Powell's Blog: WWE Network random thoughts, praise, and petty complaints
By Jason Powell
-As was the case with many viewers, I experienced technical issues with the signup process on Monday morning. I still don't understand why they didn't open up the signups weeks ago while making it clear that the product would not be available until today. That said, I managed to score access within 90 minutes or so.
-Give me some live programming! I don't expect 24 hours of live content, but I really think they should have offered a big dose of live programming on launch day. I don't care if it's Josh Mathews interviewing Perkins Miller for six hours, do something to make the network launch feel like the big event that it is.
-I could definitely do without the replays of WWE Main Event and especially WWE Superstars streaming on launch day. I felt bad for fans who finally managed to get through the pesky signup process just in time to have WWE Superstars be their first live programming option.
-Fortunately, there is a ton of great On Demand content. I'm especially excited about the Legends of Wrestling roundtable shows and some of the classic live events. Granted, the roundtables appeared on WWE Classics, but those of us who didn't have access to the platform are going to enjoy catching up on those shows. One can only hope that the company has plans to produce new roundtable episodes for the network.
-I have experienced some buffering issues and even encountered the following message at one point while I was exploring: "Fatal Error - Something has gone very wrong. Please restart the application." Given the nature of the message, I feared for a second that I somehow managed to take down the entire network.
-As I have reminded a few emailers who have described experiencing major issues, it's possible the problem is with their internet setup rather than a problem with the actual network.
-I hope WWE follows the Netflix lead by keeping track of where a viewer stopped watching a program. I love being able to stop watching an episode of "House of Cards" on a Saturday and know that when I go back to Netflix days or even weeks later that I can pick up right where I left off with Frank, Claire, and Meechum by simply pressing play, whereas the WWE Network makes viewers start from scratch.
-Bobby Heenan with a microphone is still as good as it gets.
-Some advertised pay-per-views are missing. None jump out as anything the company would be leery of airing. After all, if they included even an edited version of Over The Edge '99, I don't think they'll shy away from airing anything. As such, I assume it's only a matter of time before the missing pay-per-views are added to the mix.
-I love that the first year of Raw is available. Deep down, I think we all had a twisted urge to hear Rob Bartlett butcher color commentary again.
-The search engine is a great feature. It would be awesome if it would bring up individual matches that you search for, but I can't imagine how many man-hours it would require to break up every match in such a manner. I'm more than satisfied with being able to jump to the event during which the match took place.
-Seeing Michael Hayes on the Legends Roundtable set dressed in a WrestleMania hat and t-shirt is wrong. It's the equivalent of seeing Lady Gaga wearing sweat pants and a ratty t-shirt. Sure, you know she has her "around the house" clothes, but you don't see her dress that way in public. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I want... no, I need The Freebird to pimp out whenever he's in the public eye.
-We are 29 days away from being able to watch The Shield vs. The Wyatt Family again.
-As someone who suffers from some level of hearing loss, I love that closed captioning is available. That's a great touch from a company that was slow to make that option available on DVDs.
-Dot Net reader Jerry Roth wrote to say that the Hardcore Heaven '97 event is edited. He notes that all of the swearing has been removed along with someone flipping the bird.
-I forgot that Gene Okerlund sang The Star Spangled Banner at the first WrestleMania. All those celebrities and no one thought to hire an actual singer?!?
-Yes, I have some early criticisms and I am concerned about the number of issues I'm hearing about from Dot Net readers. Nevertheless, WWE Network is very impressive. Assuming WWE and MLBAM can work out the early kinks, the WWE Network appears that it will live up to the hype and prove worthy of the wait. Again, though, the key is the functionality, particularly when it comes to the live pay-per-view events. The Raw pre and post shows, and even Thursday's live NXT show should serve as early tests for WWE.
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