Welcome back to another round of Quick Takes—a post that indulges in the topics that aren’t worth dedicating a full article to, but are still on my mind.
Each week, I try to cram in as many smaller talking points as I can via a speedier process, and I invite you to chime in with your own thoughts about these topics and anything else by keeping the discussion going in the comments below! Drop some more talking points in there for everyone to chat it up about, too!
Without further ado, let’s get into this week’s topics.
WWE Network Moving to Peacock
Unless you live under a rock (and even then, you might still get decent wi-fi) you’ve already heard about Peacock taking over the WWE Network. Or, rather, WWE Network being folded into Peacock. Somehow. They haven’t really specified a lot of what’s going on.
This can be great, terrible, or a mixture of both, for a variety of reasons.
For instance, WWE no longer has to worry as much about trying to drive up network subscriptions. That’s one less pressure. However, it could be more pressure if Peacock is expecting a certain level of people to move over and WWE isn’t doing enough. Or, it could be bad because they will get even lazier—as if that’s possible, considering how little effort is put into some of these storylines.
The guaranteed money means more stability, but less of a panic mode need to find solutions to problems. Everyone always said WWE was at its best when it had competition, but AEW has been around over a year and WWE continues to struggle. I’m 50/50 on how that element will work out.
What’s going to happen to the 24/7 feed? Will it still run? I doubt it. You can’t just log into Peacock and have it play WWE content unless it’s its own little window inside of it that you click on and then it just runs whatever is happening. That will be interesting to see how they botch that—I mean, sort that out—I mean, present that to the audience as a “good” thing through company-speak nonsense (or just avoid mentioning it at all in the hopes you won’t notice it).
What about the interface? Will you be able to search as easily for things? If I type out “John Cena” will I see recommendations like now, or will it only be specific programs you have to know exactly what search terms to put in? For that matter, WWE’s own website is tied into the Network’s search functions. How is that going to change? They pretty much can’t make it so that you can’t search WWE.com at all, so that will have to be rehauled, too.
Will this result in less content overall? Probably. That’s not good. Could it result in more content, as they won’t have as much operating costs and will be able to use that toward producing documentaries and such? Well, in theory, but how often does a company use their extra funds to provide more for the customer, rather than just padding out the revenue numbers and helping their stocks?
With NBC getting rid of its sports channel and merging that into USA, I’m more and more convinced NXT is going to be a Peacock-exclusive show, rather than continue on USA. That’s if it stays on Wednesday nights, mind you, which may not even be the case. NHL would take priority over NXT, I’m sure—particularly as NXT is losing to AEW. But maybe they want to move NXT to Tuesday or Thursday night and keep it on USA. If not, NXT is going to Peacock so fans will have a choice between NXT on Peacock, NHL on USA or AEW on TNT, essentially.
Also, maybe this will have nothing to do with it at all, but we’ve gotten more and more signs that the death of 205 Live is coming. They put such little effort into that show and it has lost its purpose and identity. Recently, they’ve even had wrestlers above the weight limit compete as well as a women’s division match. Basically, it’s just “the extra NXT stuff, but with more of a focus on the cruiserweights” which is almost pointless. I’ve said it before and I’ll continue to repeat it: you own the Stomping Grounds name. Make a show called NXT Stomping Grounds or WWE Stomping Grounds, film it in the Capitol Wrestling Center, have it feature all the Performance Center recruits and some other NXT talent that isn’t as regularly featured, and call it a day. Get rid of 205 Live as a brand as it isn’t 205 nor live anymore and the cruiserweight title is an NXT (and NXT UK…they haven’t sorted that out yet) property. It’s no longer a purple brand, and Peacock isn’t going to care about 205 Live. But Peacock might be interested in “a brand new show” that takes its place.
WWE Backstage Spoiling #1, #2 and #30 Entrants
WWE and/or Fox must have really, desperately wanted people to tune in to this random WWE Backstage special. As such, they’re spoiling the first entrants in the women’s Royal Rumble and the 30th entrant in the men’s.
This is terrible. Those are 4 of the 6 most optimal surprises of the whole night!
And you know what’s really bad it? If you purposely avoid watching WWE Backstage because you don’t want to know that spoiler, it’s pretty much guaranteed they’ll refer to it during the pre-show or during the match itself at some point anyway. Someone will make an offhanded comment of “Well, we know so and so is #30, but who is coming out next?!”
Absolutely terrible decision. Find a different way to get ratings. Say you have a special announcement for the Royal Rumble and make it something on the lesser end of the spoilers, but still something worth sinking your teeth into. For instance, announce which match will main event the night, or announce that “it’s been confirmed at least one NXT superstar will compete in both matches” and keep it vague. Then, you can have the panel debate who they think it could be, and none of it is a true spoiler.
AEW Dynamite Awards
For the most part, even if I voted in a different direction, I can see why certain options won with the AEW Awards for 2020.
As an example, I voted for John Silver as Breakout Star, but Darby Allin (the winner) did win the TNT Championship, so I get it. Not a bad call for those who went with him.