Between The Ropes » vince mcmahon http://www.betweentheropes.com Thu, 24 Apr 2014 17:35:13 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9 http://www.betweentheropes.com/?feed=podcast Brian Fritz and Steve Muehlhausen no Brian Fritz and Steve Muehlhausen fritz@betweentheropes.com fritz@betweentheropes.com (Brian Fritz and Steve Muehlhausen) wwe, pro wrestling, sports entertainment, mma, ufc, dana white, vince mcmahon, john cena, the rock, brock lesnar, chael sonnen, anderson silva Between The Ropes » vince mcmahon http://www.betweentheropes.com/wp-content/uploads/powerpress/new_BTR_logo_2_1400_x_1400.jpg http://www.betweentheropes.com TV-14 Paul Heyman Talks WrestleMania 30, His Friendship with Brock Lesnar and Looking Ahead http://www.betweentheropes.com/2014/03/31/paul-heyman-talks-wrestlemania-30-friendship-brock-lesnar-looking-ahead/ http://www.betweentheropes.com/2014/03/31/paul-heyman-talks-wrestlemania-30-friendship-brock-lesnar-looking-ahead/#comments Mon, 31 Mar 2014 15:42:32 +0000 http://www.betweentheropes.com/?p=7812 Paul Heyman talks about WrestleMania 30 where he will be in the corner of Brock Lesnar as he faces The Undertaker, how his close friendship with Lesnar came about, being in the wrestling business for almost three decades now, if his work comes naturally to him, his future in the business, who he thinks are […]

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Brock-Lesnar-Paul-HeymanPaul Heyman talks about WrestleMania 30 where he will be in the corner of Brock Lesnar as he faces The Undertaker, how his close friendship with Lesnar came about, being in the wrestling business for almost three decades now, if his work comes naturally to him, his future in the business, who he thinks are the stars of the future, the WWE Network and more.

WrestleMania 30 takes place on April 6th from the Mercedez-Benz Superdome in New Orleans and airs live on the WWE Network.  You can follow Paul Heyman on Twitter @HeymanHustle.

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http://www.betweentheropes.com/2014/03/31/paul-heyman-talks-wrestlemania-30-friendship-brock-lesnar-looking-ahead/feed/ 1 bray wyatt,brock lesnar,ecw,paul heyman,Roman Reigns,the undertaker,vince mcmahon,wrestlemania,Wrestlemania 30,WWE Paul Heyman talks about WrestleMania 30 where he will be in the corner of Brock Lesnar as he faces The Undertaker, how his close friendship with Lesnar came about, being in the wrestling business for almost three decades now, Paul Heyman talks about WrestleMania 30 where he will be in the corner of Brock Lesnar as he faces The Undertaker, how his close friendship with Lesnar came about, being in the wrestling business for almost three decades now, if his work comes naturally to him, his future in the business, who he thinks are the stars of the future, the WWE Network and more. WrestleMania 30 takes place on April 6th from the Mercedez-Benz Superdome in New Orleans and airs live on the WWE Network.  You can follow Paul Heyman on Twitter @HeymanHustle. 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. Follow Between The Ropes on Facebook and Twitter. Brian Fritz and Steve Muehlhausen no 14:44
WWE Network Review: Does Vince McMahon’s Latest Gamble Pay Off? http://www.betweentheropes.com/2014/03/05/wwe-network-review-vince-mcmahons-latest-gamble-pay/ http://www.betweentheropes.com/2014/03/05/wwe-network-review-vince-mcmahons-latest-gamble-pay/#comments Thu, 06 Mar 2014 02:18:35 +0000 http://www.betweentheropes.com/?p=7463 Last Monday, after weeks of hype and promotion, and literal years of speculation, WWE unveiled the newest iteration of pay-tv sports-entertainment. There were a few issues out the gate. Fans lashed out on Twitter. Even by Thursday, major problems still kept cropping up at inopportune times. But this was a new streaming revolution, and as […]

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Vince McMahon

Last Monday, after weeks of hype and promotion, and literal years of speculation, WWE unveiled the newest iteration of pay-tv sports-entertainment. There were a few issues out the gate. Fans lashed out on Twitter. Even by Thursday, major problems still kept cropping up at inopportune times. But this was a new streaming revolution, and as such, growing pains were to be expected. So the real question is: did WWE manage to overcome those obstacles to deliver a service worth investing in, or have early bandwidth issues created an uphill battle for McMahon & company? Read on to find out.

White Ring of Death

It would be negligent to mention the WWE Network without also discussing the initial “failure to launch” phase. My first 24 hours with the service were no different than many of those on Twitter. Live TV seemed to work from the get-go, but trying to cue up anything from the streaming archive delivered one of seemingly endless error types. Fast-forwarding caused the feed to crash… trying to launch an ECW Pay-Per-View resulted in an endless white circle that seemed to be taunting me. I could not quickly exit and re-enter a show and have it save my place. Annoying.

Platform of choice also created a headache for most users. My PC initially handled the network just fine, but my Nexus 7 (2013) android tablet gave me a force close message. Playstation 3 kind of, sort of, worked, but not without a whole lot of finger-crossing and praying. As of this writing, my Xbox 360 still refused to even let me log-in (UPDATE: I received an email on Tuesday that said WWE had fixed any issues). Couple that with the fact that users are required to have Xbox Gold in order to even access WWE Network, an entirely SEPARATE service they’re already paying for, and you’re pretty much begging fans to revolt.

People seemed to have much better access with Roku and Apple TV, but WWE’s solution to Chromecast was non-existent. Sure, you can stream from your browser directly to your TV… but the “Cast from Chrome” feature is currently still in BETA and thus essentially a work around. If WWE wants to claim it supports Chromecast, then support it outright via the app, like YouTube, Netflix, and various other streaming services. This seems like, at best, a cheap cop-out.

