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The Wrestling 5 & 1 01.19.13: Kelly Kelly and The Final Four of the Versus Royal Rumble!

January 19, 2013 | Posted by Greg De Marco

I’m baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack! Tony’s in the trunk. You don’t talk back to Greg DeMarco.

BRING ON THE GIRLS!

Eleven weeks long, the Versus Royal Rumble features the women who have come so close to the Hall of Bang—three time winners Mickie James (who did it twice), Stacy Keibler, Gail Kim, Lita and Christy Hemme. It also features two former hall members in Brooke Tessmacher and Taryn Terrell. Add in twenty three more women from the WWE, TNA, NXT, the indies, overseas, old school ladies and more!

The results are in, and three more women were eliminated in the seventh week of The Versus Royal Rumble!

Say bye to Kelly Kelly (I guess you guys were pissed that she beat Lita by one vote) and Christy Hemme (who once nearly joined the Hall of Bang herself).

Now it’s back to you—the reader—to pick TWO more women to eliminate. That’s right, you are NOT voting for winner, you are voting for someone to get eliminated. Two of them. We’ll continue t narrow the field until we get to the final two. At that point, a winner will be crowned!

At stake? Oh nothing, just a spot in the 411Mania Wrestling 5&1 Hall of Bang!

So who will win? We’ll get there, but first we need to eliminate two more of these beautiful ladies. Here is the remaining field, and you can vote below. Vote for the two you want to send home, and vote often. You can vote once every 12 hours, and voting closes Tuesday night.

VOTE NOW!


The poll expires Tuesday night, and you can vote once every 12 hours. Now get voting!

Lance Armstrong? Manti Te’o? At Least Wrestling’s Supposed To Be Fake!

This was a hell of a week in the world of sports. And it makes me appreciate wrestling that much more.

Lance Armstrong was diagnosed with testicular cancer in October 1996. It spread all over—to his brain and his lungs. He went through tons of chemotherapy and full on brain and testicular surgery, and was declared cancer free in four months. He went on to win seven Tour De France races—only to have them rescinded.

After years of denial, destroying anyone who claimed otherwise, Lance Armstrong admitted to using performance enhancing drugs throughout most of his career. The admission came just this week, and Oprah Winfrey was the beneficiary of Armstorng’s admission.

Now a polarizing figure, Armstrong is both the man who dominated a sport where cheating simply allowed you to play fair with everyone else and the man who raised hundreds of millions of dollars for cancer research. Ask a die-hard sports fan what they think, and they’ll tell you Armstrong is a liar and a cheat. Ask someone who has been touched by cancer, and he’s a hero.

Manti Te’o provided the 2012 college football season with its biggest story. He was a strong defensive player on a Notre Dame squad expected to win 7 or 8 games, and grabbing a spot in a Bowl Championship Series game was looked at as a stretch.

On September 11, 2012, Manti Te’o lost two people near and dear to his heart. The first was his grandmother, a woman who had been part of his life since he was a youngster running around the island of Oahu. The second—six hours later—was his girlfriend Lennay Lekua, who died of complications from a car accident and leukemia.

This past week, the day after we all learned of Lance Armstrong’s admission to Oprah Winfrey, news was broken by Deadspin that Lennay Kekua didn’t exist. According to several reports, on December 6, 2012, Te’o received a call from the woman he thought was Kekua. A few days later, he still spoke of his girlfriend’s death at the Heisman Trophy Ceremony (where he finished second). According to Notre Dame officials, Te’o reported his odd situation to the institution on December 26. The school did not release any information and allowed the team to proceed as normal towards their BCS National Championship showdown, where they entered at #1 and clashed with then #2 Alabama.

The school stands behind Manti Te’o, claiming that he was the victim of a hoax. Many people feel otherwise, due to the people claiming to have met Kekua (something Te’o never did) and several inconsistencies in both his story and the story of several family members.

Was Te’o part of the hoax? Or was the victim of a sickening prank-gone-wrong? Did Lance Armstrong disrespect the cycling and sports worlds with a decade of performance enhancing drug abuse and numerous claims to the contrary? Or was he a hero who did more for cancer than any other modern day public figure?

I don’t know the answers to these questions, but I do know this:

The amazing story of hope and faith that is Manti Te’o is basically a lie. Lance Armstrong’s physical accomplishments after beating cancer are sorely tainted, despite being achieved in the most tainted sport in the world.

Fake. It was all fake!

When the best real-life stories of the year—and the past 15 years—turn out to be fake, there is only one way to respond.

Give me my fake wrestling any day of the week. At least I know it’s all fake going in.

You Decide: Isn’t it great watching wrestling and already knowing you shouldn’t believe it?

This past Monday, we celebrated the 20th Anniversary of RAW, and it was one of the few times I watched the show LIVE, as it was meant to be. Typically, when I get this opportunity, I head to Twitter to get a feeling of how the Internet at large feels about the show. I’d like to think that of my followers, there are a wide variety; from the smarky to the smarmy, so it’s a bit of a microcosm of the wider reaction of fans. What I found interesting was just how badly everyone hated RAW. Now, I do the Rs for the site, and I gave it a relatively low rating, but I’d like to think I gave it a low rating for different reasons. The biggest complaint throughout the show was the lack of legends and that “feel-good” moment, celebrating the 20 years this great show has been in existence. Yesterday, I posted a pretty solid bashing of the show, and tonight I am going to defend it.

