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New SmackDown on Fox commercial has The Rock, Stone Cold, and some current Superstars, too (UPDATED)

Stone Cold Steve Austin’s Twitter

We’re only a little more than a month away from WWE’s return to a broadcast network when SmackDown LIVE moves to Fox Fridays on Oct. 4.

Fox spent a lot of money to secure the rights to air the blue brand, and plans to promote the show via their other “sports entertainment” properties - especially the National Football League. The NFL kicks off their 2019 -2020 season next week (after an opener on NBC Thurs., Sept. 5, the first slate of games on Fox is Sun., Sept. 8), so it figures a new commercial for SmackDown’s debut on the network has made its way online.

It’s a fun spot, the theme of which is how much pro wrestling and WWE is ingrained in our collective pop culture consciousness. What’s curious, and possibly troubling for Fox, NBCUniversal (parent company of USA Network), and other Vince McMahon partners is how prominent performers who won’t be appearing on SmackDown regularly - if at all - are used to drive the point home.

The ad was first shared by one of its stars, who despite an increased presence on WWE television of late, is not a current star of SmackDown:

Now, Fox and WWE can’t be blamed for using Stone Cold Steve Austin, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, John Cena and The Undertaker. They’re huge stars that folks who’ve never watched wrestling recognize, and the elusive casual/lapsed fans will get excited about it. They’re pulling out the stops across the board here, as (draft pending) they’re also advertising a few of WWE’s biggest current Superstars despite their being assigned to Raw.

But ideally, they’d have a bunch of teenagers doing Roman Reigns’ fist cocking and OHH-AHH routines. Because anyone tuning in just to see The Rock isn’t going to stick around for too long - unless The Big Dog and the 2019 roster hooks them.

That will be the challenge for Vince McMahon and his new partners at Fox. We’ll see how they do starting Oct. 4.

In the meantime, give us a Hell Yeah if you dug the new commercial.

UPDATE: WWE’s issued the following press release outlining the marketing strategy, distribution schedule, and plans for future ads:


Celebrities and Fans Go to Extremes Emulating Superstars Past and Present as SmackDown Live Becomes FRIDAY NIGHT SMACKDOWN on FOX

Los Angeles – WWE’s FRIDAY NIGHT SMACKDOWN debuts on FOX Friday, October 4, and FOX Sports is setting the stage with the “We’re All Superstars” campaign launch. The first spot “Superstars” premieres tonight, Friday, August 30, during FOX Sports’ new college football pregame show, BIG NOON KICKOFF, at 6:30 PM ET on FS1.

In the spot, a wide range of everyday and celebrity WWE fans embrace their inner “Superstar” – a grocery store clerk, a spelling bee winner, kids at the swimming pool and more. These fanatics imitate their favorite WWE Superstars’ signature moves, celebrating the WWE’s outsized influence on pop culture.

WWE Superstars “Stone Cold®” Steve Austin, John Cena®, Kofi Kingston, Becky Lynch, Ric Flair, Charlotte Flair, The Undertaker™ and The Rock® together with celebrities including Snoop Dogg, Gordon Ramsay and athletes from across the sports world are featured in the campaign.

In addition, beginning with its 20th anniversary celebration on Friday, October 4, SmackDown Live will become FRIDAY NIGHT SMACKDOWN and air on the FOX broadcast network 52 weeks a year.

The campaign will consist of four total spots, with three fan-focused videos debuting in the coming weeks. The “We’re All Superstars” campaign was created by Wieden+Kennedy New York and FOX Sports.

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