Sunday Sermon: Do you care about these WWE Network special shows?

Craig Wilson, Brian Damage, Padraic Toolan and Benjamin Trecroci

In today’s Sunday Sermon the question is simple, the likes of Super Show Down and the upcoming Crown Jewel show, do you even care all that much about these Network Special Events?

Craig: I have to say I didn’t bother with Super Show Down despite the favourable time for us in the UK – was on at 10am Saturday morning rather than a midnight on Sunday like normal PPVs – I didn’t bother watching it.

I had more than a funny feeling it wouldn’t be anything more than a glorified house show and reading reports and speaking to folk who did watch it, it sounds like I was right. Sure there was a title change, local lad Buddy Murphy winning Cruiserweight title, but that was really it.

So, whilst these shows obviously are a huge draw for where they are being held. Are they anything other than WWE Network filler?

Brian: On the one hand it is great that these shows are available on the WWE network. It is nice to have that option to watch or not watch. On the other hand, this was nothing more than a glorified house show with the exception of Buddy Murphy winning the Cruiserweight title.

The Australian crowd seemed dead for almost every match which killed any sort of excitement for it. We’ve already touched on WWE’s relationship with The Saudis. As I have said, WWE is a business so I know why they are going there.

Considering the way they treat women and people of different beliefs as second class citizens and the recent news that the Saudi government might have murdered a journalist with opposing views. I think it is in WWE’s best interest to walk away from their truckloads of money.

Padraic: I do. I’ve always tried to be entertained by anything WWE gives me. I try to be positive and even when I see a gimmick or an angle that’s doomed to fail, I almost always end up saying well let’s see where it goes, and I always want the performers to succeed. It’s not fun and can be very uncomfortable for me to see people get booed like they’re the Gobbledy Gooker or, maybe worse, get no reaction at all.

Especially since the WWE Network started, I gobble up any event they throw at me, and I’m almost always at least somewhat entertained. I had to ask myself if this was a PPV, would I pay $30, $40, $50, $60 dollars for it? ….Probably. But it’s even more of a no-brainer with the Network, being that they are giving me even more bang for my $9.99 and that I can watch it at any time. Though I will admit, I did wake up at 5 AM on the US East Coast to watch it live. (hey, I’ve been out of work following a surgery and my sleep cycle is fucked). I really enjoyed most of the show, on my blog I gave it Six AC/DC’s out of Ten, though the matches that were bad were really bad.

If it becomes obvious that the WWE will continue to do the Saudi shows without continuing to make a concerted effort to get their women on the show, then I will have a decision to make regarding the situation. Hopefully, that’s a moot point. For now, I’m going to take Triple H at his word that you can’t force an overnight change on a country that has done things a certain way for so long, but that they are working to try to effect that change. At this moment I feel the same way towards the Saudi show as I do the Aussie show: hell yeah I care, hell yeah I’m going to watch, and hell yeah I’m going to be entertained…Hell yeah.

Brian: Padraic I love your enthusiasm and I wish more fans were like you and not the other way around. I absolutely agree that the WWE network is such a godsend when it comes to giving us so many options at such a low price. I too stayed up to watch the Super Showdown although I was already up working overnights.

I guess a part of us are spoiled by the network and all that we get. I too want to love everything and everyone but lately, I have been let down by a lot of WWE’s product. For me, something isn’t totally clicking. I’ll watch the Crown Jewel show in Saudi Arabia because it is professional wrestling. I just don’t like how the Saudis are seemingly calling the shots and booking what they want and don’t want to see.

Padraic: Brian makes a great point that it seems the Saudis calling the shots. I also want to clarify that just because I want to like everything doesn’t mean I do *cough* Bellas *cough*. I actually read today that due to the disappearance of a Turkish journalist who is an American citizen that was critical of the Saudi government and was supposedly lured into their consulate to be killed, WWE’s dealings with the Saudis could be in serious jeopardy. Senator Chris Murphy from WWE’s home state of Connecticut says if the allegations are true that “it should represent a fundamental break in our relationship with Saudi Arabia”. This is the kind of stuff that is the problem with these big shows, and with the money, WWE brings in already, I don’t think it’s worth it for them to deal with a government that’s so controversial unless that government has already demonstrated wholesale changes in the way they view human rights.

Benjamin: While these International Network Specials aren’t exactly the greatest, it is really cool to see LIVE wrestling at the crack of dawn or watch on tape delay at anytime you want.

Like you guys alluded to earlier about the Network vs PPV, I for one would not likely pay $50-60 for these shows, but $10 a month is a no-brainer.

Basically, I treat it like a random college football game. I don’t have much-vested interest but it’s live action and if I’m home I’ll put it on and check in and out.

But to be honest, I can’t wait until they get past The Crown Jewel so hopefully, we can get back to concentrating on weekly storylines instead of booking towards these International shows.

Brian: I like Benjamin’s points that WWE has been booking their shows based on both of the network specials and not the way they have usually booked stuff. With all that said, it was just reported that four US senators have urged WWE to rethink their involvement with Saudi Arabia until more information is forthcoming. This has quickly become an international nightmare for the company.


You can read all previous Sunday Sermons here.


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