In the middle of a global crisis, WWE needed to freshen up its approach to its television presentation. They were producing their weekly television from the Performance Center without any fans and feedback from the audience at home was negative. WWE decided to introduce the ThunderDome, a state-of-the-art fan experience where you could be part of the show from your own home.
With the pandemic easing, WWE are now going back on the road and the ThunderDome era of television has come to an end. So we have taken a look at the 5 best moments of the ThunderDome era.
5. The Miz cashes in his Money in the Bank contract
At the Elimination Chamber event, The Miz shocked the world and successfully cashed in his Money in the Bank contract and won the WWE Championship pinning Drew McIntyre to become a two-time world champion. Unfourtantly he would lose the championship weeks later to current champion Bobby Lashley.
4. Christian returns to the ring at the Royal Rumble
The Men’s Royal Rumble event saw Edge return from injury and win the match to book his place in the main event of WrestleMania. But the bigger surprise was Christian returning to the ring and working a match for the first time since his retirement. He would have a stare down with his best friend Edge, before embracing. Christian was returning from injury after being sidelined for the previous 7 years due to head injuries. Christian is now back full time under contract with All Elite Wrestling.
3. Bayley turns on ‘best friend’ Sasha Banks
Over the pandemic era, nobody worked harder than Bayley and Sasha Banks. Bayley was the SmackDown Champion and, in the midst of working in the Performance Center, the Hug ‘N Boss Connection would win the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship. Sasha would also win the RAW Women’s championship for a small period. But after dropping the tag team championships, Bayley would attack her best friend in a brutal beating leaving her former best friend out of action. This would eventually lead to a match at Hell in a Cell where Sasha would gain revenge and dethrone Bayley as SmackDown Champion.
2. The Undertaker retirement ceremony
After 30 years in the WWE, The Undertaker officially retired at Survivor Series. A major moment with a holographic Paul Bearer and some of the biggest names in wrestling in the ring to celebrate. It closed the show at Survivor Series after weeks of advertisement but unfortunately, it was a sad sight to see one of the greatest characters in history bow out with no fans in attendance to show their appreciation. Here’s hoping that one day The Undertaker appears one more time in front of a live crowd so the WWE Universe can say a true goodbye.
1. Roman Reigns returns at SummerSlam
The SummerSlam tag line was ‘you never saw it coming’ and we never did. At the end of the show, as The Fiend had just captured the WWE Universal Championship, Roman Reigns made his return, attacking The Fiend and Braun Strowman. The now-Head of the Table had returned as a heel and would win the Universal Championship a week later. He has now aligned himself with Paul Heyman along with his cousins The Usos and is delivering some of the best work of his career.
The WWE ThunderDome will always be remembered, whether it’s a positive or negative memory. It was a once in a life time experience watching WWE this way, it will be discussed and analyses for years to come. But time will remember that there were some big moments that are truly unforgettable.
Videos and pics courtesy of WWE