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!

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 Mania...it’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!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Head 2 Head – TLC: Tables, Ladders and Chairs 2013!

Thanks for coming back to Two Spot Monkeys Blog as we wrap up the 2013 WWE Pick'em Contest between Tom and Jim.  Jim has already locked down his 2nd consecutive winning year in this contest and Tom will lose his hair at some point in 2014 as the result of being the loser!
We take a look at WWE's TLC PPV in this edition and give thoughts, ideas and more heading into Sunday night's show. Enjoy!
Kickoff Show Match
Dolph Ziggler vs. Fandango

Jim:  My how the mighty have fallen with Ziggler huh?  This guy should be your Ric Flair type right now as a top heel in the company, and at this point, he could face Santino Marella in a face vs. face match, and my money might go on Santino.  UGH.  How the hell do you not book this guy better?  Frustrating to say the least.  Fandango on the other hand while he had a quick start, cooled a bit, and now they seem to be slowly rebuilding him a bit, though a slow build is definitely what it is.  He had a nice match with Daniel Bryan on Monday on Raw, and I’d love to see him work his way into the IC Title mix again, as I think he does a good job in the ring.  He’s also got one of those gimmicks that you know 15 years from now when Vince wants to pull out a nostalgia trip, he can use Fandango, so he’s got staying power in my eyes, no matter how high up the card he ever gets.  I can see this going either way, but since they often like to start off with a babyface win, I’ll say Ziggler gets the win here, but wouldn’t be shocked to be wrong either. 

Tom:  I am still in awe of how Ziggler has fallen off the radar.  Maybe that isn’t how WWE sees him in the big machine, but you can tell from Jim’s comments and now mine that the guy is a bonafide main event player and he’s not used to that potential in the least.  I hope 2014 has better in store for both of these guys.  Ziggler is my pick to get the win here.

Intercontinental Title Match
Big E. Langston (c) vs. Damien Sandow

Jim:  They seem to be trying to rebuild Sandow without the robe and such, but still and arrogant prick of a heel.  Langston they are obviously very behind, and they have something in each of these guys.  Both can be top players by the end of 2014 if they play their cards right in booking each of these guys.  I don’t have a lot of hope for that as we’ve seen in 2013, WWE doesn’t seem to know how to do that, but, we shall see.  For this match, it’s WAY too soon to take the title off of Langston, and while I hate seeing Sandow lose yet again, I think you could do a situation where he’s about to get hit with The Big Ending, and he escapes and runs to the back, losing by count out.  Either that, or they just have Langston squash him.  Either way, Langston wins and keeps the title.

Tom:  I’ll disagree with Jim in the idea that it is too soon to take the title off of Big E..  Years ago, I would have agreed with that notion but not in the WWE of today.  I agree that there is a growing star in Big E. and really, the fact that he is here and Ziggler is not when they were paired together earlier is telling.  I like how Sandow has been built back up and think that the rise is going to continue.  Along that line of thinking, I am going to be bold (I have nothing to lose since Jim wrapped up the contest a month ago!) and pick Sandow to win the I-C title.    

Divas Title Match
AJ Lee (c) vs. Natalya

Jim:  Natalya seems to be stuck in Brie Bella mode, she can beat Lee anytime the title isn’t on the line, but yet, can’t beat her when the title is on the line.  I love Natalya’s in ring work, and I think she’s got a decent bit of personality as well.  Honestly, I think she and Tyson Kidd could be a good couple to get a push into the upper mid-card in 2014 if WWE wanted to, but again, not betting on it.  Lee is just awesome in everything she does.  By far the best in ring worker they have in the Divas division (though Natalya is likely #2), and her personality and promos are just great.  I personally don’t see the point in having her drop the title to Natalya here, which is precisely why I think they will.  And to give them something more to add to Total Divas.  Always thought it would be a Bella, but now I’m changing my tune.  I think Natalya wins the Divas title here.

