Wednesday, 8 January 2014

WWE's Groundbreaking Announcement: The WWE Network

Earlier today I watched a video clip with Michael Cole interviewing WWE COO Triple H in regards to the groundbreaking announcement that would be made later on in the day. It would be at 9:30pm ET. Meaning I'd have to tune in at 2:30am GMT!

As the time grew closer for some reason the 11 year old in me started to mark out about what the possibilities could be. I had a firm suspicion, the same as a lot of people, but it was fun playing the guessing game. Would WCW return? Were WWE announcing a new video games console to compete with PS4 and XBOX One (don't put it past them..), were they about to unveil the new design for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship? Or would it perhaps be, the forgotten since 2012, WWE Network?

At this point, I was sitting in front of the laptop, and I was marking hard, and I didn't even know why yet:

(Get it? Wyatt? Why yet? Nevermind..)



Michael Cole would introduce Mr. McMahon, and then Mr. McMahon would introduce us to the WWE Network!

My Thoughts:

A 24/7 stream of WWE programming. Are you serious? It's like giving Pro-Wrestling fans an unlimited supply of drugs. I'm sure, sooner or later everyone will be hooked! And for the low low price of $9.99 a month? To quote Ron Simmons, "DAMN!"

Pros:

  • 24/7 WWE content streaming
  • Includes all 12 LIVE Pay-per-view events in the year's calendar
  • Original programming such as: Legends House & WWE CountDown
  • Once subscribed, available across multiple platforms from Kindle Fire to PS3/PS4/Xbox
  • 720p HD streaming
  • Able to go back to watch shows that aired an hour previously
  • Able to set reminders via push notifications for upcoming shows
  • VOD - Archive of over 300 WWE, WCW & ECW pay-per-view
  • WWE Network has every single pay-per-view since 1985
  • Spoilt for choice!*

Cons:

  • Not available in the UK until late 2014 / early 2015
  • Will consume much* of my time
  • I fear turning into a zombie by staring constantly at a screen of one of my devices
  • Constant Tweeting and social media while viewing, and spreading attention will destroy my focused (and limited) concentration abilities
  • Second screen experience. It's just too much. You can only focus properly on watching one thing at a time damn it!
  • Spoilt for choice!*
*- Understatement

So let's weigh it all up, is it worth the hullabaloo? Right now the Pros seem to be outweighing the Cons even though a lot of us here in the UK won't get our hands on it for another year. The plus side being that there will be even more content for us by the time we DO actually get it. Another benefit of getting it late is that by then the beta testing on the population of the United States should be complete as well as them having enough time to work out any software kinks, which will greatly reduce the chances of having another 'Red Ring of Death' epidemic. Could you imagine that? "Hey, I got a Red Ring of Death on my WWE Network!"

The ability to view all 12 Live pay-per-views from that year's calendar on HD for the price of $9.99 a month. Now let's say in the UK they charge £10 a month. That alone is already cheaper than the £14.99 you'd be paying to order the thing from Sky Sports Box Office! PLUS, we're getting the bonus 300+ PPVs that are already in the WWE Network archives. THAT is a good deal. Mind you, sometimes we're privileged to have a PPV on Sky Sports 1, 2 or 3 - but we're still paying the monthly bill for Sky Sports! It all adds up!

I love seeing wrestlers doing what they do, inside the ring and out. Show like WWE Legends House sounds like something I would watch when you want to tone it down a bit from the stuff that happens in the ring and just switch your brain off for a little while. Heck, I'm just going to go on record and say that Total Divas, was something I had watched one episode of, to get a taste of what the business was like behind the scenes in the world of Professional Wrestling today. That was at first. After seeing the antics of Jon (Jimmy Uso) and Trinity (Funkadactyl Naomi) and the stupidity of Eva Marie - I, along with anyone who'd sit down and watch with me - was hooked! I'm pretty sure that Legends House will be trash reality TV to the highest standard and will be entertaining for marks and smarks alike! WWE Countdown is a show that's peaked my interest because it looks like the 'WWE Universe' will get to settle the score and discuss, rate and rank for categories such as 'What is #1 Catchphrase?', 'Who has the #1 Entrance?' and 'What is the #1 Moment?'. I assume this will be a highly socially interactive concept program and who doesn't love a good banter and debate on their favorite wrestling categories? I'm really digging this concept right now and I'm sure I'm not the only one.

One of the main downsides for me about the WWE Network, and this might be your concern too, is that there's just too much going on. Too much to look at. I've never been a fan of the 'Second screen experience'. If you're watching a wrestling match, watch the damn match! It doesn't matter what's going on elsewhere or that Fandango is being interviewed during this match. Blink and you'll miss it! Bottom line: concentrate. I'm not saying you can't take a quick second to send out a tweet or check the internet during the commercials but you can't possibly have two screens up at the same time, all the time and be focused on both. Before this turns into a rant, at the moment from what we've been presented it does in fact seem to me like there are more pros to having the WWE Network than Cons! Being spoilt for choice can be a good thing, and a bad thing. Good thing is you have the greatest archive of professional wrestling at your finger tips to access at any time you desire. Feel like watching WrestleMania X-Seven as part of the WrestleMania CountDown? BLAM there you have it! At the same time being spoilt for choice and constantly watching professional wrestling can desensitize you and takes away from it, because when something isn't as scarce, it's not as special when it is available. You catching my drift? Let me put it another way - When you first walk into a bakery, you get that first whiff of goodness. AAH that smells nice! But then you realise that the more time you spend in that bakery, you get used to that smell and it doesn't smell like anything special anymore. It's normal. You then have to step out of that bakery, for a little while, so that when you walk in again, it smells real good! I really hope you guys are catching my drift right now /-) As time rolls on I'm sure more will be unveiled but until then, I'm giving the WWE Network a Thumbs Up! If Netflix is any indication then the WWE Network is about to blow up in a big way.

The best part for me about the WWE Network is that it goes LIVE in the United States on the 24th of February. But that's not the best part, because we in the UK won't get it for another year it seems. The part I'm talking about is that the first pay-per-view that will air on the WWE Network will be... WrestleMania XXX! Which means that I'll be a small part of Network history on the night of April 6th! Some day, I might sit with my grandchildren and say, "Gather 'round children, and let me tell you the story of how I was part of the first EVER WWE Network hosted Live pay-per-view. Give you young one's some insight to John Cena's title defense this Sunday at WrestleMania 70..."

STAY TUNED!
Thanks for taking the time to read,
There's plenty more to come! /-) #Hope2EntertainU
Mau (09/01/14) 05:25

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