WWE Network: Is There Any Way That They Can Launch in Time for Wrestlemania?

Robert Aitken@@RobertAitkenBRAnalyst IDecember 22, 2011

In 101 days from today, WWE Network is planned to launch, but where and with what?
In 101 days from today, WWE Network is planned to launch, but where and with what?

We are just 10 days away from the beginning of 2012, the year that WWE has announced as the beginning of their own network.

The company promises to have unique programming for the avid wrestling fan and classic fan alike. It also promises to be a "hybrid" channel, bringing together the television aspect and online/mobile experience in a way that has never been done before.

What seemed like a pipe dream at first became a more feasible possibility in recent years, but still needed some ideas, minds and resources to become a reality.

Earlier this year, WWE Network was beginning to take shape. The company leased some office space in South Norwalk, Connecticut. The space is roughly 15 minutes outside of Stamford, where WWE headquarters is located. Fans then began to be asked on names for potential ideas for shows with some winners being announced.

Even with all of that, fans were shocked when the September 5 episode of RAW included a teaser about the channel, announcing the launch to take place in 2012. Additional details have since come out with a more specific idea.

The current plan, at least according to reports as of now, have WWE Network launching on April 1, 2012, which is the date of WrestleMania XXVIII. This far exceeded many people's expectations for when this network would actually be born.

There are still some problems with this idea. For one, the network is anticipated to debut in just over three months, yet there has still not been a president named for the network yet. The network is also not completely certain about what they want to do in terms of programming. Sure, they will have classic matches from multiple promotions that they own the rights to.


They will also have in-depth shows about such fascinating topics as The Monday Night Wars and each specific WrestleMania. There is also the reality TV shows that are being promoted, such as WWE Legends House, where legends of the business will live together in a home.

However, there are even more promises that are yet to be officially announced by the network. For one, in their teaser, the first promise made by the video calls on for "live in-ring action."

RAW and SmackDown are both in the middle of contracts with USA and SyFy respectively. Even though NXT and Superstars are now only exclusive to WWE.com, the network could be a way to put those shows back on TV. But of those four programs, only RAW is actually broadcast live.

Unless this means that one of the other shows will no longer be taped prior to broadcast, it could be the signal of something that many fans have been clamoring for.

With some reports coming out this week, it may be signaling the debut of Florida Championship Wrestling, WWE's developmental territory, to be broadcast nationwide. Since its inception, FCW episodes have only existed in the homes of those in the state of Florida or those smart enough to find episodes online.

There were even surveys released by WWE earlier this year that alluded to the fact that WWE's pay-per-views would begin to be seen on WWE Network. It has since seemed like this would be backed down from, at least for the "Big 4" (Royal Rumble, WrestleMania, SummerSlam, Survivor Series).

It could be possible that the reason that Extreme Rules 2012 has not been dated or placed anywhere is because of the uncertainty of the situation. Then again, Elimination Chamber was just recently placed in Milwaukee for this upcoming February.


So with roughly 90 days to the apparent launch of the network, what can we honestly expect?

Fans can only expect what we already know, which is very little. At least at first, don't expect WWE Network to be much more than a glorified WWE Classics on Demand.

The classic matches will do fine with audiences, but will pay-per-views become events on the station?

What will be the live in-ring matches that are promised?

Will these reality shows actually be decent?

The intent is that WWE Network will be built into packages with other sports stations, but nothing like that is officially set in stone.

Will services like DirecTV carry it, while others like Verizon might not?

Nothing has been explained, so fans cannot yet react accordingly.

For now, we can only watch as the countdown comes closer and the network takes shape. The problem is that instead of wondering how great it will be, many are wondering if it will be ready on time.

Even if it does pop onto television screens on April 1, 2012, will it have been too soon to start this network?

Historically speaking, WWE Network will either have been started ahead of schedule or be pushed forward too soon. There is a little bit more than three months until that fate is expected to be sealed.