wrestling / Columns

The Wrestling 5 & 1 10.23.10: Maryse vs. Velvet

October 23, 2010 | Posted by Greg De Marco

Good morning, good evening, good lunch-time, good whatever time you’re reading this column! Welcome to The Wrestling 5 & 1, where you come for the girls and stay for the great wrestling discussion. We were off to a great week 1 (for me), so let’s find out if we can duplicate that effort here in (my) week 2. We have a lot to talk about, but first…BRING ON THE GIRLS!

Velvet Sky earned her fourth straight Versus victory, beating a game Mickie James last week and earning the second spot in the 411Mania Wrestling 5 & 1 HALL OF BANG!

So if you’ll be so kind, please allow me to give Velvet a proper induction.

“Ladies and gentlemen (mostly gentlemen, but we know there are some of you ladies who like this kind of stuff, and we salute you!), please join me in welcoming the newest member of the Hall of Bang…from The Big Apple…weighing in at a racked and stacked 125 pounds…VEL–VET–SKY!

But there’s no time for Velvet to celebrate, oh no. You see, there are many who commented that Velvet should have been in the HoB before Maryse. But yet Maryse will always go down as the first woman enshrined into the Hall of Bang. So, loyal readers, I leave it up to you to decide as Maryse steps back into the Versus Arena to take on her newest Hall-mate Velvet Sky in the FIRST EVER Wrestling 5 & 1 “Battle of the Bang!”

Check out the rest of this week’s 5 & 1, and at the end of the column make an entry for this very special Battle of the Bang!

Special Announcement:
Velvet Sky’s past two Vs. opponents both had great showings in their defeats. Velvet pulled away in the end of each, but early on, there were times where Velvet was close, tied or even down to Mickie James & Gail Kim. This caused several readers to raise a great point: how would have Mickie or Gail have faired against different competition? Would either be contending for the Hall of Bang? Both have been specifically requested to return in future editions of Vs. Well I think each deserves a second chance, and they’re both going to get one sooner rather than later. Because next week Gail Kim and Mickie James have the chance to set a course on their own journey towards the Hall of Bang, and they’ll start it against each other!

The sky’s the limit: Wade Barrett’s WWE career has been an unbelievable ride, akin to that of Sheamus. Barrett’s WWE run starts in October 2007, when he was signed to a developmental deal and reported to OVW. This was just over 3 years after Barrett made his pro debut. Barrett was eventually moved to FCW when OVW’s relationship with the WWE ended. He finally got called up to appear on the first season of NXT, where he immediately set himself apart from the rest of the pack in Week 2. Barrett eventually won NXT. One June 7, one week after winning NXT, Barrett and his crew appeared on RAW, attacking John Cena and dismantling the ringside area. The Nexus had arrived, and Barrett was immediately their leader.

Changes happened within the group (Daniel Bryan’s firing, Darren Young’s exile, Skip Sheffield’s injury, Michael Tarver’s injury), but Barrett remained the backbone, leading Heath Slater, Justin Gabriel and David Otunga in their campaign against the superstars of RAW. At Hell in the Cell, Barrett scored the biggest win of his career, defeating John Cena and forcing Cena to become a member of The Nexus–and under Barrett’s command per RAW’s mystery General Manager. Since that card, Barrett has been nothing short of amazing in his appearances. He has a natural charisma that is perfect for his role, coupled with a good look and the size that the WWE loves to push.

Now Barrett is set to face Randy Orton in a one on one match for the WWE Championship at Bragging Rights, with John Cena in Barrett’s corner. Of course, Cena must do whatever Barrett says or he’s fired from the WWE. And it begs the question: Would the WWE really do it? Would they put the WWE Championship on Wade Barrett? Yes. Most definitely yes. In fact, I won’t just say that the WWE can put the WWE Championship on Wade Barrett, I’ll say that the WWE will put the WWE Championship on Wade Barrett at Bragging Rights. It makes perfect sense. Many RAW wrestlers are telling Cena he should be a man and stand up to Barrett, even if it costs him his job. Now Cena is stuck in Barrett’s corner at Bragging Rights, and must obey anything Barrett says–because two weeks ago, Cena proclaimed that he would follow Barrett’s orders, because he loves the WWE Universe too much to leave it.

