Synchronize: Inside the Gorilla Position

The world of Professional Wrestling is an ever changing, ever growing sport. Though the sport is sometimes scrutinized for the predetermined matches and choreographed moves, no one can deny the level of athleticism and charisma that it takes to be a professional wrestler. Sometimes that charisma comes paired with a 6’5″ close to 400 lb frame.

gorilla monsoon and bobby heenanProfessional wrestler, commentator, and a one time on-screen WWF President Gorilla Monsoon was one of the biggest names in professional wrestling for close to four decades and he is still memorialized to this day in the current WWE. After Gorilla Monsoon retired from in ringperformance, he wore many hats in the WWE (the then WWF). His work as the ever colorful color commentator was a perfect fit for the WWF at that time. Along with fellow commentator Bobby “the Brain” Heenan, he became one of the most celebrated commentators in the history of Professional Wrestling.

Despite Monsoon ‘literally’ being one of the greatest commentators of all time; he took on the role of backstage manager after his time beside the ring was done. He created this position, where he would sit just behind the entrance curtain at live events, to help synchronize the set schedule of the ongoing show. The position has hhhevolved throughout the years and is now an integral part of all live shows. This position is usually held by Vince McMahon, HHH and/or other high ranking back stage personnel. The group of people at this position have microphones to direct the flow of the show (they have notes, the match and interview schedules in front of them) and video cameras to see everything from every angle. This integral position of the backstage wrestling show is now known as the Gorilla Position in honor of the late, great wrestler and commentator. The position has usually been under the tutelage of Vince McMahon where he himself would be found yelling at anyone and everyone who messed up their part in the show (wrestlers and commentators alike). Vinny Mac is no vince gorilla positionlonger at the position full time and most of the full time operation is done by Triple H and his wife Stephanie (Vince’s daughter); who have taken over much of the day to day operation of the live shows. Despite the changes and advancements, the Gorilla Position will always be as large and powerful in the world of wrestling as the super heavyweight wrestler for which it is named.


Images: 

Featured Image: Gorilla Monsoon promo image, Fair use.

Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby “the Brain” Heenan commentating screen capture, fair use. Photo courtesy of WWE.

Vince McMahon in the Gorilla Position, Fair use, http://www.wrestlecorp.com

Wrestler and now active COO Triple H and wife Stephanie McMahon taking the helm of the Gorilla Position at an NXT live event. Photo courtesy of daily http://dailyddt.com/2014/02/28/photo-hhh-others-gorilla-position-y2j-book-update/

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Top Cat’s Tuesday Top 10: WrestleMania 33 letdowns

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Another WrestleMania has come and gone but this WrestleMania did not leave many wrestling fans unscathed despite many positive moments. The wrestling fan has gotten used to not having the results that we had planned out in our heads (or written about in our blogs or spent hours talking about on podcasts for that matter) but we are used to being left with a feeling of regret (again despite any good things that might have happened.

Less than 48 hours ago, we were all hanging in suspense, waiting for the beginning of what would become (in my opinion) a lackluster WrestleMania.  As I stated earlier, fans will never get exactly what they wanted because the diverse fan base would never agree to one specific story line but there were many letdowns at WrestleMania 33. Does this mean that I didn’t enjoy it? Most definitely not. Does this mean that there could have been things to improve?

Before I rip into how the WWE failed me as a wrestling fan during this year’s WrestleMania…I will tell you what they did right.

