Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Head 2 Head Record Update - Podcast Announcement

Happy Tuesday!

Sorry for no REACT last week on the heels of Night of Champions. Jim was celebrating his nuptuals and ladies sighed as he is now "off the market!" Jim and Tom each went 4-2 on their picks for the show, bringing the overall standings to Jim 34-18 over Tom 33-19, retaining his narrow lead.

Hell in a Cell, Survivor Series and TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs remain on the PPV schedule and will determine who wears their rivals NFL t-shirt to the first wrestling event that they mutually attend in 2013.

We are also happy to announce that in the coming weeks we will be recording our first Two Spot Monkeys podcast. You can either listen live or capture it for a listen after it is recorded. Our plan as of right now is that we will be previewing Ring of Honor's next iPPV: Glory By Honor XI. We hope you will join us!

Have a great week!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Head 2 Head: WWE Night of Champions!

First and foremost, Two Spot Monkeys wants to send our prayers to Jerry Lawler and all of the WWE following the medical emergency of Monday night.  Get well soon, King!  Glad to hear you’re on the road to recovery!

We are back for another PPV pick’em and as a reminder Jim holds a narrow lead over Tom and with NFL season kicked off, the competitive nature of this should be tight over the final 4 pay-per-view events of this season.  Tom doesn’t want to don a Bears t-shirt and Jim certainly doesn’t want to sport a Lions t-shirt!  Please note, all picks made before Smackdown was taped on Tuesday night and possible matches added.

United States Title Match: Antonio Cesaro (c) vs. Pre-Show Battle Royal Winner

TOM: I am excited that Cesaro gets a shot on PPV.  I hope that they give him an opponent that really allows both to shine.  Rey Mysterio might be that guy the most and since I don’t see Cesaro losing the title anytime soon, Rey could really boost the credibility of the champion and look good doing it.  That’d be my wish, but it could be so many guys on the roster and Rey might get added to the likely Intercontinental Title Match .  No matter the opponent, Cesaro retains.

JIM:  I agree, Cesaro retains, and I also agree I hope he gets an opponent he can shine against.  I am kind of expecting Santino Marella to win the Battle Royal to get another shot at regaining his title.  Feels like “been there, done that”, but it’s what WWE seems to do best.  I’d love to see Christian, or a returning Evan Bourne, or even Hunico win a shot, but I still expect Marella, and I still expect Cesaro to retain.  The only way he loses is if Ryback wins the Battle Royal, which he most certainly should not!

Divas Title: Layla El (c) vs. Kaitlyn

TOM: I know Kaitlyn has been built-up recently, but not as strongly as you might wish for.  I don’t know that it matters because until WWE really wants to get behind the Divas division it tends to be wash, rinse, repeat.  Layla retains her title here.

JIM:  It seems clear that it’s Eve they are building to take the title from Layla, and there are even reports that Eve was supposed to win the Battle Royal, but blew the ending and Kaitlyn accidently won.  If so, they easily could have had Eve win the #1 contendership from Kaitlyn, but anways.  I actually like Kaitlyn, and think if they give her time, she can develop nicely.  That being said, this is not her time, Layla is the no brainer pick. 

World Tag Team Title Match: Kofi Kingston & R-Truth (c) vs. Daniel Bryan & Kane

TOM: This match was just finalized Monday night.  I am excited for it.  I have been highly entertained by the Daniel Bryan/Kane duo and everything they have been a part of.  Considering the story-focused nature of WWE, I really see WWE switching the titles here because it adds another layer to the sage of Bryan & Kane and I think it would really make for entertaining programming.  Daniel Bryan & Kane become tag team champions!

JIM:  So far, Tom and I just can’t seem to disagree, as I see Bryan and Kane walking out as tag champs as well.  I actually love the idea of their “team” finisher being Kane chokeslamming Bryan onto their opponents and getting the pin.  It works so well for their team, especially if Bryan never looks happy about it, even as they are champs.  It’s time for Kofi and R-Truth to move on anyways, so, Kane and Bryan become the “odd couple” tag team champs on Sunday night. 