I don’t think Cena will help Barrett win. I think Cena won’t help Orton when The Nexus gets involved. Barrett walks out the champion, and Randy Orton is out for revenge–on John Cena! Now you have Cena vs. Orton and WWE Champ Barrett vs. a fresh challenger (possibly the aforementioned Sheamus or even CM Punk) to headline RAW, with Barrett’s control over Cena as the underlying connection between both.

No one thought Sheamus would beat John Cena for the WWE Championship at last year’s TLC pay-per-view, and I doubt too many think Barrett goes over Orton. But I don’t see why not. It did wonders for Sheamus, and it can (will?) do the same for Barrett.

In case you missed it, I’m on record with my prediction that the WWE will put the WWE Championship on Wade Barrett at Bragging Rights. After that, the sky’s the limit for Wade Barrett. If I’m wrong, I can take the comments. It won’t be the first time, or the last…

From last week’s comments:
“the only time mickey james was hot was when she stuck her fingers up Trish’s vagoo.”

You people inspire me…

Psycho Mickie James takes “the fight” to Trish Stratus

Mickie James’ debut into the WWE was very well done, with her going all “Swimfan” after Trish Stratus. It was honestly Mickie at her very best, and it culminated with Mickie’s win over Trish at WrestleMania 22. In the second half of the match (shown above), the WWE typically edits out the botched Stratusfaction at the end, and of course Mickie’s infamous “V-lick” on Trish. This angle would never fly in present day PG-WWE, but I remember sitting in Hooters to watch WM22, and going absolutely crazy when Mickie violated Trish in the ring. The Chicago crowd made it all better by supporting Mickie in the match.

Interestingly enough, on last week’s Impact, it seemed to be Madison Rayne who was showing the ability to create a delusional, borderline psycho character until interrupted by (an ironically a bland & boring) Mickie herself. Through the magic of YouTube…

Tell us what you really think, Chris. Reported here at 411Mania earlier in the week, Chris Jericho had some interesting words to say about The Rock when interviewed by The Sun. “The Rock is a great guy, he’s a great actor, he was a great wrestler–one of my favorites–but I don’t understand why he doesn’t want to come back to the show once in awhile,” he said. “Maybe it’s just that Rock’s scheduling doesn’t work out, but I never have that problem.” One interesting part is that if the Rock were to come back to the show, it’d be for the WWE. A company to which Jericho isn’t even under contract at this time. Granted, Jericho recently said he wouldn’t go anywhere else, and he’s obviously backing up those words. But let’s see if we can really get to the root of the problem. Why is Jericho saying this?

Is it…
a) Chris Jericho was always a big fan of The Rock’s work, and would love to see him electrify his millions (and MILLIONS!) of fans again.
b) Chris Jericho wants to be so busy that he can’t schedule time to return to RAW or Smackdown (or even NXT?)
c) Chris Jericho is still holding a grudge over The Rock for poking fun at his WCW career during his huge RAW debut in 1999.
d) John Cena failed at his bid to goad The Rock into a WrestleMania 26 match, so Jericho figures he can pull it off for WM27. Or finally,
e) Chris Jericho came into the WWF/E after The Rock was a huge star, so he couldn’t share a hotel room with The Rock–thus he never really got to smell what the Rock was cooking.

Tell ya what…we’ll make this an informal survey–you can share your vote in the comments below.

A look around the universe from the Twitter perspective…

Christopher Daniels (facdaniels): You know the people that say “You’re not supposed to sing karaoke well.”? Those are the dopes who can’t f**kin’ sing. Move aside, assbag!

NXT rookie Kaitlyn (KaitlynWWE): For the record. I may have actually killed tinkerbell. I hit something on the drive that left sparkly guts on the windshield.

Samoa Joe (samoajoe): Shoot 1st, Empty it, & only let ONE STORY be told

Kevin Steen (killsteenkill): Stand up for…my balls.

Mick Foley (realMickFoley): An upgrade to 1st Class – where people pay extra sprecifically so they won’t have to sit next to people like me. Nice!

