Gorilla Position #50 – NXT U.K. Tour live perspective (Dec. 16, 2015)

Gorilla Position – Episode 50
Hosts: James Delow and Rob Leigh
Release Date: December 16, 2015

Main Topics: NXT Tour, TLC Review, Raw Recap


Recap By Tania Leong

Top News Items

– NXT Tour: The tour so far has been an overwhelming success and the British fans have been very excited and involved with fun chants and songs. They will be at the NXT Takeover show at Wembley Arena where they will be recording another episode of the podcast.

– TLC Review: Overall, they thought it was a good show with a lot of high spots. Kalisto’s Salinda del Sol from the top of the ladder to another ladder was the highlight. But they questioned the brutal nature of these matches that could genuinely hurt the talent and whether having a TLC PPV dilutes the concept of the gimmick match.

– Raw Recap: It was a very good show and Vince McMahon is a big draw card. Most of the matches on the show were very good especially the extreme rules match. WWE succeeded in making Roman Reigns look strong as champion with crowd support.

Topics Discussed (with time stamps)

Introduction by James Delow – 00.00

James thought that TLC was ‘one of the better special events this year… especially after Survivor Series.’ The NXT tour is currently ongoing and has been very well received. James asked listeners to send him pictures of them listening to Gorilla Position, just for kicks. Another episode will be recorded backstage at Wembley Arena and will drop later this week.

Triple H Conference Call about NXT U.K. Tour – 04.18

Triple H began by thanking the media’s interest and goodwill towards NXT. The talent are very excited about their first overseas tour. This is an opportunity for the U.K. because it is a special event aired prime time rather than in the early hours of the morning. He hopes that this is very successful and if it is, he wants more of these events in different cities at local times.

Triple H says that Asuka is ‘one of the most colourful and spectacular talents out there’ and this is the first chance for overseas fans to see her perform. He says that Dash and Dawson are reinvigorating the tag team division, along with Enzo and Cass who has very big personalities. ‘Bayley is proving to be a fan favourite and is connecting with fans as the underdog in a way [he] hasn’t seen in a while.’ Although Samoa Joe is very accomplished and has achieved a lot in his career, he hasn’t seen Joe as invigorated as he is now and his passion for the brand is showing.

Expect more announcements at the beginning of 2016 that will get many people excited; ‘it will be a big year for us’ and he is great expectations as well.

Gorilla Position will be taking a break over the holidays and return on January 13, 2016 in time for the Royal Rumble and WrestleMania.

NXT Tour – 13.10

James and Rob think that it is an overwhelming success so far and ‘British fans has done themselves well’. Most chants have been very positive, fun and light-hearted. They were very amused with the chants for Chad Gable and James Jordan, especially in Blackpool and for Bayley.

Rob participated in the conference call and asked about the working relationship between NXT and U.K. independent promotions, such as ICW and PROGRESS. Triple H said that he ‘is wide open for finding talent wherever they are.’ He said that he would look for talent all over the world and have top talent in NXT. It is an exciting time for young men and women who want to get into this industry and he has a very good team who has an eye for talent such as William Regal.

TLC Review – 33.47

James thinks that the storylines are told properly on PPVs because they have time to edit and it’s frustrating that weekly television isn’t done with such care.

The kick-off match between Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks was underwhelming.

The tag team ladder match was extraordinary and all three teams had great chemistry to properly pull off this type of match. The Salida del Sol was an impressive move but they worry about the safety of talent when they perform these dangerous moves. Xavier Woods was very good on commentary. It was a five star match.

James though the Ryback vs. Rusev match was ‘sluggish’ and should have been more hard-hitting. The crowd was very quiet during this match. Lana has feigned injury for the third time and Ryback still fell for it, which ‘made him look like a mug.’

The chair match is not a good gimmick. Alberto del Rio didn’t sell the Patriot Lock and the finishing sequence looked awkward, it was obvious that de Rio slipped after the double foot stomp.

