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!
Ahh, Valentine’s Day. A holiday that makes you feel terrible if you’re single and obliged to buy candy and flowers at marked-up prices if you’re in a relationship. As a wise beyond his years tween told me this week, even Labor Day comes with a day off of school. But here at the Place to Be Nation, we embrace the holidays in our own special way. This week, just like elementary school, Steve and Glenn break out the chalky heart candy and hand out Valentines to some of the newsmakers of 2014.
Dixie Carter – It’s been trendy to write off Impact Wrestling for the last year and it seems that more people are rooting for its demise than watching the broadcast. But have you ever read those articles from beautiful celebrities decrying their treatment during their gawky teenage years? This is Impact Wrestling’s awkward stage right now (coincidentally, even turning twelve this year), and they’ve made a lot of savvy maneuvers to become more profitable. They cut expenses, brought in younger talent and ratings haven’t been negatively affected. Barring any calamity befalling them from Spike, they have a chance to revitalize their product. I hope for their transformation from wallflower back to a legitimate number two promotion and I don’t comprehend why wrestling fans would want any different.
WWE Network – Can you give a Valentine to a concept? If so, every wrestling fanatic would be doing it. The network launches online on February 24th and looks to be one of the most thrilling technological innovations in years (remember WCW’s referee cam?). In the opposite vein of my Dixie Carter commentary, I hope that the network isn’t the beautiful belle at the ball who ends up having no personality. As a society, we like to build ideas and people up and then slowly knock them down. There could be growing pains at the beginning, but the sheer amount of programming should easily counteract that.
Mike Bennett and Maria Kanellis – By far, wrestling’s hottest couple. Their savvy, both in and out of the ring, intelligence and, of course, looks make them so easy to hate as heels. Watching their appearances over the past month, they are being positioned as breakout stars in Ring of Honor, as Maria is even teaching her fiancé new, inventive moves (wink). Bennett and Kanellis stand out as an original entity in the often generic landscape of professional wrestling.
Batista – You’re my valentine. Deal with it.
Lita – Congratulations, you’re the latest valentine in the WWE Hall of Fame!
Daniel Bryan – Who did not win the Royal Rumble… but he won my heart.
John Cena – It’s been trendy to write off John Cena for the last eight and a half years, and it seems that more people are rooting for his demise than watching the broadcast. But have you ever read those articles from wrestling fans talking about how great their favorite wrestlers used to be, but now they’ve gotten too old to go? This is John Cena’s prime right now and he’s made a lot of savvy maneuvers to become more profitable. He cut expenses, worked with younger talent (he could hardly find older talent, considering he spent the last two years fighting a relic from the 1990’s) and ratings haven’t been negatively affected. Barring any calamity befalling him from injury, he has a chance to revitalize the product. I hope for his permanent transition from Legend’s Matches back to a legitimate number one talent, and I don’t comprehend why wrestling fans would want any different. (Steve’s note: HEY!)
The Hampton Inn in Emporia, Virginia – Because there’s no love going on there.
*slithering noises, ectoplasm spelling out DB BE OURS FOREVER* – There are beings so alien and abstract from a human perspective that a chance encounter can drive your sanity from you. Our languages can only grasp, finding no purchase, our minds beating fruitlessly against their shores. They move in space, they move in time, they move in ideas – they can enter your mind with words & feelings and burrow deep – yet still they rarely deign to acknowledge your existence. Thus far their power is unimaginable, their aims opaque, their values obscure but for one. They are very, very upset that Daniel Bryan did not win the Royal Rumble.
And now, for another news bit:
- Isn’t Wednesday Senior Citizens’ Discount Day? – In an attempt to lure in viewers in anticipation of the aforementioned network launch, rumors are running wild regarding who will be in attendance at the Raw in Green Bay on February 24th. Multiple sites “confirmed” that the Undertaker and Hulk Hogan will make their returns, though WWE has yet to formally announce any special guests. The yearly speculation that Sting will debut has started to cool off. The warm response to Hogan’s return is somewhat puzzling, considering the (rightful) online vitriol he received during his stint in Impact Wrestling over the past couple years. Since I (Steve) will be in attendance, my only hope is that they also bring back Betty White and Bob Barker, placing them against Hogan in the NXT obstacle course.