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Liam DunneMarch 31st, 2016BlogComments Off on 3 Major Problems With The WWE Network

3 Major Problems With The WWE Network

Okay, I know I’m late to the game. The Network has been out for a few years now and I’ve only JUST invested in it. Now that I’ve personally spent some time with it, I feel like I have to say my piece. I like the WWE Network, I do, but it is far from perfect, there is still tons of improvement to do on it, and things to make it more interesting. So that is why I, a smarky internet fan, have decided to create this article in the dire hopes that somebody in Stamford Connecticut will read this and decide to offer me some sort of job… preferably from home, where I can stay in my PJs all day long (hey that’s my current job, I don’t wanna give that luxury up!)


1. Missing shows
When I logged into the network for the first time, I was a little overwhelmed. WWE has one of the biggest tape libraries in all of media, aside from maybe the Associated Press, BBC and Disney, just to name a few. Naturally there is their old shows, but they also have WCW, ECW, NWA, Smokey Mountain and so much more! Legendary companies with matches of pure spectacle, that laid the ground work for what we have today. Where on Earth do I start?!? Oh I know, I’ve always wanted to watch the last ever episode of Nitro, it aired a year before I started watching Wrestling, that would be amazing to go back and witness history…

Only it’s not on the Network. WCW Nitro only goes to 1999 according to the network.

Okay, weird, but I’ll move on. Oh I know! The first ever episode of Monday Night RAW that I watched, it was the last RAW before WrestleMania 18! I’ll check tha…

That’s not here either?

Can I watch Ric Flair’s retirement? The RAW after WrestleMania 24? Well seeing as they haven’t put up any RAW shows between the years 2007-2009, that’s a nope.

No chance I could see Daniel Bryans debut WWE match in the original NXT is there? At this point the WWE Network just starts laughing, laughing and mocking “HAHAHA YOU WANT TO WATCH THAT OLD VERSION OF NXT? HAHAH NO, IT’S NOT CANON NO MORE, NEXT YOU’LL ASK FOR OUR WATERED DOWN ECW!” Well now you mention it… “GET OUT NOOB”

I get that WWE is constantly adding content to the Network, they have HOURS of shows to upload, and they have to digitise a lot of those old episodes that were saved on tape, and as somebody who has worked in a editing facility that involved digitising old archive tapes, you can only do it in real time, which means if you have to digitise an episode of RAW from 2003, you have to watch the entire 2 hour show. That takes up a lot of time. I’d forgive WWE for not having the last WCW Nitro on there, it sucks, but I’d forgive them. But to not have every episode of RAW on there? No NXT or 2006 ECW? Good or bad, they have history, they deserve a place on that network! That’s pretty disappointing in my eyes.


2. It’s all a bit PG-ish
WWE’s flagship shows of RAW and SmackDown! are PG, and will probably forever be PG. I can live with that. Just because something is PG doesn’t necessarily make it a bad thing, just like how something TV-14 doesn’t make something a good thing. You can have clever writing and stay within the boundaries of your rating easily. Pixar is a great example of being universally loved by people of any and all ages, and being family friendly.

The WWE Network however, is a different beast. You don’t have corporations, or sponsors or advertisers or tie ins or the worry of showing something on TV just as Grandma flicks over to find that nature program about penguins and sees RAW and freaks the fuck out because “OH MY GOD HE JUST GOT HIT BY A CAR! RIKISHI, YOU DIDN’T NEED TO DO THAT FOR THE ROCK!”

The Network is a subscription service, you pay a certain amount and get access to it. Like Netflix, or Amazon Prime, or heck even HBO. Due to this, WWE has SO MUCH MORE to play with potentially, but they seem to restrict themselves so much because of their PG persona that they try so hard to get over with the public.

I understand that, yes, they are branching out a bit more. You have the Edge and Christian show which is far far racier in it’s content, and Camp WWE which is jumping on the adult cartoon bandwagon, which is due to come out soon, even though it’s been talked about for around 3+ years now (seriously, CM Punk and Hulk Hogan were originally in it, they had to go back and edit them out of the shows, completely changing the stories). I don’t think this is enough though, I’m not saying you need an ECW style hardcore show, what I am saying is that you can have a show on your network that is a bit crazier, and bit more adult in the wrestlings story lines or gimmicks. It’s a chance to almost bring the attitude era into a modern day setting but on a lower budget.

