Is WrestleMania 29 happening?
I’m kidding. I know it’s happening because I keep seeing tweets and hearing internet reports about it happening. I don’t know it’s happening based on the WWE.com PPV stream that I paid $60 for because it’s not working properly.
It worked during the pre-show, but then as soon as the event started, I got a “Service Unavailable” message. Eventually, it started working again but the feed was 15 minutes behind, meaning I knew that the Shield had defeated Seamus, Big Show, and Randy Orton before the WWE PPV stream had even started showing the match. Behind as I was, the next three matches went off without a hitch, but then as soon as Fandango started his walk to the ring, the stream went down again.
And yes, let’s all make a joke about how the internet hates Fandango enough it didn’t want to show his match.
But, you know, it’s less funny when you’ve spent $60 to watch it.
Now, I’m sure the WWE technicians were instantly working hard to get it fixed, but the fact remains they never got it fixed. It’s now 3 hours into the event and the stream is back up and running – except it’s not showing any live action. No, 3 hours after WrestleMania 29 actually started, I’m finally getting to see the Jericho vs. Fandango match.
It’s pretty unacceptable. I already know who’s won every match between now and then because it’s 2013 and unless you shut yourself off from the world, you’re going to hear things. I’m not one of these crybabies who thinks Facebook and Twitter should not talk about something until I’ve seen it, and at the end of the day, knowing the result of some of these matches is only going to marginally affect my enjoyment.
To watch live.
And that’s not happening. I couldn’t even contact customer service at first because that site wasn’t working either.
In all, it’s been a complete disaster of a night for WWE’s social media brigade. At the Business Partner’s talk the other night, Stephanie McMahon and others made it clear that social media was key to the next year of WWE’s economic development. This was as poor a start as they could have hoped. I did what people do when they can’t contact the actual people who have screwed up their night – I took to Twitter. Trying to keep a sense of humor about things, I joked that their PPV stream was the least successful WrestleMania debut since Ken Patera.
My tweets then became increasingly angry, however, as the connectivity issues weren’t fixed. I tried to keep things light – jokingly wondering how many gimmick changes “Prince Albert Tensai” has had during the outage, but even though I can joke about it doesn’t make it right.
When I finally did get through to Customer Service, I received an email that said:
There is currently a system connectivity issue. Our team is actively investigating the issue. We appreciate your patience and will have an update shortly.
WWE Premium Support”
“Shortly,” in WWE terms, does not mean anything less than 70 minutes, because that’s how long it’s been since I received that email and I haven’t heard anything from them since.
So now, while the rest of the world is watching Brock Lesnar vs. Triple H, I’m watching Diddy and a pre-taped package for the Swagger/Del Rio match that they showed during the pre-show.
This isn’t the end of the world, of course. I paid the WWE $60 and WAS NOT ABLE TO SEE A SINGLE LIVE MATCH, but some people were apparently unable to see anything. So, I’m lucky? At least, I’m sure that’s how the WWE will spin it. Tomorrow on RAW, they’ll likely offer a limp apology as they’re bragging about how WrestleMania 29 got so many internet buys that it broke the system.
The WWE is a good company and I’m guessing they will eventually do right by us fans who got hosed for doing the right thing and legally buying the PPV stream only to watch a spinning wheel and blank screen and “Service Not Available” messages, but no matter what they offer you can’t get your time back. None of us will get to watch Fandango/Jericho, or Del Rio/Swagger, or Punk/Taker, or Rock/Cena without knowing the outcome, and that’s not really something you can get back.