World Wrestling Entertainment held their long-awaited press conference last night to announce the WWE Network, a Netflix-like streaming video service that will bring over 1500 hours of on demand video to fans for only $9.99 a month, and things went off almost without a hitch, except for the fact that practically every wrestler who has ever worked for the company felt the need to interrupt the press conference, complete with loud, blaring entrance music and long walks to the stage that included posing for the attendees and slapping hands with confused reporters. Though all WWE Chairman Vince McMahon wanted to do was let fans and the press know that every WWE, WCW, and ECW PPV ever would be available, uncensored and uncut, alongside groundbreaking original series, reality shows, and documentaries starting February 24th, it seemed that he couldn't get through a single sentence without one angry wrestler or another coming out of the backstage area to threaten his well being, demand a championship title shot at an upcoming pay per view event, or simply flex muscles and pose for the crowd.
"At the Royal Rumble on January 26th," shouted current wrestler Fandango at one point about three hours into the conference after spending a full six minutes performing ballroom dance moves with his female companion, Summer Rae, to the tune of a single melody looped over and over, "I'm going to take the Intercontinental Title from [current champion] Big E Langston!"
Of course, Langston himself soon came out to address Fandango's claims, which he insisted were not credible, and to dispute the outcome of the upcoming match, in which he was certain he would prevail. It didn't end there though. All told, over 357 present and former professional wrestlers showed up at the event, and each one wanted a chance to yell at the crowd, McMahon, or the other wrestlers.
"Please," begged a desperate McMahon somewhere around the fourteenth hour of the press conference. "If I could just tell everyone how the WWE network will feature encore airings of our popular shows RAW, Smackdown, and Main Event, as well as premiere episodes of NXT and Superstars, I could..."
But McMahon was interrupted again by former ECW champion "The Franchise" Shane Douglas, who rambled for a full fifteen minutes about his accomplishments in regional wrestling territories in the 1990s before being attacked from behind by a confused Kamala the Ugandan Giant, who struck Douglas with a steel folding chair and then stomped around the stage slapping his bare stomach until he was escorted from the building by man dressed in a beekeeping uniform.
At one point, it seemed as if McMahon might actually be able to let fans know that a subscription to the service would require a six month commitment, but would include all twelve yearly live WWE pay per view events, including Wrestlemania, an incredible $600 value, but he was unable to finish his sentence because former WCW luchadore La Parka, looking at least fifty pounds heavier than he did in his 90s heydey, delivered a twenty minute oration in Spanish while sweating profusely through his mask. Shortly after that, 48 year old WWE Hall of Famer "The Heartbreak Kid" Shawn Michaels subjected the crowd to ten straight minutes of preening in front of an elaborate pyrotechnics display as a rock anthem sung by Michaels himself played on the PA system, proclaiming Michaels to be "just a sexy boy" and warning girls to keep their "hands off the merchandise."
Throughout the course of the press conference, there were over 270 interruptions, some of them by tag teams and even large groups of wrestlers known as stables, which featured particularly elaborate entrances. Over 70% of the interruptions began with the phrase "First off," You know," or "Let me tell you something," but at least 20% used a combination of two or even all three of the phrases. In one particularly tear-jerking interruption, popular 80s wrestler Hacksaw Jim Duggan paid tribute to deceased, bearded overweight wrestlers Earthquake and Typhoon, known sometimes by the tag team name The Natural Disasters, with a moving speech that didn't leave a dry eye in the conference room at the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas. The attendees were back to cheering moments later, however, when 1987 Slammy Award winner One Man Gang came out of nowhere and suplexed Duggan through a wooden table, citing unsettled differences from an incident where Duggan eliminated him from the 1988 Royal Rumble.
Though WWE officials were unclear as to whether fans clearly understood that the WWE Network would be available through the WWE app on mobile phones and tablets, on the web, on connected devices like the Roku Box, Playstation 3, Playstation 4, X-Box 360, and various smart TVs, sources were able to confirm that the feeling inside the company is that the event went off far better than the company's last major press conference, during which a visibly intoxicated Stone Cold Steve Austin drove a bulldozer through the building, injuring twenty-seven people and causing over $20,000 in property damage.
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