In this edition of The Mouthpiece, I’m continuing my petition for 3 original WWE Network shows to have a reboot in 2020 and into 2021. Today, I hope to ring the doorbell on a legendary reunion.
In part 1, the argument was for Bring it to the Table, a 6 episode hot topic discussion forum with host Peter Rosenberg which also stared JBL and Corey Graves. I believed the show just didn’t get its due process of being on the air long enough to show sustainability on the network. Shows such as Unfiltered with Renee Young, which had 2 seasons and 29 episodes, and Swerved, which also had a second season, 16 episodes, had time to develop among its audience.
The bigger problem that presented itself for Bring it to the Table was the host and guests indirect but mostly brash remarks towards their fan base, a troubling sign just a few episodes on the air. However, as time went on and more, similar, content was made available for the network, it was proven that kayfabe or insider shows were essential for the network to prosper. Such examples that have shown network growth include the docu-series WWE 24, WWE 365, and story sharing on Table for 3.
But WWE Network had an even bigger show which opened up the possibilities of what the network could offer. Unfortunately, in 6 years since its debut, the door just wouldn’t open up for that much anticipated second season.
Part 2: WWE Legends’ House
By late 2011, WWE started announcing plans for a pay-TV channel, providing fans with exclusive content and original programming in addition to regular pay-per-view events. For the network to work, WWE sent out surveys through email regarding potential shows, titles, and pricing. To get the ball rolling, producers looked for a show that could immediately attract older fans who may have left during the new PG era, as well as a growing fanbase in reality television. In January 2012, production began on a Big Brother type show and filming occurred soon thereafter.
The show was set in Palm Springs, California, a home once resided by comedian and mime artist, Harpo Marx. Shot over 21 weeks, the show included 8 legends: Gene Okerlund, Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Pat Patterson, Tony Atlas, Jimmy Hart, Roddy Piper, Howard Finkel, and Hillbilly Jim.
The ten one-hour episodes presented a reunion of sorts for unique figures that were prominent during the 70s and 80s. Living under the same house for the entire duration, this set up plenty of hysterical interactions, old rivalries, and sentimental bonding from decades of being in their own wrestling fraternity.
WWE also set up physical challenges in between various episodes which provided for entertaining television for the network, as well as special appearances by other personalities and then-current talent including Shawn Michaels, Jerry Lawler, The Iron Sheik, and Gary Busey. Ashley Roberts from the Pussycat Dolls made regular appearances and served as the show’s host.
With Legends’ House a perfect introduction for WWE Network’s debut, it also scored very high on IMDb as well as reviews from fans online. The show was a hit and by May 2014, a mere month into the airing of the show, speculation of season 2 was already being fantasy cast. But sadly, WWE Legends’ House was never picked up for an additional season and left fans craving for another run by the pool and nostalgic reunions.
It’s one of those shows that was produced so awkwardly but intriguing at the same time. The entertainment value was at the highest level for a wrestling reality tv show, and each of the talents honed their craft for so long, it was not only second nature to them, they made you believe. In my eyes, it was beautifully organic.
The show could be fantasy cast a hundred times over and everyone would be right in their ideas. There is plenty of talent suitable for a show of this caliber, and with the way reality shows are the biggest network TV craze, especially with successes of The Miz & Mrs, Total Divas, and Total Bellas, this would no doubt be a successful venture for the WWE Network. Could WWE have the second season of Legends’ House? Absolutely. Will WWE be able to produce another masterpiece? Well, that is a very valid question; one we may never know the answer to.
But then again, we also said the same for the XFL too.