Friday, October 28, 2016

Review: One Month @ Wrestler4Hire

Full disclosure: Access to all these matches was provided to me by Wrestler4Hire.

Well, I'm coming up to the end of my free trial of Wrestler4Hire, so I thought it'd be a good time to post about my experience overall, rather than another single-match review. You'll get my thoughts on a few matches, but mostly this is my take on the overall experience.

So how did it go?

Well? C'mon, tell the folks what you think, Alex!
(Alex Oliver v Zach Reno)

I think the biggest question is whether I plan to continue on my own dime. The answer to that is yes, I plan to continue my membership. I obviously enjoyed it and it was a worthwhile experiment on my part. I’m still wary of streaming services on a macro level, viewing this as an exception rather than a new rule. Why the exception? Well, I’m convinced that streaming is the best way for me to experience W4H’s offerings, as compared to buying individual matches. Allow me to explain in more depth ...

Ethan's dirty talk to Ty really got me going
(Ty Alexander v Ethan Andrews)


Overall, I’m very pleased with the content for the price.

The talent is great. W4H features some of the best guys in the business, several of them unique to the site. The collection of indie pros is the best and they know their stuff, which I really like. As an action-first guy, this is a huge benefit. Sometimes they’re asked to do things I didn’t like story-wise, but that’s not a knock on them.

The benefit of pros is their skills. W4H is the best place
for more complex moves like hot piledrivers and more.
(KARN v Ace Owens)

Love seeing Maverick in long, slow and hard matches
(Maverick vs. Lon Dumont - Gut Bash)

The quantity is also outstanding. There are 18-19 matches available at any given time, which is far more than I personally can watch in a month, especially from one company. So I feel like I won't run out of options. I did own one of the matches (Burke/Hartley/King reviewed here), but it wasn’t a big deal with 17 other choices.

I really appreciated the amount of options even more because the videos themselves are somewhat hit-or-miss. There are a ton of squash jobs, so I’d say variety is limited. And while I appreciate W4H’s experimentation, some of the ideas were not great and the acting was occasionally embarrassing to watch. I turned off the volume on a couple of matches and fast forwarded through the setup a couple of times.

I didn't "get" Brendan Cage getting squashed in a shirt,
despite liking both guys in other matches
(KARN v Brendan Cage)

In terms of the videos, there were a lot of winners. I got to see at least 6 really good re-watchable videos, which would work out to $5 per match. Really, there only needs to be 3 excellent ones for this to pay off and with a roster of Ty, Guido, Chet and more, I feel good that it should work out.

Getting two Ty matches definitely entertained me
(Ty Alexander v Lon Dumont)

And so did having access to lots of Guido
(Guido Genatto v Marc Merino - Forced to Flex)

Best of all, there were surprising winners that I never would’ve noticed, like Garrett Thomas vs. Mike Splitz (reviewed here). I also “discovered” Will Favero (reviewed here), who I probably would've missed, too. And someone like Lon Dumont who might’ve moved me off buying a Ty or Maverick match, instead I gave them a try.

So streaming worked great here. And streaming saved me money on several in-between videos that I liked, but not enough to pay individually for them.

I wouldn't have bought this, but I'm glad I watched it
(Maverick v Lon Dumont - Gut Bash)

Another match I would've missed
(Alex Oliver v Zach Reno)

There were definitely a few duds and a couple of them were surprising. The best example is KARN vs. Ace Owens. W4H tweeted about this with “One of our MOST POPULAR matches (and a personal favorite) is in the Member section!” Well, be that as it may, it bored me. Kind of crazy given the talent involved and that it was a hero-villain storyline, but them's the breaks. I felt like it had good looking guys, weak story, poor lighting, energy-draining acting, and slow, random action.

So beautiful, but it just didn't work for me
(KARN v Ace Owens)

Unfortunately, I had the same sleepy reaction as Ace
(KARN v Ace Owens)

In fact, KARN v Ace is a video I might've purchased, so I definitely benefited from a streaming service. Instead of ~$20 for a single disappointing video, I would've spent $30 for 18 possibly good options on streaming, if I'd paid for it. In the end, the offer provided good value and streaming saved me money in the long run.


The experience itself is good. The site is easy to use on my computer and iPad, although the black text is tough to read on the tablet.

One of the drawbacks of streaming is that it's less reliable than owning the video. I don't always have a wifi connection. For example, I was in a hotel last week with weak wifi. Streaming suddenly wasn't an option. Luckily I had other matches on my iPad, because I wasn't watching W4H.

And even at home, there were a couple of issues. Chet/Will would not stream for me a couple of times, nor would KARN/Ace. I ended up streaming other matches instead and I was able to watch these two at a later time. While I have no idea why there was an issue with only those videos at that moment, if I'd been dead-set on watching those at that time it would’ve been frustrating.

GRR! I hate being a jobber to technology!
(KARN v Ace Owens)
My Conclusion?

Well, I told you already, but I’ll restate it … I decided to keep going with my membership and see how it goes. I think that the number of good matches available were definitely worth the price.


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