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!
Ring of Honor formally announced a return to traditional cable and satellite Pay-Per-View for its annual Best in the World show on June 22nd from Nashville, Tennessee. Unlike previous PPV offerings from Ring of Honor, this will be their first foray in live television, as, in the past, the events were taped weeks to months in advance, confusing fans who followed their live event schedules. The time is ripe for a wrestling organization to enter the PPV market as Impact Wrestling greatly reduced their live PPV events, and the WWE is focusing on “special events” for their network. In fact, this week also saw DirecTV discontinue any future showings of WWE events, mainly as retribution for the WWE undercutting them with their new model. It is expected that the other satellite company, Dish Network, will follow, as they previously cancelled their offering of the Elimination Chamber event. Ring of Honor will be putting a significant amount of money and effort into their next few events, between this announcement and May’s joint supercards with New Japan Pro Wrestling. The buzz for ROH is as high as it’s been in years, and this decision adds to the excitement.
- Quite a Splash: There’s been some hubbub about the recent appearance of Sting on two of the WWE Network’s Ultimate Warrior memorial shows this week. While it’s not at all unusual for WWE to film interviews with people not presently affiliated with the company (observe the presence of Vince Russo, who may be as far from “affiliated with the company” as someone can get these days, on one or two episodes of Countdown), the interview featured in Thursday night’s special must have been filmed within the last ten days and may suggest a particularly close relationship. The Wrestling Observer reports that a contract has been negotiated and is in Sting’s possession, as of yet unsigned. Frankly, after years of rumor and speculation — and the occasional “confirmation” when promos for The Undertaker are aired — this all gets increasingly tedious. The pull of WWE’s gravity is strong, and no matter how long Sting hovers just past the event horizon, he too will tumble into the world of Blu-ray compilations, talking-head appearances on the Network, a healthy round of merchandise sales, and the Hall of Fame.
- Hear Ye, Hear Ye: In what seems to be a new trend of weekly announcements, Jeff and Karen Jarrett’s new Global Force Wrestling promotion announced a partnership with the creator of “The Biggest Loser,” Dave Broome. The article, printed in The Hollywood Reporter, insinuates that Jarrett will be working with 500 wrestlers, which is clearly erroneous. Jarrett previously stated in an interview that he has scouted 400 wrestlers but has not officially announced any talent acquisitions. That hasn’t stopped the rumor mill from lambasting Jarrett for having 500 people under contract. We here at the High Spot frown upon making fun of people based on incorrect information, especially when there’s more than enough material out there to utilize. Such as the calvacade of press releases saying nothing, the Jarretts’ assertion that they’ve been working on this project since January 2014 (what work ethic…that was before Daniel Bryan lost the Royal Rumble!), or the multiple accusations that Karen and Jeff have been showing up to independent events intoxicated.
- Strap On the Proverbial Rocket: Some hubbub has also arisen from the recent elevation of Eric Young to the position of TNA World Champion. Young, co-holder of the TNA Knockouts Tag Team Championship for more than a year before the title was deactivated when it became clear the rest of the division simply couldn’t compete with the ODB/Young power team, emerged as the bearded savior after being forced to wrestle twice in one night with an injured arm. Some say this sounds familiar. Regardless, Young’s certainly been a company man over a long period of time, and you certainly can’t say TNA isn’t giving their title to new people.
- Red Rover, Red Rover, Who’s Coming Over: Amidst TNA’s current strategy of conducting roster trims the way an industrial farm threshes wheat, word has circulated that Low Ki, former X Division Champion and WWE NXT winner, may be returning to the company. Like the recently-debuted MVP, Ki may not pack a huge amount of star power but is a solid hand who should come at a relatively low price.