Southpaw Regional Wrestling Needs To Continue As An Original Series On WWE Network – Forbes

WWE Southpaw Regional Wrestling Logo


The verdict is in, and Southpaw Regional Wrestling—WWE’s satirical take on classic wrestling territories—is a critically acclaimed success. It’s easily WWE’s best original comedy series since the launch of the WWE Network, but the sad thing is not one episode aired on the Network. Instead, Southpaw Regional Wrestling was broadcast exclusively on as a miniseries which could be brought back by popular demand if you read into John Cena’s Twitter feed.

The series is currently averaging a score of 9.6 out of 10 on IMDb through 49 reviews. Jason Powell of described it as “a good time and is definitely worth a watch.”

I’ll do him one better, it’s a great time that’s definitely worth a full season.

WWE Network saw a modest increase of 14% from the prior quarter in Q4 2016, clearing 1.4 million average paid subscribers. The company added more than 300 hours of original content in 2016, and noted WWE Network originals like WWE Story Time among it highlights.

But, far too often, WWE Network’s “original” programming is simply WWE’s impression of an already-superior show. Story Time is a poor man’s Shorties Watchin’ Shorties. Swerved is a poor man’s Punk’d. Camp WWE is just plain poor.

Southpaw Regional Wrestling Fandango as Chett Chetterfield

Fandango as Chett Chetterfield (Credit:

But Southpaw Regional Wrestling feels fresh and is well within WWE’s wheelhouse, allowing creator Brian Pellegatto and an all-star cast of WWE Superstars to comfortably portray a sub-genre that they know better than anybody.

Equally as impressive is the character depth demonstrated. This is most striking among the personas of Lance Catamaran—the Ron Burgundy-esque play-by-play announcer, played by John Cena, who appears to be a callback to legendary announcer Lance Russell of Memphis’ Continental Wrestling Association—and Chett Chetterfield, a shell of a color commentator with a drinking problem played by Fandango.

Both Catamaran and Chetterfield are broken men in the midst of dueling downward spirals. Catamaran initially seems to have it all together, but a running gag throughout the series depicts him as an announcer of limited talent who takes great pride in a previous stint as a local reporter for six weeks in Utica, New York. Each week, Catamaran—despite remaining cool, calm and deadpan—appears closer to an emotional meltdown as he struggles to maintain order of a promotion that is disorganized and poorly run. Chetterfield, who drinks heavily during broadcasts and openly pines for his adulterous estranged wife, is well past the point of a meltdown.

Rusev as Big Bartholomew, Chris Jericho as Clint Bobski

Chris Jericho portrays backstage announcer Clint Bobski while Rusev is fictional wrestler Big Bartholomew (Credit:

In addition to the entertainment value it could bring to the WWE Network, Southpaw Regional Wrestling is a hotbed for monetization. The series seamlessly weaved in hilarious vintage commercial spots for KFC that featured voiceovers by Ric Flair. In fact, they were so well done I had to take time to Google whether or not “KFC’s Georgia Gold” was a real thing. It is. Mission accomplished, sponsorship.

WWE has also teased an upcoming merchandise line, featuring the Southpaw Regional Wrestling logo that is sure to be consumed in droves by wrestling hipsters who will proudly (and, let’s face it, smugly) don the gear as a nod to “true” pro wrestling fans.

With such a massive roster of WWE Superstars and finite television time, unheralded acts like Fandango, Tyler Breeze and The Ascension—who all shined in limited roles—can continue to spread their wings through the series.

In Southpaw Regional Wrestling, WWE has created a brand with the potential for a large niche following no different than that of NXT. It would be a shame if we’ve seen the last of this highly successful experiment.

Alfred is a contributor to Forbes Sports Money. Follow him on Twitter @ThisIsNasty LIKE him on Facebook and subscribe to his weekly wrestling podcast.

Southpaw Regional Wrestling Needs To Continue As An Original Series On WWE Network – Forbes

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