The Wrestling 5 & 1 02.16.13: Stacy Keibler vs. AJ Lee and The Great Mark Henry Debate!
Elimination Chamber is upon us, but 411Mania already has that covered! Tony and I are still gonna have some fun before that gets here.
But first…BRING ON THE GIRLS!
With Greg DeMarco
Ya’ll weren’t happy with the initial results, so Tony re-ran the poll for the finals of the Versus Royal Rumble. Feel lucky, because I would have said too bad and moved on!
(Okay, I wouldn’t have done that.)
The results are in, and the new winner is the same as the old winner!
Now then, Stacy already beat Candice, so we’re moving on to what many might call a dream rematch…
Currently #8 in the Hall of Bang, Stacy Keibler gets another shot at the girl who beat her to get into the Hall of Bang, Tony Acero’s favorite gal AJ Lee!
Who will continue on to face challenge Kaitlyn’s #7 spot? That’s up to you!
The poll now expires Wednesday night, and you can vote once every 12 hours. Now get voting!
CM Punk’s Pope Tweet? No Big Deal
with Tony Acero
In the 12.01.12 Edition of The Wrestling 5&1, I brought up the topic of Twitter, and how wrestlers use the medium in various ways. The question I posed was whether or not wrestlers on Twitter was a good idea. I ultimately came up with a double answer, as it’s both good and bad depending on the tweets. This past week, we saw CM Punk challenge that with a bit of trolling that only Punk can truly get away with.
For those in the know, we are aware that the Pope of the Catholic church has resigned – the first to do so in centuries, and with that came a flurry of jokes that brought up his Nazi past among other things. One common joke that made the rounds went something around the lines of: “The Pope resigned? I did NAZI that coming.” Hilarious, topical, and offensive – just how I like my tweets. CM Punk saw a friend of his post this, and Retweeted it, only for fans to lambast him because of it. CM Punk, ever the heel, went one step further and blatantly called the Pope a Nazi, once again.
Now, being a member of the Catholic religion, it is supposed to be embedded in me that I am to hate anyone that disagrees with my views of the world, and post photos on Facebook of my ash-laden forehead for the world to understand that – yes – I am religious, SEE?!?! But truthfully, I see not a damned thing wrong with what Punk did, and seriously chuckled at the joke. Moreover, it’s a Tweet that was Retweeted – not even Punk’s original saying. I’d venture to say that the ONLY reason why he responded and said straight out that the Pope was a Nazi was due to the negative responses he was getting. Punk truly is a man who, when provoked, only seems to do more to piss you off.
Different than Kurt Angle, Punk knows exactly what he is doing and is fully cognizant of the responses he elicits. He is an asshole, I can sense it from his tweets, but he’s the type of asshole we would all pay money to hang around with; the kind that would tell a waitress off for doing a shitty job when all you would do is silently protest against her shitty service. This may seem going off on a tangent, but it’s all very simple: CM Punk is free to say what he wants, and just like I wrote a couple of months ago, the only damage that he is doing is showing that he is – as much as we don’t want to believe this about our favorite wrestlers – nothing but a human being.
You Decide: Did CM Punk go overboard?
Derek Gordon isn’t hating on Mark Henry’s current run, but he has no idea who Henry lasted so long to get the opportunity he received in 2011. Read on to see what I’m talking about!
How Did Mark Henry Survive His First 20 Years In The WWE?
With Derek Gordon
I was there the night in 1994 at Madison Square Garden when Mark Henry made his first appearance and announced that he had signed a 10-year contract with the WWE. I didn’t know who he was; I didn’t watch him compete in the Olympic Games; and honestly, I didn’t care because my first perception was – “Oh, this guy isn’t going to last long!”
