GORILLA POSITION – EPISODE 36
HOSTS: JAMES DELOW & ROB LEIGH
GUESTS: BELLA TWINS, SETH ROLLINS, DEAN AMBROSE
DATE: SEPTEMBER 9, 2015
DIRECT LINK TO STREAM OR DOWNLOAD EPISODE
Report by Tania Leong, PWPodcasts reporter
TOP NEWS ITEMS
-Interview with the Bella Twins at 2K16 Launch Party during Summerslam weekend: The Bella Twins said that they are honoured to be in the 2K videogames and are impressed with the evolution of their characters. On the ‘Divas Revolution’, they said that although the ‘smart marks’ do not like the Bellas, they have been in the company for nine years and they have passion for the business, as well as having the best coaches in Daniel Bryan and John Cena. They predicted a Team Bella win at Summerslam. Brie Bella said that she has enjoyed working with Becky Lynch best amongst the new Divas.
-Interview with Seth Rollins at 2K16 Launch Party during Summerslam weekend: Seth, when asked about his US Championship match with Cena said that he thrives under pressure in these big matches. He also said that with the Barclays Centre being sold out for three nights, there will be incredible pro-wrestling action. With regards to the 2K16 game, he said that there is realism, the game play has been revamped and has the biggest roster. He is not happy that Steve Austin is on the cover because he does not like others stealing his thunder and ‘taking a slice of his pie’. He also said that he would love to challenge Steve Austin at Wrestlemania 32.
-The New Day on a career high at the moment: Both hosts praised the work that the New Day are doing at the moment and specifically noted that the backstage segment with Rollins, Edge and Christian and the Dudley Boyz was the highlight of Raw. They said that it is obvious that all three are having the time of their lives and the payoff is how popular they have become. Both hosts also questioned how long will the New Day stay together as a team. James mentioned that during a previous interview with them (episode 17), all three said that they may not be around for that long and when they’re done, they’re done.
-Ryback’s backstage promo with Renee Young on Raw: James noted that it was very obvious that Ryback was reading the promo off camera and that you can almost see his eyes moving across the card. Both agreed that Ryback is not a great talker and it would serve him better with short promos because he should be portrayed as a monster, therefore no need for him to talk. They also noted the big difference between Ryback and the New Day is that the latter seem to have more freedom with their promos and Ryback is too scripted.
-Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns mystery partner at Night of Champions, and the Wyatt Family: The tag match between Ambrose/Reigns and the Ascension was enjoyed and served the purpose to make both Ambrose/Reigns look strong. Both hosts had a different interpretation of the Randy Orton attack by the Wyatts. James said that the attack served as a warning for Orton not to join Ambrose and Reigns, while Rob said that Orton would want revenge because he was attacked for no reason. They discussed the fake graphic that was doing the rounds on social media with Baron Corbin as the mystery partner. James said that it would better have a returning Superstar as the mystery partner where Rob said that in this context, a NXT call up would work. Both agreed that the mystery partner needs to be a surprise.
TOPICS DISCUSSED (with Time Stamps)
Introduction – 0.00
Introduction by James Delow
Roundup of interviews uploaded to James’ Youtube channel – 1.13
A number of previous interviews has been uploaded to James’ YouTube account, including the ones with Paige, Neville, and Kevin Owen
The ‘controversial’ interview with Dean Ambrose (episode 35) – 1.42
James interviewed Ambrose at the 2K16 Launch party and asked him about his off-screen relationship with Renee Young
As background, James had interviewed Young twice before where she confirmed her relationship with Ambrose
This interview was the first time Ambrose confirmed the relationship himself and James had received a lot of hate by Ambrose “fangirls” on social media
James concluded by saying that the interview was not controversial as ‘he asked Dean Ambrose a question and he gave me an answer’
Social media and upcoming interviews – 2.58
James went over his social media accounts on Twitter and Instagram
He also although he mentioned said last week that that Sheamus would be on this podcast, he changed this and now Seth Rollins will be on
Interview with Nikki and Brie Bella – 7.16
The Bellas talked about their taste in clothes
Their part in the Divas Revolution and which new Diva they enjoy working with most. Brie enjoys working with Becky Lynch
They predicted a Team Bella win at Summerslam
They gave a shout out to James’ wife who enjoys Total Divas but not wrestling
Raw Review- 13.47
Rob Leigh joins James for the Raw Review
This week’s show was better than last week’s but not a ‘killer’
James said that the 15 minute promo to start off the show was too much and the crowd was not kind to Rollins. Rob said that we are conditioned to expect a long promo
Rollins and Sting delivered better than expected but not as entertaining as the time when Stone Cold threw the Rock’s IC Title into the river
James questioned the use of the comedic angle with Sting, ‘shouldn’t [he] be a bit more serious’ because he is going after the World Heavyweight Championship?