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  • Shane-o-Mac. That’s all I have to say. He took one of my favorite wrestlers, AJ Styles, to the limit and actually wrestled. He proved that he isn’t just the boss’s son. He proved that he has the skills to not only pay but to make some bills.
  • The Randy Orton taking on Bray Wyatt  for the WWE championship was an impeccable match. The two top stars proved that they were not only top caliber athletes but truly knew how to tell a story inside and outside the ring.
  • The Triple Threat Ladder Match was going to be amazing to begin with (as I am a fan of Enzo Amore and Big Cass) but when the camera panned to the top of the entrance ramp…I knew that my prayers had been answered. Then hits the Hardy Boyz music and despite having almost lost my voice due to allergies, I screamed as The_Hardy_Boys_at_WrestleMania_33_(33779867716)loud as my crackled voice could amplify. To see the Hardy Boyz finally grace the WWE ring with their combined presence thrilled me and filled me with fear. I hope that Vince utilizes their talents and allows their “broken” personas to shine. My fear is that he will just ‘delete’ them after he has milked them for what they are worth due to their recent skyrocketing popularity shift. He’s good for that you know. My hope is that the Brothers Hardy will continue to prove that they are, Ha Ha, the greatest tag team in all of space and time. 😉

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  • Despite my hatred for Seth Rollins and my distaste for HHH’s new persona in the company, the two of them put on a heck of a show. Besides all of that…when HHH picked up that Sledgehammer; I admit that I got goosebumps.

Now that I’ve said the positives….let me tell you what let me down. Here are Top Cat’s Tuesday Top 10: WrestleMania 33 letdowns:

WrestleMania_33_(33761042576)10. The ramp – Yes its cool that you had the longest entrance ramp in WWE history but there is a negative to having the longest entrance ramp in WWE history. THE NEGATIVE IS THAT IT TAKES FOREVER FOR THEM TO GET FROM THE CURTAIN TO THE RING! HHH had to ride a motorcycle just not be exhausted by the time he reached the ring. Sometimes Vince needs to realize that the spectacle’s massive scale doesn’t always guarantee reward.

9. John Cena’s proposal – I love John Cena. I really do. I love the Miz. I really do. But the match between Cena (plus one) and Miz (plus one) felt forced. It felt forced by the WWE to make us want to love the Bella’s again. John Cena is the shining star of the WWE; and he and the Miz have had some amazing matches in the past (even at WrestleManias in the past) but this was not a WrestleMania caliber match. This was a primetime Raw or Smackdown match at best. Good job at the string pulling John. You won those brownie points.

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8. Card placement
– The card felt jumbled. Something didn’t feel right but having the Smackdown Diva’s Championship match to be the Top 3 matches of the night? WASTE OF TIME SLOT! The Raw Women’s Championship match was a formidable replacement. The athleticism of Charlotte Flair, the Boss-ness of Sasha Banks, the strength and power of Nia Jax taking on the huggable Bayley would have been a better option for that time slot.

Big_Show_(4872080412)7. Waste of Big Show’s Last WrestleMania – The Big Show has slimmed down a lot. He has gotten a hold on his health and looked amazing. He is still a Monster in my opinion but the WWE dropped the ball in honoring the veteran on his last WrestleMania. The Big Show has been a feather in the hat of wrestling for years, and deserved one last push before he exited.

6. The Andre the Giant Battle Royal – Speaking of The Big Show. Though Vince usually loves the Monsters and Big Men, big men like Braun Strowman, Mark Henry and even The Big Show got booted from the Royal Rumble match early on. Instead of allowing The Big Show to win the match in his last WrestleMania appearance or utilize the amazing talent that is Braun Strowman, the WWE liked the story line and star power appeal that Mojo Rawley’s best friend (New England Patriots party-boy tight end Rob Gronkowski) brought to the ring. They knew that it would cause headlines to pop up all over the place and from a marketing standpoint, I understand. From a fan of Rumble style matches…I disapprove.

5. Bray Wyatt’s Bugging-out gifs – Would was slated as a gross out or fear inducing Bray_Wyatt_entrance_at_WrestleMania_33_(32977442834)moment from one of the most talented wrestlers in the WWE ended up as a corny deterrent. The distraction technique did not deter Bray Wyatt’s neck from finding an RKO right out of nowhere. So the childish bug gifs were a slap in the face to the brutality and heartbrokenness that we saw leading up to the WrestleMania.

