Thursday, January 31, 2013

Royal Rumble 2013 React!

Royal Rumble 2013 is in the books and not only did WWE put on a strong, newsworthy event but Jim and Tom kicked off this year’s edition of Head 2 Head (as previewed and discussed on last week’s podcast).

Jim has the early lead 7-2 to Tom’s 6-3, by virtue of The Rock’s win over CM Punk.

Continue reading for both Tom and Jim’s thoughts & perspectives from watching the Rumble event.


This was a two match show for me, the Rumble Match and the Main Event.

Before I give my thoughts on those matches, a few quick thoughts on Del Rio-Big Show and the Tag Title Match.  Del Rio-Big Show had some really cool spots (teetering on the dangerous – Del Rio’s table bump off of the Rumble set) and a unique, smart finish.  The Tag Title Match had me shaking my head; not because Daniel Bryan & Kane should not and are not able to carry the torch as tag champions.  More so, Team Rhodes Scholars has now seemingly had opportunity after opportunity and have failed.  What is the purpose and agenda to build credible challenges over and over if they cannot ever win the “big one?”  Rhodes & Sandow come across to me as nearly the perfect team to have a run as tag champions and have entertaining matches and get people interested in seeing them get their butts kicked!  For all of the positives in the growth and re-building of the tag team division in the latter half of 2012, it seems that all we have now is just one team left standing – and where do we go from here?

Personally, I loved the Rumble Match.  I think it was just a lot of fun, with quality surprises (especially Chris Jericho!).  The way it came down to Cena and Ryback at the end was different than I had envisioned, so it was cool and fresh.  It certainly will be neat to look back at and on when Cena-Ryback eventually face off in the ring.

I also really enjoyed the main event.  I feel like WWE could have kept the title on CM Punk and still shifted it to The Rock later (Elimination Chamber), but with Rock’s promo and his Mother in the crowd, all of the stars aligned for it to happen in Phoenix.  The overall structure of the match made perfect sense and I loved the MMA-stylings of kicks and knees that Punk added to the match.  There was definitely a “big fight” feel and that is often what allows for that extra “oomph” to make WWE matches and events special.  Even if I was disappointed because of my personal enjoyment of wanting Punk to remain champion, I do realize the Rock-Cena II goal for WrestleMania is likely the direction that WWE is going and to begin that proper build with Rumble as a launching point makes perfect sense in the grand scheme.


Totally agree with Tom that it was a two match show, while I enjoyed the Last Man Standing Match and the Tag Title match, it was all about the WWE Title Match and the Rumble itself. 

I’ll stay with his format and share my thoughts quickly on the first two matches as well.  First of all, CRAZY bump by Del Rio on the “chokeslam” off the set through the table.  That could have been really really bad.  I’m starting to get into him as the babyface champion, so maybe what they are doing is working.  At first I wasn’t sure, but now I’m enjoying him.  If they really do go to Sheamus/Orton for Wrestlemania though, I’m curious where that will leave Del Rio?  Maybe Del Rio vs. Ziggler?  (I’ve read rumors of the Jericho/Ziggler feud not lasting that long, so it’s an option).  I thought the finish was great and worked into the whole idea of Del Rio outsmarting Big Show.  It’s not just the Latino roots, but there is a little Eddie Guerrero in Del Rio, and I like it. 

The tag match…well, Tom said it all and I 100% agree with him. Where do they go from here?  There isn’t another credible team to challenge right now for the titles.  The Uso’s?  Prime Time Players?  Brodus & Tensai?  Where do they go?  And I hated Cody Rhodes getting squashed on Raw too, so it makes me worried for the long term future of Rhodes Scholars as well.  Good match, but insanely short sighted and dumb booking as far as who went over. 

The Royal Rumble has been one of my favorite matches for a long, long time.  I’m a sucker for a Battle Royal to begin with, and the Rumble is the “grand daddy of them all” when it comes to Battle Royals.  Jericho coming out at #2 was a shock and it worked perfectly, and then he and Ziggler got to be the work horses of the match, which they are both so perfectly suited to do.  Great stuff there.  I also enjoyed the cameos and returns for Goldust, The Godfather, and Rey Mysterio, all very well done.  If they aren’t going to do anything with Cody Rhodes in the near future, how about signing Goldust back and let them work a program together for Wrestlemania.  Play off the Harbaugh brothers meeting up at the Super Bowl this weekend and have the Rhodes boys go at it at the Super Bowl of Wrestling.  Could work and would be a fun match to watch!  I also enjoyed the Bo Dallas debut, and while there are a number of NXT guys I’d have rather seen brought up, I like that they used his debut to start a program for him right away.  Triple H deserves a lot of praise for not bringing guys up randomly, and instead, making sure they’ve got a plan for them coming in, and who they’re going to work with, etc.  While I hate that we’re going back to the well with Cena, and would have loved to see someone new elevated with the Rumble, it was a foregone conclusion, so I wasn’t really that upset by it. 

