WWE Superstar Spectacle
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|WWE Superstar Spectacle|
|Date||January 22, 2021|
(aired January 26, 2021)
|City||St. Petersburg, Florida|
|Attendance||0 (behind closed doors)[a]|
A Republic Day Blockbuster
|WWE Network event chronology|
Superstar Spectacle was a professional wrestling television special and WWE Network event produced by WWE that featured wrestlers from their Raw, SmackDown, and NXT brand divisions. The event was taped on January 22, 2021 and aired on January 26 for India's Republic Day. The event was specially produced for WWE's Indian market as a part of their five-year deal with Sony Pictures Networks India. The event also incorporated elements of traditional and contemporary Indian culture and emanated from the WWE ThunderDome, hosted at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Five matches were contested at the event. In the main event match, WWE Champion Drew McIntyre and The Indus Sher (Rinku and Saurav) defeated The Bollywood Boyz (Samir Singh and Sunil Singh) and the returning Jinder Mahal. The event also featured the participation of 10 Indian wrestlers from WWE's developmental system. The company later announced that 20 million people had watched the event live.
Coming out of WWE's third-quarter financial call on October 29, 2020, WWE's President and Chief Financial Officer, Nick Khan, announced that they were working with Sony Pictures Networks India on producing an event specially targeted to their Indian market which would air in 2021 and would mainly feature the promotion's developing Indian wrestlers. The event would mainly air on Sony's Indian platforms and be domestically distributed to the United States. The television special was a two-hour event shown on Sony TEN 1, Sony TEN 3, and Sony Max, airing at 8pm IST. Viewers had the option of watching the broadcast in the language of their preference, with both English commentary and Hindi commentary being offered.
On January 13, 2021, WWE announced that WWE Champion Drew McIntyre, Rey Mysterio, Charlotte Flair, AJ Styles, Bayley, The New Day (Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods), Shinsuke Nakamura, Cesaro, Dolph Ziggler, Robert Roode, Natalya, Ricochet, WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair, and many more would be in attendance at the event. Jinder Mahal, the first WWE Champion of Indian descent, The Bollywood Boyz (Sunil and Samir Singh), Indus Sher, Jeet Rama, Kavita Devi, Giant Zanjeer, Dilsher Shanky, and Guru Raaj, were all further confirmed to appear.
Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic that began affecting the industry in mid-March 2020, WWE had to present the majority of its programming from a behind closed doors set. Initially, Raw and SmackDown's television shows and PPVs were done at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida, while NXT's events were held at Full Sail University in Winter Park, Florida. In late August, these programs were moved to a bio-secure bubble called the WWE ThunderDome. The select live audience was no longer utilized as the bubble allowed fans to attend the events virtually for free and be seen on the nearly 1,000 LED boards within the arena. Additionally, the ThunderDome utilized various special effects to further enhance wrestlers' entrances, and arena audio was mixed with that of the chants from the virtual fans. After being hosted at Orlando's Amway Center, the ThunderDome was relocated to Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida in December. In October, NXT's events were moved to the Performance Center in a set up called the "Capitol Wrestling Center," an homage to the Capitol Wrestling Corporation, the predecessor to WWE. It is similar to the ThunderDome, but includes a small crowd of select fans. Superstar Spectacle was scheduled to be held at the ThunderDome and feature wrestlers from Raw, SmackDown, and NXT.
The event included matches that resulted from scripted storylines, where wrestlers portrayed heroes, villains, or less distinguishable characters in scripted events that built tension and culminated in a wrestling match. Results were predetermined by WWE's writers on the Raw, SmackDown, and NXT brands, while storylines were produced on WWE's weekly television shows, Monday Night Raw, Friday Night SmackDown, and NXT.
Ian Hamilton of 411mania gave Superstar Spectacle a 7.2 out of 10, remarking of the Indian performers (including those making their television debut) that "for a group of guys effectively trained from scratch, this wasn’t half bad", and believing that the show was a potential step towards a future "NXT India" (following the example of NXT UK).
According to Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful, WWE claimed that 20 million people watched the event live.
|1||Finn Bálor defeated Guru Raaj by pinfall||Singles match||7:08|
|2||Dilsher Shanky, Giant Zanjeer, Rey Mysterio, and Ricochet defeated Cesaro, Dolph Ziggler, King Corbin and Shinsuke Nakamura by pinfall||Eight-man tag team match||6:25|
|3||AJ Styles (with Omos) defeated Jeet Rama by pinfall||Singles match||3:14|
|4||Charlotte Flair and Sareena Sandhu defeated Bayley and Natalya by pinfall||Tag team match||6:06|
|5||Drew McIntyre and The Indus Sher (Rinku and Saurav) defeated The Bollywood Boyz (Samir Singh and Sunil Singh) and Jinder Mahal by pinfall||Six-man tag team match||9:03|
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