Immediately after WWE’s Payback event on Sunday, the WWE Network was host to the debut episode of their new animated comedy, “Camp WWE”.
Marketed as an adult comedy – which is code for “this is going to contain a lot of swearing” – the first thing you see is a long pre-title screen warning you of said adult content, and instructing you to turn on your Parental Control filters. I don’t have any kids, so those will remain off for now, thank-you-very-much!
As a fan of South Park, Family Guy and American Dad, this show had a lot to live up to, just by being in the same genre. That being said, the very premise of the show had some promise – Vince McMahon as the head of a summer camp, with WWE superstars being at camp. Weirdly, the show has some real voices in, with Vince McMahon and Ric Flair lending their voices, whilst just about everyone else was voiced by somebody else. I found that extremely jarring, going from “real” Vince McMahon swearing like a trooper, and Ric Flair whoo-ing and dry-humping a rock, to seeing the likes of John Cena, Triple H and Stephanie McMahon voiced by… generic voice actors.
The first episode of Camp WWE was focussed on John Cena being homesick, and Vince being afraid that the homesickness would spread – and force the closure of the camp. The premise wasn’t bad, and it led to some good “inside” jokes aimed at Vince in particular, along with the visual of Ric Flair opening up his robe and (supposedly) flashing his genitals at a bear.
After calling in “Hell in a Cell” to contain the camp from getting homesick, Vince raced through the woods to stop John Cena from escaping. In the meantime, the Cell’d camp found themselves having to come to terms with Triple H (assistant camp commander) telling them that all of their parents had been killed, in news that only an 8-year-old Undertaker took joy from.
Of course, this being a cartoon, all’s well that ends well, with Vince catching Cena, then returning in time to see Camp WWE on fire. Cue Sgt Slaughter (?!) to save the day, blowing up a water tower to extinguish the flames.
As a debut episode, this was “alright”, but for a show that’s been over two and a half years in the making, “alright” may not be good enough. Seriously, this cartoon was announced by WWE in November 2013, before Hulk Hogan’s parting of the ways with WWE forced a rewrite. Still, the debut “Edge & Christian Show” was hit-and-miss, and later episodes of that have made that show something of a cult-success, particularly given the number of inside-references.
To be kind, the jury is out on Camp WWE – one episode is not enough to write-off anything, but this cartoon needs to have a lot more than the mere novelty of Vince McMahon swearing, and Ric Flair trying to have sex with anything that moves.