The Wrestling 10 & 1 12.14.13: Paige vs Emma
Posted by Tony Acero on 12.14.2013
Paige battles Emma in Vs, a look at the WWE and World Heavyweight titles being unified this weekend, predictions for WWE TLC, thoughts on the future of Daniel Bryan and CM Punk, AJ Lee is your "& 1" Model of the Week and more!
Hey guys. Sorry about last week. As I trudge through the final two weeks of the semester, I find myself overworked and underwhelmed, causing a huge rift in the schedule and the first time I think…like, EVER that the 5&1 hasn't been posted since it was under Greg's care. To attempt to make up for it, I have decided to up the dosage of 5&1 today, and make it a 10&1! Yes, the first four or five points will all essentially cover the main event of the WWE, but I hope it varies enough to be worthy of the five extra points. Let's do this!
Introducing…Your Main Event!
Two weeks ago, the world was unsure as to just what the main event was going to be come TLC. We knew it was going to be Cena and Orton. We knew both titles were going to be on the line. We knew there would be tables, and ladders, and chairs...but that's all (Actually, that's quite a bit to know, ain't it?). The word "Unification" was never brought up, and although we all speculated that to be the very route they were going, there were still many considering just what the hell we should prepare ourselves for other than a possible snoozefest. Well, two Mondaya ago, we were informed as to just WHAT the match entailed and would result in, as well as the opportunity to voice our opinion on the name of the newly crowned champion that would absolutely result in them simply "considering" our opinion. Then again, I say "our" as if I have ever voted for anything within a WWE poll while using the WWE App.
Roughly one week ago, we were given a John Cena promo that really impressed a lot, and a pull apart brawl for the ages. Within the brawl, motions were set that had Wrestlemania implications, and many fans were excited both in the stands and at home. The story, however, does seem to have a bit of a rushed feel to it. Some have speculated that this is one of those storylines that could have been milked for some hard cash as well as entertainment value.
Do I think it's rushed? In the words of a bald-headed, beer-chugging former wrestler, "Ah Hell Yeah" it is. For whatever reason, the higher ups are attempting to pop a rating for a PPV that has, historically, never done that well – during a holiday season – with a price tag that hasn't been justified in years. This has got to be one of the worst planned of events in terms of time and the maximum profit to gain. Simply put, it's December. Not even the Real Estate market is dumb enough to attempt for spikes in sales during this month. No one wants to plop down an extra $50-$60 for a PPV when they have family to shop for, and other – more viable – modes of entertainment. So why are they trying to pop the numbers for this PPV? Why are they rushing a story that could use time and a whole hell of a lot more importance to lay credence for it? I have no idea, but this has led to people speculating that there will be no decisive ending to the match – even with the verbal guarantee that Stephanie McMahon has given us. This wouldn't shock anyone considering the last four or so PPV's have had anything but a concrete, no-nonsense ending.
You Decide: Is the current main event storyline being rushed?
Do We Need Two Titles?
The short answer is no. The WWE has damaged the integrity and usefulness of the Big Gold belt for some time, now, and shows no signs in attempting to repair it. What used to be an equal footing (or, at least, somewhat close) to the WWE Title, has become secondary - and in some cases tertiary. Yes, there were moments in time when the WWE Title fell as low as beneath the IC title in terms of importance, and that's just a sad statement to type out. Too many times we IWC pundits attempt to fix a business we may very well know little about, but if there's one thing that we can all agree on, it's the fact that a title can very much be used as a springboard for popularity, which, as a byproduct, could result in profit via merchandise. Therein lies my continued issue with the WWE. It's not just one thing that I can pinpoint as a problem for the company both in an entertainment value and in a fiscal value, but rather a grand idea behind the momentum (or lack thereof) that is created due to the way they handle things. They've got and have created so many tools (the Money in the Bank Briefcase, titles, etc) to be able to create compelling storylines that circle these items for months on end. A title is about as important as its made, and we've complained over and over regarding certain titles and their lack of prestige. I can say that yes, the WHC is nowher near as important as it once was, but whose fault is that? It tends to fall back on the wrestlers that have held it, but I think we all see who and where the blame lays with.
Yet the question still remains; do we need the title? At this point, no. The brand extension hasn't been a term used in years. The title has only just become something worthy of being called a Championship due to John Cena holding it, and even he wants to get rid of it. Smackdown no longer feels like its own show, and instead feels like an extension of RAW (a whole other issue, I feel). So, no, the title simply isn't needed – at least, not in its present state. Of course, its present state is all it's going to be until perhaps another ten years when the brand extension is a good idea again? Then again, I doubt it will ever happen. So you see, the return to one title – while we can harp about lack of new players at the top and less to fight for – is and was most likely going to happen sooner rather than later. I don't find a problem with it, and I'm very interested to see it go down. I think where the problem lies is in the execution, in the players, and in ever looming nose of one Triple H…
You Decide: Do we need both titles?