But the sound of “10-year contract” continued to echo in my head. 10-years is an awfully long time to commit to something. At the time, the only talent with a long-term contract was Bret “Hitman” Hart…BUT, he was Bret “Hitman” Hart. I knew what he was worth; I knew how great he was; and locking him in for 10-years made all the sense in the world. Now we have Mark Henry, who I’ve never even seen hit the ropes, let alone seen a match. I was baffled as to why the WWE would make such a commitment. What had they seen that we hadn’t? What kind of plans were in the works for this guy that no one has ever heard of? And let me remind you, this was 1994.
Even after he signed that contract back in the early 90′s, he immediately got injured prepping for his debut. That sidelined him for over a year. He finally came up during the Attitude Era with the Nation of Domination and has coasted along ever since. In those 19-plus years, we have seen the WWE part ways and wish the best in future endeavors to some great talents. There have been workers with unlimited potential who were told point blank, “Creative has nothing for you”. But, they had something for Mark Henry.
Here we are in 2013, and Mark Henry is still here! Not only did he run the course of his 10-year contract, but they signed him up for another 10! Unless you’re related to him, there is not a person on the face of this earth that has EVER paid to see a Mark Henry match! NOT, ONE! Am I wrong? Prove it!
Henry avoided all the cost-cutting measures, all the house-cleanings, all the post-Wrestlemania releases, all the Black Friday firings… everything.
Help me understand how Mark Henry has survived 20 years of employment with the WWE? How did the axe miss Mark Henry when it fell so many times? It’s not like he’s gotten any better – although he technically has, but he still doesn’t draw money. Does he have some kind of blackmail on Vince McMahon? Maybe some pictures of Vince dressed as a woman doing some kinky shit to a goat and a midget?
There aren’t many bigger Mark Henry fans out there than 411Mania alum Andy Critchell. That’s why it was no surprise to me when Andy jumped at the chance to respond to Derek Gordon’s opinion on Mark Henry.
Mark Henry: Wrestling’s Most Believable Monster
With Andy Critchell
How has Mark Henry survived in WWE for 20 years?
The simplest answer is that there is literally no one like him.
Extremely strong and can physically do things that no one else can:
- Tearing off cage doors
- Driving other wrestlers though barricades (SummerSlam 2011 vs. Sheamus)
- Collapsing ring (Vengeance 2011 vs. Big Show)
Extremely intimidating presence:
- Huge person
- Great facial expressions
- Verbally creative (“If I charge for air you best keep your bill paid!”)
- 2006 vs. Undertaker (Wrestlemania)
- 2008 vs. Tommy Dreamer (ECW)
- 2008 vs. Matt Hardy (ECW)
- 2011 vs. Big Show
- 2011 vs. Sheamus
- 2011 vs. Randy Orton
- 2011 vs. Big Show
Value to the company:
- Basically carried the ECW brand through the last half of 2008 and the first part of 2009
- Legitimized Matt Hardy as a singles wrestler
- Made Evan Bourne
- Legitimized Sheamus as a babyface main event talent
- Hard hitting style but not reckless or unsafe
- Versatile enough that he can work with just about anyone
At this point, it is clear that mark Henry has found his niche with the company and everyone is benefiting from it. Every successful wrestler has that intangible “it factor” where you can see the connection between ambition, ability, and role. Mark Henry has that and for the last five years he has proven to be a very dependable commodity.
If you take a look at Mark’s page on OWW you will see that from 1996 to 2000 he did the Nation of Domination and then transitioned into the “Sexual Chocolate” persona. Admittedly, he wasn’t a huge star setting the world on fire but he was no worse than a lot of the lower mid card guys WWE had around that time. His run in that persona culminated in the whole Mae Young pregnancy storyline which was a disaster to the degree that Henry had to go back to OVW and start over basically from scratch. Despite all that, I have never heard any stories about Henry bitching, complaining, or being anything other than professional about it. That right there shows that he can be a loyal company guy; something WWE always values.
From there he took some time off (with WWE’s blessing) to train for the Arnold Schwarzenegger Strongest Man Contest, which he won, and was able to use that to build a new persona for himself. That persona is so simple that he is still using it effectively to this day.
