The Wrestling 5 & 1 4.26.14: Stephanie McMahon vs Brie Bella
Posted by Tony Acero on 04.26.2014
Stacy Kiebler is your "& 1" Model of the Week, Brie Bella battles Stephanie McMahon in Vs, thoughts on AJ losing the title, ruminations on the Ultimate Warrior and more!
Hey everyone! I took a much needed break from the ol 5&1 and although I didn't tell you guys, it has somewhat been planned for a while. I figured I would do it some time after Mania, but I didn't think that I'd miss some of the biggest stories of the year. Considering the news of yesterweek is somewhat still relevant, I wanted to play catch up before heading onto the future of the WWE and the like. With that being said, we're going to talk a bit about Warrior, Taker, and AJ (of course) then be back to our regularly scheduled program next week. I've missed you fucks.
THE WARRIOR IN ALL OF US
Let me preface this by saying that I have never been an Ultimate Warrior fan. In my youth, there was only ever one man that kept the fandom alive, and it's with a heavy heart to see his streak end (which we'll get to). The Ultimate Warrior, to me, was a bit too much and although the incoherence of his promos were lost amongst many, I used to sit in stupor as to just what the hell this guy's problem was. This, of course, came at a time when I was far too young to even appreciate the random nature of he and his ways. When I looked back on The Ultimate Warrior's career, a lot of scuttlebutt was that he was simply not a good person. Whether it was his erratic behavior, or just the fact that he wasn't all right in the head, there was always something that made interest in him just unlikely from my perspective. Couple that with an entire DVD compilation essentially chronicling his professional demise, I had no investment to be made.
With that being said, I simply can't sit here and celebrate the man as a fan of his body of work. Still, that means nothing towards appreciation of life and the reality of yet another one of our beloved ring warriors leaving possibly before they should have, and that's precisely what I want to focus on. Simply put, this business can be a deadly one, and although the WWE has made leaps and bounds towards successfully helping and enhancing lives of those past and present, there's still a stigma over the entirety of wrestling that simply will not leave, just ask that blonde chick on CNN whose name alludes me ;). As of this writing, I have no idea what caused Warrior's heart attack, nor does it matter to me whether it was past mistakes, present vices, or an act of sweet baby Jesus. The facts are that if there's any ONE thing we wrestling fans feel, it's a sense of unity - of family - amongst the brethren that spend their time in that ring. We look at Daniel Bryan as our best friend who just needs that one chance. We look at AJ as an instantly relatable chick that would play Madden with us at the drop of a hat. We look at these guys, and when we talk to them we realize that they are most times just as nerdy as us. (Honestly, ask Cody Rhodes about The Ocarina of Time). Even you, reader, who may lambast any one of us writers at any time, still return and read and enjoy, and comment. We are all this one, huge family - yes, even Watry.
Within a family, there are always the troublemakers. If you don't have one, you most likely are one. There's the drunk uncle, the mean Aunt, the frightening grandmother, the respected helm of the household, the quirky cousin. Now look at the IWC, or even wrestling as a whole. There are roles that are fulfilled, and if Ultimate Warrior was ever one of those roles, he most likely sat pretty on the helm of "Crazy Uncle Who you Couldn't Help but Love But Always Worried About." Yeah, long title, but tell me you don't have one....He's the one you didn't always liked as a person, but his character was just outstanding. In coming weeks, things will be uncovered that put him in a negative light, and whether it was an act of God, or a literal catching up of past mistakes, in my opinion, is completely irrelevant.
So this goes out to the crazy Uncle that was The Ultimate Warrior, who had a chance that rarely is ever given to us as fans. Rare is it that a hero is able to hit that ring one more time to tell us how appreciative he is of us and how we, too, are warriors. I remember writing during the RAW report that Warrior's promo seemed all together rather pointless. Little did I know how important it would be not just to the man, but to the fanbase as an entirety.
Thank you, Warrior. I was never a fan, but I will always be family.
