Gorilla Position – Episode 54
Hosts: James Delow and Rob Leigh
Release Date: January 27, 2016
Topics: Interview with WWE author Jon Robinson, Raw Recap, Royal Rumble Review, WrestleMania 32 Predictions
Recap By Tania Leong
Top News Items
– Interview with Jon Robinson: Jon is an author who writes books about wrestling and WWE. He has written several books and has a new one being released this year. He is a life long wrestling fan and has got his daughter watching WWE as well.
– Raw Recap: A.J. Styles’s match with Chris Jericho was very good and creates anticipation about his future matches with other talent such as Dean Ambrose, Kevin Owens.
– Royal Rumble Review: The overall Royal Rumble PPV was very good and booked well. It made sense for Triple H to win. The IC Title match was very good, and Ambrose and Owens put in great performances.
Topics Discussed (with time stamps)
Introduction by James Delow – 00.00.
James described The Rock as an ‘incomparable’ superstar of the WWE and his return was a good welcome.
He noted that next year is the 30th anniversary of the Royal Rumble and asked listeners to tweet him their predictions. He says that he will place £20 bet one of the predictions and maybe split the winnings.
He ‘adores’ the massive pops at live wrestling shows, and he could never get sick of it.
Interview with Jon Robinson – 07.45
Jon Robinson has written several books on the WWE such as WWE: The Attitude Era and Ultimate Warrior: A Life Lived Forever. He is a life long wrestling fan and studied creative writing at College, and merged his two interests together. He firstly wrote about the WWF for a magazine and interviewed Stone Cold Steve Austin, Mankind and Triple H for his first article under the alias of ‘Jonny Ballgame.’
He recalls playing video games with the talent backstage. He also attended many WrestleMania shows. He was very excited to write about the Attitude Era because it was his favourite era and the time when he was hanging out with the talent.
He told a story where Mark Henry was the European Champion but walked out to the ring without the championship because he lost a Madden game to the Rock with the championship on the line. Henry only got the title back when he beat the Rock again.
His first WWF article was very well received and he began to write monthly articles, often with contributions from the Rock, D’Lo Brown, and Christian usually about video games.
Rumble Road was his first book and he wrote about life on the road of wrestlers; and followed them on a loop, which he found exhausting.
Jon and James talked about the Royal Rumble. They joked that Kingston was never eliminated because his elimination was not shown properly on TV. Jon said that his daughter is a WWE fan; she likes Sasha Banks and after watching the Rumble, became an A.J. Styles fan, too.
Jon has a new book for the WWE due out this year but didn’t go into detail about what the book is about. He has been working on this book since September and is very excited for its release.
Back to the Rumble. He thought that Dean Ambrose and Kevin Owens stole the show from start to finish, and told his daughter that the Last Man Standing match was what the Attitude Era was about. James asked about allowing his daughter to watch a non-PG match like this, Jon said that this match was very smartly booked and neither performer didn’t do anything too violent, and was well protected.
Jon thinks that it is a mistake to focus too much on Roman Reigns and neglect the undercard, which is full of talent. He thoroughly enjoys NXT.
Royal Rumble Review – 50.40
James and Rob really loved the Last Man Standing match and thought ‘it was the best of the series.’ James loves watching Ambrose and Owens wrestlers as they are two of the best performers [on the roster]’. This was a great program for the IC Title. Both men have entrenched themselves and will move to the World Title scene. Both are very safe performers and Ambrose is very underrated as a performer.
The New Day is hugely entertaining and had the crowd in the palm of their hands. James worry that Big E may injure himself when hitting the dive through the middle ropes. The Usos had an indifferent response from the crowd and ‘they may need freshening up.’
Although the U.S. Championship was good, it would have been more effective if Kalisto hadn’t win the title on Raw a few weeks ago. James though it was ‘a meaningless title change.’
The women’s match was good but James felt fatigue when this match was on. He’s disappointed that the women’s match is still positioned on the card as the ‘toilet break match.’ With Sasha being added to the title scene, which makes it more interesting.