The next few years were pretty injury plagued but I believe that the combination of Mark’s unique look, skill set, legitimacy, and professionalism endeared him enough to WWE officials that they were willing to be patient; and that patience has been rewarded with the man we have today.
You Decide: How did Mark Henry survive his first 20 years in the WWE?
Comment Responses with Tony Acero!
Plainly put, Taker shouldn’t lose to ANYONE at wrestlemania, just by virtue of the marketability of the streak, However, he should be fighting young guys at the event instead and putting them over by virtue of taking Taker to the limit at mania.
In the past 3 years, Taker has put over nobody except himself, Triple H, and HBK. Considering Taker is at the end of his rope and the wwe roster is looking as starved for credibility as ever they should consider having an on the cusp guy like Cody Rhodes, Wade Barrett, Dolph Ziggler, Daniel Bryan, Dean Ambrose, or even CM Punk fight Taker in a valiant effort that earns Taker’s respect at the end.
It’s sad when a guy gets more over looking competitive against Taker at mania over just flat out beating Jericho. Just goes to show Jericho had it wrong when he just allows himself to get jobbed out – Mr. Ace Crusher
It’s an interesting take on the Taker Streak, and one that I think has a lot of merit. However, after a lot of contemplation, would we believe – and I mean truly believe – that the streak would be in any real danger with the names you listed? If done right, MAYBE, but of your list, I can truly only see CM Punk being a threat. I know and agree that Taker/HBK/HHH have kind of done nothing but pat themselves on the back the past few years, but considering the matches, is it really a bad thing? I feel that if done right, your method could work, but I don’t have faith in the WWE to pull it off.
Predictability can help or hurt pro wrestling in the same way it does any form of entertainment. Predictability only has us roll our eyes when the expected outcome isn’t the desired outcome. However, we eagerly anticipate “predictable” outcomes we find desirable.
In my eyes, Cena’s Rumble win isn’t comparable to Rock or Austin’s. At this point, it seems to be an increasingly popular sentiment that “if Cena wins, we yawn.” His Attitude Era predecessors, though, had fans looking forward to their victories, tuning in with the expectation that their heroes would triumph and gladly paying to see it happen.
People didn’t pay to see the Avengers to find out whether or not they would settle their differences and win in the end, nor did Titanic set records with the unpredictability of its outcome. These stories had fans grow attached to their characters and turned foregone conclusions into eagerly-anticipated moments of catharsis. – E. E. Faulk
I had a teacher in high school called Mr. Faulk…I hated him. Anyways, you’re exactly right in your stance on predictability. I’d like to focus more on the part where you speak of characters, as it seems like that’s where the WWE has gone the most wrong. Simply put, their characters are relatively one-note and inconsistent. We are not afraid to latch onto a character that is interesting and believable – be it a heel or a face, yet the WWE finds it very necessary to attempt to mold an audience, rather than let it flourish on its own.
WWE does not care what anyone thinks the fans will accept. WWE does what it wants to do. It pushes the people it wants to push. If it was forward thinking enough, it would have a Daniel Bryan or a Wade Barrett or a Sheamus or anyone new beat the UT. But you say fans won’t accept it. Fans will accept and live with whatever the WWE wants to happen. And isn’t that what Vince loves to do? Create villains that the fans hate because that creates a situation where the fans want to see someone give the villain his comeuppance. That is a money tree that WWE needs to take advantage of. Chris Jericho and CM Punk were attacked by the fans and they are both extremely over.
And why couldn’t a Daniel Bryan or a Cody Rhodes or a Wade Barrett destroy the UT’s streak? Anyone can lose one match. Mike Tyson lost to Buster Douglas and no one saw that coming. It is sad when reality can be so much more exciting than fiction because wrestlers like Triple H or Undertaker are sacred cows. The fans would be stimulated by a product where anything can happen. There are no sacred cows and anyone can truly rise to the top.
