A documentation of the aggressive arts. Written by Sawyer Paul.

WWE Network isn't yet the streaming champion Vince McMahon wants it to be

It seemed like an absolute bargain for fans, and set WWE on a new trajectory that will ultimately abandon the old, $60 Sunday night pay-per-view formula that’s lined McMahon’s pockets for decades. (WWE Network lets subscribers stream those monthly events live at no extra cost, a generous inclusion that angered many cable providers.) The company still performs well on cable every week with Raw and Smackdown, but pay-per-view revenues are expected to vanish within a year. The network is WWE’s daring bet on its own future. Only there’s a problem. Right now, Vince McMahon is learning that you can give wrestling fans everything they want, but there’s no guarantee they’ll pay for it.

  1. There’s no way Vince McMahon and WWE didn’t know that it can be difficult to get wrestling fans to pony up money. Coming to a live show every now and then and ordering Wrestlemania doesn’t necessarily translate to “let’s give this company money every single month.”

  2. I think the 600,000+ number is roughly accurate to the number of people in the US that want wrestling on their TV and computer on a regular basis. As much as it is a “popular” thing, it’s far more a “niche” thing in reality.

  3. Why isn’t the very first priority of WWE to make people like pro wrestling more? WWE should make the show (and by proxy, the network) even easier to understand by non-fans. Catering to us (the 600,000, if you will) is a waste of time. We’re already on board.

  4. That doesn’t mean comedy skits and poor acting. That means explaining (over and over) that this is a fun thing to be a part of. Also perhaps have the announcers explain why wrestlers do what they do, from time to time.

Clarifying

mutantlog said: But this seems like a weird version of WWEN. It certainly doesn’t sound like it’s available without a cable subscription, and it’s not clear how the VOD will work. I’m sure it’s good for WWE’s bottom line, not so much for mine.

From what I can tell, the Network will work exactly the same way up here. Browser, apps, etc., We’ll just also have the addition of the channel, which is a thing they’re hoping to bring to other markets as well.

And if it isn’t, just continue grabbing the US version.

Rogers and WWE Announce Television Deal and WWE Network Channel

Rogers will be the exclusive distribution partner of all WWE pay-per-view events throughout Canada and will sponsor an application to the CRTC to bring the popular WWE Network to Canada. Starting August 12, a preview of WWE Network content, including live WWE pay-per-view events, groundbreaking original series, live in-ring action, reality shows and a video-on-demand library, will be available on a subscription basis on Rogers Channel 512. Rogers will offer this WWE Network content preview subscription to all cable, satellite and IPTV providers across Canada.

August 12 is way ahead of “by the end of the year,” as their promise to bring the Network to Canada. Great job, guys.

I’m kind of surprised those gifs didn’t get reblogged more. Maybe if I put rumours of CM Punk doing literally anything they’d get the hits.

The Dream Solution for a Nightmare Scenario

TH:

However, if everything possible goes wrong that can go wrong, would it be too farfetched to suggest that WWE should look at backing a dump-truck full of money to the Broken Skull Ranch and seeing if Steve Austin would mind coming out of retirement for a year?

Fascinating theory, but wrestling’s problems go deeper than any one star, organization, or television deal. Pro wrestling, as a whole, is a cultural dead rat. I love it. TH loves it. A whole lot of us love it, but it’s largely because we’ve been around too long. To entice new fans (and I don’t just mean the die-hards on Tumblr who make gifs everyday), wrestling has to evolve. It can’t keep doing what it’s doing. It can’t be what we know, or what’s come before.

If wrestling is to actually become a successful cultural thing, we pretty much have to let go of wrestling as we know it.

How great would it be if HHH wore the pirate shirt from mania and introduced Steph, who came out with the throne and the BFFs?

WWE Network heats up with Sunday Night SummerSlam

WWE Universe, get ready for SummerSlam 2014 by watching Sunday Night SummerSlam on WWE Network! Celebrate The Biggest Party of the Summer by reliving the best events in SummerSlam history every Sunday evening on WWE Network.

There’s loads of things WWE could do to improve its library on the network (content, search, playlists, etc), but my no 1 request for improving the live channel is predictable programming blocks. Knowing what’s going to happen a few days in advance isn’t enough. I want know in the back of my head that if it’s Sunday in the summer, Summerslam is on.

Impact Wrestling Cancelled by Spike TV

TMZ:

We’re told there’s no bad blood, and Spike gave TNA such advance notice so it would have time to shop for a new TV deal.

People are going to look for all sorts of reasons why TNA is getting cancelled, but TMZ probably has it right here. There simply isn’t enough interest in TNA Wrestling to keep it going. Business is business.

As for what replaces it? ROH? NJPW? Chikara? Please. Spike is putting reruns on Thursday night.

WWE signs Fergal Devitt to NXT

Prior to signing with WWE, Devitt was widely considered one of the most highly touted free agents in sports-entertainment. Hailing from Bray, County Wicklow, Ireland, his path to NXT and WWE has been circuitous: Initially trained in England, Devitt honed his craft in the U.K. and U.S. independent scenes before entering the notoriously disciplined dojos of New Japan Pro Wrestling. He also competed in Mexico, though it was in New Japan that he rose to greatest prominence, under the name Prince Devitt.

In the 80s, WWE acquired its superstars through the AWA and NWA. In the 90s, they actively pursued WCW superstars. There was a lull there during the early aughts where they were forced to develop their talent from scratch. While that infrastructure still exists, there’s certainly been an upswing in the last few years of acquiring from the “competition” again, this time with New Japan Pro Wrestling.

Reports that Impact will not be renewed by Spike TV

Meltzer:

A number of media sources have reported that Spike TV will not be renewing Impact Wrestling when the contract expires in just over two months. There were reports that Carter positioned to her staff at a meeting on Friday that they were leaving Spike on their own volition due to a lack of promotion, but others have confirmed Spike had told Carter they were not going to offer a new deal.

I have a feeling the WWE Network will have some new stuff next year.