They acknowledged the crowd booing Reigns although Rob doesn’t understand why. Styles had a very good showing and was very popular with the crowd. This year’s Rumble ‘felt big time [and] was swift’ and everyone ‘maximised their moments.’ It was the right thing to have the factions in the Rumble to perpetuate storylines. Rob described Chris Jericho as ‘the glue’ of the Rumble; he mixed with different people and was playing the part of ‘the dick heel.’
The League of Nations’s beat down of Reigns overshadowed Stardust’s entrance and Kingston’s elimination. Rob said that the focus of the Rumble was on Reigns so they had to remove him for some time to allow others to flourish. Owens sold the effects of the LMS match and it was a good move to have him eliminate Styles.
Brock Lesnar provided a spark to the match but it was curious that he didn’t retaliate after being illegally eliminated by the Wyatt Family. However, this fitted into the storyline and swiftly moved on with the Rumble match itself.
James criticised the commentary team for being too scripted, for example Michael Cole rattled off statistics about Triple H’s performance in Royal Rumble but didn’t act like he was surprised with Triple H’s return as it was supposed to be. The commentary team didn’t create an exciting atmosphere rather sounded like they were going through the paces.
Triple H put in a good performance like a veteran. It was a nice surprise that the final two were he and Ambrose- it created drama.
Overall, the Royal Rumble was very good.
Raw Recap – 120.00
The Rock’s return was very welcomed. His interactions with the New Day was very good – ‘they deserved that position’ with the Rock.
The triple threat match at Fastlane should be good one but it doesn’t make sense from a booking standpoint.
With Styles being in the WWE, there are many matches to look forward to such as with Ambrose, Owens. His first match with Jericho was very good and post-match, Jericho was acting like a heel.
Too many Divas were introduced at one time, and now it seems as though many has been left to the side without a storyline, like Naomi. Especially now that Sasha Banks is in the title picture.
WrestleMania 32 Predictions – 139.19
Rob predicts Lesnar vs. Bray Wyatt, with Bray winning. Triple H vs. Reigns. Ronda Rousey vs. Charlotte. The Undertaker vs. John Cena. A multi-person match for either the IC or US title. Styles vs. Jericho. Triple threat match for the Divas Title. With Finn Balor debuting at the Raw after WrestleMania.
James predicts Lesnar vs. Wyatt. Triple H vs. Reigns. The Undertaker vs. Owens. Ambrose vs. Styles vs. Sheamus. The New Days vs. the Usos vs. Dudleys in a TLC match.
Wrestling News – 145.39
Austin Aries debuted at NXT and was attacked by Baron Corbin.
Shinsuke Nakamura held a press conference that he will leave NJPW and was looking for new opportunities. He will move to the U.S. in February.
Nikki Bella will undergo neck surgery this week. Brie Bella said that she would be very sad if she were not going to be in the ring with Nikki ever again.
Competition – 153.50
This week’s competition is to win a copy of Best of Raw and Smackdown 2015 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 UK. Closing date is midnight on Tuesday, 2 February 2016 (GMT).
Score & Review
8 out 10: Overall, this was a good episode. The interview with Jon Robinson was interesting especially his stories about hanging with wrestlers backstage during the Attitude Era. He obviously has great understanding of the business and that he doesn’t feel that wrestling is too violent to allow his daughter to watch it. I agree that Ambrose and Owens had very strong performers through the entire Rumble.
I agree that the Ambrose Owens program has greatly elevated the prestige of the IC Championship, as both are two of the best and safest performers on the roster.
Rob gave good insight into the role of Jericho in the Rumble match being a veteran, he inserted himself when needed but stayed out when he wasn’t needed. He was the ring general needed to steer the match in the right direction. I agree that the match was well booked and moved at a smooth pace.
The highlight of Raw was the Styles vs. Jericho match. The Triple Threat match for Fastlane doesn’t make much sense storyline wise, especially with Lesnar being part of the match.