Speaking of Twitter, follow 411Mania on Twitter (because I want Ashish to like me…)

No Column of Honor usually makes Greg DeMarco a sad panda, as Ari has always done a bang-up job covering ROH for 411Mania. So much so that during my own website’s short run, I had Ari as a guest on my podcast, and we talked ROH and wrestling in general for over 45 minutes. However, because he does such a great job, there usually isn’t much I can add to the discussion. Luckily for me, with last week being a CoH off week, I can take ROH to task a little. DISCLAIMER: I love ROH. I discovered ROH for myself during the “Summer of Punk” (CM Punk’s hostage taking of the ROH World Championship before leaving for the WWE), and Matt Hardy’s ROH debut vs. Christopher Daniels. I’ve written about ROH, I’ve interviewed ROH people, and I even had the great fortune of partnering with them to plan their Phoenix events earlier this year. Keep this in mind as we go…

ROH drops the ball with Daniels vs. Richards: Last weekend, ROH hit the road for their traditional Midwest double-shot of Dayton & Chicago. Chicago in particular featured three “big money” matches in Homicide vs. Kevin Steen, Colt Cabana vs. Steve Corino in an I-Quit Match, and their main event of Christopher Daniels vs. Davey Richards. Homicide-Steen & Cabana-Corino were all under promoted, as was the entire Chicago event. But neither hit the criminal level of under promotion for Christopher Daniels vs. Davey Richards. The match itself was great, a near 30 minute battle between a founding father for Ring of Honor and the man who has been tapped as the future of the promotion. The match built to what is hyped as an amazing high spot, and Davey pulled out the decisive victory over the veteran, forcing him to tap out to an ankle submission. This starts Davey’s hunt for the ROH World Championship, as he sits as the challenger-in-waiting for Final Battle 2010 on iPPV. But as I said earlier, the match isn’t the issue.

When Christopher Daniels made his surprise return back in April at “The Big Bang” iPPV in Charlotte, ROH was able to pull off an actual surprise. No one had reported Daniels’ release from TNA, and no on reported that he was backstage. Daniels made his presence felt in the wake of a Davey Richards victory, and the ROH faithful has been clamoring for this one-on-one contest ever since. Booking conflicts including trips to Japan caused this match to wait for over 6 months, finally being announced for last weekend in Chicago. The announcement placed the match on a card with no ROH World or TV Championship matches (Roderick Strong & Eddie Edwards both being in Japan), and no real threats to the World Tag Team Champions. Richards-Daniels was set to carry the load, and was more than capable of doing so. So after the announcement, what did we get? Not much. No stand alone video package to hype this match. No sit down interview with Davey Richards to talk about what Christopher Daniels has meant to ROH, and what a win here would mean for his march towards Final Battle 2010. No sit down interview (or in ring promo) from Christopher Daniels to talk about how he’s been written off as the veteran, a gate keeper for the new breed, and how his win over Davey Richards would give him the momentum heading to his title match against Roderick Strong in Toronto. They could have taped an in-ring confrontation between the two at the early October TV tapings–not for TV, but to use to hype Richards-Daniels for Chicago.

Now, an article about a match on the main-page of your website is great. ROH’s site does plenty of traffic. But that’s simply not enough. A little foresight and advanced planning could have lead to Richards-Daniels getting the treatment it truly deserved–as the most anticipated match of ROH’s fall swing, and a surefire match of the year candidate. It was indeed both of those things, but it wasn’t promoted like it.

Five Things You Didn’t Know About…Samoa Joe
1. Samoa Joe is a licensed mortgage broker.

2. He performed as a dancer in the 1984 Olympics as part of his family’s Polynesian dance troupe.

3. Joe trains as a sparring partner for Tito Ortiz’s Team Punishment in California.

4. Outside of wrestling he is actually very good friends with CM Punk, Homicide, Christopher Daniels, AJ Styles & Rob Van Dam, and did make several appearances on RVD’s internet show.

5. Joe was in several episodes of game show “Distraction” where he did wrestling holds on contestants when they tried to answer.

You should have seen your ReAction! As I pointed out in the comments section of its news article, I was very excited about this week’s TNA ReAction. Yes people, you heard that right. I was excited about something TNA was doing. And as far as I know, I’m still on the 411Mania staff. (At least I hope so…) TNA presented a focused, directed, and insightful episode of ReAction, and I think it accomplished what it was supposed to–it added to the product and got wrestlers over in a new and different way. The “looking-in,” insider style promos that TNA intersperses into its program is actually quite effective, and before you troll me, know that Randy Orton agrees with me!

