Thursday, July 10, 2014

Top 10 Thursday: Things About the WWE Network

Unfortunately, I was unable to get any requests for my Top Ten Thursday so I decided to go with one of my own. I didn't want to do one that the WWE Countdown show has done so far and I didn't want to do a huge one like "Top Ten Superstars". In the end, I chose to do the "Top Ten Things About the WWE Network" since I've been enjoying it immensely since February.

10. Chris Benoit

Now, this may not be the most popular choice but it's something I've liked seeing on the WWE Network. Chris Benoit was among my favorite wrestlers during his career and the above moment at WrestleMania XX with Eddie Guerrero was something special. However, we all know what went down in 2007 and since then, the WWE has not made mention of Benoit and have not really released any of his matches on DVD. So, with the WWE Network, going back and watching Chris Benoit has been awesome. Whether it's on ECW Hardcore TV, WCW Pay-Per-Views or all over WWE shows from 2000-2007, getting to see one of the best ever is classic and something that I cherish.

9. Original Specials

This would be higher if there were more. The WWE Network Original Specials have been great. The "Journey to WrestleMania: Daniel Bryan" was an outstanding documentary even if it was about an hour long. It gave an in-depth look into Bryan's career including stuff from before he signed with the WWE. The Ultimate Warrior one was just as amazing during the Network's special "Warrior Week" following the Hall of Famer's untimely death. The Vickie Guerrero Countdown was decent, but according to the schedule for the upcoming week, there will be a Special on the WrestleMania 13 classic between Steve Austin and Bret Hart. If that's anywhere as good as it can be, it'll be must see television. 

8. Legends House

Reality TV done right. I grew up watching Roddy Piper, Jim Duggan, Mean "BY GAWD" Gene and the rest of the cast of Legends House. The first season is already over and there's rumors of not doing a second season but that would be a travesty. Legends House was hilarious, just look at the above GIF. Where else would see a LARPing Roddy Piper? Despite it being funny as hell a lot of the time, the show hit home with a lot of emotion. Especially the final episode where each cast member revealed a heart-breaking story and Pat Patterson came out of the closet officially. All in all, it was a great part of my Thursday nights and I miss it. Plus, that Ashley <3. The former Pussycat Doll looked great on every episode.

7. Legends of Wrestling Roundtable

These Legends of Wrestling Roundtables were a big part of the old WWE 24/7 Classics on Demand service and they've moved over to the WWE Network. While they have yet to add any new ones, the old ones are incredibly entertaining. Usually featuring guys like Jim Ross, Michael Hayes, Tazz, Mick Foley, Eric Bischoff and more, the viewer gets a lot of insight into the backstage workings of the industry. We are treated to a lot of stories that we've never heard before. It's also funny how most of the legends on this show smoke cigars during these. Some of my favorites include Monday Night Wars, Monday Night Raw, Heatseekers and the nWo. The only thing I want, is for new ones to emerge. They can't be too expensive to film.

6. Raw Replays

Starting with the very episode on my 3rd birthday, January 11th, 1993 and continuing through early 1995 as of today, the WWE Network has been uploading every episode in the history of Monday Night Raw. For those keeping track, there has been over 1100 episodes. Slowly going through the early years has allowed me to re-watch these and it's a ton of fun. Add in that they upload "Best of Raw" episodes from random years like '98, '01 or '06 and every Raw since 2012 and there is a lot of enjoy. Let's not forget that while it's not Raw in particular, the "Best of Smackdown" episodes, every single Clash of the Champions, Hardcore TV and Saturday Night's Main Event. There's so much to watch and so much to upload like Nitro, Thunder, Livewaire, Superstars, etc.

5. WWE Countdown

There are a lot of WWE Network original shows, including Legends House that I mentioned earlier and WrestleMania Rewind. However, there is none that I enjoy more than WWE Countdown. As a sucker for top ten lists, I knew I'd enjoy this. Some episodes are hit or miss, but the very best part of this show isn't even seeing what number one is each week. It's the talking head segments with the Superstars/personalities. Seeing non-wrestling people like ESPN's Michelle Beadle or comedian Judah Friedlander is cool. However, getting to see people like Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, Cesaro, Renee Young or AJ Lee talk, you can tell how they were big fans growing up. It's a blast to see them mark like we do.

4. Main Event

Before the WWE Network, Main Event was a pre-recorded show that was skippable along with Superstars. However, when the live stream for NXT Arrival (the first live event on the Network) went out, WWE knew they needed to test more live shows before WrestleMania. Enter Main Event. It would now air live on Tuesday nights at 8PM and because it was now live, it became must see television. It actually has probably surpassed Smackdown as the B show. Not only are you treated to an hour of good wrestling, but you also get big announcements like Seth Rollins informing the fans of the second Money in the Bank match. The WWE having to test more live streams has turned Main Event into my second favorite weekly show and I tend to enjoy it more than Raw.

3. Live Pay-Per-Views

At a price tag of $60 per event, I would never order all 12 of the WWE Pay-Per-Views in a calendar year. I'd normally get Royal Rumble, WrestleMania, Money in the Bank and SummerSlam. However, with the events being included in my $9.99 per month subscription, I've watched every Pay-Per-View on the WWE Network. WrestleMania, Extreme Rules, Payback and Money in the Bank. You can't beat that price and the quality has been good for the live stream. Also, nearly every show has been really good to great, though the recent Money in the Bank was the worst of the Network era. Getting to see every Pay-Per-View and not having to pay $60 for each is amazing.

2. Archived Pay-Per-Views

Since getting the WWE Network, I've been having a tremendous time going through the archived Pay-Per-Views. Some of them I had on DVD like the SummerSlam and Royal Rumble collections, but getting to see things like classic WCW, ECW and WWE shows in high definition can't be beat. I can go back and watch Canadian Stampede, Starrcade or November to Remember any time that I want. I've been using this feature to write my reviews and I've yet to even scratch the surface of the amount of Pay-Per-Views. Over 400 events keeps things fresh and allows me to watch some absolute classics. Bret Hart vs. Steve Austin? Check. Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker? Check. Ric Flair vs. Ricky Steamboat? Check.

1. NXT

Thursday nights are my favorite nights for the WWE Network and NXT is the main reason why. Yes, there's Legends House/Total Divas and Superstars with Renee Young but NXT is amazing. Their Arrival and TakeOver Specials are must see things on the Network and the amount of talent down there is insane. Sami Zayn, Tyler Breeze, Adrian Neville, Sasha Banks, Bayley and so many more. Even people who have left NXT like Paige, Emma, Bo Dallas and Big E were awesome. The presentation, talent, booking and just everything about NXT is special and something that I'm so glad to be able to watch. I look forward to seeing NXT each and every week and I can't wait until they deliver another special. Easily the  best thing going in the WWE.

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