I’ve received no less than four e-mails from WWE since last Monday, asking for patience and assuring me that things will improve with time. I believe it. I’ve already seen it happen as the week went on. Will they ever fix the PS3 app so it supports native controls from the official bluetooth remote? I don’t know. I hope so, but my guess is, the company in charge has more pressing matters.

(Not-So) Live Stream

WWE did something pretty gutsy in going live the very first day of the network, with both pre- and post-shows for RAW. Impressively, these feeds came in without issue. Where things went a little.. awry… was in the first highly-touted live pay-per-view style ‘NXT ArRIVAL’ event. This was to be the network’s first crack at showing a major card to the masses, and also NXT’s premiere event for those without Hulu Plus (or YouTube… or WWE.com… or the internet, I guess). Things were beautiful the first hour and a half until – right before the main event, like clockwork – WWE Network crashed.

I’m not sure how widespread the problem was, or how the issue manifested itself to others. Most people reported seeing the same Tyler Breeze clip over-and-over again (shameless self-promotion!). But the timing was terrible. The show was solid, and fans were hot for the main-event ladder match, so the feeling of helplessness that came with not being able to see the show you were just watching conclude was maddening. Imagine if this happened at a major Pay-Per-View? Or ‘Mania? It would be disastrous.

Unfortunately, WWE has treated this week-long “free trial” as nothing more than an open beta. So yes, presumably, WWE will have its crap together enough come April 6th that issues like this won’t exist anymore. But the fact is, they ARE happening now, and for WWE to send out an email apologizing, and simply saying “we will upload it overnight to the archives” isn’t enough. Just like promoting Xbox 360 as one of the network’s premiere platforms, while suggesting fans who can’t access their account via that device just use their computer instead, isn’t acceptable. Those aren’t real alternatives. Extend the free trial, or offer up a bonus live event. Something to alleviate consumers’ very valid complaints.

Perhaps its wrong of me to ask WWE for anything more than what its already giving me at such a spectacular price. But Vince McMahon needs to be getting as many eyes in front of his capstone project as possible. Even if this means giving away free weeks, free events, free tshirts, or heck, free ice-cream bars, the investors are eyeballing Wrestlemania 30 as the “do or die” time for this network experiment. So don’t just placate fans. Make them feel vindicated for sticking with WWE through a pretty rough Week-One.

WWE Network

History in the Making

The one thing I still can’t wrap my mind around is how MUCH content WWE Network actually has. Every WCW, WWF/E, and ECW pay-per-view were promised, and they’re all here. WWE also seems to be actively uploading old tv shows and documentaries as well. Just in the last week I’ve seen Smackdown number 1, and a few RAW is WAR shows from 1998 join the fray. Plus, the fantastic “Greatest Rivalries: Shawn Michaels vs. Bret Hart” is available for streaming any time. It seems like the current strategy has shows airing first as part of the “live” schedule before joining the archives. Smart move.

Original content has all been earmarked for easy access on the network. Wrestlemania Rewind #1 actually encouraged me to watch the (admittedly mediocre) Hogan/Mr. T vs Piper/Orndorff headliner. It’s a match I wouldn’t have actively seeked out. But seeing the perspective that Rewind gave, I found myself oddly invested in one of WWE’s earliest pop-culture misfires.

‘Countdown’ was entertaining enough, and ‘Beyond the Ring’ is just WWE’s way of differentiating its extensive backlog of documentary content. But these unique programs are likely to prove a draw, especially for younger fans without much wrestling history. Plus, WWE wisely leverages its current roster to help fans feel an immediate connection. Daniel Bryan might not have actually been at the first Wrestlemania, but I’m a huge Bryan fan, so I appreciate his perspective. These details are important for WWE network moving forward. Can you imagine the Wrestlemania Rewind for Austin/Rock at ‘Mania 18, and hearing what CM Punk has to say about it? What about Undertarker/Shawn Michaels, with a little insight from Chris Jericho? Incredible.

I’m also jazzed at the idea of more live programming. If WWE does come through with a daily talk show with some ‘Sportscenter’-like flair, the product will look major league in a way it hasn’t before. It’s obvious that the company is willing to invest time and effort in original programming for the network. The question is, as always, whether WWE can find creative way to fill up the limitless hours now at their disposal, or if they’ll simply resign to generic time filler. But at least things are off to a solid start.

My major complaint deals with scheduling. WWE needs to figure out a better way to highlight new and original content on the live network feed. Just glancing at the schedule tells me nothing about what I have or haven’t seen, or what new things are being added to the content catalog. This might seem like a small detail, but it’s actually a pretty big deal. Being able to quickly manage a queue of new content, and pick out fresh episodes of ‘Wrestlemania Rewind’ without having to dig through layers of menus, would do wonders for improving the user experience.

BOOM Drop!

Audio and visual quality is one area where the WWE Network remains unsurpassed. When I’m not hitting a buffer warning, or restarting my frozen PS3, quality comes through in full HD and 5.1 surround sound. Impressively, it looks (and sounds) even better than the stuff I’m getting on my cable tv every Monday and Friday night.

The network’s interface is functional, menus look clean, and pictures are crisp and eye-catching. And WHEN is WWE going to adopt the WWE Network’s logo company-wide? I love it.

Best of all, WWE has carried over its excellent production value and social-media fan service to everything on the network. Live tweets and second-screen experiences abound. Plus, WWE has paid special attention to in-between show vignettes that add to the overall experience. The company was smart to know that in order to sell WWE fans , this needed to be more than just another YouTube knockoff. Making this a legitimate streaming network, complete with the most impressive video vault known to man, guarantees Vince McMahon a hefty payday for many years to come.

wwe championship battleground

The MIllion-Dollar Championship

So is WWE Network worth the price of admission? YES! No other streaming service offers this much quality content, especially for wrestling fans, at such an incredible price. Considering that for only $9.99 a month you get access to every major Pay-Per-View, plus every WWE event moving forward (for at least the foreseeable future), makes this a no brainer. If you’re worried about the first week woes, just know that things have improved dramatically since day one. And they’ll get even better moving forward.