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4. Goldberg/Brock Lesnar – Don’t get me wrong, I was a huge Goldberg fan back in the
WCW days and even in his WWF/WWE days BUT this time a title reign felt pushed. I loved the fact that he easily defeated the Beast-incarnate Brock Lesnar. It had me hyped up! He had Brock’s number and that was how it should have stayed. I’m tired of Brock. It’s that simple.

3. Former BFF Fight: Kevin Owens vs Chris Jericho – I have never been a fan of Y2J Chris Jericho and his annoying antics with his then bff Kevin Owens just extended my hatred of his pompous character. The fact that the WWE placed a ‘former bff’ “you were never my best friend” fight on a WrestleMania card is preposterous! It could have culminated at a PPV sure but it was by no means WrestleMania worthy.

2. AJ Styles – When AJ Styles came to the WWE, I was truly excited. He was my favorite wrestler in TNA and as he went from ROH to Japan where he expanded the already huge popularity of the Bullet Club. He rode that success wave to America where he joined the biggest wrestling organization in the world: the WWE. Here he has won the Heavyweight title and feuded with top stars. SO….why make him turn and be the whining ‘why am I not a star’ wrestler? Why not use his abilities as they are and give him the push he deserves?!? He is the best pound for pound wrestler in my opinion and he should be given the push he deserves.

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  1. This is my yard: Undertaker/Roman Reigns – The Undertaker will go down in history as one of the greatest wrestlers of all time. He will be remembered amongst the great ones like Hulk Hogan, Stone Cold, Ric Flair, or Bruno Sammartino. So are we as wrestling fans to just lay back and believe that Roman Reigns is a replacement for The Deadman…The Lord of Darkness…The American Bad Ass…The Big Evil…The Phenom…the man whom the Big Show called the greatest professional wrestler…the man who Mark Henry and Vince McMahon himself called their Undertaker_at_Wrestlemania_25_croppedfavorite wrestler of all time? I am partial in this argument because I don’t like Roman Reigns. He worked as a member of the SHIELD faction but now that he is being force fed down our throats, I can’t stomach it. I don’t think that he is a technically sound wrestler. I don’t think that he can work the mic. He can’t cut a promo. So….is the WWE pushing him in hopes that he can be as successful as the Rock? I think so. I think that that being the ‘passing of the torch’ for the Undertaker is a slap in his face. I will give the WWE one credit: they did give him the last slot of the PPV and allow him to take off the hat, gloves, and jacket in a memorialized fashion. The Undertaker has been wrestling for over 30 years and deserved better than to lose to Roman Reigns at his last hoo-rah. But that’s just my 2 cents.

 


 

