At an event at CES, WWE Chairman and frequent in-ring bad guy Vince McMahon announced that his cadre of professional wrestlers were getting their very own digital network. And it's really, really affordable.
Launching in the US this February before rolling out worldwide over the next year and beyond, it'll cost just $10 a month, putting the eventual UK price probably at around £5.99. The network will feature exclusive content and the usual expected range of live options, but it'll also pull from WWE's extensive vault to give on-demand options aplenty. Most importantly, it'll include all 12 live pay per view events at no additional charge, along with various reality series, a daily studio show, and pre and post-event coverage.
That first part should grab your attention; pay per view fees for live events can end up costing hundreds of pounds a year. So while yes, it's a little bit insane to consider paying the same for WWE-only content as you would pay for the whole wide world of Netflix, for a diehard fan it actually makes some sense. Not to mention that it also includes over 300 pay per view matches from the last 30 years of wrasslin on demand.
Some of that original content includes Legends House, which puts former wrestling greats in a Real World situation. It looks like the kind of show you can't stop watching because you can't let go of the sensation of I can't believe I am watching this what is wrong with me/society at large. Which is fun!
There's also Wrestlemania Rewind, which is not just a bunch of Wrestlemania events shown in reverse (wherein two beaten men help each other up from the floor repeatedly and wind up if not friends at least casual acquaintances), but an opportunity to relive your favourite Wrestlemania moments.
The next offering outlined? Countdown (technically COUNTD0WN but this feels like an informal event), in which WWE fans rank their favourite wrestlers? Or something? It's hard to tell, it's also distracting because it's being explained by Shawn Michaels and Triple H and I'm having a bit of a flashback to my first year of college. But yes, if you want to know what the fourth-best ladder match in WWE history is, you will enjoy Countdown.
You'll also be able to relive the relative magic of the late-90s, early-00s ratings wars between the then-WWF and Ted Turner's competing enterprise. The Monday Night War: Raw vs Nitro will offer the chance to relive that recent Golden Age. Stone Cold Steve Austin is "looking forward to diggin it [himself]."
The WWE Network will be available on PCs, iOS, Android, Xbox, Roku, the Kindle Fire, and, eventually other smart TVs. It's expected to reach Canada, the UK, Singapore, and Hong Kong over the next two years as well.
As for how to get yourself the network, you just have to make a WWE account, give them your money, and settle in for your Total Divas marathon. Video will be delivered in 720p, which is high definition but not quite enough to see the flecks in Mick Foley's beard.
Let's be honest, this is a niche product for a very specific audience. But if you're part of that audience—or if you can remember when you were part of that audience 10 years ago—it's easy enough to talk yourself into thinking that this is worth it. Think about it this way: It basically bumps the cost of every pay per view down to pocket change. And even for casual fans, that's a steal.
It goes live on February 24th—just in time to stream Wrestlemania XXX live.