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How The WWE Can Truly Take the Network Over the Top

This is the 100th day since the WWE Network has launched. Mike Johnson of PWInsider.com wrote these suggestions today on how to make the network even better and I thought they were interesting:    


*WCW Programming on Saturdays at 6:05 PM! I know that WCW fans are waiting for the Monday Night Wars and Monday Nitro episodes to begin airing, but the true crown jewel of that library that is left for the truly old school fans is the series that was THE original destination pro wrestling programming – the 6:05 pro wrestling series that eventually became known as WCW Saturday Night. WWE would be wise to begin preparing those episodes and airing them once a week – in their old time slot (6:05-8:05 Eastern on Saturdays) so that fans who want to re-live and fans who want to experience the truly classic days of Jim Crockett Promotions in the 1980s and beyond can do so in “real time.” (with a VOD offering a short time later).  

*ECW Home Video. While it’s hard for me to personally get over the necessary musical changes needed for ECW presentations, WWE has done an amazing job cleaning up the visuals of the ECW footage and trying to present the original spirit of the ECW TV series. Similar to adding the WCW Clash of Champions and WWE’s Saturday Night’s Main Event episodes, ECW Home Video presented some of the biggest ECW events and were the lifeblood that kept ECW alive. There’s no better way to showcase what the true ECW experience was (I only feel one PPV truly captured that – Heatwave 98) and it would allow hours of new material.  

*Pro Wrestling This Week. In the 1980s., Gordon Solie and Joe Pedicino hosted a wonderful syndicated series looking at the world in and around pro wrestling. While obviously that series was sent tape every week from different territories, so that wouldn’t work here, the template of that old studio show with two hosts (Renee Young and Paul Heyman are my suggestions) discussing the topics of the WWE week would be entertaining and fun, similar to how Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan handled the old days of Prime Time Wrestling.  

*Where Are They Now? – One of the most popular articles on the WWE website is there “Where Are They Now” pieces catching fans up on where former WWE, WCW and ECW personalities are today. Imagine a one hour weekly show showcasing them in their new “real lives” as well as classic clips and interviews from family members and others in the industry. It could be a cheap and easy way to create a new series.  

*AWA. WWE hasn’t mined any of the AWA’s old material yet. Get Gene Okerlund to film some wrap-arounds and present the best of different AWA stars. It can be great wrestling and a history lesson all at once.  

*Saturday Night Fights. I already discussed the idea of giving WCW a two hour timeslot on Saturdays. What better way to showcase some classic action by mining all of the great old house show footage (dubbed WWE Old School on the Network) once a week. You can even add an interactive element by having fans vote all week for which card they want to see spotlighted.  

*Take Us Inside Titan Tower and inside WWE. Let’s face it, the WWE HQ holds as much mystique as anywhere. Do live cut-ins and wrap-arounds inside WWE HQ, the video library, in the production trucks, backstage, everywhere. Imagine Vince McMahon, in his office, introducing an episode of Wrestlemania Rewind. Imagine Triple H, backstage at Raw, explaining why fans should want to watch this classic Ric Flair match. Tour the WWE warehouse. Fans who watch the Network love and are obsessed with WWE, make this their haven to whet that appetite.  

*Network hosts. If WWE wants to truly be over the top, they need to make the relationship between the viewer and the Network as personal as possible. WWE should study all the early days of MTV and create their own version of VJs (Colt Cabana, Cliff Compton and The Bellas would be awesome at this) to bring us in and out of programming and provide fun, witty banter. Hell, Joey Styles is probably leaping out of chair willing to do this right now.

Obviously, these are just a few ideas but I’ve got many more…and sooner or later, I’ll provide even more suggestions. Until then: come on WWE, truly take us Over the Top!


If you disagree with these or can add more, what ideas would you add to make the network even better?

Comments

  1. I suggest a few months ago that they should have Wrestling Challenge and World Wide on Saturday mornings with NWA Saturday Night during the evenings. Basically devote Saturdays to the fans who remember waking up Saturday morning to watch wrestling.

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  2. The VJ idea is really good. Also they need to do a full length version of the JBL and Cole Show and put it on the network.

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  3. Also, make a deal with Austin to film his podcast, like they do Stern or Mike and Mike on ESPN. You can show clips of whatever classic angle or match Austin is taking about or highlights of his guest and stuff like that.

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  4. Expanding some of their former Youtube shows to a full half hour weekly format seems like a no brainer too.


