As I am prone to hyperbole and outrageous claims, I know it will be difficult for anyone to believe the verity of the following statement. Still, just one day in, subscribing to the WWE Network might be the best $10 I have ever spent. Other competitors for this illustrious title are the 10-minute massage at that Mind and Body Spa place in Pearlridge and that huge plastic cup of Coke at Sea World. Netflix is not eligible for this competition as it does not meet the $10 threshold, but it is also among the best purchases I have ever made.
I started with the 1993 Royal Rumble immediately after subscribing to the network. The profiles of Bret Hart and Razor Ramon were prominently featured on the link, so that seemed like a good a place to start as any. I only got a few minutes in when Lynnette shouted “Dinner!” I was in the computer room and answered her call with “Haaaaw!” I realized that this is the exact manner in which Madison replies to requests she deems unreasonable or untenable. Damn it. Be a good role model, Phil. I paused the stream and got off my ass.
After dinner and a shower, I finally settled into bed and decided to watch all of the Royal Rumble matches starting with the first in 1988. I was treated to witnessing Tito Santana (one of my favorites as a kid, I can’t explain why) get his ass kicked for a solid 10 minutes, first by Bret “Hitman” Hart, then by Bret Hart and Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart, then by Bret Hart and Jim Neidhart and “The Natural” Butch Reed.
A few quick observations:
A) Bret Hart had already perfected his “Five Moves of Doom” (such as his patented elbow off the second turnbuckle, the back-breaker, and the split-leg step-through stomp on the mid-section) all the way back in 1998. He was always the same guy. Incredible.
2) Superstars in the ’80s wore the wrestling equivalent of granny panties (as modeled above by “The King” Harley Race in the purple, far left) as compared to today’s smaller tights, which I suppose in this metaphor would be low-rise boy underwear. Great. Glad we cleared that up.
3) Having a good physique – even a decent one – was optional.
I tuned into Raw a little after it had started and the Immortal (literally) Hulk Hogan was already in the ring. He got a few cheap pops by mentioning Green Bay (the site of Raw last night), grunting out a few catch phrases (“Well, you know, brother!” and “Hulkamaniacs”), and mentioning a few past “alpha-dogs” of years past like “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and The Heart-break Kid Shawn Michaels.
Then Hogan took his promo into Force-fed Marketing Orgasm Land by basically shooting on the WWE Network, all of its programs, the pay-per-views, the price point, the business model, the “future of the industry,” and the archives. Thanks to Hulk Hogan, I now know more about the WWE Network than I know about questionable materials left in Tupperware for an undisclosed period of time. Just trust me, that’s a lot.
Finally, Hogan ended his promo with something like this:
And whatcha gonna do, brother, when Hulk Hogan; the Hulkamaniacs, the WWE Universe, the WWE Network; the Green Bay Packers and Aaron Rodgers; every super-over face; Andre the Giant’s holographic image; CM Punk’s possible return at Wrestlemania;and Wrestlemania XXX come down on you? *Flexes, music hits*
Okay, so I made some of that up. But still. I wish I had a GIF of Hogan beating a dead horse because that’s pretty much what it was. And then Hogan’s promo was followed by Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler, and JBL EXPLAINING HOW TO USE THE NETWORK ON YOUR MOBILE DEVICES. I don’t even want the WWE Network anymore. I’m sick of it.
Immediately after the commercial break, I checked the Raw results online because there was no way in hell I was going to stay up until 11 just to find out of the Undertaker showed up just in time to challenge someone to a match at Wrestlemania XXX. Of course he did. I did a YouTube search for the footage and found some grainy video of a TV set with Spanish chatter going on in the background. It wasn’t great, but it did the job.
So it looks like Lesnar/Undertaker at WM XXX. I guess. I’m not too excited about that. I was hoping for the Undertaker vs. Daniel Bryan match with ‘Taker dropping the streak, putting Bryan over. Oh well.
But you know what I am excited for? BEING ABLE TO WATCH WRESTLEMANIA WITHOUT HAVING TO OFFER UP MY FIRST BORN TO DO IT.