Thursday, December 12, 2013

Head 2 Head – TLC: Tables, Ladders and Chairs 2013!

Thanks for coming back to Two Spot Monkeys Blog as we wrap up the 2013 WWE Pick'em Contest between Tom and Jim.  Jim has already locked down his 2nd consecutive winning year in this contest and Tom will lose his hair at some point in 2014 as the result of being the loser!
We take a look at WWE's TLC PPV in this edition and give thoughts, ideas and more heading into Sunday night's show. Enjoy!
Kickoff Show Match
Dolph Ziggler vs. Fandango

Jim:  My how the mighty have fallen with Ziggler huh?  This guy should be your Ric Flair type right now as a top heel in the company, and at this point, he could face Santino Marella in a face vs. face match, and my money might go on Santino.  UGH.  How the hell do you not book this guy better?  Frustrating to say the least.  Fandango on the other hand while he had a quick start, cooled a bit, and now they seem to be slowly rebuilding him a bit, though a slow build is definitely what it is.  He had a nice match with Daniel Bryan on Monday on Raw, and I’d love to see him work his way into the IC Title mix again, as I think he does a good job in the ring.  He’s also got one of those gimmicks that you know 15 years from now when Vince wants to pull out a nostalgia trip, he can use Fandango, so he’s got staying power in my eyes, no matter how high up the card he ever gets.  I can see this going either way, but since they often like to start off with a babyface win, I’ll say Ziggler gets the win here, but wouldn’t be shocked to be wrong either. 

Tom:  I am still in awe of how Ziggler has fallen off the radar.  Maybe that isn’t how WWE sees him in the big machine, but you can tell from Jim’s comments and now mine that the guy is a bonafide main event player and he’s not used to that potential in the least.  I hope 2014 has better in store for both of these guys.  Ziggler is my pick to get the win here.

Intercontinental Title Match
Big E. Langston (c) vs. Damien Sandow

Jim:  They seem to be trying to rebuild Sandow without the robe and such, but still and arrogant prick of a heel.  Langston they are obviously very behind, and they have something in each of these guys.  Both can be top players by the end of 2014 if they play their cards right in booking each of these guys.  I don’t have a lot of hope for that as we’ve seen in 2013, WWE doesn’t seem to know how to do that, but, we shall see.  For this match, it’s WAY too soon to take the title off of Langston, and while I hate seeing Sandow lose yet again, I think you could do a situation where he’s about to get hit with The Big Ending, and he escapes and runs to the back, losing by count out.  Either that, or they just have Langston squash him.  Either way, Langston wins and keeps the title.

Tom:  I’ll disagree with Jim in the idea that it is too soon to take the title off of Big E..  Years ago, I would have agreed with that notion but not in the WWE of today.  I agree that there is a growing star in Big E. and really, the fact that he is here and Ziggler is not when they were paired together earlier is telling.  I like how Sandow has been built back up and think that the rise is going to continue.  Along that line of thinking, I am going to be bold (I have nothing to lose since Jim wrapped up the contest a month ago!) and pick Sandow to win the I-C title.    

Divas Title Match
AJ Lee (c) vs. Natalya

Jim:  Natalya seems to be stuck in Brie Bella mode, she can beat Lee anytime the title isn’t on the line, but yet, can’t beat her when the title is on the line.  I love Natalya’s in ring work, and I think she’s got a decent bit of personality as well.  Honestly, I think she and Tyson Kidd could be a good couple to get a push into the upper mid-card in 2014 if WWE wanted to, but again, not betting on it.  Lee is just awesome in everything she does.  By far the best in ring worker they have in the Divas division (though Natalya is likely #2), and her personality and promos are just great.  I personally don’t see the point in having her drop the title to Natalya here, which is precisely why I think they will.  And to give them something more to add to Total Divas.  Always thought it would be a Bella, but now I’m changing my tune.  I think Natalya wins the Divas title here.

Tom:  Will the “Alberto Del Rio Curse” that I suffered from earlier this year become the “AJ Lee Curse?”  I’ve been picking against Lee for months and that trend continues here again.  I think the Total Divas tie-in and the way they would sell this in the context of the show for Nattie winning is big.  Natalya wins the title.

3 on 1 Handicap Match
CM Punk vs. The Shield

Jim:  Ugh.  While I expect some decent work here, since 3 out of the four are outstanding in the ring, and Reigns isn’t terrible, especially when kept to power spots, I mean, seriously, 3 on 1 on a PPV?  Dumb!  (And hey, they’re going to do it twice, more on that soon).  I can go either way on this match.  I mean, The Shield SHOULD win the match.  There are 3 of them, they are not named Slater, Mahal or McIntyre, so by all good reason, they should beat even CM Punk.  But, it’s the wacky WWE handicap match, and nothing ever is quite as it seems.  I could definitely see Punk winning here, especially if they break the Shield up (and I’m thinking they are heading that way, perhaps to a 3 way match at Wrestlemania).  But I’m going to go with good sound reason and say that 3 on 1, 3 will win every time.  Likely Reigns spearing Punk while he’s got one of the other two up for the GTS will be the finish.  The Shield gets the win, and if needed, Reigns has bragging rights for “saving” whoever is in the GTS.

Tom:  Yeah, this and the other 3 on 1 match is kinda goofy to me.  I love the idea of Punk vs. The Shield and Bryan vs. The Wyatts, but a Gauntlet Match or something else would have been better.  I am excited to see how Punk works with all of the guys here; I am high on them and their futures!  There should be NO way whatsoever that Punk wins…even if potential seeds for dissension amongst Ambrose, Reigns and Rollins begin/continue to sprout here.  Believe in The Shield.    

3 on 1 Handicap Match
Daniel Bryan vs. The Wyatt Family

Jim:  Yep, such a great stipulation we’re going to see it twice!  Again, I just don’t think this belongs on a PPV, but whatever, it’s here, and you know Bryan will do all he can to have a killer match.  Harper and Wyatt should be right there with him as well, and Rowan can come in and do some power spots.  Actually, I expect that we’ll see it mainly be Bryan vs. Harper and Rowan with Wyatt coming in to pick the bones of what’s left.  This one I definitely see the Wyatt’s winning.  They need the win to keep building them up, and it plays even more into the “will he join them or not” story the seem to be doing with Bryan.  Sister Abigail is calling for Daniel Bryan this Sunday!

Tom:  Like I mentioned above, the idea of 2 handicap matches is goofy.  Even if they went with one and made the other a Gauntlet Match it would have been more creative booking to me.  Beyond that, I could have even lived with Bryan vs. Bray (if Bray can go in the ring and is healed up) and then mix in Harper and Rowan with Cody Rhodes and Goldust.  I think from a psychology perspective, the idea that Wyatt would “sacrifice” himself to let Bryan get a win in an effort to get him to join the “clan” would have been more interesting.  Alas, I don’t get paid for creative…just opine on what I’d like to see.  Wyatt Family gets the win here.