    Are You Serious is begging for a relaunch.

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  5. That would be a great idea

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  6. I'm a little hesitant to make sweeping proclomations about what's wrong with the Network, but I do think the amazing lack of Monday Night Wars era TV says a lot about how they see the audience for the Network, and why it's probably underperforming expectations.

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  7. I love Renee and all, but a revamp of Prime Time featuring Paul and Dutch would be appointment TV. They'd be better to argue with one another.

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  8. More RVD matches. Those are over the top.

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  9. Wrestling at the Chase! Wrestling at the Chase!
    ...is a show I like and nobody else cares about.

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  10. They need to add some wcw weekly TV for sure. Plus just to make the network seem like a more through service they should put some 70's stuff on.

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  11. They should really add the OVW shows from when they were the WWE developmental territory. People would watch the early days of Cena, Batista, Orton, Brock, etc , and they were pretty good shows as far as I remember as well.

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  12. Only hangups I see are that it would have to be the family friendly version and he wouldn't be able to talk about TNA or any other promotion.

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  13. Except that the wwe would insist on control over his content and then no one would watch his podcast. Its better Austin stays out of that.

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  14. I think the easiest way to put it: They need to be getting on putting ALL of the old stuff up ASAP.

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  15. They could do a "Before They Were Stars" type deal with footage from developmental and smaller territories

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  16. He has two podcasts, filming the family friendly version and no TNA talk would probably be the only hangups, and it wouldn't be that big of a deal.

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  17. I definitely like how they are filming tough enough for the network. But I'm not not sure that will reach a broader audience.

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  18. It might be the selling point to people are on the fence but doubt it will add many subscribers, now if they had some Total Divas extras that were unavailable elsewhere . . yea. .sadly that would probably boost the subscribers a lot.

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  19. Maybe the great white whale out there is the people who stopped watching wrestling after wcw folded. Would putting all the old wcw shows up be enough to attract some of those people to spend 10 bucks a month on the network.

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  20. Doubt it, the people who didn't switch to WWE after WCW folded have some person fanboy grudge against all things WWE since WWE was quite good at that time.

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  21. I dream of some rich Arab wrestling fan starting up their own promotion with enough money to offer top wrestlers money they can't refuse and then say in 10 years or so the WWE will have some competition again

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  22. My guess would be probably not. I'm not sure if there is anything they could do to appeal to a wider audience? Maybe put a weekly TV 14 wrestling show on it? I'm just not sure. Its great for hardcore wrestling fans but otherwise I don't know. The only move they could have really tried is to take RAW off TV and put it on the network but that's too risky.

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  23. I think it depends on how many old school fans are holding out, and why. I can definitely see someone saying that they won't pay for it until Nitro or Saturday Night is up, b/c I find that to be incredibly annoying myself. Normally I'd say I trust the company to know its audience, but in this case it's really just the opposite.

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  24. A spin off series from Total Divas available only on the network and reruns of Total Divas? That's all I see adding subs.

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  25. It just take Total Divas off E and put it on the network

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  26. Your_Favourite_Buck_NastyJune 4, 2014 at 4:39 PM

    "*Where Are They Now?

    dead
    dead
    in jail
    missing completely
    dead
    missing limbs
    missing faculties
    jobbing
    jobbing
    running the company
    starting other companies that fail

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  27. One thing about it though: the marginal cost of adding new library content is zero. Which means that any new subscribers who ARE brought in by that are essentially pure windfall, whereas producing stuff like Tough Enough or Legends House costs money.

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  28. The idea of re-airing a twenty year old show in it's old time slot for no other reason than getting the chance to relive all those Saturday nights spent at home is goddamn hilarious.

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  29. Of course I still think they will get a lot of subs when they finally start making the Network available outside the US, Mexico, Japan, Eurpoe, Canada, all huge markets that have hardcore fans.

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  30. Not a single person that watches that show will pay for it.

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  31. Me too but they need 1.4 million domestic subs too

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  32. Your_Favourite_Buck_NastyJune 4, 2014 at 4:41 PM

    "all the early days of MTV and create their own version of VJs (...The Bellas would be awesome at this)"


    no

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  33. All of this sounds great to me. I've been yelling about the ECW tapes since the begining.

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  34. Yeah the ppvs are really the only bullet they had in the gun. It pulled in what it pulled in.

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  35. Your_Favourite_Buck_NastyJune 4, 2014 at 4:42 PM

    smoky
    mountain
    wrestling

    (waits for thumbs up from biscuit)

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  36. It gets them out of active competition? WIN.

