There was some big news regarding the WWE Network this past week as we learned that the current subscriber base clocked in at 1,300,000.
The current number represents a 97% increase over the day after WrestleMania XXX last year, which in percentage terms isn’t too bad. Along with this there was also a slate of new Network shows which were announced (which we’ll get in to later) and other plans revealed.
Of course, the announcement of the subscriber base comes on the heels of that ‘rassleMania show from last week, did you hear about it? If not, you really should check it out because it was a pretty solid show – we’ve heard some saying it was the greatest one ever!
This week not only did the Network begin adding the fifth (2011) series of Tough Enough, but also they also added compete second season of the show to the video on demand section. The second series features a bunch of future WWE Superstars and Divas as potential contestants, so keep your eyes peeled for them all in the casting episode.
It was also cool to see WWE drive viewers to go to the Network this week to hear from the Stinger following his WrestleMania match against Triple H. Sadly, it looks like Sting might just be done with WWE which is a real shame for those of us who really wanted to see that final match versus The Undertaker. Hopefully, somehow, some way..
With the rumoured issues between WWE and Steve Austin, WWE has drafted in the Ayatollah of Rock and Rolla, Chris Jericho for the WWE Network’s next live “podcast”. Jericho’s guest for the podcast will be the current reigning United States Champion, John Cena.
The live podcast will air immediately following RAW on Monday night. For my money Steve Austin puts on a much better podcast than Chris Jericho and something tells me that Jericho will toe the company line much more than the Rattlesnake would.
The next Beyond the Ring to be featured on the Network will be Hulk Hogan’s 2006 DVD offering – “The Ultimate Anthology”. This Beyond the Ring will air on Friday afternoon and will be available as VOD shortly afterwards.
Also announced alongside the current subscriber number was a slate of new programming. So I thought we would take a look at the new shows and give my two cents on each of them (based off the details we have right now)…
Live! With Chris Jericho (April 6, 2015)
Podcast host Chris Jericho challenges his guests in provocative, candid conversations about their careers, their lives, past controversies and the overall state of WWE. The monthly series kicks off Monday, April 6 immediately following Raw, with its first one-hour episode featuring WWE Superstar John Cena.
Chris Jericho… ugh. Personally I’m over Chris Jericho, he’s really not funny and isn’t much of a podcast host. Every topic he discusses has to come back to him, and frankly, JR should have a podcast on the Network as that would be awesome (make it happen WWE!).
Jerry Springer presents WWE Too Hot for TV (April 2015)
Hosted by legendary talk show host Jerry Springer, this series will re-introduce the WWE Universe to the most outrageous stunts and cringe-inducing moments in TV history. The series will be chock full of insane situations and racy romps from WWE’s past that will have members of the WWE Universe asking, “Did they really do this?!” Springer will inject his own brand of humor into each episode with themes such as “Love Hurts,” “All in the Family” and “Weddings and Funerals.” The half-hour series will be available beginning in April in WWE Network’s video-on-demand library with new episodes weekly.
Who doesn’t love Attitude Era content – especially when it is dressed up like this, but Jerry Springer as host? I guess Springer was a hot commodity when the Attitude Era was running wild and that’s the connection? I’m sure this one could be fun, granted it’s likely not going to set the world on fire, but as 30 minutes of “popcorn” TV, it could be fine.
Unfiltered with Renee Young (May 2015)
WWE announcer Renee Young interviews WWE Superstars and other pop-culture celebrities, covering just about everything, except what they are famous for. In this short-form series, Renee’s guests include Grammy Award winner Wiz Khalifa, five-time Grammy nominee Skylar Grey and WWE Superstars Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins. Unfiltered will debut in May.
Renee is awesome, and I’m sure a show with Renee will be awesome too. I’m not crazy about Renee interviewing Wiz Khalifa, but still it’s Renee. 😉
Floyd Mayweather vs. The Big Show: The Biggest vs. The Best (April 27, 2015)
WWE Network will look back at this epic David vs. Goliath encounter at WrestleMania 24 (2008) and its shocking conclusion coming just in time for Mayweather vs. Pacquiao, which is expected to be one of the biggest boxing matches in history.
Uh…. didn’t we have this already, I believe it was called “WrestleMania Rewind”. I suspect this show will be VERY similar to that and likely one to be skipped; just like the Arnie and Triple H interview… has ANYONE seen that?
WWE Swerved (May 2015)
WWE teams up with the Director of Jackass and Bad Grandpa, Jeff Tremaine, to give you the hilarious original series, Swerved. Swerved is a half hour series and will premiere in May.
The idea of a wrestling themed show called “swerved” and not having Vince Russo involved made me chuckle a little bit. Honestly, we don’t know enough about what this show is to really give any kind of analysis. I suspect it would be WWE Superstars and Divas performing “Jackass” style stunts on each other and fans, but that’s all I’ve got. Regardless, it’s apparently coming our way next month, so we don’t have too long to wait.
