The High Spot: Dean Ambrose, WWE Network UK Malaise and the Top Stories of the Week

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Welcome to the High Spot, Place to Be Nation’s weekly pro wrestling update. Steve Wille (@SteveWille34) will take you through the biggest story of the week in the world of wrestling, adding in a unique view to help put the story in perspective. Glenn Butler (@Glenniebun) then takes a quick look at other important stories of the week. If you have any tips or story ideas, please contact us at info@placetobenation.com!

On a previous episode of the Main Event, the staff debated the current surge of Dean Ambrose and how his character compares to Steve Austin during his hot run in the Attitude Era. Though both are strong anti-heroes fighting against an authoritative regime, I believe that’s where the comparison ends. To me, Ambrose’s character more resembles one of Austin’s old allies, the late Brian Pillman. The “Loose Cannon,” like Ambrose, had the appearance of someone who was unstable, but ultimately was an anti-authority character, first blurring the lines of kayfabe against the “booker man” Kevin Sullivan, then later against ECW and his fans. Before his serious injury when he joined the WWE, Pillman was set to start a feud with Austin himself, looking poised to jump up the card, as Ambrose is now.

Sadly, injuries and personal demons never allowed Pillman to reach his peak in the WWE, so it’s unknown how high he could have risen in his character. Would the feud with Austin propel him to the main event? Would his last feud with Golddust over the “services” of Marlena led to stronger positioning on the card? What is the ultimate end game of a character motivated by revenge and anarchy? This last question is something fans are wondering regarding Dean Ambrose. After seemingly leading a rage-fueled battle against his former teammate Seth Rollins, Ambrose dropped everything to tackle Bray Wyatt, who attacked Dean at the Hell in the Cell event. Those excited about Ambrose’s one-month leap to the main event picture in the WWE now are surprised by his character’s rapid descent down the card, especially considering newly-christened face Randy Orton’s brief departure.

From my perspective, I truly wonder whether the original plan was for Ambrose to be in that main event spot over the last six to eight weeks. Roman Reigns’s absence surely played a role in focusing more on the Ambrose and Rollins storyline. With the two former Shield members occupied, where would Reigns fit in? Clearly, he was positioned for the main event run that Ambrose temporarily had a hold on. The Lunatic Fringe temporarily benefited from Reigns’s malady, and he’s done well with the opportunity. But will it be enough to warrant future pushes, or will he ultimately be hampered by the motivations of his character?

  • You Know How I Like My Announcements, Properly Presaged: Global Force Wrestling, worldwide leaders in the art of the announcement-announcement pre-announcement foreshadowing prediction bulletin, have formally announced their skinning of New Japan’s Wrestle Kingdom 9 show on the fourth of January. The show will air live at 2AM Eastern before a repeat at 7PM. As there is not yet a GFW Network you’ll have to buy this show through your local pay-per-view provider, if you still remember how.
  • You Can Stream Me Any Time: The formal (y’know, legal) introduction of the WWE Network to the United Kingdom has twisted into a bit of a confusing mess of rumors in the last week after the expected launch, in the same format that the US enjoys, was abruptly canceled. The WWE website put up an apology by Vince McMahon (for the UK region only), explaining that the company is working through the details of potential partnerships. Most sources of information have now settled on the story that it will still be launched in the UK soon, but as a TV channel offered by Sky Sports, similar to the cable deal that our dear Canadian friends have been complaining about since that thing was announced. This is not announced by any authorized party, though; it’s not like this is a GFW joint. It is mere rumor, and really nobody knows a fucking thing. Further updates as events warrant!
  • No Feast, No Firing…Maybe Firing: TNA Impact will apparently not be airing during the week of Thanksgiving (in the US — they were content to plow on through Canadian Thanksgiving). As they’re running out of shows to show on their show anyway, this just looks like one best-of show they don’t have to go to the trouble of editing.
  • Knock Me Out with a Feather: TNA promises to “make all of your dreams come true” with the TNA One Night Only: Knockouts Knockdown 2014 pay-per-view extravaganza, premiering today. This is quite benificent if your dreams consist of Gail Kim vs. Veda Scott, Angelina Love vs. Scarlett Bordeaux, Madison Rayne vs. Havok, Velvet Sky vs. Reby Sky, Karlee Perez vs. Taryn Terrell, Brittany vs. Mia Yim, Brooke Tessmacher vs. Deonna, Marti Belle vs. ODB, and a Queen of the Knockouts Gauntlet Match between the winners of the preceding contests. We’ve been waiting for the day, and it’s finally here.

Author: Glenn Butler

Glenn is not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be. He goes forward, he goes back. The Glenn that you know, he had some second thoughts. Glenn has come back to reclaim some infinitude of silence, the unspeaking of his name. At PTBN he's most often seen walking the web, covering the Star Trek beat, and podcasting about various manifestations of life and popular culture. Find him elsewhere on the Twitter, the Instam and/or the Tumblr. Tamp 'em up solid.