The Wrestling 6&1 08.17.13: Winter/Katie Lea vs. Summer Rae
Posted by Tony Acero on 08.17.2013
Summer Rae takes on Winter in Vs, Darren Young is gay, TNA messes up again, your favorite McMahon, Melina Perez is your "&1" Model of the Week and more!
Welcome to this week's Wrestlng 6&1, with Tony, Greg and a little Michael Ornelas sprinkled in!
Let's kick things off right, as Darren Young is GAY!!!!!!111!!**OMGLOLZ!!``11!
Why The WWE Needs To Showcase Darren Young
By Greg DeMarco
On Thursday, Darren Young revealed to TMZ that he was gay, making him the first openly gay wrestler in the modern-day WWE. This is an amazing opportunity for Darren, the WWE, the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgendered community and for all of us as fans of both the individual wrestlers and the wrestling industry as a whole.
With Darren Young's courageous revelation comes some harsh realities and strong questions—all of which have solutions. Not all of the solutions are easy, but they are possible. And they are necessary for us to continue to move forward as a society. Let's take a look at those, shall we?
"It's 2013, Darren Young's sexuality shouldn't be news worthy!"
I've seen this statement throughout the day on Thursday, and it makes me chuckle.
In short: Yes it should!
I feel like those making this statement are trying to show their own tolerance and acceptance, some in a caring and loving way, others in a "Hey look at how accepting I am !" way. Get over yourself! Society today is not nearly as accepting of the GLBT community—and anyone who is "different" than the norm—as we think or wish they are. Complaining about it won't make it better—we need to praise Darren Young for coming out, retweet the hell out of those "in power" who are publicly supporting him, and we need to promote this as much as we can.
It's not enough to be accepting yourself and call out others who aren't. You need to promote and educate others. (And before you say it's not—yes it is your job).
Think about it. In the major four major US sports, how many athletes are openly gay? I'll provide you with the answer: One. In the NBA, NFL, MLB and NHL, only pro basketball player Jason Collins is openly gay. And he can't seem to sign a contract with any team at the moment.
So regardless of where you think we should be, we're not there yet. Be part of the solution, not part of the problem.
"Darren Young…gay? I KNEW IT!"
No you didn't. Shut up.
Darren Young with Prime Time Players Partner Titus O'Neil.
"The WWE should/shouldn't push Darren Young just because he's gay."
You're right, but you're only half right. Should Darren Young be pushed to the moon because he came out of the closet? No. Should he be more prominently featured because he came out of the closet? Not exactly.
Darren Young and Titus O'Neil, The Prime Time Players, are an amazing tag team who has gotten over despite the way they've been used. They have natural talent, ability and charisma that warrants a strong push to the top of the tag team ranks. As a unit, they are entertaining and engaging. They are what tag team wrestling is all about.
Notice what I didn't reference in that paragraph? The fact that Darren Young is gay. Darren Young & Titus O'Neil are already in need of a push—they're young, hungry and ready for the bright spotlight.
Yes, gay Darren Young still looks like not gay John Cena.
"Okay Greg, exactly what should the WWE do with Darren Young now?"
I'm so glad you asked!
Darren Young should still make weekly appearances on Raw, and he and Titus O'Neil should be pushed as faces who eventually win the WWE Tag Team Championships from The Shield's Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns. Darren Young's character—already entertaining—shouldn't change because he's gay. But much like the WWE loves to reference Mark Henry's past Olympic experience, or how Jim Ross always mentioned that D-Lo Brown was a Certified Public Accountant every time he was tagged into a match, the WWE should reference Darren Young as "the first openly gay Superstar in the modern day WWE" when he comes out to perform.
No, there shouldn't be a story around it. Yes, he should become a larger part of the B-A-Star campaign.
No, he shouldn't be pushed as a "gay wrestler." Yes, he should be recognized as a strong and successful wrestler who is also a gay man.
Bottom Line: In short, I'm saying the time was already right to push Darren Young—as a member of The Prime Time Players—before he came out as gay. Now that he's out, the WWE should still push him, while recognizing and promoting that he is gay.
The WWE Universe has been amazingly supportive, with tweets from Triple H, Stephanie McMahon, Titus O'Neil, and a video response to TMZ from the face of the WWE, John Cena.
Side Note: I don't closely follow TMZ, so I'm not exposed to a ton of their videos. But does Darren Young's coming out video scream "staged" to any of you? I mean—there's NO ONE else in the background? The reporter JUST HAPPENED to ask Darren Young THAT question? Really?
And in John Cena's response—he seemed to know, especially saying Darren "finally" revealed his preference.