Featured Image: WrestleMania 33 Stage image by and attributed to Lee Dyer from Preston, Lancashire, United Kingdom – A #Phenomenal start to #WWE #WrestleMania #WrestleMania33 last night as the sun starts to set in #Orlando #Florida #AJStyles #ShaneMcMahon, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=57704230
WrestleMania 33 set up image by and attributed Lee Dyer from Preston, Lancashire, United Kingdom – Live for WrestleMania 33, and the incredible set up for it! Just Amazing! #WrestleMania #WrestleMania33 #Florida #Orlando, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=57698644
WrestleMania 33 Banner image By Jeff Kern from Orlando – Apparently, there’s some little wrestling event this weekend in Orlando. Interesting people watching opportunities while I wait for my friend’s birthday dinner . . . #wwe #downtownorlando #amwaycenter, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=57698528
Shane McMahon performing a shooting star press at WrestleMania 33 image by and attributed to Lee Dyer from Preston, Lancashire, United Kingdom – #ShaneMcMahon shows off his high flying skills as the crowds watches in awe – Another amazing match at #WrestleMania #WrestleMania33 #WWE #AJStyles #Orlando #Florida, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=57698830
The Hardy Boyz at WrestleMania 33 image by and attributed to Lee Dyer from Preston, Lancashire, United Kingdom – The Hardy Boys return at #WrestleMania to create fireworks! #WrestleMania33 #WWE #Orlando #Florida #HardyBoyz #JeffHardy #MattHardy #BrotherNero #Delete, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=57698636
Charlotte Flair entrance at WrestleMania 33 image by and attributed to Lee Dyer from Preston, Lancashire, United Kingdom – Fireworks as the #WWERaw #WomensChampionship gets underway at #WrestleMania #WrestleMania33 #WWE #Orlando #Florida #CharlotteFlair, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=57698657
Charlotte with Belt image by and attributed to Tabercil – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=50251230
Bray Wyatt entrance at WrestleMania 33 image by and attributed to Lee Dyer from Preston, Lancashire, United Kingdom – A stadium full of light, while the lights are off! Amazing to view. #WrestleMania #WrestleMania33 #Orlando #Florida #Wyatt #BrayWyatt #RandyOrton #PhoneLights #FollowTheBuzzards, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=57698660
Triple H makes his entrance at Wrestlemania 33 image by and attributed to Lee Dyer from Preston, Lancashire, United Kingdom – It’s time to play #TheGame! #HHH makes his entrance at #WWE #WrestleMania #WrestleMania33 #Orlando #Florida, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=57698844
Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania 33 WWE Universal Champion image by and attributed to Brock1990 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=57688786

Wrestling fans rejoice! Wrestlemania 33 is upon us!

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Baseball has the world series. Weight lifting and bodybuilding has the Arnold Classic. Football has the Super Bowl. Soccer has the World Cup. College Basketball has the Final Four. Professional wrestling fans have Wrestlemania. Slated as “The Grandest Stage of Them All,” the once-a-year event places the cream of the crop, the tops of the proverbial ladder, and showcases the best of the best…if you will.

Since the first Wrestlemania took place on March 31st, 1985; the wrestling world has never been the same. It is the largest spectacle and most definitely where only the top guys in the sport come to play. For a wrestler, competing at Wrestlemania is a career defining moment. It’s like being the World Series MVP, a Nobel Peace Prize to a scientist, an Academy Award to an actor, or the reaffirming moment of being handed the Vince Lombardi trophy after a Super Bowl victory.  This year’s Wrestlemania is slated to be just as grandiose. With at least 13 matches on the docket and hopefully a few surprises; wrestling’s greatest spectacle will truly be epic.

Wrestlemania 33 will be held this Sunday (April 2nd, 2017) in sunny Orlando, Florida at the Camping World Stadium (yes the Citrus Bowl). The kickoff show will begin at 5 p.m. ET and will have three matches.Big_Show_(4872080412)

  • The first is the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal which will include the superstars from both Smackdown and Raw; Big Show, Braun Strowman, Sami Zayn, and many more are slated to perform. Samoa Joe is expected to make an appearance in the Memorial Battle Royal and I expect to see many a suplex occur.
  • Neville (current champion) will take on Austin Aries for the Cruiserweight Championship.
  • Alexa Bliss (current champion) will take on all Smackdown Divas who are able to compete.

The official Wrestlemania show will begin at 7 p.m. ET and will also feature wrestlers from both Smackdown and Raw. The show is packed, so expect the 4 hours to be utilized (plus some).

