The Wrestling 5&1 10.20.12: Molly Holly vs Serena Deeb
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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…
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The Choice Is Yours!
Molly Holly vs. Serena Deeb
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-Vinnie Mac’s presence on Raw, from what I’ve read, is the type of presence that WWE ought to be pushing in their creative direction, in the sense that Vince is one of the few examples of that layered, long-term character development that is reminiscent of the “Attitude Era”. Vince comes onto the screen, and though the audience may not know the full character, there’s an “understanding” of where Vince stands in the WWE story. From announcer, who quietly owned the company, to the Screwjob, to vindictive and open owner of the company, to defending his company from an “invasion”, to the ego trip, etc, there’s a long and layered story of Vince McMahon that, I think, a wrestling audience can appreciate. Hulk Hogan’s 80′s run was different, but practically every other WWE “star” has risen to that status by the depth of their story with the audience, and that’s something that’s deeply lacking in the current top stars.
Cena and Orton are the closest to that status, but neither one is there, IMO; Cena’s story skipped a couple chapters between “The Champ is Here” Cena and the sanitized “Super Cena”, and Orton is on the way to building that story, but he’s working with two strikes against him.
-Maxine is way hotter that McCool, and she might even have some depth in personality.
-Demotion of Gewirtz will have no effect on the product because, frankly, Gewirtz wasn’t the problem. Stephanie McMahon and her creative vision for “sports entertainment” is the problem. Not to draw a direct parallel but Gewirtz was a lot like Paul Heyman, in that he seemed to excel at taking talented, hard-working guys, highlight what they were good at, and then add the tools, to make up for some of the deficits. The Rock was probably his best work, but he also was there when Batista really became a star, too. WWE has more than enough top talent to be successful; they just need a creative regime focused on maximizing the talents of the guys that they have. “Super Cena” is all well and good, if that’s the middling directiuon that you want to go, but wrestling and “sports entertainment” booms when you have variety and characters with depth, that the fans can buy into. When Orton was finally in his groove as “The Viper”, he was white-hot and the crowd reactions were matching/surpassing the reactions that Cena’s been built to. The audience bought in because it was Randy Orton maximizing the things he was good at, and ducking the things he wasn’t so good at.
Dolph Ziggler has the talent, right now, to be given a shot at breaking through. He’s cocky, he can carry enough of the promo, and his ringwork, though spotty at times, is consistently a very good WWE main event style. Gewirt isn’t the one denying him that opportunity. - Scipio2009
First of all, thanks for the thorough comment. There’s a lot within that I agree and disagree with, but most important is my complete agreeance with the assessment of the Vince McMahon character. It is a perfect example of a long term character that has developed with minimal changes (at least at the core), and they just don’t have these people any more. Spot on and you, sir, are
Maxine vs McCool…yikes…it took me a LOOOOONG time to get used to Maxine’s face (there’s just something off about it to me), but she has a fantastic body, and can wear the hell out of some leather. So I’ll go with her over basic blond charisma-deficient McCool.
I think Brock does need Heyman. Brock just doesn’t have that presence in his voice to really get things across (just like Bobby Lashley). - SS87
Totally agree about Maxine’s face. There’s something fishy about it at times. I recall thinking her the hottest Diva on NXT aside from AJ some nights, then other nights I had no idea what I saw in her.
I wonder how long you’ve been waiting to pull out that “Erica Kane is not Kane” line. – 5 years
I would say Maxine, but she kinda looks like my second cousin. It creeps me out. - KipSmither
Let me get an invite to the fam reunion, yo.
Wow, I like how Maxine has changed looks so much, and you got different pictures of her so you can make a better choice as to who wins. Still this early anyway doesn’t matter, all the loving is going to Michelle lol. BTW, Eve’s just amazing to look at and she’s got a great tone to her. - RJ
I chose the pictures at random, but I did notice that after. She can actually wear numerous hairstyles and look good doing so, a difficult thing to pull off, really.
Live Thoughts on TNA’s Bound For Glory Pay-Per-View
By Greg DeMarco
TNA presented their biggest pay-per-view event of the year—and some would call it the biggest in their history—on Sunday night. Bound For Glory took place on October 14 in Phoenix, Ariz., in front of a near-packed house at the Grand Canyon University Arena.
I was lucky enough to be in attendance at the event, and want to share my personal perspective on the event for you. This won’t be filled with the same insightful analysis you’ve come to expect out of me—although that will be present. The live event experience is very different than the television viewing experience, and it does change your perspective on an event.
