The Spotlight On The 2016 WWE Royal Rumble

Well the 2016 WWE Royal Rumble is in the books and what else can be said?  We are on the road to Wrestlemania! I really enjoyed the heck out of that Royal Rumble show last night and felt that it was top to bottom a really good show.  I’m going to go through everything in the order of which it took place so i can point out what I enjoyed about everything.


1) Preshow- It really seems like WWE is behind Byron Saxton as he is now the commentator for Raw, Smackdown and Pay Per Views.  While I like Saxton and think he works really hard, there was something really nostalgic that I enjoyed abut Jerry Lawler calling the pay per views.  That said, with Lawler and Booker T now both a part of the pre show panel, it instantly adds importance and credibility to the panel as the two legends work nicely with Corey Graves and Renee Young.  As for the four way match, I thought it was a lot of fun and it felt really important as all 8 superstars involved showed a sense of urgency that they really wanted to be a part of the Rumble.  I really also liked how into Damien Sandow the crowd was, they loved the guy and this is despite him not really being on tv for about 9 months.

2) Dean Ambrose vs. Kevin Owens-  At first i didn’t understand why Kevin Owens and Dean Ambrose were the first match out but seeing that they were also in the Rumble, following a last man standing match, this was the only spot for them.  These two tore down the house and lived up to the other last man standing matches in Rumble history (Foley-Rock 1999, Triple H-Shawn Michaels 2004, John Cena-Umaga 2007).  The two kicked the show off with a bang destroying the timekeeper area almost immediately.  My favorite spot of the night had to be when Kevin Owens took out Michael Cole out of desperation when he was sent flying over the announce table.  I didn’t think the loss hurt Owens at all as he continued to come back throughout the match.  On the other hand, it was good to see Dean Ambrose get a big win and he was one of the MVPs of the whole show for me.

3) The New Day Vs. The Usos- The New Day continue to grow on me more and more throughout their run in WWE.  they have tremendous personality and it looks like it’s becoming harder and harder for them to remain a heel group as the crowd loves them just as much. The new Francesca was incredibly over with the crowd and i was happy to see the trombone back in full effect.  As for the match itself, these four all busted their ass and continue to revitalize the tag team division.  it was good to see the New Day keep the titles as they’ve now held those title for over 200 days.  Keep your eye on Xavier Woods, by the way, I wonder if over time he’ll continue to show more of his athleticism because he’s really good in the ring.

4) Kalisto vs. Alberto Del Rio-  I could watch these two go at it all the time here but to me, I would have held off on the first title change until this show as I felt it would have meant more for Kalisto to get it on a big stage.  Kalisto is a joy to watch in the ring and it looks like WWE may have found their new Rey Mysterio type of luchador for the kids to get behind.  As for Alberto, while i believe he could really benefit from having a mouthpiece or his own ring announcer, I don’t think he’s ever really had a bad match.

5) Charlotte vs. Becky Lynch-  both of these ladies looked great in the ring and had a good match but the big story here in the end has to be the return of Sasha Banks.  Other than AJ Styles, Sasha Banks got the biggest pop of the night from the live crowd.  WWE has done a good job in keeping Charlotte and Sasha away from each other since both of them debuted on the main roster last August.  I felt that last night was a great time to reintroduce their feud to WWE fans especially to do in in NXT country where fans love all of the talents who performed down in NXT.  It’ll be great to see a high profile Divas title match on Wrestlemania, as I expect that’s where this is going.

