If you are a WWE, AEW, or just a general professional wrestling fan, you likely already know that you don’t need cable TV to see events. But the truth is much better: wrestling fans can see more online. Read on to find out how!
In a hurry? If you aren’t interested in the details and just want to start live streaming NXT and Dynamite, these services will suit you well:
- Hulu + Live TV: Adds 85+ live TV channels to its outstanding on-demand library for the best overall entertainment package. Try it free for 7 days!
- Sling TV: Just $35/mo for 40+ channels including a ton of wrestling. Try it for one month for only $10!
- FuboTV: Although it won’t get you AEW Dynamite, it’s sports-packed 100+ live channels should be more than enough for most fans. Try it’s 7-day free trial!
Table Of Contents
Since the late 19th century, professional wrestlers have been entertaining crowds throughout the world. Until the 1930s, professional wrestling was generally just a sport like boxing or mixed martial arts (MMA). However, for almost 100 years, it has been sports entertainment — scripted but still very much athletic events.
This has worked out well because people get to see great athleticism along with events and even season-long stories. And they are most definitely not fake. In fact, very real conflicts and disagreements have a way of showing up in the storylines.
Professional wrestling sells out arenas around the world. Its pay-per-view (PPV) events generate millions of dollars in revenue each. And pro wrestling merchandise is huge too.
If you are a fan, read on to learn how to see all the important pro wrestling events without cable.
Major Pro Wrestling Organizations and Where to Watch
When most people think about professional wrestling, the first name that comes to mind is Hulk Hogan who is symbolic of the rise of pro wrestling in the 1980s and 1990s. He was a popular performer with the World Wrestling Federation (WWF). Between 1994 and 2000 he was also a headline act for World Championship Wrestling (WCW).
However, there are several mainstream companies that feature top performers who attract large followings. Let’s take a look at a few of these organizations and how you can watch their shows.
World Wresting Entertainment
At the beginning of the 21st century, Vince McMahon was forced to change the name of his company, World Wrestling Federation (WWF), to World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). This was after it was sued by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
Today, you can watch Monday Night Raw each week on USA Network. WWE Smackdown can be seen on Fox. NXT, the company’s developmental brand, also has a weekly show that you can watch on USA. Archived episodes of WWE Raw can also be seen on Peacock.
New Japan Pro Wrestling
If you are watching in Japan, this organization can be seen on TV Asahi, Fighting TV Samurai, and Abema TV. In the United States, you can watch most content on the Roku Channel with certain major events being broadcast on FITE TV.
Typically, broadcasts shown in the United States are dubbed with commentary in English.
All Elite Wrestling
Fans of All Elite Wrestling (AEW) can watch its signature show Dynamite on TNT each week. The company also has a show on TBS called Rampage that typically airs on Friday nights. Finally, the organization has a show called Dark that you can watch on YouTube.
The NWA (National Wrestling Alliance) has two main programs that air on a regular basis. Each Tuesday, NWA Powerrr is shown on FITE TV while NWA Shockwave is in the process of becoming a weekly PPV event. Shockwave is currently broadcast on the promotion’s Facebook and YouTube pages, but it is planning on being shown on the United Wrestling Network (UWN) in the future.
PWG (Pro Wrestling Guerrilla) does not air any of its events on television or social media outlets. Instead, it creates DVDs that are sold to customers after they have been completed. The company’s flagship event is called Battle for Los Angeles, which takes place in August or September of each year.
Because of the diversity of events, fans have a lot of options in terms of streaming professional wrestling. Broadly speaking, you can go with a general content provider that gives you wrestling along with a diverse set of other channels. Or you can go with more focused providers, which are normally less expensive.
General Content Providers
The major streaming services provide at least some coverage of professional wrestling.
- Hulu + Live TV: Provides 85+ channels including Fox, USA, and TBS/TNT. You also get a full range of other channels including local ABC, CBS, and NBC affiliates. It comes with 50 hours of cloud DVR storage and the ability to stream on up to 2 devices at once. See our Hulu + Live TV review for all the details.
- Sling TV: For a very low cost, you get the important channels for wrestling. And Sling has lots of add-ons so you can construct exactly the channel lineup you want. It features a 50-hour cloud DVR and streaming on 3 devices simultaneously. Our Sling TV review explains everything.
- DIRECTV STREAM: Although a bit more expensive, you get all the pro wrestling channels from a name you can trust. It also allows you to stream on up to 20 devices at once, so it’s great for a large household. Check out our DIRECTV STREAM review for more details. (Note: DIRECTV STREAM was previously known as DirecTV Now, AT&T TV NOW, and AT&T TV.)
- FuboTV: This is a great streaming service for sports fan so if you can live with the loss of AEW Dynamite, this is worth a look. It comes with 250 hours of cloud DVR storage and streaming on up to 3 devices. See our FuboTV review for everything you need to know.
- YouTube TV: This 85+ channel service provides all the wrestling channels. Overall, it is very much like Hulu’s plan.