Are we going to see UT coming out on his walker to protect his streak? Get over it. The streak is fake. The writers deigned it and it was good while it lasted but let’s turn the page. I can’t get over the Cena hate because he always wins but yet wrestlers who refuse to ever be beaten like UT and Triple H are exempted. Cena is stale but Triple H matches are a chore to sit through. Both UT and Triple H’s best days are behind him. Time for a change to freshen things up. Since several people don’t care who wins as long as it is a good match, let’s make this fresh start at Wrestlemania with a shocker. Let’s have Triple H, Cena, and UT lose at Wrestlemania. I’m sick of paying for over $50 for Wrestlemania where I already know who is going to win. For instance, let’s look at Wrestlemania 26. The only matches I was wrong about in the entire ppv was Jericho beating Edge, & Michelle McCool, Vicky Guerrero, Layla, Maryse, and Alicia Fox beating Mickie James, Kelly Kelly, Beth Phoenix, Gail Kim, and Eve. That is 2 matches out of 10. That is usually the percentage I get wrong for every ppv and it is usually the most inconsequential match so as the women’s tag team match that I don’t care about that I’m wrong about. That is pathetic that WWE is that predictable. – oldmenwrestlingisboring
Just as you wrote that Triple H and Undertaker’s best days are behind them, I went back to rewatch their match and have to disagree to an extent. Whether we want to believe it or not, that match touched on ethos, pathos and even a sense of logos, creating an investment that was worthwhile and – in a sense – tragic. Do you know why? The character development of these guys helped to tell a story in the ring without deviating from the three men, and what they set out to do. Is it pathetic that the WWE is predictable? Yes, and that’s pretty much what I talked about earlier in the column. There is a huge dissention between those that want Taker to keep the streak intact, and those that want it broken. I am of the former, while Greg is of the latter, and soon we will put our in-depth analysis on both why and how we would continue the career of Taker – if there even will be one in the near future.
At the end of the day the predictable ending is usually the cop out ending… unless you’ve planned your story execution backwards. Hogan v The Rock – you assumed The Rock would win and he did. But you had no idea how it would play out, and that’s one of the first matches that I remember watching where the crowd played their part in making you doubt the outcome.
There have been 25ish Rumbles, with a number of different outcomes – double eliminations, only one foot touching the ground etc etc. You’d think that someone somewhere would be coming up with a number of “New ways we can end a Rumble” and put them into play so as to surprise all fans. In the same way that Kofi will no doubt be coming up with a list of different ways to get thrown out the ring and get back in again.
***Note to Acero – A “How you would creatively end gimmick matches” column in future***
I just hate knowing any main event matches before the Elimination Chamber. Only then should you know who’s facing who in the main event(s) at WM. I probably have to go back to WM XX with you know who to be truly surprised at a main event outcome, added to that the Guerrero win at No Way Out the month before and you had great storylines that were complemented by the story told in the ring.
Now after years of poor in ring product, and unimaginative stories and characters with a lack of creativity… I might just as well coin the phrase that I am a “Start” or a “Stark” – A fan of wrestling and the backstage aspect of it / or who has insider knowledge of it, but thinks it is stale… – dj_bollocks
I would creatively end every gimmick match with AJ and I making out over the fallen opponents. In all seriousness, I’ll keep the suggestion in my mind and see if we can’t get some actual mileage out of it soon. It is true, however, that the Elimination Chamber, in a sense, does set us up for a lack of surprise come Mania. Once the Rumble is over, we are almost settled into what we’re going to see at the big show, and often times the build doesn’t help us to purchase it – yet we still buy it, right?
The streak shouldn’t be broken Taker deserves it as part of his legacy.
the VS. foolishness is funny…before the diva rumble Eve made it into the hall of bang, look it up! so Stacy would be the true sole survivor….they both go in and we move on to a new battle – ramone
This is one of my arguments, that in a sense, Taker simply deserves the streak. As for the versus, Eve didn’t make it into the HOB, as she lost to Candice in the last round. It appears, that even with a second vote, she lost once again.
