Friday, January 27, 2012

Head to Head: Royal Rumble!

Welcome to our newest feature here at Two Spot Monkeys, Head to Head!  Each month Tom and I will do a combined column previewing the WWE pay per view that month.  We will also provide our picks for the matches on the show.  Now, why is it called Head to Head you ask?  Well, because we decided to have some fun with this and turn it into a competition.  So, we will track our record of picks throughout the year.  At the end of the year, whoever picks most successfully will be declared the winner.  To make it even more interesting, we’ve gone ahead and made a wager on this.  The terms are as follows: as those who know us personally know, Tom is a huge Detroit Lions fan, while I am a huge Chicago Bears fan.  Whichever of us has a worse picking percentage at the end of the year will have to purchase a shirt of the other guy’s team, and wear it to the first live wrestling show that we both attend together in 2013.  Of course, we will document that painful experience right here at Two Spot Monkeys!

Without any further adieu, we present Head to Head: Royal Rumble Edition!  Since there are only four matches announced, we have also added who we believe the “Final Four” in the Royal Rumble will be, bringing us up to 8 picks made for this show!

John Cena vs. Kane

JIM:  Cena is being kept out of the World Title situation until after Wrestlemania due to his match with The Rock coming up at Mania.  This is the first match in the feud between them (which should keep Cena busy through the Elimination Chamber, and then after that, The Rock will be around more for the Mania build), so there is no way Super Cena should win this match.  Do I fear they’ll have him win?  You better believe I do.  But, to keep the story moving, I expect that we’ll probably see a non-finish or DQ of some kind with Kane “destroying” Cena at the end, throwing him off something or something of that matter.   So, my official prediction is “No Contest”.

TOM:  I really like the story with Cena and Kane, pushing the idea that Cena needs to embrace his “darker” side in an effort to bring the fight to The Rock at WrestleMania.  This should be a brawl style of the match, where Kane brings the fight to Cena and attempts to test him to expose those “heel” tendencies that might be buried inside.  I think Kane is successful in doing just that and as a result, Cena will get DQed because of his actions and Kane takes the win.  My official prediction is Kane wins, via DQ.

World Heavyweight Title Triple Threat Steel Cage Match
Daniel Bryan (C) vs. The Big Show vs. Mark Henry

JIM:  I’ve gone back and forth on this match a bunch of times.  Part of me thinks Henry gets the title back, but at this point, I’m seeing Orton/Bryan at Mania.  So, I think Daniel Bryan finds yet another backwards way of retaining the title, perhaps slipping out the door while the two monsters are battling it out.  Bryan has been really good in this “smarter than you” heel character so far, and I really hope they stay with it a while longer and let him hang on to the title until Wrestlemania, when the good guy can give Bryan what he has coming to him (but hopefully along the way, they let Bryan put on a hell of a show at Wrestlemania).  So, I’m going with Daniel Bryan. 

TOM: This is the hardest bout to pick, to me. Knowing and following Daniel Bryan from his Ring of Honor days, I am excited to see him in such a big match at this event.  I think Henry and Show neutralize and cancel each other out, but not before each seeking to demolish Bryan along the way.  This is the only outcome I agree with Jim on, Daniel Bryan retains his title here and moves on to Elimination Chamber in February.

WWE Title Match – John Lauranitis is the Special Ref
CM Punk (C) vs. Dolph Ziggler

JIM:  As much as I want Ziggler to get a title run this year, this is not the time to take the belt off of Punk.  The Punk/Johnny Ace story is still going strong, and this match will be all about how Ace tries to screw Punk out of the title.  Though with the news of his impending job review coming on Monday, perhaps he’s going to try to play it straight and only find ways to subtly screw with Punk.  Nah, after the GTS on Monday night, he’ll try his best, but won’t be able to.  I wonder if maybe Triple H shows up to get a first hand look at how Ace does his job on Sunday?  I really enjoy Ziggler, but it’s just not his turn yet.  It will be though, this year for sure.  The prediction here is CM Punk.

TOM:  This is the non-Rumble match I am most interested in.  Not following what has transpired on TV as closely as I would have liked, I still see Lauranitis  screwing Punk, in spite of his pending job review.   Dolph Ziggler wins his first World Title because of politics and rejuvenates Punk to go on a quest for revenge on “Johnny Ace” and regain his belt.

30 Man Royal Rumble Match

JIM:  This year’s Rumble seems to be hurting for star power, especially without Cena in it.  They have said that those who compete in other matches on the card can compete in the Rumble though, so I would expect that barring injury (or storyline injury) to anyone, we should see the losers from the top title matches show up here.  Ziggler will almost surely work twice, and I’d expect the two losers from the Cage match here too, unless they are “too injured to compete”.  I also expect we’ll see Kane, since this is kind of “his match” though he’s never won it.  To me, there are a couple of ways you could go here.  Chris Jericho would seem a really good option, as it would set up Punk/Jericho for Mania which seems to be where the rumors are saying things will go (and is absolutely a Mania worthy match).  I could also see Randy Orton coming back here and winning, as it is in his hometown, and if he’s healthy enough, I like that idea a lot.  Other outside possibilities are Wade Barrett, Sheamus or The Miz (though he’s a long shot now entering at #1), but while I’d love to see any of those three positioned in a main event slot for Mania, I just don’t see it happening.  I think it comes down to Ziggler, Orton, Jericho and Barrett.  For me, I’m going with the hometown boy, my pick for the Royal Rumble winner is Randy Orton!

TOM:  The Royal Rumble Match has always been one of my favorites and I love when the match tells a great story and has drama.  To Jim’s point, star power might be lacking on paper, but I also see that as an opportunity for new talent to break out.  One big selling point that I would be pushing to the moon is Randy Orton’s involvement and the event being held in St. Louis, Orton’s hometown.  Now, due to his injury it just might not have been possible, but it gives fans a great reason to invest and order this show, among other reason.  I agree with Jim too that many of the previous players from matches earlier on the card could find their way into this match and that, based on what happens earlier in the night, could have huge ramifications.  As you see from my picks above, I am going a different direction as Jim in the WWE Title Match.  I see the Rumble coming down to Jericho, Wade Barrett, Randy Orton and CM Punk as the final four, in what could be a foreshadowing of what we end up as two main events for WrestleMania.  I think Barrett eliminates Orton to add storyline reason for Orton to seek revenge and lead to Mania.  I think Barrett and Jericho double team Punk, only to see their co-existing backfire and Barrett go out on miscommunication between the two.  Now, Punk and Jericho as the final two is a pick’em, especially if they will eventually meet at Mania.  I am going to go with Chris Jericho to win and be as devious as ever as he seeks to go to WrestleMania and recapture a World Title.

We will be back early next week with our "Royal Rumble React"!  If you haven't "liked" us on Facebook yet, please do, as it's a great way to stay up to date on when we post new articles here!  Just click HERE and then click "Like"!  Thanks for joining us for the debut of "Head to Head"!

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