Report Card: The WWE Network – Free One Week Trial

by Kevin Hellions @TeamHellions

On Monday February 24 (a most glorious day), the WWE Network launched. Viewers can choose between a live stream or dig through the archives, making it a “Netflix and more” for WWE fans. There really is a lot to enjoy on the Network. Join me as I test out this new product for the one week free trial.

Monday morning: the kid wakes up, my wife wakes up, and I wake up. Everyone is in a good mood. I turn to my wife and mention that starting today there is a one week free trial for the WWE Network. Honey, can I try it? Please? I’ll cancel after one week so we’re not charged anything. But I really want to play around with this. She agrees.

Six hours later I’m finally signed up. The site crashed, the credit card window crashed, the site timed out. Things just kept happening, all of which prevented me from signing up. Maybe it’s because I’m doing the trial? Maybe because it’s a debit card? I tried every variation possible. All of this made me more and more upset. When and if this goes through it damn sure better be worth it. Word of mouth is that I am not the only one having issues.

Finally, at the same time as a well known wrestling blogger was able to sign in, my information went through as well. Yeah! All your connections didn’t get you anywhere this time, did they? Take that, unnamed blogger!

My account is live, the PlayStation is on, the menu loads and… This is all I need. Not one second of a show has been watched. Instead I waste a good half hour looking through every possible item in the menu.

Every pay per view from WWE, WCW and ECW is right there. Tons of Raw and Smackdown episodes. Even more digging turned up classic ECW TV, World Class Championship Wrestling, and WWF from Madison Square Garden. It’s the digital version of an antique mall or used book store. Around every corner is a new treasure, previously unknown but now much coveted.

Time to mess around with the streams. Twitter was running on the laptop and I read many complaints about the quality and lag time of the videos. I didn’t encounter any such problems, probably because I didn’t stay on any one thing long enough. A couple minutes of this, a few more of that, and let’s see what else is on here. WCW Beach Blast, ECW Guilty as Charged, the Bret Hart vs Shawn Michaels documentary. I was so overwhelmed I didn’t know where to start, but diving right in only made things worse.

I did notice that the live stream seemed to be just a bit quicker to load than the archived videos. A very good thing to see on the first day, as it should bode well for the future live pay per views.

Knowing that I will want to sign in every day this week, I sign out early. Don’t want to exhaust the wife’s patience on day one.

By day two the internet had told me about many must-see matches available on the Network. Time to finally watch Cesaro vs. Sami Zayn in the NXT Match of the Year. I’ve seen both guys live in front of 100-200 people before. They were both amazing then, but nothing could prepare me for this match. I’ve been watching wrestling for almost 25 years and there were moves and spots in this match I have never seen before. The video never skipped once. My heart may have, but I’m not contemplating spending $10 a month for that. (That sentence is bound to haunt me as I get older.)

Imagine my excitement then when WWE announces the first live event in the Network’s history will also be the first live NXT pay per view, featuring a rematch between Cesaro and Zayn. Hold my calls, put the kid in the crib, and leave me alone. Sweet Christmas this show was insane. For the price of a ticket to an independent wrestling show, I’m watching the men and women who will main event WWE for the next 5-10 years. I begin to think of ways to shave $10 off the monthly bills and sweet things to say to my wife.

This thing is a time suck though, I wont lie. Not only did I watch 3 hours of Raw but I also watched the pre and post shows. Same with Smackdown. The best people to subscribe to this would be wrestling fans with no partners and no kids. It is not difficult at all to lose yourself in the thousands of hours of video. I’m already kissing ass to guarantee I don’t have to do anything on WrestleMania day.

For $10 a month there is no room for debate. Cheaper than five pay per views. Cheaper than one DVD. Two Starbucks drinks. There are 100 ways to save 10 bucks to bring the greatest thing since Netflix into your home.

READ ALSO: 5 Things You Never Say to a WWE Fan | Top 5 Wrestlers Who Should be Inducted in the WWE Hall of Fame

Kevin Hellions (@TeamHellionsis the creator of Team Hellions. You can find him enjoying everything from 2CW to the Young Adult (meaning comic book) section of the local library. 

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