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  37. Your_Favourite_Buck_NastyJune 4, 2014 at 4:43 PM

    brie cheese is so much more likeable than nikki nipples

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  38. Total subscriptions is really all that will matter. Maybe they need to offer the olive branch to current Indy promotions to air their shows on the network to draw in the anti-WWE fanboys to subscribe. Adding some Japanese and Mexican promotions would help a lot for when they go international to those countries as well. I bet if they have classic Lucha Libre stuff they get 2 million subs in Mexico easily.

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  39. Your_Favourite_Buck_NastyJune 4, 2014 at 4:43 PM

    isnt your voice a little lillian by now?

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  40. Yeah the only thing they can really do is try and make more people want to watch the ppvs and for whatever reason that's the last thing they are willing to do. Are people really going to sign up to pay to watch wwe made TV shows or old archival footage? Yes but maybe not enough. You've got to get them on the ppvs.

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  41. PPV's and the Attitude Era, those are my only interests. They keep trying to sell me the shit (like Clash) that I chose the WWF over before...why would I want to watch this stuff now when I thought it sucked then? I chose YOU over THEM, that's why YOU still exist.


    It's the weirdest model ever, it's like Pepsi offering a lifetime soda can but the first twelve refills are Coca Cola. Bizarre.

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  42. Your_Favourite_Buck_NastyJune 4, 2014 at 4:45 PM

    presumably they own the rights to rock n wrestling. that can be added to a saturday morning line-up as well

    rip uncle phil/jyd

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  43. 2 million subs in mexico easy??? I don't share your confidence in that at all for various reasons.

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  44. This. Wont. Happen.


    But......throw EVERYTHING on the network. Take their shitty TV deal and flush it, and just put every single second of programming on the web. for the "Not internet savvy", cut a deal with Roku for a free device for a 1 year agreement.


    It would take titanic grapefruits, but would be great to watch.

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  45. Your_Favourite_Buck_NastyJune 4, 2014 at 4:45 PM

    "Are people really going to sign up to pay to watch...old archival footage"

    that's why i always pimp 24/7 and why i miss it

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  46. Might be exaggerating a bit, but Mexican lucha libre fans are huge in numbers and classic 70s, 80s, 90s stuff would bring them in in droves.

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  47. Well me too and I definitely signed up for 24/7 back in the day as well. I'm just thinking to reach that fan base that was supposedly more desirable than us hardcore's they didn't care about they need to get them more interested in watching every ppv, not just mania.

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  48. Leave a recap show on network tv that has the horrible still frames they use to recap PPVs with just exclamations like "Woah", "Wow" etc over them . I hate those recaps =-_-=

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  49. I bet they could pull 1 million from the rest of the globe, with another 700k-1mil here in the states. Between Australia/Europe/Japan/South America/Mexico/Canada there has to be a shitload of fans that haven't really ever gotten proper access to this stuff.

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  50. I don't think they do care for the current wwe product that much. Hispanic americans? Sure. I don't know about in mexico and also what kind of bandwith caps and internet speeds do they have through out the country?

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  51. I'd say just the opposite: Selling PPVs for $9.99 is a part of the reason they need so many subscriptions to make money off of the thing.

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  52. I dunno the logistics, and yea you'd be advertising in mexico that you have the lucha libre stuff, not advertising the WWE stuff.

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  53. Also theres a good portion of the country that doesn't have internt access despite demanding it. My understanding is only about 40% of the countrys population has internet access.

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  54. I think the big unanswered question here is...what is the imagined endgame with the Network? Does Vince want to make big profits, or is the idea to do something that will finally get him adulation as a legitimate media mogul and visionary?

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  55. I do admit I won't cancel when it becomes $14.99 or $19.99 to get the PPVs still at an extraordinary discount plus the archival stuff as a bonus.

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  56. Well, other than the ppvs what else would 1.4 million people in America pay for from the wwe?

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  57. A lot of the better matches (not overall shows) took place on Wrestling Challenge, Superstars of Wrestling, Power Hour, Main Event, etc. type shows and I'd love for them to include them on the WWE Network. As far as the Monday Night Wars go, been there, done that. I could go the rest of my life without seeing an episode of Raw and/or Nitro from '96-'01 and be perfectly happy. I want the mid,late-80's, early-90's stuff.