Randy Orton vs. Dolph Ziggler

TOM: I often feel like a broken record when it comes to Dolph Ziggler.  The guy is far and away one of the top talents in WWE and week after week after week, he shines yet does not get the “real” chance to break through the glass ceiling.  Orton has been re-introduced to WWE slowly after his most recent suspension, but that accelerates here as I see him winning and going on to face the winner of the World Title Match – Randy Orton to become #1 Contender, but Dolph stays strong and of course has his MiTB briefcase to still cash in!

JIM:  I think Ziggler gets the pin here, as Orton is about ready to head out to film the new 12 Rounds movie, though it seems they may still use him for TV.  Ziggler needs to continue to be built so that when he does cash in, he has a good shot at getting over as champ. 

World Heavyweight Title: Sheamus (c) vs. Alberto Del Rio

TOM: I feel like I’ve been pulling for ADR to win the title from Sheamus FOREVER, when it reality it has not been much more than a few months.  Per the comments of Booker T on Monday, the Brogue Kick is now banned and that might be just enough to tip the scales away from Sheamus.  Something about this month gives me hope (?) or I am doing exactly when the definition of insanity states (repeating the same thing over and over, but expecting a different result…).  Del Rio finally unseats Sheamus here and moves into a title feud with Randy Orton.

JIM:  I’m with Tom in his belief that it’s about time they give Del Rio the title and move on, but honestly, I don’t know, I’ve got a gut feeling that Sheamus retains.  I don’t know why I have that feeling, but I do.  Maybe it’s that I don’t trust them to do the thing that makes the most sense.  Banning the Brogue Kick could do the trick, but man, how stupid is it that they are banning it?  I mean, it’s not like it’s an illegal choke hold.  When did kicking a guy in the face become illegal in pro wrestling?  That’s insane.  So, just for that stupidity, I see them having Sheamus “overcome the odds” again and keep the title, though it’s getting to be time to get it off of him I do think. 

WWE Title: CM Punk (c) vs. John Cena

TOM: This is and has become again such an incredible rivalry.  I am probably most excited for this match because we’ve had Paul Heyman added to the mix with Punk and I think fans are just really going to get behind Cena trying to capture the title.  Punk is re-igniting his heel roots and he is making every title match must see because people are going to either want to see him retain and see how long it can go or not miss the wrestler and match where he finally loses.  Punk retains and remains on the road to The Rock at Royal Rumble.

JIM:  Well, we’re only going to differ on 2 matches, because I think that Punk absolutely has to retain here and go on to the Rumble in January, where I expect he may lose to The Rock.  I’m always leery of picking against Cena in a title situation, as they love putting that belt back on him when they can, and I wouldn’t be totally shocked to see him win it quick here and drop it back at Hell in the Cell, (playing up the winning it in his hometown ploy).  But, honestly, they just have to go with Punk here.  Don’t they?  Punk retains, probably with help from Paul Heyman. 

So, there it is, our look at Night of Champions, we’ll be back next week with our React for Night of Champions among other topics (perhaps a look at Chikara’s King of Trios?  I sure hope so!).  Have you “liked” us on Facebook yet?  If not, click HERE to get to our page and like us!  Thanks!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

13 Questions with Ophidian!

Ophidian is a long time member of the CHIKARA roster, who last year had a change of heart, and after teaming with Amasis as The Osirian Portal for years, turned his back on Amasis (or was it the other way around?  read on to find out more!) and has become much more devious.  This weekend he leads his stable mates, The Batiri into battle at CHIKARA's King of Trios 2012 Tournament.  Ophidian joined us here at Two Spot Monkeys to talk about his career, where it's been, and where it's going. 

1.  Can you tell us how you got interested in becoming a professional wrestler?

Ophidian:  Well, that truly is a very long answer. I'll try my best to contain it. Amasis and I were in a losing war with the Persians back in our time. The Funky Pharaoh prayed to Osiris for an answer, for a way to defeat the evil invading our lands. The answer was the Portal of Osiris. He told us to travel to the future and find a style of fight that is completely foreign to our time. With battle tactics that the Persians wouldn't know how to defend against, we'd be sure to achieve victory. So, Osiris assigned me with the task to protect Amasis in this Journey. When we entered the portal and traveled into the future, we landed in Philadelphia. Specifically, we found ourselves standing before the Coliseum known as the ECW Arena. We entered the Arena and watched as combatant after combatant battled. It was instantaneous. Lucha Libre was what we needed to defeat the Persians.