Am I claiming the revelation might have been staged, likely by the WWE itself? Yes. They know exactly what they're doing. Is that wrong? Hell no. Good for the WWE, taking the lead on an issue that has yet to receive the widespread acceptance it deserves.
And good for Darren Young. We should all be so brave!
You Decide: How does the Darren Young's revelation impact the WWE and the larger wrestling world?
5 Things That Must Happen At SummerSlam
By Greg DeMarco
The 2013 installment of WWE SummerSlam is hitting the pay-per-view airwaves this Sunday night, and to me this actually feels like the second biggest night of the WWE calendar year. (Okay, maybe third behind WrestleMania and RawAfterMania!)
There are several matches on this card that have been well built. John Cena defending the WWE Championship against his handpicked opponent in Daniel Bryan has all the makings of a legendary encounter, and it's brought out the serious Cena that we (I?) all know and love. We might be gearing up for the biggest moment in Daniel Bryan's career.
CM Punk vs. Brock Lesnar, while tagged with a silly "The Best vs. The Beast" tagline, has been simple in its build—and is the most well-built match on the entire show. That's basically all Punk and Paul Heyman, but Brock Lesnar has played his role to perfection as well. Cody Rhodes vs. Damien Sandow is an actual midcard feud that doesn't involve a title—unless you consider the Money In The Bank briefcase as a title—and I do.
While Christian's challenge for Alberto Del Rio's World Heavyweight Championship isn't a longstanding rivalry in the least, the match itself is promising considering the chemistry both men have shown. United States Champion Dean Ambrose's defense against Rob Van Dam should prove entertaining and will be a great way to kick off the show. I actually prefer Dolph Ziggler & Kaitlyn vs. Big E. Langston & Divas Champion AJ Lee over the separate singles matches, since both have been overdone in recent months.
The card isn't perfect, but the potential for good far outweighs the bad—and if the WWE makes a few correct moves (5 to be exact!), this event can go down as one of the most eventful in history.
Dean Ambrose must beat Rob Van Dam
Love them or hate them, The Shield has accomplished so much in a short period of time in the WWE. While all three stars shine bright, Dean Ambrose is the brightest shining star of the bunch. He's already one of the best talkers in the company, he's playing a borderline crazy character that no one else can touch today, and he has a firm grasp on the art of in-ring storytelling.
Rob Van Dam is an established star, one who isn't helped by a win or hurt by a loss. RVD, a former world champion, really has nothing to gain and nothing to lose here. But Ambrose has everything to gain.
On Monday's go-home edition of Raw, Ambrose and The Shield cut a backstage promo that is too easily forgotten. This was some of Ambrose's finest work, as he referred to himself as the true Best In The World, not CM Punk. That wasn't the best choice of words for the young upstart WWE Superstar, but I'm pretty sure it was scripted for him. The promo was backstage—meaning pretaped—and thus could had been changed had Ambrose gone into business for himself.
What this tells me is that a CM Punk feud might not be too far off for Ambrose. While the United States Championship isn't an important part of that feud, the feud itself will be spectacular.
Bottom line: Ambrose is on a roll, RVD can take a loss and suffer no damage. Ambrose MUST retain at SummerSlam this weekend.
Kane needs to be taken out—and written out—at SummerSlam
Kane vs. Bray Wyatt has been a very interesting feud, and one that has paid some dividends since the Wyatt Family's debut. The Family is an act unlike any other in the company, much like The Shield before them. Unlike The Shield, The Wyatt Family has a distinct leader, and two blind followers.
Kane, to the WWE, is still an unbeatable monster. I know many are calling for him to become brainwashed and join the Wyatts, but I can't see the WWE doing that with Kane. He's a legend, a sure fire (pun intended) Hall of Famer, and a character who gains absolutely nothing from following Bray Wyatt (save for him "faking" it to get closer to Wyatt).
Bray Wyatt's character is that of a cult leader. His followers—Luke Harper and Erick Rowan, should be willing to do anything for their leader. And I bet they will. They just haven't had the chance to. A ring surrounded by fire, designed to keep them out? Sounds like the perfect sacrifice for a Wyatt Family member to make, eh?
I think Erick Rowan—who happens to wear a full body suit—will take a dive through the flames and help his leader out. Luke Harper will find his way in as well, and Kane will be destroyed. When Kane returns from some much deserved time off (and the filming of a movie), he has a ready-made program to finish with Bray Wyatt. But if he's leaving, The Wyatt Family needs to do it to him.