So if you choose to accept this assignment, Tony, I’m curious to hear your thoughts as to why WWE films has never thought to make a dramatic wrestling movie and why you think doing so is a good/bad idea. – Dowadidi
Noted! In fact, it’s on my white board as a topic in the near future. With your guys’ suggestions, this damn thing is just going to write itself! haha. Thanks!
My standard for rating women is simple: How many fingers would I chop off to bang them? The Absolute Gold Standard is 10…and I have not yet come across that broad. The Absolute Silver Standard aka The Silver Lobster Claw is 6. Eve and Stacy are both solid 6′s.
And anybody who pretends either one is anything less is either deranged or delusional. – Big Bob
Bob, I am of the mind that every chick wants to screw me, and those who don’t have simply not seen my patented wink and gun. As for Stacy, I have always had a liking for the lanky legs that lead up to her labius luxury.
WWE being predictable? not all the time. WWE is good tho no matter what, so predictability aint a problem at all. and its hard not to be predictable when websites like this one SPOILS everything all the time. – David
Sergio? Is that you?
You don’t have to beat Undertaker at WrestleMania to be over like a million bucks. You just need to have a damned good match where you look capable of beating him. By the same token, don’t just assume that beating Undertaker at WrestleMania is enough to put a guy over. If the follow through sucks or the guy who wins can’t run with the ball then it’s all for naught.
Personally, I’m not a big ‘Taker fan but I would like to see him retire with his streak in tact. But more than anything I want him to squeeze out some quality matches with talented, young guys whose stock would rise by just being in the same ring with ‘Taker. Ziggler, Sandow, Rhodes, Barrett, Bryan, etc. can job to him for the next five years straight for all I care. I’d just like to see them treated with respect and given a greater chance to elevate themselves – Ron_Mexico_17
I truly think that a great showing from any one wrestler against The Undertaker would do great things for them regardless of a win or loss. More true, however, is the follow up, and how important it is. They have effectively killed more than their fair share of pushes due to stupidity and insolent writing. Such a damned shame, too…
We Need To Save Wrestling!
With Greg DeMarco
I want to set this point aside to discuss a very important issue: Wrestling is on its way out of the Olympic Games. If this decision comes to pass (it’s just a recommendation at this point), it would be one of the worst in history.
Wrestling is a core sport for the Olympics, one of the oldest competitions they have. For the International Olympic Committee to turn this sport away is beyond ludicrous. It’s asinine. It’d be like taking away Track & Field or Swimming. Those sports have been around since the dawn of the Games, and are the core of international competition’s largest stage.
Wrestling and the Pentathlon seem to be the top two sports amongst those on the chopping block. Now, the Penthalon was among the original Olympic sports as well, but not in its current form. The Ancient Olympic Penthalon included the long-jump, javelin, discuss, sprint race, and wrestling. Most of these events are now part of the Decathlon, so it’s easy to argue that the Ancient Pentathlon already has a spot in the Olympic Games.
But the Modern Pentathlon of today is very different. It includes shooting, swimming, fencing, equestrian, and longer distance running. Like wrestling, it doesn’t draw a huge rating. But unlike wrestling, it no longer represents a core portion of the Ancient Olympic Games.
The current Olympics are very political—like anything in this world these days. Wrestling has no members on the IOC or any other Olympic board. The Pentathlon has multiple links to the IOC and various other boards—making it hard for wrestling to survive this cut.
And while the final decision hasn’t been made just yet, if we don’t speak out we could see the 2020 Olympics take place without wrestling!
Now, as a fan of professional wrestling you might not care. That’s crazy. Having Kurt Angle should be enough to cover that—but if it’s not, think of the countless other wrestlers that came from the collegiate and international ranks of wrestling. Brock Lesnar anyone? Shelton Benjamin? Those are just a select few—the WWE is actively recruiting from amateur wrestling today, so it’s a very important sport to save.
If you’re a fan of MMA, then you need to take a better stance than Dana White (“it’s evolution, we can’t stop it”) has. White has an ulterior motive anyway—he wants MMA to make it to the Olympics. Good luck with that, Dana!
