Hi, my name is Evan Swafford. I am 30 years old and I love professional wrestling. Whether you are a closet wrestling fan or have no shame like myself, last night was an exciting night. WWE, the biggest professional wrestling company in the world, had been teasing a “huge announcement” at CES for days. The announcement turned out to be the unveiling of the long rumored WWE Network. What nobody saw coming was just how amazing it would be.
Long thought to be a premium subscription based cable network, WWE made a very smart move by making it it’s own streaming network similar to Netflix. With the tag line “Over the Top”, WWE really follows through on that promise. It will stream live 24/7 with original programming. Some of the original shows that are coming include Legends House, a Big Brother style reality show with WWE legends; WWE Countdown, an interactive top 10 list show similar to Free for All’s own Geek Sheet; Wrestlemania Rewind, an in-depth look at the behind the scenes story-lines from past Wrestlemanias; and Monday Night War, a look back on the battle between WWE and WCW. A live daily studio show, similar to ESPN’s Sportscenter will be coming soon after the launch. You will be able to watch replays of that weeks Raw and Smackdown shows, as well as one hour pre and post shows before and after Raw and Smackdown. The company’s smaller and developmental shows NXT and Main Event will also be shown on the network.
As impressive as their live show lineup is, its their on demand section that is really impressive. WWE’s entire video library will be available at launch. That will include every WWE, WCW, and ECW pay-per-view ever. Also, select historical Raw and Smackdown episodes will continuously be made available. It was thought that WWE’s “B” pay-per-views might be included on the network (every one except Royal Rumble, Wrestlemania, Summerslam, and Survivor Series), but they shocked everyone when they announced that EVERY pay-per-view would be available for live streaming with a subscription.
So what will it cost? That was the other shocker of the night. $9.99 a month. Far lower than anybody thought. Now they did say that is with a 6 month commitment. It was unclear if it will be $60 to get started and then it drops to a monthly rate, or if you are just locked in to $9.99 for at least 6 months. Which is smart, as it will keep people from just ordering and cancelling with ever Pay-per-view. If you are an avid wrestling fan that likes to order the Pay-per-views, you are going to save a TON of money. Ordering every one for the entire year would cost you over $600 right now. With the WWE network, you get them all plus all the other great content for the price of two. A free one week trial will be available at launch.
Thought to not be coming until 2015, we now know that the WWE Network will be available next month. The launch will take place on February 24 in the US and everywhere else shortly after . You can start subscribing that morning and the network will go live at 11:05 PM ET, immediately following that night’s Raw, which is the night right after the Elimination Chamber Pay-per-view and right in the middle of the Road to Wrestlemania season. The network will be available on virtually any device. Your computer, tablets, phones, smart tv’s, apple devices, Google Chromecast, and Roku. All of your gaming systems will carry the network at launch except Xbox One, which will be available at the beginning of the summer. It is an amazing announcement and an amazing deal, and wrestling fans everywhere should rejoice. Below is a short highlight video of the announcement.
So what do you think of the WWE Network?