Bottom line: Bray Wyatt and the Wyatt Family don't need a victory at SummerSlam. They need to put Kane out of action, and in a spectacular way.
CM Punk needs to get a clean win over Brock Lesnar
Brock Lesnar has a less than stellar record since his WWE return. He's wrestled 3 matches—and won 1. We've seen Lesnar-Cena, and Cena won. We then saw Lesnar split matches with the semi-retired Triple H, giving him a 1-2 record. Has it effected Brock Lesnar in the eyes of the fans?
Every Lesnar entrance pops the crowd, and he's still viewed as a legitimate bad ass. No losses in the WWE will negate his time as "The Next Big Thing," a UFC World Heavyweight Champion or a dream opponent for The Undertaker.
CM Punk, on the other hand, has had an up & down 2013. He lost two encounters against the Rock, and followed up with a loss to The Undertaker at WrestleMania 29. From there we've had a win against Chris Jericho, and a Money In The Bank appearance that didn't lead to a win or a real loss.
Rumors, if we choose to believe them, have CM Punk winning the 2014 Royal Rumble. This tells me we won't get Punk-Lesnar II at WrestleMania 30. Nor should we. Punk needs to go over Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam and move on to a feud with Dean Ambrose. That's money, will be huge for Ambrose, and will further cement Punk's legacy.
Bottom Line: CM Punk MUST beat Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam, and start his slow build to WrestleMania 30.
Daniel Bryan must defeat John Cena for the WWE Championship
The People's Champion was a phrase used by The Rock for several years, and one he still busts out now. But the truth is, The Rock was always The Corporate Champion. Today, that corporate champion is John Cena. Much like The Rock in the late 90's, John Cena is the face of the WWE.
He's granted more wishes than any other individual for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. He sells more merchandise than any other WWE Superstar. He himself spearheaded the WWE's Susan G Komen Foundation efforts last fall. John Cena is a business man who makes money off both the love and hate he receives in every WWE arena. He's a true company man, and the very definition of a corporate champion.
Conversely, Daniel Bryan is an ideal People's Champion. Like CM Punk before him, Daniel Bryan wasn't supposed to happen. He himself, also like CM Punk, did not expect to ascend to the level he's reached. But the people have taken him there. I've often said that losing at WrestleMania 28 in 18 seconds was the best thing to ever happen to Daniel Bryan, and it's proving to be true. The "Yes! Yes! Yes!" chants were born on that night, as was the star that is Daniel Bryan.
Both men meet at WWE SummerSlam, with John Cena rumored to need time off for elbow surgery. If that's the case, then there's no better way to send him packing then Daniel Bryan's LeBell Lock.
Bottom Line: John Cena, the ultimate corporate champion, needs to be a company man once more and put over the ultimate people's champion, Daniel Bryan.
Randy Orton must cash-in his Money In The Bank briefcase—and win
Didn't I just say Daniel Bryan needed to beat John Cena for the WWE Championship at SummerSlam? YES! YES! YES! Did I say he needed to leave SummerSlam 2013 as the WWE Champion?
NO! NO! NO!
The McMahon Family Power Struggle is obviously a priority story in WWE right now, and—for better or worse—it's become intertwined with Daniel Bryan's rise to stardom. Vince McMahon (the character) is on record saying he doesn't want to see either Daniel Bryan or John Cena as WWE Champion after SummerSlam. He tried to put Brad Maddox in as the special guest referee, and it backfired as we'll now have WWE COO Triple H wearing the zebra stripes on Sunday.
I think Triple H will in fact call it down the middle, possibly thwarting interference by Brad Maddox or even Vince McMahon himself. That allows Daniel Bryan to win the main event and the championship.
But Vince will have one more ace up his sleeve, in the form of "The Apex Predator." Vince McMahon can't trust Randy Orton, and Randy Orton surely isn't the ideal corporate champion. But he has the Money In The Bank briefcase, the one tool that virtually guarantees victory when it's used.
Bottom Line: I fully expect Daniel Bryan to walk into WrestleMania 30 as the WWE Champion. But I don't expect him to walk out of Los Angeles' Staples Center in that same manner. Vince McMahon gets what he wants by selling his soul to the devil, getting Randy Orton to cash in his Money In The Bank contract and beat Daniel Bryan for his newly captured WWE Championship.
You Decide: What, in your opinion, MUST happen at WWE SummerSlam?
This Week's Impact Wrestling: So Much Is Wrong Here...
