Dear WWE Network:
You and I are on the verge of a breakup.
As someone who has subscribed since day one in early 2014, I have never missed a month, even when you were giving away free trials right-and-left in a desperate attempt to boost subscriber count.
Your business model was solid, and the added incentive of getting every pay-per-view for the $9.99 per month fee offered jaw-dropping value to someone who hadn’t spent money on a wrestling program in about a decade.
I was hooked, and couldn’t see any possible reason to drop. Then I saw NXT, and it was absolute kismet. Yes, in me, you were making a lifelong fan, so it’s strange to actually type out the words, “I’m canceling WWE Network after WrestleMania if the present course doesn’t change.”
This is not a decision that I’ve come to lightly, but I am now at an impasse where it doesn’t feel like the way that I wish to spend $9.99 per month any longer.
There comes a point where you just can’t take it any longer, and I’m about there. Here are the reasons.
1. Horrendous booking decisions.
Sorry, WWE Network, but Creative’s refusal to give up on this Roman Reigns push has me at a breaking point. He seems like a nice guy. He’s in good shape. His mic skills have slightly improved. But you’ve given it a long time and put a lot of effort into it, and he just isn’t going to keep me tuning in month after month.
I’ve already ditched the weekly programming because there is nothing surprising or compelling about his push. It’s like trying to get excited about your arranged marriage when you’re already in love with someone else. That is to say, you have some great natural talents that you’re holding down because of the one you want me to care about.
Not gonna happen. And your insistence that I do like this guy over a Dean Ambrose or Kevin Owens or Dolph Ziggler robs your product of its watchability.
Like right now, I’m debating whether to tune in for Fastlane because I know Roman Reigns will win, headline at WrestleMania, and win back the title from a villainous Triple H, who will likely be receiving more cheers during the event.
2. Other WWE Network programming is wearing thin.
Yes, the old content library is still a pretty cool feature, but the new stuff is losing its luster. Legends House was brutal. The “Stone Cold” podcasts aren’t nearly as good as what you get on his actual PodcastOne show for free. And the rest of the reality TV stuff is hit-or-miss and definitely not worth 10 bucks a month.
Even NXT has been off its game of late, with Finn Balor a fine performer but a boring character and definitely not someone I’m interested in as champion — not until he gets a better move set. There is also the added influence of a superior Lucha Underground corrupting it for me.
Why watch NXT when LU exists? It really is pointless.
3. The streaming market is starting to become saturated with other programming options.
El Rey does wrestling better than you do. Broadcast and other cable channels do reality TV better than you do. If you ever make WWE Films available on the WWE Network, well, everyone else already does movies better than you do. It’s not that you’re overpriced — well, maybe you are — but it’s more the case of having better options.
You’ve got Shudder for horror movies, a la carte HBO and Showtime for cable dramas, Netflix/Hulu/Amazon for a mix of everything else, Sling TV for live cable, digital antennas for broadcast — your programming fails to justify even a small price tag like $9.99 in that kind of market.
Yes, you’re still affordable, but so are Mill Creek DVDs. That doesn’t mean they’re worth it.
Any other WWE Network subscribers on the verge of canceling? What will it take for you to cut ties? Sound off in the comments section.
[Image via WWE YouTube]