One of the more controversial bouts among fans at this year’s Royal Rumble was the ‘Mountain Dew Pitch Black Match’ between Bray Wyatt and LA Knight.
Going into the event, little was known about the match except that it would be No Holds Barred. On the night, the arena went dark but the dayglo colours were seen on the ring ropes, weapons, and Bray Wyatt himself. The centre of the ring was also emblazoned with a large Mountain Dew logo.
Wyatt overcame LA Knight in a little over five minutes. However, things didn’t end there as the Eater of Worlds donned a mask in the corner of the ring and followed Knight up to the top of the stage. He walked through Knight’s attempts to attack him before laying him out with a Mandible Claw.
With Knight lying prone on the stage, Uncle Howdy appeared and launched himself from a platform onto the star. This led to flames and pyro going off as Wyatt and the characters from the Firefly Fun House watched on.
Reactions to the match have been mixed at best, with many fans unhappy with the way it played out and the likes of Jim Cornette pulling no punches in his criticism.
WWE planning sponsored match at WrestleMania 39
Despite this, it seems that WWE has more sponsored matches in the pipeline, with one likely to happen at WrestleMania 39.
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, WWE Senior VP and Head of Global Sales and Partnerships Craig Stummel revealed that the sponsorship revenue for this year’s WrestleMania is 43% higher than in 2022.
He then dropped the news that one of the matches on the Grandest Stage Of Them All would have sponsorship integrated in a similar fashion to Mountain Dew at the Royal Rumble.
“I don’t want to give away too much, but it’ll be around a match, and the sponsorship of that match, and what they’ll be able to bring to that match. So we’re going to do things that fit inside of our storyline as well.”
Stimmel went on to discuss the company’s current position on sponsorships, explaining the diverse ways they can advertise brands.
“We’re tracking exactly where we want to be going into the events. We’ve also got a diverse set of sponsorships coming in … we’ve got snacks, we have beverages, among others. So it’s a really nice diverse portfolio of brands that are joining in a myriad of ways.
“When you think about putting WrestleMania on, we’re going to be showing across millions of households on Peacock, we’re also going to have a social presence.
“We’re also going to have a post-match press conference that’s going to be sponsored this year — you saw that with Mountain Dew and Royal Rumble — but we’re going to have that again at WrestleMania.
“It’s on YouTube and on TikTok and on Facebook, so we’re gonna have a myriad of opportunities to tell a brand story across different spectrums with different voices. So I think when we approach brands, we want to make sure that that holistic picture is in place… we’re looking for that audience overlap.”
Confirmed matches for WrestleMania 39 already include Cody Rhodes challenging Roman Reigns for the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship and Rhea Ripley taking on Charlotte Flair with the SmackDown Women’s Title on the line.