By Greg DeMarco
Thursday's edition of TNA Impact Wrestling saw Tito Ortiz turn on Rampage Jackson and Bully Ray recapture the TNA World Heavyweight Championship from Chris Sabin. On top of that, Dixie Carter stood tall in the ring with the remaining members of The Main Event Mafia in support of their rehabilitative friend, Kurt Angle.
Now, don't get me wrong here. Tito Ortiz should totally be on the side of the fence opposite Rampage Jackson—they're fighting in the main event of Bellator MMA's first pay-per-view in November.
And Bully Ray should have beaten Chris Sabin for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. TNA proved through their booking of Sabin that they had no plans of him as a long-term champion, and Sabin's reign was destined to be quick & dirty—at best.
That's not where the problem lies. The problem lies in the execution. TNA did a terrible job with the major points of Hardcore Justice. Never mind the fact that they didn't deliver on two initially advertised matches.
Bully Ray recaptures the TNA World Heavyweight Championship from Chris Sabin
The match was an incomplete joke. It suffered from one terrible botch, and some spots involving the cage door that even I had a hard time suspending disbelief to enjoy. The majority of the match was dominated by Bully Ray with Chris Sabin playing Rey Mysterio—problem being Chris Sabin is no Rey Mysterio! Hell, he's not even Austin Aries, the man who pulled off this same situation last year with brilliance.
When Chris Sabin won the TNA World Championship, he had one non-title match against Manik and one tag team match with Kurt Angle against Team 3D. Sabin didn't defend the title on television, not even against a strong mid-carder. He was a terribly weak champion, and it has nothing to do with his size or promo ability. The booking around his win and reign. Look back to when he won the title—he had The Main Event Mafia "in his corner," yet he wasn't good enough to become an actual member of the ‘Mafia? Yeah...telling, isn't it?
Tito Ortiz "betrays" Rampage Jackson & joins Aces & Eights
I've long wanted to see Tito Ortiz in the world of professional wrestling. Well, it's obvious I hitched my wagon to the wrong horse. Rampage Jackson has delivered far more in the ring and on the microphone than Tito Ortiz, and he might have a career after MMA now.
Tito's redebut was lackluster at best, his performance last week (not even knowing why he was there?) was disappointing, and now he's a member of Aces & Eights. Okay, sure!
His turn looked terrible, as did his celebration of Bully's title win. Rampage Jackson looks like a wrestler—Tito Ortiz looks like he's pretending to be a wrestler. A real athlete pretending to be a pretend athlete. Yeah...
Dixie Carter openly supports Kurt Angle's trip to rehab
Stick with me here: Dixie Carter has been absolutely destroyed for letting true talent get away, trusting her company to men like Hulk Hogan and Bruce Prichard, firing Jesse Sorensen after he break his neck and she promises him a lifetime job, calls a beautiful Taeler Hendrix too "heavy for television," and runs a major company that can't pay people on time.
Her appearances on Twitter are laughable at best—she answers only the softest of softballs and wags her finger at fans for being critical. This is not the person you want in the middle of the ring with a microphone supporting your Olympic gold medalist as he endures his latest stint in rehab.
I've never been one to buy into the "sinking ship," "TNA is dying," "Rise and Fall of TNA" hype, but that day has drawn near. TNA isn't a sinking ship...yet. But after Thursday night I am finally willing to admit that the ship sprung a leak. Not we get to see if their makeshift crew can repair it.
You Decide: Have you lost faith in TNA?
Ring of Honor posted this video in anticipation of this Saturday's Manhattan Mayhem event in New York City. There's not much I can say, except for...dafuq?
By Tony Acero
Fuckin smug prick. Ok, I'm kidding. I sometimes thinks Greg chooses these photos for the sole reason of my reaction towards Cena. It's like he's poking me…with a Cena stick. Ew? Let's set aside the fact that Cena is all geared up in Laker swag and check out the fella next to Cena. Good ol Shane O' Mac, grinning like a McMahon on his birthday. I saw a recent picture of dude, and he looked pretty disheveled, yet happy. This leads to the question that pops up frequently as to when Shane will make his triumphant return. After some consideration, I'm not sure that day will come and if it does, it will surely not be in front of the camera.
When looking at the McMahons, I think we'll always consider Shane the only one we never tired of. Sure, as humans we hardly know them, but as on-air personas, Vince, Steph, and even Linda each had their fair share of annoyance. I remember with every shrill scream Steph gave, I'd want to kill a cat. I find Vince slowly losing his grip on the ability to be on the mic effectively. And let's not even get started on the drawl of one Linda McMahon. So, as it were, Shane McMahon became our favorite, but it was hardly by default. Both behind the scenes and in front of the cam, he just seemed to really "get it" and even better, "get us." So what's he doin with Cena?! Right?!
