On Monday, the WWE Network launched to the delight of millions of diehard wrestling fans. I hung up my fanboy boots a long time ago, but I was still very excited to hear this news. The reason? I love nostalgia and having access to every wrestling Pay-Per-View was too much pass up. Granted, I only signed up for the free 1-week trial but it was great to see some of my old favorites back in the ring. Here are a few observations:
1. The theme song for the Royal Rumble was fire flames. When Vinny Mac would get on the mic and announce every name with such enthusiasm, you thought any Superstar had a chance to win (well, except for Bushwhacker Luke)
2. Speaking of the Royal Rumble, the old VHS box art was sooo ahead of its time. Sorry if I date myself, but going to the video rental store as a kid and seeing this stuff used to get me hyped. Obviously all the big Superstars are present in these videos. But seeing guys like Jake The Snake, Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Mr. Perfect, Bobby The Brain Heenan, Haku, etc. was great as well.
3. When I was a youngster, I was a Hulkamaniac. I said my prayers and ate my vitamins. I had the shirt, the wrestling buddy, and even dressed up as Hulk for halloween. So obviously there are a ton of highlights from my youth to be seen on this network. I have watched the big matches: Hogan/Andre, the Mega Powers Explode, etc. But having access to the forgotten events was fantastic. Seeing Hulk get his revenge against Earthquake after getting flattened on the Brother Love Show was incredible. Watching This Tuesday In Texas and not being absolutely terrified of the Undertaker made me feel like a man. And of course seeing my first crush, Ms. Elizabeth, in all her glory had my heart fluttering.
4. I am still not able to watch Hulk Hogan vs. The Ultimate Warrior. I compare watching that match to watching the “Rickyyyyy” scene of Boyz N The Hood or any of the heartbreaking SPOILERIFIC scenes in Game of Thrones. I will always have a deep dislike for The Ultimate Warrior.
5. And then of course we have the gems from the Attitude Era of the late 90s. I’m not sure if wrestling was better in the early 90s or the late 90s, but it is definitely a discussion. Re-watching the actual matches isn’t all that fun now, but seeing all of those crazy characters and storylines is real entertaining. They are all there: Stone Cold slugging beers, The Rock acting like a jerk, Degeneration X being, well, degenerates. If this DVD cover doesn’t fire you up for some WWE flashbacks, nothing will.
6. Mick Foley was probably my favorite overall character during this time, so being able to see him try to end his life of the company’s dime brought back some lovely memories.
7. Starting up The Divas branch was a genius move. Stacy Keibler will always be my number 1 in my heart, but I gotta give credit to the Original Gangsta, Sable.
8. I followed ECW a little bit when they first started, but here you have access to a bunch of their PPVs. The stuff they did is just as crazy now as it was back then.
9. I hated WCW for my entire life, but I’m sure you can poke around and find some decent stuff in their archives. But that is something I won’t be doing. To each their own, I guess.
10. I didn’t really go into the content for the recent events since I am not a wrestling fan anymore and don’t see me becoming one ever again. But I’m sure they have a ton of quality stuff for their fans.
I won’t keep the WWE Network after my free trial mostly because I don’t follow it anymore and after that first wave of nostalgia, I have no real use for it. But damn, that was a fun trip down memory lane. I definitely recommend the free week for anyone who was a fan back in the day. Obviously for the current fans, it is clearly worth the money since the Pay-Per-Views are included with the network.