In a candid disclosure, former WWE Superstar Maven Huffman has shed light on the discontent that rippled through the wrestling community following the launch of the WWE Network. Huffman, who graced the WWE rings from 2001 to 2005, reminisced about his time during the Ruthless Aggression Era, a period marked by the absence of the now ubiquitous WWE Network.
Launched in 2014, the WWE Network revolutionized how fans consumed wrestling content. However, this groundbreaking shift wasn't met with universal acclaim, especially among the wrestlers themselves. Maven, who has recently carved a niche as a successful YouTuber, brought this issue to the forefront in one of his videos.
He discussed the "Art of Wrestling" podcast featuring CM Punk and Colt Cabana, where the imminent launch of the WWE Network was a topic of concern.
WWE Network's Financial Fallout
Maven didn't mince words when he described the network's debut as detrimental to the wrestlers' earnings.
"The network coming out... it sucked," he stated, highlighting the adverse impact on the wrestlers' royalty checks. He empathized with the wrestlers, particularly those like CM Punk, who left the WWE just as the network was taking off.
Maven pointed out that the shift from traditional pay-per-view purchases to network subscriptions likely led to a significant dip in pay-per-view earnings for the wrestlers. This change, according to Maven, directly affected the wrestlers' desire to participate in pay-per-views.
"You know the buy rate, you're going to get a piece of that," he explained, underscoring the financial incentives tied to these events. The decline in pay-per-view revenue, he suggested, was a blow to the wrestlers' financial expectations.
In a remarkable twist, CM Punk, a central figure in this narrative, has made a triumphant return to WWE. He is slated to compete in the 2024 Royal Rumble, marking his first televised WWE match since his appearance in the 2014 Royal Rumble.
This comeback not only adds a new chapter to Punk's storied career but also highlights the evolving landscape of professional wrestling in the era of digital streaming.