The Wrestling 5&1 01.29.11: Layla vs. Trish
Posted by Greg De Marco on 01.29.2011
Trish Stratus takes on Layla in a Battle of the Bang, thoughts on a potential Triple H return, i-PPV continues to take off, TNA’s latest publicity stunt, Ric Flair goes wild, Jackie Gayda is your & 1 Model of the Week and more!
Big changes to announce this week. For the time being, I am stepping back from The DeMarco Files, and will focus on The Wrestling 5&1. You’ll see some additions, and I might even need your help in determining the future format of the column. I’ve got a few good things going on outside of 411Mania, and they’ve necessitated the move. However, you’re not completely rid of me just yet, as I’m also taking over Buy or Sell. In summary: good-bye DeMarco Files (for now), hello Buy or Sell!
Now that we have that out of the way it’s time for… A NEW BEGINNING!
Disclaimer: This is a “What If?” scenario. I’m not reporting that Triple H is returning at the Royal Rumble. I’m not speculating. I’m not reporting that the WWE is “open” to it. I’m opening up a “What If?” discussion based on the assumption that Triple H returns at the Rumble. In reality, most of it applies regardless of when he returns.
Game On? In a year when the WWE adds 10 participants to the Royal Rumble, the company has openly admitted that they feel the Rumble lacks real momentum heading into this weekend. It’s being heavily promoted as the biggest Rumble ever, despite the fact that until a shocking result occurs no one will ever buy-in to anyone but the major stars winning. And I look at this year as no different. Despite not being announced, one of the favorites is always Triple H.
Triple H has been out since Extreme Rules, both as a result of a Sheamus beatdown (kayfabe) and a torn bicep (real life). During his absence, he’s moved into his new office at the WWE headquarters and obtained his new title of Executive Senior Advisor. With Stephanie McMahon staying at home more to raise the children, Trips has taken on more power, and the locker room has reportedly taken to his style of leadership. But HHH has had the advantage of leading a group he isn’t currently a part ofthe active roster. What happens when that changes?
If Triple H returns at the Royal Rumble (or whenever he returns), he’ll still be in his position of leadership. For a guy long considered to be politically savvy, this is a brand new perspective for him. He technically has power over his own bookingsomething that’s been assumed in the past will now be official. What he does with that power will go a long way in defining the type of leader he will be.
Let’s take a look at some potential scenarios (still assuming he returns at the Rumble)…
Triple H wins the Rumble: If Triple H returns and wins the Rumble, he gets a title shot at WrestleMania. As of today, Edge is the World Heavyweight Champion as a face, and The Miz is the WWE Champion as a heel. Triple H will undoubtedly be treated as a face upon his return, but he’s shown in the past that he can turn on a dime. If he were to remain face and challenge The Miz, he’s in a position to either bury the fastest rising star in the WWE, or put him over. If he faces Edge, he’s going against a guy who may retire in 2012, and who already has multiple world titles to his credit.
Triple H faces Sheamus at WrestleMania: Another expectation is that Triple H will get a rematch against Sheamus at WrestleMania. Triple H beat Sheamus last year, but the Celtic Warrior has added another world championship and a King of the Ring crown to his resume since. It’s also known that Tripe is one of Sheamus’s biggest backstage supporters, and wants him to be successful. Putting over Sheamus at WrestleMania would be a huge show of faith in Sheamus’s abilities, and it would also go a long way in the eyes of the talent Trips is now leading. Plus, it gives Triple H a new resume builderstar maker. It would much harder for someone backstage to bash Triple H’s credibility as a leader when he could point to Sheamus and take credit for his successes.
Triple H hasn’t been afraid to put others over on the grandest stage. Sure, he’s won in the last two WrestleManias. But if you look back to a few years ago, you’ll see a three year stretch where he lost in the main event title match each time. He lost to the World Heavyweight Championship to Chris Benoit at WrestleMania XX in a triple threat match that also included Shawn Michaels (where Trips tapped out), he lost the World Heavyweight Championship to Batista via clean pinfall at WrestleMania 21, and he was unsuccessful in his challenge of WWE Champion John Cena at WrestleMania 22 (where Trips tapped outagain).
What this tells me is that Triple H knows what is good for business. And remember, he has an entirely new stake in this business, a long term stake. Long after his in-ring career is over, Triple H will depend on the success of the WWE to provide for his livelihood. The superstars he builds today will be the superstars he uses to build new stars in the future. It’s a very different perspective for him nowand I suspect that when he returns, we’ll see an entirely new Triple H.
You Decide: Do you trust Triple H, the business leader? Do you think he’ll put others’ advancement over his own? Is the WWE in good hands with Triple H?