Title Unification TLC Match
John Cena (c) vs. Randy Orton (c)

Jim:  Well, they are certainly selling this as the unification, I just don’t see it happening this Sunday.  Maybe at the Rumble, that would make some sense to me.  But not here on what amounts to a throw away PPV.  Heck, usually at TLC we have a Tables Match, a Chairs Match, a Ladder Match and a TLC Match.  This year we just get one TLC Match.  Don’t get me wrong, I think it will be pretty good, but no way do I see a clear winner here.  I’m going to go with the “draw” possibility where John Cena grabs the WWE Title and Randy Orton grabs the World Heavyweight Title, thus “switching” champions, but not unifying a damn thing.

Tom:  It’s so weird that this just seems so rushed.  WWE could have really built and milked this to build to WrestleMania, making it feel even bigger.  I think that WWE knows it cannot have a fluky finish here (in lieu of the recent PPV stretch run) and that is why I pick Orton to win and be the Unified Champion.  Now, where the heck do they go from there and where will it take us on the Road to WrestleMania – we can only guess!
There you have it!  Tom and Jim still differ on a few picks and we will see how that plays out in the Final Standings when we return with a REACT post next week.
Also in the spirit of the end of year, look for an announcement of our next podcast recording where we will take a look back at the good, the bad and the ugly of professional wrestling in 2013 through our "Year End Awards."
We wish you a great holiday season and thank you for your support of us, be it listening to a podcast, reading this blog or interacting with us via social media.  Thanks for sharing in the fun and enjoyment that we get out of pro wrestling and MMA!
Tom and Jim
Twitter: @TwoSpotMonkeys
Facebook: Two Spot Monkeys

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Head 2 Head - Survivor Series!

Check out our latest podcast as Jim & Tom complete their Head 2 Head preview for this Sunday's WWE Survivor Series!  Also, Tom shares his thoughts on the ROH show in Dearborn, MI last weekend, as well as quick hits on the Columbus ROH show and the DGUSA shows from this past weekend!  You can find it on iTunes, or click on the player located to the right here on the blog.  Also, it is available through TalkShoe, by checking out our page there by clicking HERE

As always, be sure to "Like" us on Facebook, and also follow us on Twitter by following @twospotmonkeys!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Hell in a Cell React!

 So, another WWE PPV is in the books and there is no change in the competition with Jim and Tom.

Clearly, with only Survivor Series & TLC left, Tom has a more significant uphill climb to potentially even tie this competition.

Throwing out the Langston/Axel match because it didn’t happen, there were seven predictions made, and neither of us had a particularly good night!  We each went 3-4, with our differing picks being Jim correctly picking AJ Lee, and Tom correctly picking Randy Orton.  So that brings the totals on the year to Jim at 55-20 to Tom’s 45-30, still that 10 match lead with 2 shows to go!  Let’s take a look at our thoughts on the show!


I caught the majority of the Hell in a Cell PPV on Sunday night and I was less than impressed.

I do like most of the storylines right now, but the in-ring on Sunday just did not click for me.  From what I read, the Tag Title Match was the best of the card…and I was able to begin the show JUST after that match, so perhaps I would have had a different opinion of the show if I had seen that match.

One big take away I have is why in the WORLD does WWE continue to put un-advertised matches on the PPVs?  Do they think that is an added value?  My belief is that it is taking away from the main matches having more time and opportunity to deliver.  That is why people are buying the shows, so why not reward them with the “true” main event billings instead of “throw-away” matches like Fandango & Summer Rae vs. Khali & Natalya (and I know it was carried over from what happened on Smackdown, but who really cares?)

I did enjoy Big E. Langston-Dean Ambrose.  These two are part of the future of WWE and they give their all, as evidenced by their collision that resulted in cuts in the facial region for both guys.  I hope that there is more to come from these two.

WWE certainly changed direction on the CM Punk-Paul Heyman issue, including Ryback.  Ryback means virtually nothing now in my eyes and I would have to believe other people see that as well.  CM Punk seemed to quickly transition to another program (with The Wyatt Family), but I have to wonder when (and how, especially since Paul E. was taken out on top of the Cell) Punk-Lesnar II comes about.

I enjoyed Los Matadores and see WWE continuing to build and push them, and as a plus they should be able to sell plenty of merchandise as well.

Cena-Del Rio was pretty paint by numbers to me.  I was more surprised that Sandow didn’t go for the cash in, even if as we saw on Monday with that he was going to cash in and lose.  It could have potentially meant more to occur on PPV, as well as allow Del Rio to get more heat on Cena and allow them to continue a program beyond Hell in a Cell (and maybe they still do) but again, providing a pay off and storyline continuation for those who are loyal and purchase the PPVs.

AJ Lee-Brie Bella was what it was.  The ending made sense and I have to wonder when Tamina “snaps” and challenges Lee.

I fully expected Randy Orton to come out of the Hell in a Cell Main Event as the champion, but I really had no idea on how they would get to that point.  As we saw, it was a Shawn Michaels superkick to Daniel Bryan after some other shenanigans to get to that point.  I don’t like it, I don’t think it makes sense and I don’t even like the follow-up that occurred on Monday.  They could have accomplished the exact same end result and made the transition to The Big Show in the title picture (as they were clearly planning) and kept HBK “clean.”  I hope Daniel Bryan does not lose the luster here has or being as over as he is.  He seems to be heading towards mixing with The Wyatts as well, so we shall see. 

In the end, if I haven’t conveyed it…I am rather ho hum on the whole event and looking towards Survivor Series I hope there is something really good coming down the pike!


I didn’t get a chance to catch the show, but read up on it and have seen the important moments, so my thoughts may be a bit more brief.  I agree with Tom completely on his thoughts as well.  Not excited in the least that Bryan never really got one over on Triple H.  Sure, he hit the knee on him, but in the end, HHH still won, his guy got the title and he’s the one smiling on Raw the next night.  So, to those in WWE who would say that Bryan got his revenge, that’s total BS in my eyes. 

Ryback certainly has fallen in the eyes of WWE lately, and it will be interesting to see what (if anything) they do with him moving forward.  I think we could be seeing him as a free agent before another 5-6 months passes by.  They have clearly lost all faith in him. 

The tag division is certainly heating up, which is always a good thing.  Rhodes and Goldust have been great as a team thus far, and if they are going to hold the titles for a while, I’m ok with that.  I do hope the Usos eventually get the belts, as they are more than worthy of a shot at being “the guys” in the division. 

Brie’s gotta win that title some day right?  I mean…some day?  Even though I picked AJ Lee, I do think Bella needs to win it soon, but I don’t have a lot of hope that they will. 