It Wasn’t Advertised As A Big Deal
In the past two years, we have had any number of large shows. Remember just before the show went to three hours on a permanent basis, we had sporadic three hour shows that were meant to be specials. From Slammy Awards shows to the 1000th Episode, and various other celebratory shows, they all had one thing in common; they were hyped up the wazoo. For whatever reason, the WWE kept the advertising pretty tame for their 20th Anniversary. Not once did I feel that this was a can’t miss episode, so I went into it not expecting anything extravagent, and outside of a few video montages and interacting superstars, the show was anything but extravagant. Simply put, they didn’t make it a big deal, so we probably shouldn’t have, either.

Steve Austin and Shawn Michaels were busy be’n Texans
Another common complaint was towards these men who twitter followers claimed help make them. While that’s all fine and dandy, both Austin and Michaels were booked. True, RAW is an integral part of their fame, but do they really owe us – or the WWE – anything at this point? Really? I mean, they’re both retired, they are both doing new things completely outside the realm of wrestling, and they both seem relatively happy about it all. Yes, I too, would have loved an Austin appearance from out of the blue, but please tell me what happens anytime he shows up? Some midcarder gets stunned and we’re done. And HBK? There’s really no story his presence could add to. With the WWE being well into the swing of Mania, they could only have so much fluff (and on Monday, there was still a whole hell of a lot). Austin and HBK were simply…busy, and with them being tied up in prior obligations, why should they be getting hate for not being there for a show that wasn’t even sold as a big deal.

Shit Happens
Imagine you’re trying to throw a surprise party for a friend, but it also falls on a week where every one of those special people that just need to be there can’t make it. One cannot move their birthday, just as one cannot move an anniversary date. Sometimes shit just doesn’t work out, and maybe – just maybe – this happened with the WWE. I imagine they did what they could to reach out to the aforementioned stars and others, but perhaps it just didn’t work out and because of this, they simply said they’d put on a regular RAW and add some videos to celebrate the milestone. It certainly seems that way.

Look, I thought RAW was a pretty bad episode, and you can read about that in detail HERE! Still, there is some hate that I felt was a bit unwarranted for the show. Yes, it was the 20th Anniversary of RAW, and – yes – perhaps we expected a car with a bow in our front yard, only to get nice card, but at least we celebrated somehow.

You Decide: Does #RAW20 deserve criticism or praise?

The original content in this section has been replaced! Please enjoy my most favorite match…ever.

The Great Muta vs. Jushin Liger, 10/20/96 from the Tokyo Dome

Thanks for reading!
Greg

Two weeks ago, Tony Acero provided you all with some Royal Rumble odds. Not the typical laying down of percentages for each entrant, but taking a look at three major happenings and the likelihood of each happening. He wrote it with the intention of my posting a response.

One week late, but here it is!

Will John Cena win the Royal Rumble?
There is a simple answer, and that is “Yes.” But that isn’t exactly an “odd,” is it?

Reports are that the WWE is 100% set on the top four matches for WrestleMania 29. One can easily assume that the roles being played by The Rock and John Cena are all set, and that they will stand opposite each other at the biggest event of the year.

Now, personally, I’d go with Rock-Undertaker and Cena-CM Punk. But I don’t get to make that decision.

Assuming I’m right about the WrestleMania main event, the WWE will want to make it huge. They already advertised last year’s showdown as “Once In A Lifetime…” How can they top that?

Simply put, they can’t.

What they can do is make the match impossible to get away from. There is one sure-fire way to do that: put the WWE Championship around the waist of The Rock, and have John Cena win the Royal Rumble.

Thus, I am 90% sure John Cena will win the Royal Rumble.

Will The Rock win the WWE Championship?
In all honesty, there was no way I could answer No. 1 without spoiling the result of No. 2. So you should already know that I believe The Rock will walk out of The Royal Rumble with the WWE Championship around his waist.

But just how sure am I?

100% sure. That’s right. I am giving CM Punk a zero percent chance of leaving Phoenix as the WWE Champion. And don’t get me wrong—I would LOVE to see Punk walk into New York City as the WWE Champion. That type of reign is unheard of in this era, especially for a heel (even if he wasn’t a heel during his entire reign).

WrestleMania is Vince’s baby, and Vince cannot turn away from John Cena and The Rock doing battle over the WWE Championship in the highest grossing WrestleMania of all time.

Yes, it’s a rematch, and it’ll likely feel a little stale. Cena and Rock have been feuding since the build to WrestleMania 27—almost two years now! But the casual fans (not you, internet wrestling website reader) will pay to see it, and they’ll pay to see it at WrestleMania for a third time, two.

