WWE Network has been something between an adequate-to-successful launch, depending on who you ask. It’s central to WWE’s growth plans, so they’re wisely always thinking about new content and ways to grow the subscriber base.
PWInsider has unearthed a market research survey the company’s sent to some members of its mailing list, asking fans for feedback on a number of new concepts they’re considering adding to the over-the-top service.
They definitely skew toward out-of-ring subjects, which is smart. With things like the Cruiserweight Classic and, post-brand split, a rumored eight or nine additional three hour Sunday night events, wrestling fans already get plenty of bang for their $9.99. These shows are geared toward getting more people in each household viewing the Network as an essential part of their home entertainment budget... if they turn a few more people into even occasional Raw and SmackDown viewers, all the more better.
Here are the pitches WWE asked survey recipients about, along with some thoughts from yours truly on each:
- Ask Me Anything Live - Live, interactive Q&A with WWE talents.
The folks screening questions will earn their money, but otherwise, this shouldn’t require more that the “social media lounge” bits they already do on pre-shows.
- Everyone Has A Price - Reality series scouring the country for the most memorable WWE memorabilia, the origin of the items and determining their price.
Fantastic title - and if they get The Million Dollar Man to host, I’m in - but not sure how much of a crossover there is between PBS’ Antiques Roadshow and the WWE Universe. Give it a Pawn Stars/Storage Wars-vibe, however...
- Extreme Eats - Tommy Dreamer and Bubba Ray Dudley tour the United States to show off their favorite food locations, sample odd and strange food combinations and take part in eating challenges.
Sure, why not? Although after reading this, all I can think is that if you combine Tommy Dreamer and Bubba Ray Dudley, you’d end up with Guy Fieri.
- 50 States, 50 Dates - a "WWE bachelor" goes on 50 dates to find romance. This would be a reality show about finding true love while also living your life on the road as a WWE talent.
When I first read this, I thought they’d be sending a single wrestler on blind dates with fans, and I was pumped (if a little scared). Less jazzed for some fan doing it, which is what I think the plan actually is, but it might be worth it if they set him/her up with non-wrestling fans and they have to explain their favorite pastime.
- Goldberg's Garage - Reality show about Goldberg, his wife and their mechanics restoring American muscle cars at their North Carolina garage.
Just their asking adds fuel to the comeback rumors. At this point, I’ll be more surprised if he’s not at WrestleMania in 2017 than the other way around.
- History of WWE - 10 Part documentary series taking fans from the beginning of WWE through the launch of the Network.
Mostly surprised this hasn’t happened yet. I’m sure it will be a completely unbiased.
- Legends House: Attitude - A sequel to the initial WWE Network series, placing 1990s legends together under one roof.
Sounds fun, until you remember how many 90s stars are dead, etc... and how the original Legends House turned out.
- Miz & Mrs. - A reality series following Miz and Maryse.
As it’s essentially a Total Divas spin-off, I probably won’t watch, but these two are super-entertaining...
- Talking SummerSlam - A post-pay-per-view (PPV) Talk Show (a la AMC’s “Talking Dead”, their post-Walking Dead chatfest)
Depends entirely on the guests, but I’d rather they just brought back the faux-press conferences.
- Tapout Fitness - WWE stars share their training tips.
Makes sense as part of their way to grow the Tapout brand. Don’t think it’ll be a hit.
- The Third Wheel - Two WWE Fans go on a blind date without knowing they are going to be joined by a WWE star.
If the star is always Bo Dallas, I’m onboard.
- Totally NXT - A reality/competition series as six women try to make their way through the developmental system for a chance at a main roster slot and a Total Divas cast membership.
Thought “isn’t this what NXT is?” and then I saw one prize was a spot on E! and got mad.
- The Wives of Flair - Documentary series on the love life of Ric Flair and his four ex-wives.
A license to print money. Money which will embarass Charlotte and further turn one of the best wrestlers in history into a sideshow, but money nonetheless.
- WWE All Access - Reality series following main eventers as they prepare for Wrestlemania/Summerslam level major matches.
Isn’t this WWE 24?
- WWE Game Night - WWE stars face celebrities in games outside the ring (listed were dodge ball, obstacle courses, Pictionary)
Given that the five minute YouTube show is hit or miss, I’m not optimistic.
- WWE Investigates - Each segment would be a 3-5 episode mini-series going deep into a real subject in the history of pro wrestling. The life & legacy of Eddie Guerrero was suggested as a sample mini-series.
Probably best they don’t open this can of worms, because they’ll never touch real investigative journalism, or the topics which merit it.
- WWE Goes Viral - Best WWE viral videos including ones submitted by fans.
This worked out so well for Fandango-ing. Let’s have Jerry Lawler host it and maybe we can make people stop using the internet altogether.
- WWE Kids! - Kids interview WWE stars, compete against them in games and call the action for in-ring action.
Isn’t this already happening? If not, it should be.
- WWE Promo Battle - WWE Talents go head to head in "improv wars" in a tournament style setting where the audience and social media as well as a panel of judges determine who moves forward until they crown a promo battle champion.
- WWE Roast - John Cena would be roasted in a no holds barred tribute.
Something tells me holds will be barred.
- WWE Superstars Search - Hosted by Lita & Trish Stratus, a competition reality series with 10 women competing for a WWE contract.
This sounds a little better than the other Divas Search idea above, but still, why not just focus on documenting real Performance Center talents working toward their dreams?
What do you think, Cagesiders? Which, if any, of these would you pull up on the award-winning WWE Network?