If you weren’t aware I’m a big fan of wrestling. I grew up on it thanks to my dad and I been an avid watcher ever since. There may be a few years I fell off the wagon back in the early 2000s but I’m addiction and keeping up with it is as current as can be. So when we got invited by WWE to check them out at CES I was pretty hyped of what was coming out of it. Of course what resulted was the announcement of the WWE Network and its launch hitting on February 24, which I’m pleased to see they made it to that date.
With the app launching on Monday morning, it was a mess trying to get signed up for the deal. But what did you expect? Offering a free week trial to test out the service before actually committing wasn’t going to drive their servers crazy? I gave it some time and eventually registered and signed up later in the evening. So far testing it on the mobile app and heavily on the website, I have some nice rants and gripes about the WWE Network thus far that you can check below.
- Tons of Content Across WWE, WCW, and ECW: This is what you purchased the app for. There is hours upon hours of content ranging from PPVs, weekly shows and even some specials. As far as PPVs are concerned, all the PPVs across all three companies are showcased and you can search either by Title, Year, or Oldest to Newest. As far as WWE Raw & Smackdown they have in its entirety from 2012 to 2014 on the list. There are some other years that are scattered but that most likely has to do with WWE adding content daily with its own LIVE scheduled programming. I’d love to see some WCW Monday Nitro episodes and even some ECW episodes if they could gather those together. This all backtracks on WWE initally saying everything would be available from the get-go but I figured that wasn’t the case because this is how htey will keep subscribers plugged in.
- No Favorites or Resuming Option: A given on media apps with tons of content is the ability to view it later On the WWE Network there isn’t any option to check a show for later viewing. Since there is so much programming you are guaranteed to forget something. Also a puzzling omission is to resume from where you last left off like on Netflix. This sucks more for mobile viewing as with your smartphone you are prone to get caught up doing something else. As soon as you come out and go back into the app, you are back at the beginning.
- Editing: There are some to be expected such as the music changes in WCW & ECW. As this is usually seen with re-releases of content as not to have to pay royalties for re-airings. At WWF Armageddon 1999 the Evening Gown Pool Match is still intact but Miss Kitty’s infamous breast exposure is blurred. Cursing is also omitted/bleeped in various ECW PPVs such “Guity As Charged 2001″ which is littered with it. The WWE’s Over the Edge 99‘ PPV has been nicely cleaned up to make it look like the Owen Hart accident didnt happen in this broadcast(there is mention of it as disclaimer when PPV starts). WWF Insurrextion 2000 is missing which was the first of their annual UK PPV shows.
- Streaming: With all the material on here, I have gone from the early 90s up to recent showings in the past week. Quality has been top-notch and this was viewing on my laptop and mobile device. HD Quality shows are as they should, and other non-HD actually looks good too. I would like possibly a “stretch” option or something to assist with the “box” viewing of older shows. Also you can have up to two devices going at the same time off of one account which is good for sharing purposes.
- Pricing: Even though we are only three days into the launch of the WWE Network and you are using the 1-week trial period, I couldn’t see how the $9.99 pricing wouldn’t be worth all this. In the past couple of days, I have watched ECW, WCW, and WWE programming with ease. Even caught up on some NXT episodes including their “Match of the Year” w/ Sami Zayn & Antonio Cesaro in a 2 Out of 3 Falls Match which is quite a sight. Also the fact you get access to every PPV at $9.99 equals up to $120/yr. WWE PPVs are around $40-$60 so that’s a no-brainer.
As far as support is concerned, it seems to vary by device. I have not had any issues with my laptop and smartphones. I have heard glaring reports of issues with the Xbox 360 and also with the Xbox 360 you need to have a Gold Membership just like 90% of their other apps like Netflix, UFC and even YouTube(smh). Also AppleTV is supported but Chromecast isn’t. Unless of course you do Tab Casting which I have done and worked. But I’d like to see Chromecast be fully supported by the WWE Network sooner then later.
Anything you like/dislike about the WWE Network so far? Any great matches you caught and missed out on?