You may have noticed that all the recent WWE news is about the buildup to WrestleMania 33. In recent weeks, the WWE network’s Monday Night Raw and SmackDown Live shows have focused on the back stories to the planned event at wrestling’s premier event, which takes place in Orlando, Florida, on April 2. Of course, SmackDown and Monday Night Raw will provide the vast majority of WrestleMania competitors, so the focus on the big event has largely left WWE NXT’s emerging stars to get on with the job of wrestling.
No one would claim that NXT is anywhere near as popular as SmackDown or Raw, but NXT has a huge role to play in developing the main roster stars of the future. The NXT brand is also a big player in promoting the WWE brand outside of America. If it is to continue to grow, WWE needs to reach new audiences, encouraging them to buy subscriptions or PPV events. It could be argued that innovation is the key, and over the past couple of years, WWE NXT has partnered with Europe’s premier rock festival, bringing NXT Live wrestling to the rock arena.
The Download Festival is a British rock festival held annually at Donington Park in Leicestershire, England. Download has hosted all the biggest names in worldwide rock and metal music since 2003 when it moved to its current site. Each year in mid-June, 100,000 rock and metal fans head to Download. While the action in the Download festival arena begins on Friday, there is plenty to keep festival fans happy in the preceding days. The Download Festival village has live and recorded music, a mind-boggling array of shopping, drinking, and food outlets, and a huge funfair. In short, there is plenty to keep rock fans amused until the festival proper begins.
If you go to Download for the music, there is plenty to keep you moving long into the night. This year’s Download will have headline sets from System of a Down, Biffy Clyro, and Aerosmith, who are supported across the three-day event by more than 90 rock and metal acts. Slayer, Rob Zombie, and Prophets of Rage are just a few of the bands playing Download this year, and earlier today, the Download Festival announced that WWE NXT wrestling is back to thrill rock fans.
Why Take WWE NXT Wrestling To Download Festival?
Wrestling and rock fans have a lot in common. They both love their entertainment to be action-packed and hard-hitting. You might say that rock and wrestling have a natural affinity. The WWE network has collaborated with numerous big name acts through the years on things like WWE superstars theme tunes.
At the Download Festival last year, WWE legend Triple H made an appearance on the main stage, where he was awarded the Metal Hammer “Spirit of Lemmy” award, in honor of his relationship with the late legendary Motörhead frontman Lemmy Kilmister, and to acknowledge the affinity between the rock and wrestling worlds.
Earlier today, Triple H broke the news that WWE NXT is heading back to Download for the second year in succession. Last year, saw WWE NXT make a huge impact with Download fans, delivering a weekend of action to capacity crowds with shocking debuts, high flying maneuvers, and surprising returns from the biggest names in sports entertainment.
According to the WWE website, the return of WWE NXT to Download will be even more exciting this year.
“Superstars like Shinsuke Nakamura, Bobby Roode, Asuka, Kassius Ohno and more will take to the ring to showcase NXT’s high-octane brand of in-ring action. Festival-goers will also get the opportunity to meet the Superstars of NXT during autograph signings.”
As reported by Team Rock, current NXT Champion Bobby Roode, who made headlines with his NXT debut at last year’s Download Festival, is excited by his return to the festival.
“Download was my very first show in NXT. The combination of NXT Superstars and massive musical acts, entertaining tens of thousands of passionate fans makes Download a unique experience.
“Returning to Download as NXT Champion will make this an extra special moment for me as a performer.”
Download Festival promoter Dave Bradley added that WWE NXT at Download is an event that “is not to be missed” if you “want to see the sparks fly.”
A rock festival may seem like an odd place to see the WWE’s NXT stars, but try telling that to the thousands of fans who were enthralled by the NXT action at last year’s festival. You can be sure that rock fans in their thousands will be enjoying both Downloads musical and WWE NXT wrestling to the full.
[Featured Image by WWE]