The Wrestling 5&1 09.15.12: Maria Kanellis vs. Kaitlyn!
Welcome to my 100th edition of The Wrestling 5&1. A big thank you to my boy Tony Acero for filling in over the past two weeks. Tony is “guest hosting” one column point this week, and something tells me that you’ll be seeing more of him soon…
Listen while you read as we’re joined by star of Missy Sampson, Eryn (the manager) and DeMarcette Terra Calaway!
Monday Night Raw was a lesson in patience, fear, and joy. It was developing into an entertaining three hour Raw, although I might dare say it was bordering on a little bit too much CM Punk. Pat Patterson was set to be honored in front of the Montreal crowd, and Bret Hart had completed one promo, ready for another with John Cena in the main event position. Then, during a No. 1 Contender match between The Prime Time Players and Kane & Daniel Bryan, the commentary got choppy, and even included some elongated breathing. The crowd became distracted, and you could see Jerry Lawler and Michael Cole hunched over at the commentary table. The commentary became more sporadic, and the crowd hit their feet. Not because of the match in the ring (which, on a second viewing, was a very strong match) but because of what was happening at the commentary table. Soon, the fans were chanting “Jer-ry! Jer-ry! Jer-ry!” and the referee, Kane, Daniel Bryan, Titus O’Neill and Darren Young kept looking outside the ring. The scene was eerie, confusing and a little scary. Wrestling, much like anything in life, has a certain sense of normal to it. That sense was gone.
Thanks to the world of social media, the pieces of the puzzle came together, and we learned that Jerry Lawler had an incident on Raw, and the WWE soon confirmed this through Michael Cole. Before long, commentary was suspended for the night, and each match told two stories. The story in the ring—for which each performer deserves an amazing amount of praise. The most amazing was Rey Mysterio, Cody Rhodes and The Miz, who told a complete story with zero words. Not from them, not from commentary. But everyone did a great job, all the way through the end of the show. But while there was no commentary, there was someone sitting at the commentary table.
Michael Cole is a great person. I don’t care what you think of him on commentary, because I assume that is going to change. His performance on Monday—as in his job performance, not his comedic, theatrical or storytelling performance—was nothing short of spectacular. Give him a raise, give him a promotion, and heap every compliment possible upon him. It won’t be enough.
Throughout the night we learned that Jerry Lawler was given CPR backstage, taken to a local hospital and was improving. We later learned that he had emergency surgery, the result of a heart attack suffered on Raw. Jerry Lawler, a man who had been in the WWE longer than anyone in the building not named McMahon or Patterson, suffered a heart attack and the show somehow went on. And I know that’s how Jerry would have wanted it. The show always goes on.
Now we know that Jerry is off all supportive machines. In fact, his doctors said on Thursday that he was in such great shape that he could wrestle again. The King is tweeting, Touting and ready to return home to Memphis.
Who knows when he’ll return to Raw. But I guarantee you he will return. And when he does, expect a King’s welcome. 100% fully deserved.
Long Live The King!
You Decide: Please share your thoughts on Monday’s Raw in the comments section. Tell your story, and show some respect for each other this time!
This is the John Cena I want to see every week.
By Tony Acero
Oh John Cena; the man we love to hate. You may not be surprised if you’ve read anything I’ve written here on 411 the past two and half years that I do not like John Cena. No, not the man. I simply don’t know the dude enough to hate him. But the character of John Cena is one that bothers me to no end. I’m around the age group that was to adore Hulk Hogan in his heyday, and I never did. They are not the same, but they feel the same. Cena has always been the man that does the Superman return and it bugs me in such a way that is immeasurable. Truly. What I may dislike moreso than his ability to bounce back after numerous ass kickings to continue to be on the card, overshadowing the WWE Title and whomever is holding the belt at the time is Cena’s horrible, horrible promos. We’ve seen through freestlyes and various, minute glimpses that he is capable, yet he has always been the type to pander and point out the obvious. Yes, there are fans that like you and fans that don’t. Yes, you are here night and day. Yes, you didn’t leave us for Hollywood…we know. When he’s not spouting off various nonsense with one of the most stoned jawed faces known to man, he reverts immediately to a joke that is juvenile in delivery, execution and content. It’s mind-numbing to watch, and annoying as all hell.
And then we come to Monday Night RAW…
Within, Cena went off the cuff, seemingly off the script, and right into CM Punk’s face. He pointed out flaws in character development of Punk and made a compelling argument. Him claiming that Punk needed to create a new identity, but his current one wasn’t going to cut it could potentially lead to a dastardly Punk who will literally stop at anything to keep the title – as Cena pointed out. Moreover, it was just a strong delivery and was the same person throughout the entire promo. It was powerful and evoked emotion, and it punked Punk.