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  58. I think that instead of telling everyone that they could get six PPVs (including Summerslam!) for the price of one, they should have built around the archives and simply offered big discounts on the PPVs. Essentially pursue a strategy of making more money off of your hardcore fans instead of trying to create a make believe TV station.

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  59. If you weren't giving away a bunch of PPVs you wouldn't need that many subscribers.

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  60. Your_Favourite_Buck_NastyJune 4, 2014 at 4:55 PM

    that reminds me that back when the network launched, they had giant 24/7 banners hanging in the arenas. i know they promote the network on tv, and imagine they shows videos in arenas, but for those people who just kinda flipped around the tv, those ever present banners were good

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  61. Why does it have to be Coca Cola? WWE would be like Pepsi buying out Coca Cola, AND a bunch of smaller competitors. People are asking for the OPTION to get a Pepsi, a Coke, an RC Cola, or even some "independent" brand as refills.


    NOBODY is forcing you to order Coca Cola refills, but if you want to try them the option would be there.


    Also, in this example, the only other soda is a crappy "Coke-wanna-be" brand that manages to fuck up a key part of the process in each batch. Occassionally, they make that one batch that convinces some customers that they've got something promising... then the formula changes again to something crappy because the idiots running the place ran off most of the "soda" people.

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  62. This is one reason why I think they need to put everything on it. Us hardcore's all have specific things we'd like to see, and it seems like we're a huge chunk of the subs so just give us what we want (which is collectively everything)

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  63. If you didn't give away the ppvs how many subscribers would you get?

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  64. I do understand they need to go through everything they want to put up, edit any copyright issues out (mainly music), and add disclaimers for anything not WWE PG (blood, over the top violence, etc), and that is why stuff is being added so slowly, yet all they need to do is stop on here and offer $10/hour to go through content for them and they could get it done in no time :P

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  65. For ALL of the archives, discounts on PPVs, and some cheap and easy to produce original shows? Enough to make it REALLY profitable, I'd imagine.

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  66. Your_Favourite_Buck_NastyJune 4, 2014 at 5:02 PM

    question: people always talk about how now that the pandora's box of the network is open, and ppv providers are mad, that there's no turning back

    is that really the case?

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  67. As long as WWE can promise 1 million+ buys for Wrestlemania...not a chance in hell.

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  68. It' would be difficult to say the least to get fans to pay $60 dollars a month after they've sampled the network and gotten 6 ppv's for that price already.


    The cable/satellite providers would take the WWE back for sure but maybe with an increased cut of those PPV dollars.

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  69. They'll make $ 3 million dollars plus a week on that shitty tv deal. Throwing that away doesn't take grapefruits it takes sheer stupidity.

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  70. Stranger in the AlpsJune 4, 2014 at 5:06 PM

    And that's just Perry Saturn.

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  71. Didnt know the number was that high. Duly noted.

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  72. They still would.

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  73. WCW saturday night was the best. Odd things you remember: Growing up, my grandparents lived in a small rural town. So any weekend/holiday we'd go there, there was basic cable. Which meant, they got TBS, which meant I could watch WCW Saturday Night.

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  74. Just give me Prime Time and some old NWA/WCW and I'll be happy.

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  75. Agree with about all of this but I definitely thought the other day about the ECW Arena cards and stuff that paid off all the angles etc. That would be truly awesome if done.

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  76. TJ: Charlotte looks just like Flair in a wig.

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  77. How long does it take for them to put the latest episodes of Raw and Smackdown on the Network?

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  78. Would you bite her mole off Boogeyman style?

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  79. "Over the top" of what? What does "over the top" mean? Profitable? A quality option for spending money on? On the top level of icons on the Playstation 4 channel screen?

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  80. Then we could.. GASP.. watch him take a swig o'beer for the working man.

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  81. http://i577.photobucket.com/albums/ss214/treeleaf_2009/flair/FLAIR1-medium.jpg

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  82. Charlotte vs. Nattie was good for a diva's match. It's surprising to see girls go 20 minutes without the entire thing falling off the rail. The execution, though, was so-so.

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  83. I'm guessing that was something they were negotiating with USA that fell through considering we get access to PPVs right after they air?

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  84. I think it was

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  85. Yeah, it was getting a lot more praise than it deserved, IMO.


    Plus, Nattie was brutal in some spots

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  86. Communication issues, sloppy/weak looking spots, and downtime/dead spots. It was enjoyable, but I couldn't go any higher than *** 1/4

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  87. If she bulks up a little more, Charlotte could become Chyna 2.0.