Sure, moving forward we’ll start with a bigger look at a major story in wrestling’s current landscape. But don’t think I forgot where I came from… BRING ON THE GIRLS!
Thanks to her destruction of Candice Michelle (not to mention the rest of her opponents as well), Layla is officially in the Hall of Bang!
It’s a time honored tradition. When we induct a new member of the Hall of Bang, all of the others are put on notice. For what? The Battle of the Bang!
And what better match-up to kick off Battle of the Bang 3 than Layla El vs. “The Legend” Trish Stratus!
If Layla wins, she advances to take challen7ge Maryse for #2. If Trish wins, Battle of the Bang 3 is officially over. Trish or Layla? Layla or Trish? The decision is yours. At stake is positioning in the world famous Wrestling 5&1 Hall off Bang!
This weekend brings us many fans’ favorite WWE pay-per-view event of the year, The Royal Rumble. This event has brought many great moments to WWE history. Let’s take a look at a few of my personal favorites.
Maven eliminates The Undertaker (2002):
John Cena returns at the Royal Rumble (2008):
Why? Because it was such a well-kept secret. We all expected a March return, and the WWE actually kept it quiet for once. And Triple H’s reaction sold the return perfectly.
Rey Mysterio wins the Royal Rumble (2006):
I remember sitting in Hooters watching this match, thinking there was no way the WWE was going to give Rey the win, tribute to Eddie Guerrero or not. Randy Orton was obviously the future of the WWE at this point, and this appeared to be his chance to get the win. The entire restaurant exploded when Rey won. For someone who had been watching wrestling for over 20 years at that point, it was great to suspend disbelief for a moment and be a fan.
Another one leaves us too soon… Word broke on Wednesday that former WWE developmental talent Shawn Osborne had passed away. It was soon updated to reveal that he had taken his own life. Unfortunately, Osborne penned a very personal and emotional suicide letter, forwarding it to several people and it was ultimately posted online. I’ve read it, and I see no reason to reprint it or even link to it. It’s easy to find if you really want to, but I promise you that it’s very difficult to read. I don’t recommend it.
Osborne, real name Shawn McGrath, is a local product out of Phoenix, Arizona. He trained under Les Thatcher with the HWA in Ohio. He competed there from 2003-2005, before heading home to Arizona where he wrestled for Impact Zone Wrestling. He stayed there through June 2006 until he signed a developmental deal with the WWE, one of several IZW wrestlers to do so (others included Derrick Neikirk and Mike Knox). He was assigned to Ohio Valley Wrestling, transferred to Deep South Wrestling, back to OVW and ultimately to Florida Championship Wrestling before being released in early 2008.
Following his release he mainly stayed in Florida, including appearances for FIP. Shawn McGrath was 34 years old.
iPPV heats up as a form of wrestling distribution. We’ve had three recent revelations about the iPPV medium that seems to be a sign of the future for independent wrestling promotions, and quite possibly anyone who isn’t the WWE. Internet pay-per-view is definitely moving to the forefront, and it seems to be the perfect meeting of independent wrestling and the need for distribution. Just recently, Ring of Honor announced that both of their WrestleMania weekend events are going to be broadcast live on GoFightLive.tv. Follow that up with Dragon Gate USA announcing that this weekend’s Friday & Saturday events will be broadcast on GoFightLive.tv as well. Their Sunday event is already slated to be taped for redistribution in the Spring via their traditional pay-per-view medium. DGUSA Vice President Gabe Sapolsky commented on his Facebook that the deal was reached only a week ago (this was in response to comments that there wasn’t much notice given). With the deal being cut to close to the events, and the quick announcement that ROH will be broadcasting both of their WM weekend events from Atlanta, I can’t help but wonder where the initiative is coming from.
I’m not questioning ROH or DGUSA, but GoFightLive itself. I have yet to hear about a GFL wrestling broadcast that, from start to end, does not have some sort of technical issue.
You Decide: Is this the wave of the future? How would you feel if outside of normal pay-per-views ROH and DGUSA broadcast all of their shows live via iPPV? If companies like PWG and CHIKARA come on board, does this become oversaturated?
Five Things You Didn’t Know AboutDaniel Bryan!
1. Daniel Bryan first wrestled using his real name as Bryan “The Dagger” Danielson, and was a yard-tard for Backyard Championship Wrestling.
2. Danielson sought out training with Dean Malenko, but his school closed just as Bryan was looking to train, so he went to Shawn Michaels’s Texas Wrestling Academy instead.
3. Danielson’s current WWE stint is his third with the company, with his second having ended right after the Nexus ringside attack. His first stint was as a developmental talent with Memphis Championship Wrestling.
