Tuesday, April 8, 2014

An Important Announcement

Hey all!  

After Wrestlemania, which Tom and I both loved, and were both stunned at the Streak ending, our current Head 2 Head competition looks as thus…Tom went 5-4, while Jim went 4-4 (dang Super Cena!), which means they are all tied up at 16-8 a piece!

With that being said, we have an important announcement to make about Two Spot Monkeys.  As you know, this began back in February of 2011 (hard to believe it’s been 3 years we've been at this!) as a labor of love for both Tom and Jim.  Frankly, Tom and Jim love talking about pro wrestling and love talking about MMA.  And they are great friends who love talking about it together.  So, what better way than to give ourselves a forum to do just that.  Along the way we even took it a step further and got to interview some of the top independent wrestling names going today, some of whom now work for World Wrestling Entertainment, and if we had to bet, a few more of the guys we've interviewed will one day be signed by WWE as well.  

Even with our passion for wrestling and MMA, which has not died down in the least, the fact of the matter is that the last three years have brought changes in our personal lives.  Jim got married, Tom had another child, Jim picked up a second job, Tom switched jobs, and both of us just generally have gotten busier and busier.  It has gotten harder and harder to find time to collaborate on posts for the blog, or especially for podcasts, which we've had so much fun doing.  Honestly, when you’re doing something like this “just for fun” and not making any money on it (nor were we trying to make any money on it), it will always fall down the list of priorities in life.  Even with that said though, we also didn't want to ever “half ass” things, as we have always striven to give you, our readers and listeners, the best content we possibly could.  

So, for now, Tom and Jim are announcing that Two Spot Monkeys will be going on an indefinite hiatus for the time being.  We don’t want to say we’re shutting it down, as we always have hope that one day in the future, things will slow down and we can find the time to do this again, as we really do both love doing it.  But, we know that right now we can’t keep the quality level up where we want it given the great things going on in both of our personal lives.

We should be clear in stating that this is not any reflection on our friendship, we are still the closest of friends and have come to this decision jointly and are in total agreement with one another.  We do hope that from time to time, we can resurrect Two Spot Monkeys perhaps with “Special Editions” or something like that as news and our time warrants.  Also, we do want to let you know that Tom will be fulfilling the bets for the 2012 and 2013 Head to Head competitions, wearing a Bears T-Shirt to the next wrestling show we attend together, and shaving his head completely bald for it as well!  We’ll be sure to post a picture of that here on the blog, and on our Facebook and Twitter sites as well when it happens (hopefully late this summer).  

With that, we bid you farewell from Two Spot Monkeys for now.  Thanks to everyone who has read our blogs, listened to our podcasts, given us time to interview them, or even ever shared a link to our site.  We truly appreciate it from the bottom of our hearts.  See you all at the matches!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Wrestlemania 30 Head 2 Head!

It is exciting and somewhat unreal that WrestleMania XXX is here this weekend!  We here at Two Spot Monkeys are excited to summarize where we are again in our Head 2 Head competition for this year and make our picks for the show on the “Grandest Stage of Them All!”

Following Elimination Chamber in February, Jim holds a narrow lead of 12-4 to Tom’s 11-5.  Also, as you get into the preview I have to give kudos to Jim for tabulating the All-Time WrestleMania records.

There are many, many shows this weekend but the “Main Event” is WrestleMania – let’s get to the picks.

Kickoff Show: WWE Tag Team Title Fatal Four Way Match
The Usos vs. Curtis Axel & Ryback vs. Los Matadores vs. The Real Americans

This is the Wrestlemania debut for The Usos, Cesaro, Curtis Axel & Los Matadores.

Ryback is 0-1 at Wrestlemania, losing to Mark Henry last year at Wrestlemania 29.  

Jim:  I really had hoped that Cesaro would get a singles match this year, perhaps against Swagger, but alas, that seems destined for Extreme Rules instead of here.  The Usos simply have to keep the titles here, there is nothing to be made of putting them on Rybaxel, Los Matadores, or the Real Americans (who I don’t see staying together long).  In fact, I’m guessing that Cesaro turns here, or at least that miscommunication happens that leads to the turn on Raw at the latest.  Usos win here no doubt.

Tom:  This is a whole lot better than the originally announced Usos vs. Rybaxel match.  I am pretty high on the Usos and have been for a while, so I am happy they are in this spot.  I am also really excited about the cusp of “greatness” that Cesaro is ready to embark on.  I cannot wait to see him mix with Jimmy & Jey and Diego & Fernando here!  My pick is that the Usos retain.  