I get the argument that it’s revisionist history, and not proof that TNA had this planned all along. I disagree with this for one reason: it’s the NWO-redux. And as I’ve stated before, that’s all Eric Bischoff and Hulk Hogan have to offer to a wrestling product anymore. For that reason alone, I can imagine that Hogan & Bischoff intended to recreate the NWO from day one. And that’s why I can suspend disbelief for this episode of ReAction. And the ability to twist the past to make it work for what you are doing today is not a skill unique to TNA by any stretch. The WWE didn’t pioneer that practice either, it’s been around for ages. And TNA got it right this time.

One of the most impressive effects of this broadcast were the calm, collected & calculated interviews given by talents that still managed to get them over. No one screaming in the ring, no physical intimidation, no over the top shenanigans. The vision of a wrestler sitting and calmly taking about how they were put in position to do something just seems so…normal. Believable, even. I was also very impressed with the individual performances put forth by Robert Roode, James Storm and Frankie Kazarian. As members of Fourtune, they actually appear like modern day Horsemen. And all three are a strong future for the company to grow on. If they don’t get lost in the Immortals shuffle (and that’s a BIG “if”), they can leave this angle in a better position than when they started. And to quote DDP, that’s not a bad thing…it’s a good thing! (BANG!)

Overall, I give this episode of ReAction high marks. Let me repeat this for you… Overall, I give this episode of ReAction high marks.

See, we don’t all hate TNA. We just hate a lot of what TNA does. Thursday night, they did something good.

As promised, here is your chance to be a part of the 5&1 Experience. Or maybe we can call it the 5&1 Nation. The DeMarco Army? Whatever. My comments are included in italics. Great job last week, you did more than just vote for Velvet Sky, to the tune of over 300 comments. Thank you!

“Greg, Thanks for participating in the comments. Can’t wait to see if your Sophomore effort is as good as this one.”~Guest#6085

You’re asking for a lot, 6085! (if that’s your real name…)

“Finally, welcome to 411 wrestling, I hope you keep this column because I liked the way you set it up. I just want to warn you: Beware of the trolls.”

You know, Larry claimed he had the place sprayed for trolls before I moved in. Obviously he lied…

“Great column – good format breaking up the piece with different topics and some nice insight too. I’ll look forward to reading next week.”

Okay, now I’m just copying ones that praised my work. Let’s move on…

(On TNA’s booking of Hogan’s Immortals)

“yes greg this TNA angle is actually interesting not like Cena being forced into Nexus nonsense that you love. Nexus was a great idea destroyed as usual by Mcmahon and company but thats never mentioned because bashing that horrible butchering of that angle is blasphemy on these boards.”

You’re off to a good start. Well, okay–it’s a start. Tell me, what is so great about The Immortals? Furthermore, what is so bad about Cenexus? I’m not saying you’re wrong, but give us something 8156!

“Worse, I have no belief that they have an idea of how to end this. So it would behoove them to draw out the basic story. Rushing to the middle only brings them to the day when Sting should have beaten Hogan sooner.”

There was actually a lot of great discussion around this point. 4881 made a good comparison, and it’s a little scary that some of the same people are involved that many years later. And he/she’s spot on in my opinion–there is likely no endgame planned.

“Didn’t the late Eddie Guerrero come clean and openly admit about his drug usage and go clean for more than 3 yrs before passing away. I don’t think one wrestle needs to come out about there drug usage but majority of them. “

“Regarding a wrestler coming out about steroids, Edge admitted on (Canadian) national TV in 2005, and Christian all but confirmed he tried it as well. Maybe they could spearhead some initiative.”
~Les Classic

“And as far as somebody coming out didn’t HBK admit that when he took his 4 years off he was painkiller addict at the time. I believe he says what saved him was him family and find religion go guide him. Now that he has stepped away from the ring he has something to keep him busy and thats his family. The life on the road is not for everybody but I think it helps when you have something besides wrestling to fall back on. Jericho is another one that when he steps away will be alright because he can seek other ventures and has a full time band to work with. Also he gets that time off and doesn’t loose his spot. Maybe the WWE off season or regulated breaks is something that the wresters do need to not turn to abusive life choices.”
~midcard madness

Great examples above. The problem is, admitting it is only part of the solution. We need a concerted effort to make a real difference. It has to come from the inside. Stand up for THAT, WWE…

“I like the idea of Bryan Daniels and Sheamus as a tag team, if the tag team division meant anything. Power and skill, like Brett Hart and Jim Niedhart.”