6) Royal Rumble Match- There’s been a lot of criticism over the last few Royal Rumble matches but let me tell you, they got it right last night.  First let’s start with AJ Styles who looked great and got a heroes welcome from the Florida crowd who couldn’t wait to see him. Styles got instant credibility by showing up and going toe to toe with the current WWE World Champion.  He also lasted nearly 30 minutes in the Rumble match and WWE was really smart to have Kevin Owens (who has a similar fanbase as the phenomenal one) be the one to eliminate him.  Speaking of Kevin Owens he looked tough as hell to stumble his was down the aisle to enter the ring because there was no way he was missing out on the Rumble.  Of course this led to our second big return of the match as Sami Zayn returned and immediately reignited his feud with Owens.  While people I was with were hoping that Finn Balor would be the NXT entry this year, I thought Zayn was the clear choice and the right choice.  It was nice to see the little comedy spots from Kofi Kingston (who looked rather confused like it was supposed to be Xavier Woods in the match) and R Truth as there’s always room for some comedy during the Rumble. As for the finish of the Royal Rumble, I was a big fan of it.  First of all if you watched that Rumble and saw Roman Reigns get taken out and walk to the back a beaten man, logic would say he was coming back at the end to win the match.  I feel like if that happened (especially since Roman wasn’t brought to the back by a stretcher) then people would have a right to be a little frustrated.  But the fact that Triple H returned, won the title and it came down to Hunter and Dean Ambrose (not Roman) that made for a very exciting finish.  Personally, I would have went with Ambrose and had Roman cost Triple H the title but that’s not because I don’t think Triple H deserves a run with the title but rather that I don’t think Roman and Triple H need the title for their feud and that I think it would have been a good time to propel Dean Ambrose by giving him a run with the title.  That said I think that by Triple H stealing the title from Reigns this puts a lot behind there feud.  I also wouldn’t been too surprised to see a little tension between Reigns and Ambrose being that Ambrose outlasted Reigns in the Rumble.

Closing Thoughts:

Overall, I thought this was a really enjoyable Royal Rumble event and my favorite since the 2010 show which saw Edge return and win the rumble.  The match had so many twists and turns along the way and it made for a really exciting watch.  The three big surprise entrants (four if you include Kane) worked as they added to the match and each one, AJ Styles, Sami Zayn, Triple H, meant something to the match as a whole.



The Spotlight On The 2015 WWE Survivor Series

The 2015 WWE Survivor Series just went off the air not too long ago and I actually just got back from a connection flight from the site of the Survivor Series, Atlanta, Georgia.  Since I’m arriving late and starting the show at 11:15PM,  I’m going to get into the big finish of the show and my thoughts on that before I get into the highlights of the show.   If you haven’t seen the show and don’t want it to be spoiled stop reading now…..


OK so obviously tonight Sheamus cashed in his money in the bank briefcase on Roman Reigns following Reigns winning the title from Dean Ambrose in the finals of the WWE World Title Tournament.  In theory I have no problem with this as the person carrying the money in the bank briefcase should cash in after the champion has fought two matches.  Here are my two problems with the cash in.  First, this is way too similar to the cash in from Summerslam 2013 where Daniel Bryan beats John Cena clean, confetti falls as Bryan stands triumphant with Triple H raising his hand.  Of course on that night Triple H turned on Bryan to start the authority as Randy Orton cashed in and won the title right in the middle of the confetti.  Sound familiar?  Well yeah because it’s basically what happened tonight.  Next and it’s my even bigger problem with Sheamus winning the world title, he was made out to be a huge goof in the beginning of this show.  He comes out with the New Day rapping terribly to the point that they want nothing to do with him and to the point that the announcers joke that he should cash in his money in the bank briefcase for a new personality.  Then he loses his traditional survivor series match to Jey Uso, Ryback and Kalisto.  This is not the same as Seth Rollins losing to Randy Orton the  same night he cashed in at Wrestlemania because Orton was a clear number one contender for Rollins after that.  With all due respect to Jey Uso, Ryback and Kalisto I don’t think either of those guys is getting a title shot at TLC, so it just made Sheamus look bad.  Don’t get me wrong, I love badass Irish ass kicker Sheamus and if the idea here is to bring that Sheamus back then great but if not then what is the point?  As for Roman Reigns, I think we’re building to Reigns and Triple H at Wrestlemania and that’ll be great but I really think they oughta just see what they have in the guy instead of just pulling the carpet out from under him ime and time again.  Otherwise, they may pull that carpet out one too many times that people may think he’s a loser.  Reigns should also never cry like he did at the end of the show but instead get angry.  I’m interested to see were it goes from here.