Did Monday Night Help?
Monday seemed to really tip the scales for some fans in terms of their interest in the title feud this coming Sunday. In case you missed it, the most important part is below:
Now, many people are claiming that Cena really caused them to buy into the PPV due to his shoot-like promo, and some reports claim that the words were so real, they hurt Orton's feelings, causing an outrage in the back. Others claim that the best part of the entire segment was the crowd hijacking Triple H's promo and showing him just who the hell we really loved. Even others were claiming that the end pull-apart brawl what did it, and to be honest, if I had to side with anyone, it'd be the few in the latter. Having Bryan get a knee in to HBK after he gave Punk a taste of his boot was glorious, and effectively brought Bryan and Punk back into the main event (more on that later). Having Trips Pedigree Orton could lead to some interesting moments in the future. Mark Henry wore salmon one more time. It was great.
Still, I couldn't help but dislike a few moments within the promo, namely the very moments that fans enjoyed as a sign of greatness. First, let's talk about Cena and how he somewhat pandered to the Washington crowd by using Bryan. Look, I'm glad Cena is giving props to Bryan, and it's nice to see a "rub" of sorts being handed over to him. But still, what did that do besides point out the fact that Cena and Orton are the top dogs, and Bryan had his chance. During the RAW Report, someone pointed out why I questioned it, considering storyline-wise, the Authority wouldn't want Bryan to be anywhere near the title. While that's true, and watching with a fan's eye, I can see the validity behind that, I can't hide behind that sentiment. The thing is, the entire Bryan fiasco from earlier this year left a bad taste in everyone's mouth, and if they TRULY TRULY had a plan that culminates at the Rumble or at Mania, then color me surprised as all hell. What's most likely, however, is that there was a lot of truth displayed on the screen in that Bryan simply isn't the face that they wanted.
Then, we move on to the crowd-control, or lack thereof. I love vocal crowds, for the most part, and Washington's crowd was on fire the bulk of the night. I'm sure WWE was aware that being in Bryan's homestate meant they were going to have a hell of a battle going out there, and although Triple H's smug face showed some heel tendencies, I feel that this had to upset him at least a little. I cannot side with the people that say the crowd controlled this segment, however, because everything went as planned anyway. What bugs me about this is that the crowd could have continued their chants forever, and it doesn't change what has happened to Bryan or what WILL happen to Bryan in the future. In essence, the crowd has had and did have ZERO effect, at least on the segment at hand.
So did Monday help sell the event? I think perhaps it did. I think that the brawl really set the stage for some solid stuff come the future, but I can't just jump up and down at a drastic change that I feel may not be happening any time soon – if ever.
You Decide: Did Monday Night change your mind about the TLC PPV?
What About Daniel Bryan and CM Punk?
Before Monday night, these two internet darlings were heading into TLC with storylines that had little to do with The Authority, even with the ties that were obvious and apparent. This caused me to believe that gone were the days of Punk and Bryan in the main event, and although it saddened me to never truly see Bryan get his legit run, the fact that he and Punk – as well as The Shield and The Wyatts – have been some of the most compelling and active participants in the best wrestling of the year really excited me in where they were going with all eight of these men. Harper and Rowan have proven to at least be willing to try and keep up with Bryan. Bray has one of the best characters to date. Punk is Punk. The Shield continue to be all sorts of awesome, even with an impending breakup hanging over their heads. The entirety of the group is nothing short of amazing.
Then Monday happened, and if there is something that excited me above all else, it's the re-introduction of Bryan and Punk back where they belong. I've long since believed that the main event needn't be the last match, or even a match for the title. In fact, a great promotion will have some semblance of emotion and pathos within all of their storylines, even the most base. I also said, once this Authority thing began to take off, that the best way to utilize it is to incorporate as many superstars as possible within it, even if loosely. That's precisely what happened Monday night, and seeds for HBK vs Bryan, Triple H vs Punk, Orton vs HHH, were all built up as possibilities. Whether these come to fruition or not has yet to be seen, but the potential is there, and I'm much more excited about that than any unification match between Orton and Cena. Of course, one of these matches that I seemingly just threw in as a potential may upset some people, which leads me to another sub-point.