4. He competed in the first ever ROH main event on “The Era of Honor Begins” in a triple threat match against Low Ki (the winner of the match) and Christopher Daniels.
5. Danielson was booked to win the NWA World Heavyweight Championship at the culmination of their 2007 “Reclaiming the Glory” tournament until an eye injury forced him to withdraw from the finals. Danielson served as the referee in the Puerto Rico final match that saw Adam Pearce defeat Brent Albright to capture the vacant title. Pearce is now a three-time champion, Danielson never got his title reign.
Here is a great, old school Bryan Danielson match, facing Hiroshi Tanahashi for New Japan in 2004.
And here’s some fun with Bryan Danielson and Jack Evans from PWG…
Like that’ll happen! Word broke this week about TNA’s inexplicably offering Chad Johnson/Ochocinco and Bengals head coach to settle their differences inside the four-sides-of-steel at Lockdown.
Who the hell does TNA think they’re fooling here?
Seriously, this is nothing but a desperate grab for publicity, and it makes them look stupid. No one actually thinks this will happen. I don’t care if it was done to promote Lockdown coming to Cincinnati. The only redeeming factor that the media outlets that did pick-up on the story actually named TNA by name–so that’s a step in the right direction. The biggest outlet I could find was ProFootballTalk.com, which is part of the NBC Sports network of sites. To TNA’s credit, Mike Florio does report that it was Chad who suggested a cage match on his Twitter account, and TNA is merely giving the avenue to make that match happen.
What? It’s not like they let Ric Flair become a public embarrassment on an international tour or anything. Oh, wait…
You Decide: How desperate for any publicity is TNA at this point? Would they have been better served to tell Chad Johnson he could wrestle a current TNA superstar? At least one of their younger/homegrown stars would be getting some pub…
To book the man, you gotta PAY the man…whooo! Ric Flair made an ass out of himself again, and a wrestling promoter/promotion is enabling him again. This time it was part of TNA’s international tour, where he randomly refused to board the company’s bus until he was paid for the entire tour up front. Apparently he ran out of partying money, and needed a little bit more. Glad to see Flair is being smart with his money these days!
When TNA declined to meet his demands, Flair declined to board the bus to Germany. And TNA declined to wait. Flair has since rejoined the promotion in Scotland…no word on if his pay was in fact advanced. PWInsider was lucky enough to get some anonymous statements from a TNA talent (PWInsider didn’t print this as something they received anonymously, rather that their source requested to remain anonymous.
“Flair’s asked several of us for money when he’s had his credit cards declined. When that happens, the bar tab comes and others get stuck paying for the very drinks he said were on the house in the first place. Everyone loves the “Nature Boy”, but when the limousines and party lifestyle is based on bad credit and lies, it suddenly becomes more pathetic than anything else. There is nothing glamorous about a guy who has no concept of money management and then lies to try and get out of it. The fact he has no money should be a lesson every wrestler today should take note of. … I respect what the older guys have done, but they aren’t making us any money. Nothing reflects that. We would draw the exact same if 99% of them were gone. Sometimes you have to take a step backwards to take a leap forward and I really think more and more that’s where TNA is. Obviously, you need some veteran talents but there’s a crew here that wants to build a company and we want to focus on that, not paying someone’s bar tab and having to wait for him to fight it out with Craig Jenkins [TNA Management] when he doesn’t get his way.”
I don’t know who made those comments, and I really don’t care who made those comments. But they are very telling. TNA has significantly increased their payroll in 2010, and saw very little return on that investment. The wrestlers they released included some of their talented undercard, and their focus on building up the homegrown, younger stars is all but gone.
You Decide: Are you done with Ric Flair? Seriously, do you even want him on your TV anymore?
Chris Jericho (IAmJericho): “Just saw a kid reading a Choose Your Own Adventure book! I was obsessed with those when I was a kid. Glad to see they’re still around…”
Kevin Steen (KillSteenKill): “1st weekend away from ROH…Some food for thought: ROH didn’t have TV before I came along, and then lost it shortly after I left…hmmm…”
Kevin Nash (RealKevinNash): “Gotta take my son to school in the morning. Rumor has it I’m #40 at the Rumble. Keep your fingers crossed. GoodNight friends and haters.”
CM Punk (CMPunk): “Does anybody get offended when somebody flips ‘em off anymore? I think it’s hilarious.”
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From the 1/22 Wrestling 5&1:
“Thanks to the last set of pics posted…my vote HAS to go to Layla. Candice has a GREAT ass but Layla has a SPECTACULAR ass!”