With the launch of its own streaming network, WWE didn’t just change professional wrestling – it sent out a warning call to the entire entertainment industry. Subscribers have access to what they want, when they want, for a price that’s incredibly fair. It’s the ultimate fan-service. Well done, WWE.

Are you still enjoying the WWE Network? What’s the best thing about it so far? Make your opinion count in the comments below. And be sure to follow Between the Ropes on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with all the latest breaking news and opinions!

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WWE Releases Financial Statistics For The Fourth Quarter And 2013 http://www.betweentheropes.com/2014/02/20/wwe-releases-financial-statistics-fourth-quarter-2013/ http://www.betweentheropes.com/2014/02/20/wwe-releases-financial-statistics-fourth-quarter-2013/#respond Thu, 20 Feb 2014 22:33:28 +0000 http://www.betweentheropes.com/?p=7153 The WWE today held their fourth quarter conference call as Chairman Vince McMahon, CFO George Barrios, and Investor Relations Michael Weitz were on the call. The company released their financial numbers for the quarter. WWE stated that revenues totaled $508 million for 2013, compared to $484.0 million in 2012, and $483.9 million in 2011. Operating […]

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wwe logo

The WWE today held their fourth quarter conference call as Chairman Vince McMahon, CFO George Barrios, and Investor Relations Michael Weitz were on the call. The company released their financial numbers for the quarter.

WWE stated that revenues totaled $508 million for 2013, compared to $484.0 million in 2012, and $483.9 million in 2011. Operating income came in at $5.9 million compared to last years $43.2 million

The company also announced total revenue of $118.4 million for the fourth quarter of 2013 compared to $115.1 million for the fourth quarter of 2012.

“During the past year, we laid the foundation for future growth and enhanced our brand strength,” stated Vince McMahon, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “We have now announced the renewal of our television distribution agreement in the U.K., are continuing the negotiations regarding our domestic content, and are poised to launch our global WWE Network in the next few days. With preparations for WrestleMania 30 fully underway, we look forward to celebrating our enduring legacy and ushering in a new era as we blaze new trails in the media industry.”

You can view the full report here.

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CM Punk’s Latest Pipe-Bomb is Friendly Fire http://www.betweentheropes.com/2014/01/29/cm-punks-latest-pipe-bomb-friendly-fire/ http://www.betweentheropes.com/2014/01/29/cm-punks-latest-pipe-bomb-friendly-fire/#comments Wed, 29 Jan 2014 20:41:05 +0000 http://www.betweentheropes.com/?p=6634 Let the ranting and raving begin. At some point last night, news broke that CM Punk wasn’t just off from Monday Night Raw this past week – he actually walked out of the company. Punk told people he was “going home” or some other such nonsense. And he left WWE. Done. We don’t know the […]

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CM Punk Kendo Stick

Let the ranting and raving begin.

At some point last night, news broke that CM Punk wasn’t just off from Monday Night Raw this past week – he actually walked out of the company. Punk told people he was “going home” or some other such nonsense. And he left WWE. Done.

We don’t know the real story here, or what finally pushed Punk over the edge enough to just walk-out before Raw. What we do know is that he’s been pulled from all upcoming advertising. This includes house shows, Elimination Chamber, and even the grandaddy of ‘em all, Wrestlemania, where he was penciled in going one-on-one with Triple H. CM Punk also revealed late last week that his contract was signaled to end this coming Summer, and that negotiations hadn’t even started.

And maybe the rumor mills are wrong. Maybe Punk didn’t actually walk-out, or maybe there’s more here than we’re privy to. Hell, maybe those conspiracy theorist who still believe this is all part of some grander storyline (involving Bryan, McMahon, and a higher power?) will get the last laugh.

But if the wrestling media is right? If Punk literally “took his ball and went home”? Then this a dark day for professional wrestling.

‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin often discusses how his two biggest regrets throughout his entire career were: the night he turned heel and joined Vince McMahon (a creative misfire), and the night he walked out before Raw, when he was scheduled to lose against a young upstart named Brock Lesnar (a personal misfire). Austin has gone on record as saying he should’ve stuck around that night and worked out whatever differences existed. He should have manned-up and fulfilled his contractual obligations. The quote he always uses is, “you can’t see the forest through the trees.”

 

When CM Punk first used the moniker, “Best in the World,” people finally bought in because he really is the best at what he does. He’s the best talker in the biz today. He’s (arguably) the best in-ring tactician. He’s one of the few guys that seems relatable, a real average joe.

I myself have publicly confessed numerous times to being a huge CM Punk mark. I only own TWO wrestling t-shirts – both CM Punk. The only WWE Documentary sitting on my shelf right now is “The Best in the World.” And while I love most of Mattel’s WWE action figure lineup, CM Punk (Nexus-variant) is the one figure I keep in the box. But it pains me as a fan to know that, if rumors are true, then he turned his back on me. He turned his back on all of his fans. He turned his back on the people that helped make him, the people that supported him whenever WWE was too gun-shy to pull the trigger, or when the company seemed hesitant to keep him in the main-event picture. CM Punk has always been a huge superstar because of his fans.

But this undoes a lot of that good will. While CM Punk earned every success in his career, his fans helped him get there. We ALL shared a part in making the infamous “Pipe-Bomb Promo” a keynote in WWE history. And then, in demanding that CM Punk be kept around the main-event picture long enough for a historic 434 day title-reign.

And to WWE’s credit, they accommodated Punk in many ways. He got time off after ‘Mania last year. His matches at ‘Mania and Summerslam, the two biggest shows of the year, were headliners. Even the Royal Rumble this past Sunday saw Punk go from entry number one to being one of the final-four. WWE was in no way misusing the “Best in the World.” And even if he was trying to stand up for Daniel Bryan, or protest Batista… so what? Leaving doesn’t change the machine.

So if he left due to injuries, I’ll cut him a little slack. He still should’ve stayed long enough to address the fans. If he left due to personal issues (death in the family? something worse?), I might could understand Punk telling Vince McMahon, and the entire WWE Universe, to shove it. Maybe.

