Lawsuits involving the lack of royalties being paid to certain Superstars may be what's holding WWE back from releasing Thunder onto the WWE Network.
The WWE Network already feels like it has an almost endless amount of professional wrestling content to watch. The Network features WWE programming along with historical footage from countless different wrestling promotions, most of which have now ceased to exist. In fact, every WCW pay-per-view, as well as every episode of Nitro, is now available on the WWE Network.
There is one glaring omission from WCW's history that hasn't yet been added to the Network though, and that's the unsuccessful Thunder which was added to their regularly scheduled programming in 1998. The show came long before WWE added their equivalent of SmackDown to their ranks, and it ran for 146 episodes. Despite WWE owning all of those installments, they have yet to add them to their library of content.
According to a report from PWInsider, it could be a couple of ongoing lawsuits that are holding up WWE from rolling out the episodes of Thunder. Buff Bagwell and Raven are currently in the process of taking WWE to court as they believe they are owed royalties for footage featuring them being available on the Network. While previous rumors suggested that Thunder, along with Sunday Night Heat, would be on the Network in October, the ongoing lawsuits now suggest otherwise.
There are still an awful lot of shows from both WWE and WCW that are not available on the WWE Network. Thunder and Heat are perhaps the most notable, but they aren't alone. WWF Wrestling Challenge and WCW Saturday Night are also not available to subscribers. If there indeed were plans for Thunder to be released this month, then those plans have since been scrapped and instead, WWE will be adding more episodes of WCCW. No risk of upsetting Raven and Bagwell with those.
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The lawsuit brought about by Raven and Bagwell could prove to be a tricky one for WWE. If the former WWE and WCW Superstars win the case then that could set a dangerous precedent and could start something of a domino effect with other wrestlers featured on the Network coming out of the woodwork and looking for their slice of the pie. As Vince McMahon informed Kevin Owens on SmackDown Live recently though, he and WWE don't often lose their courtroom battles.