The Wrestling 5&1 2.01.14: Eve Torres vs Michelle McCool
Posted by Tony Acero on 02.01.2014
Eve Torres battles Michelle McCool in Vs, an extensive look at the departure of CM Punk, Aksana is your "& 1" Model of the Week and more!
The Rumble has come and gone, and all of one match correctly. Other than that, no news out there to talk about, really. Nope, no news at all…I mean, unless you count that whole Punk walking out thing news. You do? Well let's talk about it!
CM Punk is Tired of Your Shit
Let's summarize a bit, ey? Basically, words got out that CM Punk had a meeting with Vince McMahon on Monday night, only minutes before the show was to start, regarding possible rewrites and the direction his character – and the direction of the WWE as a whole, presumably – was heading. This talk was to air grievances and possibly cover the status and future of one CM Punk. Apparently, it didn't go well, and Punk walked out of the office in a huff, heading home for the foreseeable future. The WWE pulled all ads for future Punk appearances, and even *gasp* stopped following him on Twitter! Depending on who you believe, the actions of Punk stem from a number of things, from Batista coming back for the Mania main event to Daniel Bryan not being the man in the top spot. Either way, one thing is for sure – CM Punk was not on RAW this past Monday night, and doesn't seem to be showing up any time soon.
Of course, with anything, the biggest question isn't whether or not we will see Punk again, but whether or not this is a work. In the day and age of the internet, and the fact that Punk was actually under contract while his infamous "walk out" a few years ago, questions rise whether this thing is all some elaborate ruse to help explain Punk yearning to just chill out a bit for a while. Facts of his financial security and stability help to heighten the fact that he doesn't "need" the WWE, and a lot of people are quick to defend the man for his balls and continuous efforts to stand up for the "Voice of the Voiceless", but there is another, smaller camp, that feels he may not be the smartest man – including one man who did exactly what Punk did what seems like forever ago. Stone Cold Steve Austin once walked out of the WWE because he didn't want to the up and rising Brock Lesnar, and although some backed him up fully at the time, Austin himself claims that it wasn't the brightest idea, and has some regrets in doing so.
There are most recent reports claiming that it's neither a work, nor real, but both. With Punk's contract really ending in July, and Punk's injuries taking a toll on him – as well as the road – could it be that Punk is truly on his way out, and wants to create an elaborate story to help him go out with a bang? If so, wouldn't it make sense for Punk to air grievances that I'm sure the WWE has seen online for months now? Part-timers taking spotlights, Daniel Bryan being pushed down the card, Punk possibly never touching the main event scene, etc? Then again, if it is a work, what will this really do? The Mania match proposed was HHH and Punk, and this additional nugget of storyline development doesn't a) fall in line or b) really heighten any interest in the program that isn't already there.
So, with interviews showing Punk being noticeably perturbed by the direction of the creative aspect of the WWE, and interviews of Punk claiming he has no interest in resigning once his contract expires; with Punk not necessarily needing another paycheck and seemingly not interested at all in a match with HHH, is the entire walking out thing valid and able to comprehend on a level that makes sense, or is this an elaborate work for the IWC pundits who bite on any bit of "reality" behind our favorite fake television show?
Your Turn: Is the Punk Incident a work or legit? Is it possible to be both?
If It's A Work…
I'm really not leaning towards this direction, but if it is a work, we have to question why – and what comes of it? The John Cena – CM Punk program was a work, but it infused real situations and came off really, really well. The pipebomb moment will live in infamy and continues to be one of prime examples to show someone when asked why we watch wrestling. This, however, doesn't even have an audience except for us, so what does it bring to the table?
Well, if we are to believe that The Authority is Punk's major target, and he's finally fed up with the doofus son-in-law, then perhaps this is the final moment, and maybe – just maybe – there was a camera around to film some of this closed-door meeting between Punk and Vince. Rumors flew months ago that Vince would be coming back to help Bryan survive the onslaught of unfairness from Triple H and Co. Maybe Vince is going to do just that, but for Punk? Punk – as we know – is a smart man, a Heyman guy, and knows the business as well as the possibility for storylines that have edge and bring something new to the table. Vince is out of touch, and Punk knows how big the internet is not just to his career, but to Bryan's and various others. This "blow-up" and subsequent walk out could be used as one more morsel in the storyline between Punk and HHH. The timing seems off, but there's still miles to go before we get to the big dance, and with a small period of "absence" to give Punk some time off, and Triple H the chance to run him down on the show, maybe it'll make the inevitable match all the more enticing come the big dance.