What about stuff for the kids? I know they’ve done a pilot of this NXT kids show, but what happened to it? Matter of fact, what happened to Saturday Morning Slam? For what it was, it was a fun little 30 minute show that I could see kids genuinely enjoying. Not to mention, things that adults would groan at would get over much better on shows like this!

Looking again at Netflix or Amazon, because that is essentially your competition here guys, they don’t stick with one core audience. They realise that their service can be tapped into by a family, which involves a range of individuals at different ages and members of different gender identities. A 5 year old boy would like something a bit more cartoony and whacky, whilst his dad probably likes the more edgier stuff with the sexy ladies. Put a parental lock systems in place and little Timmy wont hit puberty at a stupidly early age. I just don’t see why you’re scared of experimenting with attracting different audiences and niches


3. Lack of Diverse Content
It’s the WWE Network. I know, the second W stands for Wrestling. I get it, but the E stands for Entertainment, and other things do entertain me aside from Wrestling (shocking, I know right, I have a life outside of this business!) Vince has always wanted mainstream exposure for his company, and whilst his first love clearly is wrestling, he’s realised that it won’t be fully accepted by the mass audience due to it’s relations with steroids, performers dieing stupidly young and the fact that they can’t seem to get over it being scripted (“You do know it’s fake right”… yes I do mate, now explain to me again how Game Of Thrones is a documentary?)

So WWE tapped into other forms of entertainment, such as films with WWE Studios and reality TV shows with… you know… whatever that fucking shit show is that I refuse to talk about.

Whilst the Network does have… THAT show on it, as well as rather fantastic documentaries on there (The Monday Night War is a stand out for any Wrestling fan and is a must watch for Network subscribers), there is still a lack of diverse content. The Edge and Christian show stands out as the only thing that is different as it’s a sketch show. Is it great? Not particularly, but I appreciate it because it’s unique in the WWE Network space.

I want more of this, I know WWE Camp is coming out, but that’s still just 2 shows. Why aren’t you experimenting further? Must ALL your shows have WWE Characters in it? I don’t see why? Doesn’t that limit you on what you can do due to their availability? I mean, your films have strayed away from that. Halle Berry was the main character in The Call, with Barrett only having a small role. Heck you co-produced Oculus, a genuinely interesting horror film, and I didn’t see a WWE Star in sight!

And speaking of your movies, why are they not on there? I’m sure there must be some legal mumbo jumbo, like Netflix has rights to use it exclusively or something. But in that case, why not make some Network exclusive movies? Shit like this is becoming the rage now, it’s far cheaper than a theatrical release and is accessible to a much bigger audience!

Okay, so, you wanna keep your product in the forefront, and make RAW the flagship of WWE in general. Fine, I get that. So here’s an idea for you, for a potential new show, aimed at young adults, probably male. A single camera comedy, in the vain of “It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia” about a group of misfit friends who are die hard wrestling fans, and that’s it. It can be your parody on the IWC if you want. Maybe an episode can revolve around it being the day of WrestleMania, but maybe one of the guys, let’s call him Larmine for now, is on the job that night at McWindy’s Burger Hut and has to close it at 1 am, meaning he misses the show. The Episode can be about how he’s trying to get the results of the event with his phone being dead, or the other way round, trying to avoid spoilers whilst being bombarded with tweets and snapchats?

Another episode? Another gang member, let’s call this one Landy, has just started dating a new girl and wants to introduce her to pro wrestling, but she just doesn’t get it. They try and convince her to go to a local indy show or something (fuck it, NXT, whatever) and suddenly she starts becoming a super fan, to the point where she embarrasses the gang.

These are ideas I literally have just thought of, sat here on my computer. But regardless, it’s content that is new and different to what is on the network, and I think a much welcomed change.

What do you think? Are you happy with the Network or would you like to see WWE add some new things? What would you do if you controlled it? Let us know in the comments below, and why not share this with some other network subscribers, and get their opinions?

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