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  88. The people that would watch that stuff already have the Network.

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  89. placetobepodcastJune 4, 2014 at 5:56 PM

    I thought they should have hopped in with NJPW to air their stuff first run domestically on the network when this was all first announced.

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  90. Neville vs. Kidd was very good. A little lackluster on storytelling, but a lot of incredible spots and counters. Also, they sold well, which made the high-spots feel more important.

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  91. placetobepodcastJune 4, 2014 at 5:58 PM

    I wonder how much of that they are saving for the MNW series that is starting up in July...

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  92. Solid. Waiting for

    St Louis
    Wrestling
    Club

    It's never coming :-(

    I hold out hope for the

    American
    Wrestling
    Association

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  93. ... I don't have the Network.

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  94. Your_Favourite_Buck_NastyJune 4, 2014 at 6:14 PM

    at the end of 24/7 they were showing awa from late '81

    it was weird b/c the show lengths weren't what you'd expect minus commercials. they were usually like 30 to 35 minutes. an hour-long show should be around 42 - 45 min minus commercials. i wonder what was cut out. don't think it was local bumpers, b/c when they showed mid-atlantic, the early shows often had bumpers for upcoming house shows. thing is, they didn't seem to match whatever time period the show itself was from. for example, the show itself was promoting an upcoming battle royal for a cadillac, and then the bumper was from weeks later where jimmy valiant was talking about how glad he was to have won the caddie

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  95. I'd say the best bet is to just develop shows that people will watch. The thought isn't hard but the follow through seems to be.
    What really gets me about them is that they want to be taken seriously as an entertainment company but nix almost everything b/c of being so image conscious . Like doing a story on what really happened with Snuka and that lady. They don't want to open those can of worms, rightly so, but that's something non-fans could get pulled into.

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  96. Your_Favourite_Buck_NastyJune 4, 2014 at 6:15 PM

    can't wait till for whatever reason the old stallone movie trends worldwide, and then wwe will claim that everyone around the world is talk about the network

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  97. richard householderJune 4, 2014 at 6:32 PM

    No offense intended, but if you had to go to a small rural town to get basic cable, where did *you* live. Just curious.

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  98. WWE! True Hollywood Story

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  99. Not bad at all.Brian

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  100. Knuckleberry PinnJune 4, 2014 at 6:54 PM

    A Superfight Saturday Night, where a la UFC they have gigantic matches as main events and non storyline preliminary matches that are still of high quality, like Ziggler vs RVD. And not PPV mains, save those and their accompanying angles for the ppv, I just mean huge huge matches that haven't been done yet.

    Some examples:
    -Rock vs Roman Reigns
    -Cena vs Taker
    -Austin vs Punk
    -Bryan vs Lesnar
    -Batista vs Goldberg
    -Cesaro vs HHH

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  101. I really enjoy the atmosphere, no Cole and jbl, and no lame ass produced spots for commercials

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  102. Nattie sucks. I'm sorry.

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  103. I miss AYS. Best WWE Youtube show there was.

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  104. It's baffling how super smarks cannot seem to understand that roughly .6% of the audience the WWE is shooting for gives even a sliver of a shit about old AWA shows and the like. WCW/ECW might, MIGHT, command a slightly higher level of interest, but man, AWA? NWA? That shit seems like old grandpa wrestling to even me at this point.

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  105. Good for you, now go fuck yourself with a rusty bundle of railroad spikes.

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  106. Also, "I'm mostly positive/neutral" my ass. If that's not negative, and needlessly so, I'm Barney MotherFucking Fife.

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  107. This list should start and end with More Puppet H

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  108. Yeah I'm confused too, unless he grew up in an isolated rural area and his grandparents lived in town.

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  109. Didn't others claim Nattie carried the match? I don't know what to think.

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  110. It's time to play the downvoteJune 4, 2014 at 7:52 PM

    Just run Chyna's sex tape on an infinite loop interspersed with interviews with xpac.

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  111. It's time to play the downvoteJune 4, 2014 at 7:54 PM

    Come on now... I never got to see the end of the Team Challenge Series.

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  112. Nattie screwing up the figure-four reversals drove me nuts.

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  113. It's time to play the downvoteJune 4, 2014 at 7:57 PM

    On a serious note, one thing that I have wanted for ages is more audio commentaries on matches and ppv's. A daily or weekly show where they run an hour or two's worth of old matches with the wrestlers coming in to do audio commentary would be of high interest to me.