Rob expected Sting to be in a big match at Wrestlemania 32 and be inducted into the Hall of Fame
They enjoyed Sheamus’ comment about being related to Ronald McDonald and expects him to be one of the first opponents for Rollins once he turns face
They noted the subtle and slow burn build towards a Triple H and Rollins feud in the new year
Off topic, they said that if Ronda Rousey was to be involved in Wrestlemania 32, it has to be a mixed tag match as no one would take Stephanie McMahon vs Rousey seriously
The first match of the night was a Divas match which was a nice change but it should not have been 15 minutes into the show, ‘how about starting the show with a match’ said James
The ending of the match with a double pin shows an encouraging rivalry between Paige and Sasha Banks at Night of Champions
James said that Paige needs to use a hair tie in the ring as she spent a lot of time fiddling with her hair and she loses her facial expressions during the match
Both questioned the crowd chanting ‘This is awesome’, as the match was good but not great. The chant should be saved for an actual great match and the crowd likes to ‘put themselves over’
Both really enjoyed the Ambrose/Reigns vs Ascension match, especially the Doomsday Device and that matches do not need to be blood feuds which, should be left for PPVs
James question the use of the Ascension in this match and whether it would have been better to use enhancement workers if the purpose is to make Ambrose/Reigns look strong. This match made the Ascension look weak especially with their recent alliance with Stardust
Ryback’s promo with Renee Young and Kevin Owens seems ‘off kilter’ and noted that he is not a strong talker therefore a long promo has not served him well. Rob noted Paul Heyman saying that you should accentuate the strengths and hide the weaknesses. Here Ryback’s weakness was on show
The Ryback vs Rollins match worked surprisingly well and the delayed suplex by Ryback was a nice moment, but the crowd offered no reaction
James said that he ‘like Ryback in small doses and [his] character needs tweaking’
It was noted that the World Heavyweight Champion lost again but was this setting up the idea that Rollins cannot beat two opponents in one night?
The backstage segment with the New Day, Rollins, Edge and Christian and the Dudleyz was the highlight of the night
It was nice to see Edge and Christian and the Dudleyz together in a long time
Both enjoyed the ridiculousness of the trombone vs kazoo battle and Big E eating the kazoo, as well as the subtle comebacks from the New Day like Kofi saying ‘You shouldn’t be telling us this’, Big E saying ‘You ain’t got no pipes’
Rob noted that the New Day reminds him of the New Age Outlaws who were midcarders but were often in main events because the crowd loved them
They received a tweet from a listener saying that the trombone should be inducted into the Hall of Fame
James noted that the crowd was really into the main event and the trombone noise was a nice touch
Both then talked about the difference between the New Day’s promos and Ryback’s, and how it was obvious that the New Day are writing their own
Rob said that scripts are important but the Superstars ‘need freedom to inject their own personality into the material’ and if the script is not written in the voice and words of the Superstars, then there is a problem with the writers themselves
James said that when backstage segments are well produced like the segment last week with Renee Young and Summer Rae sneaking into Dolph Ziggler’s locker room was subtle
Rob joked that James should not mention Renee Young. James countered by saying that he ‘cannot help but mention Renee Young and her boyfriend Dean Ambrose, as confirmed last week on Gorilla Position’
Rob said that he was worried that the New Day may get to the stage where they would be too overwhelming but they are not there yet. This lead to a discussion about how long they would be a team, as long as the Freebirds?
