VIDEO: A Look Back At WWE’s Most Infamous Commercial
Commercials during the NFL’s championship game have become as much of an annual tradition as the big game itself. Each year, hundreds of millions of viewers anxiously await the first commercial break, looking for laughs or the first glimpse at upcoming summer blockbusters. But in 1999, no ad created more buzz than the 30-second spot that offered a rare look inside WWE’s world headquarters in Stamford, Conn.
Broadcast during the height of The Attitude Era, WWE’s commercial featured a handful of the biggest Superstars of all time, including “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, Mankind, The Rock and The Undertaker, walking through the halls of WWE headquarters as bedlam ensued in the background. The spot lived up to its purpose — capturing the spirit, not only of The Attitude Era, but also of WWE overall. The chaotic scene of The Texas Rattlesnake whacking a shiftless executive with a chair and a blind referee roaming the halls captivated viewers around the world and created urban legends about what takes place inside the Stamford office building.
Of course, the employees crashing through conference room windows were created for dramatic effect, though we’d be remiss if we said we never saw a sleeper hold in the cafeteria. Nevertheless, even though the commercial aired more than a decade ago, WWE staff are still asked, “Do Superstars work there?” or “Are there wrestling matches in the office?”
To say the commercial left an impact is an understatement — and it wasn’t the only memorable WWE event to transpire as the Denver Broncos handily defeated the Atlanta Falcons. During halftime on USA Network, a special event dubbed “Halftime Heat” featured then–WWE Champion The Rock battling Mankind in an infamous Empty Arena Match. Mrs. Foley’s Baby Boy defeated The Great One with the aid of a forklift to capture his second WWE Championship.
When the game was over and the Denver Broncos held the Lombardi Trophy high, NFL Hall of Famer John Elway cemented his legacy, but the evening ultimately belonged to WWE.