Gorilla Position – Episode #53
Hosts: James Delow and Rob Leigh
Topics: Interview with English Rugby star and WWE fan Alex Corbisiero, Raw Recap, Royal Rumble predictions
Release Date: January 20, 2016
Recap By Tania Leong
Top News Items
– Interview with Alex Corbisiero – Alex said that he grew up a wrestling fan and became interested in the backstage politics, and appreciates the skills and talent needed to become a wrestler. He talked about the concussion issue WWE is faced with at the moment, and he sees it from both points of view.
– Raw Recap – James thought the Raw this week was hit and miss. James and Rob disagreed on the effectiveness of Chris Jericho’s current run. However, both agreed that Becky Lynch and Charlotte are doing their best work in their respective roles at the moment.
– Royal Rumble Predictions – James and Rob said that they wouldn’t be surprised if all the champions on the undercard retain their titles but Roman Reigns loses the WWE World Title. Rob says that the entire Royal Rumble will be about Reigns.
Topics Discussed (with time stamps)
Introduction by James Delow – 00.00
James started out by mocking the McMahon tumbler segment on Raw, by declaring that he drew Gorilla Position as the number one wrestling podcast – ‘How surprising was that?!’
He said that this week’s Raw was ‘up and down’ something not expected being the last show before the Royal Rumble.
Interview with Alex Corbisiero – 03.57
James went through Alex’s accomplishments such as being part of the England World Cup team.
Alex said that he grew up a wrestling fan and watched both WWE and WCW. He said that as he grew up, he appreciated the craft of wrestling and how wrestlers put their bodies on the line, and became interested in the backstage politics. He thinks that NXT encompasses all that is good about wrestling in a one-hour show.
He said that fans need to make an effort to show support to their favourite wrestlers such as buying their T-shirts and merchandise.
They talked about Alex’s upbringing, how he got into rugby, and what he has achieved so far in his career. He said that would consider training in wrestling just for fun during the off-season.
He thinks that there are subtle changes that could help the wrestlers prolong their career, e.g. only using the big moves at PPVs and not on television. For example, he ‘doesn’t want to see [Dean] Ambrose put through a table every week… but that is what is expected of them.’
They talk about concussion in sports, Alex understands why WWE is reluctant to clear Daniel Bryan but he also understands Bryan’s frustrations about missed opportunities. He says that the inclusion wrestlers from the independent scene have improved the in-ring performance both on the main roster and NXT. And as a typical fan, he doesn’t understand or like some of the storylines but still watches the product no matter what.
Raw Recap – 64.09
They thought that Chris Jericho was very amusing as guest referee. However, James thought that WWE bought back Jericho without a proper storyline or feud, therefore he hasn’t been very good so far. Rob thinks that Jericho has the pedigree to make him a viable option for the World Title.
James thought that the match between Big Show and Heath Slater was ‘pointless booking’ because no one truly believes that Big Show will win the Rumble so there’s no point in him ‘squashing’ four younger talents.
James thought the McMahon segment was not very good and predictable, and Vince didn’t look good during this segment.
Becky Lynch was very good as a babyface and Charlotte is much better as a heel.
Rob said that as he watches Raw live, he didn’t really care towards the end of the show, although it was ‘very cool’ seeing Jericho and Paul Heyman in the ring together again. Rob thinks that Jericho is ‘Teflon’ where WWE could bring him in for short periods of time and lose matches, yet he would still be respected.
Royal Rumble Predictions – 96.55
James doesn’t see anyone taking the title except for Reigns and he would rather see Lesnar on the chase towards the title. It wouldn’t make sense to take the title off Reigns so early but Rob said that the injuries might have changed plans.
Rob predicts that ‘the entire RR match is Roman’s story’ but he may not win the match itself therefore losing the World Title. Although he is not sure who will win the title.
James doesn’t want Finn Balor to be in the Rumble because ‘it would dilute his [debut].’ He thinks that from a storyline perspective, it would be more interesting for Triple H to win the World Title and Reigns to be on the chase.
They talk about their favourite RR moments and how passionate people can get booking of the RR match.
Both predict that Ambrose is going to retain the IC Title and this will be the ‘blow off match’ between the two. Alberto Del Rio will retain the US title although it would good to see Kalisto win the title back. They won’t be surprised if all the champions on the undercard retain but the World Title change hands.
NXT chatter – 116.50
Rob found it interesting that the fan video of Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens hasn’t been taken down by the WWE. It would be fascinating to see whether Zayn be at WM, pulling double duties.
There have been some live reports that Balor has been acting more like a heel, feeding speculation about the arrival of the Bullet Club.
WWE chatter – 120.40
WWE recently completed a tour of India with the debut of two Indian wrestlers who beat American Alpha.
They reminisce about Iron Mike Sharpe. They noted that Jimmy Snuka’s trial has been postponed until March.
WWE will hold a live special in Toronto in March leading up to WrestleMania but half the roster is not scheduled, as there is another live show in Atlantic City.
Competition – 129.45
This week’s competition is to win a copy of 2015 Survivor Series on blu-ray. To win, retweet the cover art on James’s Twitter account. Entrants must be over 18 years old and live in the U.K. Closing date is midnight on Tuesday, 26 January 2016 (GMT).
Score & Review
7 out 10: Overall, this was a good episode. It was interesting to hear wrestling as a sport from a professional sportsman like Alex Corbisiero. He understood the training and skill needed to become a wrestler and understood the concussion issue but also knows the frustrations that Daniel Bryan is feeling. Although I agree with the sentiment that we should buy our favourite wrestler’s merchandise to show WWE of our support, it has been evident that WWE doesn’t necessarily hold much stock to this.
I agree that the Vince McMahon segment on Raw was poor. He didn’t look very good as he couldn’t open a plastic ball. It seems as though McMahon has lost a lot of his luster as a character on TV. Also, he is not doing a whole lot in helping Reigns get over with the crowd, as the crowd reaction to Reigns has been epithetic.
Rob is correct is saying that the Rumble is all about Reigns but this overshadows the entire match and realistically only a very few can win the match. WWE could have done a better job in elevating more talent to make them viable champions to make the potential winner more uncertain.