Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Interview with Adam Cole!

We had the chance Tuesday night to spend about 35 minutes with ROH star Adam Cole and chat not only about his ROH World Title match against Jay Briscoe this Saturday at Border Wars, but also his career in PWG, CZW and so much more!  Give it a listen either on iTunes, or in the player on the right!  Also remember that media player on the right side has all of our podcasts and our interview with Michael Elgin from December.  All audio is also available through iTunes!  Thanks for checking it out, and thanks to Ring of Honor Wrestling and Adam Cole for this great interview!

Friday, April 26, 2013

UFC 159: Jones vs. Sonnen Preview

UFC 159 comes to you live this Saturday night from Newark, NJ, and is headlined by a Light Heavyweight Title match up between the champ, Jon “Bones” Jones and the challenger, Chael Sonnen, there are also some other intriguing match ups on the undercard on PPV, so Tom and I thought we’d take a look at the five matches that will be featured on the PPV portion of the card, hope you enjoy!

Jon Jones vs. Chael Sonnen for the UFC Light Heavyweight Title

JIM:  Jones comes in as the defending UFC Light Heavyweight Champion and is 17-1 overall, and is 11-1 in the UFC, he’s won 8 fights in a row, and let’s be honest here, his DQ loss to Matt Hamill, he was completely winning and it was a weird stoppage, so the guy should be 18-0 and 12-0 respectively, which is amazing.  Sonnen makes his light heavyweight debut for the UFC, and is 27-12 overall and went 5-3 in the UFC Middleweight division, losing two title fights to Anderson SIlva, and also a submission loss in his UFC debut to Demian Maia, he’s coming off a loss to Silva last July.  These two were coaches on the most recent season of The Ultimate Fighter and seemed to get along fairly well on the show, and you can tell Sonnen respects Jones.  I think Sonnen is probably the best middleweight in the world not named Anderson Silva, but at 205, he’s totally unproven and is giving up 3 inches in height and likely a pretty substantial reach advantage to Jones as well.  Sonnen always has a shot, but Jones has so many creative ways to take an opponent out, I see Jones winning by KO or TKO in the 2nd or 3rd round.

TOM: For our blog and podcast being often heavy-pro wrestling, it is only fitting that a Chael Sonnen fight be what we discuss right of the bat here. Sonnen is the UFC king of the heel promo and even with his respect for Jones, that has still come through.  I think this is a really good fight on paper.  With Jones’ (dare I say) meteoric rise in UFC, the question that remains is: Can he be stopped or stunted?  As you may have seen last week, Gilbert Melendez gave Benson Henderson a battle and really tested him.  Can Sonnen be to “Bones” what Melendez was to Henderson?  Much to the way Jim points out above, Jones has found (and likely will again here, if needed) creative ways to take his opponent out.  I’ll take Jones via TKO in Round 2.

Michael Bisping vs. Alan Belcher

JIM:  BIsping is 23-5 overall and is 13-5 in the UFC, and has lost 2 out of his last three fights, to Sonnen and Vitor Belfort with a win over Brian Stann sandwiched between those.  Belcher is 18-7 overall and 10-5 in the UFC, he’s coming off a decision loss to Yushin Okami, but had won 4 in a row prior to that loss.  Both guys need a win to get back on the track to a title shot.  Bisping is one of those guys who wins a bunch of fights and then blows it when he’s a fight away from a title shot.  Belcher also could have been in line with a win over Okami, but didn’t get the win there either, so it will be interesting to see what happens here.  I like Belcher, I really do...but as I said, with nothing much on the line, Bisping usually looks really good and tough, so I’m going to go with Bisping getting the decision win. 

TOM:  There is a lot of bad blood here between the two and some of the soundbites and tweets heading into the fight.  I’d like to see Belcher move to that next level and had previously felt that way about Bisping.  Have both men squandered their previous shots and is this a middleweight gatekeeper eliminator fight?  Only Joe Silva and Dana White likely know.  I hope the fuel igniting the issues between both men carryover on Saturday into the Octagon and the fight delivers.  My pick is Bisping via Split Decision.

