When the WWE finally launched the long awaited and hyped WWE Network, it was one of the greatest things they ever did for their fans. The Network is chalk full of programming, special benefits and is a heck of a bargain at $9.99 a month, with a six-month commitment. When you think of all the content you get when ordering the network, your list of pros will far outweigh your list of cons. Actually, your list of cons is practically empty. Your list of cons may include you having other priorities when looking for digital networks to subscribe to, or you simply won't be a productive person with the network at your disposal. The WWE probably has a longer list of cons for launching the network, but from a fan's perspective, there aren't that many.
The WWE's decision to make the network an internet streaming service, rather than a TV channel was a great move, as it gives the viewer options. Rather than being limited to the live stream, you can go through the library and pick out what you want to watch.
The network functions very similarly to Netflix. It is separated into categories. The sections range from the live stream itself, the company's pay-per-view library, retro shows, original programming and network specials.
There are many ways to enjoy the network, be it from your laptop, a X-Box 360, PS3, internet streaming devices like Roku and will soon be available through a smart TV.
From one wrestling fan to another, here are the top 10 reasons you need to get the WWE Network. For now, it's only available in the United States, but will soon be available in other countries.
10 Backstage Bonuses
Watching too much of a Raw pre-show or a Smackdown pre-show can give you a headache, as we don't need analysis of a scripted show, but the post-show, Backstage Pass is a good feature.
You get to see more mic work from some of your favourite wrestlers, as they get the interview time that can't fit within Raw's three-hour broadcast.
These shows also usually include panels that regularly have some great guests, usually WWE legends such as Ric Flair, Shawn Michaels, Booker T or Mick Foley. It's always fun to see legends back, whatever their role may be.
Say you're a little bored after a Raw, or you haven't quite gotten your wrestling fix in for the night, flip on the network and get a post-game show.
9 Exposure to WWE NXT
WWE does a pretty good job of promoting NXT, its developmental show of sorts, as performers cut their teeth before being called up to the big show.
While many have heard great things about NXT, which airs on Thursday nights, let's face it; between Raw, Smackdown and pay-per-views, you simply don't have more time to watch wrestling.
The network provides NXT specials, sort of like their own pay-per-views. They pulled off a really good debut show in March called NXT Arrival. It featured a phenomenal opening match between Cesaro and Sami Zayn. It also had a tremendous divas match, pitting Paige vs. Emma for the NXT Divas Championship.
It really opened eyes to how promising some of these young talents on NXT are. After watching one special, you're likely going to follow NXT more.
8 Expanding Your Wrestling Knowledge
Okay, so having a encyclopedic wrestling knowledge is not the most attractive quality to have. However, as a fan, you do take some pride in knowing more than others.
With all the documentaries and old shows available for viewing on demand, you can pull up any old match, promo, feature on a legend and expand your knowledge of the business in general. It makes it so much easier having all that content at your disposal.
7 Options For All Ages
Many fans of wrestling, who grew up watching WWE in its edgy 90s days despise the company's current family-friendly product. Conversely, many who watched in the 90s are probably glad the company has shifted its programming to a PG rating, as they can now watch with their kids.
The network makes it easy for fans of all ages to get their fix. There are settings on the network that let parents control which programs their children can watch. Every piece of programming on the network is rated PG or TV-14. Parents can block all programming rated TV-14, so their kids can enjoy the network, but only what is suitable for them.
Meanwhile, for the grown adults who want all programming and want to relive the Attitude Era and some of the higher-rated original programming can simply sit back and enjoy any show they want.
It truly gives the viewers the best of both worlds.
6 Network Specials
What the WWE can't put on cable, they can simply put on their network, and you can watch it all. For the first time in the event's history, WWE was able to air the entire Hall of Fame ceremony live in its entirety, on the WWE network.
No editing of the speeches this year. If you had the network, you heard every word from the legends. Every word from Mr. T about his momma, every mysterious message from the late Ultimate Warrior, every detail about Jake Roberts overcoming his demons. It definitely was a memorable ceremony.
