that one major change will take place for this event. It might be an injury that forces a huge reshuffling of the card. John Cena is reportedly on his last legs, and CM Punk's body is torn up from over a year of being WWE Champion. Randy Orton is one hot piss away from being jobless. Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara seem to spend more time injured than not. Brock Lesnar isn't exactly what many would call "reliable." The Undertaker could suffer a setback in training.
There are far too many variables listed above for something—even if it's not already listed above—not to happen. And I think that will change the WrestleMania 29 card. If that change is major (impacting CM Punk, The Undertaker, Randy Orton, John Cena, The Rock, Triple H, Brock Lesnar or Sheamus), then it could trickle down the card.
There's one more wildcard that could be in play: Chris Jericho. If he negotiates a return, what happens there?
You Decide: What do you think we'll see at WrestleMania 29?
VIDEO OF THE WEEK – A minute and a half of AJ's Ass! Thank me later.
Hit up the ‘Mania on the TWITTER (so Ashish will like me, okay?)