Cheick Kongo vs. Roy Nelson

JIM:  Well, one thing is for sure in this one, these two will throw hands!  Kongo is 18-7-2 overall and is 11-5-1 in the UFC, coming off a win over Shawn Jordan.  Nelson is also 18-7, but is only 5-3 in the UFC, however has won two in a row over Dave Herman and Matt Mitrione.  Nelson can wrestle really well, but Kongo has shown some increased takedown defense (when he fought Cain Velasquez back in 2009 it was non-existent, but has come a long way since then).  I do think if Nelson wants it on the ground, he’ll get it there.  If they stand and bang, it’s anyone’s game really and both have pretty decent chins.  I’m going to guess they stand and bang in the first and then Nelson realizes that won’t work and grinds out a decision win, which won’t likely sit well with the fans. 

TOM:  On the heels of Daniel Cormier stifling Frank Mir with “grind it out” approach last week, I certainly agree with Jim’s assessment that the fans won’t be happy if Nelson and Kongo engage in a grappling battle for much of this fight.  Kongo is the proverbial HW gatekeeper, so Nelson needs to get past him here to move forward.  I wonder if that happens if Nelson gets a shot to avenge his previous loss to Frank Mir.  The comes down to Nelson’s ability to impose his will over Kongo or not; Mark Hunt was able to put Kongo down and I view Roy Nelson as better than Hunt.  I’ll go for the hope that fireworks do fly here and pick Nelson via 1st Round TKO.

Phil Davis vs. Vinny Magalhaes

JIM:  Davis is 10-1 overall, and 6-1 in the UFC, with one no-contest.  Magalhaes is 10-5 overall and 1-2 in the UFC, though his two losses came back in 2008 & 2009 before returning to the UFC with a submission win over Igor Pokrajac back in September.  Magalhaes is a submission specialist while Davis is a wrestling machine who knows a few submissions himself.  I see this one being a back and forth battle, with Davis using his wrestling to keep it on the ground, but he’s going to have to be careful if he does that, as he could find himself being choked out if he isn’t careful.  In the end, I think Davis gets a decision win in this one. 

TOM:  My first inclination is to go Davis via submission, but Magalhaes hasn’t fallen to a sub since 2008!  I expect this to be an active battle, perhaps challenging the main event for potential Fight of the Night.  I cannot go with any other pick than Davis via Decision.

Jim Miller vs. Pat Healy

JIM:  Miller is 22-4 overall and 11-3 in the UFC, with his only losses coming to the cream of the crop in the lightweight division, Benson Henderson, Nate Diaz and Gray Maynard.  Healy is a veteran with a 29-16 record, he did lose his only UFC fight, but that was back in 2006.  In Strikeforce, he was 7-1 with his only loss coming to Josh Thomson back in 2010.  This should be a war as well, and it too could go to a decision, but I think Miller is just too tough in the submission game, and I expect he’ll catch Healy in the 2nd round with a submission.

TOM:  For being rather young at 29, Healy appears to have a lot of mileage with 45 pro fights under his belt.  As Jim states, with his last loss to Josh Thomson (who look very impressive last week), on paper he should have the talent and ability to give Miller a battle.  Will Miller’s past and the losses only against the best of the best be enough to put him in the driver’s seat in this contest?  I believe so and I take Miller via Submission in Round 1.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Post 'Mania weekend Recap Podcast!

Tom and Jim were joined by their friend, Big Stu to recap all the happenings in NYC and NJ last weekend over Wrestlemania weekend!  Stu was there live for a number of the shows and brings the live perspective, while Tom and Jim were watching away at home and bring the perspective of how it all came across on camera! This mammoth podcast is our longest to date, but is filled with great insights and reactions to the many events of last weekend!

As always, all of our podcasts are available on iTunes, and also in the handy dandy player on the top right of our site (on every page). 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

What We’re Watching For This Weekend – The Indy Wrestling Spotlight

Of course, it is WrestleMania Week and we are now just days away from WrestleMania XXIX in the NY/NJ area.  If you’ve not yet given our latest podcast a listen, you can link to it directly to the right here from this page or do a quick search on iTunes and subscribe to it.  Jim and Tom go Head 2 Head in picking the matches for WrestleMania and give their opinions on the show heading in.

