Digital Digest is back with news on WWE and TNA’s latest digital offerings, and top download picks.
– The big release of the fortnight is Wrestlemania 28 which is available to download on iTunes, Vudu, Zune, Playstation and Amazon Instant Video here. Matches are priced at $1.99 (SD) and $2.99 (HD) with a combined price of $14.99 (SD) & $17.99 (HD).
– Story of Edge is also now available to rent on iTunes and Zune, after also being added here to Amazon Instant Video.
– Vudu.com has listed The Best of WCW Clash of the Champions as a digital download, available to rent or purchase from May 22nd. That’s in SD, HD and HDX. It will be released across three volumes.
– Vudu.com is also listing the 4 volumes of The Best of WWE RAW & Smackdown 2011 as being available to rent and buy from May 22nd. These volumes are available on other platforms already.
– Episode 5 of Dream Machines entitled “John Cena’s Incenarator” is also available to buy on most digital platforms such as Amazon Instant Video here.
– The free WWE Greatest Matches service is continuing to update its selection. More “High Flyers” themed videos have been added featuring Jimmy Snuka and Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat, as well as some Over the Limit themed videos including matches from previous shows like Batista vs John Cena and Randy Orton vs Christian.
– WWE Classics On Demand will highlight the best of World Championship Wrestling throughout the month of June. WWE’s YouTube account posted a video teaser last week for “WCW Invasion” that has since been deleted, but on the official preview page it still states “All June on WWE Classics, get ready for a WCW Invasion!”. Other new videos include Latino Legends and Masked Men Of Mystery”.
– The WWE seem to be taking a very different approach to their library recently by not only making Greatest Matches free, but by promoting their own WWE Classics channel/playlist on YouTube even more, especially in the past few weeks.
– Many older WWE titles expired on Netflix this week, including True Story of Wrestlemania, Bobby Heenan, Breaking the Code, Ricky Steamboat, Twist of Fate, Rise & Fall of WCW, Top 50 Superstars, John Cena Experience, and Hart & Soul. However they were quickly renewed and will all be available until August 2036. WWE Studio’s flicks Chaperone and That’s What I Am also expired this week and were also renewed.
– WWE.com has added three preview videos for the upcoming Clash of the Champions themed Home Video release. These are of Ric Flair vs. Sting, Chris Jericho vs. Eddie Guerrero, and Steve Austin vs. Brian Pillman.
– TNA Impact Wrestling has made all of their old PPV’s available to rent through their own Impact Wrestling Youtube channel with PPV’s from 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 plus some best of videos including Superstar and Compilation videos like the best of CM Punk. TNA have announced that 2012 and 2011 PPVs will also be added shortly. Each TNA Pay-Per-View event on YouTube is high-quality and viewable for up to one week at just 99 cents each (or 99p in the UK). Archives are also available online at TNAOnDemand.com by subscription or pay per view, ann on Xbox Live, iTunes, Playstation Store, plus coming soon to Netflix and Hulu. It looks like TNA are taking digital seriously with as many platforms as possible.
– TNA are also now offering their recent PPV Sacrifice 2012 available to rent through YouTube at a premium price with access for 7 days. There can be little doubt that TNA is taking YouTube content seriously. In other TNA news, Xbox live has been updated with some new 2012 titles including Victory Road, Against all Odds and Genesis. Videos are priced at 1200 MS points for HD and 800 MS points for SD.
– The independent wrestling documentary “Fake it So Real” is now available to download as either a rental or purchase from iTunes and is priced at $9.99 to buy and $3.99 to rent. Plot: “FAKE IT SO REAL dives head-first into the world of independent pro wrestling. The film follows a ragtag group of wrestlers in North Carolina, exploring what happens when the over-the-top theatrics of the wrestling ring collide with the realities of the working-class South”.?
– Ring of Honor had a tough week with their first live iPPV “Border Wars” on their own website, ROHWrestling.com. They ran a test before the iPPV with a free showing of an old Daniel Bryan vs CM Punk match which suffered from an overload. ROH posted the following on their Facebook page in an attempt to keep fans happy:
Dear ROH fans, We deeply apologize again for issues with our website. Unfortunately in trying to bring our fans the best experience through our website, with a single login and ringside discounts, there are still some kinks to work out. All of our pre-tests were successful as of 5pm today and we were blindsided by these problems…
Please bear with us as we try to get it up as soon as possible. The production is going well and the replay will also be available as soon as we can get it up. For all those that purchased the PPV, we WILL resolve ALL concerns and issues…
Again we are extremely frustrated by the ippv result tonight and offer our deepest apologies. Since Showdown in the Sun, we have been working endlessly to provide an optimal ppv experience which we believe we have achieved.. For our website, we increased our server memory x3 and doubled its processing power. Still, it seems that our architecture could not handle the excessive user logins and we are left with a great stream that our fans can not see. If a refund is demanded, it WILL be given. Otherwise we would like to offer full retention of the replay for Border Wars as well as FREE access to the Best in the World PPV on June 24th for anyone who ordered Border Wars tonight. This will also include retention of the Best in the World PPV in your myPPV accounts. We WILL get this right no matter what it takes in time for Best in the World.