Diva Ivitational Divas Title Match
AJ Lee vs. Summer Rae vs. Emma vs. Eva Marie vs. Nikki Bella (0-1) vs. Brie Bella (0-1) vs. Aksana vs. Rosa Mendes (0-1) vs. Layla (1-2) vs. Tamina Snuka vs. Natalya (0-1) vs. Alicia Fox (1-1) vs. Naomi vs. Cameron

This is the Wrestlemania debut for AJ Lee, Summer Rae, Emma, Eva Marie, Aksana, Tamina Snuka, Naomi & Cameron, all other records are noted in the match listing. 

Jim:  This could go a couple of ways.  AJ Lee certainly could keep the title, playing off the idea that Vicky did everything she could to get the title off of her and it didn’t work.  but, I’m betting that Brie Bella takes it here, as we know that Bella and Daniel Bryan are heading to the altar soon, and for Total Divas, it could make for an interesting storyline with them both having titles.  Do I love the idea of letting Total Divas decide what happens at Wrestlemania?  No, I kind of hate it.  But, it’s the world we live in, and honestly, AJ’s title reign is getting a little stale now, so freshening it up is in order, and Brie Bella has worked hard to get better in the ring.  So, Brie gets the belt here.

Tom:  I understand that there is a “need” to get the Divas on the show, but I imagine this would be the first to be shortened or cut if the show runs long.  I’d be fine if this was simply a Fatal Four Way between AJ-Brie Bella-Natalya-Naomi (or similar Divas), with the other Divas as Lumber Jills on the floor to get them involved.  I do agree with Jim that I think the Total Divas show does have a lot to do with how this match is booked.  I’m going to differ from Jim here and I am going to go with Naomi for the biggest win of her career! 

Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal featuring: Dolph Ziggler (1-3), Big E (0-1), Fandango (1-0), Alberto Del Rio (1-1), Damien Sandow, Titus O'Neil, Christian (4-5), Sheamus (1-2), Big Show (4-9), Mark Henry (2-3), Heath Slater (0-1), Jinder Mahal, Drew McIntyre (1-1), Cody Rhodes (1-2), Goldust (0-5), Kofi Kingston (1-3), The Miz (3-0), Brodus Clay, Darren Young, Justin Gabriel (0-1), Rey Mysterio (4-3), R-Truth (0-2), Santino Marella (2-1), The Great Khali (1-1), Zack Ryder (0-1), Sin Cara, Brad Maddox and 3 more!

This is the Wrestlemania debut for Damien Sandow, Titus O’Neil, Jinder Mahal, Brodus Clay, Darren Young, Sin Cara & Brad Maddox.  All other records are noted in the match listing.

Jim:  I LOVE Battle Royals!  Don’t know why, I just do!  So, I love this idea, love honoring Andre, and it can give a rub to someone if they do it right, especially carrying around the trophy (which is bound to get broken by someone at some point in the next year, let’s be honest).  Looking at the field, you could make an argument for The Big Show, and I think he’ll be there at the end certainly, but he’s too easy of a pick.  You could make a case that if they actually wanted to get behind Dolph Ziggler, this could be a great re-launching point for him, but I kind of doubt they’ll do it.  I think that one of the 3 unannounced guys thus far will be Alexander Russev, and that Russev will win the Battle Royal to kickoff his WWE main card career, could be a hell of a way to do it, especially if he takes out Big Show by himself!  I hope that the last three unannounced guys are Wrestlemania Legends brought in for the match.  Tito Santana, Honky Tonk Man, Jake Roberts, Roddy Piper, Bob Orton, or a host of others would all be fun to see in there for a few minutes! 

Tom:  Like the Divas match, this is the spot to get all of the guys not in “featured” matches on the card.  I like the concept and really hope it is something that is continued every year going forward and almost “defended” in a way.  I feel like a heel has to win this and gloat all year with the trophy, especially if they win in a dubious manner.  If we had done an immediate REACT after Royal Rumble, you would have read that Alexander Rusev was one of the highlights for me of the Rumble match and prior to that on NXT.  I could see him winner for sure.  Wade Barrett is a guy who seems like a dark horse as well, but I just don’t know if WWE even knows how they would like to use him.  I can also see a babyface winning, but having the trophy ruined or used to attack the winner afterwards.  With that idea, Big E., Big Show or Sheamus come to mind first.  So there I’ve presented the dilemma of almost too many choices.  I want to gain the edge on Jim in this battle, so I am going to go with Sheamus to win.