As much as I love Candice Michelle, Layla does win in the ass category.
“TNA’s lower ratings – Hate to say it, but with their booking, lack of direction, and inability to see where they really were in the market they had it coming. … WWE paid the price for not developing new upper card stars one by one. By pushing like half a dozen at once, the ratings dropped a bit. Call it an investment in the future and move on.”
I know some will call it a double standard, but the WWE can afford to take risks that cause ratings to drop a little. They have much more credibility with their network partners. TNA doesn’t have that yet. It’s much harder for TNA to rebound from poor decision making.
“40 man Rumble? Meh. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Really no need for 10 extra men.”
My gut instinct is to agree with Stevey here. But I love the Rumble, so let’s see how it plays out. In the end, I imagine we won’t really feel the difference.
“And the Trish match gets funnier over time, simply because I’m almost positive the guys that booed her that night are the ones that write her love letters on sites like this now, begging her to return. When the truth is she’s one movie role away from pulling a Rock and asking people to call her “Patricia” from now on.”
I think Mickie deserves a ton of credit for how that match went, and the crowd’s turning on Trish. And I give the WWE credit for giving Mickie the clean win.
“The Three: I think they are taking a big risk having shows on WM weekend. It just seems like a bad move and, even with great shows, ROH will probably have a dip in people buying the shows.”
But even if they have a dip in purchases, they still make money. To date, every single ROH iPPV has made money.
“Don’t care what you say: Gangster CM Punk = WIN!”
I must admit, we marked out for that during the original broadcast. If Cena-Punk happens at Mania, I really hope Cena uses this against Punk in a promo.
“I could have sworn they said that it would be 90sec between people, so they’re still aiming towards a 70min rumble, which is fine.”
I hope you’re right. It does allow for a hour-plus long Rumble, and still keeps things moving at a swift pace.
“Layla looks like she’s a moaner and Candice looks like she talks dirty while you doggystyle her and pull her hair. So Candice by a hand full of hair.”
Only from TheR will you get that type of in-depth analysis! You can comment here anytime!
“2. Advertise during the Super Bowl – THEY HAVE THE MONEY. 100 million plus will be watching – why the hell not?
4. Live, Live, Live. I can’t stress it enough: Taped shows ALWAYS draw less than live shows these days because anybody can read up what happened. Make it must see TV.
REAL #5: Increase average wrestling time to 30-40 minutes on Impact, at least one X-Division match per show, at least one Knockout match per show, and if it takes more than three sentences to explain, it is overbooked so don’t do it.”
(I edited this down for space, sorry Scorp!) I look back to late 2009 as an example of when TNA was headed in the right direction. Not perfect, but it was getting better. Imagine if they kept pushing the younger stars, and had the marketing push & live environment Scorp is talking about. I imagine ratings would be higher than they are now, and payroll would be lower.
“… have never seen a more hated writer for any site than you.”
That’s actually quite the high praise, considering who some of the most hated writers on this and other sites were. I’ll take it!
“Layla. The only chick I might (and I say might) vote for against this goddess is Ms.Tessmacher.”
Tessmacher was a considered, along with Maria and Mickie James.
“Two…I can understand why Hulk wants that house sold…bad memories. Speaking as a divorced person, that house would feel in a way like bad mojo.”
Sorry to quote your personal business here, but you bring up a good point. Some people don’t ever want to get in their car again after they’re in an accident. I can see the same thing with the house.
“Hunter’s entrance is made all the more goofy by him sporting the decidedly un-Barbarian-King-like WATER BOTTLE.”
That’s like when I went to a medieval style dinner but was served fried chicken with a fork and Diet Pepsi…
“Man, if the WWE were a person, I don’t know how many times I would have slapped the hell outta them for dumb baffling ass decisions.”
I quoted this simply because it was hilarious.
“Layla! Cover her in BBQ sauce and feast on the sweetness!”
~Jim Ross’s Colon
Jim Ross’s Colon!? That ranks up there as one of the funniest fake names I’ve seen here.
“I’d say TNA’s ratings drop is a clear sign that the new direction they took when Hogan came in at best did not help, and may have actually hurt the product. Well, I know it hurt the product quality, but speaking solely of the ratings, it’s plainly obvious Hogan and Co. have done nothing to justify their big fat checks.”
I don’t know what the increase in payroll was (I know someone posted $30 millionbut that seems high to me), but they would have maintained the same ratings without taking on the extra costs.
“So let me get this straight. Mickie James gets Trish Stratus as her gatekeeper. The woman who gets fawned over by pretty much every wrestling fan and their mothers every time her name is even mentioned but Layla gets Candice.”