2.  You trained at the Chikara Wrestle Factory, under Mike Quackenbush & Chris Hero among others, can you tell us about that time and what is most memorable (either good or bad) from your training and breaking in?

Ophidian:  When we entered the Wrestle Factory, the classes were split - Rudo and Technico. We decided Chris Hero, The Rudo trainer, was the man we needed to learn from. We would eventually train with the Techincos. Some of the others we trained under were Jorge "Skayde" Rivera, El Pantera, Delirious, and Claudio Castagnoli just to name a few. Anyway, it was truly a strange time when we entered CHIKARA. Quackenbush and Hero were engaged in a long feud that had splintered the company. Chris Hero treated us well and taught us much. It was due to those Rudo ways that Amasis and I were able to ascend through the ranks of CHIKARA so quickly. I cannot elaborate much on the training. I can say it was rough. On my second day of training, I was sidelined with an injury! I was thrown over the top rope, hit the turnbuckle post and split my leg open big time. It took 15 staples and a month off to close my leg up.

3.   Until just less than a year ago, you were most closely associated with Amasis, as you formed The Osirian Portal, including a reign  as the Chikara Campeonatos de Parejas.  How did that team come to be, and what are your favorite memories of teaming with Amasis?

Ophidian:  Well, my answer to Question 1 has already told you how this team came to be. As for favorite memories, those are hard to come by. I look back at most of that time with regret. He made me a dancing fool. Traveling to Germany making it to the finals of Tag World Grand Prix in 2008 was an amazing moment in my career. Also, battling for the NWA International Light Heavyweight Tag Team Titles in Japan under the Zero1 banner was surreal. Amasis and I made our Japan debut at Korakuen Hall!!! We got to battle in the same Coliseum that every great in Japan has done battle in. Sawa and Hidaka pushed us to our limits when it finally came time to battle for the gold. 

4.  While teaming with Amasis, you had a moment in a match for CZW against Joe Gacy and Ryan Slater that garnered you over a million views on Youtube, as well as the moment getting played on stations like ESPN, G4, and TruTV.  What are your memories of that happening, and did you find it all a bit surreal?  

Ophidian:  That moment from that match was the beginning of the end for Amasis and myself. Sure, It was surreal seeing Amasis and myself on shows that would have never aired anything Pro Wrestling. ESPN's Around the Horn had a debate over that clip! Before CZW pulled the video off youtube, it had almost 3 million views. That was just on Youtube! Amasis grew a big head because of that video. Then he got injured. Hieracon rode the coat tails of success all the way to Europe and never came back. I was left alone. That video does not invoke positive memories.

5.  At High Noon, you turned your back on Amasis, attacking him as he was announcing his retirement from wrestling, and have since taken on a much more devious persona, what led to this change in heart for you?

Ophidian:  Amasis turned his back on me long before I turned my back on him. I was a pawn in his dance party. He never wanted me to succeed. With what partner did he win points toward title contention? Not Ophidian. Who did he vote into the "12 Large: Summit" round-robin? Not Ophidian. I had zero votes. Amasis backed this snake into a corner. You can't blame me for lashing out.
 6. Along with that change of heart/attitude, fans have seen your mask change in design and style in the last 9 months.  What is behind that metamophasis?

Ophidian:  I have disgraced Osiris. I relinquished my soul because i did not deserve it. This metamorphasis is no different from a snake molting his skin. I must earn back my soul, the right to bear the Ophidian mask. I march down the path of redemption as we speak. I am almost there. My final transformation is coming soon.

7.  Lately, you’ve been seen associated with Delirious and The Batiri.  What led to this association between you all?  

Ophidian:  We are warriors with a common purpose. We are warriors that share a similar enemy. I and I has helped me control the devils that infect my brain. That is all I can say about that.

8.  You seem to have moved into a managerial role more often than an in ring role lately, has there been any reason for that?  Are you dealing with any injuries?

Ophidian:  I and I has asked me to execute his commands. The Batiri need my guidance. Like a similar Cobra before me, I am their Commander. To call me a manager is an insult.

9.  This coming weekend, you lead The Batiri into the King of Trios.  You have previously taken part in four King of Trios tournaments, making it to the semi finals last year, where you lost to eventual tournament champions, The Colony.  What advice or leadership do you think you’ll have for The Batiri, given your previous expertise in King of Trios?