All of these plans should provide you with everything you need to enjoy the professional wrestling year.
Specialized Content Providers
There are a couple of other ways you can watch professional wrestling.
Peacock allows you to watch WWE content both live and on-demand. But it doesn’t come with their free plan. You will need to pay for one of its premium packages. For $4.99, you can watch all programming made available on the platform with ads. If you are willing to pay an extra $5 per month, the content will stream without any commercial interruptions.
The FITE+ package allows you to watch shows from a variety of MMA, pro wrestling, and similar promotions 30 days after they air live. You can watch content without ads for $4.99 a month or $49.99 per year.
You can also subscribe to NWA Powerrr through FITE TV for $4.99 per month to receive three free episodes of Powerrr per month in addition to other exclusive content. See our FITE review for more information.
Brief History of Wrestling on TV
Throughout much of the 20th century, Saturday night meant that the family gathered around the TV to watch their favorite WCW superstars in action. Primarily, WCW TV shows aired on superstations such as TBS or WGN throughout most of the 1980s and 1990s. However, WCW would bring Nitro to TNT on Monday nights starting in 1995 and Thunder to TBS on Thursday nights in 1998 in an effort to compete with WWE.
In 1993, WWE began airing a show called RAW IS WAR on USA Network. From 1996 to 1999, WWE and WCW engaged in what was known as the Monday Night Wars. Nitro won the ratings battle for 83 straight weeks thanks to the NWO storyline featuring Hulk Hogan. However, stars such as the Rock and Steve Austin would eventually help WWE defeat WCW. The war was over for good when WCW was purchased by the WWE in March 2001.
Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) offered a niche product that also appeared on minor cable TV networks. Although it was also purchased by WWE, the company developed a cult following that still exists to this day. In fact, the WWE revived the ECW brand for several years alongside Raw and Smackdown before shutting it down for good.
TVs and Streaming Devices to Watch Pro Wrestling
To fully appreciate professional wrestling events, you really need to view it on the proper hardware. The streaming services we’ve highlighted support most of the TVs and devices currently in use.
TVs and TV Devices
All the streaming services support Samsung smart TVs. Hulu, Sling, and Fubo also support LG, Vizio, and Android TV-powered smart TVs.
The streaming services also all support the following devices:
- Amazon Fire TV: Plugs into your TV’s HDMI jack and allows it to run apps.
- Apple TV: Apple’s version of the same thing.
- Roku: Various devices that do the same — one of the earliest manufacturers.
Mobile Streaming Devices
The major smartphones and tablets are universally supported:
- Android devices: All recent Android-powered phones.
- iOS devices: iPhones, iPads, and even some iPods.
You can use these devices to cast to your Chromecast-enabled TV.
Any device with a web browser can show pro wrestling with these streaming services. You can connect some of these devices to a TV via an HDMI cable.
Gaming Consules and VR
Gaming consoles are a popular way to stream video. All the services (except DIRECTV STREAM) support the Xbox One. Hulu also supports the PlayStation and Nintendo Switch. And Sling TV even supports Oculus.
Other devices are supported. See the individual streaming reviews for the complete list of each.
Professional wrestling has been a part of society for roughly 160 years, and that is because it has found ways to entertain and thrill audiences of all ages and backgrounds. Whether you like to watch acrobatic moves from the top rope, a more technical style of wrestling, or something in the middle, there is certainly going to be something for you to enjoy.
Thanks to the presence of multiple streaming services, it is easier than ever to watch your favorite performers in the ring. What are you waiting for? Sign-up for a trial now!
What happened to WWE Network?
In February 2014, WWE Network was launched in the hopes that it would provide a vehicle for the company to increase its brand reach. But it struggled to retain its audience. So in April 2021, the network moved with Peacock. This was part of a new rights deal signed by NBCUniversal to broadcast WWE Raw. In October 2019, the company had signed a separate deal with Fox to broadcast Smackdown.
What happened to Evolve?
Between 2015 and 2020, Evolve and WWE had a working relationship. During this time, WWE would send wrestlers and scouts to Evolve events as a test run to see if the promotion could be used as a developmental territory. In 2020, Evolve was purchased by WWE, which meant the company was essentially defunct. However, WWE retains the right to revive the brand in the future if it wishes to do so.
What streaming service has wrestling?
If you want to watch pay-per-view wrestling online without cable, Sling TV may be a good choice. For wrestling shown on live TV channels, you’ll want a streaming service package that has Fox, USA, and TNT (TBS starting in 2022) available. We recommend Hulu + Live TV.
Does Hulu have wrestling?
As a Hulu + Live TV plan subscriber you have access to Fox, USA, TNT, and TBS. You can watch Wednesday Night Dynamite (AEW). You can also watch a fair number of WWE events on-demand with the basic Hulu plan for $6.99. If you add $6 to your monthly subscription, you can watch these WWE streams without ads.
How can I watch particular pro wrestling shows?
We’ve written a number of guides on watching different shows: