WWE is finally figuring out they need to switch from rock to rap.
After years of dabbling in pop hip-hop while still clinging to the music that fueled their best years in the 1980s and 90s, this year we’ve seen the Nick Khan-led company make strides to connect with fans of the music that dominates the charts and the culture (and The Culture).
Now we’re getting a huge swing for the crossover fences, as WWE’s announced the July 23 episode of SmackDown will air, at least in part, from the Rolling Loud festival in Miami. Parts of the show will still emanate from the originally announced venue, Cleveland’s Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse. But we’ll see two matches from the same stage where A$AP Rocky, Travis Scott, Post Malone and others will be performing that weekend.
Here’s the press release:
WWE® FRIDAY NIGHT SMACKDOWN® HEADS TO ROLLING LOUD MIAMI 2021
STAMFORD, Conn., July 7, 2021 – WWE® (NYSE: WWE) and Rolling Loud, the world’s premier rap festival, today announced a new partnership that brings Friday Night SmackDown to Rolling Loud Miami 2021 on July 23. The occasion marks the first ever collaboration between WWE and a major music festival.
Gracing the same stage as festival headliners Travis Scott, Post Malone and A$AP Rocky, WWE Superstars will compete in matches live from Rolling Loud Miami. The July 23 edition of Friday Night SmackDown on FOX will feature a split-site broadcast with multiple matches at Rolling Loud Miami, and the remainder of the evening held at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse in Cleveland.
“What Matt Zingler, Tariq Cherif and the entire Rolling Loud team have built is spectacular,” said Scott Zanghellini, WWE Senior Vice President, Revenue Strategy & Development. “We couldn’t think of a better partner to deliver such a unique WWE experience to fans during the July 23 edition of Friday Night SmackDown on FOX.”
“I grew up on Sweet Chin Music, mesmerized by the spectacle that Vince McMahon and co have built at WWE,” said Tariq Cherif, Co-Founder/Co-CEO of Rolling Loud. “The idea of weaving our two storylines into one world, one must see event, is electrifying.”
“And I quote! If ya smell…what the WWE and Rolling Loud…is…cookin’! Give me a hell yeah!,” said Rolling Loud Co-Founder/Co-CEO, Matt Zingler.
WWE has a rich history of integrating music into all aspects of its brand and collaborating with some of the most celebrated artists in the world. Over the years, world-renowned hip-hop artists including Snoop Dogg, Diddy, Three 6 Mafia, MGK, Wale and many others have performed at WWE’s biggest events.
Bringing 130 of the hottest acts in hip-hop to Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla., the sold out Rolling Loud Miami 2021 is a triumphant return for live rap music, and a coming out party for risers and new superstars eager to play in front of a festival crowd. The sixth Rolling Loud festival in Miami, where it started as a humble one-day event in Bayfront Park, Rolling Loud Miami 2021 will occur from July 23-25.
Friday Night SmackDown airs live on FOX at 8/7c and features Universal Champion Roman Reigns, SmackDown Women’s Champion Bianca Belair, SmackDown Tag Team Champions Rey and Dominik Mysterio, WWE Intercontinental Champion Apollo Crews, Bayley, Seth Rollins, Kevin Owens and more.
Rolling Loud Miami is the first of three Rolling Loud festivals happening this year. On October 28-30, Rolling Loud returns to the birthplace of Hip Hop with Rolling Loud New York 2021, headlined by Travis Scott, J. Cole, and 50 Cent, taking place at Citi Field in Queens. The festival heads to the West Coast on December 10-12 for Rolling Loud California, headlined by J. Cole, Kid Cudi, and Future, from NEO Events Center in San Bernardino, Calif.
Stay tuned for more announcements about the Rolling Loud and WWE/Friday Night SmackDown partnership in the weeks leading up to the festival.
Ready for the next phase of the Rap N’ Wrestling Revolution?