Ophidian:  I am no stranger to tournaments. I have won the Rey De Voladores tournament in 2008. With Amasis, I made it to the Finals of Tag World Grand Prix 2008. As you have already discussed, The Osirian Portal made it to the semi finals of KOT last year. If I cannot be in the tournament this year, I will fulfill I and I's orders and lead The Batiri to victory. Under my Command, The Batiri are more vicious than ever. After all, I lead them to victory over two teams, The Colony and The Swarm, already in the King Of Trios Tournament.  More so than that, I am the Master of Snake Style. Strike First. Strike Fast. Strike Hard. It is the Battle Cry I live by. It is the Battle Cry that will lead us to victory.

10.  What team looks to be the toughest outside of The Batiri in this years field for King of Trios?  Any team that you really don’t want to end up matched up with?

Ophidian:  The bigger and badder they are, the better. Of all the Teams, I look forward to the war the Faces of Pain would wage with us. The Warlord, Meng, and The Barbarian are the ultimate test for the Army I command. Although they face the current Campeones De Parejas in Team ROH, I am sure they will obtain victory. I am at least hopeful they will as it is The Batiri that wishes to knock them out of King of Trios.

11. On Night 3, it has recently been announced that you will go one-on-one with Saturyne.  What are your thoughts on this match and what do you have in store for her this Sunday?

Ophidian:  I will do what The Batiri did not. I will show them what you do to a woman who steps in the ring with men as evil as us. I will leave her battered and broken. Through her defeat I shall break the spirit of the CHIKArmy. She will learn a harsh lesson for sticking her nose where it doesn't belong.

12.  What are your goals in the next year?  How about in the next 3 years?  Next 5 years?

Ophidian:  Domination. Chaos. Evolution. Not specifically in that order.

13.  How can fans stay in touch with you via social media, or purchase merchandise from you?

Ophidian:  I can be reached on twitter @ophidiancobra. That is the same on facebook. Soon, I will have a website launched to help spread the word of Snake Style as well. Be on the look out for that. You can also find info on shows that The Batiri and I will be at on www.chikarapro.com. You can find out more information about King Of Trios at www.Kingoftrios.com.

We at Two Spot Monkeys would like to thank Ophidian for joining us for 13 Questions here on the site!  If you are in the Easton, PA area this weekend, be sure to check out CHIKARA's King of Trios at The Palmer Center!  If you can't be there, keep your eyes on Smart Mark Video for the DVD, MP4 and VOD releases, which they have said will be out as quick as they can have them.  In the past that has sometimes meant as soon as the Monday after the events!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

13 Questions with Sami Callihan!!!

Sami Callihan has made headlines in 2012. For his actions in DG USA/EVOLVE and memorable feuds with AR Fox and Sabu, to continuing his epic battles with "Fit" Finlay, to a 5 show suspension when he "snapped" earlier this year, to International travels to his recent success in PWG's 2012 Battle of Los Angeles Tournament. He returns to action in EVOLVE (EVOLVE 17) this weekend against Masada and is also in action later the same night for CZW, teaming with Jake Crist against The Super Smash Brothers at "Down With The Sickness." He joined Two Spot Monkeys to hit on a few quick topics before the shows this weekend, both available for purchase at WWNLive.com on iPPV or tickets remain available for the doubleheader of shows at Flyers Skate Zone 601 Laurel Oak Road Voorhees, NJ 08043. Check DGUSA.tv or czwrestling.com for more information!

1. For fans that are not aware, how did you get interested in pro wrestling? What wrestlers interested you and did you follow as you grew up?

All my life all I can remember is Pro Wrestling. My first memory is of life is watching Pro Rasslin' with my Dad and brothers. The wrestlers who really intrested me when I was younger were Vader, Bam Bam, Fit Finlay, and William Regal.

2. Happy Belated Birthday to you! Did you do anything fun this year as you were traveling to participate with Pro Wrestling Guerrila? Do you find it more or less enjoyable at times like this when you are traveling during milestones in life?

My birthday was amazing! Anytime I get to hang with some of my closest wrestling brothers is always a good time. Waking up in the bathroom with Roderick Strong and Adam Cole yelling at me to get ready for our flight will always be burnt into my memory and the saying "I LIKE THAT!"

