Well, it has almost been one whole week of having the WWE Network. And myself, probably like a lot of others, have spent a lot of their available time just browsing through the WWE Network and looking back on wrestling’s past. I took the one week free trial offer and am going through with the six month subscription. And honestly, I’ll probably keep the Network for the foreseeable future. PPVs a $9.99 alone is enough to convince me to stick with it. It’s way better than having to pay $50 or deal with trying to find a good illegal stream to watch and hope it doesn’t lag or give your computer a virus.
And there is definitely enough content to keep me interested. I mean I haven’t even watched a full PPV yet. I’ve just been hopping around from different PPVs finding certain matches I wanted to see or angles that I wanted to see playout. That is the fun in the Network to me. Skipping through stuff that you might not want to see to get somewhere. Eventually I’ll start watching full PPVs but for now I just like going out and finding different things.
Did the Network have some hiccups in the beginning? Sure. But that is to be expected. The people handling it said that they had never seen such a high demand for a product. And people that complained about it? Well, do you know how to test for over 200,000 people trying to access a brand new product at once? No? Then you shouldn’t be complaining.
Now with that out of the way, it’s time for me to give some of my random thoughts on some of the action I’ve watched in my first week of having the Network.
1. Sting said that he was always hesitant to come over to the WWE because he was afraid of how they would handle his character and had concerns about their direction. Did he completely forget how he was booked in WCW post Starrcade 97? The build to Sting-Hogan was one of, if not the best builds in wrestling history. Everything about it pointed to Sting beating Hogan clean. And that didn’t happen. The Title is held up and they have a rematch. Then it’s still held up. In the meantime, there’s dissension in the nWo and Sting becomes second fiddle to Hogan and Savage for the next few months. Sting wins the WCW Title at Superbrawl due to Savage interference, then loses at Spring Stampede to Savage due to interference. Sting should have won clean then lost the Title further down the line. After over a year of build, Sting became second fiddle to the nWo immediately after Starrcade 97.
2. I’ve watched a couple of ECW PPVs and I just can’t tell if they hold up today. ECW was perfect at its time because it offered a legit alternative style to what you would see in the WWF or WCW. But when you watch it nowadays, you kind of get some of the “Extremely Crappy Wrestling” stuff that Jerry Lawler would always banter about. Now that is not to say that ECW didn’t have good matches. But a lot of the stuff just doesn’t hold up. For example, I watched Guilty as Charged. Both the Tommy Dreamer/Justin Credible match and Shane Douglas/Taz weren’t that great. Maybe the fact that the WWE had to dub over all of the music ECW used because of copyright. I guess I’ll just have to watch more PPVs and ECW TV when it comes out to get a really good judgment.
3. Now with that being said, the Masato Tanaka vs Mike Awesome matches do hold up over time. They had the match of the night at November to Remember 99. And of most recent memory everyone remembers their match from One Night Stand. I will admit that a lot of the chair shots to the head are tough to watch nowadays, especially when you consider the way how Mike Awesome’s life ended. But these two just had a great chemistry together. Awesome was a good worker for a man his size. He should have been used much better in WCW, and he should’ve had a better run in the WWE.
4. Going back to mis-used wrestlers, lets talk about Vader. You could make an argument that Vader is the best big man to ever step foot in a wrestling ring. The guy could put on a good match even with his size. But he was dealt a bad hand because of politics. He didn’t beat Hulk Hogan at SuperBrawl because Hogan couldn’t lose clean. But what Hogan always failed to realize is that as a face, losing the Title to a heel like Vader then building up to your big redemption win would mean more money, PPV buys etc. Then you look at his WWF run. And again, he should have won the Title from Shawn Michaels at some point. But Michaels, as we all know, was a giant prick back then and wouldn’t drop the belt. Vader deserved a much better fate. He really ran into some bad luck.
5. I really wish the Jake Roberts/Randy Savage feud would’ve gotten a bigger blowoff than it did. They had a very short match at the Tuesday in Texas PPV. Then they had a really good post match angle with Roberts slapping Elizabeth, which was unheard of at the time in the WWF. I think they went on to have another match on Saturday Night Main Event, and that was it. Roberts moved on to Taker and Savage fought Flair at WrestleMania 8. I would have loved to see Roberts/Savage built up to a big match at Mania. Then you go through with Flair/Hogan, even if it wasn’t for the Title. You could’ve done something like Sid/Taker for the Title. Or hell, give Roberts the Title and make that match the Title match. If the build to Mania 8 happened then years later, we might’ve gotten that.
6. And while we are talking about wrestling from the early 90s, does anyone else sometimes wish that we could go back to a time like that? I watched SummerSlam 1990 and the crowd went NUTS for Hogan beating Earthquake, BY COUNTOUT. In today’s wrestling world everything has to be absolutely perfect or the crowd will shit on it or attempt to hijack the show. Sometimes I think wrestling fans are far too demanding and that can have a negative effect on the product.
So what are your early thoughts on the WWE Network? Have you enjoyed your experience? And what do you want to seek out next or see added? Feel free to leave your thougts below.
Until Next Time,
Follow Me On Twitter @JCWonka
Tags: ECW, Hulk Hogan, Jake Roberts, Mike Awesome, Randy Savage, Ric Flair, Sting, Vader, WCW, WWE Network