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!
Do people still use business terms like corporate synergy? The Main Event crew (with special guest-star Glenn!) took a match-by-match look at the new Sting retrospective DVD this week, thanks to the release of information at www.wrestlingdvdnews.com. The biggest surprise is the depth and rarity of matches chosen, as the WWE stepped away from the usual offerings, picking multiple previously non-released matches from WCW’s syndicated and cable programs. Their strategy silences the critics who felt that their DVD division would falter with the advent of the WWE Network, as it would be silly to drop 20-30 dollars on a DVD set where most matches could be accessed at anytime for 10 dollars. Among the potential gems – a television title match against Great Muta from WCW Power Hour (which Steve completely forgot even existed) and a subsequent tag match with Muta against the Steiner Brothers from one of the joint WCW/NJPW supershows.
If this strategy holds true going forward, fans can hope for more rare compilations down the line. My personal hope is for more Mid-South territory releases and that Jerry Lawler’s desire to compile lost Memphis footage comes to fruition. The hardcore, older fans will be the ones who drive the DVD market as physical media slowly disappears, so focusing on matches and events geared towards completists seems to be a wise idea.
- Who’s That Jumping Out the Sky? Rumors are swirling that Rey Mysterio, whose contract was unilaterally extended by WWE due to a clause allowing them such a privilege when someone has missed enough time due to injury, has stopped cashing his checks and may be preparing to take action to get out of his deal. It’s sad to see acrimony potentially growing between WWE and Mysterio, who enjoyed more than ten years of success after coming to the company in 2002. Your mileage may vary, as there were some questionable angles and significant injuries, but for this author he’s often been a steadying presence, able to have good matches with most opponents and great matches with several. The writing has been on the wall for Mysterio’s full-time wrestling career for some time, considering his age and injury-friendly style — he’s one of few remaining Attitude Era stars, though we may not often think of him in the same category as Big Show and Mark Henry, for example, both of whom have also been made to slow down in recent times. Still, one may have hoped for a friendly parting.
- Can I Have Your Attention, Please; I Have an Announcement: Global Force Wrestling, announcers of announcements of future announcements that’ve announced their way into our hearts, have recently announced even more international arms-trading deals. This time GFW’s targeting Europe; among their new partners are Emerald Wrestling Promotions, Premier British Wrestling, New Generation Wrestling, Westside Xtreme Wrestling, and Revolution Pro Wrestling. Irish, Scottish, English and German wrestlers have now come under the watchful eye of Global Force Wrestling, sharing the fate of the Mexican and Japanese stars whose talents have already been signed over. Global Force Wrestling is expanding to encompass all nations, all nationalities, all ideologies, and all peoples. They will be united under a common flag; whether that will be a flag of truce will be the subject of future announcements. Stand by.
- Enter KENTA: In the realm of announcements that actually lead to action, former NOAH star KENTA reported to the NXT developmental center this past week. WWE had an interview with KENTA, Renee Young and official translator Funaki (is he still employed as Smackdown’s #1 announcer?) on their website and a picture with Triple H and Vince McMahon. During his contract signing in Japan, the company deployed goodwill ambassadors Hulk Hogan and, umm, Jimmy Hart to mark the occasion. Is he looking to become a big deal, pretty quickly? One interesting tidbit: WWE has been referring to him as KENTA. We here at the High Spot had our group of child interns research which wrestlers were able to keep their original ring names through developmental, and, since CM Punk, we could only come up with David Otunga. We’re all looking forward to see how this multitalented import fares in the NXT system. For those not familiar with KENTA’s style, here’s a sample of his work, a match against another wrestler who returned to television this week, Low-Ki (courtesy Ring of Honor Wrestling):
And just for fun, here’s a fun find from 2004 on YouTube – a match pitting legends Misawa and Ogawa against KENTA and long-time partner Marufuji: