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. [Read more...]
Michael and Steve come back on the latest Between the Ropes ‘Flagship’ show to discuss everything happening with the WWE Network, what they expect from NXT’s first flagship show, and various other news in the world of professional wrestling. Plus, they answer your questions live on-air!
WWE Executive Vice President of Talent, Live Events and Creative Paul Levesque (Triple H) spoke with the media on a conference all to talk about the NXT Arrival show which will air Thursday night live on the WWE Network, NXT as a whole and the growth of the WWE developmental system, the performance center in Orlando, taking a bigger role in the company over the past few years, seeing younger talent come up through the system and now be on the main WWE roster, being involved in the creative process with the company and with NXT and much more.
It’s finally here. And after roughly 24 hours with WWE’s newest sports-entertainment revolution, I’ve decided to give a few thoughts on my personal experiences with WWE Network. Is this truly the next big thing? Or have constant buffering issues made me want to hang up my tights? Read on to find out. [Read more...]
Brian and Steve recap WWE Raw from Monday night including the returns of both Hulk Hogan and The Undertaker who confronted Brock Lesnar, the Wyatt Family still going after John Cena who may have been injured and more. Plus, they talk about the debut of the WWE Network, how WrestleMania 30 looks right now along with your questions.
The 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 Network, the first-ever 24/7 streaming network, has unveiled its programming lineup, which is highlighted by WrestleMania 30 on Sunday, April 6 at 7:00 p.m. ET live from the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.
In addition, for the first time ever, the WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will air live in its entirety on Saturday, April 5 at 9:00 p.m. ET on WWE Network. This year’s current inductees include The Ultimate Warrior, Jake “The Snake” Roberts and Lita. A one-hour special will also air on USA Network on Monday, April 7, immediately following Monday Night Raw.
WWE Network will officially launch on Monday, Feb. 24 at 9:00 a.m. ET and fans will instantly have access to live programming and the most comprehensive WWE video-on-demand library upon signing up exclusively at WWE.com.
WWE Network will be available through the WWE App on TV via connected devices including Roku streaming devices, Sony PlayStation® 3, Sony PlayStation® 4 and Xbox 360. WWE Network will also be available through the WWE App on iOS devices, including Apple iPad and iPhone, Amazon’s Kindle Fire devices and Android devices, as well as on desktops and laptops via WWE.com.
The programming line-up on WWE Network includes:
WWE’s pop-culture extravaganza, WrestleMania 30, will air live on Sunday, April 6 at 7:00 p.m. ET from New Orleans. More than 70,000 fans from all 50 states and more than 30 countries are expected to converge on the Mercedes-Benz Superdome with millions more watching around the world. Current WWE Superstars will be joined by a host of WWE Legends for a celebration 30 years in the making.
WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony
For the first time ever, the 2014 WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will air live in its entirety on WWE Network on Saturday, April 5 at 9:00 p.m. ET from the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans. This year’s current inductees include The Ultimate Warrior, Jake “The Snake” Roberts and Lita.
Live Monday Night Raw Pre-Show and WWE Raw Backstage Pass
A live 30-minute Raw Pre-Show will air each week and premieres on Monday, Feb. 24 at 7:30 p.m. ET.
WWE Raw Backstage Pass will air live each week immediately following Monday Night Raw, providing analysis of the night’s action and exclusive backstage interviews. The premiere will air on Monday, Feb. 24 at 11:05 p.m. ET.
Friday Night SmackDown Pre-Show and WWE SmackDown Backstage Pass
A 30-minute pre-show for SmackDown will air each week and premieres on Friday, Feb. 28 at 7:30 p.m. ET.
WWE SmackDown Backstage Pass will air each week immediately following SmackDown, providing analysis of the night’s action and exclusive backstage interviews. The premiere will air on Friday, Feb. 28 at 10:00 p.m. ET.
WrestleMania Rewind will provide fans with a comprehensive look back at the most groundbreaking matches and dramatic moments in WrestleMania history. The series premieres on Tuesday, Feb. 25 at 9:00 p.m. ET with a sneak peek on Monday, Feb. 24 at 9:00 a.m. ET.
A one-hour, groundbreaking, interactive, countdown series that will put the power squarely in viewers’ hands by giving the audience the chance to discuss and rank WWE’s most spectacular Superstars, unexpected moments, best catch phrases and more through digital polling and social media interaction. The series premieres on Tuesday, Feb. 25 at 10:00 p.m. ET with a sneak peek on Monday, Feb. 24 at 10:00 a.m. ET.
