TV Review: WWE Legends’ House (2014)

Original Run: April 17th, 2014 – June 19th, 2014
Created by: WWE, Bunim-Murray Productions
Directed by: Kevin Dunn
Cast: Roddy Piper, Tony Atlas, Gene Okerlund, Pat Patterson, Hillbilly Jim Morris, Howard Finkel, Jim Duggan, Jimmy Hart, Ashley Roberts

Bunim-Murray Productions, Knucklehead Television, WWE, 10 Episodes, 60 Minutes (per episode)

Review:

I’ve had the WWE Network since the day it debuted. For $9.99 a month, a price tag that includes live streaming pay-per-views, which are normally priced at over $40 per month, for a fan, the price tag is well worth it.

Additionally, as an old school wrestling fan that grew up in that comic book 80s era of larger-than-life gimmicks and matches that felt bigger than the Superbowl, the 24/7 streaming access to the WWE’s back catalog of pay-per-views and events was a huge bonus. One thing that I was anticipating from day one however, was the debut of WWE Network’s initial flagship show, Legends’ House.

Waiting over a month from the Network’s launch, I grew antsy. All I knew was there was going to be a show that had “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, “The Mouth of the South” Jimmy Hart, “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan, Tony Atlas, Hillbilly Jim, Pat Patterson, Howard Finkel and “Mean” Gene Okerlund living together under one roof. As an old school fan, I thought this was awesome for a multitude of reasons.

The first being, my love and respect for the business and to see these guys, as themselves, brought back into a situation with their familiar peers three decades after their heyday. Secondly, I wanted to hear the stories and experiences they might share from those old glory days. Lastly, I just wanted to see these guys again and not just used sparingly on a Monday Night Raw here and there.

Now I’m not a reality television fan and find the medium to be boring as hell and horribly acted – yes, acted. Being that I’ve been involved in a reality show pilot, I’ve experienced the background side of it and understand how it’s done and how stories can be manufactured or blown up out of nothing. That being said, I still thoroughly enjoyed Legends’ House.

This show, for all it’s reality TV forced scenarios and drama, still does a pretty good job of peering into these guys’ lives and true personalities enough to make it interesting despite the extra emphasis on tension.

In regards to overblown reality show drama, I didn’t need to see Duggan and Atlas resort to fisticuffs out of their apparent beef on the show. In fact, I’d rather them be bigger men and work it out. Fights just to have fights to draw reality television ratings just aren’t my thing – I hate that shit. As far as I’m concerned, save that crap for The Surreal Life and let these Legends maintain their dignity.

However, for the most part, I think the show handles showcasing its stars fairly well. The Legends mostly seem to be respected by the producers regardless of their Chippendales challenges and having to play with plastic flamingos on the lawn. It’s all in good fun and it isn’t presented in a way that undermines who these guys are. In the end, they aren’t compromising their very being for a quick 15 minute injection of rebound fame.

I think that WWE did a pretty good job with this show and it’ll be interesting to see where it goes and which Legends they attract after Season 1 concludes. Hopefully they follow the same course and they don’t find themselves in the business of creating predictable ten cent faux drama schlock. But then again, it’s been three years and there still isn’t a second season.

Rating: 7/10

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