Aside from that finish, which again I thought could have some positives if this brings back the badass Sheamus, I thought there was a lot to like about the Survivor Series so let’s get into it.


1) The Golden One Returns- It was a really cool way to start the show with a bonus Traditional Survivor Series match.  It was a good way to get everyone on the show, in particular seeing my boy Bo Dallas getting a spot on the kickoff show.  Of course the big story here was the return of Goldust that came out of nowhere and got a great reaction from the crowd, coupled by the great reaction by Stardust.  This was so good that I wished it had taken place on the main show as it got a great reaction and there weren’t any surprises during the main show traditional survivor series match.  I am still holding out hope that Stardust and Goldust get to have a big blow off match at Wrestlemania as, if tonight was any indication, people would be into it.  Goldust looked great by the way and seemingly gets better with age.  One last note on the kickoff match, it really seems like Titus O’Neil is being featured more prominently as a single.  He got to survive here, got a tournament match, and got an elimination in this match.  I wonder if he will silently be pulled away from the prime time players or if maybe Darren Young is just taking some time off, time will tell.

2) The Tournament Semi-Finals-  Starting with Roman Reigns and Alberto Del Rio, this makes Roman Reigns two for two on great matches this week, first with Cesaro and now tonight with Alberto Del Rio.  He gets the 50/50 reaction but works real hard in the ring and I thought this match was really good.  Roman’s one arm lifting sitout powerbomb was just nasty and I really liked how they teased the spear with Alberto constantly finding a way to get out of it several times.  Alberto has been a great addition to the roster since his return. As for Kevin Owens and Dean Ambrose, such a great hard hitting match and I also enjoy watching Owens talking to the referee and crowd.  It was really nice to see Dean Ambrose get a big win because I honestly can’t recall too many big match clean wins he gets.  Owens was also great in his backstage promo with Reigns and I hope to see those two down the line.

3) 25 Years Of Undertaker- This entire show was built around the Undertaker and WWE did a great job in making everything about him seem like a big deal.  From the video packages throughout the show, it almost felt like this could very well be it for the Undertaker. Of course, it likely isn’t it but I think we are getting down that road.  Perhaps he’s got one more Wrestlemania in him and he goes into the hall of fame this year?  Just speculation…In any event I think JBL summed this entire match up best when he said to take it all in now because it isn’t gonna last forever.  This was pure nostalgia with the highlight for me being the Brothers of Destruction entrance.  Kane setting the Undertaker symbols on fire as The Undertaker slowly made his way to the ring, such a spectacle that had to be incredible to see live.  As for the match, it was like the greatest hits of both the Undertaker and Kane and the fact that I see people on twitter complaining that the Wyatts lost makes no sense.  This was the Undertaker’s 25th Anniversary, there was no way that he was going to lose, nor should he have.  The closing scenes here were both very cool.  Kane giving the Undertaker the ring to acknowledge the crowd was so unique and as close as you’ll ever see to the Undertaker breaking character.  It also definitely seemed like this was the swan song for the Brothers of Destruction as a team with the two slowly walking together and classically turning back to acknowledge the crowd.  One of the Undertaker’s greatest legacies in WWE is actually Kane when you think about it.  Here’s a character, in Kane; who’s been around for over 18 years and it’s spun directly off of the Undertaker.

4) Reigns Vs Ambrose-  To me this match felt really fresh and was nice to see a completely new 1st time ever match in the main event.  The two are obviously good friends and left it all out in the ring.  I liked that, unlike in the Del Rio/Reigns match the crowd wasn’t split with “Let’s Go Roman/Roman Sucks” Chants but rather “Lets Go Roman/Lets Go Ambrose” Chants.  To me that shows that people are paying to see both of these guys as opposed to the first chant where it’s all about Reigns.  That was always the problem with the Cena chants.  The crowd either wanted Cena to win or lose but it didn’t matter who beat him because there was no emotional connection to the guy who beat Cena, just that he did it.  My favorite moment in the match came when both guys sat up and started to first slap and then straight up punch each other.  It showed that both men were putting their friendship behind them and worrying about winning the title.  No problem with the finish here as Ambrose simply got caught with a spear at the very last second so both stayed strong and showed each other the respect at the end.  They obviously want to keep Ambrose and Reigns together for now and I have no problem with it.

