My history with professional wrestling goes back to the early ’90s. I don’t remember exactly how I got into it, or exactly when it was (sometime in late 1993 maybe?), but I was hardcore about it as a kid. I used to run around the basement pretending I was Bret Hart or Sting. A couple of my first websites were about wrestling. Even once I learned it was fake, it didn’t really put me off, I just thought of it as the male version of a soap opera. I started with the WWF (now WWE) and eventually got more into WCW. I dabbled a bit with ECW (still the only wrestling PPV I ever purchased) and eventually ended up back with the WWF until around 2000 or so when I just stopped watching altogether.
I never took advantage of WWE Classics on Demand when I had Comcast, but I wish I had. A few weeks ago, the WWE announced they are trying something totally new. An online-only network that features both original and “classic” footage, some on-demand and some actually scheduled like a regular television network. The significance of this approach, and whether it could succeed could really set the stage for other networks (or sports organizations) to adopt something similar.
The content of the network will center around current and historical footage, but will also include all current Pay-Per-View (PPV) events at no extra charge. The catch, of course, is, at the moment, this can’t be watched on a TV without a computer hooked up to it. Supposedly every PPV for WCW, WWE and ECW will be available on-demand at launch, with more programming being added as they go.
I don’t follow pro wrestling much anymore, but the already announced Monday Night Wars show, plus WWE Legends House (a reality show) have me intrigued. Couple that with the complete backlog of PPVs and there is a lot to get someone like be excited about. At this point I would say it’s likely I will roll the dice when it comes out and try it for a while to see if it’s cool. I suspect that this back catalog of material is going to very appealing to old school fans like me, who are over 25 and can afford $10 a month for something like this.