The wrestling industry is all about promotion and making sure people know about the product, and no one has done it better than WWE over the years. It’s the reason the company has been at the top of the industry for as long as it has, with fans often having something to grab hold of.
Over the years, WWE has used gross promotional tactics such as the death of a wrestler, but when the creative team is focused on things, they can come up with some great ideas. There were some fantastic and genuinely creative ideas at times that helped keep fans hooked.
10/10 White Rabbit
WWE recently showed just how good it can be when tapping into true creativity with the White Rabbit Clues ending in led to Bray Wyatt returning to the business. Displaying QR codes throughout shows, which required fans to search for clues online, was unique and engaged audiences.
Things then went viral on the internet, like how WWE sparked the whole situation by playing a song at live events. The buzz was palpable, and it led to a huge ratings or company spike, showing that the teasing got people’s attention.
9/10 millennial man
As the world headed into the new millennium, there was a lot of speculation and rumors about what would happen, with some believing the world would end. WWE decided to cleverly exploit this as they began to run a countdown to this point, teasing fans that something was up.
Of course, that ultimately led to the debut of Chris Jericho, which remains one of the biggest segments in the company’s history. Fans wondered what it could be at the time, and the fact that he interrupted a segment with The Rock immediately made it interesting and created a new star.
8/10 Diva Search
The Diva Search was another clever promotional tool from WWE, ensuring fans would see future WWE Superstars as they tried to secure a contract with the company. It was something different than the company had ever done, but it worked perfectly in trying to draw attention to the product.
Fans have loved the show and its idea, and while some people have complained about not focusing on the in-ring aspect of the business, this decision has brought a lot of great wrestlers over the years.
7/10 Pretty hard
Pretty hard was another great promotional tool like the Diva Search as it focused on future talent looking to break into the business. This professional wrestling mixed with reality television, and it proved incredibly popular with wrestling fans who watched the show and then also watched the regular television product.
It was a smart concept that gave fans a peek into the company, showing the importance of training and how people learn. It was a popular series, and there’s no doubt that it was a unique idea.
6/10 Total divas
Some fans might just see Total divas like a reality series it was completely separate from WWE, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Vince McMahon knew exactly what he was doing when he took on this TV series, like putting WWE product on E! was always going to draw attention to his product.
It attracted a whole new group of people interested in pro wrestling who may never have cared before, as they tuned in to see what the women on the show were actually up to inside the ring. It helped grow WWE and made The Bella Twins and Lana even bigger stars.
5/10 Announcement of WrestleMania Main Event a year in advance
When The Rock first returned to WWE, fans were all hoping it would be lead to a match with John Cena as he was the biggest name in the business at the time. However, few thought WWE would announce the match a year in advance and keep fans waiting that long.
That’s exactly what they did, and although it was very risky due to the risk of injury, it worked perfectly. Fans have been gripped by the idea throughout the year, with both men doing enough to keep people hooked throughout this run.
4/10 Tap into reality
At the time Edge and Lita’s affair broke, WWE probably thought it was a PR nightmare, which is why Matt Hardy rightfully ended up losing his job. However, when fans backed it up, the company opted to set up a storyline like it had never done before, using real-life issues to ripple through the product.
From tapping into dirt sheets when they were starting to become popular, to having them vent their grievances over online phone calls, fans were hooked on whatever was going on. It may not have been the main angle of the event, but it was creative and made the most of a bad situation.
3/10 CM Punk comes out
The rise of CM Punk has been incredible, and the building of Money in the bank 2012 was incredibly creative. WWE openly admitted that Punk’s contract was about to expire and he wasn’t re-signing it, which led to the pipe bomb and some great promo segments with Vince McMahon.
Of course, that spilled over into his unforgettable match with John Cena where he won and literally walked away with the WWE Championship. Fans all tuned in to see what would happen, and while WWE arguably brought Punk back too soon, it was still a smart promotional tool.
2/10 WWE Network
Nowadays the WWE Network was axed in some parts of the world due to other deals the company put in place, but the streaming service was truly a groundbreaking situation at the time. Putting all wrestling content in one place with fans having to pay a monthly fee was a wise move.
Vince McMahon was ahead of this one, seeing that streaming was going to be the next big thing, which has been the case with Netflix and Disney+. WWE was ahead of most in creating this, and although people had some concerns at first, it turned out to be a great idea that worked perfectly and helped promote the business.
1/10 Cyber Sunday
Every PPV is important to WWE, but the creation of Cyber Sunday put a big spin on things that fans have been put in charge of. The idea that the public could dictate the course of the evening was smart, being able to vote on the stipulations of the match, or sometimes who would be in the meeting itself.
It gave fans a reason to tune in as they could have a direct impact on what was going on throughout the night, and audience participation is always a popular thing. Given the rise of social media, it’s very surprising that WWE didn’t bring this event back, as it would definitely be a hit.