The Wrestling 6 & 1 08.31.13: Katie Lea Winter vs. Gail Kim
Posted by Greg De Marco on 08.31.2013
Katie Lea battles Gail Kim in Vs! Plus thoughts on AJ Styles and AJ Lee's worked shoot promos, Primo & Epico getting repackaged as The Matadors, Triple H becoming the new Mr. McMahon, Rosa Mendes is your “& 1” Model of the Week and more!
Welcome to another edition of The Wrestling 6&1! Greg and Tony are here to entertain you over this three day weekend! Michael Ornelas will be back next week, we promise!
The torch being passed?
By Greg DeMarco
With John Cena and Sheamus on the shelf, the WWE is finally painted in a corner. They need a new top star. CM Punk already had a 434 day WWE Championship reign, and his feud with Paul Heyman is producing some of WWE television's best moments. Enter Daniel Bryan, the face opposite the heel establishment of Triple H, The McMahons and WWE Champion Randy Orton.
Daniel Bryan isn't "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, nor is he playing the Austin character. But being in that position doesn't mean he's opposing Vince McMahon.
So who is his opposition? Randy Orton?
No. Randy Orton is in The Rock's position, as the corporate champion.
Daniel Bryan is fighting the establishment, and that establishment is Triple H. I don't believe for one minute that John Cena passed the torch to Daniel Bryan. But I do believe that Vince McMahon has passed the torch to Triple H.
Triple H isn't the new chairman of the company, and Vince McMahon isn't going anywhere anytime soon. As Triple H himself has said, Vince will "die in the chair," and he'll have his hands all over the WWE's creative production for many years to come. But on television, the torch of "Mr. McMahon" has been passed on to Triple H, and Triple H is playing the part with perfection.
To his, um...credit, Triple H s the perfect person to take on the Mr. McMahon character. He has one of the best promos in the business. He's a legendary figure (no matter how many members of the IWC want to deny it), and he's worked his way to the top of the political mountain. He's benefited from Vince McMahon's "big man bias," he's obviously used steroids, and he's been handpicked for greatness for quite some time now. When 411Mania asked its writers to list the Top 25 wrestlers of all time, Triple H sat just outside of my Top 5. He's been a headline talent for many years, holding countless championships. He never got the credit he deserved for his in-ring career—which for all intents and purposes is basically over.
Triple H has already left his mark on the WWE from an office perspective. He removed John Laurinaitis from power in the area of talent development, and the WWE "farm system," NXT, is stronger than ever. His leadership lead to the new Performance Center, we now have longer title reigns, RAW and Smackdown feature more wrestling on a weekly basis than recent years, and Daniel Bryan has been pushed to the top of the card.
But Triple H isn't beyond reproach. He buried others on his way to the top. He delivers messages in a passive-aggressive style that makes him come off as a jerk—and maybe he's just that.
Which makes him absolutely perfect for the Mr. McMahon position! Who is better than Triple H? I can't think of a single person. Not one.
He's conniving. He's calculated. He'll do anything for a win, and now he'll do anything for business. He's called the Cerebral Assassin for a reason—and that now applies to being the evil figurehead.
I don't think John Cena has passed the torch just yet. But I do believe that the torch of the "Mr. McMahon" role has been passed on to Triple H.
All hail…the new king.
You Decide: Will Triple H make a good "Mr. McMahon"
The AJ Lee Promo
By Tony Acero
It seems like every week I attempt to leave AJ Lee out of the conversation, something happens that causes the necessity to write about that lovely little lady. Last week was the freewrite, and this week was that delicious promo on RAW. Of course, I can easily go on and on about how perfect this promo was, how intense it was, how it was the shot in the arm of the dying diva's division that was needed, and how the only people who did wrong during the promos were those damned Bellas, and it would all be true. But instead of doing just that and calling it a day, I thought I'd dig a bit deeper into the promo and highlight both the good and the bad about it, because as much as I love AJ, there was some bad.
Now make no mistake, I don't think it was a bad promo. In fact, I agree with a majority of what is being said around the webs in regards to it (with the exception of our own Greg DeMarco who is calling it "overrated"). I won't call it a pipebomb, I won't call it CM-Punk-lite, I don't even want to compare it to something else. This was AJ Lee, attempting to bring "reality" into a fake program by using a fake program calling itself "reality." But moreso than that, this was a way to bring the divas of Total Divas up to AJ's level...and that's where we find our first problem with the promo.
