Gorilla Position – Episode 45
Hosts: James Delow and Rob Leigh
Release Date: November 11, 2015
Recap by Tania Leong
Main Topics: WWE U.K. Tour Recap, Raw Recap, Seth Rollins’s injury
Top News Items
– Interview with Paige: Paige said that she looks forward to the European tour and coming home to England. She said that she would like to see more Brits on the WWE roster. That despite rumours she didn’t get any backstage heat from her dropping the f-bomb on Periscope. She also said that she had a great time on Conan but asked for more media training beforehand.
– U.K. Tour Recap: James and Rob said that the tour starting on a bad note with Rollins’s injury, but Ambrose vs. Owens is a good replacement main event. They went on different house show tours.
– Seth Rollins’s injury: James mentioned that he spoke with a WWE backstage person who said that Rollins looked quite exhausted before the house show. This lead to James questioning whether fatigue played a role in the injury because of the extensive travel and hours of work the wrestlers put in each week. Rob noted that with Rollins out injured, the WWE is running short on stars.
– Raw Recap: Both attended the show in Manchester but were disappointed with the tournament some of the matches and participants. They felt that the tournament was not set up properly and didn’t explain why certain participants were in the tournament. They said the crowd was loud especially for the Undertaker and Kane, although the end segment with the Wyatt Family essentially ended the feud.
Topics Discussed (with time stamps)
Introduction by James Delow – 0.00. James is ‘on the road with the WWE.’ He quickly went over Rollins’s injury and said that it was shame because it was clear that he was enjoying being WWE Champion. James said that ‘this injury has made [Rollins’] babyface turn complete’ and wishes the ‘best of luck’ to Rollins with his recovery over the next few months – 01.13
James made a shout-out to Blair who he met in Manchester. Blair’s mum said that he hasn’t been well and a charity made it possible for them to attend Raw – 05.00
Interview with Paige – 06.45
James said that Paige has been on the podcast the most times out of every other wrestler. James asked about whether she received any backstage heat from dropping the f-bomb on Periscope and Paige said that there was no fall-out and the Internet blew up the incident.
They talked about her appearance on “Conan” a few weeks ago. She said that she was quite nervous and did some ‘training beforehand’ because she has some nervous ticks such as playing with her hair and talking too fast. James commended her for admitting that she asked for media training.
James asked if she has gained more confidence over the past few years as a performer. Paige said that she has gotten better but will need to get even better. She hopes that he could see more improvement in the next six months or so.
James asked whether there are any indie wrestlers in England that she would like to see to in the WWE. Paige said that she would love to see her brothers, who trained her, to be in the WWE, as well as a few women from Bellatrix. She would like to see more Brits on the WWE roster – ‘the more the merrier.’
Paige said that she worked with Kana when they were at SHIMMER and would like to work with her again. James asked how Paige would counter Ronda Rousey if she were to wrestle. Paige said that Rousey would beat all the Divas and most men as well, but her lack of experience in the wrestling ring may be to her disadvantage. That said Paige would not want to be the first one to face her.
Paige said that the Divas have been given more time and opportunities recently so there is more pressure for them to put on a good match.
James asked about Nikki Bella’s injury and Paige said that she would probably be out for six weeks depending on how she recovers.
Paige said that the European fans are great and loud, but she gets the loudest reaction from the London crowd. She also said that the wrestlers really look forward to the European tours because they get to travel together, sight-see together, and perform in front of a different audience.
James asked about the recent backstage interview between her and Renee Young, and whether Renee would become an in-ring performer. Paige said that this would not happen as she has no training, but thinks that Renee would be a good in-ring performer.
UK Tour Recap & Seth Rollins’s injury – 21.27
James and Rob are in Manchester for the Raw and Smackdown shows. Rob noted that this week was the 18th anniversary of the ‘Montreal Screwjob.’
James said that he spoke with a backstage person at the Dublin house show who mentioned that Rollins looked exhausted before the show, and James questioned whether fatigue played a factor in the injury. Rob noted that WWE is short on stars at the moment because of injuries and absents.
Rob noted that the Dublin house show was the first match between Finn Balor and Sheamus, and said ‘it was a belting match.’
Rob said that there were many angry fans when they found out that Rollins was replaced by Big Show. Both were at the London house show and said that the match between Kane and the Big Show was moved to the pre-intermission position, and was a slow match. Despite that, he that it was a good house show and it was good to see Dean Ambrose and Kevin Owens in the main event. James was on the other tour so he didn’t get to see the Ambrose vs Owens match and he would love to see it. Rob said that he was surprised that one of these U.K. shows was not shown on the WWE Network.
James said that Liverpool was a very family-friendly crowd and there was an incident when Lilian Garcia threw a t-shirt to the crowd, which was caught by a young boy but the t-shirt was snatched away from by a grown woman, and the boy’s father was quite angry. James gave the young boy a WWE cap. James said that overall, the house shows were good and he got to see some Superstars he didn’t get to see often like Damien Sandow.
