In the middle of the #SAGAwards -- think, "Meanwhile, in another #universe," -- wrestling fans dissatisfied over the outcome of a WWE match created a hashtag of their own that was trending worldwide by night's end: #CancelWWENetwork.
The hashtag began showing up after Sunday night's #RoyalRumble (pre-match videos) ended with Roman Reigns victorious. It appears he's old-hat, and both the live and online audiences were unhappy that younger stars in the WWE's stable were overlooked. Combined with some streaming issues, the outcome in the ring had fans urging online subscribers to bail on the SVOD outlet that aggravated at least some pay-per-view providers when it launched last spring.
Monday afternoon, the hashtag was still among the top five trending topics on the social media platform.
By then, WWE had canceled Monday Night RAW because of the blizzard invading the East Coast, but the move took on a wholly larger significance in the Twittersphere. "Monday Night Raw may be canceled due to weather.... Looks like even God decided to #CancelWWENetwork," tweeted @cigarsNscotch, a comical feed. Others posted screenshots of their cancellation notices (see photo), while many tweeted that cancelling a subscription over one event was tantamount to cutting off one's nose to spite one's face.
"The #CancelWWENetwork movement is insane. You're gonna take it out on the entire roster because one guy won a match you didn't want him to?" @TheWrestlingMania posted, while @David_Leavitt (writer David Leavitt) tweeted, "I boycott #SouthPark because Kenny always dies. #CancelWWENetwork."
It remains to be seen how seriously fans take the hashtagged mandate, but the debacle garnered the attention of mainstream publications like Time magazine and Rolling Stone, which dubbed the event "the Philadelphia Phuck You."
The smarter way to stay on top of the multichannel video marketplace. Sign up below.