WWE Legends’ House
WWE’s greatest Legends reunite for a new title – only this time, they’re competing outside of the ring. Imagine a beautiful house in the suburbs – perfectly furnished, with gorgeous landscaping, a lovely pool and quiet, respectable neighbors. WWE Superstars from the past including “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, Tony Atlas and Hacksaw Jim Duggan will turn the neighborhood upside down as the house staff tries their best to keep these Legends on time, on speaking terms, and out of trouble in this new reality show. The series premieres on Thursday, April 10 at 8:00 p.m. ET.
This is NXT
A one-hour special that will take viewers inside the action-packed world of tomorrow’s WWE’s Superstars as they aspire to become the future of WWE. Featuring behind-the-scenes moments and in-ring action from WWE’s Performance Center, fans will get up close and personal with the next generation of Superstars. The series premieres on Monday, Feb. 24 at 11:00 a.m. ET.
WWE Network’s first live in-ring event will air on Thursday, Feb. 27 at 8:00 p.m. ET. The live special will showcase the brightest and best of WWE’s rising stars from WWE’s Performance Center, as well as appearances by WWE Superstars John Cena, Sheamus, The New Age Outlaws and WWE Legends Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels.
Thirty minutes prior to the event, theNXT ArRival Pre-Showwill air at 7:30 p.m. ET and include exclusive interviews and appearances by NXT Superstars, WWE Superstars and Legends.
Each Thursday at 9:00 p.m. ET, WWE Superstars and Divas of tomorrow face off on WWE NXT, a one-hour weekly show that features the brightest and best of WWE’s rising stars.WWE NXT showcases the Superstars and Divas from WWE’s Performance Center as well as appearances from WWE Superstars and Legends in an intimate setting. WWE NXT broadcasts from the state-of-the-art Full Sail LIVE venue on the Full Sail University in campus in Orlando, Florida. The series premieres on Thursday, March 6 at 9:00 p.m. ET.
A one-hour weekly show highlighting the best of WWE Superstars and Divas in heart-pounding matches. The show will also feature highlights from all WWE programming, as well as a special glimpse at everything going on in the WWE Universe. The series premieres on Thursday, Feb. 27 at 10:00 p.m. ET.
Beyond the Ring
An all-access pass to the fast paced action of WWE’s home video library. With classic matches and groundbreaking biographies of WWE Legends, fans will have all the action from WCW, AWA, ECW and WWE right at their fingertips. The series premieres on Saturday, March 1 at 8:00 p.m. ET.
Best of Raw
Every Wednesday at 9:00 p.m. ET, Best of Raw will feature the most memorable episodes from the longest-running weekly episodic show in television history. Each week, see some of the most incredible matches and controversial moments featured over the years on Monday Night Raw. The series premieres at a special date and time on Thursday, Feb. 27 at 4:30 p.m. ET.
Best of SmackDown
For more than a decade, Friday Night SmackDown has brought amazing action and memorable moments to the WWE Universe. On Saturdays at 1:00 p.m. ET, WWE Network will showcase the most exciting episodes of SmackDown. The series premieres on Saturday, March 1 at 1:00 p.m. ET.
Expansive Video-On-Demand Library
In addition to live and original programming, fans will have access to the most comprehensive WWE video-on-demand library the instant they subscribe. WWE Network will offer all WWE, WCW and ECW pay-per-views as well as encores of Raw and SmackDown totaling more than 1,500 hours of video on demand at launch.
Jim Cornette talks about his upcoming tour of the UK February 17 – 25, flying over there after not being on a plane in over a decade, the Kickstarter program to make that tour into a documentary, keeping busy with various projects and everything on his plate right now, now working directly with a wrestling promotion, if he misses being part of a creative team, if there is any comparison between his working for TNA Wrestling and Ring of Honor, Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards going to TNA, what he wants to see on the WWE Network, if he would ever attend WrestleMania or the WWE Hall of Fame, his place in wrestling history, if he has any regrets, why he praises CM Punk for walking out on the WWE, the developmental system there, why certain stereotypes still exist for wrestlers and more.
(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. [Read more...]
Brian and Steve recap WWE Raw from Monday night including the big turn for Daniel Bryan and the reaction from it, possibly ramifications from this change, more on Raw including the Randy Orton angle involving John Cena and his dad, Ryback ridiculed and talk about the WWE Network from the show and the company’s conference call. Plus, your questions as well!