They said that Big E has main event potential, it is obvious that the company is keen on Xavier Woods although he is not in many matches and Kofi is a lifer with WWE
They referred to a previous interview with the New Day where they said that they may not be around that long but when they’re done, they’re done
James called the Ziggler/Rusev/Summer Rae feud as a E! True Hollywood Story
They questioned whether Lana’s injury was genuine or a work as WWE doesn’t usually acknowledge injuries like that for Daniel Bryan and Christian
James noted that the style of the video would draw in the Total Divas audience and that Summer is getting better on the mic
Rob said that he doesn’t really understand what’s happening in this feud but is funny at times like Summer calling Rusev ‘Ru Ru’
James said that ‘comedy doesn’t sell, comedy doesn’t draw’ then Rob mentioned that the Rock’s comedy sold. James said that the comedy here is nowhere near the Rock’s level
James went on the question why Rusev and Ryback are doing comedy, ‘where are the monsters and who is there to be feared in the WWE right now’ and said that Wyatts maybe fell into this category
James noted that Michael Cole said that this was the 1163rd episode of Raw and joked that he may be been mistaken for this being the 1163rd match between Sheamus and Orton
James said that the match was good but Sheamus as Mr MITB lost again and Sheamus is not looking good
Both had a different interpretation of the Wyatt’s attack on Orton post-match. James saying that it served as a warning to Orton to not join Ambrose/Reigns, and Rob said that Orton would want revenge for an unprovoked attack
Both then discussed the possibility of having a NXT call up to be the mysterious partner. James said that the Divas Revolution proved that too many were introduced and it is not working. Rob said that a new introduction makes sense in this context but it would take the shine off Reigns which is the main purpose of this feud. Rob continued by saying that the company’s goal is to get Reigns over with the crowd through association and therefore having Bryan in the match might work. As Bryan will have limited work in a six man tag and he has history with the Wyatts
Both said that the match between the Dudleyz and Los Matadores is to make the former look strong, and they will most likely have a match against the New Day at NOC
Both discussed where the tag team division go after NOC. There are no enhancement workers and there will be just rematches leading to a three way feud between the New Day, the Dudleyz and Prime Time Players
Although the build to NOC was good but in the meantime, it made other tag teams look weak
Rob questioned what happens to the winner of the NXT Dusty Rhodes Classic
Rob noted that the Big Show scared a fan after the Miz vs Cesaro match
James argued that a Big Show/Miz feud could work if Miz continue to escape the clutches of the Big Show for three months and this could lead to a big match at Royal Rumble maybe
Rob argued that the Miz could continue to evade the Big Show until Damien Sandow is inserted into the feud, and asked ‘Where’s Sandow?’