Tom:  Will the “Alberto Del Rio Curse” that I suffered from earlier this year become the “AJ Lee Curse?”  I’ve been picking against Lee for months and that trend continues here again.  I think the Total Divas tie-in and the way they would sell this in the context of the show for Nattie winning is big.  Natalya wins the title.

3 on 1 Handicap Match
CM Punk vs. The Shield

Jim:  Ugh.  While I expect some decent work here, since 3 out of the four are outstanding in the ring, and Reigns isn’t terrible, especially when kept to power spots, I mean, seriously, 3 on 1 on a PPV?  Dumb!  (And hey, they’re going to do it twice, more on that soon).  I can go either way on this match.  I mean, The Shield SHOULD win the match.  There are 3 of them, they are not named Slater, Mahal or McIntyre, so by all good reason, they should beat even CM Punk.  But, it’s the wacky WWE handicap match, and nothing ever is quite as it seems.  I could definitely see Punk winning here, especially if they break the Shield up (and I’m thinking they are heading that way, perhaps to a 3 way match at Wrestlemania).  But I’m going to go with good sound reason and say that 3 on 1, 3 will win every time.  Likely Reigns spearing Punk while he’s got one of the other two up for the GTS will be the finish.  The Shield gets the win, and if needed, Reigns has bragging rights for “saving” whoever is in the GTS.

Tom:  Yeah, this and the other 3 on 1 match is kinda goofy to me.  I love the idea of Punk vs. The Shield and Bryan vs. The Wyatts, but a Gauntlet Match or something else would have been better.  I am excited to see how Punk works with all of the guys here; I am high on them and their futures!  There should be NO way whatsoever that Punk wins…even if potential seeds for dissension amongst Ambrose, Reigns and Rollins begin/continue to sprout here.  Believe in The Shield.    

3 on 1 Handicap Match
Daniel Bryan vs. The Wyatt Family

Jim:  Yep, such a great stipulation we’re going to see it twice!  Again, I just don’t think this belongs on a PPV, but whatever, it’s here, and you know Bryan will do all he can to have a killer match.  Harper and Wyatt should be right there with him as well, and Rowan can come in and do some power spots.  Actually, I expect that we’ll see it mainly be Bryan vs. Harper and Rowan with Wyatt coming in to pick the bones of what’s left.  This one I definitely see the Wyatt’s winning.  They need the win to keep building them up, and it plays even more into the “will he join them or not” story the seem to be doing with Bryan.  Sister Abigail is calling for Daniel Bryan this Sunday!

Tom:  Like I mentioned above, the idea of 2 handicap matches is goofy.  Even if they went with one and made the other a Gauntlet Match it would have been more creative booking to me.  Beyond that, I could have even lived with Bryan vs. Bray (if Bray can go in the ring and is healed up) and then mix in Harper and Rowan with Cody Rhodes and Goldust.  I think from a psychology perspective, the idea that Wyatt would “sacrifice” himself to let Bryan get a win in an effort to get him to join the “clan” would have been more interesting.  Alas, I don’t get paid for creative…just opine on what I’d like to see.  Wyatt Family gets the win here.

Title Unification TLC Match
John Cena (c) vs. Randy Orton (c)

Jim:  Well, they are certainly selling this as the unification, I just don’t see it happening this Sunday.  Maybe at the Rumble, that would make some sense to me.  But not here on what amounts to a throw away PPV.  Heck, usually at TLC we have a Tables Match, a Chairs Match, a Ladder Match and a TLC Match.  This year we just get one TLC Match.  Don’t get me wrong, I think it will be pretty good, but no way do I see a clear winner here.  I’m going to go with the “draw” possibility where John Cena grabs the WWE Title and Randy Orton grabs the World Heavyweight Title, thus “switching” champions, but not unifying a damn thing.