With the reset button pressed on Monday night, clearly moving Bryan away from HHH and Orton into an issue with the Wyatts (along with CM Punk also moving into an issue with the Wyatts as well, which could lead to some damn good tag matches), and Big Show/HHH/Orton being the top storyline going forward, this felt like the end of the road PPV for a lot of the stories they had going.  Will be interesting to watch things develop moving forward. 

Also, I also need to comment on Sandow cashing in and losing.  The guy beats the hell out of Cena with a briefcase, and still can’t get the job done.  I mean…you’ve all heard me complain about Super Cena, but seriously, yet again they feed a young up and comer to him and prove that Sandow means nothing in the hierarchy of WWE.  It’s my firm belief that at least for the next 5-10 years, Wrestlemania is going to have to continue to be a nostalgia type show, with guys like Lesnar, Rock, Undertaker, HHH, etc at the top, because they have done so freaking little to truly build guys to the top level where they could main event at Wrestlemania and be believable.  They build them up just to tear them back down again (or put a briefcase on a guy and have him win like 2 matches since that point, against R-Truth and Justin Gabriel type level guys) and then say “well, they didn’t get over”.  Yes, it is somewhat on the wrestler to get over, but hey, here’s a funny idea, book them in a way so they have a chance ok?  It’s getting frustrating as hell to see them continue to do this to guy after guy.  They’re also doing a great job of diluting what Money in the Bank means as well when you have Ziggler win it and then win the belt and lose it so fast as you shove him back down the card, and now Sandow.  Maybe they will rescue Sandow, but I have my doubts.  UGH! 

All roads lead to Survivor Series now, where I’m predicting either HHH or Orton takes on Show, Bryan and Punk vs. the Wyatts, and The Shield (maybe) vs. The Rhodes Boys.  Oh yeah, and after teasing dissension in The Shield on Monday, please don’t do that WWE.  Keep them together a while longer, there’s a lot more to do with them as a group!

Friday, October 25, 2013

WWE Hell in a Cell Head 2 Head!

Tom and I had a great conversation on the phone a couple of days ago, to do this Head 2 Head, as Tom is out of town here at the end of the week.  Honestly, we really should have made the call through Talkshoe because we had some great conversation that would have made for a great podcast we felt!  So, consider this the podcast that never was!  I'll be posting some of our thoughts on each match and of course our picks!  As a reminder, I currently hold a 10 match lead on Tom in our 2013 Head 2 Head, so Tom really has his work cut out for him.  But, as you'll see, he's got a shot to make up some room here!

Kickoff Show - Intercontinental Title Match
Curtis Axel (c) vs. Big E. Langston

Langston is apparently a face now.  Would have been nice to have WWE craft a short quick story, or even a scene where that actually happened (such as instead of having Punk save him on Raw, have Punk get beat down and have Langston make the save, see, it's not that hard WWE creative!).  Tom and I both feel that Axel will walk out with the Intercontinental Title, however, we do differ on our winners and the method by which Axel will retain!
Tom's Pick: Big E. Langston (by DQ)
Jim's Pick: Curtis Axel (likely by some shenanigans)

Los Matadores vs. The Real Americans

This match gets made officially on Smackdown tonight, but it's been clear they've been headed in this direction for some time now.  Gotta go with who they seem more behind right now, and that's Los Matadores and especially El Torito getting in a good spot or two. 
Tom's Pick: Los Matadores
Jim's Pick: Los Matadores

WWE Tag Team Title Triple Threat Match
Cody Rhodes & Goldust (c) vs. Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns vs. The Usos

The Usos getting added into this seems very interesting to both Tom and I.  Why else would you do it except to move the titles to them?  The Rhodes Boys and The Shield are an important part of the top storyline with Triple H, so at this point, the tag titles really don't need to be there (thus freeing up the titles to bring more meaning to other matches as well).  With the tag division they've put together now (Tons of Funk, Real Americans, Los Matadores, Usos, Shield, Rhodes, Prime Time Players, Santino/Khali, etc.) they actually could do something with the tag titles for the first time in forever.  To do that, get them on an established team that deserves the shot. 
Tom's Pick: The Usos
Jim's Pick: The Usos

Divas Title Match
AJ Lee (c) vs. Brie Bella

We differ on this match as well.  We both feel that Brie Bella will be the one to dethrone AJ Lee eventually and Tom is of the belief that her time is now!  While I could see that, with Bella getting 2 pinfall victories over AJ recently, I can't help but think it's so they can setup the "you beat me when the title wasn't on the line, but when it came time to win the title, you couldn't get the job done" type story with Bella and Lee, so I see AJ keeping it, likely with help from Tamina, who has been great in her "Diesel-like" role!
Tom's Pick: Brie Bella
Jim's Pick: AJ Lee

Handicap Hell in a Cell Match
CM Punk vs. Ryback & Paul Heyman

Well, we both thought Ryback would win the match earlier this month on Battleground, so, what do we know about this feud!  It seems like while Hell in a Cell could be the blowoff, neither of us really feels that it will be.  This can easily go on at least to Survivor Series, if not further, so, to get there, you've got to have Ryback and Paul Heyman win this one again...perhaps with Heyman even getting the pin again on Punk.  Can you imagine the promo on Monday if Heyman can say he's pinned Punk TWICE?  Crazy!
Tom's Pick: Ryback & Paul Heyman
Jim's Pick: Ryback & Paul Heyman

World Heavyweight Title Match
Alberto Del Rio (c) vs. John Cena

Well, Super Cena has healed and is back!  Strange to see him thrust into the World Heavyweight Title picture here, and both Tom and I feel that you don't bring Cena back early just to lose to Del Rio, so, yep, Cena wins the World Title here.  Now, will he leave as champion...
Tom's Pick: John Cena
Jim's Pick: John Cena

Will Damien Sandow cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase?

Tom and I both believe that Sunday night is Damien Sandow's night to finally cash in his briefcase and win the World Heavyweight Title, and he'll be able to say he beat John Cena for the title as well, which will only add to the promos he'll be able to cut.  I hate how they have booked Sandow since winning the briefcase and have very low expectations for his title reign, but as far as both Tom and I are concerned, Sandow does cash in (and win) on Sunday night
Tom's Pick: Yes
Jim's Pick: Yes

WWE Title Match - Hell In a Cell - Shawn Michaels is the Special Guest Ref
Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton

This is one where I think things can go either way.  Both Tom and I believe we will have a WWE Champion after this match and that we'll move forward with things from there.  Tom believes that Randy Orton will be winning the title, with Shawn Michaels having to count down the shoulders of the man he trained, and him showing angst in having to do that.  I like that idea, and almost went with Orton thinking something along the same lines, but Bryan simply has to win here in my eyes (which probably means Tom is right).  And both Tom and I agree that if this entire storyline doesn't end with Bryan tapping out Triple H, than it has been a complete waste of time.  I hope I'm right and that we get a WWE Title reign for Bryan that at least lasts more than 24 hours...but we shall see on Sunday night!
Tom's Pick: Randy Orton
Jim's Pick: Daniel Bryan

What do you think of our picks?  Are we crazy?  Do you agree?  Let us know!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Interview with Cedric Alexander & Glory By Honor Preview!