But if CM Punk walked out on WWE over creative differences, or future pay-per-view paydays, then this is a major blemish on his legacy. One he won’t live down anytime soon. Just go ask Steve Austin.

How do you feel about the CM Punk situation?  Are you still upset, or do you think he did the right thing?  Let your voice be heard in the comments below.  Or tell me on Twitter, @therealwiseman.

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Dana White On The WWE Network Airing PPV’s: “It’s Ridiculous” http://www.betweentheropes.com/2014/01/28/dana-white-wwe-network-airing-ppvs-ridiculous/ http://www.betweentheropes.com/2014/01/28/dana-white-wwe-network-airing-ppvs-ridiculous/#comments Wed, 29 Jan 2014 02:29:27 +0000 http://www.betweentheropes.com/?p=6605 The UFC debut their online digital network called “Fight Pass” at the beginning of this month. Then about three weeks ago, the WWE announced that they will be debuting the WWE Network digital network starting on Monday, February 24th. Each network will cost $9.99, but with the WWE Network you have to buy it six […]

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WWE Network Blue

The UFC debut their online digital network called “Fight Pass” at the beginning of this month. Then about three weeks ago, the WWE announced that they will be debuting the WWE Network digital network starting on Monday, February 24th. Each network will cost $9.99, but with the WWE Network you have to buy it six months at a time instead of paying for it monthly.

Fans of both products have made the correlation between the UFC and WWE product. You can make that case for sure considering UFC fans are WWE fans and vice versa.

UFC president Dana White has been repeatedly asked about the WWE Network at various UFC shows and has been complimentary in wishing the WWE luck with their network.

During a media luncheon yesterday to promote UFC 169 that takes place on Saturday night, White was asked about whether Fight Pass will ever air live pay-per-views like the WWE will be doing.

“It’s ridiculous. I hate to sound like I’m attacking the WWE or de-value what they did because Vince McMahon, say whatever you want and he’s always smashing us and talking s—t about us, but I will tell you this – I was watching WWE I was a little kid and Vince was the commentator in WWE. This guy has been kicking ass, breaking rules and doing things that people said he couldn’t do over and over and over again. Now I’m older I don’t get the whole thing, it doesn’t work for me, but what he’s able to do, the ratings he’s able to pull and the things he’s done and when I look at his model and he’s basically taking everything in and de-valued it. Saying everything we do is worth $10. That doesn’t make sense to me,” White said during a media luncheon on Monday.

“If he pulls in 2 million subscribers, he’s crushing it. So it’s a risky move, it’s a crazy move, but Vince has been doing risky, crazy s—t since the beginning of time. If anybody can do it, maybe Vince can do it.”

“If he pulls in 2 million subscribers, he’s crushing it. So it’s a risky move, it’s a crazy move, but Vince has been doing risky, crazy s—t since the beginning of time. If anybody can do it, maybe Vince can do it.”

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Some of the quotes were obtained from FoxSports.com.

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Forget Hipster Wrestling, This is Something Much Bigger http://www.betweentheropes.com/2014/01/20/forget-hipster-wrestling-something-much-bigger/ http://www.betweentheropes.com/2014/01/20/forget-hipster-wrestling-something-much-bigger/#respond Mon, 20 Jan 2014 17:31:41 +0000 http://www.betweentheropes.com/?p=6381 (note: This is a response to David Shoemaker’s Hipster Wrestling column published in July 2013) When it comes to professional wrestling, perspective changes everything. For example: Daniel Bryan wasn’t seen as a bona fide superstar. Until he was. And then, when he was saddled with a gimmick so bad that everybody thought it might spell the […]

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Daniel-Bryan

(note: This is a response to David Shoemaker’s Hipster Wrestling column published in July 2013)

When it comes to professional wrestling, perspective changes everything.

For example: Daniel Bryan wasn’t seen as a bona fide superstar. Until he was. And then, when he was saddled with a gimmick so bad that everybody thought it might spell the end of his main-event career, he proved that being bff with The Big Red Machine was precisely the platform he needed to break-through Vince McMahon’s glass ceiling. His meteoric rise stopped short of a lengthy WWE championship run (to which internet fans, including myself, cried foul), but left us with a severe case of ‘Daniel Bryan deserves more’ syndrome, “Yes!” chants and all.

But just because Daniel Bryan seemed like the impossible modern-era WWE Superstar, and just because Vince McMahon seems to hate everything that isn’t John Cena, doesn’t mean smart marks have uncovered some vast conspiracy that seeks to redefine professional wrestling as we know it.

In fact, the internet wrestling community is often wrong. It has been in the past, and it will be in the future. The IWC was ready to burn WWE to the ground after Bryan became a Wyatt – a response which Jim Ross himself cautioned against. And those same people that got incredibly upset at the time looked pretty foolish while Bryan maintained his momentum and crowd favoritism (despite being a “heel”) after weeks of wearing his knock-off Dickies. Bryan was never being punished for crowd chants in his hometown. Vince McMahon is a wrestling promoter at heart, and knows better than to piss-off his crowd.

But with a little perspective, we can look back and see that WWE positioned Bryan with the Wyatts because fans would hate it – and they would hate Bray Wyatt for it. This is where we are now. And Bryan’s reaction has never been louder (well, save for maybe in Seattle) than it was when he renounced being a Wyatt this past Monday on RAW and reclaimed his position atop the wrestling kingdom throne.

This is all to say that hipster wrestling, the rally-call of a thousand fans who want to believe ‘sports entertainment’ is bunch of corporate hogwash, was only a myth. It implied that behind-the-scenes fans were finally being placated. Instead, Vince McMahon defiantly proved that their purpose remained the same: they serve to croak and moan in the most public venue possible every single time they disagree with creative. It’s really what’s best for business.