People are claiming that this may very well damage the reputation and stature of the Champion, because Cena basically pointed out the all too real flaws of the past year that Punk has been champion. I disagree. Punk is a heel now. Like it or not, he’s full blown interrupting-Hart-in-Canada heel. And as such, he is the one to be berated and talked down to. Cena is SUPPOSED to get some sort of upperhand in, and if we look at the build of this match, Cena has been made to look weak (arguably so, due to the fact that he’s Cena). Now, this doesn’t get me on board for Cena permanently, and I won’t jump ship and claim that he’s the be-all, end-all, but as a stand-alone moment in a career that has really made me nauseous at times, this was an amazing promo and a great build to the pay per view that I can almost guarantee caused a stir in the heart of wrestling fans. No? Is that too much?
You Decide: Was this Cena’s best promo to date?
WWE has been criticized in the past for leaving champions off of important events. WrestleMania is a great example: In 2012, even the WWE Tag Team Champions at the time, Primo & Epico, were left off of the pay-per-view event and demoted to the dark match. This is commonplace in the WWE, but thankfully we have Night of Champions, the one event each year that is guaranteed to feature every single WWE champion. Or so you would think!
Looking at the Night of Champions card, I see the following six championships being defended: WWE Championship, World Heavyweight Championship, Divas Championship, WWE Tag Team Championship, Intercontinental Championship and United States Championship.
We also have a great Randy Orton vs. Dolph Ziggler match, and a pre-show Battle Royal to determine the challenger for Antonio Cesaro’s United States title. Most think that those eight matches are enough. But one is missing.
The NXT Championship
Earlier this year, the WWE rebranded Florida Championship Wrestling (also known as FCW) into NXT, the company’s developmental territory. The name NXT comes from the former scripted reality program that brought us many of today’s roster members, including Daniel Bryan, Wade Barrett, Ryback, AJ Lee, Brodus Clay and several others.
That show was all about ushering in the next generation of WWE Superstars, and the name fits when applied to their developmental territory. What better way to usher in the next generation than to feature the NXT Champion at Night of Champions?
The NXT Champion, Seth Rollins, is a talented 26-year-old wrestler that many have labeled as a future Shawn Michaels. Those are steep expectations to place upon any youngster before they get called up to the main roster, but Rollins has proven himself and is ready for a spot on television.
WWE’s NXT Championship is the perfect way to get him exposure on television. During the early stages of the Night of Champions build, it would be very easy to show a highlight package of his matches from the NXT program (which is professionally produced in a state of the art facility as part of the WWE’s partnership with Full Sail University) and hype his debut for the following week. He can wrestle another member of the NXT roster or even a local enhancement worker.
During the NXT champion’s match, Michael Cole can reveal that the title will be defended at Night of Champions, giving the WWE plenty of time to build a challenger. That challenger can come from the under card or from the NXT product itself.
It’s not uncommon for young talents to be a part of both rosters simultaneously. The NXT Champion can continue to compete on either RAW or Smackdown without the title, eventually losing the belt on the NXT program separate from their current WWE televised storyline.
Featuring the NXT Champion at the annual Night of Champions pay-per-view event is a great way to debut a new talent and provide him with immediate credibility. It also provides the NXT brand with a ready-made storyline that can span the summer months leading up to Night of Champions. Either way you look at it, it’s a win-win for the WWE.
You Decide: Should the NXT Champion compete at Night of Champions each year?
As you know, I’m a big fan of two things: projecting big time pay-per-view cards and TNA Wrestling. Today, I get to engage in both! Woohoo!
After the conclusion of both TNA’s No Surrender pay-per-view and the first edition of Impact Wrestling on the road to Bound For Glory, the company is making the main matches for their biggest event of the year quite obvious. I, for one, think that is the best route to take. Let’s take a look at the obvious, and the not-so-obvious matches for the 2012 edition of Bound For Glory.
Austin Aries (champion) vs. Jeff Hardy
Headed into the Bound For Glory Series, everyone expected James Storm to win the series and challenge for Bobby Roode’s world championship in a rematch from their Lockdown main event. Even after Roode lost the championship to Austin Aries at Destination X, we generally assumed it’d boil down to Roode and Storm at BFG. But with each passing week, it seemed more and more like Aries would walk into Phoenix as the champion. After Sacrifice’s main event stipulation dictating that neither man would get a rematch, Aries’ victory sealed the deal.
That made the final rounds of the BFG Series far less predictable. Joining Storm in the final four were Samoa Joe, Bully Ray and Jeff Hardy. Most expected the finals to include Joe and either Storm or Ray. However, it was Hardy who downed Joe at No Surrender, and eventually beat Bully Ray as well. Hardy was goaded into defending his title shot on Thursday’s Impact Wrestling, and still won. Now our main event is obvious, with several weeks to build to the biggest match of Austin Aries’s career.
Grudge Match: Stipulation TBA?
