The beleaguered World Wrestling Entertainment Federation launched their much-anticipated WWE Network earlier this week to much fanfare and lots of complaining about streaming errors and poor performance, possibly due to WWE's decision to use the same company that designed the Obamacare website to manage the Network. However, while most of the technical bugs are working themselves out, viewers have begun noticing some problems with the content: the crowds at the collection of historical WWE, WCW, and ECW PPV events, all of which are available for on demand viewing, have begun randomly chanting for current wrestling superstars Daniel Bryan and C.M. Punk.
Bryan is a fan favorite wrestler who has spent the better part of a year languishing in crappy storylines, such as one where an anarchist redneck cult brainwashes him, instead of competing for the WWE championship, as fans have made abundantly clear they want. C.M. Punk quit the company last month after being asked to compete in a match with fellow wrestler Kane at Wrestlemania. When Bryan was seemingly moved into Punk's spot in a feud with Kane, fans became even more enraged, and have begun booing and jeering wrestlers WWE promotes as "popular" while chanting Bryan and Punk's names during completely unrelated matches.
"Yes, it hurts my feelings," said Kane when we asked him how he felt about being viewed as an opponent worth quitting the company over. The supernatural monster then turned and walked away slowly, head hung low, as sad piano music played.
While the fan frustration has been somewhat distracting during important bouts between WWE Champion Randy Orton and Drax from Guardians of the Galaxy, the problem worsened with the launch of the network as fans at events dating back to 1985 have also begun chanting for Bryan and Punk during classic matches. The fans break into the Punk and Bryan chants at random, despite these fans being recorded on video tape and many of them probably being dead today. Many are saying it hampers the viewing experience.
"I was watching Hulk Hogan vs. Andre the Giant at Wrestlemania 3, and right as the Hulkster was about to bodyslam Andre, the fans started chanting 'Daniel Bryan - clap clap clap clap clap,' and 'YES! YES! YES! YES!'" complained one disappointed fan. "I don't remember that happening in the original footage."
According to reports, the Bryan and Punk chants are widespread throughout the Network's collection of footage, appearing during numerous historic WWE moments, such as Eddie Guererro's championship win over Brock Lesnar at No Way Out 2004, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin's epic match against "Hitman" Bret Hart at Wrestlemania 13, and the debut of The Gobbledy Gooker, a half-man, half-turkey wrestler at WWE's Thanksgiving Survivor Series event in 1990, though most experts admit that the last one kind of deserves it.
Despite the unlikely and technically impossible outpouring of support for Punk and Bryan from fans on old footage, WWE management shows no signs in relenting on their plans to force their own favorites on fans, regardless of what those fans actually want, citing the old adage, "the customer is always wrong."
"What good is having sex with the daughter of the owner of your wrestling company if the fans won't cheer who you want them to cheer and boo who you want them to boo," said a visibly annoyed HHH, COO of WWE.
"Four and a half stars!" shouted respected pro wrestling blogger Scott Keith, despite us not having asked him for any comment on this article and there being no real reason to apply a star rating to a discussion of internal wrestling company politics. We think Keith may be going senile.
Stay tuned to The Outhouse for updates on this developing situation.