Another line of defense towards this being a work is, as noted before, the timing. Punk had to have known where he was heading to months ago, as we all saw the writing on the wall. We all knew that what Punk was leading to with his promos against The Authority, and the matches against The Shield, was an eventual match with Triple H. The pit stop with Kane made sense, the promos made sense, it wasn't like Punk was sitting there thinkin, "Gee, I hope they put me in the Main Event at Mania…I bet I could get squeezed in there somehow." No, he knew where he was going and where it was happening. Besides, a match with Triple H, on Mania, with a good enough storyline, could very well BE main event status. No, I'm not saying Triple H has that much clout in the eyes of a wrestling fan, but over the course of the last few years, the "Main Event" of Wrestlemania was hardly even considered the Main Event. Case in point, The Undertaker vs CM Punk. It was lauded as the main event of last year's Mania. It had all the emotion and pathos necessary to make a great match and what some considered the match of the year.
Your Turn: If it's a Work, does it make you any more interested in the program?
If It's Not A Work…
I'm leaning more towards this avenue, to be honest, although at the same time, I don't take it as seriously as most people are for one main reason: no one man is bigger than the WWE. Whether this is a positive or negative notion is quite irrelevant, but it doesn't alter the validity of the statement. Now some can bring up the argument that they have focused on any one man for the past few years. The Rock, Batista, Lesnar, could all be considered one man "bigger" than the WWE due to the fact that the WWE returns to them for a big pop in ratings, merch, etc. I can't side with that reaction mainly because if none of these men ever came back again, the WWE would still chug along. It wouldn't struggle, it wouldn't NEED these guys, it wouldn't fall. No, the WWE does not NEED these guys, nor do they NEED Punk. What this all equates to is the fact that Punk, even with all of his glory and his importance, even with all the love I – and many others – have for the WWE, he didn't truly mess up anything, nor will his statement cause such a depressing state in the locker room that they'll beg for him to come back.
The common argument now is that Punk is simply standing up for the little guy, standing up for what he believes in, and standing up for his possible Main Event spot on the Wrestlemania card. These can all be considered noble, but also very stupid. Standing up for oneself, sure, that works for me. Standing up for Bryan? Can any of us truly believe that Bryan is unhappy? Some people (read: Jericho) are just the type of people to be happy with where they are, and appreciate the world around him. Would I like to see Bryan in the main event at Mania? Hell yeah! But let's say it happens…what do we do then? We cheer, we are happy, we stand and scream at our television as confetti falls….then what? Then we complain about something else. It's what we do. What those who side with this argument fail to realize is that wrestling is cyclical, and some of these guys that never taste the glory to the top have no issues with that fact. In fact, WE may very well want to see Bryan at the top more than HE wants to. Back to Punk; if he wants to defend his buddy, that's all well and good. If he feels he has nothing to lose, that's fine. If he is upset with his spot on the card come Mania, then even that's fine, but I won't hip hip hooray the man for doing so, because in the end, it won't mean anything but a CM Punk-less wrestling product, which sucks.
Of course, this doesn't spell out anger towards Punk for not doing what we love for him to do. On the contrary, I'd like to thank Punk for his contributions and wish him well. He's financially stable, has a mindset for the product, and has some issues he needs to work out regarding his body. He's got injuries and is burnt out. He deserves time off, and whether this is an elaborate work to get him that rest, or it's Punk just tired of the grind, the product, the part-timers, and Daniel Bryan getting screwed, then we an only hope that his voice doesn't fall on deaf ears.
Your Turn: Is Punk right or wrong in walking out?
Layla is BACK IN THE HOB!!! After a couple of months sitting on the sidelines and plotting her revenge against Kaitlyn, it appears that she made it back in the halls! Her toughest competition was Eve, who only just barely lost, and because of that, I figured it only fair to give Eve a fair shot! Welcome back, Layla!!
I'll be sure to update the image next week!
Voting ends Wednesday night and you can vote once every hour!
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.