Top 5 Downloads
This weeks top downloads were very easy to decide, what with WWE releasing their biggest PPV show of the year, Wrestlemania 28. No, I won’t recommend Sheamus squashing Daniel Bryan in 18 seconds for $2! Following the news that TNA has launched VOD on YouTube and are planning on launching on Netflix and Hulu, I’ve decided to change the format of this section to a Top 5 to incorporate more videos and combine TNAondemand.com picks.
1) Once in a Lifetime: The Rock vs John Cena
This main event was a year in the making and saw two of the biggest names of professional wrestling go toe to toe in a fantastic match that proves not only that the Rock still has “it” but that John Cena still can deliver some big match moments that he doesn’t always get credit for (can’t believe I said that!). This is an outstanding match that delivered the big Mania moment of sending the fans home happy and showing that The Rock is still bigger than the WWE and that his return isn’t a flash in the pan. This one will be talked about by this generation for decades to come, but I was surprised John Cena lost clean to the Rock. It sent the fans home happy and for $2, this is a must download.
2) Hell in a Cell: The Undertaker vs Triple H
Under normal circumstances this would have headlined the show, but with The Rock’s spot announced a year in advance, the Undertaker and Triple H still wanted to steal the show and continue the streak. With this being their third encounter at the biggest show of them all, they went all out to top their previous outings, adding the Hell in a Cell and Shawn Michaels as the guest referee to push this one to the next level. For $2, you can’t go wrong as this is a awesome contest that told one hell of a story and simply blew everything away. I thought the moment of the three of them embracing at the end of the match showed how big a deal this was for them all. Having Jim Ross on the announcing booth really helped sell the importance of the match and how the three’s histories are intertwined. Simply excellent.
3) WWE Champion CM Punk vs Chris Jericho
While this one isn’t on par with Triple H/Taker or Rock/Cena, they told the story well and were able to reset fans after Hell in a Cell. However I still think their Extreme Rules match was much better than this and I think the WWE missed out on Jericho’s return, who has quickly just slotted back into his old role while other returnees like The Rock and Brock Lesnar have stolen the limelight. It’s a shame this match didn’t deliver CM Punk a stand out mania moment but walking in and walking out as the WWE champion at Wrestlemania still means something in my eyes. A worthy $2.
4) Team Johnny vs Team Teddy
Since I’ve extended the top 3, I was able to add an additional Wrestlemania match, so while I was struggling to justify this as a top 3, I can say I really enjoyed the 12 man tag team match. Not an instant classic but it gave many of the younger guys a chance to appear on the big stage. I would have preferred to have seen a Money in the Bank ladder match but this is a nice easy enjoyable multi-man tag match, but with comedic elements overshadowing the rest at times.
5) Victory Road 2012
It couldn’t be worse than last year’s awful Sting vs Jeff Hardy main event. Sting is still once again involved in the world title match which was passable due to the storyline with Bobby and Dixie Carter. Notable matches are Kurt Angle vs. Jeff Hardy, and AJ Styles & Ken Anderson vs. Christopher Daniels & Kazarian. They focused on the wrestling and delivered some solid performances. I wouldn’t suggest buying this one at full price on Xbox live but worth a look when it eventually turns up on Youtube, TNAondemand.com or iTunes are a reduced price.
Top 3 WWEGreatestMatches.com
1) John Cena vs. Batista – Over the Limit 2010
It’s an Over the Limit weekend, so my first pick is Cena/Batista. This one is slightly different to their Extreme Rules bout due to the fact that this was Batista’s final WWE match. This “I Quit” match also saw Cena lose a tooth. There is a huge finish to this match with Cena hitting the Attitude Adjustment off the stage, plus a surprise attack by Sheamus to set up a new challenger for Cena. If you haven’t seen it, you can’t complain at the price (free!) Watch
2) Christian vs. Randy Orton – Over the Limit 2011
I was trying to decide between this and the Miz/Cena main event but since that felt like nothing more than a squash match with Miz being thrown aside, this match involving two veterans battling over the big gold strap seemed more impressive. When Christian finally won the big one at Extreme Rules and lost it a few days later on Smackdown, the internet was up in arms over the way Christian had been treated, but this was done to set up a long running rivalry that would run throughout the summer with Christian slowly turning heel as he desperately chased the title. They had some fantastic matches together during their feud and I think this match is easily the best from the Over the Limit 2011 show. Watch
3) Rey Mysterio vs. Ultimo Dragon – World War 3 1997
May is also “High Flyers” month on WWE Greatest Matches and the moment I saw this video pop up, it instantly had to go onto my list. This match is from World War 3 and was for the J Crown championship which was a title created from 8 separate cruiserweight championships from around the world (including the WWE light heavyweight championship). It’s cool to see a much younger and smaller Rey Mysterio in action where he is really pushed to his limits and reminds me of why the cruiserweight division was such a cornerstone of WCW during its popularity. Watch
Any feedback? Leave a comment below or tweet via @PWondemand.