Well that’s going to do it for me tonight as it’s nearly 2:30 AM in New york.  I hope you enjoyed all of the Survivor Series material up here on the site over the weekend.  For now, what did you think of the finish of the Survivor Series?  Wat were your favorite moments from the show.  Let me know in the comments section below or on twitter @Daily_Spotlight

The Spotlight On The WWE Title Tournament (Updated With Bracket) 

Please note that below you will find a spoiler on the bracket for the WWE World Title Tournament, which will in fact feature 16 different WWE Superstars. If you’d like to continue reading from this point I won’t give away any of the first round results (I don’t actually know them myself) but just the matches that you can expect to see in the first round of the tournament.  First off Roman Reigns will be going one on one with the Big Show. The winner of that match will face the winner of the first round match between Cesaro and Sheamus. Right below them on the bracket it’ll be Alberto Del Rio squaring off with Stardust and the winner of that match will face the winner of Ryback Vs. Kalisto ( I’ll be honest I’m pulling for upset here so we can get Del rio vs. Kalisto in the Quarterfinals, that’ll be a lot of fun.)

On the other side of the bracket, Kevin Owens will take on Titus O’Neil and the winner of that will face the winner of King  Barrett vs. Neville. Rounding out the tournament below them will be The Miz taking on Dolph Ziggler & the winner of that match will take on the winner of Dean Ambrose vs Tyler Breeze. 

Thus, those hoping for a “Battle Of The Best Friends” final between Dean Ambrose & Roman Reigns are in luck, as the only way that match can happen is in the finals. If you’re looking for a prediction from me I would say Reigns over Del Rio in the semis & Ambrose over Owens before Reigns outlasts Ambrose to win the world title. 

What I could tell you is that the first round of the tournament is going to be completed this week between Raw & Smackdown. This would suggest that the Quarterfinals of the tournament would likely take place next week and the semi finals & finals of the tournament would both take place at the Survivor Series, similar to the way they did it with the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Invitiational down in NXT. 

I’ll be back a little bit later to kick of my Survivor Series Retrospective and, at the lastest, tomorrow morning looking at Raw. Until then, who do you guys think is going to win the tournament? Let me know in the comments section below, on Twitter @TommyOnTheSpot or via email at! 

The Spotlight On Dean Ambrose at iPlay America

A few weeks ago, my girlfriend, her younger brother and I took the 90 minute drive from Queens, New York to Freehold, New Jersey to meet “The Lunatic Fringe” Dean Ambrose.  My girlfriend’s brother’s favorite wrestler is Ambrose and he wanted to originally meet Dean during Summerslam weekend at the Barclays Center but the cost was a little steep at $150 per person.  Thus, I did a little research on the WWE superstars appearances section of and saw that Ambrose was signing autgraphs at iplay America for a fraction of the cost at only $50 per person and that included both a photo op and a signed 8 X10.  We also figured that we may be able to turn it into a bit of a day out in Jersey.  Let’s get into a bit of the highlights of the event.


