WWE WrestleMania Backlash 2021: Zombies turned out to be some familiar faces

  • Ash Rose

2021 will be remembered as a truly unique year in WWE, where WWE were forced to push the boundaries in creativity due to the ongoing Coronavirus global pandemic. 

Although some big shows had been allowed to start letting fans into shows, the first half of the year saw WWE events taking place from The Thunderdome. The cleverly constructed virtual experience WWE had created in the place of having a real crowd. 

The setting allowed WWE to flex the creative muscles from a television product point of view, with new angles, mini film showreels called ‘cinematic matches’ and stunts that with a crowd may have not been possible.

One of the most bizarre instances came at May’s WrestleMania Backlash, a show sponsored by the new zombie film Army of Dead – which took place a year ago this week. To cash-in on the movie tie-in, WWE went all in with the theme during The Miz’s match with Damian Priest. 

The match had a lumberjack stipulation, but instead of the ring being surrounded by WWE Superstars it was instead lined with zombies, that’s right zombies. Throughout the match Priest and Miz had to fight off the ‘flesh-eaters’ until the A-Lister got distracted as his tag team partner John Morrison was ‘devoured’ by the army of the walking dead. 

The distraction saw Priest get the win, before it was Miz’s turn to feel the wrath of the undead, who laid waste to the former WWE Champion. 

What you wouldn’t have known at the time, is that underneath the make-up and scar tissue, a collection of those infamous talents were actually made-up of most of the faces you now see on NXT 2.0 on Tuesday nights. 

On closer inspection you’ll see the not so familiar faces of Grayson Waller, Von Wagner, Xyon Quinn, Carmelo Hayes, Andre Chase, Joe Gacey and even current NXT Champion Bron Breakker – plus many others.

At the time the NXT Superstars were all still graduates training at WWE’s Performance centre but were given the chance of their first taste of fame thanks to WWE’s tie-in with the movie, that starred WWE legend Batista. 

Have a look at the image and see how many NXT 2.0 names you can spot….

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