Both said that they don’t actually know what happens in the Nikki Bella vs Charlotte match next week but Rob thinks that Nikki will win and Charlotte to win the title at NOC. James thinks that the WWE may want to keep AJ Lee’s legacy in case she returns in the future
They enjoyed the Champion vs Challengers match and a great atmosphere was created by Woods and his trombone. It was obvious that the PTP enjoyed working with Cena
They noted that the ending of Raw was weird and said whether the Stone Podcast was the real main event
News Roundup – 63.36
Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa did an interview with WWE.com and discussed their future with WWE/NXT. They speculated whether Gargano/Ciampa would have a similar contract to that of Samoa Joe and Blue Pants, both have strong storylines despite not have long term contracts and own their IP
They discussed that allowed certain talents to perform at indie promotions and work part time at NXT is a big departure for WWE. They suspect that this is not to necessarily make stars but to reach a certain demographic like those who are over 18 and are submersed in wrestling and the lifelong wrestling fans who are older and are big spenders as well
James noted that NXT is like an indie promotion with good production
Rob said that there may be UK talent involved with the NXT UK tour
Rob noted the rumour that Rick Swan has signed a contract with WWE because he has been replaced at the upcoming ICW and Ref Pro events with Ciampa
It was noted that during the recent Progress Show in Camden, London, Jimmy Havoc showed signs of turning face after being the ‘most hated heel in the UK’ and asked whether he face turn be used as a draw for the NXT UK tour
Both discussed the NXT Dusty Rhode Classic and expected Gargano/Ciampa to make it far into the tournament and meet either Balor/Samoa Joe or the Vaudevillians in the final round
Rob noted that Kana has signed a NXT contract
Both discussed the Stone Cold podcast and enjoyed E&C’s prank on Austin with the ukulele and small cowboy hat. It was noted that although it was not outright discussed, it was implied that Christian is now retired
Rob noted that Cena may have been injured whilst doing the ‘stupid’ sunset powerbomb and that he should never use that move again
A listener sent a clip of Rich Brennan thanked Talk Sport for donating $100,000 to Connor’s Cure during a NXT broadcast but it is not the case. It was Torque Net that donated the money
Another mention of the hate received from Ambrose fangirls with Rob noting that he went to Tumblr and it was ‘like a trip to North Korea only less welcoming’
Rob said that he found an interview he did with William Regal in 2013 which he will upload to talksport.com soon
Competition – 87.44
Chance to win one of three copies of ‘Kliq Rules’ on blue ray
Retweet the ‘Kliq Rules’ artwork on James’ twitter account
Closing date is 15 September
Interview with Seth Rollins – 89.44
Rollins said that he thrives under the pressure of big matches like the one with Cena at Summerslam
He said that Brooklyn can expect three nights of incredible pro-wrestling action
He said the new 2K16 game has realism and good game play with the biggest roster ever
Rollins is not happy that he was not on the cover of the game and it bothers him that Austin stole his thunder. He goes on to say that he doesn’t want everyone taking a slice of his pie that he ‘[worked on] and he wants it all’
Next week’s podcast and interview – 92.35
James said that Jack Swagger will be the interviewee on next week’s podcast
SCORE & REVIEW
7 out of 10: I enjoy the casual and conversational nature of the podcast as well as the rapport between James Delow and Rob Leigh. It is obvious that both are lifelong fans of wrestling and have a deeper understanding of the business.
I thought the interviews with both the Bellas and Seth Rollins was too short but it was on the red carpet and was a departure from the usual sit down interviews. That being said I think the interviews served the purpose to promote both the 2K16 game and Summerslam.
Although James and Rob mentioned the ugly comments that they had received on social media from Ambrose fangirls several times throughout the podcast, I thought it served as a reminder that not all wrestling fans are focused on the in-ring action, storylines, who is getting pushed and the state of the business but there are sections of the audience who take great interest in the personal lives of the performers and almost celebrity worship their favourites.
I thought that both James and Rob has interesting perspectives on the current feuds leading into NOC such as the comedic angle Creative is using for Sting. James made a great point in that there should more seriousness with regards to pursuing the World Heavyweight Title.
Their thoughts on Ryback’s backstage promo were on point and they did very well to point out his weakness as a talker and did offer ways to counter this. Their comparison with the New Day is also very true and highlighted the difference with those who are naturally gifted with delivering a believable promo and those who aren’t.
Rob’s news roundup was good but he talked a lot about small indie promotions both in the UK and US, and this part may lose the audience. Unless the listener is an avid follower of various indie promotions or indie wrestlers, this part of the podcast is of very little interest and does take up around 15 minutes of the podcast.
Overall, this episode offered a thorough review of Raw and a variety of topics where covered and discussed. But longer and more in-depth interviews are welcomed.