We don't truly know if HBK would be willing to come back for a match with Bryan, as he's been a-huntin for quite some time and seems to be getting quite comfortable in beard and. I think what most people would complain about would be him going back on retirement, but if wrestling has taught us anything, it's that "retiring" means jack shit. More than that, I don't see an issue with HBK coming back for "one more match" if it's going to be against a student of is and if it's going to be, possibly, one of the greatest matches of the year. HBK didn't exactly leave the ring limping, and that's another reason I don't feel too bad about it. The return of Hulk Hogan is being rumored, and i'm dreading it – namely due to personality, but also because the man is mostly plastic by now, ain't he? HBK, on the other hand, didn't leave broken – he left on top, and healthy enough to possibly come back if he wanted to. Sign me up.
Your Turn: Where do you see Punk and Bryan come the Rumble?
Will There Be A Decisive End?
So when all is said and done, who will be the "new" face of the WWE? If we are to accept the main event as is (and we really have no choice but to do so), then who will carry us over onto Mania. Signs of a heel turn are apparent, there is dissension between Orton and HHH, and compelling players are in the hallways waiting to pounce. What about The Shield; will they be a part of the ending at all? A TLC match is a NO DQ match, meaning anything can happen, and the only thing we are guaranteed is a winner. Even that is in question considering the past few months we've had to endure as fans. So I ask you….
It appears that the beautiful Audrey Marie couldn't surpass the little vixen that is Paige. With the end of Audrey Marie, will we see the rise of Paige? We will find out this week, as she goes up against another NXT favorite; Emma!
Voting ends Wednesday night and you can vote once every hour!
World Heavyweight Champion John Cena vs. WWE Champion Randy Orton (Tables, Ladders & Chairs Match)
Even though I questioned it above, I find that there will be a decisive winner, and it will be John Cena. I don't see Cena turning heel, but I feel him siding with the Authority will happen until he begins to question his moral compass and eventually rise above the hate that Trips and Steph will eventually spew. Winner: John Cena
Daniel Bryan vs. The Wyatt Family (3-on-1 Handicap Match)
Predicting a handicap match shouldn't be this tough, as the winner should be pretty damned decisive considering how big all three men are both compared to Bryan and not. While I think the match will be a good one, I think Bryan is going to be losing in a bit of a convincing fashion. The only way I see this going well is if Punk is with him, but even then….Bryan shouldn't win this. Winners: The Wyatt Family
CM Punk vs. The Shield (3-on-1 Handicap Match)
Basically, all that I said above regarding Bryan and the Wyatts applies here, as a three-on-one shouldn't be something that Punk or Bryan should be able to withstand. I'd say that Punk has a bit of a better chance, however, due to the dissension that has been going on within The Shield, and the possible break up that we have heard about for months seems to be coming to fruition here. Roman Reigns may very well be making his first break just in time to eliminate 12 people from the Royal Rumble. With that being said, I think I'll pick Punk to win. Winner: CM Punk
Divas Champion AJ lee vs. Natalya
Oh come on…. Winner: AJ Lee
Intercontinental Champion Big E Langston vs. Damien Sandow
An actual feud for the IC Title that people are interested in! Yay! While I love Sandow and all that he's growing into – and I still feel he never should have lost the blue briefcase – I can why they are doing what they are doing with him. I don't think that Sandow will be taking the title from Big E, but keeping him in the loop may be in the best interest of everyone around. Winner: Big E Langston
Dolph Ziggler vs. Fandango (Kickoff Match)
Poor Dolph. Of course, Kickoff match doesn't always spell the demise of a push, and Dolph is young enough to eventually get in the main event. Still, this should be a good opening to get the crowd pumped, and had it the least bit of storyline behind it, would be all the more interesting. There's simply no way Fandango is winning this one. Winner: Dolph Ziggler
Your Turn: Let me know your predictions below!!!
With the holiday season looming over us, I thought it'd be a good time to tell you all Merry Christmas and thank you for the welcome to the 5&1 spot on 411mania.com. I had considered taking the rest of the year off, but I have an idea that may work out for all of us, which you will see next week.
I recall a time when DeMarco would respond to every comment that was posted, and it was not only ballsy, but ambitious. While I simply don't have that time, I want to leave The One spot open from here on out as a collective response to the lot of you. Think of it as a fireside chat with Tony. I won't focus on last week's comments, but will instead wait for this week. It's my hope the communal effort will not go unnoticed and be about as fun as the weekly Raw Report's banter is.
I'm With AJ Lee…
About the author:
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. School's Out is a short story that found the author arrested due to the severity of its content. Both can be found on amazon.com.
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.
HALL OF FAME 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.