So while I can easily name off five guys I’d rather see The Rock face at ‘Mania—The Undertaker, Randy Orton, Brock Lesnar, CM Punk, Sheamus—I live in a place called reality. The reality of the situation is that The Rock will win the WWE Championship at the Royal Rumble, and he’ll face the Royal Rumble winner, John Cena, in the main event of WrestleMania 29.

Will Dolph Ziggler Cash in at the Royal Rumble?
At WWE TLC, people were calling a victory over John Cena—in a ladder match with AJ Lee interference—”a signature win” for Dolph Ziggler. After the way he’s been treated, can we really call it that?

I think not.

The fact is, the WWE isn’t looking at Dolph Ziggler in the same way “we” are. (With “we” being the internet wrestling community.) They obviously see him in one of two ways: Mr. Perfect or Shawn Michaels.

Mr. Perfect was an amazing in-ring talent who also had good promo skills. He lived at the mid-card level, although he did main event house shows and television shows. Sounds familiar? In the WWE of today, Curt Hennig would likely fill the same exact role as Dolph Ziggler. An amazing wrestler who can make any face look like a million bucks. But not a guy you can build around.

Shawn Michaels was an amazing in-ring talent who also had good promo skills. He was always viewed as a great talent, and he ascended to the main event level when the WWE needed someone there—and he never left. By the time he won the WWF Championship, many already saw him as the best performer in the company. He didn’t need to be elevated.

See, we’re all waiting for the WWE to elevate Dolph Ziggler. But they aren’t going to do it. That’s because they either see him as Mr. Perfect (a guy who they’ll never elevate to the level of a long-term main eventer) or Shawn Michaels (a guy who is already a main eventer and doesn’t need to be elevated).

What does it all mean? It means that we need to figure out how the WWE looks at Ziggler to see how his Money in the Bank cash-in will go. I think the WWE sees him as a guy who is already a bona fide main eventer. Not in need of elevation. We’re all waiting for “his moment,” and they don’t see him as needing one.

I don’t think he’ll cash in at the Royal Rumble, it’s a waste of a “main eventer’s” opportunistic turn. That’ll likely be a building point of WrestleMania, where Ziggler won’t have an announced match—just a graphic asking “will Ziggler cash in?” He might even be the special guest referee for the World Heavyweight Championship match, just to build the suspense.

But for the purposes of this column? 5% chance. As in “I guess it could happen, but I seriously don’t think it will.”

You Decide: What are the chances of these three major storyline milestones happening at The Royal Rumble pay-per-view?

This week on The Greg DeMarco Show, Greg and Patrick were joined by two amazing guests, discussed the change to TNA’s pay-per-view model, the booking of TNA Genesis, Christopher Daniels upcoming world title shot and RAW’s 20th Anniversary Show!

Australian sensation Niki Nitro returns to The Greg DeMarco Show! Niki first joined the show in 2012 and provided listeners with a taste of “The Land Down Under” that we won’t ever forget. This pro wrestler, stunt woman and magician’s assistant has added television star to her resume, and she shares her experiences on the set of Housos—where she plays Hayley Housos. Niki will also brought everyone up to speed on her upcoming trip to the United States, talked about the popular sports of the land down under, and clarified the differences between Rugby and Australian Rules Football.

Just a few days before their big debut, Pro Wrestling Collision executive Adam Testa returned to the program to discuss the split from All American Pro Wrestling, the reaction to the new promotion and the company’s plans headed into their first show. Adam also had a surprise call from Alex Castle, a disgruntled member of the PWC roster.

Fresh off a trip to Las Vegas, Terra Calaway shares the story of her road trip and the details of her match against fellow DeMarcette Allie Parker. Which DeMarcette picked up the big win? Was there DeMarcette-on-DeMarcette violence? Did Tony actually do anything on the trip?

Despite Tony Acero having the week off, Terra Calaway wasn’t as Allie Parker called in to talk about her match against Terra and the rematch demands that she has already made of the Adrenaline Unleashed promoters.

Listen here!

Listen to internet radio with Wrestling Smash on Blog Talk Radio

About The Greg DeMarco Show:
Presented by 411Mania.com The Greg DeMarco Show with Greg DeMarco and Patrick O’Dowd airs each Tuesday night at 10 PM. Listen live, join our “Snake Pit” chat room and call in at 310-807-5103. Each week the show features some of the best guests in the wrestling business, plus insightful analysis on the current product, entertaining hijinks & shenanigans and more!

The Greg DeMarco Show is streams LIVE each Tuesday night at 10 pm eastern/7 pm pacific at SmashWrestling.com or on the show’s Blog Talk Radio channel. You can reach the show via e-mail at [email protected] and on Facebook by searching for “Greg DeMarco Show.”

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This week, we celebrated the 20th Anniversary of WWE Raw. Back on January 11, 1993, the WWF debuted a brand new show called “Monday Night Raw.” Who knew what it would grow to…

From the WWE YouTube channel:
“Relive the very first edition of Monday Night Raw which aired on January 11, 1993 from the Manhattan Center in New York City. This groundbreaking event featured Superstars such as Shawn Michaels, Yokozuna, Razor Ramon and the Undertaker.”

And that, readers, is…

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Greg De Marco

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