The new WWE Universal Champion took his title in front of 1 000 virtual fans at the high-tech new ThunderDome in Orlando, US, last night.
At the WWE Payback pay-per-view, Roman Reigns defeated Braun Strowman and The Fiend: Bray Wyatt in the main event to become the new Universal Champion.
The wrestling spectacle took place inside the WWE ThunderDome at Amway Centre in Orlando and The South African was able to be a part of the virtual fan experience.
Featuring a state-of-the-art set, video boards, pyrotechnics, lasers, cutting-edge graphics and drone cameras, the ThunderDome takes WWE fans’ viewing experience to an unprecedented level.
The ThunderDome launched at SummerSlam last weekend. Teething issues during the week included getting fans in smoothly and preventing unwanted actions on camera. However, WWE thinks it has now got a stronghold on proceedings.
Immersive atmosphere at ThunderDome
“Nothing compares to what we are creating with WWE ThunderDome,” said WWE executive vice president for television production Kevin Dunn.
“This structure will enable us to deliver an immersive atmosphere.
“We can generate more excitement among the millions of fans watching around the world.”
The Thunderdome seats up to 1 000 “virtual” fans at a time at ringside, in the form of LED boards showing their faces. The fans have microphones on to bring in the effect of real crowd noise.
See yourself on TV
WWE encourages fans at home to wear official merchandise while on camera and punts the tagline: “See yourself on TV”.
Fans do need a strong internet connection to prevent lagging. A good connection also boosts their chances of appearing on television.
The South African logged on early, around 90-minutes ahead of the event, and was placed on standby.
Before the kick-off show began, WWE superstar Matt Riddle welcomed the South African to the ThunderDome before WWE live broadcasting kicked in.
And then Roman Reigns pinned Braun Strowman in an incredible main event.
Road ahead for ThunderDome
WWE’s Amway residency will continue for the foreseeable future. Raw, SmackDown and pay-per-view programming will be on closed sets with only essential staff.
WWE also will continue health and safety protocols for talent, crew and employees on each production, including testing for COVID-19.
Fans can register for their virtual seat to be part of upcoming shows via www.wwethunderdome.com.
You also can find updates on registration openings on the WWE social media platforms.
- The South African was a part of the WWE ThunderDome courtesy of WWE and Cryptic Wrestling.