Check out our latest podcast as Jim & Tom get a chance to chat with ROH star, Cedric Alexander!  Also, stay tuned after the interview as Tom and Jim run down the card for ROH's Glory By Honor XII and give you their thoughts on the card coming up this Saturday night!  You can find it on iTunes, or click on the player located to the right here on the blog.  Also, it is available through TalkShoe, by checking out our page there by clicking HERE!  Let us know what you think of our picks and our cards!

As always, be sure to "Like" us on Facebook, and also follow us on Twitter by following @twospotmonkeys!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Battleground React & Head 2 Head Update!

Neither Tom nor Jim were able to watch Battleground live, so just some quick observations from reports and the highlights shown.  Before that though a quick Head 2 Head update! Jim went 7-2, while Tom went 6-3 at Battleground, so that brings the year to date competition to a strong 10 match lead for Jim, with a 52-16 record to Tom's 42-26 record!  With only three shows to go, Tom needs to obliterate Jim in each of these shows to come back!  What strategy will Tom employ to try and do that?  Be sure to tune into our Hell in a Cell Head 2 Head in a few weeks to find out!  Now, on to the observations!

After a PPV that had it's finish nullified the next night on Raw, and having fans so upset that the result they paid to see was overturned that they asked for (and some even got!) refunds from their cable company, did WWE really just do a non-finish on the next PPV?  Wow, are they clueless?  I get that they want to set up the big controversy so that there is a definitive winner at Hell in a Cell, but man, glad I didn't pay $45+ for a show that ended the way many episodes of Raw end.

Love that the Rhodes are back!  Cody has been great in this storyline and Goldust has had his working boots on no doubt.  Lots of rumors of an eventual Cody vs. Goldust feud, which would have to be very cool for each of them.  I think Cody vs. Goldust makes a perfect match for Wrestlemania 30!

Punk wins (which neither of us thought would happen), but cheats to do so, allowing for another follow up match.  Ok, that works I guess!  Ryback just can't get a win against Punk in his life can he??

Antonio Cesaro is stupid strong...that is all.

We're hoping to line up some exciting things here at Two Spot Monkeys in the weeks ahead, stay tuned here on the blog, as well as on our Facebook Page and on Twitter (@twospotmonkeys) to see what they are!  Thanks for reading!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Battleground Head 2 Head!

With WWE’s “Battleground” Pay-Per-View right around the corner, Jim and Tom come together back in the print format here on Two Spot Monkeys for Head 2 Head ahead of this weekend’s event.

To catch readers up, be you regulars or first timers, this is a pick’em competition where we pick against one another in an effort to have the most success in the outcomes of WWE PPV matches.  And what is on the line, you might ask?  Well, this year it has been recently decided that the loser of this competition will be shaved bald and bear that baldness at a wrestling show we enjoy together as friends at some point in 2014!  Of course, embarrassing photos will be likely tweeted out (@twospotmonkeys) FOLLOW US! & posted here on the blog.

Jim has a strong lead over Tom with 4 events left in the PPV year for WWE, 45-14 to 36-23.  The time is now for Tom to make up any ground over Jim – let’s see how the picks play out!
Kickoff Show
Dolph Ziggler vs. Damien Sandow

TOM: Interesting match on paper.  Two guys that seemed to be in really high places on the card at this point from where they seemed to be headed earlier this year.  This one can be considered a pick’em simply because neither has really been given a lot of shine on TV as of late.  I still think that WWE doesn’t mind Sandow losing because it is going to give him a load of opponents when he eventually cashes in.  Dolph Ziggler gets the win.                   

JIM:  Wow, do both guys deserve better than being on the pre-show of this “B” level pay per view?  You’re darn right they do.  Of course, they are better off than US Champion, Dean Ambrose, who can’t even get a match on this card.  Anyways, they continue to book Sandow to lose and hope it will “create challengers” for when he eventually wins the World Title with his Money in the Bank briefcase.  As we’ve mentioned before, we both feel this is terrible booking, but WWE falls back on it far too often with Money in the Bank holders.  Dolph on the other hand has apparently been in the dog house lately and has not been anywhere close to the World Title scene.  He’s a bit player in the ongoing feud with Triple H and Randy Orton, but certainly not featured there either.  Hard to pick this one as I think both can use the win, but since Sandow keeps losing to set up challengers, maybe Dolph can get the win here and become one of those challengers down the road.

Kofi Kingston vs. Bray Wyatt

TOM: There is no stopping the Wyatt train!  He beats Kofi here on his continued strong push.  I am excited for what should be a really, really good match.

JIM:  I think this will be a fun match, and really wish they’d push Kingston alot more than they do, but this is another of those wins to continue to get Bray Wyatt and his family over, so Wyatt wins here without question!  

Intercontinental Title Match
Curtis Axel (c) vs. R-Truth                 

TOM: I think it is really interesting that instead of putting Axel in a program with CM Punk, which would have done more for Axel than these one-off title defenses, he is being paired with babyfaces fans get behind and want to see win, while he continues his I-C title reign.  That trend continues here.  Axel retains.

JIM:  Truth gets this shot by virtue of beating Axel on Monday night in a Non-Title match after Axel was distracted by CM Punk’s music.  Axel is obviously behind Ryback when it comes to the pecking order of Heyman’s Guys, so I wouldn’t be totally shocked to see a title change come soon, but honestly, with the way R-Truth has been used lately, I think it would be a mistake to put it on him, I’d rather see them go back to Kofi Kingston, or The Miz who could quickly get it to Fandango or someone else.  So, Axel gets the win here.  

World Heavyweight Title – Battleground Hardcore Rules Match
Alberto Del Rio (c) vs. Rob Van Dam

TOM: This match really plays into the “Hardcore History” of RVD and I imagine it will make a for good spectacle of a match, even though these two could get along just fine in a match with any gimmicks.  I’ve learned my Del Rio lesson far too many times before, but seemed to be cursed by the matches I pick with him involved.  Here is hoping that ends here: Del Rio wins and retains.

JIM:  Hardcore rules means this will be a fun plunder match, but honestly, if RVD is leaving after Battleground, which has been the rumor, no chance he wins here.  He could win and then immediately drop it to Sandow, but again, if he’s leaving, what’s the point?  Del Rio keeps it and moves on.  Wouldn’t be shocked to see Ricardo Rodriguez turn on RVD here either, unless he is going to be teamed up with Rey Mysterio or something.  

Damien Sandow’s Money in the Bank Briefcase Cash-In:

TOM: I think it could be a good time as ever to do it, but just don’t see it happening.  No cash-in at Battleground.