Don’t believe me? Check-in with Dixie Carter about what happened when she finally made her hardcore TNA fans angry enough to stop caring about the product. They stopped watching. They stopped talking about it. Their savior left the company. And then, in a not-so-surprising turn of events, ratings dropped. Like salt on an open wound.

Vince McMahon – and Stephanie McMahon, and Triple H, and Michael Hayes, and whoever else you want to list – all know that making people talk about your product is as important as making people care about your product. Like, I don’t much care for Total Divas, but if something happens that concerns my favorite bearded-goat, then I’ll probably check it out. And then I’ll tweet about it. Or write a column about it. Much like the Michigan State fans who made ESPN’s SportsCenter for a certain chant, I’m hooked on being a part of the conversation, not on catching every minute of every show.

The other major issue here is that some hipster wrestling phenomenon implies that you have to be “in the know” to get the most out of the product. And that’s just plain wrong. Commenting that Rob Van Dam gets higher than any other superstar was really the WWE’s subtle jab at their own drug usage policy (you can almost hear the sneer in Michael Cole’s voice, as if to say “not on our watch”). Of course John Cena might wrestle a Bella Twin; he does so every night, in his own bed (remember ‘Total Divas’?). The phrase “future endeavors” is something the company itself made famous, not the internet fans. And Vince McMahon’s sole purpose in professional wrestling has always been to act out-of-touch and ego-driven in hopes of garnering a few more jeers. He’s a HEEL authority figure. None of this is counter-intuitive, irreverent, or even remotely ironic.

In fact, that’s why ‘hipster wrestling’ completely missed the boat. The company met every fan’s expectation of what would happen going into SummerSlam, and at every Pay-Per-View since. Go read your favorite dirt sheet. This isn’t something for the few, or a new storyline to reach the jaded fans, it’s the ONLY THING available for those who care about this sport at all. It’s “sports entertainment”.

But what is sports entertainment, really?

It’s the democratization of professional wrestling as we know it. It’s the end of an era. It means that Vince McMahons reign of control over what professional wrestling is, or what it should be, has ended, and that you can pick-what-you-want at the all-you-can-eat WWE Network buffet. Monday Night Raw and Friday Night Smackdown might be scripted, but this is the fan’s opportunity to finally change the conversation. And the channel.

We are entering an era of unfiltered access to the thing we love – professional wrestling – and the people we love – wrestlers. We can watch historic contests, such as Andre vs Hogan, or check-in with the latest major card, all on the same platform. We’re able to connect with our favorites on a personal level via Twitter and other social media platforms. Our heroes from yesteryear, such as Chris Jericho and Steve Austin, finally have an open mic to voice their true feelings about the business, and the current product,(without reprisal from upper-management), and we can listen to it anytime, anywhere.

Professional wrestling has finally matured. It has passed the family-friendly fun of the late 80s, or the teenage angst of the 90s, or the awkward transition into adulthood of the 2000s, and even the “maybe I take life too seriously” period that occurred around late 2008,2009, and 2010.

It’s not professional wrestling. So what? I’m quite excited about the future of sports entertainment, thank-you-very-much.

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WWE Conference Call Highlights http://www.betweentheropes.com/2014/01/14/wwe-conference-call-highlights/ http://www.betweentheropes.com/2014/01/14/wwe-conference-call-highlights/#respond Tue, 14 Jan 2014 17:51:56 +0000 http://www.betweentheropes.com/?p=6318 The WWE held a conference call this morning discussing the WWE Network. Chairman Vince McMahon and Chief Strategy & Financial Officer George Barrios were on the call. We were on the call and here are highlights from the call: -McMahon says that the Network will also help increase ratings for WWE television. -Barrios says WWE […]

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WWE Network Blue

The WWE held a conference call this morning discussing the WWE Network. Chairman Vince McMahon and Chief Strategy & Financial Officer George Barrios were on the call. We were on the call and here are highlights from the call:

-McMahon says that the Network will also help increase ratings for WWE television.

-Barrios says WWE believes that the Network will help in other lines of business in TV ratings, consumer products and more.

-Online viewers is expected to overtake traditional TV viewers soon and is quickly growing in younger people.

-Financial impact of domestic @WWENetwork estimate that can make $50-$100 million at a steady rate.

-WWE financials for year could be a wide range depending on immediate impact of the Network and loss of PPV revenue.

-By the end of 2014, WWE expects to have over 1 million subscribers domestically and then adding to the VOD library.

-Question on how Network will increase TV ratings: Vince McMahon says value of Raw is live and also a value USA Network sees.

-Believed they will have something to announce on new TV deals by end of April or early May.

-Range of 2-3 million people showed in research would be interested in paying for the Network.

-As to why you cannot sign up for WWE Network right now, Barrios said because of PPV deals and events.

-Barrios: If we get to 2-3 million subscribers, we will be reinvested heavily in WWE programming.

-1 million subscribers by the end of the year is the target. That would be before WWE Network goes into international markets.

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DirecTV Threatens To Get Rid Of WWE Pay-Per-Views, Vince McMahon Responds http://www.betweentheropes.com/2014/01/10/directv-threatens-get-rid-wwe-pay-per-views-vince-mcmahon-responds/ http://www.betweentheropes.com/2014/01/10/directv-threatens-get-rid-wwe-pay-per-views-vince-mcmahon-responds/#comments Fri, 10 Jan 2014 21:55:15 +0000 http://www.betweentheropes.com/?p=6298 On Wednesday night, the WWE announced the launch of their network, which will debut on Monday, February 24. One of the bright spots of the network is if you purchase it, you will get all 12 pay-per-views this year including WrestleMania 30. We didn’t get a response from any cable or satellite providers until now. […]

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WWENETWORKSIMPLE

On Wednesday night, the WWE announced the launch of their network, which will debut on Monday, February 24. One of the bright spots of the network is if you purchase it, you will get all 12 pay-per-views this year including WrestleMania 30. We didn’t get a response from any cable or satellite providers until now.

In an article that was published in the Los Angeles Times, satellite company DirecTV told the paper it is considering dropping the WWE from their PPV schedule.

