Friday, January 24, 2014

Head 2 Head: Royal Rumble 2014

Well, 2013 came to a close and Jim won the Head 2 Head for a second year in a row!  Jim finished at 60-27, while Tom came in at 51-36.  So, Tom will have his head shaved while attending a wrestling show with Jim this year.  He’ll also be wearing a Chicago Bears T-shirt to pay off the 2012 wager as well, as we were unable to attend a wrestling show together in 2013.  More info on that soon! 

2014’s Head 2 Head kicks off with the Royal Rumble!  While we’d love to do this as a podcast (and would have loved to do a year end one as well), life has just not allowed our schedules to coincide and get one done, so we present it to you in blog format! 

The wager for 2014 is: Undetermined at this time…seriously, we’ve been hit with life like the East Coast got hit with snow this week!  If you have good ideas, let us know here or on Twitter @TwoSpotMonkeys

Kickoff Show - WWE Tag Team Title Match
Cody Rhodes & Goldust (c) vs. The New Age Outlaws of Road Dogg & Billy Gunn

Jim: Interesting to see the Outlaws hang around a bit here.  With the tag division as potentially strong as it’s been in quite some time, I am ok with them being a veteran team that can be used to put over up and coming teams if they use them that way.  Though, I have my doubts on that.  I’m actually a bit afraid that they could win the tag titles here, but I think that would be a huge mistake.  I think the Rhodes boys will defend the titles here, but there will be some sort of start to teasing an eventual breakup between them as I truly do think we’re headed towards Cody Rhodes vs. Goldust at Wrestlemania.  I think they keep the titles here, but may lose them at Elimination Chamber, if not sooner.  Perhaps to the Wyatts.

Tom:  If you had told me 6 months ago that I would be seeing 3 of 4 wrestlers from the “Attitude Era” in the Tag Team Title Match at Royal Rumble, I would have called you crazy.  I do think it is interesting that both Road Dogg and Billy Gunn have gotten back into the mix as active talents.  I saw them live just a few days ago at the Smackdown taping and they certainly did not look out of place.  I don’t think they are the team to dethrone Cody & Goldust, but do agree with Jim’s opinion that the tease of the potential Cody vs. Goldust match at WrestleMania might very likely start on Sunday.  The Brotherhood retains. 

Daniel Bryan vs. Bray Wyatt

Jim:  Speaking of the Wyatts, Daniel Bryan gets a one on one shot at Bray Wyatt here.  Seems WWE realized the mistake they made “turning” Daniel Bryan heel and are leaving him as a baby face.  Now, here’s my thing.  Daniel Bryan should be in the Rumble and win it.  At this point, all signs point to him not even being in the Rumble itself.  That would be a HUGE mistake yet again.  They could “explain it” by having Bray and his boys take Bryan out again, but really...don’t do it WWE.  Realize the error of your ways (yeah right!) and give Bryan the win and put him over at’s what your fans want.  DO IT!  That all being said, I see Wyatt getting the win here as Bryan will help put him over to make him.

Tom:  I’ve read a lot of opinions on the way that Bryan joined the Wyatt Family and then turned, as well as the perception of what the WWE “machine” is doing to him.  They are varied and they are also very angry.  I personally didn’t have a problem with Bryan becoming a Wyatt and in my perfect booking scenario, the turn would have come this Sunday with all in the Rumble match.  Maybe it would not have had the impact of the same scenario that played out on Raw a few weeks back, but it might have made some greater long-term storyline progress.  Of course, it would have led to a Bryan-Bray match at WrestleMania with a really awesome, big time feel…but alas we get that bout Sunday (and in my view) without all of the proper build-up.  I am torn on this match because Bryan does not need the win to stay strong and Bray has been one of the most vilified heels without the in-ring work to back that up.  That has to change sometime, right?  Why not on Sunday and no better place than the Rumble.  Bray Wyatt gets the win. 

The Big Show vs. Brock Lesnar

Jim:  Can’t say I’m dying to see this one, though Brock Lesnar is welcome on any show I’m watching, wish he was around more.  No doubt about it, Lesnar wins this one, as Show going over Lesnar would be stupid on every level.  My guess is Brock can beat the tar out of Show too, which will make him look even more terrifying than he already is!  Lesnar is likely to be in a big match at Mania (I’m guessing Rock or Undertaker, if either are able and willing to go), so this starts the push to that.  Lesnar proves how silly strong he is and gets the win here. 

Tom:  Gotta give WWE a ton of credit here.  This is a feud that happened nearly a decade ago and they’ve built it on TV to be fresh and new.  Also, I would have never believed you if you told me a year ago that Lesnar would be doing battle with The Big Show…but again, here we are.  Lesnar will indeed prove that he has the answer to the things Big Show was throwing at him thus far and come out looking really strong and headed to WrestleMania and I have to imagine a chance to break the streak against The Undertaker.  Brock gets the win.