JIM:  No, I don’t see him cashing in here, I don’t see what it would do at this point for him, so he holds onto the briefcase for a while longer!

WWE Divas Title
AJ Lee (c) vs. Brie Bella

TOM: This seems to be a really emotional invested issue and I like those types of storylines.  I do think it is interesting too, that the WWE is really playing off of the reality elements from Total Divas and going another level in blurring the lines.  Seems like they’ve really been making fans wait and wait for the pay-offs of issues of late, but Sunday seems like a really good place to cash-in on that pay-off.  Brie Bella wins the Divas title.                       

JIM:  I can go either way with this matchup.  Both Tom and I have been feeling for a while that Brie Bella would eventually be the one to unseat AJ Lee as the Divas Champion, and I certainly still think that is likely the direction they’ll go.  This could be the time they go there, but they have just added Tamina to the AJ Lee act (as almost the Diesel to AJ Lee’s Shawn Michaels), so with that development, I think it’s too soon now to take the title off of Lee.  Not to mention, I am a huge AJ Lee fan and think they should leave it on her long term until they bring up Paige, but, that’s just me!  AJ Lee retains here!  

CM Punk vs. Ryback

TOM: A year ago or close to it, you had Ryback as the babyface chasing Punk for the WWE Title.  A year later, the roles are reversed in terms of character and there is no title on the line, however there is a lot of good storyline here as well.  WWE has done their best to me in getting Ryback to be a really jerk and bully, plus it doesn’t hurt to be aligned as a Paul Heyman henchman as well.  I think Punk is so over that he could lose plenty of times in this feud and it would not hurt him.  With that thinking and knowing there is a lot left to this feud beyond Sunday, my pick is that Ryback wins and I expect Paul Heyman involved down the stretch.

JIM:  Another match I can go a number of ways with.  Punk got to hit the GTS on Axel to accomplish phase one of his plan.  Beating Ryback is stage 2, but I think that might be too quick for it to happen here at Battleground.  I see this ending at Survivor Series as well, so you still have Hell in a Cell before then, and I could definitely see Punk vs. Ryback in the Cell in a rematch from last year, this time with Heyman in Ryback’s corner.  So, to get there, we’ve got to have Ryback somehow defeat Punk, which I think he will do.  Remember that he had Punk’s number a year ago too, and Punk always escaped because of Heyman’s help.  I can see Heyman bringing that up on Monday as well if Ryback wins!

Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns vs. Cody Rhodes & Goldust - Rhodes wins, they get their jobs back, if they lose, Dusty Rhodes is fired

TOM: Of all of the matches on this card, this one has me really excited.  WWE has just done a really great job (sense a theme here?) with this angle and match.  The emotional ties created are very real and can really draw people in.  It has done so with me, for sure.  I feel like there is a lot left to occur with these teams and the other players involved…possibly culminating at Survivor Series as I suggested in the last REACT post.  My pick is for Cody & Goldust to win and get back into WWE.

JIM:  This should be ALOT of fun, and a match that easily could be the match of the night if given some time.  It certainly has enough storyline backing to it to add to the drama.  I’m glad to see Goldust back for a short run here, and hope he sticks around as he was great against Orton a few weeks back.  I also wouldn’t mind seeing a Goldust vs. Cody feud down the road too (have Goldust get jealous of Cody’s success or something).  Anyways, I’m getting ahead of myself here.  I think the fact that the tag titles aren’t on the line here telegraphs the ending, which is the right one, the Rhodes boys get the win and re-join WWE.  I see a Survivor Series Elimination Tag in November of Bryan, Goldust, Cody & Big Show against Orton and the Shield, so this helps get us there.  

WWE Title – Decision Match
Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton

TOM: The forces of Triple H, Stephanie and The Shield are all in favor of Randy Orton and against Daniel Bryan.  He is the ultimate babyface and the odds never seem to be for him.  His last month after being stripped of the title has only seen him get more over (which is amazing because people are buying the whole story and not turning on it!) and they want the ultimate pay-off and Bryan to get his comeuppance once and for all.  Unfortunately I do not see that happening in this chapter of the story on Sunday.  Randy Orton to win and get the WWE Title again, keeping Bryan chasing and fans hungering for it and hoping for a Hell in a Cell payoff!

JIM:  This is billed as the Decision match.  Yeah, I don’t buy it.  I think this match will again be marred in some sort of controversy leading to a final match at Hell in a Cell (again, likely in the Cell) between the two.  To keep up with their last few months of booking though, I think Bryan will win the title and then again be stripped of it on Monday night.  They just seem to be on that kick lately, and I think it continues here.  So, while I expect it to be another 1 day reign, I see Bryan winning the title here, perhaps after some interference from The Big Show.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Night of Champions REACT!

Well, the Head 2 Head competition rolls on after Night of Champions, and thanks to a screwy DQ finish in the World Title bout, Jim accomplished a 7-1 record for Night of Champions, while Tom came in at 4-4.  That extends Jim’s lead to a whopping 9 matches, with Jim having a 45-14 record to Tom’s 36-23.  We still have four shows left this year with Battleground, Hell in a Cell, Survivor Series and TLC, so Tom isn’t out of it yet, but he needs to go on a big hot streak, and soon!  Remember, we announced on the Night of Champions Head 2 Head podcast that this year’s Head 2 Head competition is a Hair vs. Hair competition!  So, whoever loses will shave their head completely bald before Tom and Jim attend their first wrestling show together in 2014!  Let’s get to our reactions to what took place at Night of Champions.   

Jim’s React

Night of Champions came off as a rather forgettable show, made even more so by what happened on Monday night, but more on that in a minute. 

No shock that the Prime Time Players won the Tag Team Turmoil, as both Tom and I said, it was the only thing that made any sense, so glad to see they went that direction. 

Adding Curtis Axel vs. Kofi Kingston made sense, as the gimmick for Night of Champions is that every title is defended, so I liked that, and Axel and Kingston have pretty good chemistry in the ring.  If they let him (and they seem hell bent on not letting him), Axel could help bring some prestige back to the IC Title in that he can have good athletic matches, and it could get back to having that be what the IC Title is all about.  Kingston would be a great opponent to continue to do that with.  We’ll see what they do now though.

I actually liked having AJ make Natalya tap in the Divas match, as Natalya had been getting a bunch of wins lately, so having AJ make her tap made AJ look that much stronger as a character and as a competitor, which she should in the current storyline.  I love having AJ as Divas Champ, and she can keep the belt as long as she wants in my opinion.  There were pictures of her recently with the old Women’s Championship, which I think would make a TON of sense if she brought back that belt, saying she didn’t want to be a “Diva”, she is a “Real Woman”.  Good stuff.  Maybe a way to bring Paige up to the main roster too...but, we can talk about that more another time.  She’d fit the “anti-diva” thing to a T!