Dave Meltzer of The Wrestling Observer talks about the introduction of the WWE Network, the interesting aspects of it, the break point for the WWE right now, the possible effect on its TV negotiations, cable and satellite providers possible dropping WWE pay-per-views, sports bars and how they carry WWE events, the company reportedly rejecting a deal with cable and satellite for their own channel, the possible effect the network could have on other sports or entertainment and more.
Follow Dave on Twitter @davemeltzerWON
Brian and Michael talk about the announcement of the WWE Network which will launch on February, 24, all the details about the network and what will be available from the start. Plus, they discuss the overall value, how this could change the wrestling business, the possible effect on the WWE’s upcoming TV negotiations and more.
STAMFORD, Conn., January 8, 2014 – WWE Network, the first-ever 24/7 streaming network, will launch live in the U.S. on Monday, February 24, featuring all 12 WWE live pay-per-view events – includingWrestleMania® – valued at more than $600 per year for $9.99 per month with a 6-month commitment. WWE Network will also include groundbreaking original programming, reality shows, documentaries, classic matches and more than 1,500 hours of video on demand at launch.
Fans can subscribe to WWE Network beginning at 9 am ET on Monday, February 24 at WWE.com, and for a limited time will be offered a free one week trial. WWE Network, the first 24/7 network delivered directly to fans through over-the-top digital distribution, will be available on desktops and laptops via WWE.com. WWE Network will also be available through the WWE App on: Amazon’s Kindle Fire devices; Android devices such as Samsung Galaxy; iOS devices such as Apple iPad and iPhone; Roku streaming devices; Sony PlayStation® 3 and Sony PlayStation® 4; and Xbox 360. Availability on additional devices, including Xbox One and select Smart TVs, will follow this summer.
“Today is a historic day for WWE as we transform and reimagine how we deliver our premium live content and 24/7 programming directly to our fans around the world,” said Vince McMahon, WWE Chairman & Chief Executive Officer. “WWE Network will provide transformative growth for our company and unprecedented value for our fans.”
WWE Network will also offer fans a revolutionary second screen experience for all original programming and live events via the WWE App, similar to the interactive fan experience currently available for flagship TV programs Raw® and SmackDown®.
WWE collaborated with MLB Advanced Media (MLBAM) to build a powerful solution for delivering 24/7 WWE content to fans. MLBAM will provide its industry-leading technology services, including video streaming infrastructure, application development and operational support for reliable cross-platform distribution.
MLBAM has been at the forefront of streaming technology for more than a decade, powering its own live video subscription product since 2002. Last year, MLBAM managed live video content for more than 25,000 events, covering 80,000 hours of broadcast programming, across its sports and entertainment partners.
“We applaud WWE for this bold, timely and strategic move to fully optimize the power and potential of live entertainment,” said Bob Bowman, President and CEO, MLBAM. “We are proud to work with WWE to help provide its millions of loyal fans with unencumbered access to distinctive and engaging live content across the devices they use most.”
WWE Network is scheduled to launch in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong and the Nordics by the end of 2014/early 2015.
WWE Network will officially launch with the live Monday Night Raw Post-Show on Monday, February 24 at 11:06 pm ET, and fans will instantly have access to the most comprehensive WWE video-on-demand library upon signing up. In addition to live Raw and SmackDown pre- and post-shows every week, new programming including a live studio show and additional on-demand content will be added in the future.
At launch, WWE Network will include:
All 12 Live Pay-Per-View Events
· All 12 current WWE pay-per-view events – including WrestleMania – will be available to subscribers live, as well as on demand.
· Live pay-per-view 30 minute pre- and post-shows.
As part of it’s programming slate for the newly announced WWE Network, the company debuted a number of original shows that will air exclusively on the streaming service. [Read more...]
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.” [Read more...]
Brian and Steve are back to discuss Old School WWE Raw from Monday night with legends returning to the show including Ric Flair and Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts, if WWE should have ended the show different following Roman Reigns big win, Daniel Bryan making his television debut with the Wyatt Family, the Brock Lesnar segment with Mark Henry and Big Show and more. Plus, more talk about Lesnar about him still talking with UFC about a potential fight, Jerry Lawler’s health scare, Dolph Zigger sidelined again, Jeff Jarrett’s next project and more.