The WWE Network

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I haven’t watched a whole lot of wrestling lately, but I decided to subscribe to the WWE Network in anticipation of Wrestlemania XXX which takes place tomorrow night. It seems like too good a deal to pass up. For $9.99 a month (with a required 6 month commitment) you get to watch every PPV live on the WWE network via the website, or app on the device of your choice (though it’s not on Xbox One yet).

You also get access to absolutely TONS of on demand content including every past PPV. I was under the impression you could watch RAW and Smackdown after they air, however it turns out there’s a delay of over a month because HULU has the rights to those shows. There’s also some live content and original programming, however I’m not that much of a wrestling fan and probably wont watch very much of that.

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Wrestlemania is going to be the first PPV broadcast live over the WWE network so we’ll see how the network holds up tomorrow night. A friend of mine ordered Wrestlemania last year through the PS3 app and the broadcast stopped working after about 30 minutes and never started working again.

I decided to check out what the WWE Network has to offer mainly because I like the business model. I’m not a cable cutter (I have Dish Network and love it), but it’s interesting to see a content provider deciding to take control of its content and distribute it on its own. I also subscribe to MLB.TV and love being able to access content on my own terms. I’ve read a few articles where Dish and DirectTV have expressed frustration over the WWE’s decision to provide PPV content live to WWE Network subscribers (why would you continue to spend $50 a month on PPV’s when $9.99 gets you the same thing and more?) and apparently Dish even refused to carry the last PPV in protest. I’m glad the WWE is deciding to shake things up, and maybe we’ll see more a la carte content in the future.

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FCW Wrestling

I just wanted to share a video from a YouTuber whose videos I’ve enjoyed watching for awhile. YouTube user JD Venom┬áhas created a variety of Let’s Play videos and his most popular videos are his FCW wrestling videos. Basically he puts together his own wrestling shows in WWE 2k14, creates storylines, adds commentaries and edits it all into a wrestling “TV show” for his YouTube audience. I wish I had the time, patience and enthusiasm to do this sort of thing. I think it’d be cool to do something like this in Madden or something where you could tell your franchise / career story in a weekly highlight show or something.

Anyway, check out his most recent FCW video:

Wrestlemania 29 follow up

So my buddy called WWE today to complain about the fact that although he paid $60 to watch the PPV streaming via WWE.com he couldn’t watch any of it due to the fact that the server apparently crashed. Well the customer service response he received was that they will not be issuing any refunds for anyone affected, but rather they extended access through the rest of the week.

Are you kidding me? You pay $60 to watch a live event and you can’t watch it due to the servers being down and all you get is the ability to watch it the rest of the week? First of all the results are already out, second of all it’s already on The Pirate Bay, and thirdly we already watched an illegal live stream of the event.

So will we be buying a WWE PPV again? No. It seems you’re better off streaming it illegally or pirating it.

Also, this guy exactly sums up my thoughts on the PPV:

Wrestlemania letdowns

Please note there will be SPOILERS ahead.

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So I can’t describe myself as the hugest wrestling fan on the planet, but rather an occasional watcher and friend of a few more hardcore fans, but I have to say Wrestlemania 29 was a bit of a disappointment, especially after all of the buildup.

There wasn’t a whole lot of drama, especially not in the main event. When compared to the match between The Rock and CM Punk at the last pay per view, the match between The Rock and John Cena was nowhere near as electrifying. It really just seemed like them going through the motions with The Rock handing over the title and walking away back to his film career….once again. And the hug and handshake at the end? Really?

The most exciting match of the night was easily the one between Undertaker and CM Punk, but even that seemed like it could’ve had just a little more to it.

On a side note, WWE.com really dropped the ball on this one. My buddy purchased the PPV stream via WWE.com and after about ten minutes of watching the server crashed and for the rest of the night simply said the service was unavailable. We tried to call the 1-800 number several times, however it only rang and rang with no answer. We had to end up streaming the PPV illegally which of course was a big sacrifice on quality. We weren’t the only ones with this problem either, there were plenty of other users complaining via Twitter about being unable to stream the PPV they purchased. I can only hope the refund process is painless for those affected.