In case you missed it, here are the results of the event.
* Rob Van Dam pinned Zema Ion following a Five-Star Frog Splash to win the X-Division Championship in 8:05.
* Samoa Joe forced Magnus to submit in 9:10 with a rear-naked choke to retain the Television Championship.
* James Storm pinned Bobby Roode in 17:25 of a Street Fight after a Last Call Superkick. King Mo was the special enforcer.
* Joey Ryan pinned Al Snow in 8:25 after Matt Morgan interfered.
* Chavo Guerrero, Jr. and Hernandez defeated Christopher Daniels and Kazarian and A.J. Styles and Kurt Angle to capture the World Tag Team Championships in 15:35 when Hernandez put Daniels down with a Border Toss and Chavo pinned him following a Frog Splash.
* Tara pinned Miss Tessmacher in 6:10 with a Widow’s Peak to win the Knockouts Championship. After the match Tara introduced her “Hollywood Boyfriend” to be Jessie Godderz of Big Brother fame.
* Aces and Eights defeated Bully Ray and Sting in 10:30 when Bully Ray was pinned after an unknown member of Aces and Eights put him through a table with a modified spine buster. Hulk Hogan joined * Sting and Bully Ray to unmask the unknown Aces and Eights member, who was revealed to be Devon.
Jeff Hardy pinned Austin Aries with a Swanton Bomb in 23:10 to win the World Championship.
The Live Crowd
TNA made a calculated risk when they selected Phoenix for such a landmark event in their history. Phoenix, historically, is a pro-WWE town that struggles to draw for any form of independent wrestling.
TNA’s previous two state-side pay-per-view outings outside of their Orlando, Fla., home were Philadelphia and Arlington, areas rich in wrestling history. They are also successful areas for independent wrestling, a trait that usually leads to success for TNA.
Phoenix offered neither of those characteristics.
But I am proud to say that the city of choice gave TNA all that they asked for and more. I personally spoke to several fans who drove out from Los Angeles, Texas, Utah and New Mexico, showing that TNA has a loyal west coast fan base that will support the product.
The former WWE stars definitely drew a big reaction. Rob Van Dam was the perfect choice to kick things off, as fans were chanting his name outside the arena before the doors opened. Outside of Van Dam; Al Snow, Kurt Angle, Sting (though not WWE), Bully Ray, Hulk Hogan and Jeff Hardy all got a great reaction.
However, there were several “homegrown” talents that received equal reactions. Samoa Joe was very over with the crowd, as was AJ Styles. And Austin Aries couldn’t have drawn a heel reaction if he had to.
TNA promoted a pre-show for Spike TV that was misleading to some. At different times, the company promoted “matches” as part of the pre-show, leading many fans to expect live matches during the hour before the pay-per-view started.
This was obviously not the case.
In the arena, we saw very little during the pre-show. We saw one promo on the big screen, and had an in-arena only promo by Austin Aries (pictured). It struck me as a promo designed to introduce Aries to the crowd. It was immediately apparent that an introduction wasn’t needed, as Aries drew a positive reaction from the crowd and that reaction wouldn’t go away.
He tried to get fans behind Jeff Hardy, even telling the crowd to “chant Jeff Hardy’s name all you want,” but it just lead to more chants for Aries himself.
I do think the pre-show was a major miss for TNA. They had an hour of television time and several name talents that didn’t appear on the card. It would have been very easy to book Mickie James vs. Gail Kim (or James and ODB vs. Kim and Madison Rayne) along with Mr. Anderson vs. Robbie E, Gunner or Kid Kash for the pre-show.
WWE is known for constructing giant sets with many LED features. TNA went in a completely different direction, which was a smart move on their part.
TNA took advantage of the GCU Arena’s three pre-existing LED screens, including the 15′ by 35′ screen located above the entrance. The digital ribbon that surrounds three sides of the arena was a great touch, something you don’t usually see as TNA tends to use older arenas.
The ramp to the ring was another great touch from TNA here. The wrestlers made their entrance with fans seated on either side, and stayed on an equal level with the ring their entire way out.
I was concerned with the amount of fighting we’d see on the ramp, but the company limited it to three matches—the top three—and it worked. Any more would have felt overdone.
One thing about the ramp that might not have been apparent on television was that it was slightly higher than the ring apron. I was concerned that it could be a safety issue, but it only came into play during the main event. Austin Aries attempted to clothesline Jeff Hardy from the ramp into the ring, and his foot got caught on the ramp’s edge, causing him to take a nasty bump.
