Netflix and Hulu have been staples to TV streaming for a while now but with the addition of standalone Showtime and HBO Now cutting the cord is getting more and more enticing. Apple TV is rolling out quality channels making most of your favorite shows available, even if you do have to wait a day before seeing it. Live sports, namely, football, still has not found its way to streaming and baseball and basketball are a bit expensive for my taste but there are other options for the sports and wrestling fans. Monday Night Football and Sunday night baseball can be seen on Watch ESPN, and less popular sports are reasonably priced.
After much consideration I’ve decided to give WWE Network a shot. I figure at the $9.99 price tag, what is there to lose? WWE and its impressive side project NXT have been very good as of late. John Cena has been putting over Superstars like Cesaro, Rusev, Neville, and Kevin Owen, all while giving stellar performances in matches all worthy of Match of the Year awards. I’m not in love with Seth Rollins as the champ. His whiny voice and bleach accident hairstyle adds to his less than intriguing persona. With that said, the man can wrestle his ass off. He can do shit others can’t, including, crackin Cena’s schnauzer. NXT is developing great performers in Zayn, Ballor, Sasha Banks, Charlotte, and even Tyler Breeze while cultivating a wrestling culture that hasn’t been experienced since before the RAW vs Nitro wars. Before the battle for rating and all the buffoonery that came along with it. Welcome back wrestling.
On Apple TV, the layout plays a lot like Netflix, HBO and almost every other channel. It is clean, generally intuitive but a bit repetitive.
At $9.99, I can’t imagine it being prohibitive to most incomes and getting all the pay-per-views is worth the price of admission alone. And if by some chance you don’t see it’s worth or you lose interest, you can cancel at any time.
It sucks that you can’t watch RAW or Smackdown on the network and have to fork up another $7.99 to watch it on HULU, but honestly, if you’ve already cut the cord, you already have HULU. I’m hoping in the near future all the shows will be live streamed on the WWE Network but for now, it is easy to understand that, a lot like the NFL, 10 year TV deals have already been agreed to and it’s all a matter of time and patience for now.
The network has a lot of content. PPV and NXT can be watched live or whenever you want. For the reality-TV junkies there’s Total Divas, Legend’s House, Jerry Springer and Swerved. I don’t particularly like any of those shows and found Swerved excruciating to watch but the options do exist for those who enjoy it.
Outside of PPV and NXT, the archives are probably the strength of the network. You can watch virtually every WWE, WCW, and ECW PPV. There’s also a fairly large selection of Nitro and ECW episodes. Outside of YouTube, it was annoying to relive matches like Shawn Michaels vs. Razor Ramon, Shane McMahon vs. Kurt Angle, or Mick Foley vs. well, anybody. WWE Network gives you the keys to the vault.
The documentaries are quite good too. I like a decent documentary and though limited, they have a few that really takes you back the glory days.
WWE Network is Worth 10 Bucks
If you are a wrestling fan and you have some disposal income, getting the WWE Network is a no-brainer. You’ll be a disappointed that neither RAW or Smackdown are available live but getting every single PPV is a luxury that was otherwise financially prohibitive at the usual $50 price tag. The vault and documentaries are also a perk. There is some sense of variety that will please some. This service is not exactly top notch quality but like a lot of the other channels, it provides some benefits at a reasonable price and it is certainly a good answer for those thinking of cutting the cord. For those having a hard time breaking up with your cable provider, it’s still a good buy, but more importantly, stop dragging your feet. Eventually the breakup will come, it won’t be pretty, the cable providers won’t understand, but you’ll be much happier with a bit more cash in your pocket.