In all seriousness, this pic comes from the time the Nuggets – Lakers game was deemed more important than a RAW, causing the WWE to head to the Staples Center and give me one more show that particular year. I remember a five on five match that RAW that had the faces wearing Laker gear and the heels wearing Nuggets gear. As a resident Angelino, I hardly ever see faces with Laker gear on. Just sayin. We're assholes. But I digress. That little fiasco ended with Vince belittling a Kroenke look-alike that was anything but funny, and people moved on. Until today…
You Decide: Who is your favorite McMahon and why?
Survey Time: The Fall of TNA...
By Greg DeMarco
Last week in Survey Time...
Last week we looked at the Hall of Bang, and let's just say the group was torn...
The results prove one thing, and Tony & I both agree—it's time to make some changes to the Hall of Bang. We have a few in mind, and they don't impact this week's vote. I will reveal them soon, likely next week. I will say this: it will be harder to get into the Hall of Bang, but easier to get kicked out of the Hall of Bang.
What does that mean? Tune in next week to find out!
This week's Survey Time...
TNA has been coming under fire since its inception, but the latest batch of fire has been hotter than ever. Couple that with an increased sense of unease about the future of the company, and we have a valid question on our hands...
You can vote once per hour, and the poll will close Wednesday night!
Also, share your thoughts in the comments section!
Each week, Michael Ornelas takes a very serious (read: tongue-in-cheek) look at the latest wrestling news right here in The One spot. Welcome to "The 1-Yun" (sorry, we don't wanna get sued), your weekly parody of the already strange world of professional sports entertainment wrestling. You're Welcome!
By Michael Ornelas
Daniel Bryan's "Bryan Danielson" NXT Elimination Promo Finally Comes to Fruition
In what is clearly a sign of WWE's long-term planning, a promo from over three years ago finally makes sense.
While it took a kayfabe elimination to plant the seeds of the angle, Bryan Danielson has finally resurfaced as Brie Bella's "real-life" boyfriend on E!'s Total Divas. The 1yun caught up with Bryan this week in Los Angeles and he had this to say on the angle: "This was the plan all along, and I think it's great. I totally don't wish that it had been something better. Seriously…"
WWE often finds itself in the crosshairs of frustrated members of the Internet Wrestling Community for their lack of follow-through on various angles, but once they acquired Bryan, they found the perfect opportunity to plan for the future. Vince McMahon told the 1yun "We figured that by taking the name Bryan Danielson and only slightly altering it to Daniel Bryan, fans would question why we'd even bother with the name change and anticipate our reverting back to his real name. We knew our mostly-male audience would be champing at the bit for a reality show about fledgling Divas, so we whet their appetite for the return of Bryan Danielson very early on." While most fans are pretty disappointed by the lackluster payoff, Danielson did make good on the promise of people's heads getting kicked in, even if the distributor of the brain-damaging blows is Eva Marie.
Michelle McCool didn't prove to be the level of competition I had envisioned for Summer Rae, as the lady who adorns the dancing arm of Fandango advances to her third Versus match-up. A victory over this week's reader suggestion will take one step closer to the immortality that is the Wrestling 6& Hall of Bang!
Last week the suggestion was made to involve one Winter—or Katie Lea Burchill to many of you.
Who will win?
Voting ends Wednesday night and you can vote once every hour!
This week's And1 Model of the Week is one many fans miss...
About the authors:
Tony Acero is currently a student at Cal State University of Long Beach. He is double-majoring as a Creative Writing and Literature major. His first book, Through The Looking Glass, was published in April, 2012. Looking Through, currently available, is a preview to the release of his second book, due out in Fall 2013.
Tony joined 411Mania in April 2010, and currently contributes in both music and wrestling. Tony is an avid drinker of Mountain Dew and Jack Daniels. He is a writer who hardly takes himself seriously, yet has an innate ability to create moments that are both human yet fearful in his writings.
Greg DeMarco is a graduate of Virginia Tech (Bachelor's in Business Management) and Arizona State (Master's in Higher & Post-Secondary Education). He works in online higher education. Greg started in improv comedy in 2001, making his stand-up debut in 2004.
Greg first appeared as a ring announcer for Rising Phoenix Wrestling in Phoenix Arizona in 2006 and served many promotions in both on-stage and back-stage roles for over six years, most notably Ring of Honor in 2010. He began writing for 411Mania in October 2010, founded The Greg DeMarco Show in May 2011 and opened WrestlingSmash.com (and Wrestling Smash Radio) in January 2013.