The WWE also aired a special on Daniel Bryan's journey to WrestleMania XXX up to his capturing the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
Following Warrior's untimely death, the network aired a four-part tribute for the legend who had just been enshrined into their hall of fame.
The WWE sure knows what they're doing when putting these specials together.
5 It's A Tremendous Bargain
Let's cut the crap and get down to brass tax here. Think of all the things in your life on which you spend 10 bucks a month. Some cheap meal at McDonalds, some goofy t-shirt, whatever the case may be.
For $9.99 a month, the WWE gives you a crazy amount of content for what you're paying.
All the features mentioned above, the programming, pay-per-views, video library, you have it all for $9.99 a month. Imagine if the NFL, NBA, MLB or NHL were that generous? Imagine getting all that content from a sports league, on top of every single game?
The WWE Network clearly gives you the best bang for your buck.
4 Tremendous Streaming Quality
The WWE announced at the time of the network launch, that all programming would be available in HD 720p and all archival footage would be digitally remastered. They weren't lying.
The network had its streaming issues around the launch, as there was a high traffic of customers purchasing the network. The kinks were worked out and the streaming quality has been exactly as advertised.
WrestleMania XXX was the network's first big test. If the company's biggest show in its history, its annual extravaganza, couldn't be handled by the network, it would've been a disaster for the company. Many would look to cancel their subscriptions, demand refunds, etc...
WrestleMania XXX aired on the network without a hitch, save for some brief audio issues in the two-hour pre show. The program sounded great, looked great and for an event usually worth $65 in HD on pay-per-view, paying $10 for the month of April must've felt like a steal for network subscribers.
3 Original Series
The WWE has released many original TV series on the network, ranging from WWE Legends House to WWE Countdown to WrestleMania Rewind.
WWE Countdown is a recurring theme of picking a topic and getting wrestlers' feedback for a top 10. It's simple, but very entertaining.
WrestleMania Rewind takes you back to old WrestleManias and gives you the story behind a particular match on a card. It goes into the performers' careers in detail and then airs the match in its entirety.
Legends House is the most entertaining show so far. It has eight WWE Hall of Famers living in the same house. The group is given activities to perform together, including producing local TV commercials, playing polo or even performing as Chippendales in a Male Revue show!
It's interesting getting to know the legends' personalities, or at least as much as you can from a reality tv show. A highlight of the show is Mean Gene's constant zingers and memorable one-liners.
2 Endless Video Library
Imagine having a whole room in your house just to keep all your wrestling DVDs. Imagine having collected every single WWE pay-per-view ever aired on tape or DVD. Well, with the network, you don't need that space, as it's all available for you on demand.
Wrestling fans couldn't even dream of having that much at their disposal, but with the network they do, and this alone is almost worth the $9.99 a month. However, there's one clincher that makes the financial commitment all worth it.
1 Every Pay-Per-View Included
Imagine how much you'd have to spend if you wanted to watch all WWE pay-per-views live. The average event in standard definition costs $44.99. If you were to order 12 in a year, that's a total cost of $540 a year. In HD, at $54.99 a pop, it's a cost of $660 a year.
Sure, you can go to a bar or a theatre, but with the costs of travelling and ordering food and drinks at a bar, that's a lot of money to dish out.
With the network, you get every pay-per-view, in HD, for a total of $120 a year.
When the network was first being hyped up, many assumed WrestleMania would not be included, as the event is a huge moneymaker, worth $65 in HD. When it was announced that it was included on the network as well, any fan should've been sold right there.
Many casual fans will only order WrestleMania and not want to spend money every month on a pay-per-view, which is completely understandable. With the network, you get WrestleMania and that $65 you'd spend on one event covers you for a six-month commitment to the network. You get the network and all things mentioned above for that same price. It's almost insane not to at least try the six-month commitment at least once.
If you're a wrestling fan, this is a gem the WWE has offered you. Go ahead and enjoy it.