Tom:  It’s so weird that this just seems so rushed.  WWE could have really built and milked this to build to WrestleMania, making it feel even bigger.  I think that WWE knows it cannot have a fluky finish here (in lieu of the recent PPV stretch run) and that is why I pick Orton to win and be the Unified Champion.  Now, where the heck do they go from there and where will it take us on the Road to WrestleMania – we can only guess!
There you have it!  Tom and Jim still differ on a few picks and we will see how that plays out in the Final Standings when we return with a REACT post next week.
Also in the spirit of the end of year, look for an announcement of our next podcast recording where we will take a look back at the good, the bad and the ugly of professional wrestling in 2013 through our "Year End Awards."
We wish you a great holiday season and thank you for your support of us, be it listening to a podcast, reading this blog or interacting with us via social media.  Thanks for sharing in the fun and enjoyment that we get out of pro wrestling and MMA!
Tom and Jim
Twitter: @TwoSpotMonkeys
Facebook: Two Spot Monkeys

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Head 2 Head - Survivor Series!

Check out our latest podcast as Jim & Tom complete their Head 2 Head preview for this Sunday's WWE Survivor Series!  Also, Tom shares his thoughts on the ROH show in Dearborn, MI last weekend, as well as quick hits on the Columbus ROH show and the DGUSA shows from this past weekend!  You can find it on iTunes, or click on the player located to the right here on the blog.  Also, it is available through TalkShoe, by checking out our page there by clicking HERE

As always, be sure to "Like" us on Facebook, and also follow us on Twitter by following @twospotmonkeys!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Hell in a Cell React!

 So, another WWE PPV is in the books and there is no change in the competition with Jim and Tom.

Clearly, with only Survivor Series & TLC left, Tom has a more significant uphill climb to potentially even tie this competition.

Throwing out the Langston/Axel match because it didn’t happen, there were seven predictions made, and neither of us had a particularly good night!  We each went 3-4, with our differing picks being Jim correctly picking AJ Lee, and Tom correctly picking Randy Orton.  So that brings the totals on the year to Jim at 55-20 to Tom’s 45-30, still that 10 match lead with 2 shows to go!  Let’s take a look at our thoughts on the show!


I caught the majority of the Hell in a Cell PPV on Sunday night and I was less than impressed.

I do like most of the storylines right now, but the in-ring on Sunday just did not click for me.  From what I read, the Tag Title Match was the best of the card…and I was able to begin the show JUST after that match, so perhaps I would have had a different opinion of the show if I had seen that match.

One big take away I have is why in the WORLD does WWE continue to put un-advertised matches on the PPVs?  Do they think that is an added value?  My belief is that it is taking away from the main matches having more time and opportunity to deliver.  That is why people are buying the shows, so why not reward them with the “true” main event billings instead of “throw-away” matches like Fandango & Summer Rae vs. Khali & Natalya (and I know it was carried over from what happened on Smackdown, but who really cares?)

I did enjoy Big E. Langston-Dean Ambrose.  These two are part of the future of WWE and they give their all, as evidenced by their collision that resulted in cuts in the facial region for both guys.  I hope that there is more to come from these two.

WWE certainly changed direction on the CM Punk-Paul Heyman issue, including Ryback.  Ryback means virtually nothing now in my eyes and I would have to believe other people see that as well.  CM Punk seemed to quickly transition to another program (with The Wyatt Family), but I have to wonder when (and how, especially since Paul E. was taken out on top of the Cell) Punk-Lesnar II comes about.

I enjoyed Los Matadores and see WWE continuing to build and push them, and as a plus they should be able to sell plenty of merchandise as well.

Cena-Del Rio was pretty paint by numbers to me.  I was more surprised that Sandow didn’t go for the cash in, even if as we saw on Monday with that he was going to cash in and lose.  It could have potentially meant more to occur on PPV, as well as allow Del Rio to get more heat on Cena and allow them to continue a program beyond Hell in a Cell (and maybe they still do) but again, providing a pay off and storyline continuation for those who are loyal and purchase the PPVs.