The arena opened just over a year ago, and it received a lot of media coverage locally. Being familiar with its features, I was not surprised by TNA’s selection of this venue. Based on the atmosphere created during the show, I expect the company will return to the GCU Arena for a future pay-per-view event.
The Live Card
In the arena, each match had its own personality for the crowd.
Rob Van Dam vs. Zema Ion
Rob Van Dam and Zema Ion provided a hot opener. Ion wasn’t well known, but he was immediately given the heel treatment because he was facing Rob Van Dam. The crowd was 100 percent behind Van Dam from the moment he walked out and when won the match they responded in a big way.
Samoa Joe vs. Magnus
Television champion Samoa Joe had the entire building behind him, and you could see the pleasure on his face as we chanted “Joe’s Gonna Kill You” towards Magnus.
James Storm vs. Bobby Roode
Bobby Roode and James Storm each got a big reaction from the crowd, as did their match. The hardcore elements were obvious crowd pleasers, even if I personally feel thumbtacks are a little cliché in 2012.
I was initially surprised at how early this match went on, but it made sense with the Aces and Eights vs. Sting and Bully Ray being a no-disqualification match. The only man who got a surprisingly poor reaction was King Mo. The live audience didn’t seem to care about him, his MMA career or his role in the match.
Al Snow vs. Joey Ryan
Despite Ryan’s claim of a “hometown advantage,” the crowd was completely behind Snow. Matt Morgan got a good reaction as well. Joey Ryan did manage to draw some heat, but the live crowd treated this like a nostalgia match for Snow.
Tag Team Championship Triple Threat
All three teams got a good reaction. Christopher Daniels and Kazarian are so good in their heel role, and Daniels even got an “Appletini” chant from the crowd. Kurt Angle’s entrance was met with a big pop, but AJ Styles actually topped that. This match was spot-heavy, which was welcomed after the two matches before it.
The title change got a decent reaction, but it was the Eddie Guerrero mention by Chavo Guerrero, Jr. that really got the people behind the new champs.
Tara vs. Miss Tessmacher
Both women got solid reactions from the crowd, including Tessmacher. Tara’s WWE past is obvious to even a casual fan, but not all of them will remember Tessmacher’s run in the WWE. Tessmacher’s offense was a hit with the fans, but the reveal of Jesse Godderz as Tara’s “Hollywood Boyfriend” was a total flop live.
Aces and Eights vs. Sting and Bully Ray
The crowd was obviously hot for Sting, and Bully Ray was treated as a face as well. Aces and Eighths was a tough sell locally, but since they had no identity, it’s hard to expect the crowd to get into them. Joseph Park breaking free and tackling the Aces and Eights member got a great reaction, though.
Obviously Hulk Hogan got a tremendous pop, but my immediate reaction was that it wasn’t as loud as what I heard for AJ Styles. It was still a fun nostalgia moment for the fans.
There was very little reaction for Devon’s reveal. The crowd delivered a very entertaining moment in chanting “This Is Awkward” as Hogan, Sting and Ray stood in the ring as Aces and Eights made their exit through the crowd.
Jeff Hardy vs. Austin Aries
Thanks to this crowd, Jeff Hardy now knows what it feels like to be John Cena. I would say the crowd was 60 percent behind Aries and 40percent behind Hardy, but women and children cheer louder than everyone else.
Aries’s entrance reaction was louder than Hardy’s, and inside the arena you could not hear Jeremy Borash’s introductions over the Aries chants from the crowd.
I did speak to a few fans around me who weren’t as familiar with Austin Aries, but they were fans of his after the match. Lost in the title change was the stellar performance he delivered. If TNA crowns someone the MVP of the card, it would have to go to Austin Aries.
As I have yet to see the event on television, I am open to the fact that my opinion is skewed in a positive way by the live experience. Sitting in center of the stands opposite the hard camera, I had a great view of every single aspect of the event. They are memories I’ll always have, especially considering they were shared with my 6-year-old son.
I will take the time to review the event on a pay-per-view replay later in the week, and will likely have a better basis for review. But just a few hours removed from the event, TNA receives high marks from me. It was one of their best efforts of the year, and featured a few matches that should receive match of the year consideration (Austin Aries vs. Jeff Hardy and the Triple Threat Tag Team Match).
