I’m a “part-time” WWE fan. I dip in and out of the “universe” every few years as the mood takes me. Every so often I’ll catch the bug big time, watch a bunch of shows, then my interest will fade again. When I moved into my new place I spent the first couple of nights watching a bunch of WWE-related documentaries I found on Netflix, which kindled my current interest. On top of that, my son has recently started to get into WWE as well.
Plus it was time for WrestleMania 30. So naturally I wanted to watch the spectacle.
When I moved, I “cut the cable”; I have no TV service at all – no terrestrial TV (so don’t pay for a TV license), no Freeview, Cable, or Sky TV. I watch everything online, primarily through Netflix, YouTube, or BBC iPlayer. None of these services could let me watch WrestleMania, so something else was needed. A quick look at WWE.com revealed I could stream it from their website for $59.99 (approx £37). Call me cheap, but for one Pay Per View that was not good value for money, even if it was for the “show of shows.” Then I remembered the WWE had recently launched their own streaming service, WWE Network. 24/7 streaming of WWE shows + Pay Per Views, for $9.99 a month. Even with a minimum 6 month subscription, it worked out the same price for the “all you can eat” channel as it did for the single WrestleMania stream. Done. Sold. Sign me up.
One problem – WWE Network is US-only for now. But with the right tools, this is not an insurmountable problem, though it is a little finicky to setup at first.
What You’ll Need:
- A WWE.com Account.
- A PayPal Account (with linked credit/debit card).
- An Unblock-Us.com Account.
- A Device to Watch WWE Network on. I used an Apple TV.
Unblock-Us is the secret sauce which makes the whole process work; without it, WWE.com won’t even let you sign up for WWE Network, let alone watch anything. The service costs, but it’s cheap (<£3 per month), and lets you access other services such as the US Netflix, or watch region-restricted videos on YouTube. I’ve been a happy paying customer for almost 2 years now.
Sign up for Unblock-Us, then use their set-up instructions for the device you want to watch the WWE Network on. You can set-up your router instead, but I prefer a per-device setup for maximum flexibility.
For the moment, you’ll also want to set your computer/laptop to use Unblock-Us, while we do the next step:
Sign Up for a WWE.com account. During registration, set your country to the US. Once your account is created, if you’re set up with Unblock-Us, you can click the option in your profile to subscribe to WWE Network – if Unblock-Us isn’t working, you’ll end up in an endless redirect loop.
During the WWE Network sign-up, you’ll need to supply a billing address. This needs to be a valid US address, including zip code. You can use anything, such as the address of your favourite US-based company… For the payment option, I recommend using PayPal.
You might be able to get away with not using PayPal, but I used it to avoid entering a non-UK billing address for my credit card (which would risk it being declined).
WWE.com doesn’t validate the billing address of your PayPal account when you use it as a payment method for WWE Network. As a result, you can have a different billing address on WWE.com than you do in PayPal. This lets you complete the sign-up process – WWE.com thinks you’re paying from within the US, as those are the details you give them, but PayPal bills you with your correct information.
Once done, you should redirect back to WWE.com and see a “success” message telling you you’re now a subscriber to WWE Network
You have a few options for watching on a big screen: there are WWE Network apps for most devices, though most of them require a US-billing address to access (certainly the PS3 one does). These are more hassle to work around than I was prepared to handle, so I haven’t tried yet. The easiest method I found was using an Apple TV.
Assuming you’ve setup the Apple TV to use Unblock-Us, the next bit should be easy. In the Apple TV Settings > General menu you have the option to change your iTunes Store. Set this to United States. You’ll be logged out of any UK iTMS account you have on your aTV, but it’s OK, as you a) don’t need it to watch WWE Network, and b) can easily sign back in from the same menu.
Returning to the home screen at this point will give you a lot more icons than normal – one of which is the WWE Network app. Selecting it will ask you to login or subscribe through iTunes. You want to login with your WWE.com account from earlier. After thinking about it for a few moments, WWE Network should load up and you can start watching the library of content!
Another option, again using an aTV, is to configure an iOS device to use Unblock-Us through your home WiFi, install the WWE app from the App Store, then use AirPlay to stream it to your TV.
The only real issue I’ve come across is that sometimes (every couple of weeks or so), loading videos on WWE Network will give you an error. This usually means your broadband IP address has changed and you need to let Unblock-Us know. Simply visit unblock-us.com from another device on your network (it doesn’t need to be configured to use Unblock-Us), login, and click the message you’ll see about activating your new IP address. Try your video again, and it should work.