“Clearly we need to quickly re-evaluate the economics and viability of their business with us, as it now appears the WWE feels they do not need their PPV distributors,” DirecTV said in a statement, adding that the audience for its events “has been steadily declining, and this new low-cost competitive offering will only accelerate this trend.”

The Times talked to WWE Chairman Vince McMahon regarding how this affects the cable and satellite companies since they will be taking a hit monetarily.

“I think it’d be foolish for them not to want to carry the pay-per-view anymore,” McMahon said. “It’s found money for them.”

The WWE then released a statement in direct response to DirecTV.

“To the contrary, WWE hopes to continue to be in business with our pay-per-view distributors, ultimately giving our fans the choice between the two offerings.”

Will DirecTV drop the WWE from its PPV schedule?

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The Announcement Of The WWE Network (Audio) http://www.betweentheropes.com/2014/01/09/announcement-wwe-network-audio/ http://www.betweentheropes.com/2014/01/09/announcement-wwe-network-audio/#respond Thu, 09 Jan 2014 17:39:30 +0000 http://www.betweentheropes.com/?p=6282 The WWE last night made the long awaited announcement of the WWE Network. The network will debut on February 24. You will hear from Vince McMahon, Stephanie McMahon, Triple H, Shawn Michaels, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and John Cena. Listen in as the announcement is made, when the Network will debut and much more. Subscribe […]

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Wwenetworklogo

The WWE last night made the long awaited announcement of the WWE Network. The network will debut on February 24. You will hear from Vince McMahon, Stephanie McMahon, Triple H, Shawn Michaels, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and John Cena. Listen in as the announcement is made, when the Network will debut and much more.

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http://www.betweentheropes.com/2014/01/09/announcement-wwe-network-audio/feed/ 0 john cena,shawn michaels,stephanie mcmahon,Steve Austin,Triple H,vince mcmahon The WWE last night made the long awaited announcement of the WWE Network. The network will debut on February 24. You will hear from Vince McMahon, Stephanie McMahon, Triple H, Shawn Michaels, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin and John Cena. The WWE last night made the long awaited announcement of the WWE Network. The network will debut on February 24. You will hear from Vince McMahon, Stephanie McMahon, Triple H, Shawn Michaels, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin and John Cena. Listen in as the announcement is made, when the Network will debut and much more. 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. Follow Between The Ropes on Facebook and Twitter. Brian Fritz and Steve Muehlhausen no 55:48
Are You Going To Buy The WWE Network? http://www.betweentheropes.com/2014/01/08/going-buy-wwe-network/ http://www.betweentheropes.com/2014/01/08/going-buy-wwe-network/#respond Thu, 09 Jan 2014 03:49:14 +0000 http://www.betweentheropes.com/?p=6265 Just a few moments ago, WWE Chairman Vince McMahon announced the launch of the WWE Network. The network will debut on Monday, February 24 at 11:05 p.m. ET, right after Monday Night Raw ends. The Network will include all WWE pay-per-views, original programming, showing of all old WWE/WCW/ECW PPV’s and much more.

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WWE Network Blue

Just a few moments ago, WWE Chairman Vince McMahon announced the launch of the WWE Network. The network will debut on Monday, February 24 at 11:05 p.m. ET, right after Monday Night Raw ends.

The Network will include all WWE pay-per-views, original programming, showing of all old WWE/WCW/ECW PPV’s and much more.

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]]> http://www.betweentheropes.com/2014/01/08/going-buy-wwe-network/feed/ 0 WWE Network Officially Announced http://www.betweentheropes.com/2014/01/08/wwe-network-officially-announced/ http://www.betweentheropes.com/2014/01/08/wwe-network-officially-announced/#comments Thu, 09 Jan 2014 02:50:25 +0000 http://www.betweentheropes.com/?p=6241 It’s official!  The WWE Network is “everywhere on any device.”  According to WWE, it’s “the first streaming network with live 24/7 content.” It’s going to include: All 12 Live Pay-Per-View-Events (yes, even Wrestlemania) Live Raw & Smackdown Pre/Post-Shows Live Daily Studio Show (soon to come) HUGE Streaming Library, including EVERY WWE/WCW/ECW Pay-Per-View Hours of Legacy […]

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WWE Network Blue

It’s official!  The WWE Network is “everywhere on any device.”  According to WWE, it’s “the first streaming network with live 24/7 content.”

It’s going to include:

  • All 12 Live Pay-Per-View-Events (yes, even Wrestlemania)
  • Live Raw & Smackdown Pre/Post-Shows
  • Live Daily Studio Show (soon to come)
  • HUGE Streaming Library, including EVERY WWE/WCW/ECW Pay-Per-View
  • Hours of Legacy content (with more being added constantly)
  • New Exclusive Original Shows

According to ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin and the boomy announcer guy, it’s going to be “unedited, uncensored, uncut.”  Best of all?  It’s only $9.99 a month.  Thats a savings of like, a bazillion dollars compared to buying normal monthly PPVs.

The WWE Network will launch Monday, February 24th – the night after Elimination Chamber – immediately following RAW at 11:05ET.

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Watch The “Groundbreaking” WWE Announcement On BetweenTheRopes.com At 9:30 PM ET http://www.betweentheropes.com/2014/01/08/watch-groundbreaking-wwe-announcement-betweentheropes-com-930-pm-et/ http://www.betweentheropes.com/2014/01/08/watch-groundbreaking-wwe-announcement-betweentheropes-com-930-pm-et/#respond Thu, 09 Jan 2014 01:57:27 +0000 http://www.betweentheropes.com/?p=6243 The WWE will be making a “Groundbreaking Announcement” tonight from the Wynn Hotel And Casino in Las Vegas At the CES Convention at 9:30 p.m. ET. It is expected that the announcement will be the launch of the WWE Network. Expected to be there are Vince and Stephanie McMahon, Triple H, “Stone Cold” Steve Austion, […]

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The WWE will be making a “Groundbreaking Announcement” tonight from the Wynn Hotel And Casino in Las Vegas At the CES Convention at 9:30 p.m. ET. It is expected that the announcement will be the launch of the WWE Network. Expected to be there are Vince and Stephanie McMahon, Triple H, “Stone Cold” Steve Austion, John Cena and Shawn Michaels.