The World Heavyweight Title match ended so weakly.  I don’t know why they didn’t just have Del Rio make RVD tap, other than they want to keep it going and obviously didn’t want to put the World Title on RVD.  Dumb finish, although lucky for me, as I get the “W” for our Head 2 Head event though RVD didn’t win the title.  Honestly, I was sure I’d be wrong after I made that pick, so it was total luck in my favor. 

The Miz vs. Fandango in a feud no one cares about.  Yawn.  Man, did Fandango lose all his steam fast or what?

The Axel/Heyman vs. Punk match was exactly what I thought it would be.  Ryback coming in as the new Heyman guy works, as Ryback’s weakness is his promos by far, so having Heyman with him can only help.  It will be interesting to see how they go forward with Axel after this as well.  I loved the promo from Heyman on Monday, as it fit his almost mafia boss like character perfectly.  I love everything Heyman is doing right now, so this all works for me.  And some day, Punk will get his final revenge, and it will be awesome to watch.  Heyman also deserves credit for taking the beating he did before Ryback’s interference as well!

Ambrose/Ziggler was good, and these guys could have a great feud if it’s allowed to continue.  While I think Ziggler should be in the main event picture, if he ever gets back there, Ambrose hanging with him in this feud (and beating him) would do a lot to easily elevate Ambrose as well. 

The tag title match was about what we could expect.  PTP get some hope, but in the end, it’s the Shield reigning supreme as they have for most of their run! 

The WWE Title match was good and I like that there wasn’t a ton of gaga (they saved that for Monday).  Was surprised to see Bryan win the belt but the minute the fast count happened I knew he’d be stripped of it on Monday, saw that coming a mile away.  I am glad they didn’t just hand it back to Orton though.  Obviously Scott Armstrong was doing the bidding of either Triple H or Vince McMahon and his “they caught us Daniel” was orchestrated by them as well.  So, eventually Bryan will win it back and get the big moment.  I hope they haven’t cut the legs out from under him too much before that though.  

Tom’s React

Man, man, man…I can just hear the clippers now and feel the razor dragging across my head, watching my hair fall to the floor!

I am a competitor through and through, so I won’t give up and I think if you’ve followed and listened to Jim and I do our Head 2 Head podcasts it will be really interesting to see the way our picks play out with the final four pay-per-view events this year as I do what I can to break even or surpass Jim.

I did not attend this show as I thought I might and boy, am I glad.  Reading the results, I would have been SUPER angry for buying a ticket to this show or purchasing the pay-per-view (and I will admit that I was tempted with an impulse buy last minute!) with what went down and then what transpired on Monday night.

On one hand, I absolutely love the angle and the heat they are putting on The McMahon’s and Randy Orton and of course, the way that it continues to just get Daniel Bryan over more and more and more.  When the “real” pay-off occurs here, it should be good and should be special.

On the opposite side, you have to wonder how WWE feels about the good will with fans (or do they care at all?) when they give them a great moment that Bryan wins, only to make it nullified the next night on Raw?  I know how I felt and I did not invest financially.  The ending of Raw was still special and made for a great visual moment, but WWE needs to be careful about the goodwill of fans when it comes to those scenarios.

Taking this scenario and the other overlays with the McMahon angles, I would really love to see a Survivor Series match of Daniel Bryan, Cody Rhodes, Goldust/Dustin Rhodes and The Primetime Players vs. Randy Orton, The Shield of Ambrose, Reigns & Rollins and a reluctant Big Show.  I imagine that would be really, really good and an effective progression in the storyline.  We will see if anything close to that happens.

Other than those comments, I have little else to React to regarding the show.  I do think that the RVD finish was bad and screwy (more than just the fact that it helped Jim increase his lead!) and the fact it occurred in Detroit, MI and RVD being a “hometown” guy is just bad.  Everything else made sense in terms of how it played out, even if my picks did not align.

I cannot wait to get back on the “horse” and pick against Jim for Battleground!

Thanks for reading!  Be sure to like Two Spot Monkeys on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @twospotmonkeys  - There are big shows this weekend with ROH crowning their next World Champion and EVOLVE having a NYC area doubleshot, highlighted by what likely will be the feud blow-offs of the AR Fox vs. Ricochet and Johnny Gargano-Rich Swann feuds.

Jim and I will be back in some capacity next week to chime in on those things – Have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Night of Champions Head 2 Head!

Check out our latest podcast as Jim & Tom go Head 2 Head about Night of Champions this weekend on PPV!  You can find it on iTunes, or click on the player located to the right here on the blog.  Also, it is available through TalkShoe, by checking out our page there by clicking HERE!  Let us know what you think of our picks!

As always, be sure to "Like" us on Facebook, and also follow us on Twitter by following @twospotmonkeys!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Two Spot Monkeys First Annual Fantasy Wrestler Draft!

Check out our latest podcast as Jim & Tom enter a fantasy world where they get to draft 15 wrestlers each and create their own national company with TV and all!  Not only will they draft their initial rosters, but they will also lay out their first "dream card" for their "new promotions"!  You can find it on iTunes, or click on the player located to the right here on the blog.  Also, it is available through TalkShoe, by checking out our page there by clicking HERE!  Let us know what you think of our picks and our cards!

As always, be sure to "Like" us on Facebook, and also follow us on Twitter by following @twospotmonkeys!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

NXT: Season One - Where Are They Now?

I thought I would start a new series here on Two Spot Monkeys and take a look back at the rookies we were introduced to through NXT in the first four seasons of the show.  Since it started in February of 2010, NXT alum have gone on to win 18 titles in WWE, and for some of the competitors, more titles certainly seem to be in their future.  Yet, for others, NXT was as high as they’d ever reach (at least as of this writing) in the world of pro wrestling.  So, without any further adieu, let’s take a look back at Season One of NXT and where those competitors are now!  

Michael Tarver - Tarver was mentored by Carlito on Season 1 of NXT.  He was the first competitor to be eliminated during the season as well, as he refused to participate in the rookie challenges as he wasn’t there to perform “menial tasks”.  He of course debuted along with the rest of the NXT Season 1 rookies in the Nexus, but was never a featured member of that group really.  He sustained a groin injury and was written out of the group.  In 2011 he started appearing randomly in backstage segments on Raw and Smackdown, just sort of lurking in the shadows, but nothing ever came of it.  Finally in June of 2011, he was released from WWE.  He currently works for Florida Underground Wrestling, where as of now, he is currently the champion.  

Daniel Bryan - Bryan was of course famously mentored by The Miz.  Bryan never won a match on NXT, however he did get the pin in an 8 on 4 handicap match on Raw, with the other NXT rookies, pinning Santino Marella.  Even though Bryan had his struggles on NXT, there is no question at this point, he is the biggest star to come off not only season one of NXT, but any season the show ever had.  Bryan is a former US Champion, Tag Champion, World Heavyweight Champion, and WWE Champion and is currently the protagonist in the biggest storyline going in WWE today as he battles Randy Orton and the McMahon family.  