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  114. I'm betting that they gave Hulu exclusive rights.

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  115. I typed that up quickly....and I'm older than most of you, so when I say "I grew up" that means we had 13 channels and had to get up and flip the TV to change channels. So we had TBS and I watched WCWSN at home, but for whatever reason watching it at my grandparents sticks out in my mind.

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  116. That would never work, as you need TV for advertising.


    I mean, "Netlfix" and "Hulu" are a hell of a lot bigger, and even THEY realize that they need old-school TV commercials to reach a larger audience.

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  117. AverageJoeEverymanJune 4, 2014 at 8:23 PM

    One random memory is staying at a hotel with my mom waiting for my dad to arrive at the airport watching WCW Saturday Night (The Giant was in the Main Event) with a Spider-Man comic during the Identity Crisis storyline where he was dressing as 4 different heroes. Crazy the things you remember.

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  118. So you're stalking me. I'm flattered.

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  119. We need VJs if only because Zach Ryder needs something to prolong his career.

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  120. Gonna sound crazy here.. but what if they did a live show where the fans get to ask questions and interact with the Superstars. An updated version of Byte This.. meets TNT.. meets Primetime Wrestling. I think a lot of characters could be built up and you could even have some feuds arise from the show. They even could get their BELOVED WWE app involved as well as live tweets from fans.

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  121. I don't really get the need to add stuff to the Live Stream. Sure put WCW Saturday Night at 3:05 PST on Saturday but I don't want one episode a week.

    I don't need to watch a show at a specific time. When I can't sleep at 2am I want to be able to turn on my iPad and watch a random episode or an a la carte match on a whim.

    Toss fuck all on the live steam just give me a boat load of options to watch in the vault.

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  122. Well, I needed to vent a little steam. Stan beat Vince to the "First Smarmy Comment I See" Award, and he got the response.


    I don't actually want him to do that... but I do stand by my "Stan is a fucking hypocritical ass" comment I made right after.

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  123. Can you really listen to "Oh my God, what the hell was I thinking?!?" over and over.

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  124. But are you specifically not on it for AWA and all that?


    I'm not saying it isn't possible, but I don't think that there are tons of people that would buy the network just for the old-school stuff that don't already have it.

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  125. I'm not on it because there's not enough, IMO. I wouldn't mind paying more ($14.99-$19.99 range) if there was enough content to justify it.


    "The History of PPV" is nice, but without the TV it's big moments without the stuff that helped make those moments big. And as for the "original programming": I could give no more than one and a half fucks about it on a good day. It's a lot of circlejerkoffery (yes, that should be a word if it isn't), and if I wanted to see that I'd pop in some lesbian strap-on vids.

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  126. the live stream is confirmation that WWE still doesn't quite get it.

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  127. there might not be a huge influx of new customers for old content (remember Bayless had ideas far beyond just AWA footage and the like) BUT adding more older content such as AWA, WCW saturday night, etc. will certainly help KEEP the existing fan like me who subscribes solely for older content. Currently WWE gets 10 bucks a month from me that they would otherwise never see. I haven't been to a WWE event since 2006ish (ECW house show), haven't ordered a ppv since Summerslam 2002, and dont regularly watch any of the weekly programming (until the network started). I do and did buy a ton of DVDs though. Catering to fans like me is almost no work for them and is basically found money for the WWE.

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  128. Actually, that's only part of the cost they have to worry about.


    Outside of WM, they're actually breaking right about even on the PPVs.

    The smaller PPVs in recent years have gotten about 200K buys, the larger ones (Summerslam, etc) have gotten about 300K, so let's split the difference, and say they normally get about 250K buys for every PPV except for WM


    Now let's say, for arguments sake, that about 1/2 the people that would normally watch a "normal" PPV for WWE will now watch it via the network (that sounds about right, based on WM numbers -- WM only lost 1/3rd of its normal 1 million views, but it's a PPV more likely purchased by casual viewers)


    That means they're "losing" about $55 million worth of buys (11 months x 125,000 viewers x $40)

    However, for those 11 months, they're gaining $72 million (11 months x 660,000 viewers x $10)

    So from those 11 months, they're gaining about $17 million.

    The problem is that WM is only gaining them about $46 million (660,000 buys x $60 + 660,000 subscribers x $10), which is about $14 million shy of the normal $60 million they would have gotten, meaning that, based on PPVs, they've only "made" about $3 million (assuming a steady number of subscribers and that my percentages are close enough).

