The Wrestling 5 & 1 5.23.14: Velvet Sky vs. Lana
Posted by Tony Acero on 05.24.2014
Kelly Kelly is your "& 1" Model of the Week and Velvet Sky battles Lana in Vs! Plus thoughts on WWE using too many gimmick matches, the rise of Sheamus and more!
If a chokeslam is made in an empty arena, does it truly exist? Fuck if I know. Welcome to The Wrestling 5&1! The WWE is reportedly in a bunch of financial troubles, but I'm not JP Prag, so you won't be getting any coverage worthy of print here. No, we lowly folks at the 5&1 like to hit the simple stuff, like gimmick matches and female bodies!
Is the WWE Gimmick Crazy?
This stems from last week's RAW using the Beat the Clock Challenge to crown the new Number One Contender for the Intercontinental Championship as well as a question asked in This Week's Fact or Fiction. Truth be told, I spoke about this a bit in my podcast after RAW in regards to the Beat the Clock Challenge specifically, but let's open up the doors to discussion a bit more than that. We saw the United States Champion crowned with the tired and uninspired Battle Royal. We saw the Intercontinental Champion, Big E, lose his title to Wade Barrett after Barrett successfully went through a tournament to get the shot. Some may claim that having a Beat the Clock Challenge immediately after is somewhat of a cop out – an easier way to get a contender than just naming someone, or having a single match or attack on the champ. This sentiment, I both disagree and agree with, but for very different reasons. Let's split up the camps and see if I can't defend both without putting my foot in my mouth…cuz honestly, who wants that?
Why I Agree
It's easy to side with the fact that we'd much rather see an awesome tournament or Beat the Clock Challenge to crown a contender moreso than something lazy and uninspired. In many ways, this enhances the importance of the belt, as it means there are literally numerous wrestlers interested and vying for the shot – JUST A SHOT – for the title. It means the champion is someone worthy of being, and the belt is worth going through 2-3 OTHER men just for the opportunity. The IC Title Tournament gave us amazing matches, in my opinion, and really showed that these guys are at a similar level. In some ways, it leveled a playing field that has been so sporadic in recent times. Look at Barrett, who was really floundering – even if he was creating gold with his newest character and 176th push. He finally latched onto something that worked, and I think that, aside from character, the tournament has a lot to do with it. It's a tool that has been used to perfection, as Wade can now talk about how many men he beat just to get the chance to be the IC Champion we "need."
Then we have Sheamus, who won the US Championship in a Battle Royal. Although the match was about as entertaining as a battle royal usually is, it gave Sheamus a bit of an edge that was possibly necessary due to the lack of push or even relevance that Sheamus was experiencing since returning from injury. Aside from the help it lent Sheamus, it also allowed the storyline between The Shield and Triple H to grow into something more intense. It was Triple H using his power to draw blood. Ambrose losing the US Title in a match against Sheamus would have most likely been lackluster, as the battle royal was moreso the ultimate stacking of the deck, allowing him to truly feel like an underdog – and he lasted till the end, almost making me believe that he had a chance. It was a positive outcome for more than one, and that's truly what I feel a gimmick match should be able to intensify, which leads me to….
Why I Disagree
While I hold true to all of my statements above, I think I drew the line during the Beat the Clock Challenge. The battle royal for the US Title had some semblance of intrigue, even if it took about 10 men being eliminated before it existed. The tournament that Wade won created an opportunity for amazing matches, as well as giving clout to those involved that they otherwise would not have had. They both, in my opinion, gave way more importance to the title and the men involved than previous programs for the titles have done. The Beat the Clock Challenge, however, felt very, very uninspired. I felt that literally each match was a means to an end (and yes, we can argue that every match is simply that, but there's typically a sense of urgency). It's ironic, then that I felt no sense of urgency in a match idea that is meant to create just that. Perhaps it was the winner, but RVD has grown quite stale in my opinion, and I don't care how close he got to 4:20, I didn't want or need the win from him. There seemed to be a complete feeling of apathy towards the BtC Challenge I felt while watching, and recapping. The matches were lackluster and short – almost the complete opposite of the IC Tournament, and this lead me to ask whether it was the gimmick itself, or the fact that the outcome simply wasn't what I wanted. I think the answer lies in the fact that there were three matches and nothing will come of the results other than RVD facing Barrett. As I alluded to earlier, this was an opportunity to create something out of nothing. While I'm not big on fantasy booking, what if that loss that Dolph had added to the irritation that he is feeling to the point that he just goes bat shit crazy on Henry with a chair? Or what if, due to his loss, Big E attacked Dolph? They have history and neither will be doing anything, most likely – why not give them something to do? I think that if they're going to use gimmicks such as this to enhance a title, they are missing opportunities to do the same thing with the wrestlers involved.
