WWE Champion Drew McIntyre, WWE Universal Champion Roan Reigns, SmackDown Women’s Champion Sasha Banks and other Superstars have laid the SmackDown on 2020.
WWE Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon issued an e-mail this evening where she revealed a new video package titled, ‘WWE Body Slams 2020 for the Holidays.”
The video features the rough year that was 2020, in the form of a nasty looking monster, confront McIntyre inside the WWE ThunderDome. McIntyre ends up taking the monster out, and the video cuts to clips of other WWE Superstars taking turns on the beast. 2021 then makes its entrance to finally put an end to the 2020 monster.
Stephanie’s e-mail noted that WWE’s enhanced content strategy and faster adaption of video streaming led to a 6% increase in WWE Network subscribers, and a 70% increase in YouTube viewership. She touted the use of the hologram of WWE Hall of Famer Paul Bearer in The Undertaker’s “Final Farewell” at Survivor Series, the various WWE TV partnerships, and more. Stephanie also recalled a “thank you” message she received from a mother at the Winter Wonderland event WWE set up with Make-A-Wish Connecticut this past week. For those who missed them, we posted photos from the event at this link earlier today.
Stephanie ended the letter by revealing her biggest lesson of 2020.
“Which leads me to my biggest lesson of this year, which is that at the end of the day all we really need is each other. I am so grateful to all of our Superstars, employees, fans and partners for what we were all able to create, together, over this past year. Thank you for helping us achieve our company mission, in one of the most challenging years of our lifetimes, of putting smiles on people’s faces,” she wrote.
Below is the WWE vs. 2020 video package, along with Stephanie’s full letter:
As 2020 comes to a close, it is a time for reflection, a time to be grateful, and a time to take out some of our pent-up frustration from this past year. With that in mind, WWE wanted to create a holiday message that would resonate with audiences while staying on brand, and I think we nailed it. Please watch this video and join your WWE family in drop kicking 2020 to the curb!
In all seriousness, we have learned a lot this year. Our enhanced content strategy, combined with faster than anticipated adoption of video streaming, led to a 6% increase in WWE Network subscribers and a 70% increase in YouTube viewership. Technology brought the late “Paul Bearer” back to life as a hologram, as he held up Undertaker’s urn in front of the retiring Superstar’s outstretched arm, in a moment that captured hearts and minds (and maybe even a few souls). We created new programming opportunities with our partners at FOX, NBCUniversal, BT Sport and Sony India, to name a few. We took up residencies at Amway Center in Orlando and Tropicana Field in Tampa Bay and debuted the WWE ThunderDome, bringing back the spectacle of WWE, and integrating nearly 1,000 virtual fans each night into our live flagship programming. We also continued to support those who needed it the most by creating virtual community programs and integrations with Special Olympics, UNICEF, Global Citizen, Ad Council, Americares and many more.
But it was last Friday night at a WWE-themed holiday “drive thru” community event for Make-A-Wish CT that stands out to me the most. My daughter and I were greeting families in their cars alongside Santa Claus, when a mom sitting in the passenger seat became very emotional. She expressed how hard quarantine has been on her family, how frightening it is for her as her child is high-risk given her medical condition, and how deeply grateful she is that WWE stayed on the air through the pandemic. She told me, “you have no idea what it means to have an escape that we can rely on, every single week.” She was visibly shaking. Her words reinforced to me what a privilege it is to be a part of a brand that can have that kind of impact.
Which leads me to my biggest lesson of this year, which is that at the end of the day all we really need is each other. I am so grateful to all of our Superstars, employees, fans and partners for what we were all able to create, together, over this past year. Thank you for helping us achieve our company mission, in one of the most challenging years of our lifetimes, of putting smiles on people’s faces.
Wishing you and your families a safe and happy holiday season,