A week in WWE marked by a major announcement, a surprise return and a departure from the Divas division, led to an appealing set of social media offerings.
AJ Lee, Jake "The Snake" Roberts, Ric Flair and Fry from Futurama starred in the best WWE-related tweets, Instagram photos and viral videos. Old School Raw and Kaitlyn's unexpected swan song began the week's buzz, but it was the WWE Network that grabbed fans' attention the most.
After years of charging almost 50 bucks for each monthly pay-per-view, the sports entertainment giant is now offering a 24/7 streaming network that will boast an immense archive featuring ECW, WCW and WWE past events as well as every new pay-per-view including WrestleMania.
That loaded deal costs only $9.99, promoting fans to share tweets like this one.
The WWE Network will also feature original shows such as WWE Countdown and Legends House. Todd Grisham, formerly of WWE and currently of ESPN, offered up another concept for an exclusive show.
The excitement over WWE's historic announcement helped ease the news that the Divas division is now minus one "Hybrid Diva."
Kaitlyn left the company and chose "to pursue other endeavors outside the sports-entertainment world," per WWE.com. She's taking her spears and her nerdy charm elsewhere. AJ, her friend, former tag team partner and onscreen rival was her final opponent.
After their match on Wednesday's Main Event, AJ gave her a creepy/hot hug in the ring.
She also delivered a heartfelt farewell on Twitter, via PWInsider.com.
The week was more about hellos than goodbyes, though. WWE fans welcomed back a number of stars of the past on Monday's old school-themed Raw.
That included The New Age Outlaws who formed an allegiance with CM Punk. Road Dogg and Billy Gunn joined forces with Punk to fight The Shield.
WWE shared a shot of the trio on Instagram that captured some of the energy of that pairing.
Of all the cameos and returns that fans witnessed on Monday, none were more surprising or significant than Roberts' appearance. The episode was nearly over when he slunk toward the ring with a snake-filled bag over his shoulder.
He helped Punk and the Outlaws send The Shield scattering before plopping a snake onto Dean Ambrose's face. The image of him backstage, getting ready for that big moment, was one of the most liked and discussed WWE Instagram photos of the week.
After such a lengthy stretch away from the ring and after all the hardships Roberts has faced since, it was a moving moment seeing him beaming on his way to the ring.
Is this a one-time shot back with WWE or is The Snake gearing up for something bigger? He hinted at the latter with a poetic tweet that also addressed his dark past.
He'd be no surprise entrant at this point, but fans would love for him to be a part of the 2014 Royal Rumble. The event has a history of inviting legends, surprise guests and recently healed Superstars to the big match.
WWE's countdown video of the best surprise entrants highlights some of the best examples of this.
Kharma, Goldust and Edge highlight a top 10 up for debate in terms of order and omissions. Will Roberts be a part of a similar moment in this year's Rumble? Will someone be able to do what Flair did in 1992 and enter third and still end up being the last man standing?
Flair, who has a reputation for rousing performances on the mic, delivered a pep talk to the San Francisco 49ers before their playoff game against the Green Bay Packers.
The 49ers defeated the Packers. Perhaps Flair played a small part in that victory.
Of course, the worst among us had to ruin the moment. Per USAToday.com, "The Nature Boy" received death threats from Carolina Panthers fans who were upset about him supporting another team.
Spinning things in a positive direction, Flair responded, "What can I say? I've always been a very good heel."
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