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!
It’s been awhile since we’ve checked in on our favorite lucha show of fun and frivolity. This weekend, Chikara returns for what is normally its biggest event of the year, the 2014 King of Trios. Noticeable this year is the reduction of outside “dream teams” competing from other organizations and countries, outside of a UK import and a reuniting LAX trio of Homicide, Hernandez and Chavo Guerrero. Of course, we at placetobenation.com place our full support behind Team Extravaganza, the trio featuring our dear role model, Jervis Cottonbelly, his partner Marlon Fontaine, and the debuting debutante Thunderkitty. The purveyor of Gentlemania appeared on local Pennsylvania television news to promote the event, along with an evil bow-tied Ecuadorian who shall remain nameless.
Perhaps even more intriguing than the traditional three-day tournament is the concurrent Rey de Voladores mini-tourney, pitting some of the best high-flyers in the world against Chikara’s own athletes. The Great Sanada and Tigre Uno both make their Chikara debuts, surprising in that Impact Wrestling rarely allows their talent to appear on events to be sold on DVD. With declining events for the TNA wrestlers, here’s hoping that this is the start of continued cooperation with other independent companies, as it allows wrestlers to hone their craft and earn a living wage.
To get people psyched for the event, here’s a match from King of Trios 2009, featuring a high-flying four-way between El Generico, Kota Ibushi, Nick Jackson of the Young Bucks, and Jigsaw, courtesy of chikarapro.com:
- Permission Granted: Speaking of Impact Wrestling, the website Grantland produced a fantastic article looking at the recent history of the company, complete with exclusive interviews with the major players, including Dixie Carter, Jeff Jarrett and a middle-aged man increasingly desperate for attention. At some point this week, Steve really wanted to delve into the psychological issues on display here but, really, the article is so well-written that we suggest that the reader make their own armchair diagnoses. The saddest revelation in the story is that Jeff Jarrett has been estranged from his father for nearly ten years now, since their partnership in TNA fell apart. Dixie Carter trying to reach out to AJ Styles by shouting directly into the reporter’s recorder is sad for entirely different reasons. Again, the High Spot highly recommends watching Impact on Wednesday evenings, as the latest programs have often been more enjoyable from start to finish than the 3 1/4 hour Raws on Mondays. SUPPORT WRESTLING!
- Clearance of Honor: A valid criticism of Ring of Honor’s television product focused on it solely being presented on Sinclair Broadcasting affiliates, leaving many without a traditional means to watch the weekly television product. Officials long promised that they were negotiating to bring the television program to new outlets, and over the past two weeks, ROH announced that they would be on syndicated television stations in the major markets of Atlanta and Washington D.C. starting immediately. Any additional eyes on the product could turn into live event possibilities for the company, as they’ve seen increased attendance in the markets with television clearance.
- The Operating Room: Oldest Ride in the Hospital, Still Got the Longest Line: Ric Flair recently submitted to the surgeon’s knife on relatively short notice due to appendicitis and a hernia. The Nature Boy seems to be on the mend, as he’s expected to be released from the hospital today.
- Still Taking Over: Plans are being made for another NXT special event in December. The official High Spot stance is that as long as they’re as good as the last three have been, they can keep doing these quarterly supercards in perpetuity. They’ve certainly been stacking up the talent for them.
- Come Back in, Water’s Still Fine: In the most recent confirmation that you should take a wrestling retirement about as seriously as a comic-book death (with rare exceptions, like Uncle Ben and Shawn Michaels), Charlie Haas has begun taking bookings again just a year and a half after retiring. He’ll even be appearing with Shelton Benjamin at a Jersey All Pro show this November.
- The Greatest Recovery of All the Times: In (possibly) other un-retirement news, Santino Marella, thought to be retiring due to ongoing neck issues, underwent a successful neck fusion surgery this week. Marella was tweeting from the hospital, of course, and teased the possibility that he may yet be able to perform again given enough time. That would certainly be a relief, as his brand of humor has been missed by this author.
- The Madness Has Overtaken Me: If you haven’t yet seen the breakdown of the upcoming Randy Savage video, check it out. In addition to a documentary that will surely be up to WWE’s usual high standards, the match list includes a ton of rare matches that seem very promising indeed. (And, again, a lot of matches from shows that probably won’t be available on the Network — house shows, Saturday Night, &c.)