It’s been a little over a week since WWE Network moved to Peacock’s streaming service, but some wrestling fans have already unhappy with NBCUniversal for removing a few segments from WWE’s past that had objectively bad taste.
Viewers have noticed that the version of WrestleMania 6 on Peacock no longer includes an interview and a contest where one side of “Rowdy” Roddy Piper’s body was painted black. Another short clip in which WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon used a racist term on screen has been completely omitted Survivor Series 2005
WWE, especially in the late ’90s, when the’ Attitude Era ‘turned pro wrestling into a cultural phenomenon, brought out many questionable segments that only get worse when viewed through a 2021 lens. Some were downright insulting, overtly racist, and should never have happened at the time. Others were downright bizarre.
If you think you’re having a bad day, remember that there is an NBC intern scrolling through WWE’s entire video library editing offensive content for the Peacock Network, yet to come across Mae Young making a hand for the first time …
– Wrestling Travel (@WrestlingTravel) March 25, 2021
Some wrestlers have fun with the news:
I’m pretty sure none of my dad’s WWF promos make it to Peacock
– Brian Pillman Jr. (@FlyinBrianJr) March 25, 2021
Hey #Peacock if you wanted to remove any of my 2003 dance gimmicks, that would be okay.
– Lance Storm (@LanceStorm) March 26, 2021
On the WWE network, these shows were all available in their original form with no apparent cuts or censorship. Rather than erasing history, fans have suggested that Peacock should go the same way as Disney Plus and show a disclaimer before programming, which is particularly reprehensible.
That doesn’t seem to be the approach Peacock is taking. According to The Hollywood ReporterNBCUniversal is reviewing the entire WWE video library gained from the WWE Network deal. This partly explains why only some of the WWE pay-per-views and past shows are available to stream as of now; Peacock has said it plans to have the entire vault up and running by the end of August. WWE will be notified of any changes and edits, the report said. The edge has reached out to both Peacock and WWE for more details and context on how the former plans to edit WWE content.
The stand-alone WWE network service will shut down to customers in the United States in a few days: it goes offline on April 4. After that, Peacock will be the only destination with all this professional wrestling history. Outside of the US, the WWE network remains operational, and this has led some fans to seek out VPN options to maintain access to the service they are familiar with, and one that preserves WWE’s past as it happened – even the terrible pieces.