WWE NETWORK: KEEPING MEMORIES ALIVE
Yes, I've been outspoken lately about a couple of things in WWE. But much as I felt when I was working elsewhere, and had to accept that my own kids preferred the WWE product to the product my company was offering, I had to make a decision: stop watching WWE out of protest for the one thing I felt like they were doing wrong (which they still might get right) and miss out on that valuable family bonding time WWE provides us....or agree to disagree with WWE on an issue or two, and enjoy all the good things they do with my family.
I mentioned a couple of days ago that I might stop watching "Raw" for a little while...and I might. But with this new WWE network, abandoning the product completely would seem kind of futile, especially in a house full of WWE fans.
So we spent a couple hours watching the network yesterday - catching a great steel cage tag-team match betweern Edge - WWE Universe & Christian - WWE Universe and The Hardy Boyz. Great stuff! We also caught the September 2000 match between Triple H and Kurt Angle with me, as commissioner, and brought back to life just how much fun that whole storyline was, and how an arena full of Attitude fans had let out a simultaneous "oooh" when Kurt, waiting in the rain (with umbrella in hand) had the audacity to give Stephanie McMahon a kiss on the chhek! Oooh. Sounds ridiculously innocent, and very much G-rated, but in the course of events, it was absolutely compelling.
I also had the chance to revisit an old friend who is no longer with us - Eddie Guerrero. Of course, anyone who was around when Eddie wrestled remebers what an amazing in-ring performer eddie was. But with the help of the new network, I was reminded of what an incredible entertainer he was, as well. I'd forgotten how funny his segments could be, and how the slightest expression - the wide-eyed look of wonder when he "accidentally" defeated Chyna for a championship - could create such a sense of fun; a reminder to me why just so many people loved the Attitude Era above and beyond the wilder elements that usually define it.
For someone like Chyna, the WWE Network offers longtime fans a reminder of why she was such a big part of the Attitude era, and for newer fans, allows them to see past the charicature that she can often come accross as to the fans who weren't on hand to see her blaze a trail for future Divas, by offering up not just an unlikely image of what a heroine and sex-symbol could be, but by allowing us to remember the curious study of contrasts that made her one of the shining lights of the era she helped define.
Unfortunately, Eddie's not with us anymore. It's unlikely that we'll see Chyna back with the company she did so much for anytime soon. But with the WWE Network, their legacies - and the legacies of so many others - are alive and well.