With FloSlam unceremoniously dumping WWN – and effectively, 99% of their live content – this weekend, how will your viewing habits change?
On Thursday, FloSports filed a lawsuit against WWN – the parent company behind promotions such as EVOLVE, FIP, SHINE and Style Battle – essentially claiming that they were given misleading information over WWN’s sales. Since then there’s been claims and counterclaims (online at least), which we’ll wait to see play out in court… Problem is, for those who paid $150 for a year’s worth of FloSlam, they’re now not going to get anything from WWN. For now, there’s the back archives, but if you’re going for new content only, this is all that’s on the WWN docket. Events are their thing, eh?
So, we’ve cancelled our subscription, and with $20 freed up from our “budget”, we’ll probably take a look at Lucha Forever’s VOD offering, in addition to Powerbomb.tv – set up in competition with FloSlam, but on the surface, run much better. On the surface, there may not be the banner names, or the promotions with ties to WWE… but there’s a lot of choice on there that we’ll be dipping into.
But for everyone else… what can you get for your $20 of Flo money? The now-defunct Wrestling With Words website created a guide of streaming services a year ago; so here’s our pick from that list (and others).
WWE Network – $9.99/month – you’ve probably got this already, given that ten bucks a month (or £10, if you’re in the UK) is a lot cheaper than a single PPV. Pros: cheaper PPVs, NXT and 205 Live; Cons: Raw/SmackDown only on delay
NJPW World – ¥999/month – it’s got limited appeal as only some of its new content is available in English, but if language barriers don’t stop you, then £7/$9 is a bargain of New Japan’s PPVs. Sure, the Korakuen Hall “road to” shows may be a chore, but when it comes to tournaments like the G1 and Best of Super Juniors, it’s an absolute steal! Pros: current New Japan PPVs mostly in English, Fire TV support; Cons: back catalogue is a pain to navigate, not available on many devices
Powerbomb.tv – $10/month – the “rival” to FloSlam, before the brown stuff hits the fan. Offers a selection of shows from the likes of Target Wrestling, 4FW and Preston City Wrestling in the UK, along with NOVA Pro, the Scenic City Invitational and others. Pros: very niche selection of indies, offers a free trial, offers support for Apple TV, Chromecast and web browsers (including Xbox One/PS4); Con: like with the catalogue services, only good if you like what they have!
HighSpots Network – $9.99/month – if you’re looking for content, then HighSpots has you covered. Live streams aren’t a thing, but if you like indy content, then you’ve got DEFY, Glory Pro, SMASH, CZW, wXw, Pro Wrestling Revolver and so much more, including shoot interviews and similar sit-down shows. It’s way too much to keep on top of, is the only criticism, but it’s an absolute bargain if your favoured promotion is here. Pros: So. Much. Content, Roku support; Cons: sometimes there’s delays (like PWG), it’s PivotShare, so if you don’t have a Roku, you’ll need to Chromecast it to your TV.
CZW Studios – $9.99/month – much like HighSpots, there’s a plethora of promotions here, and whilst there’s some crossover, there’s some exclusivity too. DEFY, for instance, seems to pop stuff on here first, whilst groups like Tidal and ECCW also appear here. Perhaps not the variety of HighSpots, but worth it if you’re into those groups. Pros: So. Much. Content, Roku support; Cons: sometimes there’s delays (like PWG), it’s PivotShare, so if you don’t have a Roku, you’ll need to Chromecast it to your TV.
Women’s Wrestling Network – $9.99/month – similar to CZW Studios and HighSpots, but with women’s wrestling. That’s a surprise with that name, eh? Same pros and cons, but it’s a niche service…
Away from that, we’re into the single-promotion subscription services, of which there are way too many to list. Given most promotions tend to run once or twice a month, these offerings can quickly add up, so your best bet is to see if any overlap. For instance, as big a fan of wXw as I am, if you’re not that much into their product, or don’t mind waiting, then HighSpots is for you.
Similarly, some promotions have crossover with others on their service. Rev Pro and OTT, for instance, whilst PROGRESS’ on-demand service now includes selected shows from AAW, SPW:NZ, SMASH and DEFY. Watching wrestling can be expensive, especially as a hardcore fan, so picking and choosing is essential… but there’s no need to be left out in the cold now Flo’s seemingly slammed the door shut on regular new content for now.