First 10 Things You Should Watch on WWE Network

wwe-networkThe big day is almost here, Christmas in February for wrestling fans with the WWE Network set to launch on Monday morning at 9:00a ET.  Over 1,500 hours of video-on-reman will be available immediately including all WWE, WCW and ECW pay-per-views.

If that isn’t enough, WWE will also include all new pay-per-views as well as encores of new episodes of Raw and Smackdown on the new WWE Network as well as other original programming.   Anyone that signs up gets all of that for free for a week and then for $9.99 a month with a six-month commitment.  Yeah, that’s a good deal.

With all of that video-on-demand programming available from there get-go, here are ten things you should watch after signing up for the WWE Network.

WWF Royal Rumble 1992 – Royal Rumble Match

A flamboyant Ric Flair had been talking for weeks about how we has going to become the WWF World Champion after joining the World Wrestling Federation just a few months earlier bragging about how he was the real world champion.  He had a tough road to go, entering the Royal Rumble at number three.  His manager Bobby Heenan was on commentary and nearly passed out every time that Flair was nearly eliminated.  But the Nature Boy survived nearly 60 minutes and in the end was able to push Sid Justice out of the ring with a helping hand from Hulk Hogan who was upset that Justice had taken him out a few seconds earlier.  After the match, Flair, Heenan and Curt Hennig — all wearing the biggest grins ever — bragged about the win with Flair exclaiming, “With a tear in my eye, this is the greatest moment in the history of my life!”  Wooo!

WrestleMania 25 – Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker

Both men had amazing entrances with Michaels decked in all white and he descended from the clouds while The Undertaker ascended from the floor surrounded by flames.  Even more amazing was the match these two would have, a nearly flawless performance by both legends in putting together an all-time classic and arguable the greatest match in WrestleMania history.  The Undertaker was nearly knocked out and could have possibly been permanently injured while performing a suicide dive over the ropes to the floor where Michaels pulled the cameraman in front of him.  The problem was that person was out of position and did not catch the Dead Man who torpedoed down on his head and neck.  Somehow, he was able to continue and after both men kicked our of each other’s finishers and the crowd in a frenzy, Michaels went for a moonsault for Undertaker caught him and went right into a Tombstone Piledriver for the win.

1999 ECW Living Dangerously – Jerry Lynn vs. Rob Van Dam

This was the first encounter between them in what would become the biggest feud in both men’s careers.  Both of them went 110% pulling out moves and countermoves and just crazy amounts of action, coming up with so many brutal yet innovative moves as they battled for the ECW Television Title.  After going to the 20-minute time limit with no winner, referee John Finnegan was ready to award the match to Lynn but he wanted none of that and insisted that they go another five minutes to get a clean winner.   That would backfire as Van Dam would connect on the Five Star Frog Splash a couple minutes later for the win.

WWE Summerslam 2002 – Shawn Michaels vs. Triple H

This was Michaels return to the ring after more than four years and it looked like he hadn’t missed a day.   Just so they could play it safe and have every trick at their disposal, this match was a non-sanctioned street fight.  Michaels wasn’t holding anything back and he even broke out a splash off the top rope sending Triple H through a table on the floor.  In the end, Michaels was able to reverse a Pedigree and roll up Hunter for the win in his big return.

WCW Superbrawl II – Brian Pillman vs. Justin Thunder Liger

An innovative match for its time in 1992 as they put on a display of aerial moves and countermoves against one another for nearly 20 minutes for the WCW Light Heavyweight Championship.  One of the best things WCW ever did was focus on the light heavyweight / cruiserweight division, helping bring in a style that most people in the U.S. had never seen before along with a new crop of stars.  Both of them shined but Pillman never looked better here pulling out the victory.

WWE Summerslam 2011 – CM Punk vs. John Cena

After having some real life contract issues with the company and dropping his infamous ‘pipe bomb” promo on Raw, Punk won the WWE Championship at the Money in the Bank PPV and looked to have left the company with its most prestigious title.  John Cena would later win a new version of the championship but Punk would return to face Cena as they would crown an undisputed champion.  An electric crowd was treated to a classic between the two who have always had tremendous chemistry together.  That would be the case again on this night with them going back and forth before Punk got the win after connecting on his second GTS of the match.

WCW Halloween Havoc 1997 – Eddie Guerrero vs. Rey Mysterio Jr.

A fantastic performance that helped further put cruiserweight wrestling on the map in the country.   The crowd was on fire as they showed off everything from some fantastic chain wrestling to high flying action showcasing their unbelievable skills.  Both Guerrero and Mysterio were in the prime of their careers and moving at such an unbelievable pace and working flawlessly in unison.  Mysterio was able to hit a huracanrada for the three count and winning the cruiserweight championship and holding on to his mask in the process.

ECW Heatwave 1998 – Masato Tanaka vs. Mike Awesome

This one is not for anyone squeamish as is turned into one of the more violent matches you have ever seen, going above and beyond with the number of physical power moves and unprotected chair shots that should be a case study for CTE.  Still, Tanaka and Awesome put on quite a display of perseverance and one-upmanship that saw Tanaka finally slay the giant.

WWF Summerslam 1992 – Bret Hart vs. British Bulldog

The WWF took this show across the pond to Wembley Stadium in London with their own British Bulldog challenging Bret Hart for the Intercontinental Championship in the main event.  A masterpiece between the two as they showcased great technical wrestling and an incredible story with Hart using his quickness and the bigger Bulldog focusing on power moves.  Hart tried to close out the match with a sunset flip but Bulldog reversed the move and pinned Hart to win the championship in front of a joyous crowd.

WWF WrestleMania 15 – The Rock vs. Steve Austin

The two biggest stars of the era clashing on the biggest stage with Austin at the popularity of his powers while The Rock was still growing into his.  Remember, The Rock was a heel before becoming the People’s Champion as he representing Mr. McMahon and the Corporation.  It’s great to look back at these two wrestling giants in the primes in this mega-clash.  It also turned out to be a great match as they exchanged finishers in the end with Austin finally landing a Stone Cold Stunner to win the WWF Championship.

WWE Raw, Survivor Series 2013, Hulk Hogan Possibly Returning Home

Hulk-hoganOn this week’s edition of The Flagship, Brian, Steve and Michael talk about WWE Raw from Monday night including the bear feud between The Shield and The Wyatts, the lack of matches for the Survivor Series which is less than two weeks away, what is going on in the WWE right now, Hulk Hogan possibly making his return to the company and who he could possibly face at WrestleMania 30, Dixie Carter taking on Spike TV and some thoughts on the passing of Eddie Guerrero with his passing eight years ago.

Subscribe to Between The Ropes on iTunes so you can automatically get the latest podcasts. You can also subscribe to Between The Ropes on Stitcher.

You can follow Between The Ropes on Facebook and Twitter.

Play