What can you do?
Start off by visiting TheMat.com and their new site KeepWrestlingInTheOlympics.com. They have many links to ways you can help. Call your local sports radio broadcasts, make your presence known. Write to the IOC. Do whatever you can to help save wrestling—it’s just as important to the pro ranks as anything else!
You Decide: Can we save Olympic wrestling?
Wrestling Rantz with Greg DeMarco debuts on SportsRantz Radio!
Airing on Wednesday nights, Wrestling Rantz features host Greg DeMarco and company in a unique format—interacting with fans via call-ins, Twitter, Facebook and even the archaic email! Greg won’t come alone, as he’s joined by two cohosts.
First is Andy Critchell—who has an opinion and isn’t afraid to share it! Andy doesn’t care what anyone else thinks, his opinions are strong and he’s ready to spread them! Simply ask Andy about Mark Henry, Aces & Eights or Abyss and enjoy the ride!
Also on the air you’ll hear 411Mania’s Tony Acero—a published author and a personality who loves to have fun just as much as he loves to share his opinion. Want on his good side? Bring up how great AJ Lee is and you’re set. Just stray away from any John Cena love!
Click here to listen, or listen here:
WrestlingRantz, brought to you by SportsRantz Radio!
Does that spell the end of The Greg DeMarco Show? Sure doesn’t!
Now airing Sundays on the Sports Rantz Radio Network!
This week: WWE Elimination Chamber post-show, DeMarcette Su Yung discusses Shine Wrestling and Smartasses Radio!
After becoming a Tuesday night tradition, The Greg DeMarco Show moves to Sunday nights and on The SportsRantz Radio Network! For nearly two years, Greg has been joined by co-host and best friend “The Wrestling Realist” Patrick O’Dowd. With his unique viewpoint on the professional wrestling business, Patrick will take those fans who overact to the events of the past week and welcome them back to earth! Originally built as an extension of their near daily banter, the pair have grown into some of the most respected wrestling analysts on the ‘net.
The GDMS guest list is one of the most impressive in the business, including appearances by TNA talent “The Fallen Angel” Christopher Daniels, former WWE Superstar Chris “Masters” Mordetzky, ECW/WWF/WCW legend “The Franchise” Shane Douglas, former 5-time NWA World Heavyweight Champion “Scrap Iron” Adam Pearce and many of today’s top independent talent including Ring of Honor World Champion Kevin Steen, Pro Wrestling Guerrilla World Champion Adam Cole, Dragon Gate USA Open The Freedom Gate Champion Johnny Gargano and independent wrestling’s #1 female star, Rain.
The show also features appearances by The DeMarcettes, the seven hottest unsigned talents in all of women’s independent wrestling. Buggy Nova (WWE/NXT), Barbi Hayden (Texas), Veda Scott (ROH), Terra Calaway (SoCal, WSU), Scarlett Bordeaux (Chikara, AIW, CZW), Su Yung (WWE/NXT, Shine, Shimmer) and Allie Parker (Las Vegas) entertain fans on a regular basis during The Greg DeMarco Show!
The Brawl For All is remembered for breaking kayfabe and Bart Gunn ruining the WWE’s plans with “Dr. Death” Steve Williams. I guess that’s what they get for going legit! In a precursor to MMA fights of today, the then WWF put their talent in the ring in legitimate shoot fights to see who would win. I don’t think they thought Bart Gunn would be the guy. Many of the matches stunk, but one always stood out to me as the best of the bunch!
Brawl For All: Bart Gunn vs. The Godfather
Hit up the ‘Mania on the TWITTER (so Ashish will like me, okay?)
And 1 Model of the Week
With Greg DeMarco
With all this Mark Henry talk, who else could it be???
Plenty to talk about in the comments!
How did Mark Henry survive?
Can we save wrestling?
What will happen at Elimination Chamber?
Did CM Punk go too far tweeting about the Pope?
And this, readers, is…
(Yeah, that’s a link.)