You see, AJ is a heel so far as we know, yet this promo achieved quite a bit of cheers. AJ is the 'bad guy' here who was insulting the credibility and ability of divas who we are supposed to....ah, there's the other issue. Who the fuck cares about any of the divas outside of AJ? Now I'm not saying that as an obsessed fan of the woman, but as a legit question. What - outside of the horrible wrestling show - are we to latch onto or care about in terms of these divas? Assuming we do not watch the reality show, the Divas have been practically non-existent for quite some time, and although I can see this as a springboard for them to become somewhat relevant, no one mattered here but AJ, and as much as I'd love to say that's all that I want, the truth is...it's not what's needed.
Then we get to The Bellas and their incessant screaming and talking over AJ Lee. While Greg pointed out to me the point that the camera continually went back to them, and the mic was obviously on enough to pick them up, I still find it relatively deplorable that they didn't get the memo called Promo 101. Notice Nattie and the Funkadactyls, who gave hand gestures and "WTF" looks rather than attempt to bring the heat with repetitive notions of "Say it to my face" (which, coincidentally, AJ was doing...literally). I've seen a comment or two say that this brought some semblance of reality to the situation, and I just can't agree with that. If it were "real," then at least one of the three screaming biatches would have walked up the ramp and slapped AJ a nice, firm one to the face, but I digress. Simply put, there are certain expectations here, and their follow through was horrible.
Finally, we get to the content of the promo, wherein AJ lambasts the ladies and their "reality tv" ways. The words themselves held a lot of weight, and a lot of truth, but the issue is that most fans would agree with AJ, and I'm not sure they were going with that - or were they? And if they were, what's going to happen when AJ loses the belt to the Bigger Boobed Bella? Well, nothing, really. It'll be a retread of everything we've seen before, and not in a good way.
At the end of the day, we must use the adage that the great Patrick O'Dowd has made relatively famous and "let it marinate." The follow-up is essential here, as it is with most stories, and I'd venture to say that this could be the start of something huge...or it could deflate like a balloon that was let go before tying it. Unfortunately, I see the latter happening before the former.
You Decide: What did you think of AJ Lee's "pipebombshell" promo?
Survey Time: Raw's Best Worked Shoot?
By Greg DeMarco
This week on Raw, AJ Lee delivered a promo that set the internet on fire. Personally, I found it to be overrated. I believe I called it "written like CM Punk, delivered like Randy Orton" and I stand by that claim. AJ's delivery ruined it for me. The Bellas did as well—but as Tony already eluded to, that wasn't really their fault.
The promo immediately brought about thoughts of the famous CM Punk "sit-in" promo.
Which one was the best worked shoot?
AJ Lee's promo against WWE E! Total Divas
CM Punk's infamous July 2011 Las Vegas promo
Joey Styles' "quits" the WWE
So, what do you think? What was RAW's best worked shoot? Was it something not listed here? Leave that in the comments.
Voting ends Wednesday night and you can vote once every hour!
Katie Lea/Winter/Katarina Waters made it three in a row against Total Divas' Eva Marie. The fiery redhead will be back, however. She lost by a whopping 19 votes, with nearly 1500 votes cast.
Under the new roles, Katie Lea has to win #4, then she gets a shot at a random member of the Hall of Hang's bottom row.
It won't come easy for her, as she faces a Versus favorite—one who has been knocking on the Hall of Bang door for three years now: Gail Kim!
Voting ends Wednesday night and you can vote once every hour!
If you're name is AJ, you were shootin' this week!
By Greg DeMarco
Not to be outdone by his "AJ" counterpart, AJ Styles appeared on TNA Impact Wrestling to explain himself. Why did he represent "No One," and why did the old AJ come back?
We had questions, and he had answers. Check it out for yourself...
Thus promo has been met with the exact opposite reaction of the AJ Lee promo—it's been panned by the majority of writers who have provided their analysis. And I think they're wrong.
The AJ Styles promo is as underrated as the AJ Lee promo is overrated.
Both promos were rooted in fact. AJ Lee did in fact scratch and claw her way to the top, making her way through the independents, developmental and NXT. In many ways, she's just like Daniel Bryan, a pivotal element in the company's biggest story. Her disdain for the Total Divas (as they've been dubbed by pretty much everyone) could be real—even if it is scripted.