In the End
So now we are here. The tournament is over, and Wade is champ. The Battle Royal is done, and Sheamus has the Red, White, and Blue. The Beat the Clock Challenge has succumbed to RVD's skills, and now he's got a chance at the title. We have built the champions and challengers as something viable enough to care about, but here comes the true test….will they do anything about it? Too many times, we've seen the injection of intensity into the intercontinental title only for it to peter out like a deflating balloon simply because someone stopped caring. I believe it was commenter AG Awesome who "really hope[d]" they start an actual feud for these belts instead of an endless string of matches – no matter how great. Now that we have the severity of the title, and what it means, let's inject a little bit of fiction within and see what grows out of it, WWE.
Your Turn: Do Gimmick Matches help or hurt titles and contenders?
The fourth week saw Harry and I cover the smaller portions of RAW, ignoring the main event storylines with the hopes that the undercard would get proper spotlight, and it worked out greatly. Feel free to check out more regarding gimmick matches and what they meant to us immediately after RAW!
It's sure to be a game of good cop/bad cop as Harry and Tony entertain your calls and breakdown the happenings of WWE Monday Night Raw! Join hosts Harry Broadhurst (commentator for Real Action Pro Wrestling and Black Diamond Wrestling) and Tony Acero (411Mania.com, The Greg DeMarco Show) as they provide immediate reaction and analysis of wrestling's biggest show—WWE Monday Night Raw. The wrestling week peaks on Monday night with WWE Raw Reaction—only on Powerhouse Radio!
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Lana has done it! She's made it through the fourth week! This means she gets a chance at the bottom row! Mickie James damn near pulled it off, and I'll have to remember that for future reference, but this month belongs to Lana! Let's see how she fairs against the bottom row of the Hall of Bang!
Anyway, let's see how she does against one of TNA's finest….VELVET SKY!!
Voting ends Wednesday night and you can vote once every hour!
SS87 is one of many who voted for Mickie due to her "flimsy skirt days," I'm sure! But it wasn't enough! Sorry claremont31! Among the Mickie lovers, AdamMcc83 feels Bryan may be losing the title soon, with his injury being the main reason and feels that regaining the title the moment he comes back is vital to the survival of Bryan as Champion. I can't disagree, but I will say that there seems to be some strength in him holding onto the title, almost as if they trust he'll be able to be out of action and still hold the title. Cause_I_Can seems to be joining me in the idea that Lana's "flavor of the month" presence has a lot to do with the win, but the votes are speaking in volumes! KipSmither is hardcore. %_* is completely against the unification of the titles, and I can't agree more. His idea behind unifying them, however, seems a bit complex. Let's just keep em separate. katamari damacy brings the past into his argument and I can't say he doesn't have a point…homeboy does. CS 22 speaks about Bryan as if he's dying, and although I agree with the first half of his comment, we can't truly believe that this is Bryan's only run or chance. No, I see much more for him in the future. Jeffrey wants Bryan stripped of the title for his own good, and feels Bryan needs to remove the diving headbutt out of his repertoire. Side note: I spelled repertoire correctly for like the first time, ever, without spell check. You guys are awesome, by the way!
Kelly Kelly Kelly Kelly Kelly Kelly Kelly!!!
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.