Can you say matching tights?!

“There’s just something about PWI not adhering to kayfabe that makes me sad. “

Is that you, “it’s still real to me” guy? If so, welcome! It’s so nice to have you!

“Velvet for the EPIC, ONE SHOT WIN! And that’s a cool story bro!”

What, Dennis Stamp wasn’t booked for that? Paul Roma didn’t want any?

“1. I know I clicked and all, but the diva vote is still a cheap trick for clicks/hits. I click for everything, but the pictures. Most of them have all posed nude anyways, so no need for clothed pictures…
2. Real religious guy, huh? That is why you do the tits ‘n’ ass column?
3. You also said you worked for a top promotion in North America? Somehow doubtful-cleaning up the ring, I assume? That does not count.”

Ah, the perfect commenter for us to welcome a special guest star to this section, one who has agreed to contribute weekly…my good buddy Dwayne.*

The Rock: Points…is that what you…think?

Points: Umm, ye–

*The Rock & I aren’t actually friends.

Tough Enough to return? In a bit of great news in my opinion, it was announced this week that the WWE and USA Network might be bringing back Tough Enough, pairing it with RAW on Monday nights. No official announcement has been made, nor has a release date been reported. But count me in as ready to set my DVR once this info comes available. WWE Tough Enough, if done right, can merge the positive aspects of the original, NXT and The Ultimate Fighter and provide the WWE with an additional hour of must see programming.

With kayfabe being less of a concern than ever before, I think the WWE can really take the fan “behind the curtain” with Tough Enough, showing the contestants and current roster members in more of a real life setting, which would both enhance their new “family friendly” focus as well as build a bigger buy-in to the performers as people. I think we need to have trained wrestlers on the program, with a limited amount of experience. I don’t want to see someone come from the FCW roster onto Tough Enough as a contestant. I don’t want to see the WWE sign Roderick Strong from ROH and send him to Tough Enough instead of FCW. But young, green, unknown talents would be perfect for this program.

This is also a great opportunity for the coaches to shine as well. John Morrison would be choice #1 for a coach, thanks to his prior history with the program. Josh Matthews is the obvious choice for a host as well. Obviously there’s not a fight at the end of the episode as on The Ultimate Fighter, but putting two guys in a match where one will be eliminated based on his performance would be just as good given the setting.

Don’t get me wrong. The WWE has the potential to go all NXT Season 3 with this and completely screw it up. I don’t think anyone would be shocked either way. If the WWE tries to make it scripted, or tries to force in contestants who aren’t really contestants but WWE agenda driven talents, or tries to make getting a specific coach over the main focus of the show, it will suck. Hard. But the potential for greatness outweighs the potential for suck.

This is also a major opportunity I think TNA should explore. Given their connection to Spike TV and the success and popularity of The Ultimate Fighter, I’m surprised it hasn’t happened already. It would be a great show to air right before Impact, and could be an outstanding way to utilize talents like Kevin Nash, Sting & Team 3D–as they mentor and train the future of TNA. I know those four might not exactly be down for that role, but I think they’d both be great at it. Regardless, be it a TNA version or WWE Tough Enough, there is great potential in this for wrestling in general.

Your “& 1” model of the week is a former Diva Search contestant, and the wife of “star” UFL quarterback Jeff Garcia, Carmella DeCesare! Interesting fact about Carmella, she was in the 2004 Diva Search, but didn’t get implants until 2005. No wonder she didn’t win!

Thank you for reading The Wrestling 5 & 1. Vote for Maryse or Velvet, leave a comment, talk some wrestling, and feel free to shoot me an e-mail at [email protected] Also, as I’m on the staff now, I’ve been reading all of the articles. And they’re damn good. Everyone offers a great and varied perspective, and each one adds something to the wrestling watching experience. If you’re not reading them, click on the links within the big blue bar above and check some out. Add them to your weekly reading routine. You’ll be glad you did.

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We’ll see who The Rock has words for next week…

I hear voices cryin’! … I see Daniel Bryan!


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