The Shield vs. The New Age Outlaws & Kane

Ambrose, Rollins & Reigns are all 1-0 at Wrestlemania with a win last year over Randy Orton, Sheamus & The Big Show.

Kane is 8-7 at Wrestlemania with wins over Triple H (15), teaming with Rikishi to defeat X-Pac & Road Dogg (16), Raven/Big Show (17), teaming with Big Show to defeat Carlito & Chris Masters (22), Chavo Guerrero (24), teaming with Santino, Big Show & Kofi to beat Barrett, Slater, Jackson & Gabriel at (27) and Randy Orton (28), and teaming with Daniel Bryan to beat Dolph Ziggler & Big E Langston (29) and losses to The Undertaker (14, 20), Kurt Angle (18), Money in the Bank at WM 21, 25 & 26, The Great Khali (23) (also lost on Heat at WM 19 with RVD to Lance Storm & Chief Morley, and won the pre-show Battle Royal at 24 to earn an ECW Title shot that night)

Jim:  I was sure we were headed towards a Shield 3 Way here at Wrestlemania.  While that would have been a really good bout, I’m ok with this too, as I’m not dying to see the Shield break up anytime soon either.  I like them as kick ass babyfaces that can get the job done!  Kane deserves a match here at Mania as well, so I’m good with that.  Not sure why The New Age Outlaws are here, other than they are friends with the right folks, so that works I guess.  There were rumors at one point that Kane was going to bring The Ascension in from NXT to be his partners, and I think that could have been a cool way to debut them, but oh well.  Since that didn’t happen, there is no way on God’s green earth that The Shield should lose this match.  Reigns gets the pin on Kane is my guess, and Rollins does some crazy dives along the way!

Tom:  The build for this match has been good.  I too like that The Shield is still a unit and hope that continues beyond Sunday night.  I almost wonder if this is the match a lot like last year, where Ryback seemed like a slam-dunk over Mark Henry and then the script got flipped.  Could that happen here to show the strength of The Authority before the Bryan-Triple H match as well as exposing the cracks in the foundation of Rollins, Reigns & Ambrose?  Maybe, but I won’t go all-in with it.  The Shield gets their full revenge and the win.

John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt

John Cena is 7-3 at Wrestlemania with wins over Big Show, (20), JBL (21), Triple H (22), HBK (23), Edge & Big Show (25), Batista (26) & The Rock (29) and losses to Orton (24 along with Triple H), The Miz (27) & The Rock (28)

This is Bray Wyatt’s Wrestlemania debut.

Jim:  This match probably has me the most excited as a fresh matchup for Wrestlemania.  Bray Wyatt is a guy I have loved since he debuted in FCW, back before it became NXT.  He never clicked as Husky Harris, but as Bray Wyatt, he is now a bona fide star and I think will be a top level guy for them for years to come.  The story is that John Cena asked for this bout, and I have to give him kudos if that is true, as Cena is at a level that he can basically name whoever he wants for Wrestlemania.  Now, the question is, what do they do here with this match?  If Cena wins, what does that do for Wyatt?  Nothing really.  Wyatt has to win this match, he simply has to.  I really have my doubts though, as it’s Wrestlemania, and it’s John Cena.  But, for the sake of this column, I’m going to go with my heart, Bray Wyatt wins and this feud continues (which it really has to, and has legs if they want to keep it going!).

Tom:  There is no way Cena loses here and also no way that the feud ends here as well.  Its got a lot of legs left under it and I really am excited to see these two mix it up together.  Should be one of the spectacles of ‘Mania and Cena wins.

The Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar

Undertaker is of course, 21-0.  Wins over Jimmy Snuka, Jake Roberts, Giant Gonzales, King Kong Bundy, Diesel, Sid, Kane (x2), Big Boss Man, Triple H (x3), Ric Flair, Big Show, A-Train, Randy Orton, Mark Henry, Batista, Edge, Shawn Michaels (x2), and CM Punk

Lesnar is 1-2 with his win over Kurt Angle at 19, and losses to Goldberg (20) and Triple H (29)

Jim:  While this isn’t a fresh matchup, it’s been a LONG time since we’ve seen it, and both guys have changed since then, especially Lesnar.  So, I’m excited to see this match as well.  I think it will be hard hitting as all of Lesnar’s matches have been since his return two years ago, and I am sure Undertaker will be up to the task.  I love that they finally had Lesnar get the upper hand on ‘Taker on Monday night, as this bout desperately needed that feeling that Lesnar just might be the one to end the streak.  That being said, I see no chance of that, as I believe the Streak should last forever at this point.  So, Tombstone (maybe 2 or 3 of them), 1, 2, 3.  Undertaker wins.  And I have zero problem with that.