In other, slightly less depressing news, The Streak as we know it, is over. Wrestlemania XXX was fun, as I spent it in the comfort of Michael Ornelas' fort. The first hour and a half of the show was full of fun, and made me feel like we were witnessing something memorable. It was a change of the guard, and an exciting time. I had little to complain about; there were no celebrity sightings, no pointless music interludes, no unnecessary backstage promotions (even the ONE that did show was perfectly acceptable).
Then The Undertaker vs Brock Lesnar happened. Now look, we can all speculate as to who knew, when they knew, how many people knew, or whether "an audible" was called, but does any of that really matter? The Streak - the one constant in the wrestling world - is over. I was a true believer in that Streak staying intact- becoming a legacy (even though, in all actuality, it already is), and riding off into the sunset just the same The Undertaker would. DeMarco and I have had arguments over The Streak more than anything, I think, and one argument he would always bring up that I neglected to ever realize was the simple fact that The Undertaker is one of the last of a dying breed that holds certain traditions as holy; one such being "going out on your back."
My immediate response was similar to the now famous meme going around (and damned WWE for getting a hold of him before I could) in that I was in complete disbelief and waited...for a long time, to be honest, for the decision to be reversed, or for something - anything - to happen that would alter the end result. It never happened, and once the dust settled, I saw a broken man who struggled to even get to the back.
It was then, while he stared around at the arena like it might be the last time he'd do such a thing, that I realized that this man in the ring wasn't just one of the last of a dying breed...he may very well be THE LAST, and if Monday Night RAW was any indication, then the official door of the past is closed. From The Rock, Austin, and Hulk cheering to the future as an open, to Taker losing, and to the impeding debuts of some newbs in the coming future, there is a huge change in the fabric of the WWE.
This, of course, begs questioning towards the man who beat The Streak - Brock Lesnar. He's hardly a spring chick, and according to many, most likely won't be spending much more time around the WWE (although, he also may - how's that for some 411 reporting). Make no mistake about any of this, The Undertaker decided who would end the streak, and he chose Brock Lesnar to do so. One of my biggest arguments towards beating the streak is that simply no one would be able to carry the burden - heel or face - and no matter how many people thought it possible, it would NEVER make a career and only serve to stifle or break a career. Brock is certainly not my choice - as I've said, I simply wouldn't end it. But, if we are to realize that The Undertaker is an old school type of guy, and we are to believe that it was his choice to end The Streak, then maybe - just maybe - Brock (with Paul Heyman) was the right choice.
I'm not one to decide, and neither are you. It's my job to generate conversation, and I've had enough time to talk to myself. What about you?
Your Turn: How would you have ended the streak?
The better Bella won last time we met, and Brie is well on her way to face the bottom row of the HOB. This week she's facing a woman with a bit of power behind her. Let's see if that translates to a win!
Voting ends Wednesday night and you can vote once every hour!
And then we have this bullshit…How DARE this pale little tart come into HER ring and take AJ out with a – what – a sweep? This isn't Karate Kid! Paige knew exactly what she was doing when she walked her ass down the ramp. AJ had just beaten God knows how many other bimbos that couldn't lace her Chuck Taylors! She was beyond tired and simply unprepared. Paige's win was a fluke and should be revoked from the record books, the title handed back to AJ, and Paige should go back to the black and yellow land of NXT, damnit!
Now that I have all of that out of my system, this was a great move by the E, and although it'll hurt to see AJ off of TV, I'm sure the people who feel that way are becoming less and less vocal. AJ held the title for quite some time and deserves some time off with her alleged hubby to be. As for Paige, she is new to the scene and finally got the call up, which was both deserving and a pleasure to see. Since the win, she's brought out some ok to good matches with the likes of Alicia Fox and Aksana. I'm looking forward to her reign, as well as who they choose as a viable opponent, because Tamina certainly ain't it.
Let's hope the damage isn't permanent…
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.