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 firstname.lastname@example.org!
Once again our format is dashed upon the rocks, as this week Steve Wille has left us so that he can train in the mountains of Asia, the only place he can obtain the lessons he needs to confront his arch-nemesis. Let’s wish him luck, and even more than luck, discipline. Nonetheless, wrestling is still with us and a few things are happening in its world:
- I Swear Europe’s Broken in Half: In much of the Western world, we set aside the eleventh day of the eleventh month as a time of solemn contemplation — contemplation of the horrible human costs of war, the inevitable pointlessness of indulging the thirst for violence writ large on an international level. This year we’ve arrived at the centenary of World War I, one of the most pointless wars to have ever been, lending particular significance to this Armistice Day. In some places, it’s customary to observe a moment of silence at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. At 11 AM on the eleventh of November 2014, that silence was broken by a spirited BAH GAWD as Global Force Wrestling, following a pre-announcement announcement on the tenth, officially announced that play-by-play commentary for their simulcast of the WrestleKingdom event this January will be provided by Jim Ross. This is certainly exciting news for those who have missed JR since his most recent WWE departure, as well as those who have found Japanese wrestling difficult to get into without good English commentary, notwithstanding the stylistic differences between NJPW and the sort of product JR’s been used to. (Speaking of products JR isn’t used to, I recently checked out some of his boxing work from this past spring, and found it a pleasant surprise how relaxed and loose JR seemed.) Just on our own Place to Be Nation Facebook page we’ve had several people express their intent to order the show in the wake of JR joining the endeavor, so thus far this seems like a job well done. Best of luck.
- Let Foley Be Foley: Mick Foley mentioned in an interview this week that one of his upcoming comedy shows is going to be filmed for the WWE Network rather than cable. See, this is just the sort of off-the-wall, but still wrestling-related, programming they can do with the Network platform. Between this and Foley’s recent appearance on Raw, it also seems like any feathers ruffled by his departure from the Legends deal he had earlier this year have been smoothed out.
- Gotta Tamp That Down:Alberto Del Rio recently tweeted a joint statement by himself and WWE which reads, precisely: “Following my departure from wwe an understanding was reach with regards to my future booking opportunities,we wish eachother well in our future endeavors”[.] First, yes, this statement reads like it was copy-edited by an exhausted duck. Second, it seems likely that whatever agreement was reached obviates any no-compete clause Del Rio still had hanging over him in return for Del Rio not discussing any more racist incidents he tolerated before the one that got him fired. Everybody’s happy!
- A Softer Impact: TNA Impact, or at least its Spike TV generation, appears to be coming to a close this coming week. As previously reported, the week after that it’ll be preempted for US Thanksgiving, then it’ll come back with best-of shows for the rest of the year, in any other weeks when it’s not preempted by other holidays. For TNA, there are no more special holiday episodes; holidays are more special than TNA. For the finale nobody in the company wants to sell as a finale (maybe it’s just “taking a break,” to take a cue from another Friday column here at PTBN), someone will win the vacant X-Division Championship that Samoa Joe vacated when he got injured, Bram has challenged Tommy Dreamer to a hardcore match, Ethan Carter III and Rockstar Spud will continue rubbing each other the wrong way, and the world title angle between Bobby Roode, MVP, Bobby Lashley, and Kurt Angle has got to reach a fever pitch. The last couple weeks have been suitably decent shows, including a pretty good Lashley-Aries match this past week. Dixie Carter keeps saying that an announcement about a TV deal is coming “soon,” but it turns out that Jeff Jarrett was the real pre-announcement hype professional and he’s taken his talents elsewhere. Presumably they’ll have some last-ditch option in place by 2015, but it may not be pretty. So why not tune in to say goodbye for now? To say goodbye to the TNA we used to know?