    Since at this point they're basically a wash with PPV revenue, they need a lot more subscribers right now to even break even on the network -- infrastructure, employees, everything, and who knows how much the launch cost was.

    Something tells me the AWA and WCW TV archives aren't going to be enough to do it.

    They need to make the current programming worth watching in order to make people realize that $120 a year is worth it. If you're only buying 1 or 2 PPVs a year and don't care about reliving the glory days of Kamala, then it just isn't worth it right now.

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  129. unpaid interns can do the work easily enough. Plus, outside of the disclaimer, tons of content like Primetime, WCW Saturday night, and house shows are already sanitized for our protection from 24/7. Putting up the content slowly due to time constraints or cost is not the issue, it is a marketing choice, and IMO a bad one. Putting up the older content isn't going to gain the subscribers that they need to add (those watching Raw, those who order the occasional ppv) but it will absolutely help solidify the fan who wants the older content as a subscriber for years to come. The idea that putting up "too much" content will result in people leaving the network is silly. They will lose more people by pissing us off with limited older footage than they will by having "too much" content that people can't possibly watch all of even over a 2 or 3 year period.

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  130. I doubt it. They've only gotten 660,000 subscribers having all of the PPVs for FREE. We're a special brand of geek -- trust me, the casual audience isn't clamoring for reruns of shows that happened 30 years ago.

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  131. yep. And again, if they put up all the syndicated shows from WWF, Primetime, SNME, WCW SN, AWA, SMW, etc. there would be so much content and so many choices, people would subscribe for years. By limiting the selection so heavily currently they absolutely run the risk of pissing off a segment of the subscribers who weren't giving them any money before, but now are giving them 10 dollars a month. I scoff at the idea that if they add everything at once that 6 months later the old school fan will cancel. I think it's more likely the old school fan will cancel as they get annoyed by content barely trickling through and gimmicks (we fear) like tossing up SNME right before the reup date.

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  132. Virgil's Gimmick TableJune 4, 2014 at 11:09 PM

    The problem was that the crowd was burned out from the number 1 contender's and women's title matches. They were fighting an uphill battle in that department. But still, it was a really good match nonetheless.

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  133. Fair enough. I'm actually in the same boat -- getting the Network for the old content, and not the new, and haven't given a dime to WWE except for DVD purchases for years.

    However, they need a lot more people than those like us, is what I'm saying. So they'd need to attack this from more than a "what can we do to attract NEW fans" perspective, and I just don't see that old shows is the way to do it.

    Think about it. I can get Netflix or Hulu Plus and get more, and, more importantly, more varied content than I can on the Network. This is a very niche audience. Hopefully, WWE can find a way to make it succeed.

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  134. Wait... how exactly would you jerk off a strap-on?

    Dammit! I said I'd never ask that question again!

    You made me break a promise I made to my third-grade teacher, you jerk!!!

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  135. That sounds like a good idea, which of course knowing WWE, they won't do it.

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  136. Livewire would be a great model for the Network. Have Renee host it for an hour. License to print money.

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  137. Yeah, it would be interesting to run the Iron Man match and have Bret and Shawn commentate it or something.

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  138. Random thought: Celebrity Deathmatch? Can the WWE purchase that property and re-run it? Seems like a whacky show that fits the "wrestling" product. However, since it has blood and lots of crazy violence, I guess it doesn't fit in with the PG idea.

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  139. Isn't the love stream kind of a place holder for the PPVs?

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  140. There have been major studies done on the power of pricing around $10 or less. They kind of need to keep I here

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  141. richard householderJune 5, 2014 at 6:01 AM

    Ok sounds good.

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  142. 660,000 subscribers at sixty bucks a piece is about $40 million in revenue for the six month period. I don't see why that wouldn't work out to a high enough profit over a year or two (especially if you added some PPV buys at $25 a pop or so) to cover a network that focused on low production cost content in the early going.

    Their biggest problem simply has to be the lost revenue from PPV buys. I can't see any other reason why they HAVE to get such a big subscriber number.

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  143. I don't know: If the issue is start up costs, then we'd be talking about accounting, and presumably they'd need many fewer subscribers to be profitable next year simply because those costs won't be on the balance sheet.

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  144. "How to Squat" with Lana might do some good numbers on the network

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  145. "Where in the world is JTG?" a weekly mystery show filming JTG in the locker room as he looks at the camera and says "What? I know I'm not doing anything stop filming me"

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  146. The thing is, these aren't mutually exclusive.

