Thursday night was a mixed bag for WWE fans. The first live broadcast on WWE Network, NXT ArRIVAL, was a very good show highlighted by an excellent Cesaro vs. Sami Zayn opening match. On the other hand, many people (including yours truly) did not get to see the main event, a ladder match for the NXT Championship pitting Bo Dallas against Adrian Neville.
The Stream was running rather smoothly until there was about 30 minutes left in the program, and then the show went down entirely. Some people were reportedly able to get the stream running again in time to see the last match. Others were not so lucky.
Losing the stream during NXT ArRIVAL is just another item on the laundry list of problems plaguing the WWE Network thus far. Most subscribers, this author included, have yet to be able to view any of the on demand content, such as archived pay-per-views. Most of the time the content will work for a matter of seconds, minutes if you’re lucky, before cutting out entirely.
But I was patient. It’s understandable that start-up issues are an inherent part of the online process. People in WWE have reported that they’ve had three times the demand they expected for archived footage. Some might say this was poor planning on the part of WWE, but I was willing to give them a couple days to work out the kinks. After all, there will be plenty of time in the next 6 months to watch WCW Beach Blast 1993. In fact, I was personally emailed and told that my on demand content would be running without a hitch come Friday morning. For the sake of the human beings working at their call centers, I hope they’re right.
Still, what happened Thursday night is not a good sign of things to come. Imagine if the same thing occurs during the biggest show of the year, WrestleMania XXX? There will be far more people attempting to watch ‘Mania on WWE network than NXT ArRIVAL, and if the stream goes down for an extended period of time there will be major consequences.
Through faulty execution, WWE is quickly killing all the positive energy they created when they launched the network. It’s still early in the game, but WWE better figure out something fast before they’re struck with a full blown disaster.