Both had issues with brutal matches where the talent genuinely gets hurt, ‘where is the entertainment value in seeing welts?’ Rob said that WWE taking a successful gimmick like TLC and making it into a PPV takes away from the purpose of this match, which is to bring an end to a feud.

The ECW Originals bought a lot of experience and composure to the match. If the purpose of the win was to make the Wyatt Family look strong then they should have won with a clean sweep. James said that Braun Strowman looked very green and Bubba Ray took control with the match, and tried to make Strowman look strong.

Dean Ambrose and Kevin Owens had a very good match. Neither expected Ambrose to win the IC Title. They enjoyed small moments like Owens touching the bottom rope with his fingers after the Dirty Deeds. James speculated that there might be a triple threat match between Ambrose, Owens and Dolph Ziggler at Royal Rumble. Rob thinks that this would dilute the feud.

Rob is happy to see character develop with Charlotte both in and out of the ring. James thought that it was clear who was the face and heel in this match. People want to cheer Paige, so she should be the face of the division. They were confused with the backstage segment with Team BAD.

The Roman Reigns vs. Sheamus match was ‘scrappy… and messy’ but was right for a TLC match. The crowd annoyed James because they were quite negative and the chants were inappropriate. They criticised the commentary for not being serious and often calling the match with a giggle. Sheamus retaining the title fitted with the Reigns storyline well. The post-match beat down of Triple H was brutal but he was calling the spots very loudly.

Raw Recap – 77.03

This episode felt ‘unmissable’ and the crowd was white hot. Stephanie McMahon was at her best. There was a simple and effect story being told throughout the night. It is obvious that Vince McMahon is still a big draw card. Reigns was booked to look very strong and was over with the crowd.

The tag tam segment felt like a throwback to Edge and Christian, and the Hardys. The crowd should respect these tag teams for the performance they put in the night before.

The extreme rules match was very entertaining with highlights like the Tower of Doom with Bubba Ray, Luke Harper and Erik Rowan, Strowman throwing Tommy Dreamer through the barricade.

They commented that Michael Cole seem like he was having a good time as he chanted ‘This is awesome’ during the extreme rules match and he said that he loved watching Ambrose and Ziggler in a match together.

The Miz could be beneficial to Neville to help bring out his personality more even though Neville is much more experienced in the ring.

They speculated that Reigns may face Triple H at the Royal Rumble and Brock Lesnar winning the Rumble itself. There may also be a ‘clash’ between Triple H and Vince McMahon for control of the company, this would be a good to pass on the torch to the former.

Wrestling Talk – 94.30

Mauro Ranallo will be the new announcer for Smackdown in 2016 but there has been no news on who will be on the announcing team with him.

Rob was in contact with Dreamer last week and a fan tweeted that the DDT is not a proper finisher, where Dreamer joked that he would DDT that fan and see if he could get up in three seconds.

They will be at NXT Takeover: London tonight and they will record another episode backstage at Wembley Arena.

Score & Review

8.5 out 10: This was a very good episode. James and Rob were very clear and concise with their opinions and reviews without going through each match in too much unnecessary detail, we’ve already watch the match, so there’s no need to retell every single punch thrown.

The British crowd is very different to that of the US crowd and brings something special to the house shows and to the NXT Takeover show. It is a good sign that WWE is wiling to bring these special events overseas markets such as U.K. and Japan.

The tag team ladder match was very good but I agree that high risk moves like the Salida del Sol from the top of the ladder looks spectacular and will be remembered, but can be unnecessarily dangerous. I often cringe when watching these matches because I feel that the talent doesn’t need to take these risks that could shorten their careers and damage their bodies and health.

I also agree that having a whole PPV dedicated to one gimmick like TLC defeats the purpose the match and doesn’t make TLC matches seem special.

WWE did all they could to make Reigns look strong as a champion but it would be interesting to see where they go from here, as Reigns cannot beat up Triple H and Vince McMahon every week. Reigns is not as strong of a performer or is charismatic as Steve Austin, so recycling that storyline may not be as successful.

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