It’s been 20 years since the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, and there’s been a lot of media related to it on various platforms, with multiple powerful documentaries hitting major streaming services. WWE, too, has released a documentary on the part the company played in the aftermath of the attacks entitled “Never Forget: WWE Returns After 9/11.”
In addition to streaming on Peacock, WWE released the full documentary on its YouTube channel. You can watch it here:
In the aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001, as terror and tragedy dominated the media landscape, WWE provided a beacon of hope with a live edition of SmackDown. This documentary explores the preparation of the historic event that brought unity to a country when it was needed most.
My initial feeling upon word of this documentary being put together was that it was going to be the typical self-congratulatory WWE piece. The company is awfully good at that, after all. But while it may be that to some degree, it’s wouldn’t be fair to reduce it to that. It’s actually a pretty damn good documentary on what was a legitimately meaningful show, considering it was one of the first major public gatherings following the attacks. It’s been long enough now that it’s easy to forget just how uneasy the days following Sept. 11, 2001, actually were. It was scary. It felt unsafe. The sports world came to a screeching halt.
One thing you learn about dealing with death, and trauma, and any other adversity, though, is that you simply cannot stop in the face of it. It’s not just that you should move forward, it’s that you must. There is no other way. This was a step toward that.
The documentary also serves as a reminder of the sense of togetherness that existed there. If the excessive patriotism feels kind of cheesy, and it comes across a bit that way now with all this distance from it, it absolutely felt appropriate at the time.
And then, hey, it was awfully nice just to watch some pro wrestling and think a little bit less about how stressful everything else was, respectfully.