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WWE GERMANY: AS WE LIVE AND BREATHE

By Kendall Jenkins on 2021-02-19 12:04:00

WWE has always combined the best of both worlds; sport and TV. The early days of Hulk Hogan, Jake the Snake and Diamond Dallas Page were such good memories that it’s sometimes a little hard to reminisce without feeling bad for the younger generation, who will never know just how big it was in Germany back then.

But times change, fans change and we move on with what we have, which is still some great weekly entertainment. WWE is still on a little late to really appeal to the kids, but it may not be enough to peel them from their devices anyway. But just what happened to the good old days, what’s so different between here and across the pond, and what can we expect for the future of WWE in Germany?

WWE Germany: The Early Days

A huge problem with the lack of WWE in Germany has always been that you just can’t seem to see it. Television is, and always will be, about money and in particularly the paid rights for shows. Now, if the demand for those shows is lacking, the channels don’t make their advertising revenue and will drop the show for something more profitable. So, supply and demand.

The problem here in Germany was that so many fans were of the younger generation in the 90’s and the shows were put out around 10pm. So, unless you had your parents wrapped around your little finger, you couldn’t watch. As the demand decreased, the shows were pushed back later and later to take into account the cheaper advertising slots. So, even less youngsters to watch.

By the time WWE was pulled altogether around the late nineties, its 2am time slot not only meant there was next to no younger viewers (whom were their biggest fans), but the ads featured at that time were predominantly sexual in nature and did nothing to help the WWE reputation. 

Fast forward to current times and unfortunately you don’t have those younger fans coming up the ranks anymore. Sure, now you can watch WWE on a good handful of channels but it’s still late at night, and mostly on the paid channels. So, unfortunately, unless you’re willing to pay through the nose for PPV, or illegal live stream, you’re a little out of luck. Also, younger fans have other heroes these days, many of them quite cringeworthy compared to fun beasts of WWE. New youtuber and casino streamers are offering instant fun however in some cases with issues of undisclosed product advertising remaining. While a honest punch by a WWE heavyweight might seem aggressive, one would argue that pushing casino games to just about anyone without control, especially the youth is quite questionable ethics. Let’s not forget that many youngsters have access to easy to use banking apps which reduces the control of their spending. But, this is not a discussion about which generation’s heroes are better, let’s see how you can actually enjoy WWE in Germany in 2021.

Latest News for WWE Germany

WWE Live is still scheduled to kick off in May in Dortmund and November in Leipzig, having been postponed from 2020 due to COVID-19. Their European Tour still pulls in countless fans but obviously it will depend on the pandemic if it takes place in 2021. Some wXw events, like the one in Hamburg are also still set to go.

Last year’s agreement with DAZN has at least secured that WWE will be publicized here for at least the coming months. It’s a good step in the right direction for WWE fans in Germany with RAW and Smackdown being broadcast live every week, plus the option for video-on-demand. And with ProSieben MAXX continuing to offer at least some footage free-to-air, the hope remains.

Unfortunately, any further recruitment and training events, like those held back in 2018, have been sidelined due to COVID-19, which would have further added some excitement to young fans. The dream of making it to the big time in the states is still real though for many. Fingers crossed Stefan Kastenmuller can implement something similar for the not too distant future.

WWE in America

Now comparing many things in Germany to their American cousins is like apples and oranges. Everything is so Blockbuster, so Hollywood in the states that you’ll never compete. A good reason why WWE just never hit the fame that it has across the Atlantic.

Huge TV rights are on the cards and with four times the amount of people, and numerous time zones, it makes sense. Since the times of the early nineties when WWE was at its peak, even there it has slowly been dwindling. Brett Hart, Andre the Giant, The Ultimate Warrior; these guys were absolute super-stars both in Germany and overseas. Global icons in a time before that internet where Friday nights were so looked forward to for every kid. 

But, as we say, it always boils down to money and with America still pulling in some OK ratings, it will be here to stay. But when you look at how those numbers have changed over the years, the gradual decline is unmissable. Sure, these days there’s not just Friday nights to look forward to with RAW, Smackdown, NXT and Dynamite making a few good shows to watch throughout the week. But will it ever be like the good old WWF days? Sadly, no.

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