For about a week, the World Wrestling Network, purveyors of Evolve, Shine, and Full Impact Pro among other wrestling promotions, have been teasing a game-changing announcement, and today they made it. Club WWN is a subscription service / loyalty program, but is it a game-changer?
In a word, no.
Here are the salient details—
- $9.99 a month gets you unlimited VOD access to the archives of eight of WWN’s constituent brands— Evolve, Shine, FIP, Style Battle, Dragon Gate USA, American Combat Wrestling, Viva La Lucha, and a catch-all WWN Presents channel scraping up odds and ends. Additionally, the first month is free for signups before January 31.
- Live events on WWNLive.com will be half-price with your Club WWN subscription, so the option to buy the live viewing only is $5 and live + VOD is $7.50.
- Live + VOD is still a thing? What’s the point if the entire archive is up? Well, there’s a two-week delay on new shows hitting the archive after their broadcast.
- Club WWN will have a rewards points system where every purchase, including subscriptions, tickets, and anything in the WWNLive store, earns points and naturally those points can be redeemed towards discounts on future purchases.
- Plus there’s the promise of other, “surprise” perks as well.
So... With Christmas coming up, let me spin you a relevant analogy here, folks.
This is socks.
I need socks. I appreciate receiving socks. But socks are not exactly the Sega Nomad I was hoping for.
It’s a good deal for me personally, as since the FloSlam debacle I had reverted to buying Evolve shows live only (going back to $30 a month was simply a bridge too far), and was really regretting not having VOD access to them, and now for my same $20 I’ll again be able to go back and check stuff out again if I like. Plus it’ll be nice to be able to keep up with FIP and Shine again, even on a delay.
And the archives are up in full day one, including a bunch of stuff I wasn’t necessarily expecting in the WWN Presents channel, like Jeff Peterson Cups and Pro Wrestling Revolution shows, which is nice in contrast to FloSlam taking months and months to get about 80% of that stuff up. (Even though the comparison isn’t really fair since WWN already have all their VODs uploaded, of course, but I’ll take the shot where I can get it.)
But in a world of flat-price, no-complications streaming services, it feels almost like a relic of another time. Ring of Honor have a Ringside Membership service, in point of fact, where $7.99 a month gets you... access to a VOD archive (though not nearly as complete as what WWN have on offer here), discounts on iPPV, and assorted other perks. And ROH have themselves essentially admitted that’s not enough with their announcement of a proper streaming service to launch next year.
Again, WWN Club is a good value, it’s better than what WWN offered before, but it’s not anywhere near a game-changer.
In news that’s rather more akin to tearing off the wrapping paper and actually seeing that Sega Nomad staring out at you, we have WWN’s other huge teased announcement of the past week or so.
It started, as these things so often do, with a banner.
If you told me this was happening at the beginning of the week I wouldn't have believed you.... pic.twitter.com/z26WlvGUQW— Gabe Sapolsky (@BookItGabe) December 15, 2017
And sure enough, in today’s newsmail, someone who, a week ago, you would not have expected to see back in Evolve was announced for More Than Mania... Will Ospreay! Ospreay will wrestle on the April 5 Evolve show as well as WWN Mercury Rising on April 6.
Seeing as Will has been under contract with Ring of Honor and ROH talent generally aren’t allowed to work for WWN, this is indeed a monumental return and I’m looking forward to seeing what the Aerial Assassin will get up to.
But wait, I’ve got one more thing for you before we get out of here, folks.
See, yesterday’s newsmail had the listing for next month’s Style Battle Season 1 Episode 8 in it, announcing the field as Matt Riddle, WALTER, Nick Gage, Joey Janela, Shane Mercer, Kyle the Beast, Joey Lynch, and one man to be determined from the next WWN Seminar/Tryout. Great field. Even better though, is the first matchup to be announced...
Nick Gage vs. WALTER.
That’s right, an MDK gang-affiliated deathmatch legend is going up against Ringkampf’s maestro, the Ring General himself! It’s the kind of match where I know I wanted it, because I want every possible Nick Gage match and I want every possible WALTER match, but to imagine them, together, wrestling— no, FIGHTING each other?
I might die of wrestling-induced happiness, folks. Or sympathetic chest pains. Six of one.
There you have it, folks
The World Wrestling Network have their own streaming service, Will Ospreay is returning for Mania weekend, and Style Battle is more star-studded than ever. Gonna subscribe, Cagesiders?