You can watch on the video stream above and BetweenTheRopes.com will be updating you throughout the announcement and the aftermath.

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Triple H Promises Big Surprises In Tonight’s Groundbreaking Announcement http://www.betweentheropes.com/2014/01/08/triple-h-promises-big-surprises-tonights-groundbreaking-announcement/ http://www.betweentheropes.com/2014/01/08/triple-h-promises-big-surprises-tonights-groundbreaking-announcement/#respond Wed, 08 Jan 2014 19:38:59 +0000 http://www.betweentheropes.com/?p=6226 The WWE released today Triple H’s weekly sitdown video interview with Michael Cole. Cole tried to pry what the big announcement that will be taking place tonight at 9:30 p.m. ET in Las Vegas at the CES convention. It is expected that the announcement will be the launch of the WWE network. HHH stated that […]

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The WWE released today Triple H’s weekly sitdown video interview with Michael Cole. Cole tried to pry what the big announcement that will be taking place tonight at 9:30 p.m. ET in Las Vegas at the CES convention. It is expected that the announcement will be the launch of the WWE network.

HHH stated that he will be there with his wife Stephanie McMahon, Vince McMahon, Shawn Michaels, Stone Cold Steve Austin and John Cena. Cole tried to get HHH to divulge the news. All HHH would say is that big surprises will be revealed and this will change the WWE forever.

We will have live coverage of tonight’s announcement on BetweenTheRopes.com at 9:30 p.m. ET.

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WWE To Make A “Groundbreaking Announcement” on Wednesday http://www.betweentheropes.com/2014/01/06/wwe-make-groundbreaking-announcement-wednesday/ http://www.betweentheropes.com/2014/01/06/wwe-make-groundbreaking-announcement-wednesday/#respond Mon, 06 Jan 2014 20:17:50 +0000 http://www.betweentheropes.com/?p=6181 The WWE sent out a text message from the WWE App earlier today stating that a “groundbreaking announcement” will take this Wednesday night from Las Vegas. Vince McMahon, John Cena, Steve Austin, Shawn Michaels and Triple H will be at the event. You will be able to watch the event live on WWE.com, WWE You […]

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Photo from WWE.com

Photo from WWE.com

The WWE sent out a text message from the WWE App earlier today stating that a “groundbreaking announcement” will take this Wednesday night from Las Vegas. Vince McMahon, John Cena, Steve Austin, Shawn Michaels and Triple H will be at the event. You will be able to watch the event live on WWE.com, WWE You Tube page, the WWE App, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo!, Google+, Pinterest and Pheed starting at 9:30 p.m. ET.

This announcement will be made at the CES convention that is currently going on right now and this is expected to be the long awaited announcement of the WWE Network.

BetweenTheRopes.com will have live coverage of the event.

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The Rock Confirms He Will Not Be At Wrestlemania 30 http://www.betweentheropes.com/2013/12/31/rock-confirms-will-wrestlemania-30/ http://www.betweentheropes.com/2013/12/31/rock-confirms-will-wrestlemania-30/#respond Tue, 31 Dec 2013 18:53:16 +0000 http://www.betweentheropes.com/?p=6063 WrestleMania 30 takes place on April 6 from The Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana. No matches have been confirmed for the show, but The Rock will not be apart of the show. During a chat on Twitter called #RockTalk, he was asked if be appearing at WrestleMania 30. @TheRock When are you returning to WWE […]

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dwayne johnson

WrestleMania 30 takes place on April 6 from The Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana. No matches have been confirmed for the show, but The Rock will not be apart of the show.

During a chat on Twitter called #RockTalk, he was asked if be appearing at WrestleMania 30.

Do you want to see The Rock next year at WrestleMania 31? If so, against who?

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WWE TLC 2013 Reaction: “Fifty Years in the Making” http://www.betweentheropes.com/2013/12/16/wwe-tlc-2013-reaction-fifty-years-making/ http://www.betweentheropes.com/2013/12/16/wwe-tlc-2013-reaction-fifty-years-making/#respond Mon, 16 Dec 2013 23:10:22 +0000 http://www.betweentheropes.com/?p=5858 So WWE TLC 2013 wasn’t a complete bust. In fact, the first and last hours were surprisingly entertaining, and the stuff in-between was just alright. Best of all, no Hornswaggle! Dolph Ziggler has become WWE’s favorite whipping boy and, unfortunately, his stock is starting to plateau a little. Ziggler was the hottest thing in professional […]

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john cena dejected widescreen

So WWE TLC 2013 wasn’t a complete bust. In fact, the first and last hours were surprisingly entertaining, and the stuff in-between was just alright. Best of all, no Hornswaggle!

Dolph Ziggler has become WWE’s favorite whipping boy and, unfortunately, his stock is starting to plateau a little. Ziggler was the hottest thing in professional wrestling right after Wrestlemania. Now he can’t pick up a win over (no offense) a lower-to-mid card talent. I understand that he’s in the dog house for whatever reason, but how much longer until we’re discussing what Ziggler’s career could have been instead of what it might still be.

CM Punk and The Shield opened TLC in a hot way. The handicap match was better than I could have expected, and the near-falls down the stretch had my full attention. Was it the best thing on the card? Nope. But it was still better than Daniel Bryan vs. The Wyatt Family, which suffered from a profound case of too many big men and not enough sweet, sweet Daniel Bryan technical wrestling. And on that note… at least Bray Wyatt picked up a pin. There’s hope for him yet!

Remember that time you paid 50 bucks to see R Truth wrestle Brodus Clay? What’s up?