James Storm vs. Bobby Roode
It was the retuning Bobby Roode who cost James Storm a spot in the Bound For Glory Series finals, and judging by Thursday’s Impact Wrestling, these two are going to meet at the biggest event in company history. Not for the title, but for revenge and personal pride. And I am 100% fine with that.
No TNA rivalry can match the intensity and depth of Roode vs. Storm. The fire shown by both men on Thursday was insane. I know this will be a great match, with a great build. But what kind of match should it be? A Steel Cage match.
I don’t know if TNA can pull it off in Phoenix, but they need to try. Taking Storm-Roode full circle and this time, you can’t win by escaping the cage—only by pinfall or submission. Better yet, make it an I Quit Steel Cage match. Then, with Bobby Roode carefully nestled against the locked cage door, James Storm can land superkick after superkick after superkick until Roode has to choice but to surrender the match. It won’t end the feud—it can’t. These two will ultimately take a few turns as champion and challenger. But at Bound For Glory, it’s simply a fight between two former best friends and tag team partners who just hate each other.
Miss Tessmacher (champion) vs. Tara
Thursday’s Impact Wrestling saw the birth of this feud. Tara presented the Knockouts Championship to her partner and best friend, stepping aside to give Brooke the spotlight. That was short lived, as Tar attacked Tessmacher, connecting with a clothesline and a Widow’s Peak. Brooke was left lying, and we were left with our Knockouts title match for BFG!
These two ladies put on a great match at No Surrender, and will do the same at Bound For Glory. With Tara as the heel and Brooke as the face, the fans will easily buy into this match, and it will likely be Tessmacher’s best to date.
World Tag Team Championship
Christopher Daniels & Kazarian (champions) vs. Kurt Angle & AJ Styles vs. Chavo Guerrero, Jr & Hernandez
This match was set-up on Thursday’s Impact Wrestling, with Daniels & Kazarian losing singles matches to a member of each opposing team. I expect this match to take place at Bound For Glory, and I believe it will be a great one.
Samoa Joe vs. Magnus
Their feud has been well built over the past few weeks, and I expect that to continue over the next few weeks. Bound For Glory is a likely place to really get it going. Magnus, coming off of an odd loss to Rob Van Dam at No Surrender, needs the win here. I expect it to be his first signature win as he continues his rise to the top of the card.
With those matches seemingly set, we’re still left with Bully Ray, Mr. Anderson and Rob Van Dam awaiting matches. What I see TNA doing here is throwing them into a six-man tag (possible 8-man with Sting?) against a group of Aces & Eights members. Throw in an X-Division Championship match (possible Zema Ion defending against Kenny King or, my preference, a multi-man Ultimate X) plus one more match and that makes eight. And I think that gives TNA a superb Bound For Glory card for October!
You Decide: What do you want to see at Bound For Glory?
With this being my 100th edition of The Wrestling 5&1 at 411Mania, I wanted to thank all of you for taking the time to read, comment, vote, email and even listen to the radio show over the past nearly two years. When I started writing for 411, I knew I had a unique perspective to offer. I figured some would love it and some would hate it—and I appreciate both sentiments.
You might have noticed that some of my work has popped up over at Bleacher Report during my two weeks away. I can assure you that it wasn’t by design. I actually underestimated the reach and magnitude of both 411Mania and B/R, so much so that it caused a little stink when my face showed up over there. Sometimes, sitting at a desk built from scratch over thirty years ago by my wife’s grandfather, I fail to realize just how many people are reading and listening to my work. I appreciate that, and all of the opportunities I’ve had since joining the ‘Mania. Larry, Ashish, Jeremy, Steve and everyone else here at the blue and green put up with a lot, and deserve a ton of credit for what’s been accomplished.
However, my success over at “The Bleach” has sort of put me at a crossroads. I know that I can’t do this forever, as I have a full time career, a beautiful wife, two amazing children and plenty of community involvement that I won’t sacrifice. I don’t think it’s time to get away from 411Mania just yet, but I am thankful that Tony Acero has done such a great job during my two week vacation.
Tony himself is a writer by trade, I am not. I am very talented with creating graphics for the column, Tony is not. That’s why I will be the first to admit that a Tony authored Wrestling 5&1 is one step back in terms of presentation and two steps forward in terms of writing quality. I don’t fault either of us for that. Tony is likely the best overall writer on this site, and no one can do the presentation like I do.
Tony has proven himself as the guy to take over for me at some point, and I am excited for that—and for him! He’ll continue to fill in and contribute to the column on a regular basis, so when he eventually does take over, it’ll be smooth for the site, me, and you.
But when is the right time? Is it now? Is it 2013? Who knows! That’s why Tony and I have decided to put it in YOUR hands. That’s right, we’re gonna let YOU DECIDE!