Skip Sheffield - Sheffield was mentored by William Regal in Season One and showed off his immense power.  He was billed as something of a hick, with a cowboy hat and all.  He was the first wrestler to be eliminated by the poll results.  He of course returned with the Nexus in July, but unfortunately in August of that year, broke his ankle badly and was out until April of 2012 when he returned as Ryback.  He has since become a member of the mid to upper mid card, including a feud with John Cena over the WWE where many people felt (myself included) that they could really “make” Ryback by putting him over for the title.  Alas, they didn’t do that and it appears now he’s trying to be WWE’s version of Bully Ray.  Something tells me that won’t work out as well for him as it has for Ray.

Darren Young - Young was mentored by CM Punk, though they never quite seemed to get on the same page.  Young has of course gone on to become one of the Prime Time Players with Season 2 alum, Titus O’Neil.  They seemed poised for a tag title run a while back, but the trigger never got pulled.  With his recent coming out as a gay man, and the babyface push that seems to have garnered for he and O’Neil, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them eventually dethrone the Shield, though I don’t see that happening anytime soon given the Shield’s involvement in the top angle right now.

Heath Slater - Slater was mentored by Christian in season one.  Though he’s basically part of a comedy act now in 3MB, Slater has won the WWE Tag Team Titles on 3 occasions with fellow Season 1 alum, Justin Gabriel.  Slater was someone I thought would do really well, and I thought had a little Chris Jericho in him, but it seems he is destined for the lower midcard comedy role at this point, as I’m not sure how you’d make 3MB anything more than a joke now.  I see Slater as wasted opportunity.  

Justin Gabriel - The high flying Gabriel was mentored by Matt Hardy in Season 1.  Gabriel made it all the way to the finals, but finished in 3rd place.  Gabriel has carved out a nice niche for himself as a midcard babyface who gets some good reactions due to his high flying and his picture perfect 450 splash.  As I mentioned before, he’s won the WWE Tag Team Titles 3 times with Heath Slater, and seemed poised for a possible run at them again with Tyson Kidd, before Kidd blew out his knee in January of this year.  Gabriel seems in position that if they ever wanted to move him into the IC or US Title picture they could, but they don’t seem like they want to do that either.

David Otunga - Otunga finished 2nd in Season 1 of NXT, being mentored by R-Truth.  He’s gone on to a better career than I’d have imagined he would as I find him very limited in the ring.  He’s a two time former WWE Tag Team Champion, holding it once with John Cena (for one day) and again with Michael McGuillicutty (now Curtis Axel).  He has been featured many times in an advisor role for people, playing off of his law degree that he legitimately holds.  I know they like keeping him around because he’s connected with Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson, but seriously, I have no idea why they keep paying him.  It’s time to cut their losses with Otunga in my eyes.

Wade Barrett - The winner of Season 1 of NXT, Barrett was mentored by Chris Jericho.  Barrett has gone on to be a main player for most of his time in WWE, including three reigns as the Intercontinental Champion, and main eventing PPV’s against John Cena for the WWE Title.  He was even rumored to be in line for a Money in the Bank win about a year ago, but sadly injured himself in a match and had to miss significant time, which has cut into his push somewhat.  Barrett is in the mid to upper mid card right now, and could easily get a push up to the Main Event level anytime they wish.  Personally, I hope it’s soon, he deserves it.  

So, there you have it.  A look back at Season One of NXT.  Only one of the eight men from that season no longer works for WWE, so, perhaps in that case, it was a successful season.  It certainly brought Daniel Bryan to the main roster, as well as Wade Barrett and a group of solid midcard acts.  I’ll be back from time to time taking a look at the other seasons of NXT as well to see where those competitors are now.  Join us again as we look at “Where are they now?”

Friday, August 23, 2013

SummerSlam REACT!

SummerSlam is in the books, and Tom and Jim are here to take a look back at the 2nd biggest PPV of the year for WWE!  Before we get to that though, a quick update on the Head 2 Head standings for this year.  Tom and Jim both went 6-3 this time around, so, that brings the totals for the year to Jim leading with a 38-13 record and Tom coming in at 32-19!  Still a 6 match lead for Jim as we head towards Night of Champions in September! 

With that said, lots happened at SummerSlam, so let’s take a look at how it all shook out! 

JIM’S REACT:  I thought SummerSlam was a thumbs up show for sure!  Great stuff from top to bottom, and if you ordered the show and saw it, I would be surprised if you didn’t enjoy the show as a whole.  That doesn’t mean there might not be things you didn’t like about it, but still, as a whole, a thumbs up for me. 

The opener on the Kickoff show was well done, and I suspected (as I mentioned in the podcast) that RVD could get a DQ win, and sure enough he did.  Only wish I’d have made that my official pick so I could have extended the lead on Tom even more!  Makes sense to do the DQ since they were apparently going to be setting up RVD in the World Title picture on Monday.  Good work, and Ambrose continues to show that he will be a major player for WWE for years to come.  Little surprised that the interaction between Show/RVD/Henry and The Shield didn’t lead to a 6 man either right then, or later on during the PPV however. 

I thought the Ring of Fire match between Bray Wyatt and Kane was good for what it was meant to do.  These matches tend to be limited in their in ring possibilities, and sure enough, that was the case here.  But, Wyatt came off super creepy, and the combination of Rowan and Harper proved that they’ll do whatever it takes to protect Wyatt and help further his cause.  Right after the pin there was a GREAT shot of Wyatt with the lighting and fire going and his eyes rolled back that they should be sure to add to any videos for him…gave off a creepy vibe and that’s what they want.  I liked the way they wrote Kane out of the storylines now for a while too since he’s off to film “See No Evil 2”.  Taking out a monster like Kane is a great first step for the Wyatt Family!
Rhodes vs. Sandow was really good and if these two guys aren’t feuding over the World Heavyweight Title in the next 12-16 months, something has gone seriously wrong.  Tom and I both have been big supporters of Cody Rhodes for a long time, and it’s nice to see him FINALLY getting the push he deserves.  Sandow has been awesome in his role as well, and is the perfect man to be holding the briefcase, yet still losing matches.  Normally I hate that booking strategy, and they have to be careful with it, as you want to keep Sandow strong…but because of his character, it works out ok.  Rhodes winning totally cleanly was something that surprised me a bit (I expected the win, but thought it would be more of a roll up kind of thing), but I liked this match a lot, and it elevates Rhodes even more in my eyes!

Del Rio vs. Christian was a great back and forth match, and both play their roles so well.  A bit surprised to not see Ricardo Rodriguez make his return here, but as we saw on Monday, he’s apparently playing Fonzie 2.0 for Rob Van Dam now.  I don’t have a ton to say on this match, except that I hope this isn’t the start of Christian fading into the background again or anything, as I have really enjoyed his latest run and always thought he should be a bigger part of things.  He has more than earned that spot.  While it’s a step down from the World Title picture, how about Christian vs. Ambrose in a feud…that would be good stuff!

