Last Wednesday (Nov. 2), WWE announced an extension and expansion of their media rights deal with Africa’s MultiChoice. Part of the new arrangement made Showmax, one of the continent’s major streaming services, the home of WWE Network for the majority of Africa. The press release promised we’d see “additional partnership initiatives leveraging WWE IP” on SuperSport, Multichoice’s sport network that currently airs Raw, SmackDown, NXT, and a regionalized product called JAMBO WWE.
On the company’s investor conference call later that same day, WWE co-CEO Nick Khan discussed the updated contract and mentioned that an upcoming developmental recruiting event in Nigeria could be used for “content creation.”
Today (Nov. 8), WWE made another announcement that seems to tie all that together:
WWE® LAUNCHES ‘THE SEARCH FOR AFRICA’S NEXT WWE SUPERSTAR’
WWE and SuperSport Will Host Tryout in Nigeria in 2023
STAMFORD, Conn., November 8, 2022 – WWE® (NYSE: WWE), in conjunction with its Sub-Saharan Africa broadcast partner SuperSport, has announced a continent-wide talent search to find Africa’s next WWE Superstar. The campaign was announced today in Lagos, Nigeria, the host city for a multi-day tryout in February 2023.
“The Search for Africa’s Next WWE Superstar” will begin today and is open to citizens of any African country. Submissions will be accepted until December 18. Learn more about the application process at www.supersport.com/WWEAfricaSuperstar.
Interested candidates will be asked to submit a video highlighting their potential to become a WWE Superstar. Successful applicants will be invited to participate in the Lagos tryout in February 2023. A select number of tryout participants will then be awarded an all-expenses-paid experience to continue their tryout journey alongside current and prospective WWE Superstars ahead of WrestleMania 39 in Los Angeles in April 2023. A full-time WWE developmental contract may be offered to the top-performing participants who will then begin their new career at the world-class WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida.
“Africa is a focal point of our renewed global recruitment talent strategy,” said James Kimball, WWE Head of Talent Operations and Strategy. “This initiative, in partnership with SuperSport, will launch what we envision becoming a year-round, multi-country effort to identify talent that will resonate with our passionate fanbase.”
“The continent abounds with athletes and Africa has had several WWE Superstars, so this is the perfect opportunity to showcase fresh new talent,” said Marc Jury, Chief Executive of SuperSport. “As there is a massive appetite among African audiences for WWE action and entertainment, we expect this initiative to be very popular with aspirants. SuperSport looks forward to telling this exciting story in the weeks and months to come.”
Apollo Crews was on-hand for the press conference announcing the talent search:
The search is on for the next WWE African superstar! It is an honor to be out here in Lagos, Nigeria to announce the first WWE tryout to be held in Africa in Lagos, Nigeria. February 2023! I haven’t been back to Nigeria since I was 10! This was a blessing. pic.twitter.com/z0JMP5RLNh— Apollo (@WWEApollo) November 8, 2022
It still doesn’t mention if this content will be availably globally on WWE Network and its licensees like Peacock, but if there’s any interest it seems likely. There’s also no promise that whoever emerges from this process will be given a WWE contract — just a chance to tryout for one in Southern California before WrestleMania 39 next spring. But again, if the show is a hit, I like it’s winner or winner(s) chances.