3. Coming right off of participating in Pro Wrestling Guerrila’s Battle of Los Angeles 2012, you picked up your first PWG win and it was a big one over the well-established Willie Mack. You then defeated TJ Perkins on Night 2, before falling to Adam Cole in the semi-finals. Can you tell fans what it was like to participate?

It was absolutly epic to be apart of PWG's BOLA! I have won almost every major wrestling tournament there is, but being part of BOLA with the amount of talent (involved) was truly epic.... epic....epic!

4. How important is it to you to make your name in new companies? Do you think that it is key to success for wrestlers not contracted to WWE or TNA in these times?

I go out there and I be myself. I don't change who I am. I stay in the mindset that I need to be looked at as one of the best in the business today. I'll do anything to keep that aura going.

5. You have traveled around the globe this year to date – is there a match or show you’ve been a part of that is especially memorable?

Wrestling Marty Scurll in England for IPW UK's big super show. One of my faviorte matches with one of my faviorte people in the biz.

6. Switching gears to DG USA/EVOLVE, you involved with the “A Tribute to the Arena” show at EVOLVE 10, where you were very vocal against former ECW/Hardcore wrestlers and you laid Sabu out to end the show and the lights turned out. There was a lot of feedback and buzz about what happened that night – did you have any regrets or do you now about what went down?

I don't regret a single thing I said or did that night...In the past 3 years I've made my name in that building. I felt if anyone should close it down, it should have been me...and that's exactly how it happened.

7. That led to a feud with Sabu that was very violent and personal in nature. During this feud a much darker side of Sami Callihan was seen. Was that to match the level of intensity in your feud with Sabu and as well A.R. Fox or was there something more to it?

That was a dark period of my life. When that side of Sami comes out, not even I can control him...

8. Shortly after that, you concluded your feud with A.R. Fox. Between the two of you, there were some very memorable matches. What are the highlights you recall during this feud?

Anytime I step into the ring with Fox is a memorable moment. We have grown so much together in the past years fueding with each other... and it helped make me the man I am today... AR Fox is the future... and I don't see anything slowing him down anytime soon.

9. It was at the conclusion of this feud and a bout with El Generico that saw you finally snap and as a result, get suspended for 5 consecutive shows from DG USA and EVOLVE (the longest suspension to date for anyone in the history of those companies). What caused you to snap?

Everything going on in DGUSA and Evolve...I was sick of the way I was being treated, and sick of losing. I was in a point where I hadn't won a match in months, and losing to El Generico was the final straw. Like I said before, when the dark side of Sami comes out, not even I can control him.

10. You now are set to return to EVOLVE 17 this Saturday night in Voorhees, NJ and live on iPPV at WWNLive.com. You will face Masada and it seems that the issue is very personal between the two of you (as seen in the Book It Cam footage here -http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0tNJmRJTs8o). You’ve been praised for how you have shown remorse and have served the suspension, but how can you temper that as you face a heated rival in just a few days?

The issues between me and Masada have been brewing for months... and at Evolve 17 we might destroy the entire building. I've wrestled Masada all over the world, and I've beaten him.... But all I hear is how he still thinks he's the baddest man in pro wrestling... He may be bigger then me, but you don't have to be the biggest dog in the fight to be the scariest!

11. Beyond Masada this weekend, what is next for Sami Callihan in DG USA and EVOLVE, especially on the “Road to WrestleCon” that starts officially on 9/8?

Championship gold... Fit Finaly was the one who told me at Evolve that I need to quit concentrating on all my hatred and focus it on wrestling. Him telling me I can be a champion lit a fire under my ass... and now that I'm coming back after a 5 show suspension... all I got on my mind is the DGUSA Open The Freedom Gate Championship.

12. What “dream matches” are out there for you and what goals do you have for yourself in the next 1 to 3 years?

Dream matches of mine would be (against) Samoa Joe, William Regal, or Prince Devitt. Everyone's goal should be to be in WWE. So that is where I wanna be. If not WWE I wanna keep running things on the Indy's and becoming even a bigger player in Japan.

13. How can fans follow your schedule, keep up with matches you are involved in, get other updates/interact with you or buy merchandise?

TWITTTTTTTTERRRRR!!!! @SamiCallihan #DeathMachine

Thanks again to Sami for his time and responses! Check him out this weekend along with the rest of the talented wrestlers on the shows this weekend!