Shocked that Natalya got a basically clean win over Brie Bella with the sharp shooter.  Didn’t see that one coming at all.  The match was what it was, but, yeah, shocker there! 

CM Punk vs. Brock Lesnar was exactly what I thought it would be, a war.  They beat the hell out of each other and I thought the match told a great story.  Paul Heyman adds so much to these big time matches and he did again here too playing his role perfectly!  My guess is we’ll see this matchup again somewhere down the line (and Punk will get his win back at that point), and while it doesn’t appear it will be anytime soon, I personally can’t wait for it when it does happen.  Would be a great rematch to go inside Hell in a Cell in October if they wanted to do it, but I’m not sure that we’ll get that. 

Ziggler and Kaitlyn winning came as no shock, and really the match was fine for what it was and for where it was on the card.  Ziggler continues to be an absolute stand out and stud in the ring.  The guy reminds me so much of Shawn Michaels and his ascension towards the top of the card that it isn’t funny.  I only hope that when they finally pull the trigger and give Ziggler a good run as champion (and seriously, that has to be coming right?) that he shines the way that it’s clear he can.  He can be a guy you build the company around for a long time, and I hope WWE sees him that way.  Langston is also someone who will be around a long time and does great in his bruiser role.  Good placement of this match to give the fans a bit of a breather between the Punk/Lesnar war and what was to come in the main event. 

John Cena deserves a TON of respect and he’s got it from me.  He didn’t have to do the match, but he did, and he didn’t have to work his ass off, but he did.  He and Bryan had a hell of a match, and I LOVED the new finisher for Daniel Bryan. Not sure what they’ll call it, but it’s Shinsuke Nakamura’s Bome Ye from over in New Japan.  Bryan pinning Cena clean with that knee was just awesome.  Everyone figured it wasn’t the end because it wasn’t the Yes Lock, so it gave a great “shocking” finish to their match, and I like that.  Too many matches always have to end the same way, and this one didn’t…great stuff!  Seriously, if you haven’t seen this match, go out of your way and do it.  It was that good. 

With Triple H hanging around in the ring as long as he did, I saw the turn coming from a mile away.  I was fine with it for what it does, as it keeps Bryan in that under dog role which he plays so well, and eventually he’ll get the belt back from Orton.  However, I hated that one pedigree that was followed up by Orton slowly turning in the briefcase, etc. was enough.  I’d have rather seen Bryan kick out at 2 and 7/8, then have Orton hit an RKO and get the pin.  Maybe even give Bryan a moment or two of fighting back, or hell, let Triple H hit another Pedigree as well.  Just didn’t like that one part, but, in the end, I’m fine with Orton getting the title and Bryan chasing it.  I fully expect this will be one of the Hell in a Cell matches in October, and I can’t wait to see that! 

So, all in all, Summerslam is a total thumbs up as I said!  Go order the replay if you haven’t seen it! 

TOM’S REACT: I really enjoyed SummerSlam as a whole as well.  Of course, the main event and Punk-Lesnar were the show stealers for me (as expected) and I was thoroughly invested and engaged in each match.  Just behind that I’d rate Del Rio-Christian.  If you’ve heard me on the podcast speak about Jay Lethal, I view Christian in the same way.  On paper he doesn’t get me very excited, but in the context of  match I get drawn in and buy in to supporting him big time.  Let me get away from specific match praise here and go bout by bout.
I did not see the pre-show, but I am certainly glad that Jim did not go with his gut instinct and select RVD via DQ.  Even if this was a one-off match, I would like to see more interaction between Van Dam and The Shield.

The Ring of Fire Match was fine.  I think Bray Wyatt takes chokeslams better than virtually anyone of his size I can recall.  That was darn impressive.  The ending was creative and the decimation of Kane to put him out all made great sense in the context of the Wyatt Family.  Now I wonder who is next?

Rhodes-Sandow was really solid.  It was a hair below the World Title Match and given 5 more minutes, it might have passed it.  I love that Cody is getting his due, just as Jim stated.  I also love Sandow.  If there is someone who can afford to lose and not lose the ability to remain over, it is Sandow.  I anticipate much more from these two in the coming months.

I already mentioned some thoughts on this match in my intro, but it was really solid.  Outside of the fact that I wanted Christian to win (and gain ground in the contest with Jim), I was really pleased with the match.  As Jim alluded to, there has to be something more in future for Christian and even though it was billed as a “One More Match” deal, he can be very important in the WWE landscape – especially with Sheamus & now John Cena on the shelf.

The Divas match did have the surprising ending with Nattie getting the win.  Not much more to say, but if you want crossover and people to have EVEN more eyes on Total Divas, then why not have Brie Bella get the win?

Punk-Lesnar was just incredible.  The sheer physicality on display is a credit to both, but MAN does CM Punk just continue to take a beating.  Brock was truly The Beast, tossing Punk around here and there.  Even with the bout becoming No DQ, I could have gone without the Paul Heyman involvement…even though it makes great sense in the storyline.  There was a point in the match where I really thought Punk might pull it out, so kudos to WWE and the booking there.  I do look forward to what is next with this feud, perhaps at Hell in a Cell or maybe Survivor Series.

Maybe my perception is WAY off, but I feel like Dolph Ziggler has cooled considerably in how WWE is pushing him.  Sure, he remains over…but I feel like there is almost a cap or ceiling over him.  He cashed in and won the World Title, but instead of remaining in the chase of Del Rio he has been in the feud with Big E. & AJ.  Not that there is anything wrong with this feud, but I just see it as being a step backwards.  Perhaps it ends soon and we see Dolph back in the upper-card mix by Night of Champions.

I was unaware of John Cena’s elbow issues before the match on Sunday.  He is and has also been the consummate professional.  That can never be disputed, even if people (cough*JIM*cough) hate him for being “Super Cena.”  Kidding aside, this was just a great match.  The way that Daniel Bryan has grown & gotten over this year.  He remained relevant through all of his time with Kane and Team Hell No, dare I say getting Kane more over and they also supported the process of The Shield getting over.  Then moving on from that, his re-emergence into this amazing singles role.  He is someone that I imagine the bulk of the WWE Universe can relate to and his win of the WWE Title was so validating.  And then, with the Apex Predator in Randy Orton and the slimy Triple H doing the deed to rob him, to me it only makes the story better and deeper and with an EVEN better pay-off to come!

I agree, if you’ve not seen this show then buy the replay or pre-order the DVD!

Thanks for reading.  Jim and I will likely be back with more content here on the blog within the next week and our next podcast will come after the Labor Day holiday.  We hope you continue to enjoy the remaining Summer that is left to be enjoyed!