After the first few weeks the initial kinks were fixed and focus shifted to WrestleMania paranoia. How would the biggest show of the year fare as the first such undertaking on the Network? Would the servers be able to handle the high number watching? What would WWE do in case of a mishap? Rumors even circulated that some fans would purchase the event via traditional pay-per-view "just in case." Needless to say, WrestleMania XXX on WWE Network went down without any widely-reported problems.
One year later and WWE Network has proven to be well.worth the ever-pushed $9.99 per month. No matter what you look for in wrestling, you'll find something worthwhile. Even the most jaded fan, still holding onto their grainy, Clash of the Champions videos taped off of TBS should find solace in the Network. They can see those specials, and tons of other shows, in unheard of quality.
Even with all of the pluses, there are still areas that could use some major improvement. There is still an untapped, albeit small, market that wants nothing but old territorial shows and matches. We've seen a recent trend towards these shows, but if the Network started regularly airing some of these shows in order (some may be a tad incomplete due to condition), they may very well latch onto some new consumers.
Most everything that has been added has stayed (I hope that the treasures in the Black History Month section don't disappear in March) and some things have even been improved upon. Many WCW shows were "fixed" once WWE fully had the rights to certain themes. It would be nice if they would go back and do the same for some WWF shows with the same issue.
My last, but least worrisome gripe is with the search function. As it stands it is incomplete, difficult to navigate, and generally worthless. Most of the time I watch full shows anyway, but with the addition of more and more episodes of various shows, it would be nice to know who pops up. Along the same lines, a "Newly Added" menu wouldn't be a bad idea either. I can only see so many "Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan welcome the WWE Universe to more Prime Time Wrestling" descriptions before I forget if I've seen the episode or not.
On a note unrelated to the Network, this week also marked a sad anniversary in professional wrestling. February 22, 2015 was forty years to the day of the tragic plane crash that killed Bobby Shane and injured Buddy Colt, Austin Idol, and Gary Hart. By and large, Shane's contributions to the wrestling world are unknown to fans my age and younger. Some of us have sought out to learn more about him, and I dedicated an entry of this blog to him late last year. Hopefully, the original "King of Wrestling" will never be truly forgotten.
|Bobby Shane * August 25, 1945-February 22, 1975|