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By Mike Johnson on 2022-07-15 10:00:00


Can Sasha Banks use that name outside WWE?

Unless she has negotiated the use outside of WWE somehow, there's zero chance she'll be able to officially use the name outside of WWE.  No way WWE legal will allow that.

I am totally confused about why there are now three Highspots streaming services.  Can you please explain this to me?

Sure.  The Highspots Wrestling Network was the existing streaming service.  Unfortunately for Highspots, Pivotshare, which created and operates the server, is no longer servicing the server.  That means Highspots cannot do any live streaming events and that as technology moves forward, the existing server won't be updated as new apps need.  Essentially, it exists as it is today and won't be tweaked as needed going forward.  Highspots will continue to operate the HWN app but they are also recognize they need to be able to do more than the HWN, as it will exist going forward, will allow.  It's not going away, since there are obviously subscribers who use it and it's been in place for years as a moneymaker - but it's not going to ever get apps for different devices and operating systems and there's been some bugginess to it on Roku that isn't going to end up addressed either.

So, since Highspots can't control the operating system of the HWN, they insteaf launched two new streaming services yesterday.  Highspots.TV will have new content, including the PWG Battle of Los Angeles from earlier this year and will feature live, streaming events.  The Highspots.TV app will be available on iOS, Android, Apple TV, Roku and Amazon Fire, which the old HWN service was not (except Roku).  There are plans to create a lot of original programming for Highspots.TV going forward as well.

There is also the Highspots Now app, which will be a collaboration of partnerships Highspots have with different independent promotions as well as best of Highspots content.

So, fans will have three different choices depending on their needs and what devices and operating systems they desire to use.  Highspots is placing themselves wherever their audience may want to find them.

I was wondering if you would be hosting any panels at Starrcast?  Are you doing Summerslam media?  I really loved the interviews Wrestlemania weekend especially with Los Lotharios and Rhea Ripley, so hoping for more of the same.

I will not be in Nashville as of this writing.  I was not invited to take part this time around in Starrcast.  I have purposely curtailed my travel due to COVID concerns, so as I write this, there are no current plans to be there in person for Summerslam.  Unfortunately, airline travel isn't safe and I don't see myself driving 15-16 hours to Nashville.  If something changes, you'll know. 

Why is MLW taking time off?

They are choosing to do so.  If they have the content in the can, so to speak, they can choose how and when to roll it out and maximize its effectiveness.  They aren't a smaller promotion and they've been focused lately on locking in more deals, so they are placing the energy there as opposed to trying to promote and run live shows in the middle of what could be another COVID wave.  As it said, "discretion is the better part of valor."

Who are the most underrated talents in the major promotions right now?

Off the top of my head, I think Frankie Kazarian is probably the most underrated in AEW at the moment.  He's had a great resurgence of matches in recent months.  In MLW, I feel like EJ Nduka is going to break out but thus far, I'd still consider him underrated.  In Impact Wrestling, Laredo Kid and John Skyler are the two I really enjoy that I think have yet to get a big push thus far there.    I also think there's some great potential in Bhupinder Gujjar.  In WWE, Akira Tozawa has been cast in a goofy comedy role but anyone who's seen him wrestle in EVOLVE or Japan knows he's an awesome talent.  WWE also seems to have forgotten how great Bobby Roode is, so I'd go with him as well.  Then, there's poor Roderick Strong, who is the modern day equivalent of Arn Anderson yet gets used like he's Lars Anderson these days, which really, truly sucks.  While he's yet to show up in whatever promotion is his next home, I'd also point out that anyone who hasn't seen what William Morrisey, the former Big Cass, brought to the table in Impact Wrestling would be greatly underrating him as well.  So, there's a bunch of names I'd consider underrated right now.

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