In the past year, the WWE Network has made great strides in terms of the programming available. It’s now possible to go back and watch virtually every episode of Raw, SmackDown, Nitro and ECW Hardcore TV. However, there are still a few glaring omissions that when added, will provide a complete viewing experience for those looking to go back and relive the past. In this article, I will list my Top 4 personal picks for shows that need to be added to the WWE Network.
4. Florida Championship Wrestling (2008-2012)
Before there was NXT, WWE’s development system was known as Florida Championship Wrestling. During FCW’s near 4-year run on the Bright House Sports Network, some of WWE’s biggest stars such as Sheamus, Alberto Del Rio, Dolph Ziggler, Jack Swagger, Wade Barrett, Drew McIntyre, Damien Sandow, The Usos, The Shield and many more have passed through Tampa at one point or another.
I would consider including WWE’s most successful development territory, Ohio Valley Wrestling, in this list, but I am unsure what WWE owns and doesn’t own when it comes to OVW TV.
3. WCW Saturday Night (1992-2000)
While some of WCW Saturday Night’s precursor, NWA World Championship Wrestling, are currently available on the WWE Network, there is not a single episode of what was WCW’s flagship show for 3 years until Monday Nitro debuted in September 1995. With the debut of WCW Thunder in 1998, Saturday was relegated to a third-tier show.
Despite WCW Saturday Night not being of much importance for most of it’s existence, it was still a place where you could watch up-and-coming wrestlers from the WCW Power Plant, or stars that did not get as much TV time on the two big shows. However, main events would still feature talents from the middle of the card, with the Cruiserweight and Television titles being regularly defended on the show.
2. Sunday Night Heat (1998-2008)
Prior to SmackDown’s debut in 1999, Sunday Night Heat served as the WWF’s secondary show to Monday Night Raw. On a weekly basis, Heat would serve as a shorter (1 hour in length) version of Raw with a similar format, advancing storylines and promoting the next show.
Although Heat was relegated to a third-tier show after only it’s first year of existence, it still remains a staple of the Attitude Era and it’s run from 1998 to 1999 should at the very least be included on the WWE Network to complete the experience of being able to relive that era.
1. WCW Thunder (1998-2001)
Almost 2 years before the WWF expanded their television presence with SmackDown, WCW introduced Thunder in January of 1998. World Championship Wrestling’s new secondary show featured a format similar to Monday Nitro, with storylines being advanced and major stars being featured.
For those wanting to go back and relive WCW during the Monday Night Wars, they will be missing half of the story until the WWE Network adds Thunder to the lineup.