The Royal Rumble Match for WWE Title Match at WrestleMania:
Announced Participants: Batista, Alberto Del Rio, Kofi Kingston, The Miz, Big E Langston, Goldust, Jey Uso, Jimmy Uso, Cody Rhodes, R-Truth, Xavier Woods, Damien Sandow, C.M. Punk (Entrant #1), Fandango, Rey Mysterio, Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose, Luke Harper and Erick Rowan.

Jim:  We’ll pick the final four and the winner here, allowing for five possible points with this match.  With 20 officially announced, there are at least 10 slots left open.  Curtis Axel, Zack Ryder and Wade Barrett all at one point were announced, but do not appear on the official list on WWE’s website as of this writing.  As I said earlier, I think Daniel Bryan should be in, and win the match, but I just don’t see them doing it.  I could never be happier to be wrong if I am, but at this point, I will proceed with that thought.  So, really the only guys that have any shot at all are CM Punk, Batista, Roman Reigns, Sheamus (if he’s back)...and really, that’s about it.  So, my final four are Punk, Batista, Reigns and Big E. Langston (they still seem to like Langston a lot, so let he and Reigns be some new blood in the Final Four).  I think there will be definite dissension in The Shield, as I think we’re headed towards a 3 way at Wrestlemania between those three men.  But, that’s for another day, on Sunday, I think Batista gets the win.  I hate the idea of Batista vs. Orton at Mania, but I have every belief that we’ll see that (or even worse, Batista vs. Orton vs. Cena!)

Tom:  Yes!  The match I am super eager to see on Sunday.  I love the Rumble every year and hope that this year only adds to the legacy of great bouts and memories from the past.  Like Jim, I too hope that Daniel Bryan gets in and imagine that if so, he will have a great run only to have that stunted by The Wyatt Family at some point.  I do also think that Wade Barrett, Ryback and Curtis Axel are shoe-ins for the match…but really am eager for the surprise names – perhaps Jake “The Snake” Roberts or Big Daddy V (as he rumored tweeted earlier in the week!).  The match of course comes down to those with only legit chances to be in the Main Event of WrestleMania XXX and there are only 4-6 of those guys announced, at best.  It would be awesome as well to see CM Punk break the record of Rey Mysterio for longest time in the match…that would be a heckuva story!  Punk is a no brainer for the Final Four.  I will also go with Batista because you don’t have him return here and not get a major spot.  So, Jim and I are identical on picks up to now.  I will also go with Alberto Del Rio being in the Final Four and also Seth Rollins, with Roman Reigns getting dumped by Rollins to his dismay and with Big E. and Ambrose going out just ahead of these guys.  I expect that to have a lot of drama!  I do think it will come down to Batista-Punk, with The Authority screwing him over and giving Batista the opening to win.  Batista will be the 2014 Rumble winner. 

WWE World Heavyweight Title Match - Pinfall or Submission Only:
Randy Orton (c) vs. John Cena

Jim:  Well, here we go again, a match that I could give two craps about for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.  How many times can we see Orton vs. Cena, and it’s nothing new.  I’m bored with Orton as champ, but to go back to Cena would be a big mistake too, even in WrestleMania time. Whatever match Cena has at Mania (as proven two years ago vs. The Rock) will be big anyways, so why does it have to be a World Title Match?  I hope it’s not this year.  I actually loved the idea (that apparently WWE is not doing now) of Cena and Hogan vs. Piper and a heel (I know he wanted CM Punk, but I’d love to see them give Ambrose the spot since he reminds me of Piper so much, but Ambrose isn’t big enough for that spot yet due to booking).  Anyways, I hope this ends the feud between these two, and I’m guessing it might, or at the very least it leads to Elimination Chamber where some other folks get involved as well.  I think Orton keeps the title here and rolls on towards Wrestlemania as the “face of WWE”. 

Tom:  With my previous pick of Batista winning, I have zero doubt that Randy Orton retains.  I think from a historical perspective and in terms of what WWE wants to see, fans will “care” more about this match than Batista vs. Cena, and also cheer Batista fully and boo Orton.  That is about all that can be said.  I trust Cena and Orton to have very good match, but my opinion like that of Jim’s is that I’ve seen it to the point that it is not fresh at all anymore…not good for a co-main event on one of the bigger pay-per-view events of the year!

There you have it.  Pretty close picks almost all the way down the road.  Only difference is in who we think we comprise the Final Four in the Rumble Match.

Check back with us next week for a REACT (maybe a podcast or here on the blog) and we will re-connect on what we liked, what we didn’t like and what we hope/expect to come next!