WWE Network etc.

January 10, 2014

Started my January 2014 session at SWA this week; the biggest January session yet, with 16 students representing 7 Countries. We've got 2 girls, 14 guys from Canada, USA, England, Ireland, Germany, Australia and Israel. May and Sept. classes are also booked full, with a waitlist available. I will be reconfirming students booked for those session to make sure they are all committed so 1 or 2 spots may still open up. You can also apply for 2015 spots.

I really enjoyed Old School RAW, I'm not sure why but the red white and blue ropes with the old metal barricades makes the show more fun for me. Childhood memories I guess. I was very disappointed we didn't get Howard Finkel on the show. He's still the best ring announcer in my books and the epitome of Old School, so I was dumbfounded by his absence. Not sure what to make of the Daniel Bryan thing yet, but am willing to wait and see where it goes, at least for a few weeks.

Very intrigued by the WWE Network, and am extremely curious how it will affect the business structure of our industry in the long term. From a fan stand point it sounds pretty awesome. If something like this were available 25- 30 years ago, when I was a fan. I'd have been all over this. Where I am in my life now, I'm a bit more on the fence, I don't have that much free time to watch shows, I already have and want to watch, so having access to all this great content while great on paper I don't know with a wife and 2 kids, who don't like wrestling, if I'll have the time to take advantage of this service.
If I could get it at launch I think I'd definitely try the initial 6 months. With WrestleMania XXX as an incentive I just don't see how any fan can pass this up. Mania is worth the price of admission all by itself, so you basically get to try 6 months of the network for free and decide over the next 6 months if the Network on its own is worth keeping.
One thing I just learned though sounds absurd and may be the deal breaker for me with trying the network and it's this 6 month commitment billing cycles. When I first heard this I thought it meant that on sign up you were forced into a minimum 6 month commitment, but that you would be billed monthly beyond that point and could quit any time you wanted once you've passed that 6 month minimum. I've recently been told that this is not the case and in fact you are continually committed to 6 month blocks of billing. This sound ludicrous to me; I'm more than happy committing to a one time minimum but having a perpetual long term commitment where I essentially only have 2 short windows to terminate my subscription annually is unacceptable. I really hope this is not the case, because with Canada not getting the Network at launch and thus not having the WrestleMania bonus at sign up, I don't see me trying the Network under this billing system. I suppose I've got a year to see what American's think of the service before I have to decide, and perhaps they will alter their billing system by then. Time will tell.

I got the Legends of Mid-South DVD for Christmas and have thus far watched 2 of the 3 disc in the set. So far the set is awesome with some great matches and a great look back at a system and style of wrestling I really love. The heat and emotion of the crowd was just so awesome. I also loved the simplicity of wrestling back then; for the most part they just took a charismatic hero (JYD) put him in a serious conflict with a credible dangerous foe (Butch Reed, Ted Dibiase) and sold tickets to that confrontation. The matches were about the emotional struggle and the crowd's interest was in the outcome of the match and justice for their hero, rather than the spots and moves.
One of the stipulations that I found interesting on the DVD and perhaps even something that could be used today was the "Loser Leaves Town for 30 Days". WWE and TNA still do the Loser Leaves Town or You`re Fired stips all the time but no one ever buys into them and they are never honoured because they imply forever, and talent never leaves for ever. Perhaps if it was a Loser is off RAW for 30, 60, or 90 days, fans might believe the stip would be honoured and thus be more interested in the outcome. Fans could get hopeful looking forward to a month or 2 free of Bad News Barrett or conversely be counting down the days until Daniel Bryan can return to seek revenge on the man who cheated to win and vanquished him from RAW for the past month or 2. It would be a way to send people away for Surgeries or rotate them out for a brief vacation to freshen them up. Just an idea.

That's it for now, but I want to leave you with a few plugs.

- Chris Jericho's new podcast "Talk is Jericho" on PodcastOne is awesome.
- I really enjoy the "Jim Cornette Experience" Podcast on MLW Radio.
- Canadian Comedian Brent Butt (@BrentBrutt on Twitter) is doing a cross Country comedy tour, I've got tickets to the Calgary Show Feb 25th. Info at BrentButt.com
- I just finished Lawrence Block's new book "The Burglar who counted the Spoons" which was great. (@LawrenceBlock on Twitter)
- Also been reading and enjoying the "Charlie Hood" series by T. Jefferson Parker.


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