Stephanie McMahon On the Creation of ThunderDome

Oct 1, 2020 - by James Walsh

Photo Credit: WWE

The ThunderDome is obviously an enormous part of WWE’s presentation right now and Stephanie McMahon looked back at the virtual experience’s creation, as well as its potential future, in a new interview with Business Insider. You can see some highlights below:

On the ‘stressful’ leadup to WrestleMania: “First and foremost, we had to take into account the safety of our fans and of our superstars and employees — that’s paramount. Working with the local government offices in Florida, the CDC, and the World Health Organization, we made sure we were aligned with all the recommendations from the organizations to do the right thing … There were a lot of scenarios being planned all at the same time.”

On having discussions about whether they should even hold WrestleMania: “We had to quickly pivot to decide — A) does the show still go on? and B) if so, where and how? We decided that yes we have responsibility to our audience, and to our partners, to continue to produce our programming. We wanted to provide an opportunity for our viewers to escape. We still do. It’s our mission to put smiles on peoples faces. WrestleMania took place at our Performance Center over two nights in front of absolutely no people, and it was definitely a unique experience.”

On creating the ThunderDome experience: “We were hoping to be back in arenas by now with fans in attendance but obviously that just wasn’t meant to be. All along we were really learning, playing with audio, different types of graphics packages — all different things. Then we realized we’re not going to be in different arenas and starting to travel again, so what are we going to do, and how can we create the best experience for our fans.”

On the ThunderDome possibly continuing as part of the WWE experience in a new form after the pandmic: “We really do want to create the best possible experience for our fans. One that’s worthy of their passion so we’re examining all kinds of things and you could see both. I think we’re going to see a lot in all businesses and in particular the entertainment industries and sports, a lot of combinations of the new learnings from all this technology, plus the fundamental foundational learning that we have to move our businesses forward. So it’ll be an intersection of what works best.”