AJ Styles' comments were just as rooted in fact. He has been the "go-to" guy for TNA. He has been used and abused in favor of the "next big thing," only to see them all fizzle out. And when AJ did have a run at the top, it was stopped short by Hulk Hogan's desire to turn him into the "next Nature Boy," leading to his eventually losing the TNA World Heavyweight Championship to Rob Van Dam in 4-minutes on television. And that was after RVD had wrestled a long and brutal contest with Jeff Hardy earlier in the show.
AJ Styles is at a crossroads, and many people—including me (as evidenced by my opinion in last week's 6&1)—feel like he should jump to the WWE if the opportunity exists. But it might not exist.
But neither promo was without flaws. AJ Lee suffered from her own delivery. I am not going to sugar coat this "just because it's AJ," a phrase multiple people have used with me this week. Her delivery reminded me of Randy Orton on a bad day. She was monotone and boring. The incessant screeching by The Bellas was bad, but it was more the fault of the production team who kept the camera's mic live. The writing was strong, the delivery wasn't. From a content perspective, the only qualm I'd have is with the use of the word "sucked" in describing the Total Divas actions. The fact is, The Bellas, The Funkadactyls & Natalya have worked to get somewhere—to varying degrees. Do you think AJ Lee would turn down the opportunity to be on Total Divas? The answer is obviously no, since it's already been reported that she'll be a part of the show soon enough—and this promo is her way in.
AJ Styles' delivery wasn't the best, but I'd say it was better than AJ Lee's. Where AJ Styles suffered was his use of other people. "Better than the best in the world." "That's what I do!" "Steal the show." Why not say you'll steal their girlfriend, too?
The fact is, neither AJ has ever been great at the standard promo. Crazy AJ Lee is much better than normal AJ Lee. AJ Styles in the ring is better than AJ Styles on the mic.
Which promo was better? I don't know. To me they're the same. They both made a statement, and both have their issues. I'm not blinded by my TNA bias (in either direction), or AJ Lee's infectious beauty. I can appreciate, analyze and criticize both promos equally. Can you?
You Decide: Which AJ worked shoot promo was better?
By Tony Acero
I've learned in the past that my immediate reaction to certain gimmicks is usually apt. Typically, a new character comes to the forefront of the WWE, and they go on a winning streak of sorts, before being placed in some sort of program. Rarely do we get any other "debut." I'd say that those who debut in a fashion other than the one described are the ones that stick out just a wee-bit more, and yet the WWE tends to go with what they believe to be a "tried and true" method. Considering they've been doing this for a long time, I'd have to say they are most likely right, but it doesn't dissuade me from wanting something a bit more unique in terms of build.
I bring this up before getting to my point mainly to fatten the section (I kid), but there's also a semblance of importance to noticing this because it seems we are a few weeks away from seeing just that build, only with a tag team. A tag team that doesn't make sense to anyone, yet leaves little to complain about other than the mere fact that we may just not give a damn. Epico and Primo have been repackaged as Matadors, and at first glance it seems like a callback to yesteryear when gimmicks such as these were in abundance. Looking a little bit deeper, it looks like laziness. I'd say that tag teams are a bit more vulnerable to be pushed aside due to lack of care than any one guy because of the history of tag team wrestling in the WWE, so Primo and Epico have a very tough job ahead of them. Judging by reactions to the videos they've shown so far, I can't say that we care enough to really latch onto - quite possibly - the first Puerto Rican Matadors, and it's that notion that Primo and Epico will have to change. There is a possibility that they'll be great, maybe even funny, and bring something to the table. Then, it'll be up to the WWE to keep us interested.
I won't be so bold as to say that tag team wrestling is becoming important again, but seeing these guys returning, the Wyatt Family, Young and Titus' most recent push, The Shield, Mark Henry and The Big Show, etc. there may be some semblance of hope for a nice little Fall of Tag Teams, and even if Epico and Primo's characters are all kinds of dumb, I think the matches could be entertaining.
You Decide: Will "The Matadors" work out?
This week's Greg DeMarco Show with Patrick O'Dowd and Su Yung features the creator and writer of the critically acclaimed Headlocked Comic, Michael Kingston! Hear Kingston talk about the inspiration behind this series, how the characters were developed, the "Last Territory" story and more! Plus, you'll have the chance to support Michael's project through his Kickstarter campaign.
On the menu for Greg, Patrick, Su, Chad Perry, Tony Acero and Heather Lynn are great topics like the McMahon Family Corporation, Daniel Bryan's rise to face stardom, TNA's perils and so much more. We also have the debut of Chad Perry's latest game, Timeline!
Returns to Raw. Returns to The Wrestling 6&1 "And 1 Model of the Week!"
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.