 The iPlay  America Venue and Deal: The way that iPlay set up this event was just fantastic.  The second you approached iPlay America there was a huge Dean Ambrose billboard along the highway that immediately drew you in and also got you excited for the event.  Also included in your price tag for the autograph session was a $10 gift card to redeem at iPlay America the same day.  Iplay is actually a really big place and we ended spending a good amount of time there.  They have a state of the art arcade, lazer tag, a 4D movie (we did the penguin one and it was great), indoor rides, and so much more.  IPlay also had a number of different events going on from hosting a UFC viewing party later that night to hosting a free concert later that week with former American Idol contestant Casey James.  It also is a great place for families and birthday parties for the little ones.  It was really nice to see a venue so open to so many different things and offering deals and promotions to make the exciting experience affordable at the same time.  From Autograph Signing to WWE Event: We’ve all been to those autograph signings that can be a bit of a drag where you stand on line for 2 hours and it’s excruciating.  Then when you get up to meet the WWE superstar you get two seconds to grab your autograph and go.  If the photograph is even an option, it’s often as the talent is signing or you’re leaned over the table awkwardly.  Well I’m happy to say that this was not the case at IPlay America, not at all.  Instead, they made the whole event seem like a really big deal.  It started when you walked into a big arena setup where Dean Ambrose was and immediately you saw big screens everywhere playing Dean Ambrose entrance videos, best of WWE videos, and Dean Ambrose matches (against Bo Dallas, Bray wyatt, Sheamus and more) so that you could enjoy the matches while you waited on line.  From there they were also selling a variety of really unique WWE memorabilia and light up gimmicks at the event.  The highlight for me, however, was that Dean Ambrose was standing in front of a backdrop waiting for a posed photo.  I’ve never seen this at a signing and it was really cool as you got to stand for posed photos with Ambrose. Then, in order to save time, Iplay took a professional photo of you with Ambrose and, after you were finished talking with Dean and getting your picture,you were given the code to download your photo the next day and your signed 8X10.  By having Dean pre sign all of the 8 X 10s and eliminating anyone’s need for their own personal camera, it saved so much time and gave people the chance to just focus on their time with the superstar.  I feel like anyone running a signing should take a page out of iPlay’s book because it was really well done.  As for Ambrose, it was also great that (maybe because WWE had a show in town that night or because he was asked to do this) he was dressed like the Dean Ambrose you see on television and also acted the same way.  I remember one time I met the ultimate Warrior when I was a kid and he was wearing lounge clothes and a baseball cap, it was still cool but also sort of killed his allure.  Ambrose was out and about after the signing, checking out the iPlay America candy shop and walking through the restaurant on site.   It was a great experience but that wasn’t all. IPlay America also had a special guest in attendance as the host of the festivities which leads us too…

 Howard Finkel: If everything I wrote above wasn’t enough, Howard Finkel was on hand as the host of the event.  He hosted “OutThink The Fink” trivia contests for free tickets to the WWE event in Wildwood that night, Dean Ambrose T Shirts and IPlay America gift cards.  Fink would ask fans how long they’d been fans for and from there would ask questions ranging from “What is John cena’s catchphrase?” for kids to “What Sumo Wrestler did the Big Show wrestle at WrestleMania 21?” for lifelong fans.  This kept the fans entertained while on line and gave ambrose an opportunity to meet with some of the fans who paid for a VIP experience.  Howard was then available for a photo op of his own positioned right at the end of Ambrose’s signing and was also included in the price of admission.  I can tell you that Howard Finkel was one of the nicest people I’ve ever met.  He seemed genuinely touched by everyone in attendance their to meet him and chatted with everyone for as long as they wanted.  He was also open to taking selfies and signing autographs and even handed out free WWE trading cards to the kids.  A really cool bonus, in a way it was like Dean was there for the new generation of fans an Howard was there for the lifetime fans.  I personally got to reminisce with Howard about meeting him at the Fanfest for WrestleMania 10 when I told him I was afraid of every superstar there and he told me that I didn’t have to be because all of the superstars were told if they weren’t polite they wouldn’t get to wrestle at WrestleMania (protecting the business) which he got a good laugh out of.

Closing Thoughts:  All in all this was one of the best signings that I’ve ever gotten to go to.  I hope Iplay America continues to do events like these and I believe that they will because I did look back at their twitter feed and noticed that some of the superstars they’ve had in the past included Hulk Hogan, Roman Reigns & Daniel Bryan.  Even if their aren’t any WWE superstars their Iplay America is a great place to watch a UFC show and a great day for the whole family.  For more information on Iplay America, check them out at .

The Spotlight On WWE Payback 

WWE Payback was presented live tonight on the WWE Network and on pay per view from Baltimore, Maryland. The show kicked off a four week stretch for WWE in which they have four different live event pay per view style events on the WWE Network with WWE Payback, NXT Unstoppable (Wednesday night at 8PM  EST), the Elimination Chamber two weeks from tonight and then Money In The Bank on June 14th. It’s an exciting time to be a fan of WWE to say the least. With that said lets get into the highlights of tonight’s show in chronological order. 