The main event was just great, I thought Punk and Rock had a great back and forth match, and they told a great story with the lights going out and The Shield attacking, but it was an attempt by Punk to outsmart Vince McMahon and everyone else one more time.  When he got the pin, I actually started to text Tom to say “nice call on that one” because I was sure The Rock would win…and then Vince came out, and I thought “oh dear Lord in heaven, do NOT have him stripped of the title, that would just be SO anti-climactic”.  Thankfully they had The Rock say that he wasn’t going to let it go down like that (somewhat of a call back to Wrestlemania 27 and the end of The Miz and John Cena actually) and asked for the match to be restarted…and then I knew, I was going to have a one match lead on Tom after all. 

Rock/Cena II doesn’t set my world on fire for Mania…but, it was clear that’s where they were going, and if the ratings on Monday night say anything, people were interested by what happened Sunday night, so, maybe they have a clue up in Titan Towers after all!

Friday, January 18, 2013

2013 Wishes & Breakout Stars!

Check out our newest podcast, in the player to the right as Tom and Jim take a look at who they think will be break out stars in the world of pro wrestling and the UFC this year, as well as looking at 3 wishes they each have for the coming year as it pertains to wrestling, MMA, and Two Spot Monkeys!  Feel free to leave us your feedback here!

Friday, January 11, 2013


2013 is already off to a hot start in the world of pro wrestling.  Within 5 days, 2 of the most popular stars in the history of wrestling (The Rock and Sting) returned to WWE and TNA respectively.  Sting is coming back to seek retribution against the Aces & Eights Faction, while The Rock put WWE Champion CM Punk on notice that in “20 days” he was going to become a champion again, for the first time in 10 years!  While I expect that both returns and their respective participation is newsworthy and will create interest amongst fans, there was another pro wrestling talent related signing that occurred this week that has a niche of fans excited and filled with hope for the present and future of WWE.  That man is EL GENERICO.

Now, if you’ve never heard or been exposed to El Generico, do not let the photo above fool you.  El Generico is far and away one of the most talented professional wrestlers in the WORLD!  He can compete in the ring with any competitor or style of wrestling from all over the WORLD!  He has traveled the globe more than the Harlem Globetrotters.  Even more amazing, is that he does it without using his ability to speak to capture and engage fans.  Generico, The Generic Luchadore is from Tijuana, Mexico and having not yet mastered full bi-linguality with the English language, has created a fanbase that transcends culture, language, ethnicity and more.  He is revered by die-hard “insider” wrestling fans as much as he is loved by children for his antics and colorful mask and golden cape he wears to the ring.
The bulk of my live pro wrestling exposure has come over the last 10 years.  Equal to that, the exposure to many different promotions who run wrestling shows has greatly expanded in that timeframe as well.  Through these opportunities I have seen El Generico and grown to appreciate him as being one of the best.  Take his bout against Kota Ibushi from April 2008 in Ring of Honor.  On this warm, Spring evening, these two incredible athletes dazzled and left fans exploding with excitement.  From my 2nd row seat, I popped up and down with amazement and that same excitement.  Or take his bout (of the many) against long-time partner and rival, Kevin Steen, from Pro Wrestling Guerrilla in December 2011.  In a tiny Reseda, CA building that was seemingly bursting at the seams with fans, these men took risk after risk in a Ladder Match for the right to be PWG World Champion.  The insane amount of punishment taken by Generico and the battle scars and welts he wore are images still very real in my mind today and this match was seen by me on DVD; I can only imagine what it must have been like in person!
Those are just two, brief snapshots of the many from Ring of Honor, Pro Wrestling Guerrilla, CHIKARA, Dragon Gate USA/EVOLVE and more and more that Generico has created in terms of the legacy of the first half of his pro wrestling career.  The next chapter will begin very soon, as the news that broke this week was of the agreement of El Generico to become a contracted performer of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) and finally having earned what the majority of people who get into the crazy world of professional wrestling strive for – a contract with the biggest promotion in the world!  The agreement in principal will likely become official within the coming weeks.  Generico’s likely destination will be Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW), the developmental and “refining” territory where the majority of WWE Superstars make a stop on their way to “the big show.”
There is no indication of how long Generico’s stint there will be or who may join him, but that is the other aspect that has some fans excitement.  What is to come?  WWE has long been known for a body-type and “mold” for lack of better term when it comes to their wrestlers.  A change has slowly been working its way into and through the system, where the size and amount of muscles you have isn’t the only ticket you need to play.  With the number of untapped wrestlers on the independent scene, with their trails of blood, sweat and tears behind them, not only is WWE a professional goal, but the culmination and reward for the hard work.  This is a welcome change from me – I find it refreshing that the sport of pro wrestling is evolving to reward hard work and skill instead of (only) time spent in the gym.
There is no sure outcome for what the future holds for El Generico.  He is on the doorstep to his next great opportunity.  Many have come before him and many that people cheer or jeer now have succeeded (Daniel Bryan being the first that comes to my mind).  Based on what I’ve seen, Generico has every single thing necessary to join those ranks.  I am excited to see where the journey goes and hope that you hop on before the momentum takes off!