Love Men In Tights? 8 Pain-Free Ways to Watch Wrestling Online
Put on your tights, strap up your boots, and wait for the music to hit, because it’s time to make your way to the squared circle. Not as a wrestler yourself, of course, but as a viewer. The Internet has done some great things for the world , but in my most humble opinion, the single best thing it has given us is the ability to watch wrestling from promotions all around the world for just a small financial investment.
In fact, the list of services on which you can watch wrestling is quite impressive. Everything from the biggest promotions (well, with the exception of TNA Impact, but they can barely keep a TV deal, let alone build a full Internet service), to some of the indies, are available online. If you can’t get enough sports entertainment , you’ll love each and every one of the services detailed here.
WWE Network ($9.99 a month)
If we’re going to talk about places to watch wrestling online, there’s no better place to start than with the big guy, the WWE Network (World Wrestling Entertainment). When most people think of wrestling, the WWE (formally WWF) is the first promotion that comes to mind, and its online service lives up to the brand’s reputation.
With a subscription, you get access to all of the WWE Pay Per View events , which are normally $60 each on cable. You also get access to the company’s massive back catalog, including promotions like WCW (World Championship Wrestling) and ECW (Extreme Championship Wrestling), which WWE now owns. There’s also NXT, the WWE’s development brand (which many argue actually delivers better action than the main roster), and all kinds of original series. If you like wrestling, a WWE Network subscription isn’t optional.
The one complaint with the WWE Network is that, due to TV deals, you can’t watch RAW and SmackDown (the WWE’s weekly TV programs) until well after they air live. This means you can’t get your complete WWE fix without cable .
Ring of Honor ($7.99 a month)
When it comes to indie wrestling promotions in North America, ROH is the king. It has produced some of the greats in the WWE today, and it continues to have an incredible roster of talent. If you like that gritty indie wrestling style, you need to sign up for ROH.
You’ll get access to ROH’s weekly TV show on Monday, when it normally airs on TV on Thursday, access to the massive ROH back catalog, and everything will be available without ads. If you want to see matches from names like Low Ki, Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, Antonio Cesaro, current WWE Champion Seth Rollins, and more, you’ll get completely hooked on Ring of Honor’s online service.
New Japan Pro Wrestling World (Approx $8 a month)
If you have always enjoyed the Japanese style of wrestling, there’s no better service for you than New Japan World. Like the WWE Network, you’ll find live events aired on its monthly service. Not all of them are here, but there’s plenty of live stuff to watch.
There is also a massive back catalog of events and matches that you can watch, but keep in mind, most of it isn’t in English, so you’ll need to appreciate the in-ring action. Trust us, though, the wrestling here is top notch, and it’s worth signing up for just to appreciate the fine work from some amazingly talented fighters.
Chikara ($7.99 a Month)
If you love tag team matches with an exciting lucha libre style, you’ll love the content offered by Chikara. The matches are amazing, filled with action, and definitely worth the price of admission. Names like Sean Waltman (123-Kid, X-Pac, Sixx), CM Punk, El Generico (Sami Zayn), and many others have entered the squared circle in Chikara, and you can check them out with this service.
Best of all, you can try Chikara’s subscription service for a week for free, so you can see if the type of wrestling they deliver is right for you. There’s no commitment either, so even if you sign up for a couple of months and binge-watch everything , you can cancel without worrying about it.
Smash Wrestling ($7.49 a Month)
Smash Wrestling has been around since 2012, and it features some high-quality events. There’s a total of 72 hours of wrestling content on the service, featuring 80 wrestlers, some of whom you just might see on the big shows at some point in the future.
You can try out the service by watching Rival Schools 2014 for free. This way you make sure you like the quality and the style before you sign up and spend your hard-earned cash. You’ll find this free event at the bottom of the page. If you like the indie wrestling style, you’ll love Smash.
ICW On Demand ($5.99 a Month)
We can’t just look at the North American wrestling promotions, and that’s where Insane Championship Wrestling come in. The British promotion features a different style than the others on the list. The events are 18+ because they feature a more hardcore style, so if you think back fondly to the bloody ECW days, you’ll love the content from ICW.
You’ll find over 110 hours of on-demand wrestling content, and it’s the cheapest monthly subscription on the list. If you’re sick of the WWE’s PG Era and want a little more hardcore action, this service has you covered.
Demand Progress ($7.40 a Month)
Staying in Europe, we have Progress Wrestling, a company that uses the tag line “Pro wrestling. For grown ups.” They also call themselves “Punk Rock Pro Wrestling.” There’s definitely a different feel to the violence offered by Progress, and the performers are quite talented, so it’s worth a look.
The content library is a little smaller, with just over 40 hours of wrestling matches to watch. The promotion has events scheduled throughout 2015, so there will definitely be more content added as time goes on to keep you busy.
WWN Live (Pay Per View)
This is not a site for a single promotion like the others on the list, but rather, it’s a place offering Internet Pay Per View events for a range of promotions, most notable of which is EVOLVE. Events are available live and on demand, though you do have to pay for each one.
If you’re a hardcore wrestling fan and want to see everything that’s out there, you can’t ignore the events featured on WWN Live. While I wish there was a way to get unlimited access to all of the matches featured on here, there is so much wrestling that you just can’t pass it up!
More Wrestling Than You’ll Ever Need
If you were to sign up for all of these monthly services, you’d be looking at just under $60 a month. With that, you’d be getting more wrestling than you could ever watch in a month. So what are you to do?
The smart move is to work on a rotation, signing up for a few services a month (with the WWE Network on a continuous subscription because of the monthly live events). This way you can watch what you want from a service and move on to the others.
Now, it’s time to stop listening to me banging on about wrestling and go watch some for yourself. You quite literally have thousands of hours of wrestling to watch, so you’d better get to work.
Which of these wrestling services are your personal favorites? Are you going to sign up for a new one having read our recommendations? Please hit the comments section below to let us know!
Image Credits: boxing ring via Shutterstock