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.
). 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!