  • From Raw, Luke Gallows/Karl Anderson (current Champions) will take on Enzo Amore & Big Cass and Cesaro & Sheamus in a Triple Threat Ladder match for the Tag Team Championship
  • From Smackdown, Dean Ambrose (Current Champion) will take on Baron Corbin for the Intercontinental Championship.
  • From Raw, current United States champion Chris Jericho will take on his former best friend Kevin Owens in what (even though I hate Chris Jericho) will be a great match.
  • Also from Raw, current Women’s Champ Bayley will take on Charlotte Flair, Sasha Banks and Nia Jax in a Fatal 4Way Elimination match for the Championship.
  • The Face of the WWE John Cena & his real life girlfriend will take on The Miz and his real life wife Maryse in a mix tag match. This will be entertaining to say the least but I hope that it is over relatively quickly.
  • In what would be match that I don’t quite want to see but will ultimately end up being one of the best (I am sure) is what will probably be a no disqualifications, falls count anywhere or no holds barred. The feud between boss and employee is reminiscent of Stone Cold’s long time feud with Vince; but Smackdown’s Shane McMahon – AJ Styles match will be an entertaining slobber-knocker for sure. The real “Face that Runs the Place” AJ Styles will (like always) put on a great show.
  • In a non-sanctioned Raw match, the COO and Cerebral Assassin – Triple H will take on Seth Rollins. I dislike both of these wrestlers but I can’t deny the athleticism that will take place inside this vengeance filled match.
  • Regretfully the WWE has wasted another opportunity for the Undertaker to take on a worthy opponent but alas he will face Roman Reigns. In what will be another failed attempt to ‘put him over’, Roman Reigns will ultimately beat the Undertaker causing us to hate him and the WWE’s writing team even more. The only good part of the match will be when the gong is hit and the lights go out.
  • Follow the buzzards to the first of two headlining matches at this year’s Wrestlemania and find Smackdown’s Bray Wyatt (who is the current WWE Champion) facing his former Wyatt family member Randy Orton for not only the WWE Championship but for retribution for the Hell that he has caused in the weeks leading up to Wrestlemania.
  • The second of two headlining matches at this year’s Wrestlemania will be Raw’s GOLDBERG defending his Universal Championship against “The Beast Incarnate” Brock Lesnar in what is heavily speculated to be a Goldberg sided match-up. I hope that we see Goldberg (despite his recent injury) upset Brock Lesnar. Hopefully this will lead to Lesnar taking an indefinite amount of time off from wrestling. Maybe taking up crocheting or finger-painting.

The_Hardy_BoyzThere are many rumors floating around about potential superstars that might show up to surprise us all. Vince McMahon, Stone Cold, The Rock, or even the formally shunned Hulk Hogan would make perfect additions to the already massive lineup. I’m sure that the Andre the Giant Royal Rumble would be a perfect fit for Kane who is slated to return to the WWE’s active roster after a stint in the political realm while Kelly Kelly who is also slated to return to the WWE in 2017 would more than likely show up during the ‘any diva than can wrestle’ Diva’s title match. Sting has admitted to wanting to have more match and what better time than as an interference in the Undertaker-Reigns match. RVD has shown interest in being “The Whole F’n Show” in the WWE once more and what better venue to surprise the fans than at Wrestlemania. But I am hoping that the Brothers Hardy will show up and DELETE DELETE DELETE. Ha ha. That would make the night spectacular for me but even if ANY of these scenarios don’t happen, the already stacked card is definitely worth its weight in championship wrestling gold.


 

Wrestlemania 33 lineup card by and accredited to the WWE, wwe.com

Featured Image: Wrestlemania 25 image by and accredited to Matt Brink from Nashville – Wrestlemania 28, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=50030109

Wrestlemania at the Citrus Bowl image by and accredited to Dcd722 at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3977340

Big Show image by and accredited to Krystal Bogner from Adelaide, Australia – Big Show, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=50034961

Bray Wyatt June 2013 image by and accredited to Linestra – This file was derived from: Bray Wyatt.jpg, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=47580050

Undertaker at Wrestlemania 25 image by and accredited to Ed Schipul from Houston, TX, USderivative work: Tabercil (talk) – Undertaker_at_Wrestlemania_25.jpg, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6487206

Hardy Boyz image by and accredited to Christian Korsager – originally posted to Flickr as WWE Raw Bremen, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4359775