Both went to the London VIP party and interviewed Charlotte. Rob noted that she needed more media training, as she lacked confidence in these situations. He also noted that she was being booed at all house shows and so she is not connecting with the crowd.
Rob recapped the match results of the Ambrose/Owens tour. He said to expect Ambrose vs. Owens in the future, and it is a feud that people want to see. James went on the Reigns/Wyatt tour and the highlight was seeing Sasha Banks and Bayley. He interviewed the Dudley Boyz in Leeds and they said that they would like to be in another TLC match at WrestleMania 32 as it will be 15 years since the last one.
Raw Recap – 48.20
Both attended the Raw in Manchester, noting there was great atmosphere. James said that Reigns’s character needs refreshing and a heel turn may do that. Rob had an issue with the opening segment as it did not set up the tournament very well, and James said that it made it obvious that Reigns may join the Authority.
Both thought that the tournament brackets didn’t make sense, as some of the participants shouldn’t be in the tournament such as Titus O’Neill and Tyler Breeze, unless Breeze interferes in the Ambrose vs. Ziggler match. Rob noted that ‘this isn’t a World Title tournament [but] the crowning Roman Reigns [as champion],’ otherwise Brock Lesnar, Bray Wyatt, John Cena, and The Undertaker would be in the tournament.
James thinks that a Reigns vs. Ambrose match in the final makes the most sense, and if Reigns turns on Ambrose who is ‘immensely popular’ will make him a true heel. Rob thinks that Ambrose is generally the better performer and is a natural heel, and that Reigns is not at the point where he can properly deal with the crowds.
James said that he lost interest in a few matches because he didn’t understand why some of the participants were in the tournament. Although they didn’t understand why Breeze was in the tournament, he had a very good match with Ambrose and looked good with a lost. James thinks that being in the ring with someone like Ambrose will help Breeze in the long run and that Ambrose sold the injured shoulder very well.
Rob noted that Wayne Rooney dominated the U.K. sports media after his encounter with Wade Barrett.
They said that the New Day came out to a very loud reaction and were entertaining as usual. Both agreed that at least one member of the New Day should have been in the tournament. Rob said that he was genuinely worried for Neville when he performed moves like the corkscrew moonsault to the outside.
They thought that the video packages about the Undertaker and Kane were very good and bought back fond memories. They realised that both would be in the main event segment after the third video package, and the crowd ‘went wild’ when Undertaker and Kane came down the ramp. James questioned whether we had just seen the Survivor Series match and ‘in the grand scheme of things, [the ending] should have gone the other way’. They noted the Network will hold Undertaker Week to celebrate 25 years since his debut.
Other wrestling news and chatter – 98.50
– Rob noted that there were some try-outs in London this week.
– Lana was at the WrestleMania 32 launch in Dallas and that she was not wearing a wrist brace.
– At the last episode of NXT, Cameron may have had the best match of her career against Asuka. Rob is very impressed with Asuka. Samoa Joe turned on Finn Balor after the NXT title match. NXT will be touring the U.K. next month.
– The latest rumour for WrestleMania 32 is John Cena vs. The Undertaker.
Competition – 105.40. This week’s competition is a chance to win a copy of Night of Champions 2015 on Blu-Ray. To win, retweet the special dvd 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, 17th November (GMT).
Next week’s podcast guests will be the Dudley Boyz.
Score & Review
8 out 10: Overall, I found this episode to be quite enjoyable. James and Rob were clear and concise with their recaps, and it is good that they don’t drone on for hours about every aspect of the shows. The interview with Paige was quite enjoyable. She is engaging and eccentric, and I found her more interesting than many of the other Divas on the roster.
I agree with James’s assessment that the WWE schedule causes fatigue and may have contributed to Rollins’ injury. I feel that WWE needs to do a lot more to look after the health and well-being of the roster before similar injuries become a common occurrence. Their criticisms of the tournament are justified. The tournament does seem like an exercise to make Reigns look strong enough so people will accept him as Champion. However, simply crowning Reigns as Champion may cause many fans to dislike him because it gives the impression that Reigns didn’t earn it. WWE doesn’t understand that many fans don’t like to be told who to cheer for and who to boo.
I agree that Reigns and Ambrose being the final two participants in the tournament makes the most sense and that Reigns turning on Ambrose would be the best outcome. Reigns hasn’t grown to the point where he can carry the company as a babyface champion, he needs support from others such as the Authority.
Being in London, WWE got a lot over media coverage because of Wayne Rooney. WWE is not capitalising on this free PR especially with Rooney being such a big name in the football world – he is the Manchester United and English team captain. WWE needs to cater more for specific markets and being in Europe this was the best opportunity to do so.