Natalya and AJ Lee delivered a good, just not quite great, Divas match. These ladies deserve more time to work together. And, I even think a Natalya title run might liven up the division a little bit. I’m definitely not rooting against AJ here. but women’s wrestling is in a weird state of ambivalence, and a fresh face might do us all good.

Many props to The Real Americans, Rybaxel (ugh), Big Show & Rey Mysterio, and the Rhodes brothers for delivering the match of the night. WWE made the right call in having Axel and Ryback lose first, and kept The Real Americans around long enough for them to look like stars. Most impressively, the final 10 minutes of the contest between Cody Rhodes and Rey Mysterio was some of the best action WWE has seen in weeks. Rhodes has superstar written all over him – hopefully 2014 gives him a spot to shine.

Randy Orton and John Cena delivered what was asked of them, and then some. These guys aren’t the best in the business at anything in particular, and while they’ve both been bestowed with carrying the company at various points, neither guy would be my go-to for an instant classic. All that being said… I really liked this. They gave it a big fight feel, and both Orton and Cena made everything seem credible. My biggest takeaway was that Orton won “cleanly” (yes, I know he used handcuffs, but that’s considered LEGAL in a TLC match), and as a result, finally looks like a legitimate champion. All around great effort by everybody involved here.

Overall show was good enough. On a 1-10 scale of “classic WWE” it might pull in a 4 or 5, but for 2013 Pay-Per-Views, I’d give it a solid 7. Unfortunately, there’s your problem – we have to grade on a curve because 2013 has been a tough year for wrestling, and the traditional PPV model is quickly dying. Hopefully WWE Network can save us all, or at the very least, remind us of a time when wrestling mattered.

Watch our full post-TLC roundtable where Brian Fritz, Steven Muelhausen, and myself discuss our complete thoughts on last night’s Pay-Per-View.  And be sure to let us know what you think in the comments below!

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Randy Orton Defeats John Cena To Become The WWE World Heavyweight Champion http://www.betweentheropes.com/2013/12/16/randy-orton-defeats-john-cena-become-wwe-world-heavyweight-champion/ http://www.betweentheropes.com/2013/12/16/randy-orton-defeats-john-cena-become-wwe-world-heavyweight-champion/#respond Mon, 16 Dec 2013 05:38:38 +0000 http://www.betweentheropes.com/?p=5848 In what was announced as the biggest match in the history of the WWE, Randy Orton defeated John Cena to unify the WWE and World Heavyweight Championships to become the WWE World Heavyweight Champion at the TLC pay-per-view. The match was billed as a tables, ladders and chairs match and the match lived up to […]

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TLC

In what was announced as the biggest match in the history of the WWE, Randy Orton defeated John Cena to unify the WWE and World Heavyweight Championships to become the WWE World Heavyweight Champion at the TLC pay-per-view.

The match was billed as a tables, ladders and chairs match and the match lived up to the billing as Cena and Orton throughout the match used the weapons that were as advertised. The ending of the match was when Orton was able to handcuff Cena to the bottom rope of the ring. Orton grabbed the ladder and slowly went up the ladder and Cena was able to rip the rope off. Cena was able to go up the ladder and try to stop Orton and was able to land some punches. Orton was able to bounce back and knock Cena off the ladder, who went through the table. After a few moments, Orton unhooked the belts to win the match.

The match ended and then Vince McMahon’s music hit and he came out with The Authority to head to the ring. They entered the ring and clapped for Orton, with Stephanie giving him a hug and receiving a handshake from HHH. The show ended with Orton raising both belts and Cena looking towards him.

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WWE Network is Coming, WWE TLC 2013, Slammys and AJ Styles Possibly Done with TNA Wrestling http://www.betweentheropes.com/2013/12/06/wwe-network-coming-wwe-tlc-2013-slammys-aj-styles-possibly-done-tna-wrestling/ http://www.betweentheropes.com/2013/12/06/wwe-network-coming-wwe-tlc-2013-slammys-aj-styles-possibly-done-tna-wrestling/#respond Fri, 06 Dec 2013 15:04:40 +0000 http://www.betweentheropes.com/?p=5758 The Flagship is back as Brian, Steve and Michael first get into a heated discussion about our college teams and Steve finally pays up on a bet. Then the guys talk about some promotions within the WWE which are leading to the impending launch of the WWE Network, how exactly the network could work and […]

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WwenetworklogoThe Flagship is back as Brian, Steve and Michael first get into a heated discussion about our college teams and Steve finally pays up on a bet. Then the guys talk about some promotions within the WWE which are leading to the impending launch of the WWE Network, how exactly the network could work and the many possibilities, Triple H now in charge of the creative team along with Vince McMahon, the WWE TLC 2013 pay-per-view which is less than two weeks away, their disappointment in WWE storylines and if they see that changing anytime soon, the Slammys coming to Raw on Monday and also the possibility of TNA Wrestling original AJ Styles leaving the company.

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http://www.betweentheropes.com/2013/12/06/wwe-network-coming-wwe-tlc-2013-slammys-aj-styles-possibly-done-tna-wrestling/feed/ 0 aj styles,tna wrestling,Triple H,vince mcmahon,WWE,wwe network,wwe raw,wwe tlc 2013 The Flagship is back as Brian, Steve and Michael first get into a heated discussion about our college teams and Steve finally pays up on a bet. Then the guys talk about some promotions within the WWE which are leading to the impending launch of the WWE... The Flagship is back as Brian, Steve and Michael first get into a heated discussion about our college teams and Steve finally pays up on a bet. Then the guys talk about some promotions within the WWE which are leading to the impending launch of the WWE Network, how exactly the network could work and the many possibilities, Triple H now in charge of the creative team along with Vince McMahon, the WWE TLC 2013 pay-per-view which is less than two weeks away, their disappointment in WWE storylines and if they see that changing anytime soon, the Slammys coming to Raw on Monday and also the possibility of TNA Wrestling original AJ Styles leaving the company. 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. Brian Fritz and Steve Muehlhausen no 1:08:27