AJ Lee-Brie Bella was what it was.  The ending made sense and I have to wonder when Tamina “snaps” and challenges Lee.

I fully expected Randy Orton to come out of the Hell in a Cell Main Event as the champion, but I really had no idea on how they would get to that point.  As we saw, it was a Shawn Michaels superkick to Daniel Bryan after some other shenanigans to get to that point.  I don’t like it, I don’t think it makes sense and I don’t even like the follow-up that occurred on Monday.  They could have accomplished the exact same end result and made the transition to The Big Show in the title picture (as they were clearly planning) and kept HBK “clean.”  I hope Daniel Bryan does not lose the luster here has or being as over as he is.  He seems to be heading towards mixing with The Wyatts as well, so we shall see. 

In the end, if I haven’t conveyed it…I am rather ho hum on the whole event and looking towards Survivor Series I hope there is something really good coming down the pike!


I didn’t get a chance to catch the show, but read up on it and have seen the important moments, so my thoughts may be a bit more brief.  I agree with Tom completely on his thoughts as well.  Not excited in the least that Bryan never really got one over on Triple H.  Sure, he hit the knee on him, but in the end, HHH still won, his guy got the title and he’s the one smiling on Raw the next night.  So, to those in WWE who would say that Bryan got his revenge, that’s total BS in my eyes. 

Ryback certainly has fallen in the eyes of WWE lately, and it will be interesting to see what (if anything) they do with him moving forward.  I think we could be seeing him as a free agent before another 5-6 months passes by.  They have clearly lost all faith in him. 

The tag division is certainly heating up, which is always a good thing.  Rhodes and Goldust have been great as a team thus far, and if they are going to hold the titles for a while, I’m ok with that.  I do hope the Usos eventually get the belts, as they are more than worthy of a shot at being “the guys” in the division. 

Brie’s gotta win that title some day right?  I mean…some day?  Even though I picked AJ Lee, I do think Bella needs to win it soon, but I don’t have a lot of hope that they will. 

With the reset button pressed on Monday night, clearly moving Bryan away from HHH and Orton into an issue with the Wyatts (along with CM Punk also moving into an issue with the Wyatts as well, which could lead to some damn good tag matches), and Big Show/HHH/Orton being the top storyline going forward, this felt like the end of the road PPV for a lot of the stories they had going.  Will be interesting to watch things develop moving forward. 

Also, I also need to comment on Sandow cashing in and losing.  The guy beats the hell out of Cena with a briefcase, and still can’t get the job done.  I mean…you’ve all heard me complain about Super Cena, but seriously, yet again they feed a young up and comer to him and prove that Sandow means nothing in the hierarchy of WWE.  It’s my firm belief that at least for the next 5-10 years, Wrestlemania is going to have to continue to be a nostalgia type show, with guys like Lesnar, Rock, Undertaker, HHH, etc at the top, because they have done so freaking little to truly build guys to the top level where they could main event at Wrestlemania and be believable.  They build them up just to tear them back down again (or put a briefcase on a guy and have him win like 2 matches since that point, against R-Truth and Justin Gabriel type level guys) and then say “well, they didn’t get over”.  Yes, it is somewhat on the wrestler to get over, but hey, here’s a funny idea, book them in a way so they have a chance ok?  It’s getting frustrating as hell to see them continue to do this to guy after guy.  They’re also doing a great job of diluting what Money in the Bank means as well when you have Ziggler win it and then win the belt and lose it so fast as you shove him back down the card, and now Sandow.  Maybe they will rescue Sandow, but I have my doubts.  UGH! 

All roads lead to Survivor Series now, where I’m predicting either HHH or Orton takes on Show, Bryan and Punk vs. the Wyatts, and The Shield (maybe) vs. The Rhodes Boys.  Oh yeah, and after teasing dissension in The Shield on Monday, please don’t do that WWE.  Keep them together a while longer, there’s a lot more to do with them as a group!