In addition to all of the WWE and WrestleMania buzz going on, this weekend has grown over the years, beginning really in 2006 as a spotlight weekend for many wrestling promotions to put on amazing cards and bring in incredible talents.  This, coupled with the growth and expansion of iPPV in the last year, gives fans an excellent and diverse opportunity to access many styles of wrestling and promotions over the weekend.  It all begins tonight, where the PWS “Supershows” are available via Highspots.com.  There is a mix of today’s top talent and legends.  Tomorrow, EVOLVE 19 & Kaiju Big Battle are available via WWNLive.com (Use this link to order and support Two Spot Monkeys: http://www.wwnlive.com/signup.php?id=219 ).  ROH presents Supercard of Honor VII and that can be ordered at ROHWrestling.com.  Then, Saturday and Sunday, WWNLive.com is the place to be – with SHIMMER 53, Dragon Gate USA: Open The Ultimate Gate 2013 and Dragon Gate USA: Mercury Rising 2013.  Again, there are plenty of options (and they are affordable at that!) to be had.

We now present what we’re watching for this weekend!


Unfortunately, I am not going to see all of the wrestling I would have liked to this weekend, as juggling my desire to watch baseball and NCAA basketball (Go Tigers and Go Michigan!), so I am limiting my write-ups to what I will see first hand.

1. #1 Contenders Match: Michael Elgin vs. Jay Lethal, ROH Supercard of Honor VII

~Elgin vs. Lethal is going to a lot of fun and with a rowdy NYC crowd who will be pumped for some great wrestling.  With the chance at being #1 Contender on the line, this is going to be that much more emotionally charged.  Steen turned back both Elgin (last Fall) and Lethal (early March), but by no means is the chapter on the battles with these two complete.  I could really see it going either way, perhaps even a draw or a no contest if S.C.U.M. gets involved, which would lead to the ROH World Champion vs. Elgin vs. Lethal

2. ROH World Title Match: Kevin Steen (c) vs. Jay Briscoe, ROH Supercard of Honor VII

~Jay Briscoe is awesome.  He is truly a pillar of Ring of Honor and has been part of some of the most amazing and important moments in the history of the company.  When he gets the chance to be in a World Title Match, he rises to that occasion and creates memorable matches with his opponent.  If you’ve not seen his bout with Samoa Joe in a Cage, you must go out and find it.  The fans love Jay and believe in him and that is a HUGE reason why this will be a must-see match.  He’s been on the shelf with a shoulder injury, but he’ll rise to the occasion and fight through.  Couple all of what I stated and add Kevin Steen into the mix and of course the rowdy NYC crowd and this has the makings of another incredible ROH World Title Match.  I expect drama, violence, mayhem and most likely bloodshed and I CAN’T WAIT!  I feel like this match is worth the cost of the iPPV alone.

3. Brian Kendrick vs. Chuck Taylor, DGUSA Mercury Rising

~Brian Kendrick (the former Spanky) has returned to the wrestling landscape in a big way and is really rejuvenated.  He’s taken Taylor to task for his actions and attitude and it comes to this singles match.  I think this could be the sleeper match of the entire weekend.

4. Ladders are Legal – High Flyers Fray: AR Fox vs. Uhaa Nation vs. The Young Bucks of Nick & Matt Jackson vs. Samuray Del Sol vs. Christina Von Eerie vs. Façade, DGUSA Mercury Rising

~This is going to be just crazy.  The best high-flyers on the scene today are in DG USA and many on display here – Fox, Del Sol and Nation all stand out for me.  Add in The Bucks, Von Eerie in a male dominated match and the relatively unknown Façade.  Add ladders as well and the insanity should just be one crazy spot after another.  I hope no one gets seriously hurt in this match and truly see this as a high risk, high reward match for all involved.

5. Shingo vs. Akira Tozawa, DGUSA Mercury Rising
~This match will close out the weekend for all of the shows pre-WrestleMania…and it is incredibly deserving.  Tozawa is an amazing star, who has used previous WrestleMania weekends to build his star, as well as other spots during his time in the United States to be somewhat of an iconic figure across the landscape.  Shingo’s path as well mirrors that of Tozawa’s but occurred about 4 or so years prior and Shingo was one of the first to help DG USA build their name, with classic bouts with the likes of Naruki Doi, Bryan Danielson (Daniel Bryan) and Davey Richards among others.  In some ways, it is the two most impressive, organically-made stars from DG USA of the last 6 years in a battle of who can be called the best today.  It should be high on athleticism, hard-hitting moves and drama.


