WWE News: Reason why certain classic episodes are missing from the WWE Network
What's the story?
During a recent Q&A session with Mike Johnson of PWInsider, a question was posed regarding why some classic episodes (Mid South Wrestling for example) were missing in the chronological timeline on the WWE Network.
In case you didn't know...
The WWE Network launched in the United States on February 24, 2014. Since then, the Network has expanded to include most of the world. The photo below shows a map of the countries who have access to the WWE Network (in green):
The heart of the matter...
The reason why you may not see a particular episode of Mid South Wrestling on the WWE Network is for the simple fact that the WWE just doesn't have the show. Back in the time of the territorial wrestling days, it was common practice for those television stations to reuse the same tapes over and over when recording.
Johnson mentioned that the WWWF maintained a tape archive, but many television stations that carried these territorial wrestling programs did not because they didn't have a way to monetize those tapes.
There weren't even VCR's during this time, let alone the technology today of a streaming service, so there is some content that was lost for eternity. An interesting note that Johnson finished with is that the WWE does reach out to private collectors in order to try to fill in the gaps of missing episodes.
The next major event to occur on the WWE Network will be the Royal Rumble when it takes place live from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on January 28th. For the first time, there will be a women's Royal Rumble Match; while each of the main champions (Brock Lesnar and AJ Styles) will have to defeat two men in order to keep their titles.
I knew about television stations reusing tapes back in the day, but what I didn't know is that the WWE reached out to private collectors to try to fill in the missing episodes. That was very interesting to me, and also very cool to see the WWE put the effort in having as complete of a tape library as they can.
While a lot of the WWE Universe uses the Network to watch the pay per view specials, many fans that are my age (late 30's) and older love the stuff from the territorial days as well. I was extremely excited to see Mid-Atlantic Wrestling added to the Network recently because there is some great stuff from Ric Flair in the early 80's there.