I have heard from several friends and colleagues who watched the event on pay-per-view and noted that it fell short of feeling like “TNA’s WrestleMania.” It’s the company’s third pay-per-view of 2012 outside of their Orlando home, and it met the “big show” expectation live.
There simply is no substitute for live wrestling, and being there live allows Bound For Glory to receive two thumbs up from me.
You Decide: Did you attend the event live? Do you think it was the “big event” TNA was hoping for?
In what could only be deemed as bad footing, The Miz found himself on the bad side of a misstep on Monday (how’s that for a pun-filled sentence). Since this happened, a majority of the blame is falling on Kofi, from people lambasting him completely for being “out of place” to others hoping Miz bashed him beyond all hell in the back. Others, still, claim it was simply pay back for the time Miz didn’t catch the flying R-Truth. Make no mistake, the kick was vicious, but was it revenge? A mistake on Kofi’s part? A perfectly choreographed kick for the fans? I take a different approach to the entire situation; does it matter?
While the last thing I want is wrestlers being concussed all over the place, there is no doubting that the kick looked bad ass, and is one that would be replayed over and over if this were UFC. While I don’t know The Miz or Kofi personally, I feel that had I been in that moment, I’d be celebrating the kick with Kofi if I were him. True it probably hurt like a mother-fucker, but it made for good TV and could really be a springboard for any number of situations. It’s almost like two actors went out and accidentally stumbled upon a great scene, where they just pulled the entire set in without realizing it. True, that may be a bit of an exaggeration, but the fact is – if done right – that kick could be the catalyst of Kofi having a personality aside from Mr. Boom Boom Boom.
In the world of wrestling, people get hurt. It’s a risky job that not everyone can handle. The Miz and Kofi have both had numerous matches with each other, and I can’t help but think that the promo preceding the match, and the fact that Kofi would go on to win the IC Title means there’s something in the works for him. The kick may have been a mistake, but it could very well have been a mistake that makes Kofi a star.
You Decide: Should Kofi be reprimanded for the kick to The Miz?
Ryback Needs To Win The WWE Championship At Hell in a Cell
By Greg DeMarco
Monday’s Raw confirmed what some fans wanted to see and others feared: Ryback will challenge CM Punk for the WWE Championship at Hell in a Cell. Not only is Ryback the right opponent for CM Punk, he should win it all.
Some would say that Dolph Ziggler would have been a better choice, and as a huge Ziggler fan I can’t say that I wouldn’t love to see Ziggler get the shot. Others would point to Sheamus’s shocking WWE Championship at WWE: TLC in 2009 and remind you just how far Sheamus has come.
Both of these sentiments are correct. We haven’t seen a meteoric rise through the WWE ranks like Ryback’s since that of Sheamus. Dolph Ziggler has proven multiple times that he can tear the house down with any opponent—especially CM Punk.
But the WWE needs to look both short and long term here. Ryback winning the WWE Championship benefits the WWE in both of those ways.
A New Face
The WWE has struggled to build new stars over the years. Established stars like John Cena and Randy Orton are unnecessarily protected while guys like Alberto Del Rio, Christian, Ziggler and many more see their pushes start and stop for no reason.
Even The Miz, who is only the second heel to leave the WrestleMania main event with a victory, saw his mega push come to a halt. Sheamus has seemingly broken through the glass ceiling, but his case is the exception to what we’ve seen over the past three years.
Ryback is the new face that the WWE has been seeking. He’s gotten over with the casual fans and it’s nearly impossible to pinpoint why. To quote Diamond Dallas Page, “that’s not a bad thing, it’s a good thing!”
You can’t pinpoint a reason because it was natural. Ryback exudes a natural charisma and intensity that people have bought into, and it’s turned into the fuel powering the jet pack the WWE has strapped to Ryback.
The Undefeated Streak
Ryback is entering Hell in a Cell as an undefeated WWE Superstar. Similarities to Goldberg are unavoidable, but they’re also like comparing apples and oranges.
Goldberg’s rise was before the turn of the century. Wrestling fans, the internet and the talents themselves are all very different now. There is no comparison between Goldberg and Ryback.
However, they do share an undefeated streak. Goldberg’s streak was built in numbers. Ryback doesn’t need numbers, he needs a time frame. How many days, months or years has he been undefeated?
But Ryback’s streak doesn’t carry any weight yet. It hasn’t been long enough. In fact, a premature ending to the streak at Hell in a Cell would be the biggest story of the streak yet. There is so much potential for an undefeated streak storyline in 2012, and all of it would be lost if Ryback were to lose at Hell in a Cell.