1. SHINGO IS BACK! - DGUSA (both shows)
~I know Tom talked about Shingo coming back, but I am a HUGE fan of Shingo, have been since he spent time in ROH a number of years ago so I just have to share my excitement as well.  I have been calling for his return to DGUSA basically since he was gone and I am so excited that he’s back and in two huge main event bouts, facing Johnny Gargano on Saturday night for the Open the Freedom Gate Title, and then the one on one with Akira Tozawa to close out Wrestlecon on Sunday afternoon.  I do think there is a chance he wins the Open the Freedom Gate Title on Friday night, but only if he’s able to be back more full time now (which I obviously hope he is).  Gargano’s reign has lasted over 500 days now, and there doesn’t seem to be that “one guy” who will surely take over the top spot from him at this point, so Shingo would work quite well.  If he does, I expect his match with Tozawa to become the first defense he has of that title as well.  Tozawa would work as a champ too, so if Shingo isn’t coming in full time, you could hot shot it two nights in a row to get it to Tozawa, but we shall see.  Ultimately, Shingo is here, and he’s going to be tearing down the house twice this weekend, and I can’t wait!  

2.  Evolve Title Tournament (Evolve 19)
~While I think it’s setup is a bit convoluted (and that Gabe did things different just to be different), I LOVE tournaments, and love new champs being crowned, so I’m anxious to see who walks out of Evolve 19 as the champ.  I think the front runners are Jon Davis, Samuray Del Sol, and AR Fox.  Interestingly, I don’t think Ricochet or Chuck Taylor have a shot in heck, and they are the top 2 seeds!  

3.  Who is QT Marshall’s Mystery Partner? - ROH Supercard of Honor VII
~If I had to venture a guess, I’d say it’s Silas Young.  Seems like they want to start using Young more often, and putting him with Marshall and RD Evans might be a good idea.  I’m also curious to see if perhaps they’ll have Prince Nana show up and manage Tadarius Thomas and ACH, if only for one night.  The Nana/Evans situation can always be re-started anytime they want.  I’d also expect to see Tomasso Ciampa show up for a cameo as well to keep that storyline fresh while he continues to recover from his knee injury.  If it isn’t Young that teams with Marshall, I really have no idea who it could be.  I suppose it could be Evans himself.  I loved the video promo where Marshall was asking Evans if it was “Tanahashi, Devitt or Shelley”, and Evans said “even bigger”...which means it won’t be...

4.  The return of Uhaa Nation - Evolve & DGUSA
~I was starting to really get into Uhaa Nation last year, and then he got hurt.  A huge blow to a guy that it seemed was right on the cusp of getting a big push.  I’m very interested to see his one on one match on Saturday night with Sami Callihan, and then as Tom mentioned, his entry in the Ladders Are Legal Fray on Sunday’s show.  He also is scheduled for the Evolve show on Friday in a yet to be announced role (hopefully a match).  I look for big things from him this weekend as he looks to pick up right where he left off a year ago and becomes a big star in DGUSA and Evolve!  

5.  Who is CIMA’s “Secret Weapon”? - DGUSA (both shows)
~All we know is he’s never been in Dragon Gate USA before and he’s “really strong”.  I think it has been insinuated that it is someone from Japan as well.  I’m definitely interested to see who this will be and hope they have a good showing.  Teaming with CIMA and the returning EITA (who I was very impressed with the first time he was over) should give this person a chance to have a big splash both in the 6 man on Sunday, and the tag match with EITA vs. The Super Smash Brothers on Saturday’s show.  Mystery wrestlers don’t always pan out to be the “wow” that they can be, but something tells me whoever this is will be worth waiting to see!  

Well, that’s what Tom and Jim are looking forward to this weekend outside of Wrestlemania!  Let us know what you are looking forward to!  Leave us a comment here, or check us out on Facebook!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Wrestlemania 29 Head to Head Podcast Now Available!

Tom and Jim are back!  Give us a listen as we run down the card for Wrestlemania 29 this Sunday night!  Jim has an early lead in the 2013 Head 2 Head competition with a 7-2 record to Tom's 6-3 record, how will things shake out after Wrestlemania?  We'll have to check back next week and let you know, but for now, give us a listen on our picks for the big show!  You can listen in that little media player to the right, or it's also now available on iTunes!  Thanks for the support!