The WWE Network launched this past Monday, 2.24.14, and along with millions (and Millions) of fans I jumped right on the bandwagon and went on to download the app. It took me over an hour to do so and I ran into a lot of connection issues which was to be expected. First off, I had not signed up on WWE.COM which I should have done initially. Having already signed up would have made the process a lot faster. I had the WWE app on my iPad, but I never really needed to sign up. So, not having been a member of the WWE community slowed down the process. Plus I was in an area where the WiFi wasn’t all that great and I think that added to the connection issues. Upon signing up, I did NOT receive the free trial. Again, I suppose, due to connection issues, my billing went through PayPal and not my debit, which I had preferred. The money was instantly deducted and there went my free trial. After that, I had no problems. I logged in via my iPad and browsed to see what the network had to offer.
So the basic layout of the homepage is the daily schedule, below that shows, PPV, and recommended. When you click on ‘All Shows’ / ‘All PPV’ i’ll take you to the shows menu which is divided into 4 categories: PPV, In-Ring, Originals, and Vault. The PPV section is set-up two ways. You can pick by year which has the recommended PPV or you can click on the PPV by brand (WWE/ECW/WCW) and slide left to see PPV by years. Under In-Ring, you can sleet Raw/Smackdown, Main Event, NXT, or Superstar replays. Not every episode is available for Raw & Smackdown. For Raw the replays go back to 1993, 1998, 2012-2014. Smackdown is 1999 and 2012-2014 and the episodes for both brands are title along with the episodes available of Main Event. The episodes for NXT and and Superstars are not titled, only labeled by episode. The ‘Orginials’ section is divided by WWE Beyond the Ring, WWE Countdown & Wrestlemania Rewind. This is a section that needs work and I’m sure more will be added. The Vault section has ECW Hardcore TV, Legends of Wrestling (my favorite), Old School, and WCCW. Again another section that is build able.
Overall I’m pleased with the Network and see that there are rooms for improvement. It works on 3/4 of my devices: iPad/iPhone/Macbook, but due to connection issues I have yet to set it up on my Xbox 360. With the email sent out by WWE that issue is set to be resolved by Monday, 3.3.14. Only time will tell.
Here’s my 3 main questions regarding the network:
- Will the documentaries featured on Netflix be added to the Network?
- Will Raw/Smackdown ever be aired live?
- Will the Raw/Smackdown replay archives include all episodes or stay as is?
The archive of the WWE is very large and I could not expect for everything to be up at once. That’s just not practical. There is room for growth on the network which is exciting because who knows what other original content is coming. I suppose when Total Divas and WWE Legend’s House begins that they will be added as well. I wonder if Total Divas will be streamed live to coincide with that of E! or if it will be archived. Also I wonder if past episodes of Total Divas will be added as well.
Again only time will tell, but minus the initial connection issues and not getting the free trial, I’m pleased with the setup and programming offered. I’m even more interested to see where this is going to go and anticipating that all connection issues will be solved by Wrestlemania. I’m pretty definite they will.