For those looking to avoid spoilers Id stop reading now as the show has already aired. If you’re looking for a recommendation, I’d suggest going out of your way to watch the show. The show was a lot of fun with no match being bad & everyone making the most of their time. With their only being 7 matches I felt that every match got time to develop & kudos to the superstars & divas who did the most with that time. 

 1) Ziggler vs Sheamus- Lets be honest the build for Ziggler & Shemus has been a bit silly with all of the kiss me arse stipulations. The truth is the kiss me arse stuff just isn’t necessary as these guys have good to great matches every time out. Tonight was no exception as the two gave 110% and had a great match to start off the show. The finish where Ziggler legitimately spilt his head open by head butting Sheamus & taking a Brogue Kick was brutal. Since each guy got a win I actually hope they are both kept out of the Intercontinetal title match at the chamber & we get a rubber match.   2) The New Day Vs Kidd & Cesaro- To me this was the second best match on the show as both teams looked so strong. All four men worked so hard to put on an exciting 2 out of 3 falls match. The New Day are also continuing to do a great job in their role. Having the New Day go out there and trying to encourage the Baltimore Orioles to finally win a World Series, made them even more hated in Baltimore and was a great way to utilize the players in attendance. I just hope that Kidd & Cesaro stay together as a team. They are both so strong in the ring & should be big single stars but have worked hard to perfect their tag craft that they’ve become an integral part of the tag team division. I personally can’t wait for the tag team elimination chamber match.   3) The I Quit Match- I figured that the finish here would have either been Lana quitting for Rusev or Lana in on it with Rusev all along and the two getting one over on Cena. In the end, Lana did in fact quit for Rusev but I didn’t take it that she was screwing Rusev at all. Rather, I took this to mean that she was actually in love with Rusev and couldn’t stand to see him suffering in the STF, I could be completely off by the way. Regardless this match was great! Total brutality that you would expect to see in a match blowing out off the feud, as I assume this was the end. Both men came off strong in that neither man quit and, as unpopular as this may be, John Cena continues to have great matches week in and week out while helping to make younger stars shine so kudos to him. The only thing I thought was a bit off was that I would loved for one guy to get a clean win & thought Rusev winning by knock out would have been cool as that’s how the feud started. Regardless if Cena winning means more Open Challenges than sign me up because those have been great.   4. What a Main Event!- I do these chronologically but if I had to pick one match that stood above the rest it would have to be that main event. There was so much that went on in that match, it was just so much fun. Even though I feel some of the interferences make Rollins look weak, WWE is doing a great job in making him absolutely hated in that he continues to find a way to keep the title. (Though I will say that this has to be the end of whether Kane is going to turn because he’s made it clear he’s loyal to Triple H).  Moment of match for me had to be the shield reunion and the return of the triple powerbomb through the table. (Especially since it was at Payback last year when the Shield had their defining win, as a unit, in sweeping Evolution) It was also nice to see Ambrose & Reigns going at it without one turning on the other. As we saw in the shield documentary these guys are friends & so it would make sense for them to work together and then admirably go at it. I felt this was another strong showing for Reigns, who’s gotta be winning over even his most passionate of haters at this point. In the end Orton is the right guy to take the pinfall here as he’ll always be a bonafide main eventer, so it’s good to protect Reigns & Ambrose. 

Closing Thoughts

Overall this was a really fun show with a strong main event that had everyone I was watching with jumping with every near fall. I try to limit these posts to three or four highlights but if I extended it to one more I would have added Wyatt & Ryback, those guys also worked hard especially with Ryback pulling out a version of a frog splash. In the end they also had me excited to see where they go from here and interested to see who Rollins and Cena defend their respective titles against in two weeks at the Chamber. However, before we even get that far, the guys & gals on NXT have one helluva show to follow. I can’t wait!