Culture Shock with Corey Graves (June 2015)
WWE commentator Corey Graves reveals a variety of unique venues, customs, music, food and people as WWE’s tour travels around the world. From Marvel comic headquarters to a tattoo shop on the lower east side of Manhattan, Graves examines the local culture with his unique perspective and style. This short-form series will premiere in June.
This one is interesting; unlike all of the others the wrestling connection here is possibly the least present. Granted, Renee will be interviewing non-wrestling celebrities, but she does have some wrestlers to interview too. This has NO wrestling connection (other than its host). Corey Graves comes over as a cool and interesting guy, so this series could be interesting too… really interesting…
Diva Search (fall 2015)
WWE spans the globe in search of the most beautiful, athletic and charismatic women to find the next stunning WWE Diva. This competition will give viewers the opportunity to witness the challenges, trials, drama and rewards that accompany the journey of these women, as they vie for superstardom. Coming this Fall.
#GiveDivasAChance… remember that? On the face of it (and knowing the history of the Diva Search), this show seems to completely spit in the face of all the hard work which female superstars have done both with Total Divas as well as in the ring at NXT to develop their characters and in ring personas. It’s possible that it could be a “female Tough Enough” which would be nice to see where the emphasis will be on the ladies training. However, something tells me that we might just see them eating whipped cream from Kamala’s stomach.
Camp WWE (late 2015)
WWE, in partnership with Seth Green’s Stoopid Buddy Stoodios, will debut a new, animated short-form comedy series entitled Camp WWE. Imagine WWE Superstars and Divas when they were kids at their favorite summer camp…which happens to be run by none other than Mr. McMahon – add in shock-value, slapstick humor and social satire – and you have WWE’s first adult comedy, which will debut later this year.
South Park meets WWE. If we wanted to watch South Park, wouldn’t we just do that? I’m really not feeling this particular show. No doubt, we’ll watch it and see what it’s all about. Something which does intrigue me about the show is its rating – TV-MA – will WWE really have the characters of their superstars push the envelope? We’re going to have to just wait and see.
WWE The List
WWE The List is the best, the worst, the most bizarre and interesting of everything and anything WWE. If it’s amazing, outrageous, sexy or just plain fun, it just made #TheList.
I love wrestle crap, and this one looks to be a show all about wrestle crap. Granted, it sounds very similar to Countdown, but still it could be a fun show.
The acclaimed 30-minute docu-series takes you on a lightning-fast journey through a day in the life of WWE’s most intriguing Superstars and groundbreaking events.
WWE documentaries… you can’t go too wrong with a WWE doc and going off the two specials we’ve had already, WWE 24 is awesome. I hope however we get into some kind of schedule – even one episode each month would be nice.
WWE Countdown settles the great debates across WWE history. Who was the most dangerous Diva? Who had the best catchphrase? This one-hour series allows the WWE Universe to determine the top 10 in each category and have the final word on who tops each list.
I guess Countdown is the most popular series on the WWE Network, after all it is the only show which will have THREE series’. I’m not entirely sure how much stuff is left to “Countdown” but all in all Countdown is a decent watch most times. Nice to see it return.
This docu-style series takes a look at the greatest rivalries in WWE history, as never told before. Get the real stories behind WWE’s most exciting matches and entertaining feuds through the eyes of the Superstars who created them. Each one-hour episode leaves no story untold.
WWE Rivalries was decent series and sadly it ended its run early, so it’s nice to see that it will be returning. Hopefully this series can give a little focus on some more non-WWE rivalries, like: Von Erich’s vs. Freebirds, Raven vs. Tommy Dreamer and Sting vs. Hulk Hogan/nWo.
Hulk Hogan’s Rock ‘n’ Wrestling
Harkening back to 1985, this Saturday morning cartoon, which originally aired on CBS, features Hulk Hogan, Andre the Giant, Junkyard Dog, Captain Lou Albano, and Roddy Piper in a series that is both nostalgic and entertaining, 30 years later.
We were told Rock ‘n’ Wrestling was coming to the Network for quite a while, so it will be cool to see it finally added. I’m not sure that it will really drive subscriptions (in a positive way) but it’ll be nice to check out a few episodes of the classic cartoon here and there.
Hardcore Legend: An Evening with Mick Foley
We suspect this will be the Foley comedy show which WWE recorded all the way back in November 2013 at Smithtown, Long Island. This has been one of the shows which I personally have been awaiting since February 24, 2014 so I’m super pumped that this one is FINALLY coming – because who doesn’t love the Micker?
While the new season of Tough Enough will air on the USA Network this June (and it appears that Stone Cold Steve Austin likely won’t be returning as the host, due to his current rift with WWE) it’s possible that Tough Enough could be re-aired on the Network, or maybe we will have some kind of Network-exclusive post show.
Not to sound like an episode of WWE Countdown, but what do you think of the list? Join the conversation (in the comments below) and let us know which sound best and other kinds of original shows you would like to see on the WWE Network…
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I was at that Foley show,and it is worth the wait! He really went all out, and I think it is the perfect type of thing to be on the network. He is an amazing storyteller, plain and simple, and has always made for an amazing host on DVDs. Imagine his own network show?! I’ve been to several of his shows…always a good time, even for non wrestling fans! And he does them often enough to have a new episode every week.
Don’t understand the hate from fans towards Chris Jericho. I prefer his podcast to SCSA’s mainly due to the various up-and-coming wrestlers he has on. And as for the comment that ‘everything has to come back to him’, well he has travelled the world, worked so many different styles so he can relate to many different people and their backgrounds before they came to the WWE.
Totally agreed. Jericho’s podcast is LEAGUES better than JR’s and even better than SCSA’s, at least on a consistent basis. Jericho’s interviews manage to get the best out of his guests, and he’s so relaxed and comfortable the entire time. You want to hear a self-centered, terrible interview? Listen to JR’s two-parter with Sting, where literally 60% of the conversation is JR interrupting Sting to tell long-winded stories that have nothing to do with Steve Borden.
I love JR, but that’s a recurring problem on his ‘cast. Jericho, in my opinion, always makes his interviews about the guest, which is the point.
Could you do a Best of Boston Garden by any chance for a Fantasy Concept? Its been awhile since you’ve done one and this there are many lost classics to choose from.
I personally do not want to see any non-wrestling shows creating, unless it focuses on the superstars and divas off script. I’d like to see them continued the Legends of Wrestling series, that was a great show on 24/7 and could truly gain some viewership for the network. Aside from that, continuing Rivalries is a great call because there’s a good amount of rivalries that they can still cover. Camp WWE sounds incredibly lame. If they’re going to do a TV-MA show, let it be about releasing some wrestling shows that would be rated TV-MA. They can still do way more with their existing content that they have not, and I have no idea why no one has thought to do them. I’ve tweeted some to them, but I doubt the people running the WWE Network accounts even know what I am talking about. Here are the shows I would suggest:
Best of WCW – 1-hour show that could have at least 30 episodes featuring the greatest matches and segments from WCW. Although it’d probably be more matches than segments. I know all of the PPVs are on the network, but it will be a long time before all the TV shows make it onto the network, and they can easily and quickly put 1-hour episodes together to release weekly, or seasonally.
Best of ECW – same concept as Best of WCW
Superstar Debuts – 30min episodes showcasing the WWE debut of a superstar/diva or 2 (to fit into 30min), maybe have some people talk about the debut, perhaps the superstar/diva themselves if they’re still there or can be attained. For example, Episode 1 could feature the WWE debuts of Randy Orton and John Cena. Both of their debut matches were short enough to fit 1 30min episode and allow them to talk a bit about them.
Behind The Match – They somewhat did this on their YouTube channel, but they did it for random matches. This would be a show where, for example, Michael Cole (since JR isn’t there), would sit with Dolph Ziggler to commentate over his entire TLC match vs. John Cena. Maybe some episodes they have all participants available to talk about the match while it’s going on. This would be similar to how JR sat with The Rock, Mick Foley and Stone Cold for their ’99 SummerSlam match for the DVD release, or RVD and Eddie Guerrero sitting with The Coach for their Raw Ladder Match for the Viva La Raza DVD.
Greatest Hits – Since they want to shrink down 8-9 hour DVD Match Compilations for whatever reason, just create a Greatest Hits show with 3-hour episodes of different superstars’ greatest matches, but then also have specialty type matches like greatest hits of Ladder Matches, Cage Matches, Hell In A Cell, Sunday Night Heat matches, etc. I really don’t think 3 hours is too long since every PPV is at least 3 hours. If they feel people will sit through a 3 hour PPV, they can expect people would be ok with a 3 hour set of good matches from their favorite superstars.
XFL – Just release every XFL game already, why not? Whether the promotion failed or not, I’m sure people would like to see them. If anything else, it could allow the company to create new merchandise for it and see if it can gain some interest again.
Byte This – Bring this show back and release the archive, it was great. It was an Internet based show, that’s exactly what the Network needs. Just like before, have some like Todd Phillips at HQ, call up a few superstars or have them there live if possible, talk about current situations.
Masters of The Mic – Take this small “Quick Hits” segment and give it its own section under the In-Ring section and just have it be promos. Not a show, just clips, just like how Quick Hits is, which Quick Hits sort of is, but they mix in music videos and other types of videos there. I’d like to see a section just purely on promos.
And I don’t know about anyone else, but that PPV section is ridiculously cluttered with the Kickoff/Post PPV shows, and with WrestleMania, all those Today shows, etc. I really think they need to create a section just for that stuff, just like they put the pre-show for Raw and SmackDown in their own sections.
It would be great if they would put some of these ideas to use. There are plenty of ways that could add content. Still hoping they will put on the “Sunday Night Heat” in the In Ring Section and also the short lived “Shotgun Saturday Night”.
There was nothing in the interview to make you presume that Sting is done. If anything, he said he was open to more things to do. Why do people always assume the worst?