Yesterday I wrote a rather long, rambling piece about how the WWE absolutely kills it with merging social with their live product. No sooner do I mention it than do the following take place:
Luke Harper and Erik Rowan pulled some serious gimmick infringement, using their new finisher “The Way” during the 6.8.15 Raw show. This move is an exact copy of the Dudley Death Drop (performed by former WWE performers Bubba Ray and D-Von Dudley) a fact that was not appreciated by the man now known as Bully Ray. The result was this Twitter exchange:
— . (@LukeHarperWWE) June 9, 2015
Now what makes this more intriguing is the fact that:
- Bubba Ray made a surprise appearance at the Royal Rumble in January (he hasn’t worked for the WWE in a decade)
- Bubba Ray was eliminated by Bray Wyatt (an on screen ally of Harper and Rowan)
- Bubba Ray has expressed several times that he’d like to make one last run in the WWE before he retires
- SummerSlam is coming up in a couple months (August 23rd), making this perfect timing to start a feud
We’ll see if this happens, but the assumption by most of the hardcore fans is that it will and this is all part of a big storyline that will conclude at SummerSlam. If the WWE follows through, this will be a feud built over 6 months, using TV, Pay Per View and Twitter (as well as other social tools that will be used as the story grows). It is possible that this won’t come together (as Bubba Ray and D-Von are not currently under contract with the WWE), but if it does it will be one of the most successful multi-channel storyline efforts that any scripted or unscripted TV show has ever pulled off. That is of course until WM32, when we see Ronda Rousey and Stephanie McMahon do the exact same thing, but with much higher stakes.
I love this as a fan, but I really love this as a marketing professional.
For those interested, here is the move, first by the Dudleys and then by Rowan and Harper: