WWE’s history of references in pop culture, including the likes of The Simpsons, South Park and Psych, continued on Friday night as the WWE found itself mentioned during a heated exchange on London’s East End.
EastEnders is one of Britain’s most renowned Soap Operas first airing in the UK back in February of 1985, alongside Coronation Street (1960) and Emmerdale (1972) EastEnders has dominated Freeview evening television for the best part of four decades. In 2017 it was reported that EastEnders daily programming drew in a mammoth 6 million unique viewers with the most viewed episode in the shows 36-year history reaching a monumental 30.15 million viewers on Christmas Day 1986.
EastEnders is known for its focus on relating to ongoing events and pop culture, with characters regularly referencing ongoing sports events such as the Premier League or the World Cup. This relevance has led sporting icons such as Arsenal Football Club legend Thierry Henry to reference the show during press meetings.
The Premier Leagues’ all-time greatest forward once declared “People talk about me more than they talk about EastEnders” whilst discussing the matter of his contract negotiations.
On the April 16th edition of the show, ‘Dotty’ Cotton & Tiffany Butcher were caught attempting to scam punters in a local club, overcharging them for drinks whilst distracting them simultaneously. Despite early success, they were eventually caught out by a customer named ‘Greg’ who later stormed into the duos Walford home demanding they repay him what he was due.
In typical EastEnders fashion the scene soon turned dark when, following Dotty & Tiffany’s declaration they no longer had the money, Greg insisted they ‘find another way’ to pay him back.
Sonia Jackson would make her return to EastEnders following a short hiatus just in time to save the two youngsters with assistance from a wooden foreign object.
Clearly enjoying the aggressive side to Walford’s Frontline Nurse, ‘Dotty’ would declare:
“This is better than watching WWE!”
‘Dotty’ Cotton may be familiar to older viewers of the show as the villainous Grandchild of Walford legend Dot Cotton, most notoriously known for manipulating her stroke surviving Grandfather [Jim Branning] and having Dot arrested on claims of physical abuse.
In 2015 June Brown the legendary actress behind Dot Cotton revealed she was diagnosed with Macular Degeneration, a condition affecting individuals sight by causing extreme blurring of vision. Despite this Brown would remain a key part of EastEnders until February 2020 when, following 35-years of service, she announced she would be departing the show.
WWE is no stranger to references in pop culture. Bret Hart famously featured in the iconic animated programme ‘The Simpsons’ during the shows 8th season airing in 1997. Considered one of Wrestling’s greatest cameos, The Hitman’s appearance spawned a range of merchandise from figures, to lunchboxes and magazine covers.
Elsewhere in entertainment, WWE was the focus of a strangely worded question on the globally known quiz show ‘Jeopardy’.
During the shows 2020 season contestants were asked “What Does It Stand For”:
The contestant would correctly answer ‘World’ rereferring to the first W in the WWE acronym, a fan of the show himself, Kofi Kingston would take to social media to comment on being a question on the show and hearing Alex Trebek say his name.
“So…last night, Alex Trebek said my name. I’ve probably watched this clip at least 50 times. Mamma, we made it! Life is so wonderfully weird…”
It was, however, not the first time that WWE has been referenced by the Merv Griffin show. In 2019 the WWE Chairman himself, Vince McMahon, found himself the answer to a ‘What Is…” question in response to the following clue:
“This billionaire wrestling promoter has owned what’s now the WWE since 1982”.
WWE continues to be a household name and staple of pop culture around the world, with recent cameos from celebrity names such as Bad Bunny & Logan Paul helping to continue the growth of WWE’s brand image worldwide.