Yes, I confirm that you do indeed have that straight.
“I also want the rumble to not have entrances at 30 seconds a piece so they can get through everybody, since I am actually ordering this.”
I agree. A 40 man Rumble that lasts less than 40 minutes would suck.
“Layla for the win, but I want to see Rain here again soon…”
She’ll be back my friend…she’ll be back.
“Oh yeah, the important bit. … Layla.”
I know I asked for all the other discussion when I made the Benoit comment. But I’m staying out it.
“I am aware, well aware, this will not get posted, but at least you need to know how horrible this writing is. You have no skills. It is sad. If it was just me who saw this that would be one thing, but I have never seen a more hated writer for any site than you.
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Guest#1478 – If Greg won’t do it, then I will.
IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT YOU THINK!!!!”
I actually prefer it when you guys take these matters in your own hands. But I’ll take care of the pics for you…
And for you Stevey, for having my back…
Thanks for clearing that up… After several comments by Dana White, and one from Lorenzo Fertitta, Brock Lesnar himself commented on the rumors concerning himself, The Undertaker and WrestleMania 27. Brock’s comments?
“”That thing just took on a life of its own. I’m a fighter. There wasn’t anything there. I never pursued anything, no.”
Well then, I guess that makes it official. Not Dana White saying no. Not Lorenzo Fertitta reiterating the terms of Brock’s UFC contract. Nope. Brock had to say it. Honestly, I have no idea why Brock had to say it. Really, he was simply answering a question. That’s understandable. But to say he never pursued anything, I have to call that one out. The whole Undertaker thing looked way too planned to me, the only spontaneous part of it was Brock losing his fight beforehand. Of course it took on a life of its own. You’re mixing the WWE, the UFC and MMA’s biggest draw in Brock Lesnar. Did you not think it’d get some attention?
You Decide: What do you think Brock was hoping to accomplish at WrestleMania 27. Did he want to wrestle? Referee? Sit in the front row?
Welcome back to the Wrestling 5&1 QUEEN OF PURO TOURNAMENT~! We are in week number four. This means that we’ve already seen the outcome of three of our four first round matches, and, as a result of last week’s vote, Manami Toyota triumphed and moves on to round number two.
Of course, Toyota now needs an opponent, which is why we’re back today for our fourth and final first round matchup pitting two popular women of wrestling against one another.
Competitor number one is Shu Shibutani. Shu is thirty years of age with five years of experience in wrestling. She is a part of the roster of Pro Wrestling WAVE, though unfortunately for her she is presently sidelined with an injury to her right knee. Most likely she will be able to return to active competition in the early part of 2011 if she so desires.
Competitor number two is Fuuka. Fuuka is an interesting character in wrestling. She wrestled for several years and has also promoted her own independent shows for some time. She retired from in-ring competition in March 2010, but she’s not quite done with the sport. She is still active behind the scenes, helping to launch a new group named “Stardom” which plans to train young women and models to be professional wrestlers.
Now we take a look at the pictures that you will be basing your votes upon. Shu Shibutani will be on the left side of your screen, and Fuuka will be on the right side of your screen.
We’ve got theme photos this week: First, photoshoots.
Now we’ve both got women in a bit more intimate apparel.
Finally, here they are ready for competition in the ring.
Also, as always, we’ve got video of both of our competitors wrestling. In video number one, Shu wrestles current TNA wrestler Sarita. In video number two, Fuuka locks horns with Mariko Yoshida.
Have you figured out who you want to move on to round number two? If so, cast your vote. Next week, we’ll be back with the results of this matchup as well as the first battle of our second round!
This week’s “&1″ model is proof that Charlie Haas did quite well for himself…his wife, Jackie Gayda!
Way to be, Charlie!
I know what some of you are thinking…what about the DeMarcettes?! Don’t worry, the remaining four will be revealed in due time. I’ve actually spoiled two of them in some of my prior comments over the past few weeks. I’m going to reveal all four in the same week, and I think I have the perfect week in mind…
Randy Harrison provides another great Bell to Bell News Report this week!
Joseph F. Martinez keeps the news and opinions coming in The Wrasslin’ Countdown!
And the always entertaining News from Cook’s Corner with Steve Cook!
Check out Mike Bauer’s final edition of Buy or Sell, before yours truly takes over!
While you’re at it, stay with the theme and check out Fact or Fiction!
Thanks for reading this edition of The Wrestling 5&1! You have plenty to talk about. Now go vote! And comment! Then enjoy the Royal Rumble.
Until next time…we bring back a favorite that will never get old, The Minnesota Home Wrecking Crew!
They can wreck my home any day…