So, please let us know your vote for the fate of The Wrestling 5&1…
BRING ON THE GIRLS!
Last WeekThree Weeks Ago: AJ Lee finally lost—to Maria Kanellis in their Battle of the Bang! The stats show that it was quite close, with Maria winning by 62 votes with a total of 2110 votes cast.
Move over one spot, Maria!
Future Versus Updates:
* Brooke Tessmacher has two wins, two away from a return engagement with the Hall of Bang…
* Candice Michelle has two wins, and will continue her own journey…
* Tiffany will receive a new opportunity at the Hall as soon as the opportunity is available…
This Week: After defeating AJ three weeks ago, Maria had to sit around and wait as AJ got two special match-ups, thanks to Tony Acero’s unmatched affection. Well Maria, get off the bench, you’re back in the game, bitch!
The Choice Is Yours!
MARIA vs. KAITLYN
Take your pick and vote in the poll below!
Remember, you can vote multiple times—once every 12 hours.
And you can track the results right here, too!
DeMarcette Terra Calaway and WPW Champion Missy Sampson join the program!
The Greg DeMarco Show with Greg DeMarco and Patrick O’Dowd, presented by 411Mania.com/Wrestling, aired Monday night at 11:00 PM eastern and streams Friday and Saturday at VOCNation.com.
Listen as Greg, Patrick and Andy Critchell share their immediate thoughts on Monday’s RAW, Jerry Lawler’s condition and the entirety of the situation as it happened.
Special guest Missy Sampson joins the show courtesy of World Pro Wrestling. Missy talks about her career and her upcoming WPW Heavyweight Championship defense against former champion Hybrid. Missy addresses a challenge laid down by Hybrid for a Hardcore Falls Count Anywhere match! Will Missy accept the challenge on-air? Plus, hear Missy give her thoughts on the use of women in wrestling today, and the possibilities of a woman carrying the WWE or TNA Championship.
The Midwest’s own Eryn joined the program to discuss her 12th year in the wrestling business, the big names she’s been able to work with and what she looks at in today’s product.
Greg and Patrick review TNA’s No Surrender pay-per-view event, Jeff Hardy’s Bound For Glory Series win, Bobby Roode’s return and the lack of build for the event in general.
Finally, listen in as Greg is joined by beautiful DeMarcette Terra Calaway and Tony Acero for the show’s brand new third hour! What will hour three look like? Listen in as Greg, Tony and Terra brainstorm ideas and develop the third hour on-air!
Click here to listen to the show, or listen here:
About The Greg DeMarco Show:
Discussing current events in professional wrestling—including WWE RAW, Smackdown, TNA Impact Wrestling, Ring of Honor and many US independent promotions and regularly featuring guests from Ring of Honor, Chikara, Extreme Reunion and countless other promotions, Greg DeMarco and Patrick O’Dowd present opinionated analysis on the wrestling world that remains rooted in a love, passion and respect for the industry. The show is presented live each week by 411Mania at http://www.411mania.com/wrestling and streams worldwide each weekend via Bruce Wirt’s Voice of Choice Nation at http://www.vocnation.com. You can reach the show via e-mail at [email protected], Facebook by searching for “Greg DeMarco Show” or Twitter @gregdemarcoshow.
The argument is ongoing. Should John Cena turn heel? Could John Cena turn heel? Well, he was treated as the heel for one night, against Rob Van Dam at ECW One Night Stand. Cena entered the Hammerstein Ballroom wearing all black, ready for battle, and gave the people exactly what they wanted…
John Cena vs. Rob Van Dam, ECW One Night Stand
Due to time and space constraints, the comment responses will return next week!
Hit up the ‘Mania on the TWITTER (so Ashish will like me, okay?)
http://www.twitter.com/gregdemarcoshow – that’s me!
This should be no surprise to anyone…
There have been some changes around here, and the News Report links are adjusted with Steve Cook’s departure from the weekly line-up. If you miss Cook, don’t worry. The new Tuesday writer, along with the Wednesday writer, seem to be huge fans of his work!
Randle’s Wrestling News Experience!
The News from Cook’s Corner! Marisco’s Tuesday Communique!
Sam Smith’s Wednesday Wrestling Week That Was!
Kelly’s Thursday Sports Entertainment News!
Napier’s Handicapping the News!
Fact or Fiction featuring Francisco Ramirez and Manu Bomb!
Plenty to talk about in the comments!
Feel free to share your thoughts on Jerry Lawler’s amazing week.
What did you think of John Cena’s Raw promo?
How about TNA’s Bound For Glory PPV?
Do you think the NXT Champion should wrestle at Night of Champions?
And this week’s Versus Battle of the Bang—Maria vs. Kaitlyn—You Make the Call!
Stay tuned for next week, as we present a special “Wrestling 5&1 101” – your guide to The Wrestling 5&1!
Until next time…