Full of glitz, glamour, celebrity, and spectacle – oh, and some sports action, too – WWE often touts its annual WrestleMania event as being their SuperBowl, comparing it to the annual NFL championship game. But if you watched the big game last night, the number of WWE Superstars and Legends making appearances may make you think that someday the NFL will be calling the SuperBowl “the Wrestlemania of Football.”
Undoubtedly because of the major relationship between NBC and WWE – whose network is broadcast on NBC’s Peacock subscription streaming service – there were several WWE-related appearances on the broadcast.
During the pre-show, WWE Hall of Famer Nikki Bella touted her role as judge on the upcoming NBC show America’s Got Talent: Extreme, which debuts next Monday night (actually, running against WWE’s flagship show RAW, which airs on another NBC station, the USA Network).
.@terrycrews and Nikki @BellaTwins describe what it is like being a part of America's Got Talent: Extreme and give their predictions for #SBLVI! pic.twitter.com/TyUvkqDAYA
— NBC Sports (@NBCSports) February 13, 2022
Later on, WrestleMania itself was promoted during the show, with this spot voiced by Smackdown announcer – and former football star – Pat McAfee.
How do you describe #WrestleMania Season?
The Road to #WrestleMania heats up every Monday Night on #WWERaw at 8/7c on @USA_Network, and the most stupendous two-night @WrestleMania in history streams Saturday, April 2 and Sunday, April 3 at 8E/5P exclusively on @peacockTV. pic.twitter.com/bBuKnrMg1m
— WWE (@WWE) February 13, 2022
Of course, one of the most fun aspects of the SuperBowl is watching the commercials, as companies go out of their way to create some of the most creative spots of the year to capitalize on the number of eyeballs tuned in. This year, WWE legend Dave “Batista” Bautista was one of the celebrities featured in a new Nissan ad, in which he lampooned his action star status by playing sidekick to Eugene Levy who played decidedly against type as an action star.
Of course, the SuperBowl halftime show is always an annual highlight, with the musical performances becoming bigger and more bombastic every year. Last night’s featured a number of legendary rappers, including WWE Hall of Famer (Celebrity Wing) Snoop Dogg.
The NFL won’t permit linking to the video of the performance – though you can easily Google it – but here’s Snoop’s WWE HoF induction speech… or, if you prefer, his Hizzle of Fizzle indizzle shizzle.
But the main event, WWE-wise, had to have been the on-field introduction of the game by Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson. Johnson – who has his own football past in both college, the Canadian Football League, is one of the owners of the XFL, and who could forget his Halftime Heat Empty Arena match against Mankind – kicked off his introduction with the “Finally…” catchphrase he made famous in his WWE promos. Sadly for wrestling fans, Johnson didn’t wait for the crowd to respond with “and millions” after he’d teed up the phrase at the 1:34 mark.
.@THEROCK. INCREDIBLE OPENING TO #SBLVI
📺: #SBLVI on NBC
📱: https://t.co/K02y40b5Nu pic.twitter.com/Jib7mVPztC
— NFL (@NFL) February 13, 2022
Post-game, WWE was also represented when LA Rams linebacker Leonard Floyd was shown wearing a customized WWE Championship Title, that WWE has customarily given to the winning players.
THE HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONS OF THE WORLD! pic.twitter.com/0KPNtypB4R
— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) February 14, 2022
Batista was supposed to have been inducted into WWE’s Hall of Fame class last year, but it was deferred at his request. As for Johnson, wishful thinking by many fans is that he will eventually return to WWE and face his cousin Roman Reigns in a match to determine who is the true Head of the Table and ruler of their Bloodline.
With WrestleMania only a couple of months away and the 2022 Hall of Fame class yet to be named, it remains to be seen if Batista or Johnson will also appear in front of WWE fans at some point this year. Otherwise, there’s always next year’s SuperBowl.