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  147. Plus, for a high flyer, it seemed like Tyson had a real problem getting set on the top rope. I know they were setting up other stuff, but I thought it made him look a little silly.

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  148. Watching an MSG show on the Network and Gorilla just said to Lord Alfred Hayes, "I heard through the Gorilla-vine that you were seen working out at the Terry Garvin School of Self Defense." That may be the best part of these shows...comments that I would have never understood in 1991, but now are hilarious.

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  149. Why did "The Birdman" Koko B. Ware call his finished "The Ghostbuster?"

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  150. Let's assume that a large portion of the people that bought the network aren't in it for the archives -- just the PPVs. Let's say that's about 25% (people who got caught in the WWE hype for the Network).


    Those people probably wouldn't buy every PPV at full cost normally. Let's say about half of those would only buy 4 PPVs per year, 2 of which (WM and Summerslam) fall in the 6-month period.


    They'd normally spend $100 for that 6 months. ($60 + $40)


    At that rate, the $60 is a STEAL. Awesome. Even if they don't watch the archives at all, they're getting their money worth.


    However, if you suddenly start charging for the PPVs they're getting for free -- say at a 50% discount -- that then looks like a much less appealing solution.


    Now, instead of paying $100 for the 2 PPVs they'd watch, they're paying $110 ($60 for the network + $30 for WM + $20 for Summerslam). They certainly aren't going to shell out MORE money for PPVs they never would have watched to begin with.


    The only way your solution would be cost-effective for a person is if the people in question were to normally watch three or more PPVs during a 6-month period, and only then, just barely.

    The thing is, you're thinking like a wrestling geek (I'm in that category, as are most people here -- it isn't an insult). To you, the archives are the draw, and the current PPVs are a "value add". To a big portion of the people who subscribe to the network, the current PPVs are the draw, and the archives are the "value add" (if even that).


    We won't know how big that portion is until the numbers are released for the "lesser" PPVs.


    If the "regular buys" are down only slightly (say, they sold 150K instead of the normal 200K), then WWE will be fine for the foreseeable future as it relates to the network. If they're down significantly (say, they only sell 50K at the "regular price"), then WWE is hosed as far as the network is concerned, because they're losing a ton of money, even on the small PPVs.


    All told, September is going to be an interesting month. Since subscriptions haven't really gone up, we need to see how much they go down during "renewal month".


    I personally won't be resubscribing, largely because I'd rather buy 4 PWG DVDs with that money than relive stuff that happened a long time ago (and most of the matches I like, I already have on DVD). I watched a ton of shows, and made MORE than my $60 worth, but nothing strikes me as "must see" any more.


    I was never really a huge WWF/WWE fan. Watching WCW depresses me. Watching ECW is interesting from a historical perspective but does little else for me (largely because everything that made them special back then was coopted by the other feds and became cliche 10 years ago). Even with AWA, I'd only get a few weeks of enjoyment out of it.

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  151. the Aroma In TacomaJune 5, 2014 at 8:57 AM

    I don't have the network (not available in Canada...at least not easily enough that I would bother), so maybe it is possible and I am just not aware, but can you follow through a complete year or cycle of TV/PPV? For example, could you start after Wrestlemania 4 and (easily) go through everything in order to Wrestlemania 5? They own all the footage. Have someone sit down and put the shows in the order they need to be, or tell you what you need to watch next. If you only have the PPV's for example, you are missing out all the build. Seems like a no brainer to me.

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  152. exactly. isn't that the best thing about "on demand" services? that you don't have to rely on any "schedule" but your own?

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  153. in all seriousness: I think Ryder would be perfect in that kind of role.

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  154. one the suggested ideas for potential dvds that has been "The Owen Hart story" (the other potential "WWE Reveals" were "Jerry Lawler/Andy Kaufman" and "The Curtain Call"). so I think at least some people within the company are aware that this might be interesting for some viewers.

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  155. why would you "waste" legitimate "dream matches" on this instead of putting them on a ppv?

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  156. only if that guy really is a fan because otherwise you would get one of those football type of scenarios (more and more of the big clubs now have weird huge investors behind them > Chelsea FC, Paris St. Germain, ...)

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  157. only if this was 2002 or 2003 and not 2014.

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  158. It doesn't have to be as grave as that but even if it's about debunking urban legends.

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