Tom:  The idea of WrestleMania without an Undertaker match is hard to fathom, yet we get closer to it each year.  Could this be the last one?  I hope not, but I really think (as has been the case before) that there is always something special in the air during this spot/match on the show.  There is no way ‘Taker loses, but Brock Lesnar might be one of the athletes who gives the greatest drama to the potential that The Streak could end.  Undertaker and his 22-0 record reign!

Winner enters the WWE World Heavyweight Title Match
Daniel Bryan vs. Triple H

Daniel Bryan is 1-1 at Wrestlemania with his win last year with Kane over Dolph Ziggler & Big E. Langson, and the infamous 18 second loss at WM 28 to Sheamus

Triple H is 8-9 at Wrestlemania, with wins over Goldust (13), Owen Hart (14), The Rock/Big Show/Mick Foley (16), Chris Jericho (18), Booker T (19), Randy Orton (25), Sheamus (26) and Brock Lesnar (29) and losses to The Ultimate Warrior (12), Kane (15), The Undertaker (17, 27 & 28), Chris Benoit (20, also including HBK), Batista (21), John Cena (22), Randy Orton (24 along with John Cena)

Jim:  Wow, what a difference one guy leaving makes huh?  It was being setup for Triple H vs. CM Punk this year, and then Punk leaves and we end up here.  What a crazy ride.  The fans have demanded Bryan be in the main event mix, and here he is with his shot.  I don’t care how dastardly Triple H can be, if WWE does ANYTHING except have Bryan win clean in the middle of the ring here, they are absolutely nuts.  The crowd would crap all over it with anything else.  Now, they could get cute and have Triple H get a DQ win or a Count Out win, and then have Vince show up and say “hell no it’s not ending like that, restart this match as No DQ” or whatever...but, honestly, don’t do that WWE.  Just do what is “best for business”!  Bryan wins!

Tom:  I completely agree with Jim.  WWE is absolutely nuts if they don’t pull the trigger here and later with Bryan.  Getting the revenge on Triple H that Bryan and the fans have been craving since last August will be sweet.  Daniel Bryan wins.

WWE World Heavyweight Title Triple Threat Match
Randy Orton vs. Batista vs. Triple H/Daniel Bryan winner

Randy Orton is 4-6 with wins over CM Punk (27), Cody Rhodes & Ted DiBiase (26), John Cena & Triple H (24), The Rock & Mankind (20, with Batista & Flair) and losses to Kane (28), Triple H (25), MITB (23), Rey Mysterio (22 along with Triple H), The Undertaker (21) and The Shield (29)

Batista is 3-2 with wins over Umaga (24), Triple H (21) and The Rock & Mick Foley (along with Flair & Orton at 20) and loses to John Cena (26) & The Undertaker (23)

Jim:  So, Bryan moves into this slot in my scenario, and again, only one thing makes sense here, Bryan pins Orton to be standing in the middle of the ring, leading 70,000 members of the Yes Movement chanting “Yes, Yes, Yes!” as Wrestlemania goes off the air!  It should be an AWESOME spectacle and if WWE doesn’t give it to us, again, they are insane.  Sometimes doing the predictable thing is the right thing, and this is one of those times.  Bryan wins the title here.  If you need to get it on Batista before his movie comes out in August, fine, but for Wrestlemania, it’s all about Daniel Bryan, and how freaking cool is that!

Tom:  Hard not to agree with Jim here too.  Bryan pinning Orton brings their issues and feud full-circle with a very satisfying ending to it all and a great scene & WrestleMania moment.  Not only that, but it keeps Batista (whether you like him or not) in the mix for the title and he can be the next guy that is thrown at Bryan to defeat him and wrest the title from him, maybe on Raw or at Extreme Rules.  However, before all that, the WWE Universe gets their wish and a great moment for all Daniel Bryan fans (be they like Jim and I from the Ring of Honor days) or those who have rallied behind him in the last 6-8 months.

So, what say you all?  Which of us is closer to being right?  Who do you think walks out as the WWE World Heavyweight Champion on Sunday night?  Will you be there live?  Watching on the WWE Network?  PPV?  Having a party?  Hit us up on Facebook or Twitter and let us know!