Monday 20 November 2017

WWE Network: We Wish You The Best In Your Future Endevours By Joel Yentis

I have decided, I am cancelling my WWE Network subscription. I don’t use it. New content doesn’t appeal to me. The nail in the coffin will depend on this weekend’s quality – no pressure then WWE.

You see, my problem is time and environment. Once the kids are in bed, I have a few hours to spend with the wife which, lies the second problem; trying to negotiate a night watchingwrestling. WWE isn’t easy to watch at the best of times, let alone when the current product just doesn’t make any sense. When I introduced the wife to wrestling back in 2009, her first comment was “do they do risk assessments?” when watching a money in the bank ladder match. A fair point, I suppose. Then a large amount of reasonable  questions followed, “why do they always do moves facing the camera?” or “why are they always distracted when someone else’s music plays?”. Dearest wife, I have no answer. I don’t think many people have answers, including the decision makers.

So my valuable, marital time is at a premium, WWE is not an option. Fortunately, I have two other subscription services which, are cheaper than the “New York” territories offering and more importantly, a more common sense approach to content. Another subscription service we have is Netflix and, we really enjoyed watching GLOW together as well as non-wrestling related shows such as American Vandal, Toast of London to name but a few. A few hours of free time every night and, with all these options available, we tend to go for Netflix (also cheaper than the WWE Network) then, if I feel lucky I will offer up a New Japan English Commentary show or, if I am really feeling lucky, a Rev Pro Cockpit show.

With time at a premium, this week I have found having plenty of free time. Once I get the kids to bed, I am on my own. The wife is out doing a play (because we are middle class… Amateur Theatre Dahling). I can sit in and watch whatever I want (and play Football Manager at the same time – MULTITASKING!). What have I chosen to watch this week? Well, to watch Rev I have to plug in my Chromecast, connect my Macbooks Chrome, log in and then Cast. New Japan is the same process – but this has improved greatly (I now no longer need Google Translate – Huzzah!). For the WWE Network, I just hit the apps button on my remote and go to the WWE App, Michael Cole told me how to install it and everything (I have a Smart TV – told you I was middle class). Ease of use doesn’t seem to affect me. I can log onto the site nice and easy and browse the network. I even get emails from John Cena, Roman Reigns and Charlotte Flair to tell me amazing new events are coming to the Network. Thanks guys. This week, I have been mostly watching Rev Pro Global Wars Shows 1 and 2, New Japan Power Struggle (again) and PWG BOLA 2017 Night 1. Really enjoyable ways to spend an evening or two.

Why don’t I use the Network then? Well, I have lived throughmost of their 90s to date archives. Putting in the hours when I wasn’t married, with kids and a mortgage. No, I lived these events when I had a social life – which I didn’t have because I was in my room watching wrestling.

Nostalgia seems to be a big reason to have the network, but I don’t need nostalgia in my current free time. I have vintage video games for my nostalgia fix, plus a lot of the content from the Attitude Era for example doesn’t age particularly well. There are plenty of more qualified folk to point this out, but the way women were portrayed at the time has no place in my house. The Attitude Era and all ECW shows are a no go option for me these days. I want new, up and coming, different, challenging viewing options and, in its current form the WWE just doesn’t offer me that. Even with NXT – it is formulaic; focused on being a TV product rather than a sport on TV. Can you imagine Ronaldo getting screamed at for not turning to the hard cam to do his celebration? Or how about Roger Federer serving for the match and accidently lookingstraight into the camera? If it is “Sports Entertainment” why isn’t there emphasis on the sport? We don’t scream at the Sky Sports commentators for talking about what is trending online during a match or the editors cutting away every time someone completes a tackle. It’s time for me to just give up on the network. I thought it was everything I ever dreamed of, but in reality, Over the Top services such as Rev Pro, Progress, NJPW World etc IS what I dreamed of. Current product of the highest of qualities with an archive should I wish to go back. 

My £9.99 a month saved will go back into wrestling, through live attendance, merchandise, subscriptions etc. It will not go to corporate America any longer. Yuk, I am turning into one of “those guys”.

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