Monday, February 24, 2014

Christmas Morning Or the WWE Network Release

Since I knew the date, I anxiously awaited the release of the WWE Network for us regular consumers.  Providing me with over 1,000 hours of wrestling content to start and with the knowledge of the libraries they have purchased over the years, the WWE Network is the best possible on demand network for a wrestling junkie.  Plus, you get every pay per view going forward, which I would seldom order for $60, but would definitely pay $10 per month if I was able to watch Chi-Town Rumble '89 or a random episode of World Class Championship Wrestling from 1983, I can.  Heck, I used to pay that for 40 random hours of WWE content on WWE Classics on Demand.

So, I woke up this morning and managed to just beat the rush at 9 AM and sign up ahead of most people.  Once logged in, I managed to watch half an episode WCCW this morning, which included the Fabulous Freebirds and Bugsy McGraw, but sadly, I've yet to finish after 10 hours, since it basically played the Bugsy McGraw match in stop motion, due to the lag.  I also gave the Bunkhouse Brawl from 1988 a shot this afternoon, but received the stop-start nature of the programming.

With the on-demand not working well, I watched the live network programming stream, which worked very well, with only some small hitches where the program would replay the last three seconds again on occasion.  I was able to watch the best of NXT, including the Cesaro/Zayn match for a second time and Wrestlemania 1, which was not as good as you remember it.  I also saw an awesome promo from 1990 involving Playboy Buddy Rose, a once fit, but eventually fat wrestler,  pouring Blow-Away fat melting powder on himself, going from 270 pounds to 217 pounds while just pouring this powder on himself and having a fan blow it away. 

The impressive strength of the network, aside from the breadth of content is the picture quality.  I suspect some of the problem with the network today was streaming so much hi-definition content.  Even older matches looked sharp, probably sharper than they did 30 years ago when they were originally shown, since the digitization was excellent on the content I was able to watch.  Considering it is the first day of the first internet and on-demand network, this really has to be considered a success, even though I wasn't able to watch all of the 1989 WCW pay-per-views like I wanted to all day, but life is what it is and accepting realistic parameters is important. 

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