WrestleMania is the “granddaddy of them all.” The greatest performers in the world converge on one stage to put on the biggest wrestling extravaganza of the year. The 2012 version was headlined by John Cena and The Rock, but the WWE put their newest star, CM Punk, in the semi-main event spot. Punk and Chris Jericho joined forces to create a great match with a strong build.
The WWE needs to add a new top star to the mix at WrestleMania 29, and who better than Ryback? Brock Lesnar, despite not being an active WWE Superstar according to current storylines, is on the WrestleMania 29 ticket presale poster. Brock will be at WrestleMania 29, and his opponent should be Ryback.
And before you ask, yes—Lesnar should put Ryback over.
The WWE needs a bankable, marketable star that they can build around. John Cena won’t be around forever, and they need to put an elevation plan into place—yesterday. Ryback is that plan, and he needs to win the WWE Championship at Hell in a Cell.
You Decide: Think this makes total sense? Think it’s an absurd suggestion?
I am a huge Undertaker fan. True story. I recall in middle school, there were a few kids that were wrestling fans and, on occasion, we would get together to watch PPV’s and the like. They, too, were Undertaker fans, but were always so damned weird with their painted nails, and long and greasy hair. They would walk around, being anti-social and feed off of other student’s disdain towards them. It was one of those attempts to be out worldly that only served to make them look like weirdos. We never did keep in touch. That was ten years ago, and although I don’t see many young ones with their painted nails and Columbine-like attitudes, The Undertaker is still a larger-than-life enigma that seems to float over the WWE at all times. While I can only imagine him sitting at home with Michelle McCool cooking naked in the kitchen, I don’t think his aura will ever truly leave the WWE.
Perhaps it’s because of this aura that seemingly every month, we have a possible idea for his “next Wrestlemania opponent.” The past four years, The Undertaker has done something that is amazing to watch. He was a part of a match, each year, that caused that eerie tingle only a wrestling fan can understand. Although the tagline “last of a dying breed” was used throughout the build to Taker/HHH II, it was so filled with truth that you couldn’t help but believe that one of the greater wrestling stories was being told and ending right before your eyes. Now, we’re heading towards 2013, and not even the Mayans can predict what day Taker’s career is going to end.
People have thrown names out all year, but most recently there has been both an idea and person that I would actually LOVE to see happen. CM Punk is currently reaching for respect from all aspects of the WWE, and is seemingly hellbent on getting it. Even when The Undertaker was Bikertaker, respect was a big issue with the Deadman, so the story is practically written already. In the capable hands of Punk and Taker, I can only imagine it would be more than great. We can question the health of The Undertaker, but I think at this position it’s moreso the drive behind it than his “health.” Simply put, does The Undertaker WANT to do it? I know as a fan, I want to see him in the ring, and it’s upsetting that I can only see him once a year, but realistically, he has given me four matches in the past four years that are awe-inspiring, so why can’t he simply…rest in peace?
We’re in the waning days of October, so the plans are bound to change at least forty times before Mania. After all, 20-0 is a nice little capstone to top your career off with. If he does come back, though, and he does find that perfect opponent to help make yet another perfect story, then I can only hope that those weird kids I couldn’t understand, probably now with a fresh haircut and a job much more lucrative than mine, remember who they were the first time they heard the gong and enjoy.
You Decide: What one wrestler can still give YOU chills?
Ethan Page and Su Yung join the Greg DeMarco Show!
The Greg DeMarco Show with Greg DeMarco and Patrick O’Dowd, presented by 411Mania.com/Wrestling, streams all weekend at VOCNation.com.
Greg and Patrick breakdown TNA’s 2012 Bound For Glory event!
Special guest “All Ego” Ethan Page returns to the show for his second interview. Ethan talks about Alpha-1 Wrestling’s “The Last Hurrah,” what it’s like running a promotion hat is closing his future and more!
Plus, DeMarcette Su Yung joins the show to discuss her upcoming matches at Shine 4 and the late October Shimmer Wrestling tapings!
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.
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Randle’s Wrestling News Experience!
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Fact or Fiction featuring Greg DeMarco and Ken Hill!
Plenty to talk about in the comments!
And this week’s Versus Battle of the Bang—(Molly Holly vs Serena Deeb!! )—You Make the Call!
Until next time…
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